Elke week schrijft een moeder over haar ervaringen met het ouderschap. Deze week vertelt Liliana over haar jeugd en welke onterechte gedachte haar altijd achtervolgd heeft. Een gedachte die, ben ik bang, tegenwoordig heel veel meiden en jongens achtervolgd. Een gedachte die zij niet wil overbrengen op haar kids. Herken je jezelf in het verhaal? Hoe ga jij ermee om?
I have been struggling with my weight for as long as I can remember. And when I say this I don’t mean my weight as such, but my perception of myself due to my weight. I am overweight now, not to the extent that I need medical help but enough to make me want to do something to reverse the trend. But even when I lose weight I still hold an idea of myself in my mind that doesn’t match who I actually look.
The self-image issue started secondary school. I come from Cali in Colombia where is always summer and I would describe the culture as “less is more” when it comes to clothes. The worst days back then where those when you are allowed to go to school using your own clothes, rather than the compulsory uniform. I was convinced at the time I was not suited to pull off the late 80’s cropped top. I even remember the brothers of a class mate make fun of me the day I forgot my swimsuit and she wanted to lend me a daring one piece suit with open torso.
Oh! If only I could talk to my younger self! I could slap her on the face for being so silly! I had nothing to worry about and yet I defined so much the way I perceived myself back then!
Even today when I go back to Cali for holidays I have a hard time blending in and feeling comfortable with my own body as it is so hot that I can’t use the all friendly layers I help myself with in the UK.
I am aware that my weight took a turn for the worst as soon as I arrived in Europe and to date I have been able, or willing enough, the shake it off. I am an emotional eater so in times of stress I will eat my way out of problems.
Early last year, motivated by my upcoming 40th birthday I set up to lose enough weight so I would be the same weight as when I was 30. I joined a slimming local group and made some progress towards it. But it was so slow! I did make a real effort but it didn’t seem to pay off as much as for other people. Even Nathan my husband lost a large amount of weight by proxy!
I remember we would meet relatives and they would be so amazed with Nathan’s loss and not even mention mine. It was as if I was losing weight but no one could notice it. It was so demoralising. I knew I was lighter but no one could see it and didn’t feel any different.
It is as if in my mind I am always going to be this person and even if I could wake up tomorrow as a slender gal, it is the image we hold in our mind that dominates how we feel.
By October last year I let things slip. I didn’t make it to the weight I was at my 30th’s. Christmas followed and today I find myself back to square one. So I joined the slimming group again today. I know the theory, I understand the system and I know it works. But there is something so magical about standing in front of fellow strugglers and stating your target for the coming week and feel that you need to deliver on that target because it is your word that is on the line.
I am not as optimistic this time around, but I know I cannot do anything about it. It has such large effect on my self-image and self-esteem to ignore.
In the mean time I need to continue working on loving myself the way I am. This body has served me so well for 40 years and counting. I know I need to watch my words so my children dont learn from me to be so hard on themselves. To my younger self just one thing: you had nothing to feel bad about, you silly!