I too have never had GBS nor have I had a desire for it but this topic did intrigue so I read both the article and all of your comments. I had a similar experience with my Mom. It took her dying and then me having the space to reflect on our troubled relationship to realize that she was told by her mother that she would be an old maid so she married at age 17 to prove her own mother wrong. Luckily, it was to the right person. However, she always struggled with her stocky figure.
When Mom was in the nursing home, as she was dying from so many different complications (too many to list), for the first time in my life she was a "normal" weight. Her diabetes had disappeared. She did look good for someone that was dying but I asked my Dad if she had ever been "thin" and he said "No" and the thought had never occurred to him to care one way or the other. He was as in love with her the last year of her life as he was the first time they met. He was devastated when she got sick and when she died. He collapsed on more than one occasion from sheer emotion. They were married 56 years. He still brought her red roses to her ICU even though hospital regulations wouldn't allow them to be in her room. The nurses were "infatuated" with my Dad. He is a true romantic at heart.
However, my Mom never loved or accepted herself. Yes, I do think she too grew up with a critical mother who had "men problems" of her own. We pass a lot of our "stuff" down to our children. It just keeps on going and going.
I was always naturally thin growing up but I wanted to be thinner because Twiggy was the height of fashion in the 1960s and she was bone thin. I starved all day and then fell asleep while doing my homework because my body was exhausted from meager food. When I got pregnant and the hormones kicked in and I had a real appetite, I gained 68 lbs. My first husband wouldn't touch me. I realized that I was unattractive to him for the first time and it was the first rejection I had received regarding my body. I did lose all of that weight and I was a size 8 on my daughter's first birthday but as you all know the minute you go on your first diet, you are almost doomed to keep it up because it does change your metabolism. IMO.
I married my second husband when I was at the high end of normal but by that time I had a dysfunctional relationship with food. This was a disastrous mistake from almost the "I dos" and I quickly began to associate extra food with comforting myself. However, like many overweight people, I saw how it also protected me from all of the pain and hurt that I was feeling. By the time I had gained 80 lbs from the time that we had met, he was already going behind my back and telling his family members that if I didn't lose the extra weight he was going to divorce me. He was an ambitious lawyer and he had political aspirations. I was a liability socially and professionally to him. That is when the real self-hatred began. He spent a lot of money on me for me to follow a lot of expensive weight loss programs. I lost then regained.
I divorced both of these men. I neither had the money or resources at the time that I asked them to leave. All I knew was that I was hurting so bad that I felt like I was bleeding on the inside. You have to hurt badly to ask your breadwinner to pack his bags and go but I did.
That was the starting point for me. I went into therapy. I realized that besides all of the negative and critical people that I had seemed to "attract" in my life, I also needed to face the sexual abuse I had endured during my childhood and youth. I learned to live on my own, even if it was on a very reduced income from disability. I met a new man 7 years after that second marriage had ended. We fell in love and we married 3 years later. He met me when I was 264 lbs. Initially, I do think my weight was an issue to him but as he got to know me, I knew we were both genuinely in love.
Sadly, I carried a lot of emotional baggage with me. I remember thinking that I didn't have the "right" to find new love and happiness. I had too many scars that needed to be healed. However, he has been a very patient man. He told me recently that he has cried about my past life. I love him for that.
It has taken me a long time and quite a journey to get to this place where I am at now. Like joe mentioned: I now need to lose weight for health reasons. I am pre-diabetic, it was even affecting my eyesight, my B/P has been extremely high, I have crippling arthritis and I have had female problems for decades. Now, I am losing the weight for one reason only: my health.
However, I do believe that the one thing that was lacking before when I attempted to lose weight which I have recently discovered is that I lacked the faith in myself that I was both worth putting this much time and energy into but also that it was the most loving thing that I could do for myself.
The good thing about growing older is that at some point you stop caring what other people think or think about you and then you really turn your attention on yourself. Maybe, I just needed to get to this place to be able to do that. I don't know. I went through a period of grieving over "what could have been" but then when I started working on loving myself, I realized that I was more than just a number on the scales.
So, working on self-acceptance has to be a part of the weight issue if you and I are ever going to come to terms with our body images, self-worth and ultimately self-love.
I respect each and everyone of you in the choices that you have made for yourself. It is not easy to turn a deaf ear nor blind eye to all of the cultural "persuasions" out there. Hopefully, you will be like me and when you become an older person, you will realize that what you thought, said and did matters more than anyone else's opinions, statements or actions....in fact, it always did.
Last edited by pamatga : 12-21-2013 at 12:20 PM.