My lovely first born has written a blog inspired by my weight battles, you can read it here. This got me thinking about my personal weighty issue and how it has affected not only my life but those who are close to me.
My mother was a wonderful woman who was not only a great friend to me but also full of unconditional love and support ~ however she often spoke her mind without realising the impact of what she said to a young and impressionable mind. Mum had a perfect figure and amazing legs, she was always very conscious of when my body held onto weight and would often remark that I needed to do something about this or that regarding my appearance. She never intended it to be insulting (even when it felt that way) but as useful practical advise. Later, after having children my weight became a long standing issue. Fad/crash diets caused weight loss and short lived happiness about my appearance but every day living and stress meant the weight would inevitably pile back on. This in turn gave rise to comments such as "you could be such a pretty girl if you lost weight" or indirect insults by pointing out attractiveness and slimness of others and then pointed looks as if to say ~ lose some weight!
I have to stress that my husband has NEVER had issues about my weight, he has loved me all shapes and sizes and continues to do so. The only issue he has now is after having his heart attack he attended a talk about cardiac health and how post menopausal women are at risk as they are no longer protected by their hormones and so he feels now we need to address our weight and fitness to ensure we protect ourselves as much as possible and reduce our health risks.
My daughters also have been nothing but supportive as they have watched me battle with body image and self esteem issues. They love me just as I am in whatever shape that takes. With me, most of my weight gain is due to mental health issues, depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia, comfort eating, not exercising in the past and sheer exhaustion have all played their part.
So, I live my life trying to accept the body I have, to move forward and accept this gift of a body for all it has carried me through and continues to do for me. So for me there will be no more slimming programmes, diet plans, fad diets or dangerous crash diets. Instead I eat when I am hungry, stop when full and eat what my body dictates I need. I exercise regularly, nothing too dramatic but utilise what I have to incorporate both aerobic exercise along with toning and stretching. My goal is NOT to be thin, but to be healthy. I want to be around for my girls for many years yet and so realise that to do that I need to reduce my weight a little and keep myself fit.
I am anti-body shaming, it's not just overweight people having fat shaming issues ~ but also those who are slimmer, like my youngest daughter, who struggles to gain weight and becomes distressed by those who remark on her thinness (and despairs by those who say how "lucky" she is too).
Late in life I am learning to love the body you have ~ it has not been an easy journey and I wish I had found myself in this place many years earlier.
Thank you Keisha for your blog and support and inspiring me to write this blog.