But Tara, have you EVER had a weight problem?
Before I give you the answer to this burning question :-), I need to preface it by saying that none of this is easy for me to share. I’m leaving a lot out. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a book someday…but I also feel like it’s a story that needs to be told. So here goes…
There is not a cut and dried answer.
If you mean have I ever been overweight to the point where I needed to lose a significant amount?
There are many types of weight problems.
And while I have been thin most of my life, I WAS a chubby kid in a time when chubby kids weren’t the norm. My dad used to (lovingly) refer to me as “pleasantly plump.”
I also remember a time in the 3rd or 4th grade when I asked my mom for two slices of buttered toast right after dinner.
She got down on my level, looked me in the eyes and said, “are you sure you need to eat TWO slices?”
SN: both my parents’ intentions were good – they did the absolute best they could with the tools they had at the time (which weren’t many). I share these two instances because it’s part of the journey. There is absolutely NO blame. I loved them both dearly – my mom especially had so many demons to deal with of her own that I really only have sadness that she was never able to heal and conquer those demons. I know without a doubt that they both loved me with all their hearts, and I fiercely miss them both.
Anyhoo, it was around that time that I started noticing I was bigger than my friends. Not obese by any stretch, but, well, chubby.
This led to years and years of body image issues, disordered eating and self-destructive behaviors.
So, if you mean, have I ever looked in the mirror and was disgusted with what I saw?
Or have I ever hopped on the scale and celebrated when my weight dropped below 100 pounds (lowest ever was 85 lbs), but yet still felt fat?
Or have I ever been so obsessed with food, and the not eating of it, that I poured over recipes to get my food “fix” (because, hey, food pics have zero calories)?
Or have I ever been so obsessed about my calorie intake, that I’d feel guilty about eating 1/2 of a saltine cracker?
Or have I ever bought Dexatrim (do they even still make that? I sure hope not!), feeling judged by the cashier – and then taking 4 or 5 at a time so I wouldn’t be hungry – and I also needed the caffeine to stay awake during class?
Or have I ever gone to such extremes to get the “perfect body” that I suffered numerous stress fractures in my hips, femur and feet – ending up in a cast or on crutches numerous times?
Then, I can say unequivocally, YES, I HAVE had a weight problem.
There are so many different types of weight problems, but we tend to discount the ones that don’t involve being overweight.
And while I may not have ever had to lose a lot of weight, I can relate to the self-loathing that happens when you have a terrible relationship with food and your body.
I remember looking in the mirror and seeing something completely different than what others saw. And with each “milestone,” or feather in the fitness cap, I was more and more miserable. Nothing was ever enough to fill the void that I had.
I’m leaving A LOT out here, but suffice it to say, I went through some stuff!
It wasn’t until I started working on ME, and the root cause of my unhappiness and lack of self-love that I was able to heal my relationship with my body and with food. I learned that most of my issues stemmed from not feeling good enough – ever. There’s a lot that goes along with that that I may share later, but it was a theme that I carried with me for years. The good old perfection trap.
The thing is, I know I’m not alone in this. There are plenty of women out there who are struggling with PD (Perfection Disease), and have been for a very long time. Social media has only exacerbated things.
Looking for validation outside ourselves and comparing ourselves to others NEVER works.
Everything you need is inside. The power is, and has always been, there – you just have to know how to tap into it.
I’m going to be 50 this year, and I’m determined to make this next season of my life even more of a celebration for my body than this last decade has been.
My body has always been here for me, even when I treated it so poorly, and I commit to taking care of it in the best way I can – having lots of fun along the way!
My goal is to empower women of ALL ages to love themselves and their bodies RIGHT NOW. And the younger it starts, the better.
When you get that right, then it makes getting healthy, mentally and physically, so much easier.