Back in 2002, I went to Weight Watchers for the last time. I was sure I was obese and was ready to be thin, again. I did all the work, counting points, exercising faithfully and attending weekly meetings. Within weeks I got into my size 6 jeans. I looked great, if I do say so myself.
Funny thing is, I didn't feel great. In fact I didn't feel any better emotionally than I did when I was heavier. Sure I had tons of energy and got stuff done but I wasn't really at peace on the inside. I was troubled, running--fueled by anxiety--from my imagined fears. My weight loss didn't make me feel any better than it had the previous four hundred times. Go figure.
It wasn't until I got medical treatment for my anxiety (therapy and meds) that I began to feel the peace I'd been searching for all my life. Religion didn't do it. Exorcism didn't do it. Losing weight didn't do it. Finding a hobby didn't do it. Getting treatment is what did it and although I'm undoubtedly overweight, I am happier and more at peace than I've ever been.
Reading about Joni Edelman's struggles in this HuffPost Article prompted me to disclose my own. Although Ms. Edelman and I have different mental health issues (mine is anxiety and OCD, hers is bi-polar) we both came to the same conclusion. Medication to target the problem is the answer.
While the boisterous "you're fat," "you don't try hard enough" and even "submit to the authority of Jesus Christ" messages abound in various circles, maybe it's the quieter voice that has the appropriate message.
What do you think?
I think that finding peace within, at whatever size, is the real prize. I'm at my heaviest, but I'm happy. Happiness counts.ReplyDelete
I agree with Jennifer...being happy with yourself is the most important aspect regardless of what your weight is. Being obese is not healthy but I've read that those who carry a few extra pounds as they get older are usually healthier than being too thin.ReplyDelete
Mental health is very important also and treatment should be sought for whatever problem you might have with no stigma attached.
I once had an episode of depression that was so bad in the 1960's I agreed to have shock treatment because the doctor promised a quick cure. It worked, but I eventually had to divorce my husband who would never let me forget I had a "weak" mind for not opting for antidepressants. I haven't had an episode since I got rid of him. :)
Once again, Grace, you've raised questions that demand far more time and space than a posted comment on your blog can serve. As you know, the issues you raise in your post are frequently raised and addressed in my memoir Magnificent Obesity. I agree that the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to get to the root of the problem and exorcise one's demon(s). The issues of size acceptance and body positivity are very prevalent in the media right now and it is fascinating to read all the pros and cons of this and that. A neverending conversation.......ReplyDelete