So we all talk about “What Caused You To Gain Weight?” For some it is as simple to identify as a McBurger addiction. Drive-thru addictions rank high in the big city, it is easy to grab something and dashboard dine! I am currently in a job where dashboard dining is super-popular. I am a courier, and a dispatcher, I sit or drive and sit. Not active, and not a real calorie burner. I do have the benefit of having grown up without much fast food influence. I grew up in the woods, or the country depending on who you ask. Either way it was a good 30 minute drive to get a fast food fix. This has funneled into my life now, I would rather eat a granola bar, or swing into a gas station for a banana than through a drive thru window.
Other reasons people gain weight, lack of activity. Well, if you read back in my blog here you will see that I was told for a long time that I wasn’t allowed to be active. So that is for sure a big part of my “root”. Between the massive amounts of pain I was in, and being told for so long that it could be dangerous for me to be active I just stayed put. There were days of my life where I would simply crawl from the bed to the bathroom, because that was all I could do. I had no energy, and the energy I did have went to trying to muster the strength to ignore the pain I was feeling. There are so many things now that I see that eliminate activity for people who it upsets me. What really gets me are the things that makes healthy living cost prohibitive. Like joiner fees at gyms, that are always being discounted. If you are always slashing your joiner fees, every month, why not just reduce your fee! If your cost is $150 to join, plus $60 every month, and you are giving $100 off this month, and then the next month its half off, then the third month its something else then twice a year there is no fee just reduce the damn thing so people can join! (RAWR!)
For some people it is eating the wrong foods, meaning not understanding portion control. Cereal for example, a serving can range anywhere from a half-cup to a cup depending on what type it is. There is a difference, and a bowl of cereal can easily be three or four times the amount you think it is! You can also find calories in unexpected places like drinks! Can of regular Coke, or that Venti Starbucks, they add up too! Scoop that ice cream into a dish, you better be watching the serving size on that as well. Until there is an overhaul on the Nutritional Information labeling to reflect more intuitive serving sizes I think many people will continue to overdose on their caloric intake there as well. Do you know how many PopTarts come in one of those silver wrappers? Two. Do You know how many pastries are a serving, One! Intuitive labeling would be for both pastries because of how they are labeled. I have been a label reader since before my brother became diabetic. Way back when Susan Powter did her “Stop The Insanity” diet program I had already been reading labels. I had learned how to calculate the percent of fat in each item. Do you instinctually look for that box of information on everything?
There are hundreds of external reasons to gain weight. There are also some that aren’t related to eating too much, and being a couch surfer. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid at about age 11. I had a weight problem at that point, however it continued to be untreated until my very late teens, early twenties. Why? Well remember, I grew up away from the city, my doctors were still of the old school way. My physician spent much of his practice making house calls, never for me, but before I was born. So yeah, old school. My dosing was never perfected and eventually I gave up on the meds. A few years ago when I started this healthiness kick I got hooked up with a great doctor now that I live in the big city and got myself on the meds to help get my body started working in harmony.
So what about all that emotional stuff? Can that cause wight gain? Well, I like to think that I don’t have any emotional issues. I would also like to think that there are unicorns and faeries floating in a magical glitter world in the middle of the earth! When I was 400+ pounds I stopped feeling. I didn’t eat my feelings, i just stopped feeling them. The fat protected me, it was this fluffy buffer that kept me safe and away from others. It gave me a physical distance from others that made the emotional disconnect even easier.
So what caused this? I look back at my life, I look at the bullying that took place for so many years. During my time in highschool I snapped and tried to take my own life rather than deal with the constant ridicule one more day. During the same year of my breakdown, and subsequent early graduation the tragedy at Columbine took place. I remember hearing about it, and being so grateful that I was no longer around my verbal abusers anymore because I think it could have easily gone down the same way at my school.
I think back further and wonder where those thoughts could even come from, and I hit the huge blanks of blackness in my mind. Extensive spans of nothingness, no memories, no stories, nothing. Where did these holes in my life come from? Why can’t I remember anything? I know that I lived through my life… I did things, went places. Stuff like trips to Disney World, and picnics on top of the water falls at Ringing Rocks and I don’t remember any of it. The further back I push, the less I remember. There are a few flittering things I remember. Painful memories, of things I did to protect others. Memories of a family member threatening to kill me, with a gun pointed at me.
I was young, there was a lot of drama going on in the family, and the parties involved have really taken an ignore it and it will go away stance. For years I was subjected to dealings with this person. When we would have to visit for dinners I would fear that my food would be poisoned, or that it was a trick. When I confessed these fears to my mom I was told that I was being unreasonable and that I needed to let it go. That led me to believe for a long time that I had imagined the entire incident, or exacerbated it in my mind.
I was at a wedding last year and my cousin pulled me aside. We talked for a few moments and then he and I had a moment. A moment of bonding as adults, as friends, where we were back under the table together me in front of him, protecting him. I had not imagined this happening, and I had indeed as a child put myself in the path of harm.
Bullied since I was a child, yep certainly. Manipulated into thinking things that weren’t true. Yep. Do I need to seek out some therapy, oh I certainly think it wouldn’t hurt. I had some therapy when I had my mental break in high school and got tired of hearing the everything is your moms fault card played over and over again. I was, and am an adult and feel the need to take responsibility for my actions. Is there the possibility that my parents played a role in my weight gain and in so many of the issues that plague my psyche now, absolutely! I would be kidding myself if I didn’t think so, but I am sure there has to be more to it.
So today when I heard that a friend of mine had his brother try to take his life I had some very high anxiety feelings. I don’t know quite what to make of all of the things that I am feeling because, feeling feelings is new to me. I don’t quite know what to do with them. I don’t want to eat them, that doesn’t even seem like it would feel good, but I just, am confused by what I am feeling. Fear and sorrow and so many other emotions filling and spilling over in my cup of life it is just too much.
So I am taking things one at a time, not stuffing my feelings back inside, bottling them up. I still feel like there is a tiny ball of rage that lives inside of me. It is part of why I think it is so good that I live so far away from my past. Not running from my past as much as leaving the scene of the crime. A victim doesn’t want to stay in the place where they were hurt, it is like poking a wound with a stick.
So did that wound cause me to gain the weight too? How do these pieces fit together to form my root? Why does figuring out why I got fat have to be so hard? I know most of my weight gain was because I had a medical reason, and that I wasn’t moving enough. Will I be able to get to my goal weight without finding my root? Can I be content without finding it? How do I learn to feel my emotions after having not felt them for so long, and why do they have to be so overwhelming?
At least I am being real with myself.