This is a story from my friend. This story is hard to read in places but it is so precious and heartbreaking and enlightening all at once. I wish she didn’t have to go through this.
Maria has battled against depression for a long time. Her weight fluctuated and her self loathing at her inability to be ’thinner’ made her hate herself even more. Looking in the mirror was painful and she developed a range of excuses for not catching up with friends and even her body told her it was better for her to lie under a blanket and hide rather than go for a walk.
Having a child with special needs and work and another child and a husband that worked long hours meant that her self worth continued to suffer.
It was when thoughts of self harm and harming her children were getting more and more a realistic option that she realised that she couldn’t take this pain anymore and asked for help.
Asking help for her medical/depression issues was one thing, but truly loving herself was another matter and it was a long way off.
If you can name a diet, chances are Maria has probably tried it. If you can name a diet supplement or weight loss ‘aid’ then chances are it is probably visible in this photo.
Are you thinking, maybe she doesn’t possess any will power; that’s why none of these diets have worked for her?
The truth is that her mind and her body were out of sync with her heart. In her heart she knew that she deserved to be fat. She had made a child with a disability – it was her fault. She felt so rotten and black and empty and unloved on the inside, she wanted her outer appearance to reflect the same. She would make bad food choices knowingly so that her outer appearance would reflect her inner heartache and pain and self hatred.
Looking at this photo of the dietary and vitamin supplements fills her with shame. Some of them aren’t opened, most of them were expensive and none of them worked.
The truth is that they were never going to work because she never believed in them.
For Maria, going to the gym or jogging or having protein smoothies doesn’t resonate with her. And it never will.
She can now see that for some people it is what works for them, but guess what? We aren’t one size fits all. We aren’t all made of the same mould that means that ALL of us should be working out on the treadmill for 45 minutes twice a day.
What has RESONATED with her is real food. Real food that her body craves and needs and she enjoys making. By planting her own herbs in the garden and tending to them, that fills her up in the same way that others get filled up by going to the gym.
She is my friend and I don’t see her as overweight – I just see her as my friend. I see a woman who was a little bit tricked by marketing and sales people into buying diet supplements that she (they claimed) NEEDED to have in her diet – whereas in fact what she really needed to be doing was looking in the mirror and loving herself. She needs to do whatever sort of exercise she loves – she loves swimming in the ocean and just last week she did that and it felt great.
The Real Food Real You dream of mine is that you will love who you see in the mirror; that you will cook, eat and share food and laugh and be happy.