“You don’t want to be fat, like your mom, do you?” My earliest memory in my weight loss journey. I think I was probably 9. When I look back at pictures, I see I was starting to look wider than my peers, but I had no idea….until my dad said that.
I now know he had spent many long years watching my mom struggle with her weight and dash down so many different weight loss journeys, all of which ended in some form of misery. I suspect he was really saying, “I don’t want to see you be unhappy, like your mom.” But, that’s not how my 9-year-old brain saw it. It saw, “There’s something wrong with me. I better fix it.”
So, I went about fixing things the way a 9-year-old would….I did things that gave me instant gratification to try and feel better, because feeling broken was kinda awful. I ate sweet stuff, I took things that I wanted but didn’t belong to me. Surely if I had what “she” had, I would be more likable, more worthy….and maybe thin. I shoplifted candy, because it wasn’t allowed in our house. (Only Ding Dongs for my dad’s lunches, and those were “hidden” in the garage freezer. We knew my mom snuck them all the time, but we weren’t allowed. Didn’t stop me.). I generally started a cascade of behaviors that felt naughty, shameful, and somehow necessary. If I just bucked what I was “supposed” to do, I would feel better, be a better version of me.
I remember when I was about 12 and a friend and I, who were bonded at the hip, decided to get really brazen about our misbehaving. We walked in to the local Thrifty’s drug store, picked up 2 large bags each Doritos, because who doesn’t need 2 large bags of Doritos? The chip display was right next to the door, so….why not? Just walk out with them! We were caught, of course, which I suspect was the point somewhere in my pre-pubescent psyche. They called our parents, who came and got us.
What does any of this have to do with Weight Loss? Or Life Coaching? It’s my early start down the road of building a life of lies and shame and overeating. And pretending I was fine. I didn’t know how to fix me because initially I didn’t know what was wrong. As time went on, I began to act out a life story full of evidence of all the things wrong with me, I could barely shoulder the load. It took a wide base, which my hips and thighs now provided; my ticket to the Weight Loss Carousel Ride.
(Thank you, Italian Job movie)
𝑆𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑟𝑎 𝑃ℎ𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝐴𝑠𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑎𝑡 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐻𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑆𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑒: 𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑙𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝐴𝑛 𝐴𝑚𝑎𝑧𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐿𝑖𝑓𝑒, 𝑎 𝐶𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝐿𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑊𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝐶𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ. 𝑆ℎ𝑒’𝑠 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒 50 𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑠….𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑦. 𝑁𝑜 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑑𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑎. 𝑁𝑜 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑔𝑔𝑙𝑒.