I’m back after what seems like forever. A major situation had happened the weekend before last, which nearly took all of my strength, patience, and expertise to deal with.
A close family member had been struggling with depression and anxiety to the point that she had given up on life. A powerful moment of desperation almost stole her away. I have since been her caretaker and shield from the world and she seems to be recovering, though it is (naturally) a slow process. It did get me thinking about other things though…
It’s all too easy for people to hold in their true feelings, desires, and needs, because we don’t want to be seen as weak, incompetent, or burdensome. Asking for help feels like an admission of failure, and it’s hard to admit failure on any level.
While it’s not at all the same, I have also felt a desperation when it came to my body and weight. At my heaviest, I was just shy of 280lbs, and at 5’6.5″ it was devastating to look into the mirror or to go clothes shopping. Dressy events had me cowering in fear that people were judging me and making fun of me, or disgusted with my appearance.
It took me to some dark places in my own head. I would have nightmares about my loved ones turning on me, and I would hide my fear and insecurity by withholding affection and attention. I closed myself off from my family and friends, and cocooned away in my room to wallow in my self loathing.
I was afraid to ask for help, because I was afraid of trying and getting everyone’s hope’s up and setting expectations, then failing and disappointing my loved ones. I tried to do anything under the radar that I could get away with. Secret workouts when everyone was gone, skipping meals, or only eating a couple of eggs and cabbage, or even taking laxatives, of course, none of these things worked and only worsened my desperation and insecurity. This was all before I had even heard of Ideal Protein, mind you.
I found myself even more disgusted with what/who I had become. My marriage started to suffer, not because my husband couldn’t see past my weight, but because I had shut him out. I became extra insecure, so I didn’t want him to see me make any efforts towards health, which made him feel like I gave up. I didn’t want him to see me struggle and fail. I worried he would lose love for me and grow to loathe me. He worried my life would be short and I would leave him behind too soon. He was desperate to help me, but he didn’t know how.
One thing I have learned, which I find is the single most important thing anyone like me can learn, is to ask for help, be open minded to receiving advice and trying it, and to know that failure is just a learning experience for you to grow from.
My marriage is now stronger than ever, because I can share my journey with my husband, and now that he can see inside my head and heart more, he knows when to tell me to toughen up, and when to be delicate with me. It has helped me to trust myself more and to allow myself to make mistakes and learn from them. He has become a source of inner strength, not because he is also my biggest cheerleader, but because he now knows how to give me space or guidance, and when I need it.
I seek advice from my coaches when I have the slightest doubt about anything, or when I have a random idea. My weight loss journey has been a happier one than ever before. I feel more confident that I will be able to maintain my weight once I hit my goal. I feel empowered because I now have the courage to ask for help.
That said, please, PLEASE, reach out if you ever need help, in any way. Reach out to your coaches for advice. Reach out to your doctors for medical questions. Reach out to your family and friends for support and guidance. Reach out to groups for understanding and collaboration. And this offer goes to all out there, reach out to me if you ever need someone to be a friend. I promise that though my shoulders are shrinking from weight loss and my fat cushion is disappearing from them, they will always be able to support a friend in need of one to cry on.