Friday, September 28, 2012

Shame, self-criticism, and secrets: Not just an example of good alliteration

So you may have noticed (or probably I am thinking my blog is more important to people than it actually is) that it has been a little while since I have posted. That's because I have been struggling with whether to post about a particular topic that I knew would be hard for me to write about. I tried to get myself to write about other things, but it's like I just can't write anything else until I write this one particular post. It just demanded to be written.

I wanted to write about shame today. And with a post like this, it is necessary for me to reveal the thing that I have the most shame about: my starting weight. I have gone back and forth about revealing this. I didn't want to post my starting weight because of pressure from others, or because that is just what you are supposed to do when writing a weight loss blog. I wanted to post it because I wanted to, if and when it felt like the right thing to do. Of course, along with the shame, there is fear. Fear that others will judge me, fear that they will be disgusted over just how far I had let myself go. But you know what? I came to a conclusion last night. My conclusion is that if someone wants to judge me, fine by me. It's not like I have control over that anyway. Because the truth is, I don't need someone like that in my life. But what I do need to have is ownership over where I have been in my life. And part of where I have been is 328 lbs. That's right. I'm 5'1" and I let myself get all the way up to 328 lbs. I'm tired of being ashamed of this fact. It wears on me. I believe that if this shameful secret is no longer a secret, part of the shame will go away. After all, scary things are usually less scary in the light of day. So as of today, I am owning my starting weight. Am I going to go up to random people on the street and tell them what I used to weigh? No, because obviously that would be pretty creepy and weird. But if someone asks me my starting weight, I will just tell them, instead of freaking out internally. If I refuse to let it be scary, it won't be. It's just a fact now, like my age or height.

It bothers me that a lot of people who lose weight act disgusted by and ashamed of their former heavier selves. I feel a lot of things when I think of that person, but disgust is not one of them. Most of what I feel is sadness that I lived so long that way when I could have been living this way all along. But I refuse to cut down that person that I used to be. Because, after all, that person is still me. And I try to treat myself with kindness nowadays, instead of constant criticism. I may have been heavier and used food as an emotional crutch, but I still had worth as a person. I still got through many hard times in that heavy body. But I admit, while I don't feel disgust, I do feel ashamed sometimes when thinking of my heaviest self.

But like I said before, I am just plain tired of being ashamed. Ashamed of my starting weight. Ashamed that I am still on the larger side even after losing 77.8 lbs. Ashamed of how I look at the gym compared to all those skinny girls. But the truth is, I am probably more judgmental, critical, and mean to myself at times than other people could ever be. Because I know all the right buttons to push! As for the people who do judge me, let me state my new philosophy yet again: Go ahead. Go ahead and judge me. Judge me for getting healthier and taking on the immense challenge of losing so much weight. Judge me for changing for the better inside and out every day. That is their issue, not mine. But I really have faith that the vast majority of people will be encouraging and have only positive things to say. After all, I see evidence of this everyday in my day-to-day life, Facebook, and seeing just how many people continue to read this blog.

Whew, I already feel better having written this post. After all, I started this blog with the intention of being completely honest and open about my weight loss journey. And it bothered me that I had yet to address this topic that loomed so large (haha, literally!) for me. Am I still a little scared to let everyone know my secret? Duh. I mean, I might be changing, but mean inner voice Gertrude still has a bit of a hold on me, telling me everyone will be grossed out by how big I had gotten. But the bigger part of me feels a sense of freedom and pride that I have the strength to show everyone not only how far I have come, but also where I started.

So after this heavy, emotional baggage post, please look forward to a much lighter post next time!


  1. Kristen, I am teary eyed after reading this post because I totally get it...every word & can say that honestly because I am living it too! I can also say that I am so happy for you! Writing this blog post took strength & courage and I am so glad that in doing it you now feel better and will no longer have to carry around the emotional baggage filling your heart & your mind! You are doing awesome lady!! Don't let anyone take that sense or pride & accomplishment away from are a beautiful woman inside & out :)

    1. Malinda, your comment was literally exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for writing it and for being such a source of support. I'm not the only beautiful one are too!