Sunday, 28 July 2013

You Can Take the Girl Out of High School...

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. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Little Victories

Today I had a breakthrough and I thought it would be worth writing about. Not because I wanted to brag (well maybe a little) but because I wonder how many people have been in a similar situation.

Today was not the best day at work for me. I got knocked back for a job I really wanted (the second in recent weeks) and had some very difficult calls to handle. All I could think about was going home and eating a pizza. And some chocolate. And some cake. I just wanted to forget it all and lose myself in a tornado of sugar and saturated fat. It hit me with blinding clarity that *stands up* “I am Chrissy and I am an emotional eater”. I also had my gym kit in the car. I had two choices. I could go to Tesco, situated all too conveniently next to my workplace, or I could go to the circuits class down the road. I drove and turned into the junction for Tesco. I picked up a basket and filled it with salad, fruit, vegetables and some rather nice reduced sea bass (£2.60 for two fillets – get in!!) I even managed to walk past the brand new Krispy Kreme stand not once but twice! I packed my goodies into the car and drove up to the circuits class when I drowned in a tornado of my own sweat, tears and more sweat.

This whole thing got me thinking. We all have weaknesses, of course we do. We are human beings after all and shouldn’t ever make ourselves feel bad for having them. What we do have is control over how we deal with and that’s what defines us. Instead of hiding my frustration by burying it under junk food, I vented it at what was possibly the sweatiest exercise class I have ever been to. And y’know what, I feel fantastic for it!! Next time you are having a bad day, reach for your trainers rather than the takeaway menu. You just might love it...