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Overweight Mom Feels Discouraged and Unsupported

By September 12, 2012

I am 26 with one child and one on the way and I have a major problem with being overweight. I am 5′ 7″ and I weigh about 230 and I have had a problem with being overweight since I was about 13 years old. My family never helped because they would never show me love and would always shoot me down every chance they got. Now that I am a mother I have really wanted to get the weight off and keep it off for good but whenever I get involved with a weight loss program I get discouraged because there are always women who are there that don’t need to be. I mean they weigh 120 and want to be skinnier, and it really discourages me because I feel that they are making fun of overweight people, so I quit and never go back. I would really wish that I had someone to talk to that would help me feel better about trying to lose weight – or that I had someone to talk to period. Thanks for listening. – MP

Dear M.P.,

I’m glad you wrote. Yes, having a chance to talk about our feelings is such a powerful help in dealing with food, weight and life in general. If we don’t have much chance to process our thoughts and feelings, we tend to maintain addictive behaviors. I’m sorry to hear that you lacked support in many ways in past years – you deserve to find a support group or network of supportive people. You might find general support as a mom in a group such as MOPS, but if you want to get specific to your eating issues, read our guidelines for Finding Treatment. Also, consider plugging into our Finding Freedom online support program.

Being pregnant brings its own challenges and weight issues. When we change our eating patterns, we must avoid comparing ourselves with others. And remember, most diets cause us to feel deprived and we ultimately eat more. So, we urge you to avoid the rollercoaster of dieting altogether. We wish you the very best in your journey.

Carla

Dear MP:

I just wanted to add another thought to what Carla has said. I can appreciate how embarrassing and frustrating it must be to go to a weight-loss group and find yourself surrounded by those who you view as “skinny.” And you’re right, some of them probably genuinely don’t need to lose weight, but are obsessed with weight loss anyway, because of the unfortunate messages they might have come to believe about their own bodies, thin though they may be.

But something to remember is that regardless of what size any of us wear, from a size 2 to a size 22 (or beyond), we are all trapped in the same “thin cage” if we believe that our value is tied to our weight. What that means is that the thin women you may see in your weight loss programs are no happier with their bodies than you are with yours. They are not there to mock those who weigh more, but rather to try and find the same peace with self and healthy body image that you are seeking.

All of us who struggle with finding a healthy, balanced approach to food and weight have different characteristics, body shapes, and different ways of getting back “on track.” Please don’t allow yourself to focus on where others may be on this journey, as it will only rob you of the joy of finding your own path to freedom.

And remember, there are likely those in the group, or those you see everyday, who weigh more than you who would KILL to be your size. At the end of the day, it’s all subjective, and the only way to complete freedom is by taking ‘ownership’ over our body, our weight, and our journey toward balance.

I encourage you to keep up the journey. You never have to weigh more than you do today. Work on breaking the overeating cycles, try to eat more healthy, get more exercise, and your body will naturally start to do it’s thing. Give yourself time, and permission to love yourself along the way.

Kindest regards,

Constance