(*First off- thank you guys so much for your encouraging words on yesterday's post- I was seriously having a very bad day (not b/c of posting the pics) and it totally put a smile on my face to realize how much support I have in you all! Hugs to you!*)
- Warning: long post ahead :) -
Yesterday I spent a lot of time asking myself a question that I TRULY had never even thought about before: How did I get to this point? You would think that a 23 year old who weighed 352lbs would wonder (or even care to ask) how it is that they came to be that way- but like I've said, my weight was never a big deal to me so I'm guessing that's why I didn't ever think about it.
There have a been a few times that I've wanted to write a post on this subject but I hadn't up until this point for 2 reasons: 1- I didn't really know the answer and 2- I'm not someone who likes to play the blame game; I would much rather just move forward then go back and figure out how I got this way, but this morning it hit me- People don't just weigh 350lbs for no reason- it's not like that is normal or average.
If I don't learn what caused me to become obese then I have no way of knowing if I am following that same path again- if I want to move forward into a new way of life, then I need to understand why the old way didn't work.
All of that to say... I believe that I've come to understand at least some of the reasons why I am in the situation I am.
I experienced a lot of turbulent times in my childhood. My earliest memories are of my parents using drugs, me bouncing around living with a combination of grandparents, lots of fighting and confusion- it was a lot for a child as young as 5 to deal with. The weird thing about my family though is that there is NO shortage of love- even though things are SO seriously messed up, I have never ONCE felt unloved or uncared for. Both of my sets of grandparents have raised me and are amazing people who love me unconditionally; my parents on the other hand just never grew up and are really destructive people- but I am completely convinced that they love me. But because of how turbulent and crazy my life was I believe that I saw food as really the only constant in my life- while everything else was just completely out of my control and I often felt helpless, food was the one thing that never changed and that I did have a say over.
I don't believe that I ate because I was filling some void or because I was numbing any sort of pain- I know myself and that wasn't it and still isn't it. It is all an issue of control. And I know it is because I continued to live like that through college (aka- the last 4 years of my life). Out of all of my friends I have always been the one to want to go out to eat or go to Starbucks- if we did anything fun I always wanted to include "going out to eat" or "getting coffee" to. It really wasn't because I just loved food so much- it was because as I got older and had a life (and money) of my own- being ABLE to eat out and as often as I'd like gave me a sense of control over my life. I know this because there would be times while I was at college that I would be low on cash (like every other college student) and wouldn't be able to afford going out to eat or getting coffee and I would feel...panicky. And then as soon as I would have money again the first thing I would do would be to go out to eat and then life would feel normal again, like everything was okay, and that I hadn't lost control.
For the last 4 years I would say that out of the 21 meals that you are supposed to eat a week I easly ate out for 14 of them and probably went to starbucks at least 3-4 times per week. I can't say for sure but I would guess I was consuming roughly 3,000-3,500 calories a day. And the whole time I was doing this I was doing it because I thought that me being able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted meant that I was in control and that my chaotic family life was no longer the controlling force in my life. Boy was I wrong!
Just this morning I realized that while I thought that because I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted meant that I was in control of my life, I was completely wrong. By eating myself into an early grave I was actually still allowing the chaos of my family to drive me to unhealthy habits- meaning they were still totally in control.
What I'm going to have to learn now is that I cannot allow my definition of being in control of my life and everything being "okay" to be that I can eat out and eat whatever I want- because that isn't being in control at all. My new definition of being in control and living a life that I am happy with is going to mean me making the decisions that I am blessed to be able to make- to eat healthily, to excercise, to buy healthy food that I can afford, to say no to foods that I don't want to eat, to not give into social food peer pressure.
My new definition of being in control: To be the one calling the shots in my life- not food, family, or friends.
So in short- although I'm sure I'll discover more of the reasons as to why I'm overweight along this journey- I believe that the biggest contributing factors were:
1) Feeling the need to have a sense of consistancy and control in my life from a young age due to a rocky family life.
2) Excessive eating out (aka calorie intake) which was caused by a need to feel that my life was normal and that things were ok.
3) A lack of excercise and healthy eating, which was simply because I wasn't unhappy with my weight or the way I looked.
Whew! Well that's all I've got :)
I would LOVE to hear any thoughts that you might have- this is literally something that I've come up with in the past 48 hours so I could use any thoughts of clarity that I could get!
Finally, I leave you with a peak at some fabulous goodies that I picked up yesterday- more about these later!
Change your life today bloggers- you guys deserve it!