“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” – Pema Chödrön
In February 2016, I decided to get brutally honest with myself and post about my struggle to lose postpartum depression weight. Although I was still in the deep trenches of grief, I thought that losing weight would save me from myself.
The weight gain seemed to confirm everything that I thought about myself. I was doomed to become my parents. My estranged dad has struggled with emotional eating since I can remember. Surely this was a sign of things to come.
Focusing on “the inevitable” fueled my insecurity and by the time I returned home after a summer internship, my weight jumped to 188 lbs.
In September 2016, I told myself that although I wanted to lose all the weight by May 2017 (my original graduation date), my immediate goal was to feel comfortable being physically active in public again. I stumbled many times but by December 2018 I was 180 lbs. I made it all the way to 163 lbs in April 2017 which is when I started to really take myself serious. Since then, I have waffled back in forth between 156 and 162 (I temporarily hit 154 in September/October).
From the outside, the pounds lost and length of time might seem pitiful or impressive, (depending on your outlook on these sorts of things) but my story is much more complicated than the remaining 12 pounds. While trying to avoid crippling sadness and anger that I have felt for over a decade, I turned my body into a prison. I have starved myself of a vital nutrient needed for growth. Hope.
I thought that imitating happiness made it appear.
I thought that if no one saw you cry, that it meant that you were okay.
I thought that if I could just gain control of everything around me, everything would fall into place.
Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t.
Hope is not here to reaffirm everything I already know about life. Hope is here to awaken my weary spirit to the possibilities of what this world can be. Hope has reminded me that there is still a place for me if I am willing to welcome her into my life.
So how am I going to get over this last hump? I’m going to learn the damn lesson. I’m going to fight for my place. I finally believe that I deserve it.