In the course of a relatively short life, I have been everything from 98lb to 311lb. (150lb is probably about right given my build) In my case, any attempt at a normal diet after the age of about 9 or so ended up with continuous weight gain. (following glandular fever) I do not eat entire packets of biscuits or fries and now have an extremely high level of nutritional knowledge. I just cannot eat ‘normal’ food or engage in social eating of any kind.
It has taken, for a variety of reasons, decades to accept this and put myself first. Even when I found the answer, something came along to cause me to ignore it.
As you can probably tell by the website, my second love is men. Food is more of an obsession. I was a Michelin level chef for a few years, and following my education became very interested in food politics.
Causes of self-neglect have varied. From avoiding men, to being upset by men, to trying not to be assaulted by men, to ignoring my own needs for either gender, I am guilty of having put myself last at every opportunity. I used to think that this was a virtue. I have now, finally, thanks to the Wolfe era, accepted that it is my biggest failing. With the exception of my mother, who is 90, I will no longer be doing that.
So, one of my theories about why people like me put on so much weight is that they have the following issues:
- lack of self-confidence caused by bullying because they have forgotten how to assert themselves
- lack of awareness about gut health – eating badly causes you to eat even more badly
- poor ability to prioritise themselves over other people in order to survive
- crippling social anxiety caused by reactions to their appearance
To be fair, in my case, the issue was complicated by a lengthy battle with my love of smoking, which, being orally fixated, helped for a while, however the real basic problem is the repulsive comments made to me at an early age by my sisters. For those who do not understand the effects of bullying at an early age – all those nasty comments you make stay with the person forever. Be very careful what you say to people. I will probably never choose to spend time with women because of this, because I am always looking for the next negative comment to cling to. That is my problem, not theirs, but it is a fact.
So, in the spirit of empowering a few people who hide in their homes as I do, please remember the following:
- If anyone tells you that you don’t matter – run.
- Sometimes people are just horrible – it isn’t you its them – it took me until I was 39 to accept that.
- No problem ever got better because you got fatter.
- Walking is a better way of dealing with emotion than stuffing it down along with some food.
- Everything you put into your mouth affects your health. Everything.
- You deserve to feel good, no matter what you imagine you have done or failed to do.
- Repairing the damage starts from losing the guilt and putting yourself first.
Being a kind person is very nice, but it may well be killing you. Having been put through a lot, you may regard your kindness as your best feature, but in terms of your own health, it may not be. Learn to make space for yourself, and avoid anyone that will not let you do that.
If you have any questions, feel free to use the comments.