Growing up I was very active and living in Queensland everyone had a pool and I learned to swim in the school swimming pool so I never considered my weight a problem. I was only 13 and there was a lot to do but one day I put on my favourite summer dress to wear over my bathers and I didn’t fit into it. This was the start of a life long journey of self perception that I was over weight.
This continued through to my early 20s when I met a boy and suddenly I wanted to lose weight. At the time it fell away because I was so nervous around him that I just stopped eating but as time went on and I became comfortable with him the weight went back on.
Then in my early 30s I got pregnant with my first and second child and the weight piled on. I ended up buying men’s clothes because they were baggy on me and with a “G Cup” breast size I wanted to fade into the background.
At my 40th Birthday I decided it was time to do something about it after my son could put his arms around my waist so I joined Weight Watchers and lost 15 kilos. I was finally down to a size 14 and was able to wear dresses.
Of course, money became tight and I had to give up Weight Watchers so sure enough the weight came back on. I tried to ignore it for a long time but with high blood pressure and diagnosis of Diabetes Type 2 it was time to do something about it again and I returned to Weight Watchers. I initially lost 10 kilos but it’s now been 4 years and I have plateaued where I still have another 12 kilos to lose but nothing I do seems to be working.
What has been the underlying decision and work on my weight has been that I always thought my mother was disappointed that I didn’t look after myself. Her common thing to say is “I’m your mother, if I don’t tell you, who will?” I mentioned I was going to Weight Watchers and she was suddenly really interested and proud of me for doing something about my weight. Little things she would say always stuck with me and since she’s a size 12 herself and has always been able to “keep the weight down” I’ve been envious of her.
Now the reason for today’s blog. Just last week I sat with her and we were discussing the people walking past and what they were wearing and why they don’t dress for their size. I said that I didn’t like what I wear but I don’t have choice because there wasn’t anything flattering about my clothing because of my size. My mother was horrified that I thought this because she told me “You always look lovely. You always take care of yourself and I’m proud of you for keeping the weight off”. This absolutely shocked me. Why? Because I always thought she wanted me to lose weight because I was fat. But in truth she wanted me to be healthy and to make sure I was around for my kids. I am healthy and while I still have a long way to go – four years ago I couldn’t even walk very far, now I can walk for a couple of hours and even get in some jogging which would not have happened all those years ago.
I just wish I had the forethought to discuss this with her earlier, I might have lost the weight a lot faster had I known she was already proud of me the way I was. It’s really up to me to stop caring what she and other people think of me and start to let myself off the hook. I’m good, I’m great and while I have a little ways to go I am the healthiest I have been since I was a teenager. I certainly would like to fit into a smaller size clothing but I definitely wouldn’t want to wear that summer dress I had as a child.
PERCEPTION – it’s all in the way you perceive your life and what you want out of it. Don’t let others dictate your life – it’s like being in a car and letting someone else drive. I don’t know about you but I prefer to be in the driver’s seat.
Have a great weekend.