Why am I fat?
Saturday, March 04, 2017
It seems just like yesterday, when I had joined Sparkpeople back in 2009. Scared, battered, lost, morbidly obese and alone.
I had just lost my mother, and my life had come to a standstill. There is something deeply unsettling about losing a parent. More often than not, our parents are the constant of our lives. Their presence reassures us that irrespective of what might happen, it'll get better. They are our safety net, our go-to person, our confidant(s), our anchors.
My mother used to instil a certain faith in me, that amidst all the chaos, she'll always be there to make things better. She was my demon, and my angel. She was the reason why I succumbed to self-destruction, and the only person who would clasp me in a warm hug when the world made it unbearable for me to hold on to my sanity.
I had a rough childhood- littered with abuse, pain and loss. There are days when I'm left in awe when I see myself acting as a well-adjusted adult.
I started my weight loss journey as a distraction from my pain. Those workouts made my heart ache just a little bit less for 30 minutes, the constant fretting about my food log made me less conscious of the silence that had suddenly engulfed our house. And suddenly, the pounds started to melt off, the compliments started to pour in, and one fine day, the pain got bearable. What was once an ocean of pain, suddenly became a set of intermittent waves- with me at the shore. There were days when the waves used to engulf the core of my being, leaving me choked, unable to breathe. And there were days when just a hint of those waves used to play around my toes before receding back. On those days, my pain was a still ocean; and the dull ache was there as a reminder of my loss, but just enough to make me conscious of its presence.
And one fine day, I could talk about her death without breaking down into pieces; and I could indulge in dark humour without feeling as if there was anything amiss.
I feel a nagging sense of guilt when I write about my relationship with my mother- because the sheer complexity of the dynamics is so mind boggling, that I cannot imagine anyone comprehending it. Looking back, I have a strong feeling that she was suffering from depression and bipolar. There were days when she was a bustling stream of love, gushing us with her warmth. And then there were days when her toxicity used to shatter the core of my being. Throughout my teens, I indulged in self harm, and suffered from a battery of eating disorders because of the constant abuses that were hurled in my direction.
And I still loved her- because I know that she was suffering just as much as I was.
I'm still not healed. And sometimes, a whiff of a perfume, the sight of a child being hugged by her mother, a certain tone being used by someone- is enough to trigger a chain reaction of hatred, self pity and a deep abyss of loss. But I'm not a 12 year old anymore; I'm an adult. So I shove it under the proverbial carpet and binge watch Television.
At 26- with a great job, an MBA degree from a premium Business School, and a sense of deep-rooted confidence- I thought I was in a good place.
But time, and destiny are a sadist bunch. Last year, I met the man I would fall in love with. For the first time, in the 27 years of my life- I met someone who I loved without any inhibitions.
I loved like a child- unconditionally, fiercely, without s sense of gender dynamics and social constructs holding me back. I developed a deep rooted trust that I'd be loved back with the same ferocity.
Little did I know that there was more pain in store for me.
That man turned out to be emotionally unavailable, distant, and cold. I clung on, like a child who was refusing to believe that they deserve anything but pure, undiluted love. But as more calls started going unnoticed, and more messages never got responded to- I realised that I'll have to relive my hell one more time.
I had loved my mother- despite the damage she was doing to my psyche. And I continued to love that man- whilst he constantly made me feel like less of a person. My confidence spiralled down, I lost focus at my workplace, and I let myself go-with my health and my happiness being the last on my list of priorities.
It took me months to embrace the fact that this man was suffering from sociopathic tendencies. Suddenly, all the memories rushed by and everything started to fit like a puzzle- how he was never professed that he loved me unless he was prompted and forced to, how he remained distant and cold whilst I planned our future together, how he never showed any sign of remorse whilst talking about my friend who was suffering from anxiety and depression.
It took me more time to let go of him, and to realise that it was not my fault. That it does not make me inadequate as a person to not be able to evoke an emotional response from that person.
I'm still struggling with it. But even more, I'm struggling with the fact that I let this man consume me to the extent that I jeopardised my health. I've gained a major chunk of the weight that I had lost. And I'm just as emotionally battered and broken as I was all those years ago.
I'm fat because I love too much, I feel too much, and then- I use food to dull that ache.
But then again, I'm glad. I'm shattered, and now- I can mould myself into anyone that I want to. And I'll choose a fitter, leaner, stronger version of myself.