An Important Letter

Dear Obesity,

I hate you for doing what you did to my body and for making me feel like I didn’t have the power to change it.  I resent you too because I still have so much work to do to repair the damage you’ve done in my life, but you don’t control me anymore.  We are finished.

The habits that I picked up before you entered my world tempted me to believe that food could cure my sadness, cover up my feelings of inadequacy and denial and even enhance happy moments, but the truth is being unhappy with myself is a waste of time.  Food doesn’t make me happy when I’m sad, nor does it make up for the things in my life that I wish I could go back and change.

Even throughout the first part of my weight-loss journey, I struggled to let you go.  I’ve been afraid to shed your layers because they feel as though they are a part of me.  When I think of who I am and what defines me, you are all I see.  I have let you become a fixture in my universe, and when the world looks at me they see you, obesity.  When I look in the mirror, I see you too, and I’m ready to see a different picture.

I like being the girl who has lost 100 pounds, but I’m ready to be the girl who has lost 200 pounds.  That’s a good story, but it’s just a part of my story.  I want to be the woman who grabbed the reigns and took hold of every part of her existence and made it what she wanted it to be.  I want to be the woman who respects herself whether anyone else does or not, and I want to be worthy of that respect.

I want to be worthy of love too, but most of all, I want to be free.  I took some big, personal steps toward that freedom earlier this week, and I forgive myself.  I have begun the process of letting myself heal from that pain and embarrassment that you have caused me.  I am letting go of the past.

When you entered my life you enhanced all of the negative feelings I had about myself and the world.  You came along when I was vulnerable and hurting, promising me moments of happiness, but you robbed me of joy.  I take responsibility for that because I let you do it, but that’s over now.

Now I’m going to wake up everyday with purpose, and I’m finally going to prove to myself  and everyone else that I can finish what I started.  I want to be free, obesity, and you’re not going to stop me any longer.

It’s my responsibility to end the cycle of pain that you have caused me so I’m trying.  I believe I can do it, and I’m going to start acting like it today.  Sure, you have made me more compassionate and driven to help others, but it’s time to help myself now.  I don’t want you in my life anymore.

For years I felt like I deserved you.  When I looked into my own eyes I saw a failure and a quitter who gave up before she ever tried.  I saw someone who deserved to be fat and unhappy.  I wasted so many years of my life that I can’t get back, but I was wrong.  I don’t deserve to be fat and unhappy, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that I’m not.

I’m glad we don’t always get what we deserve because I’m not perfect, but I know I am loved.  I am free, and I am determined.

Farewell, obesity.

Sincerely,

Kenlie

 

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Ryan
    July 26, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Found this interesting topic that states “motivate behaviour change” is faulty, but rather “facilitate behaviour change” is more appropriate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqUSjHjIEFg

    Something I’m wondering about seeing “obesity” as an outside force, something separate from you…

    If it helps get you where you want to go, then that may help, and everyone has their own ways of getting where they want to go.

    However, “obesity” is just a word, a description, used to represent countless thoughts, and actions, and the consequences of those thoughts/actions. Things like your feelings, your reactions, your point of view, your decisions, these are all your own doing, and in some ways.

    This letter may just have been a way to express your feelings at the moment, and your commitment to make a change… You have gained weight, you have lost weight, you have had moments of success, you have had moments of struggle, and you are putting it into words to move forward…

    I just wonder, though, that to make obesity and see it as an outside force, that removes your actions and your responsibility from your life, and I’m not sure that’s an approach that dances around something deeper…

    RY

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  • Reply
    Marion
    July 26, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Hi Kenlie, you note to obesity is a very insightful way of affirming your desire for change and your desire will keep you on the path to wellness and when your ready to let the rest of the weight you have to lose go, you be ready for it because you’ve done the hard work by thinking about it and preparing yourself mentally for this change you desire. Hugs

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  • Reply
    Diana
    July 26, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I disagree. Obesity is the result of an addiction, and addiction IS an outside force. It can be overcome, and taking responsibility for our actions as a result of the addiction is an important step which Kenlie clearly noted in her letter.

    An addiction to food is really no different than an addiction to nicotine, alcohol or drugs. We become dependent on the escape, the “rush”, the temporary comfort. When we see, really see, the pain it causes we become motivated to overcome it.

    Kenlie, you are there! As you mourn the loss of your old friend, who really WASN’T a friend, start to focus on finding comfort in things that are good for you and help you to be the person you were meant to be.

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  • Reply
    mary
    July 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    bravo. that is all….carry on

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  • Reply
    Grace @ Grace Dishes
    July 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Great letter. Good luck with the rest of your journey!

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  • Reply
    Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing
    July 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Love love love this…such an important step in moving forward. You deserve to be happy and love yourself. There is so much more to you than obesity. You will do it! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Lisa J
    July 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    WOW I love this you speak our truth for sure I am going to copy this and print it out for me to see everyday to remind me that I will win and I have and will continue to change everyday.

    Thank you
    Lisa

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  • Reply
    Diane Costanza
    July 26, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Kenlie,

    This could be me speaking, every word.

    Thank you, I needed to read this at this moment in time as I struggle with my own body image.

    Smiles,
    Diane

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  • Reply
    Lorie
    July 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    All I have to say is ‘YOU GO GIRL’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Reply
    Mary Osborne
    July 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Wow Kenlie,

    With this message to ”Obesity”, all i can say is that you are definitely on the right track. Take ”him” head on and show ”him” who is in control of your life. All the best 🙂

    Mary

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  • Reply
    Shelley B
    July 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Good idea to write this! I’ve seen something like this before with others, and it seems like you’re doing pretty introspective work these days.

    Today I ran across an interesting taped lecture from an Endocrinology doctor on the deleterious effects of sugar on our bodies and metabolism. I found it pretty eye-opening for me. Search for “Sugar: the bitter truth” if you’re interested.

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  • Reply
    Felicia
    July 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    When I first read your letter, i understood the intent. I understood the motivation; just like I understand those who struggle with weight have various processes and tools used to reach challenging goals. For me, sometimes, the creation of objectified force outside myself is not enough. Sometimes I want clear direction, solid mass, name(s), and face(s). Like the creative advertiser who came up with idea of the floating tag marquee of oreo cookie promotion on the bottom of the computer screen on a weight loss website. Or the person(s) who gave the go ahead to do that. I would like to write them a letter. Real accountability belongs to real developers and advertising research people just as much as real healthy responses to the increased bombardment of science driven manipulation of the public (persons like you and me) belongs to me. i’m am tired of inadequate validation methods. I refuse to pretend like i was not helped into this sad situation. People get paid big bucks to be successful in getting others to go against their better judgement. We hand over our money. They are int the top 10 percent (financially) and we can’t even get adequate health coverage to fix this mess. I have a letter for them. It starts off with “you are accountable for your part in this national epidemic.”

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  • Reply
    Krissy
    July 27, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Wow! You rock! What an open, honest letter. It really resonated with me. Sometimes it seems so simple- eat less, exercise more. But, there are so many emotions tied up in our weight. It’s complicated, and difficult to lose the weight. It sounds like you’ve really taken the time to figure out how you got here. And, that makes me sure you’ll be successful!

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  • Reply
    Sheila
    July 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for your openness. I’m learning. It’s slow getting through this first process of sharing my own journey. I have about 100 more pounds to lose. Looking forward to getting healthy again. You’re doing great!

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  • Reply
    danova
    December 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

    This could be me speaking, every word.

    Thank you, I needed to read this at this moment in time as I struggle with my own body image.

    Smiles,

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