Been thinking on the reasons and causes behind my weight gain and how it happened and why I've carried it all around with me for the past nearly two decades and so forth... I've come to some conclusions, or just one big one, really:
I have been [mostly] unhappy for that same length of time. And not even really realizing it for the most part. I was unhappy in my first marriage, so I cooked, and I ate. Then I got pregnant and I got really big and I never lost it. Not all the way, anyway... Going back to before I got pregnant, I can remember that I was already gaining weight. When I was 18 I wore a size 3. I was wearing size 5/6 jeans when I got married the first time, when I was 23 (I don't mean I wore jeans to my wedding, but you know what I mean). Two years later I was wearing size 10. After I had my son I was in size 22 pants. I stayed that size for about 7 years. After my divorce I was loosing weight, actually got down to a size 14, but then all our personal problems started up and I went back up to a size 20. I stayed at that size for the last 8-9 years. I would loose a little bit, then go right back up. My average weight during that time was 185 (And I'm only 5'2"!). Anytime I would loose a little, I would go right back up.
I recognize the problem now, tho. I am unhappy and I don't think I deserve to look good. I think I must be punishing myself for something. I haven't figured out for what, yet, and I'm not real keen on delving too deeply into it. Perhaps just recognizing the problem will be enough. I do know that I used to be happy. And I used to be slim and active and reasonably pretty, too. I want to be that person, again. So it's up to me to make it happen. I have to figure out some way to get myself to believe that I am a worthwhile person, that I deserve to look good, that it's okay if men look at me. That I have the right to take all the time I need for myself in order to make it happen. It's very hard, tho. Every time I go exercise or take a walk, I feel terribly guilty. I feel like I should be doing something else, cleaning the house, cooking, sitting and talking with the man, playing a game with my son... or doing nothing at all, rather than not be 'on call' for them every minute.
But I am seeing progress. I have made a conscious decision to be happy, to not take everything 'personally', to remind myself every day that I am a good person, that I deserve good things to happen to me. I am making changes in my life to insure that I will be happy. I am contemplating taking a job outside the home, again. I really like working and making my own money. And... I can see the weight is coming off, and if I stick to my guns, it will stay off, this time. This morning I looked at myself in the mirror, actually looked. And it didn't gross me out. I could see how the work is paying off. I weighed 154 this morning. That is the least I have weighed since back in the late 80's! Since before I had my son. I don't look as slim as I did back then, at that weight, because I'm all out of shape and everything is sort of saggy-baggy, but I'm working on that. I know I will never have the body I had back then, I've let it all go for far too long to ever get that back. But I don't think that should be my goal. I think my most important goal should just be to be healthy, physically and mentally and emotionally. As long as I keep working towards that goal, everything else should fall into place.