Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are Our Emotions Eating Us Alive?

Being overweight is a touchy subject.  People have told me bluntly, "If you know you are overweight, why can you just lose weight?"  One friend even told me, "You are only overweight because you want to be."  This weight issue has always frustrated me, because it was my excuse and scape goat for EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE that went wrong.

I have never known what it was like to be small.  For me I came into this world over weight at almost 13 lbs I was told.  It frustrates me.  A friend once said when she saw my chubby baby pictures, "I love chubby babies, they are so cute!"  Why is it acceptable to love chubby babies, but not chubby adults?  Why can't people just accept us as we are?  The truth is as adults we are not accepted into society, because the people who are quick to judge have most likely never been in these shoes.

Before, all this would overwhelm me to the point I would give up and learned to live within society's snickers and laughs.  I have asked myself since beginning to drop weight, what changed this time?  I wish I had an answer, I think I would be rich!!!  Ha Ha  I don't, but I have seen a few observations.

There were two things I had to come to grip with.  One I had to accept the fact I was "obese" and not just overweight, big boned, or fat.  I was obese.  That was a hard word for me to say.  After all if I was considered overweight at only 20 lbs above my ideal weight, then maybe being called obese at this size was just a society thing and I wasn't really obese. Right? I could still walk and take care of my self and obese people I had seen on the news could not even get out of bed.  Yeah, I was playing with my mind.  So first of all I finally had to accept and tell myself I was obese.  According to reference.com, a person is considered obese if their BMI is 30 or above.  Between 25-29.9 is overweight.

I thought admitting I was obese was hard to do, but it was not as hard as the second thing. The second thing is not just one big thing, it is a million little things all together. But it all ties back to one thing, emotions.
I have a friend who has watched my weight loss journey unfold.  She talked to me about her daughter and her struggles with weight loss.  She made me stop and take a look back at life--again!!  Have you ever felt:
  • Angry? 
  • Hopeless? 
  • Out of control?  
  • Unappreciated?  
  • Bored?  
If you have (and I am betting all of us have) what do you do?  I was all of the above.  The one thing that got me going was the "out of control" trigger.  Giving up sugar and soda was the only thing I could do to begin to have some control over my life.

Now I can go back on my life and see other areas I need to get a grip on and work on those as well.  My anger has pretty much dissolved by leaving the sugar alone it seems.  The hopelessness, with no job for almost two years (it gets hairy at times) but somehow little miracles show up and I am okay for another month.  I probably have the hardest time with unappreciated, I know I am appreciated and loved but I have a very hard time telling myself this.  A couple of weeks ago a friend at church called me on the carpet for it, "Go ahead say it!!  Say it!"  I just teared up,  "Say you love yourself Laura" I couldn't.  I am trying, and it is very hard for me.

I try to tell every person that will listen to me, this journey is not all about the food and exercise you do or do not do. Everyone has the perfect diet for me to try,  I remember I am on a journey and this is a life style change not a quick fix. It is only one piece of the puzzle.  We need to remember there are many pieces, and we have to continue to find those pieces we are missing and those pieces we have found where they go in our lives. 

This was me at 18.  Do I look like I am an animal?  Or that I need to lose 100lbs?  That's what I was often called and told.  At this size, I was referred to, as a cow, horse, ox and bull in a china closet.  I was about 190 at the time, so I thought everyone was suppose to weigh 100 lbs.  So as my life progressed, my weight was always an issue.  I was never good enough for anyone or anything.  Do you now see how emotions play such an affect on the whole weight loss cycle?

For those that have been losing weight Congrats!!!  For those who are struggling and not losing what they think they should, don't give up.  Take a look at these five emotions.  For me, I think that I need to tape them to my fridge as a reminder to me of why I am eating.  Remember this is a work in progress.  If sugar and soda overwhelm you, go with one.  Then the next step, is maybe to eliminate another.

I just want you all to know,  I know this is not an easy journey but the rewards at the end will be so worth it.  I was telling a friend today, one of my next steps is to get my hair cut and go back to wearing make up etc. She looked at me as though she wanted to ask "Why not now?"  and I said, "Because I am not there yet."  This is your journey!!  Don't let anyone else tell you how you are going to do it.  All I ask is that you not give up.  And if you get to the point you want to--remember to give back!  Find a way to serve.  I promise it will boost those emotions and put you back on track!!!

Don't forget to take before pictures to refer back to on this journey.
Thank you again everyone for reading the blog!!


  1. Hey Laura! Your story inspires me. Can I just say, I have always thought you were a beautiful person both inside and out. I have felt those feelings with anger, etc., on and off in my life. It's hard and I think a lot of it has to do with society and having to look a certain way. I have faith in you, I know you can do it. You can overcome those obsticles in your life. You have good friends who love you dearly. You are a great friend. It stinks we have to have certain trials in our lives. Remember your Heavenly Father loves you so much and he is there for you in good time and in bad. If there is anything you ever need, I would be happy to help out in any way I can. Remember to tell yourself, "I'm beautiful. I love myself. I can do it!" I love you, Laura! I am here for you. Keep up the good work. It won't always be easy. If you are struggling, remember to get down on your knees and pray. He will always be there to help you out in time of need.

  2. Thank you Cambria....I have come such a long ways from our HR/Payroll days. Ha Ha So far!!! Anyway, thank you. Coming to Texas has been so good for me. I love my ward and the people here. Such a blessing. Thank you for your kind and sweet words and friendship. Hugs Laura

  3. This blog really has me thinking and especially this entry. I am going to post these 5 emotions several places I frequently look. I am also going to try journaling and evaluating these everyday.

    There have been lots of these moments in my life. I understand the anger, unappreciated, out of control and hopeless feelings. My best friend in one of my lowest moments forced me to say I loved myself. (but I could not convince myself it was true) Self love in an obese world such as yours and mine is hard to do. Especially in a judgemental world.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement and validation that I am not wrong on the views of society and it is not my imagination.

    Take Care

  4. @Rachel....Glad it could help. I am fighting emotions right now. Sometimes I think it is just me but after reading your comment I KNOW I am not alone. It is more important than ever to continue to share my story and get this stuff out. Please stick with this....we will all get through it together!!!! Hugs Laura

  5. Thank you for posting this, you really inspire me. I don't really have a weight problem...but I have struggled with eating disorders at various times of my life...and there are truly some similarities! I admire you and know that you are making a good difference in this world!

  6. Thanks I really understand the ups and downs. I have been a big girl for a lot of years. I really need to lose a person and a half. The thought is daunting but I will take it one day at a time.

    Sugar I can easily give up but the soda is my struggle. I have given it up before and I know I feel wonderful but the headaches are the pits.

    I have a small victory in that I am only drinking one soda a day. (opposed to the 6 I used to drink)I am hoping to have given it up entirely by next week.

    You are truly an inspiration, hang in there. Rachel

    PS I think you looked great at 18...peoples cruelty is unfathomable. Believe me when I say that I have been on the recieving end of that kind of cruelty myself.