Emotional Pain about Weight

Katherine Elizabeth • I'm getting married!!!

😢I've been crying for the past hour because of a comment my fiancé made about how he and I are too fat to have sex in the missionary position. The poor guy had no idea what he had triggered.

When I was 12, my parents called me into the living room and sat me down to tell me that I was fat. When I insisted that I wasn't, they repeated it saying, "Yeah honey, you are". I think what I heard in that moment wasn't the concerns of a parent (which I later found out that they only talked to me because someone else had told them I was getting fat), but rather I interpreted their words as "You are not worthy of love".

After this I was extremely self conscious. I didn't think I was fat but I thought that everyone else in my extended family thought so. That's why I asked my aunt to help me. With the doctor's approval, I started Weight Watchers at 12. I remember going to youth group at my church and saying that my prayer/praise request was that I had lost 5lbs.

My sister has an eating disorder though. So weight was never discussed in our house and scales were hidden. I would be nagged about having protein, eating my greens, and limiting sugar, but I found these things made me bitter and didn't help. I ended up developing this subconscious attitude where I didn't think that I was fat, but because other people said I was, I would eat crap and prove them right. I don't remember consciously deciding that, I just became angry. Bitter. Hurt.

When I was about 23, my parents really started to harp on me about finding a career path. I cried to them, trying to explain that I genuinely didn't know what I wanted to do with my life other than to keep a home as someone's wife. Somehow my father took this as a good motivation to get me to lose weight because one night, he told me that I would have a better chance of getting a man if I was thinner. He said that I would maybe get a few guys as I am, but I would have more options if I was thin. All that made me want was to find that one man who would love me for who I am, as I am, and who wouldn't care that I was fat.

Around this time is when I started longing to move out but I didn't have the courage. It took me a few years but I got my driver's license, went back to college for a program that I like, got a credit card, and moved out. And yes, I got my first boyfriend who proposed a bit over a year after our first date. Now I'm on my own and I finally get to try losing weight my own way. I'm the one in charge of grocery shopping. I get to choose my meals.

Yet my fiancé, who grew up in a family that frequently diets, wants to be able to discuss weight issues with me. I think he finally understood tonight that it's not going to be easy. My weight is tied to my self-worth. In my head, when he said that we were going to have trouble with the missionary position because our fat (he's overweight too) would get in the way, what that said to me was that I am not worth loving because I am a fat person. He has since apologized for triggering my emotions and has told me that he will always love me, even if I never get skinny, which was sweet. But I know that eventually we will have to talk about it. I don't know how to heal. I tried seeing a counselor about it once, but it is such a deep emotional wound that I couldn't even approach the topic with her...I talked about other emotions and eventually stopped going because I felt I was wasting her time by not talking about the weight issue.

Does anyone else have such deep pain related to their body image? How did you heal? 😢