Saturday, July 17, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds outing the real enemy and it's not what you think

Hi guys! Just watched another sweet update from Valerie Bertinelli, thanking folks for the support she got over the comment on her food video to "lose weight." And I'm not sure if she realized it or not, but Ms. Bertinelli just outed the real enemy of weight issues and it's not what you think. Nailing this culprit is how I lost 100 pounds, but more importantly, depression, anxiety and body image dysmorphia. 

So what's behind weight problems? It's not junk food, or overeating or comfort eating or any of thoese things. In a word, it's shame. Bertinelli said that she appreciates the kind support but shame is still a problem. And from where I'm standing, that's the only problem. Shame tells us not only that we are overweight (a judgement call in many cases) but that we are bad, ugly or a failure because we do not lose weight. Shame tells us, even after weight loss, that we are ugly, bad or a failure. 

But guess what? Shame has nothing to do with weight. It doesn't matter if we are "overweight", normal weight "underweight" or morbidly obese. If we have chronic shame issues, we feel (repeat after me) ugly, bad or a failure.  My husband has always felt "underweight." I use quotes because "overweight" and "underweight" are so often subjective. Obesity is a little clearer but still open to interpretation. Oh and does shame use it masterfully.

When he had Covid 19, my husband lost 17 pounds. Now for someone who wants to lose weight, that sounds great. It wasn't. For one thing, Covid 19 weight loss isn't healthy. He has been working hard to gain weight back. But 

I can tell he feels (wait for it) ashamed of the weight loss. He feels ugly, bad or like a failure. Are you seeing the pattern? 

So you say, well that's weird. Not really. No weirder than feeling ashamed of weight gain. But we who are "obese" or "overweight" often do. But it's not his fault, it's Covid 19's, you say. True and no more is being overweight a "fault." Obesity is a health concern to deal with, not a failing or flaw. 

And yet, as per many viewers of the show "My 600-lb Life", weight gain and even gastric bypass surgery, are things to be ashamed of. "My 600-lb Life" participants express a ton of shame. So it looks like weight problems caused it. But it's the other way around. Shame causes weight problems. So, like Valerie Bertinelli said, it's not effing helpful. It's counterproductive.  "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now doesn't ever criticize patients. He helps them. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to unmask the enemy shame (and his cronies guilt, blame, body image dysmorphia and low self-esteem) and send them packing. It's not easy. Sometimes I don't even recognize him, he's so bloody sneaky. But I'm learning to spot his disguises. I'm quitting the blame-shame game. I'm learning to see myself through healthier glasses. I hope and pray that Valerie Bertinelli and anyone else fighting shame can do  likewise. 

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