I can if I think I can.
Dear Slimmer Me,
For the rest of your life I am going to ask you to promise only onething – when losing weight and you have cravings read this, when you’re losing weight and you want to throw in the towel read this, when you’ve lost the weight and you know you’re slipping back to eating the wrong amounts or the wrong foods read this, when you’ve lost the weight and see the scales edging more than 5lbs upwards read this. Surely you can do this one thing for yourself, aren’t you important enough?
You take pride in trying to live a life being friendly, kind and truthful so you can be the best you can be spiritually, you take pride in always learning new things, to being open to new and different viewpoints so you can be the best you can be intellectually, you want to be proud of a slim, strong, healthy body so you can be the best you can be physically. All three need reflection, perseverance and dedication from you and no one else.
Don’t allow others to dissuade you in this journey of losing weight and keeping it off forever. You are very unhappy when overweight, you hate going to your wardrobe and struggling to find something that covers the rolls and the bulges, you are tired of catching yourself in the mirror and wondering who the hell that big person is, you are fed up of trying to disguise the extra weight in layers and dark colours. Be strong and refuse food that you do not want, develop a polite, friendly firm way of refusing the food that will make you put on weight. Be slim long enough and people will get used to the fact that you are thin and when you refuse food they will say “Sure, isn’t that why you’re so slim?”
You love going to the shops/wardrobe and putting on clothes that make you feel a million dollars, you love dressing in bright colours, interesting styles, beautiful footwear, gorgeous quirky jewellery, you love the confident feeling if gives you. You know you only want to give this silent shout to the world “Look at me, I’m proud of me!” when you are slim and toned.
You feel miserable when you are overweight – you want to sneak into the background of photographs or better still avoid them altogether. You are reluctant to meet new people; you are embarrassed to meet old friends that you haven’t seen in a while. You feel guilty that you are not setting a better example to the children you teach, you feel guilty that the slim girl your husband met no longer exists. You feel like a failure and it has nothing to do with other people, you know you’ve failed yourself.
Early memories of sneaking food in childhood, of adults laughing at how much you ate and marvelling at your great appetite are painful and you want to push those memories far into a dark corner and pretend they have nothing to do with you. Sod that! Let’s bring those memories out and get a good look at them. Ever since you remember you have had a pudgy belly, you were never happy with your body, you always felt inferior; everyone was slimmer, more beautiful than you. You always felt awkward, big and ungainly. You ate to smother these negative emotions. You ate to distract yourself from these painful issues; you ate to be too busy to face up to them.
You confused the pleasure and comfort of food as a way to feel better. You now know that food can never be a substitute for love, now that you’re older you know that you are not to blame for the failures of others. It is time to become more aware of who you are, develop interiority, be less influenced by the negativity and shortcomings of others. Accept that we are all human, accept that you cannot force a loving relationship from a parent who is incapable of such love; accept that you cannot rely on a supportive relationship with adult siblings who have their own issues with food.
Thirty four years of living and you were only happy with your weight a small amount of the time. It has to stop. Each year on your birthday you say to yourself “Next year I’ll be slim.” But you’re never are. This is the last year that you have let yourself down. On your 35th birthday you will be slim, you will step on the scales and be thrilled with the number you see, you will be able to go to your wardrobe and select a fabulous frock and you will feel a million dollars and you will be proud of yourself. You will do this every year as your birthday present to yourself for the rest of your life.
When you close your eyes and imagine yourself, it’s a slim, confident, laughing, radiant person you envisage. Open your eyes, take a good hard look in the mirror, what do you see? What does it say about much you value yourself? Lose this weight – keep the weight off. You only live once and you deserve better than a life full of regrets. Every day, take a step closer to being the best you can be. You’ve already started on the journey so just keep plodding on, putting one foot in front of the other in the right direction, it will keep getting easier and soon you’ll be whizzing along with a spring in your step.