I’d like to talk to you a little about my childhood. Not because I want to give you a sob story or make excuses as to why I am overweight, but because I think it’s relatable. After all, that’s why I write this stuff!!
I really struggled to make friends as a child. When I started school I found it really difficult to even approach anyone at all. I would often be struggling with school work but would just sit and struggle rather than approach a teacher and admit my weakness. I found this made me somewhat of a loner which, consequently, made me an easy target for bullies. Who was going to stick up for me, my imaginary friends? Although in fairness I didn't even have any of them!
I found myself drawing further and further within myself, hating myself. I remember at the age of around ten looking in the mirror and hating what I saw. Not that there was anything wrong with me especially, I guess I just assumed that there was a reason no-one liked me and that the problem must lie with me. This continued into secondary school when I had to move schools after repeatedly being spat on, had names shouted at me and being pushed down the stairs. That was probably the low point as far as self esteem went for me. I remember feeling scared of going to school and would regularly pretend to be ill so I wouldn't have to go. Safe to say this didn't work for too long and eventually my Mum did pull me out of the school after they made it clear they weren't going to do anything about it. The new school was better, I didn't live in fear, but I still didn't really make any friends. Starting a new school in the middle of year nine was always going to be difficult. When we moved up to Gainsborough things did get a lot better. I found myself in a small friendship group and for the first time I felt accepted but still never lost my fear of rejection. In all honesty, it’s still something I carry and it does affect me more than it should. I constantly feel like I don’t have any friends and that no-one would care if I dropped off the face of the earth. While my rational side of my brain knows this isn't true, the emotional side will often get the better of me in certain situations. So, to those who know me, if I ever seem distant it’s only because I sometimes feel safer that way. If I distance myself from you, it won’t hurt as much when you inevitably leave me.
So, why am I telling you all this? As discussed in my last blog entry, I am an emotional eater and put on the majority of the weight I am now trying to lose when I was going through some very tough times. We all carry baggage. The key to overcoming it, whether you’re trying to lose weight, get a promotion or achieve anything you want to for that matter, is to make it that thing you want to defeat. Mine is a deep seated fear of rejection or abandonment. While this might seem like a self indulgent pity party, I am slowly learning to overcome my fear of rejection. It sounds a little strange initially but if I could become the person I want to be, physically and emotionally, I can learn to love myself so the fear will subside with time. Not because I feel people won’t want to reject me because I am thinner or prettier or whatever, but because I won’t carry around the feeling of self loathing that has crippled me for most of my 25 years. I can do it, and I will. One day at a time.