There are many great quotes/cliches regarding forgiveness. Phrases such as:
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ― Alexander Pope
“It is surely better to pardon too much, than to condemn too much.” ― George Eliot
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ― Lewis B. Smedes
And that’s the point I’m getting to, really, sometimes you make yourself a prisoner. Everyone walks their own path. Or, in my case, I used to lumber along my own path. Weight gain has been something that I was never able to forgive myself for.
Is there something about you that you have not forgiven? For those of the Catholic faith, as I am, I have gone to confession and received absolution. Yet I still cannot forgive myself. As I am writing this I realize that is ridiculous. Why do I need to hold on to self-inflicted pain? I gained weight throughout my life for various reasons, I lost a great deal of it, and still I am weighted down. Why was I not strong enough to not do that to myself in the first place? Seems to me this is wasted worrying. I won’t get those years back. It’s done. It’s like saying something you wish you hadn’t. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. I ate things I wished I hadn’t (later, at the time they were delicious.) Eating, speaking, writing, hitting, drinking, whatever it was or is that haunts you now, you can’t take it back. If you read the Big Book from Alcoholics Anonymous it is suggested that you contact those you feel you have wronged and basically try to right it. If food is your devil, I do not suggest you whisper to your favorite jeans that your sorry you ate so many M&M’s you can no longer wear them. There are things you can do to change your behavior.
I have realized today that I have had bariatric surgery to help me control my super morbid obesity. I face every day as a challenge to keep my eating habits healthy and in check. But I have never, ever forgiven myself for being fat in the first place. It’s something I need to do. I’m not going to live forever. No one is. Self-loathing and anger at yourself for your addiction is not going to help you help yourself.
I have been lucky to have had many hands reach out to me as I deal with my food issues. They are welcome, appreciated, and needed. However, I also have two capable ones. I know I can’t move forward without forgiveness first. And it all starts with me. (By the way, I didn’t write this as a free pass to skip down the candy aisle merrily tossing chocolates in my mouth. Mmmmm chocolates.)