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My Story, Part 2: What I’ve Learned

October 15, 2013

Weight LossFat HealthExerciseEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Discussion of self-injury, mental illness, eating disorders and weight loss.

This is the third post by CherryBlossomKitty, who is our latest blogging candidate. Tomorrow we will vote on her inclusion.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life hating myself. We’re not talking run-of-the-mill self-deprecation here — we’re talking outright hatred and disgust toward myself, the way someone might feel about a piece of random trash. We’re talking beating myself up mentally with endless rivers of abusive self-talk. We’re talking physically harming myself with various sharp instruments, resulting in permanent scars, because I felt I deserved to be punished for who and what I am.

Yes, there have been many times where I felt I’d be “better off dead,” as they say. Yet for some reason, I keep going. And it’s taken me the better part of 40 years to figure out what that reason is. It’s also taken that long to come to the conclusion that I was, indeed, meant to be fat.

Let me explain: The primary reason I weigh as much as I do is because of mental illness.I have been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, borderline personality disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. I’ve also had a couple of eating disorders as well. That’s a lot of disorders. And when you have a lot of disorders, you have to take a lot of medication. Anyone who’s had any experience with psychoactive medication knows all too well that weight gain is a side effect that usually cannot be avoided. Log into any discussion board on mental illness or psychiatric medications, and the one question people ask the most is, “How can I avoid weight gain with [x] medication?” Needless to say, the medications that I took over the years caused me to pack on a lot of poundage through no fault of my own.

Many people have told me, “Well that’s just an excuse! If you diet and exercise, you won’t be fat!” And to that I say, here… you take these pills for a while and gain 100 pounds, despite dieting to the point Pillsof starvation and exercising until you puke every day. You try it. It’s not so easy, is it?

I am a healthy person. My blood sugar, cholesterol, thyroid levels, blood pressure, and everything else are all completely normal. I eat as healthy as I possibly can and get plenty of exercise. And yet, my body remains fat. Go figure.

A while ago, I was able to go off of all but one of the medications I had been taking. My first thought upon achieving this goal, of course, was “Great! Now I’ll finally be able to lose some weight!” And I did lose weight… five whole pounds, and nothing more. After all that hating myself for needing to take meds that made me fat, it turned out that it might not have been the meds’ fault entirely. My body obviously liked the weight I had on me and decided to keep it.

So what is my body telling me? If you recall in part one of my story, I mentioned the fact that being large ran in my family. See where I’m going here? There’s so much more to one’s body composition than just diet and exercise.

Oh sure, I could increase my exercise. I could spend six hours a day at the gym and become totally ripped. I could cut out carbs and processed foods and go Paleo or whatever they call it these days. I might get thinner. But you know what? Being thinner won’t change all the other problems I have. Being thinner won’t make me more money. Being thinner won’t make me a better mom. Being thinner won’t magically take away my mental illness. Being thinner won’t make me any better of a person than I already am.

That’s the reason I keep going. I know deep down that what’s on the outside does not reflect what’s on the inside. And what’s on the inside of me — as chemically imbalanced as it can be at times — isn’t too shabby. Just ask my son, my boyfriend, my family, my friends… everyone who thinks I’m pretty great. Heck, you could even ask me, because after 40 years, I’ve finally discovered that I am a unique, talented, caring human with a lot to offer. And if someone else can’t see that, then it’s their loss, not mine.

The moral of the story here is when you learn to stop worrying about your body, when you learn to take all that energy once directed at hating yourself and instead use it for something constructive, you’ll be astounded at the number of doors you open up for yourself. When you learn to stop fretting about what “society” says you need to look like, and instead focus on your own unique beauty inside and out, you can concentrate on what you need to do to give yourself the best life possible.

And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.

Laura, a.k.a. CherryBlossomKitty

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2013 4:14 pm

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    I have bipolar II, BPD, and OCD as well as a fair degree of social anxiety disorder. I started self-harming when I was in my teens. I have often told myself things like I deserved to be raped and brutally murdered for being such a fat, disgusting pig.
    I’m having a pretty hard time seeing anything good about myself right now, as it happens. I try not to engage the fat hate mode, but sometimes its really, really hard.

    • October 21, 2013 1:28 pm

      Hi TRC, I’ve only just seen this comment nearly a week later. Please do reach out to us privately when you are feeling like this. My own facebook page is That’s my personal page, not my Never Diet Again one. Friend me (and message me because I don’t think I know who you actually are!) and we can chat. Ax

  2. October 16, 2013 3:30 am

    Well said! Self-hatred takes energy that could be much better spent on almost anything.

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