Yesterday I was reading a post by one of my fave bloggers, the Anti-Jared. (You can find a link to his site on my blog roll). He wrote about how, as a child kids teased him for being overweight. I burned with anger as I read the post, in part because I felt bad about what he went through and also because I connected with pain from my own childhood. I too was teased.
I grew up with a very petite younger sister. I constantly compared my size to hers. Perhaps others compared us as well, I don’t know. But I recall being teased about my weight. I also recall comments that were made behind my back that I wasn’t meant to hear. I heard. My self-esteem wasn’t so great, and I bought in to what was said about me.
When my sister turned 30 I borrowed a big box of photos from my mom. I was planning to make a collage of my sister through the years. You know, the embarrassing kind of photo display that included such gems as “sister in hair curlers,” “sister going through the gawky pre-teen years,” etc. As I rummaged through hundreds of photos, I began to notice something. In all of the photos from my teen years, I was a normal size. I called my mom and asked her what she did with all of my “fat pictures.” She told me, “you were never fat, we just couldn’t get you to believe us.”
While I believe I was born with addictions to certain foods and alcohol, I remained a normal size until after college. I wasn’t healthy about it, exercise bulimia kept my weight down (I do not endorse this practice!). After college I stopped exercising and the pounds packed on.
Today (one day at a time) I have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. But my strong reaction to reading the Anti-Jared’s post showed me I have work left to do regarding letting go of old resentments. Later yesterday, I was handed and opportunity to do some work on this.
The fitness transformation challenge my friend Steve and I are doing (see post “Game On”) includes weekly assignments that are designed to help the challenger clear out emotional barriers to getting in shape. This week’s assignment is called The Big Forgive. Challengers are asked to dig deep, uncover a past hurt, and after a lot of journaling, let go of that hurt. How timely.
I’ve done a lot of work like this through the years. I’ve let go of a lot of resentments and I’ve cleared a lot of wreckage from my past. But somehow, I’ve neglected to deal with my feelings toward all of the teasers I encountered as a youth.
I have much to do.