Monday, September 6, 2010

Weight Loss = Change in Vision?

I'm not talking about eyesight here, I'm talking about how you view the world once you have lost weight. I've lost nearly 50 pounds (it would be 50 if I could get myself under control) and I've found that since I have lost weight my vision of the world has truly changed. This may or may not be a good thing.

Being aware of my own weight has always made me aware of the weight of others. I think we, women especially, look for others who we feel look like us. We want to size them up, see how we feel about the way they look, and therefore form an opinion about how we must look to other based on that. What I've found is that when I was heavier I had a very distorted view of how I looked. I thought I was thinner than I was, or that I carried it better than I did. That's probably why I stayed that way so long.

I do the same thing to some degree now, but I think it's a little bit healthier. Now that I have a better self-image I tend to look at other women and think "I could wear that", or "I'm as pretty as she is". It may still be a little nuts, but the self talk is at least healthier.

The problem I have now is that I'm far more aware of the unhealthy things others do, and in particular, the unhealthy things people do to their children. This weight loss has not been easy for me, so I'm not suggesting that it is easy for anyone else or that I'm somehow superior because I have taken steps to lose weight. I could easily start my old habits back up tomorrow and go right back to where I was. That's the reason I know I'll always have to stay with Weight Watchers. I have a problem, and I'm always going to need help with it. Getting help is fine, and more of us should ask for it.

But back to my new vision. My children have always been good eaters and I've always done my best to make sure they eat healthy. They've always eaten healthier than I have because I was afraid of them ending up fat like me. I make them eat even healthier now because I eat healthier and see the value in those foods more than I used to. They play football now and we've been to quite a few practices already. The amount of obesity is pretty astounding when so many people are gathered in one place. It's one thing to look at it in the adults, I can see myself in all of them. But, from my new perspective it is very painful to see it in the children. Because my children have a healthy father and because I was so careful to keep my bad habits from spilling over to them, I have healthy kids. The only person I was killing was myself.

It is much harder to look at when you see these people killing themselves and their kids. One boy on my sons team is a good six inches shorter than my eight year-old and outweighs him by twenty pounds. He's a sweet kid and cute as can be, but I can't help but have an anxiety attack over what is happening inside of that little body. I want to say that I'm not judging his parents, who are large as well, but I guess I am to some degree. I could have continued to kill myself with food and it wouldn't have hurt anyone else for a long time to any serious degree. But, if my habits were killing my kids and I didn't stop it how could I have lived with myself? An eight year-old boy cannot go shopping for himself and isn't likely to make the request for healthier food on his own. Not only that, he's not likely to take too kindly to being asked to eat green beans when the rest of his family is eating potato chips. Healthy kids start with healthy parents, and even though my kids were doing pretty good, I see how much better they are doing now.

I know all of this must sound horrible, but the internal dialogue isn't what you might think. I'm not mentally abusing them and calling them terrible parents. My brain is searching for ways to help them. I'm searching for ideas as to how to get one of the parties motivated to make a change in their life and the lives of their family members. Could I get through to the parents in some way? Could I get the children to get through to the parents?

So I guess losing weight has made me a judgmental person, but I hope that I can take that and turn it into something good. I hope that if my mouth ever opens it's only to share my story and offer suggestions of they're asked for. I hope any actions I take are just offerings of support and that people know that I've been there and want to help.

No comments:

Post a Comment