Changing My Weight Gain & Depression
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I have been fighting obesity for more than 5 years now. Of course by now I have gotten back my body, but this long fight has never been easy, and I have gone through many stages of change throughout these past seven years. Immediately after one year of marriage, I conceived, and I had a C-section to deliver my baby - Soon after my delivery it was suggested that I remain on bed rest. For the next several months I failed to notice that I was beginning to gain weight because I was so busy with my baby, and I eventually recognized that I had put on some serious pounds. We were preparing to celebrate our son’s first birthday, but before the event, I had a tough time selecting my outfit - It was really annoying to eliminate all my favorite dresses because they didn’t fit, but I managed to buy a new dress and the celebration unfolded without any problems. However, during the party a few friends of mine and my relatives pointed out that I had gained some serious weight, I and just ignored it, but the real shocker was when I received our photo album from the party – I thought that I looked like a giant ball. In fact, I looked much older than my husband who was a very handsome and lean man at the time. This was the day I decided I wanted to return to my normal weight from prior to the pregnancy, and I decided that I must get back my pre-pregnancy figure.
Image and Health
It wasn’t only my image that concerned me, but the health issues that followed from my weight gain. Within the next six months I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and prone to heart problems. Due to the C-section and other complications I was unable to do much exercise, so I tried all kinds of diets that promised to help me drop a few pounds, but nothing worked, and instead I became physically weak as I became undernourished. Likewise, yoga for weight loss also didn’t help me, and all of these challenges pushed me into a depression - I was feeling bad about myself and the giant ball figure that I saw every time I looked into the mirror and I didn't know how to get rid of my depression. Eventually this image became fixed as my self image. I convinced myself that I was going to remain obese for the rest of my life, and I lost interest in everything. Nothing was exciting to me, no job gave me a sense of peace, I eventually stopped going out to parties, and I ultimately stopped shopping because going out to the mall and looking for new clothes resulted in embarrassing situations.
Once when I was cleaning my son’s room, I came across a book called “Positive Imaging”. It was an old book, and I remembered that this book was given to me by my colleague when I was working before my marriage. I took Positive Imaging into my room and decided to read during my leisure hours - Once I started reading the book I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in years, and in one of the chapters a woman with similar obesity issues sought a priest for help. The priest would ask her to write down the exact proportions and measurements that she desired for her body and to list the time required to achieve those goals. She would write down those details on an image of woman’s body and she would indicate that the time required was 1- year. The priest would say that along with her weight reducing efforts the image of herself as a figure with these measurements was important to visualize daily and to strongly hold in her mind's eye. The priest would say that within 1-year she would become the woman that she desired. After 1-year of practicing this exercise the same woman met him again, and weighed a few pounds less than her previously outlined weight, so she thanked the priest and carried on with her life.
Pencil to Paper
This story motivated me a lot, and I immediately put pencil to paper, sketched a female image on paper and wrote down the desired body measurements that I wanted to experience and my desired weight. I fixed the target date as my anniversary the next year, which was exactly 16 months away. I also wrote down the measurements I was planning to achieve, and I prayed to God and imagined myself as a beautiful woman and started working out. I opted for healthier food, drank green tea, tried mild workouts, walking, went out, socialized with people, and meditated daily on my ideal image. The most important attribute for which I imagined that I would appreciate myself was that I would have been confident and I had decided to never give up.
Over the months I noticed that my dress was getting loose, I was trying on my old clothes, and there was a romantic vibe at house – Most importantly I was finally smiling. When the day I had been waiting for during the past sixteen months finally came, I decided to throw a party to celebrate my success and invited all of my friends and relatives. I decided to wear my reception dress for the occasion. When my husband laid his eyes on me that day, I could feel the same spark in his eyes which he had on our wedding day. It was our fifth anniversary, but all said we both looked the same as we had been on our wedding. I was so joyful on that day, and I thanked God and the author of the book that changed my view on life - Norman Vincent Peale. Since then of course I have had my tough times, but my approach to it has totally changed. I have become a completely optimistic person, and I have finally realized that it is not always dark; Every morning the sun will rise and illuminate the spaces that were once darkened in our lives.
Author: Anonymous Contributor