Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Identity Crisis Part 2

I've gotten quite a few emails about my Identity Crisis post.  Some were full of support, reminding me that who I am is completely up to me.  Some readers encouraged me to search for answers in order to be able to move on and maintain my weight loss.  And some asked me questions, one to help them answer, and two to make me think. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking since I wrote that post a few days ago.  And, Jackie's comment really became my outline for brainstorming this post:

"First of all, congratulations on your weight loss. That is quite an accomplishment and you look terrific. I do wonder something from your post. Does being over 100 pounds lighter frighten you? Was your identity before associated with your weight and being fat and now you've lost THAT identity and the layers of protection it provided? I have 75 pounds to lose. I lost 40 of it last summer and then gained it all back. After reading your post, I wonder if I gained it back because, I became unrecognizable to MYSELF and the layers of fat that have been my identify for so long. You have really made me think with this post. I found you on A New Dawn's blog and I'm so glad I have. I wish you continued success and peace. You will find yourself - but it might take a lot of courage to do so.
Blessings to you.
Jackie  "

So here goes nothin'.

Being over 100 lbs light does not frighten me.  I find it very exciting.  In many ways, it's been kind of magical.  Some mornings I wake up and look in the mirror and it's like my dream came true- I woke up skinny!  I am absolutely tickled pink when I hold up pants in the store and my brain says "there's no way you're going to fit into that" and then I try them on and zip them up and- low and behold, they fit!  Even with this identity issue, there is not ONE. SINGLE. THING. that I don't enjoy about being a healthier, fitter, thinner, me on a good day.  (Except for these...but now I realize they have more to do with the external identity crisis than the internal.)

I didn't think that my identiy was wrapped up in my weight.  While I was on my morning walk with 9-month-old asleep in the stroller, I had time to think on it.  What I realized was that my identity was (and probably still is since just knowing a thing doesn't change it) wrapped up in how the world percieves me.  I want people to think I am so many things, but none of them are based on my size.  Therefore, I spent (spend) a lot of time feeling like I need to overcompansate for the external.  I did everything I could to try and convince people that my size didn't matter, but in doing so, I think reinforced the notion within myself that I was overweight and therefore became wrapped up in my size and what I could do to "hide" it or make it less noticable.  Does that make sense?  ...I don't know...I just thought about it today...I may need to merinate on it a bit longer for clarity.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time working on deveolping characteristics that people found valuable within me.  Had a not been fat, I'm not sure that I would have chosen the same qualities to grow in.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.  If I had never been fat, I would be a different person.  I probably would feel the need to "buy" myself friendship by doing rediculous favors.  I often feel like I give more than I get.  I don't always feel like this is a bad thing.  I am a nuturer at heart, but it can be tiring to constantly feel like saying "no" will ruin a friendship.

But now I feel like I have a new opportunity, of sorts.  I kind of get a "do over."  I call for a mulligan!  I now get to decide who I really want to be.  What qualities I really would like to explore and expound upon in my life. 

Will I always have to explain my weight story to the world and the people in my past and future?  ...I hope not.  Just as much as I didn't want my being to be wrapped up in my large-size, I do not want my being to be wrapped up in my smaller size either.  I just want to be seen as a woman.  Not a big or small, fat or thin woman.  Just a strong, formidable, nuturing woman. 

...I wish that we could all see eachothers souls instead...

I know what's in my soul.  Now I have the opportunity to show it on the outside without fear of rejection. 

What do you think changing your size will effect internally?  How will that make you a different person?  Are you looking forward to it or is it daunting?  Whatever the answer is, I hope you won't let it hold you back from your goals of becoming a more healthy human being.  Love yourself!

7 comments:

  1. I loved your post on your identity crisis, and am 100% behind you on your thoughts on self image....your post just lit a bomb in my thinking about myself and has led me to want....for the first time..to change up how I see and speak about myself to me. It was a very thought provoking post and I'm not surprised it has got a few others thinking too. Its a huge asset in blogging that we are challenged to face all kinds of thoughts as we follow each other.
    Thanks for posting

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  2. I don't think losing weight changes me as a person other than to bring me back to being myself rather than a parody of myself.

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  3. Love Love Love

    This is a GREAT post!
    love the energy and love how you are stepping this out

    "But now I feel like I have a new opportunity, of sorts. I kind of get a "do over." I call for a mulligan! I now get to decide who I really want to be. What qualities I really would like to explore and expound upon in my life."

    This is so true
    This is your life, you can take it where ever you want .
    I also love how you are not hung up on size.
    it is really the measure of someone's heart that should matter.
    No matter what size we are the heart remains the same....and you have a lovely heart C.!

    Love and Light

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  4. Hooray for mulligans! When I was 210 pounds, I realized that if I was fat, no one would date me and I couldn't be hurt again.

    Finally in 1999 I realized I had to do something for me (and the fact that I was diagnosed with diabetes kicked me in the pants too!). In one year I lost 70 pounds - and two months after I got to goal, I met my now husband and I've been married 10 years. It wasn't until I loved myself that love found me! :D

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  5. Losing weight has changed me. I stil have quite a few pounds to lose but losing 68 pounds has made me more outgoing and willing to try things I was afraid to try before. It has made me want to be more social when before I didn't want to go anywhere and talk to people. I felt that every one was judging me.
    I also could go for a couple of weeks without looking in the mirror. Now I don't mind.

    It's fun to get clothes now when before I just wanted to wear something that would fit.

    I'm happier now. I feel complete.

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  6. Awesome post and insights! This particular comment of yours was a real light-bulb insight for me:

    "I did everything I could to try and convince people that my size didn't matter, but in doing so, I think reinforced the notion within myself that I was overweight and therefore became wrapped up in my size and what I could do to "hide" it or make it less noticable."

    This helped me realize that the only one I've been trying to convince that size doesn't matter is ME. Within myself I know the truth and how I really feel and no matter what I say to other people to the contrary, I still KNOW that being fat bothers me most of all. How can I be upset with them for reacting negatively to my obesity when, honestly, I feel the same way about it?!

    Thank you, wise lady, for sharing your great insights.

    Jackie

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  7. As the layers of weight have been coming off me, I have been changing. Sometimes it has actually made me fall to my knees and cry. I was losing more and more weight and suddenly it hit me when I was trying on clothes one day that I wasn't HUGE anymore. I've spent most of my life being overweight and hit obese status over 10 years ago. It's hard for me to know who I am if I'm not overweight. I still have time to figure it all out but it has definitely been an overly emotional experience for me. I thought the weight would come off and life would be sunshine and roses... I'm happy now but I still need to work on the me that is coming out as the weight drops. I don't know who I am if I'm not fat. It's a work in progress...

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