Have you ever had something that you really wanted, a goal or a dream, that wasnt entirely impossible, yet it terrified you beyond imagining, kept you awake at night, or woke you up from a sound sleep feeling anxious??
I often turn the lights out, put my head on the pillow, get comfortable, yawn, cuddle up to my man and then theoretically I should just ease into a sound and peaceful sleep. Right???
Just like tonight, my body is exhausted, I have to be up in a few hours and yet I cant sleep, and its all because my brain wont shut up and worst of all, its worrying and anxious, bordering on depressed, and not being able to get the answers it needs because to do that, I would have to admit my fears and worries and then put everything on the line, risking more hurt and rejection than I am already feeling and worrying about.
True, its possible the answers might be good and make me feel so much better, but to be truthful, I have very little confidence in that being the case, and there lies the crux of my problems..... Confidence.
I had a great friend in highschool, many many moons ago, that was one of the most cheerful, happy, lovely girls I have ever met. At sixteen she was at least 20 maybe 30 kilo's overweight, and while it bothered her, she never let it stop her enjoying life, friends, parties etc. The only time she ever admitted it bothered her was when we had a heart to heart one day about the most common thing a sixteen year old girl talks about ... BOYS. She had had many crushes on boys over the years, only for them to treat her like just another boy, while making googoo eyes at all her friends and she was certain this was because of her weight. I asked her why she didnt do something to try and change her weight, offering to be there to support her if she wanted me there, her answer shocked me.
She was SCARED of losing that weight, because she would have nothing to hide behind then and she had seen how bitchy and unhappy most of the skinny girls were and didnt want to be like them. That was an answer I had never expected to hear and couldnt understand at the time.
Yet here I am now, understanding because I have similar fears and wishing I hadnt lost contact with that girl (have been trying to find her on the internet for years now), so I could talk to her again, see how she went, did she conquer those fears??
You see when we had that chat years ago, I was 62kg, putting me at least 5 - 10kg underweight for my height and bone structure, even though I ate enough for three people every day, I just had a hyperactive metabolism. Then when I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 17 I started taking the recommended drug (depoprovera) and within 6 months I had almost no metabolism, barely ate enough for an ethiopian child to survive on, and had boomed up to 96kg. Several operations later plus the birth of 2 children and the resulting total hysterectomy, I weighed in at 135kg. Double the weight I had been 6 years prior. I was so unhappy and never felt like I was "ME" but try as I may, I could only get down to 105kg.
Thats what I weighed when I met my soulmate, the man of my dreams (literally and figuratively). He fell in love with me in spite of my weight, the size of my clothes or the fact that I wouldnt wear swimmers or swim in public. We used to walk all over the place, do activities that I hadnt done in years, have fun etc and I was so happy that with a little help, I managed to get down to 83kg, but I lost a lot of muscle tone in doing that, so wasnt as fit as I had been when we first met and this was noticeable because I wasnt as active, tired all the time etc.
A year later our relationship hit rock bottom without me even realising until it was too late that he wasnt happy, and one of the many reasons he finally told me was that he wanted a partner that was fit and active like he was, one that he could play football with or go to the gym with or swim at the beach with. I was devestated to say the least. It took 8 months but he got past the other issues that had been causing him to feel depressed and came back to me and slowly we have rebuilt our relationship, yet it isnt totally rebuilt yet and I often fear that one day he will leave again, and because of that, my self image is very fragile. Simple comments can shatter me when they were not meant that way and seeing myself in the mirror makes it all the more scarier because he is so active and fit and has such strong goals to get muscled up, that I wonder if he is revolted when he sees me naked. I wouldnt blame him because I am revolted everytime I see me in the mirror. So I got a gym membership and have slowly begun getting fit, slowly because a normal workout means I am exhausted for the next two days and in pain for at least three.
The fact that I dont go to the gym more than once a week seems to frustrate him, and it frustrates me too, but I cant explain or tell him my fears, so there is no way he could know just how hard it is. How do I explain that I have noticed that while I am getting fitter and stronger, I seem to be looking fatter! I know I am not getting fatter, but unfortunately all those operations and two babies over 9 pounds have left my stomach muscles very weak and the skin stretched, maybe beyond the point of self repair, so as I lose weight, my stomach seems to sag all the more noticeably, making me look worse and worse and while my arms and upper body start to tone up, my legs seem to be looking more and more shocking.
Dont get me wrong, I know its a long process, I know that it takes a lot of work to lose weight and tone up and I was prepared for that, but I wasnt prepared for the stomach. I guess i had kind of hoped that if I lost the weight slowly and gently that it would have a chance at repairing and tightening and toning itself. It makes me wonder about all those people that go on things like the biggest loser, how much stomach surgery do they have to have later on, how much do they not tell anyone about when it comes to fears and image problems that are actually worse during the process than they were before they lost weight.
Even worse is that my mind runs away with me, my man has been very tired this week, especially with daylight savings buggering his body clock and making it that he has to get out of bed an hour before his body is used to waking up, getting up in the dark again after he just got used to the fact that the sun was up before he was, so he hasnt been interested in any bedtime activities other than snoring soundly. BUT when he fails to show me that much needed extra attention, my low self image and low confidence suggests that maybe he has noticed the even more saggy stomach and is revolted by it as much as I am, but is just being too nice to tell me so. So instead of curling up warm and comfy with him, I lie there feeling like a leper, worrying that he will see some cute young female during the day (he is a tradie, comes across all sorts of people everyday) and that he will start seeing and comparing the differences, or worse, has already done that and found me lacking. Is this really the case?? Well I dont know, I certainly hope its not, but I am too petrified to ask, because maybe it is, but if it isnt, maybe he hasnt noticed the extra saggy belly and I dont want to bring attention to it, so I curl up and face those fears and worries by myself until my exhausted body takes over and simply knocks me into unconciousness.
And all those worries and fears bring me to remembering that conversation that day with my friend about how she could be SCARED to lose weight.
I understand now. I just wish I could find her and tell her that and maybe make up for not understanding back then.