Whilst I was in India, my different selves started to integrate. As a result of the wonderful and beautiful women around me, I started to see myself through eyes other than my own. What was being reflected through them wasn’t any different to what my friends and family say here, at home, but maybe I was just ready to really hear it or because it came from people who didn’t know me, it was easier to hear. Maybe a combination of both.
I stopped wearing make up, liked how I felt in my own skin, could see beauty in and through me.
I have battled with my weight my entire adult life. As a child and teenager I was told, continually, that I was overweight. I believed the words.
My sisters were thin, blonde and continually told how pretty they were. I was darker and not quite as thin, a different shape, and allegedly not pretty. I never questioned whether I was pretty. I just thought I wasn’t. I was smart and I focused on that.
When I left home for university, far from home, I started processing the trauma of my childhood, and weight started to come, mostly to protect myself and comfort myself. I still wasn’t massive in real terms but I believed I was. Our brains are powerful instruments that allow us to believe the information we feed it.
As a teacher, I think this is the main motivation in me not permitting, empowering, enabling kids to put others down. I have no tolerance for bullying and pride myself on kids feeling safe in my presence. I’m sure there are exceptions but mostly …
Teaching really empowered my wit to develop. Before I went to India, I believed I was intelligent, shy, unattractive and hilarious. Coming home from India, I believed I was intelligent, hilarious, not shy and beautiful. Quite a mind/perception transformation.
Like with any massive change, there is always processing time when your world is turned inside out and you become sad/scared/insert appropriate word here, and find yourself challenged.
My weight is that for me in terms of beauty. After all, society and media continually tell women that beauty comes in a specific package. Forty plus years of low self-esteem with regards to beauty is very difficult to overcome. My brain believes I am beautiful but my eyes see weight. Interestingly, I don’t see my dreads or tattoos detracting from my beauty, or my glasses. It’s all about the weight, in all likelihood, my only flaw 😉.
In March last year I attended an information session with Dr Zarrouk in Park Central with a close friend. That night I became sold on the Gastrectomy Surgery (cutting part of the stomach out to inhibit food consumption). I checked out my insurance the next day and changed my plan.
Not for one second have I doubted this surgery choice. I have tried a lot of diets. The most successful was the Juice Reboot but I couldn’t sustain the diet (not healthy to do so) and the weight gradually came back. This has been the story of my adult life. Even with relentless exercise and healthy eating, I just can’t/don’t sustain any loss.
This year, the surgery is on my to-do list. I see it as my outer starting to reflect my inner, and my selves integrating physically.
I think it is important though, to acknowledge that my mind has shifted. When I look at photos of myself, I am not repulsed. I used to be. I don’t necessarily adore the extra weight but I also no longer have an unhealthy attachment to it or focus on it (outside of this post lol). I no longer see it as the totality of me, it is just an aspect of myself that I am going to change.
I do have a little bit of ‘something’ lingering that I am working through, where I wish I could do it without surgery, but I also know that whilst I can, I can’t sustain it. It’s almost like a shame I feel that I have let my weight defeat me. Completely illogical. And nonsensical. Ridiculous even. And possibly attached to the remnants of sexual and physical abuse memories – ghosts that need to be put to bed entirely.
A lot of me though, the rest of me, is excited about a new potential for my life. An integrated, empowered, strong, resilient, beautiful woman standing in her truth, inspiring others to do the same.
Yep, that sums it up.