Home > Overcoming 20 Years of Negative Self Image Thinking! > Overcoming 20 Years of Negative Self Image Thinking!

Overcoming 20 Years of Negative Self Image Thinking!

Yes, you read correctly! 

It took me 20 Years to Overcome the Negative Self Image Thinking I had of myself!

It all started when I was 13 years old……..a few months prior to my 13th Birthday to be exact!

That is when I first discovered that I was approximately 20 pounds overweight (130+ pounds at 5 foot 5 inches tall).  Now at the time I really did not think anything “negative” about my weight. 

In fact, it was not until my Dad said to me, word for word, “that if I wanted a boyfriend in the future I would need to lose some weight”, that the “negative” self image thinking started for me!  =( 

YES, I know, you are saying to yourself did I read that correctly, yes you did, unfortunately.  My Dad did say that to me!  And, I am sure you are thinking, just as I had at the time “How could a Father say such a thing to his Daughter!?!?!” 

WELL, my Dad honestly did not mean anything bad by saying that, he did not mean to hurt me or start the “negative” self image thinking cycle that came afterwards and continued for 20 years! 

It was just his way of trying to help me lose some weight as I was a bit heavier than I should have been at that time and he honestly did not know any better! 

See my Dad came from a very broken home with an alcoholic abusive mother and a father that abandoned him at a very early age.  He did not know how to be a Dad really or how to communicate properly with a little girl or woman for that matter, so he made a mistake in saying what he did, as I am sure several fathers and other parents have done out there, including myself!

So as you can imagine my “Negative” Self Image Thinking and Weight Issues offically started from that day forth and continued for 20 years until I turned 33 years and finally overcame them!

But back then, before my 13th Birthday when I heard those words from my Dad that I will never forget, I started my very first DIET!  I also started running, riding an indoor bike and doing work out videos for an hour or so, 5 days a week

Honestly, I hated dieting but I remember that I did not starve myself or purge or anything, I simply ate healthier and less

I also am very thankful to have discovered “running” for the 1st time in my life back than, which was due to my Dad who introduced it to me at that time by taking me on my 1st run that only lasted about a quarter mile but I loved it and was hooked and in no time I worked my way up to running 2 miles!

3 months after starting my diet and exercising on a regular basis I lost 20 pounds and got down to 115 pounds right before my 13th Birthday and was so very happy! 

My Dad & I (13 Years Old)

But my happiness did not last for long as my Dad once again went and put his foot in his mouth and said now you only have about another 10 pounds to lose“! 

As you can imagine I was devasted and heartbroken that he would say that to me after all I had done! 

Did I hear, “you have been working so hard hunny”, “you look amazing” or “I am so proud of you“……….NO of course not I heard “now you only have about another 10 pounds to lose”!  I couldn’t believe it!

Now again, he honestly knew no better, though in a way he should have of course, but it is what it is and believe me my mom gave him a big talking too about it!

So as you might imagine after I heard those words I sank into a deep hole of sadness and stopped dieting, stopped running, stopped everything!

I felt like I would never make him, my Dad, happy!  SO I GAVE UP!  And, of coures the weight quickly came back and more was added on over the years to follow as well. 

I would say I was typically between the high 130′s and high 150’s most of my Teen & Early Adult Years.  And, I often went up and down in weight due to starting whatever new diet was popular at the time and starting to run again but it never lasted and I would eventually quit than start again sometime down the round………and the cycle Weight Loss & Gain Cycle offically began for me! 

It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s and after I met my current husband that I finally STOPPED the cycle and tried a different approach! 

Of course there were lots of ups and downs along the way but finally shortly after my 33rd Birthday (20 years later) I offically lost a massive amount of weight (100 Pounds) and started looking at food, exercises, life, MYSELF in a different way!

Now I go into more detail on my My “Weight Loss” Journey! page about my entire weight loss journey from the beginning when it all started at age 13, through my 100 pound weight gain & loss, through the end at age 33……butt for the purpose of this post I wanted to focus soley on how I overcame my negative self image thinking!

I am not sure exactly when it happened, it just did one day back in 2008 when I realized that dieting does not work (only took me 20 years to realize that) and I finally made changes in my life to become healthier by doing the following:

  • Eating a “healthy & balanced” diet, limiting my “bad” choices
  • Working out on a regular (weekly) basis!
    • Running 3 to 5 times a week.
    • Toning (abs, upper & lower body) 1 to 2 times a week.

I followed the above over the next year and offically lost 100 pounds in August of 2009.  I then switched gears to tryuing to Find A Healthy Balance in my life……..that did not include dieting, depreviation, execessive working out or negative self image thinking!!!

I finally realized that I had to let go of my past (late childhood, teen, early adult & adult) issues that fostered my negative self image thinking! 

That I had to LOVE myself for who I was inside and out no matter what! 

And, that I was more than what you see on the outside, that I am not defined my appearance, I am defined by what I think of myself!

Once I stopped the negative self image thinking I was finally able to truly love myself and in turn I started to take better care of myself, which eventually led to a postive self image of myself as I was now treating myself with love & respect that showed on the outside!

Honestly, I am still surprised today that this happened after so many years of doing the opposite but I am so thankful it did and wish I could say exactly what made it occur for me but I can’t.  However, I feel it was a bunch of things that lead me to this point in my life………..

  • A very supportive husband during a extremely difficult time in my life!

My Husband (Steven)

  • A young daughter that I desperatelly wanted to keep from having the same issues as her mom!

My Daughter (Jai Lei)

  • A strong desire to finally overcome the my demons with the scale that plagued me for so long in my life!

Scale

  • A new found love for healthy eating, cooking and running!

12-Best-Abs-Foods

Running

  • A discovery of the online, healthy blogging community, that has taught me so much and spread in my the desire to learn, do and achieve more in my own life!   Check out my Blogroll below:

Now I must give credit to the source behind my blog post today, which was a post by Erin’s HTP – Young Strong & Beating Distorted Thinking! over at Healthy Tipping Point that hit me right in the heart when I read it and brought me back in time! 

I wish I would have learned the same back then but I am happy I eventually did…….thank you for the amazing post Erin and Caitlin for posting about it!

Have a great weekend everyone and stay tuned to hear how my long weekend run went on Monday!  =)

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  1. September 12, 2010 at 12:07 am

    You’re the bomb. That is all.

  2. September 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    That sounds like my experience too. I had all of those negative self-image thoughts and I had to lose weight to be happy. I’m still working on my self-image. I lost all the weight but still struggle with the negative thoughts.

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