Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog This | Challenge 72

If you were boss of the world, what is one thing you would change?
Just one.

This is challenge #72 at Blog This ... yes I'm a bit slow on the uptake ... but let's face it, the internet is huge! How am I meant to know or find every single fabulous item on there. Having said that, I'm working on it...

There are so many things in the world that I would like to change or should change, but this one is SO close to my heart.  I want to share my own story with you...

I recently watched an episode of Ruby, a reality show documenting Ruby Gettinger's ongoing weight loss journey. Talk about one heck of an inspiring woman! Starting out at over 700lbs (320kg+), Ruby has lost close to an incredible 400lbs!! AMAZING! Yet, people still look at her in disgust, and she still doubts herself.

One thing really stuck in my mind...the vast disparity in how we perceive woman. An anorexic woman is seen as ill and desperately needing help. People are concerned that they may die and drastic action needs to be taken.  Compare that to the morbidly obese woman.  An obese woman is seen as disgusting, as deserving to be that way because they have "done it to themselves".  People will turn away in horror, or laugh and make fun of them. It breaks my heart.

I will admit,  I too am morbidly obese. At my heaviest, I weighed 142.5kg. I don't know the exact weight because my scales only show 0.5 increments after 100kg.  Only 4 years ago, I weighed 89kg. What happened?  Depression. Evil evil depression. It wasn't the food. I wasn't hungry, but there was something inside me that needed to be fed.  The food isn't the problem, the problem lies within.  Over two years on antidepressants and a lot of soul searching later and I do feel that I am starting to lift above that depression cloud. I am starting to lose weight.

My weight has been an issue since I was a teenager. I was constantly picked on in high school, and my self esteem was at an all time low. I had absolutely no confidence and never thought I was attractive to the opposite sex.  I met a person who wasn't very good for me, that cut me off from my family and friends and told me that he would leave if I ever put on weight. He was mentally and physically abusive and I was so depressed that I thought no one else would ever love me. My coping mechanism...put on weight. I was engaged to be married to that person and I could see no way out. In a moment of clarity, I left him. Not because of the abuse, but because he didn't congratulate me on a promotion. Silly I know, but there's always a straw that breaks the camel's back. I guess I was lucky. Other woman don't get the chance to walk away.

Then along came Andrew. When we met, I was a healthy size 10. By the time we were a couple, I was an 18. Once again I was picked on, but this time by perfect strangers. I would walk down the street and people would shout out obscenities at "f#%k, who's been eating all the pies then!".  Most afternoons, I would be in tears.  Is this the way a young woman should live?

This has all resulted in years and years of yo yo dieting, leaving me bigger than when I started. Yes, just four years ago at 89kg, people would be happy to talk to me and tell me how great I looked.  They also felt it necessary to point out how big I used to be. Thanks. When I stacked the weight back on, those same people stopped talking to me. Obviously I made them feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Now I see the same weight issues starting to pop up in my own daughter. My beautiful, perfectly healthy five year old daughter.  Late last year her daycare centre conducted health checks on all the children, and her result...obese! WHAT!!! My daughter is far from obese. She's definitely not stick thin, but she is normal.  I have questions from her I too fat, do I look fat in this, etc. She's concerned about what she eats.  I will never promote dieting to her as an option.  For us, its about a healthy lifestyle and making sensible decisions. Instead of biscuits, chips and lollies, she snacks on carrots, natural yogurt, apples and drinks loads of water. Not because I make her...she can pick what she likes out of the fridge...its because that's the decision she's made for herself. We are educating her to be healthy, and to love who she is, and in the long run, she will be a much happier person.

I too am working on it. Its a battle every day. One that I am not going to give up on. I try not to compare myself to others and I try not to be so hard on myself. One thing I know is that I am blessed. Andrew loves me for who I am. He never criticises my size, and he supports me no matter what.  I have been luck enough to have no major health issues and I've been able to give birth to two beautiful children. I am alive, and I am a worthy person.  I will be the change I want to see in the world.

The next time you see a morbidly obese person, don't point and laugh, or shout at them to stop eating. They are a human being...just like you.

To quote Kobi Yamada..."She discovered her real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics".  Its true.

tfl, Lis.


Kerryn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story Lisa.

Moonie said...

Bit lost for words after reading that Lisa.. You seem like a beautiful person on the inside and out, you are a great Mum and wife, very creative and like most girls.. we all have weight issues.. So carry on your life and be happy. I lost my Dad not long ago. He was happy and healthy. Here one day, gone the next.. Due to a stroke. If you are happy... so be it. You will get there. It takes determination to get there but the first thing we need is our heads to be clear and ready for the weight loss challenge. I am doing mine at the moment. Small steps at a time. I have given myself a challenge.. 40 days on the treadmill ... 1/2 an hour at a great speed of walking and then every two minutes jogging for 2. small I know but I am feeling not so heavy and bloated... and I have cut a lot of naughty things out. Sucks really but that is all the bad stuff that makes us bigger.
take care xx
Lisa (aka Moonie)

Wendy Smith said... about reading MY own story in your written words! I cannot believe how similar our thoughts and feelings are.
As you know,I too am very large, and have struggled with weight all my life. This is a subject that I think needs highlighting. Thanks you for putting it out there so eliquently


Jess Mackenzie said...

HIya Lisa : ) Thankyou so very much for sharing your personal story. I have no idea why we live in a world where it is seen to be so wrong to judge people for the colour of thier skin or there sexual orientation.....but it's ok to judge people on thier size. It's all a bit twisted isn't it? I told myself a couple of years ago that I would leave all the judging to God....and you know what....I'm so free to just live and love. You are you no matter what package you come in.....We can all change the wrapping but ultimately the present inside stays the same doesnt it? Oh and I LOVE Ruby...she is such a sweet,awesome, loving person....she inspires me.....not to lose weight....but to be loving : ) Love and Peace xox

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Lisa. I cannot believe just how cruel people can's mindblowing that they cannot imagine what it's like to be in the other person's shoes. Take care... *Hugs*

Karen.C said...

I hear you Lisa and isn't it great we have Husbands and children who love us for who we are.My 26 yr old son is marrying a "big" girl later this year he is skinny and good looking and I find it amazing that people actually say why is he chosen someone like that ,but I have brought my children up to look beyond the wrapping and see what lies beneath,his Fiance is the most beautiful girl.Lisa just try be happy I have been where you are now with the depression its not nice its hard work but you seem to be on top of it.
Hugs to you .xo

Tam said...

Thankyou so much for posting this honest heartfelt blog post, as someone whose weight constantly yo yo's and who is at their heaviest right now I can completely relate to this post.

So in amongst tears Im sending you positive vibes and wonderful thoughts on your journey to.

Tracey said...

It's amazing how our experiences at High School can shape us. I know that part of my reason for not having kids of my own is because of what I suffered at the hands of those same bullies you dealt with at high school. if only we knew how little their opinions were worth at the time.

I just wanted to say I thought you were a wonderful person then, and you are a wonderful person now. I have been reading your blog for a while and think you are so blessed with your loving husband and your beautiful kids.

Don't let the people of the past define your future Lis, they weren't worth it then, and they aren't worth it now.

Cheyne Fanke said...

That is an amazing story, Lisa - & one which everyone can relate to on some level. Thankyou for sharing & for the record, you are stunning & I am in awe of your business & crafting achievements. I also love you home decorating ideas. You have many gifts!
Cheyne xxoo...

KimA said...

Love you, love your words. I am walking the same journey as you as you know. I am lucky not to have to also handle depression, but I know all about self doubt. Cheers to us for taking the first step and making this a change for life. xxx

Linda said...

Hi Lisa, I found your blog from Tracey's blog - I am new to this papercraft world too!!

Lisa, i totally understand - however you seem to be as beautiful now as you were in high school. You were always kind and had an amazing smile - size will never alter that xx

sammy said...

Hi Lisa

Thanks for sharing your story.

I can't believe people and what comes out of their mouths - know that it is their problem not yours!

Like you, my goal in life for a happy and healthy family.



Mel said...

Hi Lisa,
I think this is the first time I have read your blog. Your story could be mine too. And a lot of other people that I know. In a world where we are judged by our looks, I think those of us who are obese are judged far more harshly than most. Thanks for sharing your story. I think I might too.

Cinda said...

Thank you for sharing your story. People can be so cruel and selfish and they only do it so that feel better about themselves while putting others down. You deserve much better in this world and you have with a loving husband and daughter and that is a true blessing.
All the best for the challenge and take care.

kelsbells said...

WOW! Only 5 years old and already worrying about that stuff? That's insane. Props to you for educating your daughter about healthy choices, I know it's a struggle we all face daily. Well done on your weight loss, and wish you all the best for the future!

Cinda said...

Congrats for winning Challenge 72!!! I'm so happy you won and you're the new owner of the Lily Bag in Lorenza from This Side Of The Island all handmade and designed by me.

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