Honest Moment

The other night I was surrounded by a group of girlfriends when I stopped and said, "Honest Moment," and followed with a heartfelt confession.  I have been feeling called to share another confession here on the blog.  If you're here for Alaska stories, summer adventures, or cute kid stories, this post may not be for you.

Last week I was suffering a bit of anxiety.  A culmination of things really-- sick kids, a messy house, piles of laundry, health worries and exhaustion-- that all lead to my worrying more than I have been.  After we got the kids down for the night, I crawled into Josh's lap and fell into tears.  My thoughts were swirling, it had been a long day, and I was feeling vulnerable.

I found myself laying all my worries on him (something he thankfully doesn't mind) and in the end I was telling him about how fat I feel.  I told him the worst part of being overweight is that I feel bad that other people have to see me like this.  If I lived alone with no mirrors, I can honestly say I don't think my weight would bother me in the least. It doesn't keep me from doing anything, and I feel healthy.

But having to look in the mirror, or subject other people to my waist line has me hating myself with a new passion.  Which, of course, only leads to more comfort eating.  Which, naturally, leads to more weight gain. It's a vicious cycle.

I want to wear a sign that says, "I know I'm fat. I'm sorry."  I don't want people to think that I think I am anything other than I am.  It's embarrassing.  I also feel bad for my relatives.  They must be so upset that I'm fat.

It's bizarre, though, that I think this way about myself, because when I think of people I know personally who have packed on a few extra pounds, I don't think any of these things about them.  I think they are smart and funny and successful, and I am proud to know them & be around them.  I don't wish they were thin or different than they are.  I don't think they lack value in any way, shape or form because of their size.

My insane judgment is reserved only for myself.

Some might think, Well, if you hate it so much, change it. And I do often contemplate trying to lose weight, but the depth of commitment, and the risk of failure are too great.  It scares me.

I write this not to make you feel bad for me or bad about yourself.  I write this simply to share my experience as a mama who has gained weight to the point of being uncomfortable in my own skin around others.  Josh said he read this article about women and said he believes that if women would stop policing each other, we would all be a lot happier.  I think maybe he's right.  And it starts with me.

Why am I saying to myself things I would NEVER say to a friend or loved one?

"It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, 
that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, 
is dependent on a number on a scale."  
-Geneen Roth



The Adelman Twins said...

This breaks my heart! A good read is "health at every size" by Linda bacon... Also while you're in town, what about a dietitian appt? Chris Collins RD at peacehealth is wonderful! 514-2500

S-J said...

Josh is absolutely right, its us women who judge one another!! You are not alone with how you feel :( Thank you for being honest and sharing your feelings, now i know i'm not the only one who feels this way!! When you find the magic answer please share :)

Anonymous said...

You are a beautiful woman, mama, and wife! I have never looked at this blog or pictures of you on and and thought gosh.... I know the place you are coming from though. I've gained some weight in the last year and am really struggling with it. I apologized to my husband and he was like "what weight?" He honestly looked bewildered. I'm not certain how I found your blog but I know that I am thankful I did. I have a lot of anxieties and need to see that others also suffer like I do. It helps to feel like others are like me. Shelly your honesty has been such a blessing in my life, Thank You!

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful! I only see you on your blog but I never thought you are anything but beautiful. A peron does not need to be beautiful or thin to be great but your are both, great and beautiful.
Love and hugs from Finland

Bad Rebecca said...

Thank you for posting this! Those feelings are something I struggle with often, and always have, whether or not I'm actually overweight at the time.

I really liked what Catlin Moran had to say about how people who are overweight are the nurturers and that overeating is a way to quietly self-destruct without inconveniencing anyone. You can eat a pint of ice cream and still be there to care for everyone else's needs. Personally, that really hit home with me.

I also need to reread Women, Food, and God again! I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my second now and approaching my highest weight ever. It's been hard to extend myself grace.