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I have always had a weight problem and my whole life and confidence has revolved around weighty matters.
At 8 years old my GP referred me to a dietician. Looking back, this seems like a pretty weird thing to have happened. I know that it really didn’t help in the slightest. In fact it probably was the start of my unhealthy relationship with food.
I was always rather lucky because at school I wasn’t taunted so much over being a ‘fatty’ as I was being mocked for being ‘swotty’. I was also never really that bothered over being fashionable. Actually looking back at the photos of 13 year old me, I was about a size 14, 5 foot 4, and look just like a normal young woman. I do wish that I could go back and tell myself to just stay that way.
For any given holiday, special occasion or time in my life I can probably tell you how much I weighed.
- When I first decided to start losing weight at 16? 16 stones 5.
- On the stage of the London Palladium in May 2010? 10 stones 7.
- When I found out I was pregnant with Elizabeth? 15 stones 2.
My weight has always mattered most to me, and for years it went hand in hand with my self esteem.
Over the years I have done all the diets going. Weight watchers, slimming world, LighterLife , and crazy crash diets included. I have had some success with all of them, but looking back the main reason for staying motivated has been my mindset whilst doing any program. If I am happy in my work and life losing weight is much easier. If I am stressed or unhappy I turn to food.
My confidence and my weight have usually gone hand in hand. When I have been slim I have often felt more in control.
But then if I really look at it objectively the opposite has also been true. I’ve also been at a very healthy weight and in a loveless relationship, and really slim but in a bad place mentally with depression and anxiety. In fact, When I was at my slimmest adult weight in my early 30s, I was actually at my most depressed ever, after a really abusive relationship ended.
Conversely, when I found out I was pregnant with Elizabeth I certainly wasn’t at a very healthy weight yet I was incredibly happy, albeit slightly scared.
I think I have come to realise that the path to happiness lies with many factors. It took me a long time and a lot of counselling to realise that I should love myself for my other great qualities. Features such as being organised, being loyal, caring, funny and intelligent.
We do tend to focus on the things that we don’t like or don’t have in our lives. We magnify the importance of these things. And at the same time we discount or ignore the things that we excel at, or that are good in our lives
Why don’t you go now and make a list of the qualities that you know you have that other people admire? Are you a great listener? Do you radiate positivity? Think of times when you were complemented for having these qualities.
You could lose or gain weight, but these qualities will always be there. And they matter as much, if not more than how much you weigh. So even if you do have weighty matters in your life, there are lots of things that matter more.
Have you enjoyed this? Why not read more in Finding the Motivation to Lose Weight
or find how I found my ‘thing’ in Anyone for Tennis?