Weight has felt like an issue to me for most of my adult life.
I don’t know if it started with a modelling agent slapping a chocolate bar out of my hand when I was 13/14 and telling me I wasn’t allowed to eat it.
I don’t know if it was hearing about how hard my mother and grandmother and great grandmother were always fighting to lose weight.
I don’t know if it was the fact that I towered over most of my friends, both male and female, in height and stature.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that at 16 (and so thin) that I outweighed my peers by at least 20 lbs.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that food and I have had a crappy relationship. I have eaten to feel better. I have eaten to avoid and escape. I have eaten to reward. I haven’t necessarily eaten to nourish myself; to show love and respect to myself.
In August of this year, I asked my Doctor for a referral to an Obesity Clinic.
He was reluctant to refer because they have “strict criteria”. When I explained that I definitely fit their expected criteria, he took me for a height and weight check because he didn’t believe me. I don’t have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart problems or any of the other comorbidities of obesity. But, at 243lbs and 5’7” – my BMI was 38 and I was definitely considered obese.
If proving my need for a referral wasn’t difficult enough; there were communication issues between my Drs. Office and the Obesity Clinic and it took a month and me personally chasing down the referral for the process to actually get started.
If I’m being honest, I really don’t even know what I’m getting into other than I’m overweight and overwhelmed and I want and need something to change.
I’ve “been apart of the program” since September. It’s a process. It’s a slow process.
I had it in my mind that “something” would change. Something would be different. Something would be life changing.
And you know what, I think it is. But it’s also a process. I’ve spent probably 30+ years making decisions that have gotten me here and a few weeks won’t undo or reverse those decisions.
I have my third “group session” on Tuesday and I’m dreading it and looking forward to it. Both sessions 1 and 2 have had meaningful – to me – aspects and I’m sure this session will be the same.
Shame tells me that someone’s gonna call me out or tell me I’m doing something wrong or that I’m bad. (We’re starting the nutrition section of the core sessions; and food and I have such a complicated and complex relationship.)
Experience tells me that these people are lovely and supportive and want to help.
Fear whispers that I’m not going to be able to do this.
Courage calmly states that I can.
And so, I make little changes. I take small steps. I summon courage and make the best decisions that I can for today, for this meal, for this moment. I trust that I can learn new skills. I believe that I can make significant and impacting life changes that will benefit me now and in the future. I recognize that this is a long game.
If weight management was as simple as, just do it. Just try harder! Then I wouldn’t be here. But for me, this is more complicated than that. And while I wish I wasn’t in this position. I’m so thankful that I’m healthy and that I’m receiving help and support so I can be even healthier for longer.