Are You Worth It?
Self-esteem and self-worth are not the same thing. Your self-esteem has more to do with how you picture yourself, what you think about yourself, all leading to what you are worth. It is a fine line but self-worth is more of a quality. Self-esteem is more of a concept. Am I a talented singer? No. Is being a talented singer that important to me? No. So not being the next Barbra Streisand has really no effect upon my feelings of self regarding success and/or failure. However, if your self-worth and your self-esteem are piss poor, that can lead to trouble.
Many, but not all, obese people suffer from low feelings of self-esteem. It is a vicious cycle. You feel physically bad because you have to lug around extra weight. You feel mentally taxed because you know, even if you’re in denial, deep down you don’t look the way you want to. And others have most likely shared that fact with you. Nobody wants to hear how bad they look. Trust me. This is a very simplistic explanation but it can lead to feelings of depression which often accompany the morbidly obese person.
With over 70 million obese individuals in the United States and one out of ten people, whatever their size, being treated for depression, it leads one to think they are connected. But it is much of a chicken or the egg conundrum. Does obesity cause depression or does depression cause obesity? You can suffer from depression without being obese. And yes, there actually are jolly fat people in the world.
I have never suffered from clinical depression. But sure, I’ve been depressed before. And I was morbidly obese. When you are so much larger than the norm you can feel ostracized. In my case, I simply didn’t want to be seen. I went from work to home and back again. I didn’t want to visit my family (who live some distance away), I didn’t want to socialize. I was embarrassed to be seen. Unfortunately, in my case, now that have I lost an extraordinary amount of weight, even a slight fluctuation in my weight triggers the same thing. If I am not in what I consider to be my skinniest jeans then I am a failure. It makes no rational sense to say the least.
The addiction to food (carbs in particular) has never gone away, even though I had bariatric surgery. I wonder if the obese, for the most part, think they don’t deserve to be healthy and in turn loved? How many times have you lost weight then gained more back? Is it because you couldn’t adjust to the smaller you? Or you couldn’t adjust to how people treated the smaller you? Was it a conscious or unconscious act that caused you to gain the weight back?
Change is difficult. Yeah, profound understatement right there. For me, it’s not the decision to change that is difficult it is the ability to stay changed. You have to know that you deserve to feel good and look as good as you want (if that is your goal). You have to decide that binge eating is not an option when someone has disappointed you or pissed you off. You have to approach your life as something of worth, no matter what size you are. That, I think, is the real trick to a healthy self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.