Since May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I would share a little bit about a topic that I feel is not talked about enough, the mental health aspects of losing weight. Mental health is such a huge factor when it comes to gaining weight, obesity, losing weight and even maintaining your weight.
For me I really wish that I was more aware of how much of a mental challenge it was when I was over 500 pounds and still is as I continue this journey. I really wish that I was given the tools and knowledge to help me with this journey sooner. When I was at my heaviest I was not okay physically or mentally. Now after losing more than 300 pounds I am still overcoming some body image issues. A few years ago I started talking to a therapist and I am so happy that I did. A lot of times we are afraid or scared to ask for help or admit that we need help. I feel especially when it comes to more personal issues or how feel or think about ourselves it is especially hard to share those thoughts and feelings. We are often afraid to be judged, laughed at or told what we feel is invalid or that we shouldn’t feel that way. I don’t know about you but when I am sad just because someone says “don’t be sad anymore” it doesn’t make me magically happy again.
It is so easy to tell people that we are fine even though we may be struggling deep down inside ourselves. Seeing a therapist really gave me an outlet to be myself and to express exactly how I am feeling. My therapist does not judge me, put me down or say that what I am saying or feeling is silly or invalid. I want to share this because we are all going through something, no matter how big or small. No one has the right to tell you that how you feel is not valid and that just because others may have it it worse doesn’t mean that our struggles or challenges are not valid. I am so extremely lucky to have my amazing fiancé, friends and family around me that I can talk to whenever I need someone however I feel that my therapist gave me someone who was completely removed from my life and not emotionally attached to any of the situations that I was going through and was still there to help me. I am allowed to cry, scream, yell and be upset without them trying to stop me from feeling that way. I feel with weight loss it is so easy for doctors or other people to say “Just lose the weight,” it is so much more than that, and if only it were that easy. They are not the ones who have to carry around that weight or know what it feels like to have all of the excess skin hanging off of their body, and they certainly don’t know what it takes to lose 350+ pounds, or what it is like to go through skin removal surgery. How dare anyone else have the right to judge you or tell you that how you are feeling is not valid.
No matter what you are going through, how you feel or what you are struggling with, it is okay to ask for help. It is okay to take care of yourself. Take the necessary steps to help yourself live your life to its fullest and thrive. So many times this involves taking care of ourselves from the inside out and asking for help when we need it even if it isn’t easy.