Family health

Weight issues: My personal struggle

Maria opens up about her painful weight issues and the emotional toll its taken over the years.

By Maria Stanley
Weight issues: My personal struggle

This is one of my favourite photos of myself.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, and the big 4-0 is sadly imminent, I can’t help but constantly think that I’d really love to fast forward my personal weight loss. I’m very unhappy with myself when I look in the mirror, and I’m forever trying to change that. People that know me will know that I’m a broken record when it comes to this topic. I’ve become an old pro at telling myself things like,

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

“Monday's are the day you start a diet.”

“This is my last meal.”

“I’ll just cut out all carbs, sugar, fruits, grains, things that taste good, bubbly things and things I want to eat — and then I'll be thin in a month.”

I also find myself Googling things like "how to lose weight fast", "how to get biggest loser results at home" and "best diet for weight loss." I also Google things like "Colin Firth shirtless" and "cocktails for thirsty moms" but those have actually been helpful.  

If only losing weight was as easy as gaining it.

If only the mental game of losing weight and telling yourself you can do it and that you’re worth the effort was as easy as telling yourself the opposite. I don’t know what it is that finally clicks for those who are successful at it and stick with it until they reach their goal, but I’m clearly lacking it.

I’ve been super-thin, thin, curvy, pregnant and now overweight and I can tell you, there are moments that just suck for all of them. Being thin doesn’t mean being perfect — I get that. But, life isn’t supposed to be about what you look like. Years of your life should not be wasted on obsessing about what you look like in the mirror or how you look to other people. I say this as someone who has done just that and wanted to kick myself at the missed moments. But sadly — and I speak from experience — people treat you differently when you’re not thin, and I hate it.

I’ve had people that know me and my family literally stop me in the street and ask what happened to me because I used to be “so cute” and now, not so much. IN THE STREET, in front of my kids. Violence never looked so good. How does one even respond to that? I’m the exact same person inside, I wanted to scream at this awful person. I’m still kind-hearted, empathic, loving, fun, nice (yes, I’m amazing) and yet all you see is my size and nothing else. The quickest way to break someone’s spirit, is to not see it, to ignore it, to treat it like it's unworthy of you because it’s rounder, bigger, less toned.

"I’M STILL ME,” I yell at myself in the mirror. “I’M STILL BEAUTIFUL, DAMMIT!”

If only I believed it.

This article was originally published on Apr 19, 2013

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