I believe our thought patterns are a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I was a fat, ugly loser that didn't deserve much of anything. Fat girls don't have boyfriends. Fat girls aren't attractive so why bother looking for nice things to wear? Fat girls look stupid in makeup. Fat girls in gyms get stared at and ridiculed, you'll only make a fool of yourself if you go. It's next to impossible to lose weight so why bother torturing yourself through the agony of a diet and the embarrassment of exercise?
Now I'm not saying any of the above is true, but I honestly spent most of my life believing all of that about myself. I didn't go on a date or even get my first kiss until I was 25. Exercising scared the crap out of me. I always felt like I was being mocked of my weight wherever I went. And I envied all those around me that had more confidence in themselves.
Fortunately, time has a way of changing things, and I slowly learned to love myself, to think in more positive ways. I eventually convinced myself that I was a runner at heart, despite the fact that it was an activity I'd always hated. I also convinced myself that I loved fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. I think I repressed the real me for so long out of the belief that my fat made me inferior as a person. So I actually let myself believe I was an inferior human being and continued to migrate to bad habits because I honestly felt it was hopeless to change.
I had to realize that I'm the one in control, that I can be anyone I want. And I want to be me! The real me that's been too scared to be herself but actually does have something positive to offer to the world. I'm utterly amazed that I'm able to run and that I actually love it! I'm shocked that I can find Veggies and fruit satisfying. It's fun to wear makeup. It's fun to shop for clothes. I'm in an amazing marriage and just had a beautiful baby. And I deserve to have things in my life that make me happy. But none of this happened overnight.
One day I decided that I no longer drink sugar; I'd always loved soda but decided that it was no longer a part of my identity. I also decided that I loved to move and would no longer live in fear of exercise. That's taken work, and heck, it's still taking work. But I vow to run my first 5k this summer because gosh darn it, I deserve to feel a great sense of accomplishment from working hard to achieve a goal! I also deserve to nourish my body and treat it well, no longer being ashamed of it or abusing it out of fear or spite. I deserve to make daily choices I can be proud of rather than coasting along in hopes of being saved . . .
I'm no longer the fat, ugly loser. And oh, I may still be fat, but that doesn't strip away the fact that I have as much right to be here as anyone else.
Sorry if this rambled a bit here, but it's been a slow, wandering work-in-progress for me. Regardless of how much weight I'd lost, my life had no chance of turning to something even remotely bearable until I forced myself to change my identity for the better. I can look at my early posts here (different account) and see just how hopeless and whiny I was with every word. It's no wonder I was struggling so much more back then; I was carrying the identity of a victim. But not anymore! My new identity is strong, accountable, and healthy. And someday my body might actually catch up with my mind.