Feeling Ashamed About My Weight

Feeling Ashamed About My Weight

It wasn’t until high school that my relationship with food got off track. I was a cheerleader and I remember being depressed because I had to be a base rather than a top since I wasn’t light enough to be the one tossed up in the air.

I went to Catholic school and I wore a skirt that was two sizes too small (which was so tight it cut into my skin and left red marks around my waist) because it made me feel better than buying a bigger skirt.

Me and my body, well, we were not exactly besties at the time.

Enough is Enough

I was doing an interview recently where I was asked to share the emotional low point that was the “enough is enough” moment that got me to realize it was time for change. You’d think a few weeks of wearing the too tight skirt would be it. It wasn’t.

Or, there was the time in college when I was on vacation with a group of friends and we were at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. One of my friends, a trainer who had recently lost a lot of weight (who I thought looked amazing) became the star of Q&A with Sheila, because I had to know how she lost the weight.

After a little while, I think she was getting irritated with my barrage of questions, so she flat out asked me how much I weighed. I told her. 165 pounds. Her response?

{gasp!} Sheila!

As if I had just told her that I had robbed a bank or something. Mind you, this was in front of everyone at the table. In that moment all I felt was SHAME. I was so ashamed about my weight. I ended up barely eating any of my dinner and the next day I started my next super restrictive diet.

Sounds like a pretty solid “enough is enough” moment, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t. I wanted relief so badly from the food-prison and body-jail that I had myself locked in, but all I knew was to just keep trying what I knew.

Sunshine, Puppy Dogs, and Bikinis…NOT

I think that wanting to change is truly the first step. Then once we have the desire the right people and resources cross our path in seemingly random ways that lead us to the next step, and the next step in our journey.

In one of my previous emails, I mentioned how working with Leigh Peele was really the first step for me in learning how to eat for nutrition rather than just eating (or not eating) in order to end the day with the least amount of calories possible.

Once I reached my goal weight, I thought I had crossed the finish line. I thought everything was going to be sunshine, puppy dogs, and bikinis only to find out that once I reached my goal, I didn’t know how to eat healthy and just be normal with food without thinking about calories, ratios, and dieting all the time. That was the next phase for me. THAT was my “enough is enough” moment.

And soon after was when I learned about Marc David and his work with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. No joke, when I went to their website it was like the clouds parted and the heavens appeared. EVERYTHING that he teaches resonated so deeply with me and still to this day, he is one of my greatest mentors when it comes to food.

If you are interested in learning more about Marc and his work, I highly recommend checking out his programs. Good stuff.

So if you are in that place where you’ve hit that “enough is enough” moment, but you aren’t quite sure what to do… ease upon yourself a bit. Take it from me, bullying yourself just leads to more shame. And shame NEVER leads to empowerment.

You WILL find your way. You WILL figure this out. And the desire to change is the first step.

What was your “enough is enough” moment? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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2 Responses to Feeling Ashamed About My Weight

  1. Bree says:

    Sheila- thank you so much for sharing such an inspiring article. I have had many “enough is enough” moments where I sought to get help and make a change but just this week I had my ultimate push to win this battle with food and negative body image. I definitely resonate with you – I have had a HORRIBLE, debilitating relationship with my body and food for the past 3 years. It started out by dieting, then seeking dietician advice and following a meal plan as if it were the law, and spending crazy hours exercising. Soon enough, my life became my weight. 1 pound lower on the scale began a wonderful, productive day and 1 pound higher defined a miserable day full of tears, self-loathing and guilt. Things only got worse last year when I started grad school- I would calculate my daily calories, research diets and plan out my meals during lecture. While others would attend review sessions after class or partake in social activities, I would go exercise. I started to severely deprive myself of nutrients during the week only to find myself binging over the weekend. School became overwhelming and I found less time to exercise and started gaining weight. I hated my body, I hated my life, and I hated myself. I stopped socializing on the weekends and interacting with good friends and family because I was so ashamed and embarrassed of my behaviors and felt extreme anxiety at the thought of somebody noticing any weight gain, let alone commenting about it. I skipped school after a day of unideal eating, sleeping off my depression. I numbed my feelings by making television my best friend. During the past few months I only got worse. My grades suffered. My family suffered. I suffered. My body has become my worst enemy. I avoid all reflective surfaces. I sob every time I take a shower. I only allow myself to wear 10% of my wardrobe. Any invitation to an event receives an automatic “no.” I have realized that even the simplest tasks and minute aspects of my daily life have become unmanageable. I guess you can call this my true “enough is enough” moment. This week I decided to take a leave of absence from school to focus on recovery in a treatment center. I want my life back and I’m going to get it back. I wholeheartedly sympathize with anyone else who is facing similar struggles. It’s definitely paralyzing. I hope anyone struggling with similar issues comes to this same moment to make a change and manage his/her life. We all deserve it :)

    • Sheila says:

      Bree, thank you so much for sharing so openly. Your willingness to take a leave of absence from school speaks volumes of your readiness. Keep me posted on your recovery. Sending you lots of love. Proud of you, girl. We DO all deserve a happy and healthy relationship with both food AND ourselves.

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