Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scanner of shame

I used to panic that I’d run into someone I knew at the grocery store.

So I’d prepare.

The Cheez-Its, chips and dip and Little Debbies would go at the bottom of the basket, and the wheat bread, low-fat yogurt, fruit and Lean Cuisines would go on the top. Then, if I didn’t have too much in my basket, I’d be sure to go through the self-scanner, so as not to tip off any of the cashiers of my dirty secrets.

I was so sure that people were watching me. Ooh, what’s that big girl buying? Ah, no wonder she’s fat.

If I were hungry and mentioned it to someone, I felt like I always had to justify it. “I’m so hungry. I have barely eaten anything all day.” Because I am overweight, I felt like I wasn’t allowed to actually need food. I mean, certainly I could live off all I’d already stored up, right?

This journey is teaching me a lot about myself. Mostly about how much shame I have lived with about so many things for so very long. I’ve learned what a great burden that has been. I have had several of you tell me I’m brave for sharing my story. The truth is that this idea of sharing all these parts of my life that I tried so hard to hide for so long has been unbelievably liberating. And I know that some of you who are commending me have faced your own struggle with these issues. Know that you’re never alone.

So far, things are going well. I’m down a total of 19.4 pounds and some of my clothes are too big. A few people have even commented that they could see my weight loss (a lovely bonus as I can’t see it in myself).

But for me, the most profound realization happened the other week. I went to the grocery store. I loaded my groceries on the belt and watched them as they slid by me—fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains. With each beep of the scanner, I felt a little prouder.

Because, for the first time I can remember, there was not a single thing in my cart I had tried to hide.

19 comments:

Tiffany said...

I can't figure out if your post gave me chills because I'm cold or because it, and you, are awesome. And almost 20 lb - amazing! Go, E, Go!

Nicole said...

Your groceries just made me cry. The way you used a few paragraphs to capture such an emotionally exhausting experience - you are so wonderful. Congratulations on the pounds and the scanner victory! *beep *beep

Tonia said...

You should, indeed, be very PROUD... for being so transparent, for being an inspiration to others (and me) and for getting rid (not losing) 19.4 lbs! Awesome!

Jennie said...

I teared up reading your post because I have so been in the same situation at the grocery store and have had the same thoughts about saying that I am hungry! Thanks for continuing to be so honest and real. Congrats on the 20 lb. (close enough, anyway!) weight loss!

Anonymous said...

Erika, I'm so tremendously proud of you...not because of your weight loss and this inspiring blog that touches the lives of so many people but just because of YOU!!! YOU have always made me proud and I have always been in awe of all of YOUR accomplishments!!! YOU, Erika, are wonderful and I love you very much! Always have...always will!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow.... I have tears streaming down my face - for the guilt and shame you have carried with you and for how far you've come in this journey... You have an amazing gift of being able to communicate your thoughts and feelings so beautifully... thank you for sharing this experience with us. You are amazing, Erika....

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! The shame does bind us. I hope you are measuring yourself so you can see objective proof of your smaller self other than the scale. After 20 pounds, your jeans should be looser too.
Don't expect the changes too fast. It takes time to create permanent changes in your mind by doing the same things over and over.

BABY steps girl. You are doing great! Keep up the good work. If you slip, you don't have to fall. It's all part of the process.

What I love about WW's is that nothing is forbidden. If you have to have that Little Debbie, figure the points in, and stop at one. That my dear, is a VICTORY!!!!

Leigh said...

I agree with everything above. Great post, Erika! I, too, got a little teary while reading it.

Congrats on the weight loss, and even bigger kudos to you about fully facing your fight.

Hoorah!

J.C. said...

Erika, I applaud you for your efforts to improve your overall health, both mentally and physically. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, but your words... sharing your story with others has allowed you to see clearly now that anything you set out to do is all within reach if you are committed to putting in the work. Thank you for allowing us to share this journey with you. Lastly, but definately not least, KUDOS on the 19+ pounds! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

What is it that they say, "We are more alike than we are different?" I KNOW OF SO MANY PEOPLE who are living through your blog, your eyes, your life, and your confessions. Myself included. Thank you for showing us all the way to inner recognition...and better being! Better being, better living. You are a gift to each of us...no pressure though. We are you, up or down. Good or bad. Many thanks. justabiggirl 2

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. I love the fact that you are sharing all of this with us. You are an inspiration to many of us that are on the same struggle you are. Thank you and congratulations on your weight loss. BC

Constance said...

congratulations Erika, you are doing a grate job by letting us know what you are doing thereby encouraging us all to step up.

Sindy said...

Oh my goodness Erika, so encouraging. You speak what most of us feel!! Thank you for sharing your heart. Also, congrats on your weight loss....one of the wonderful perks of getting healthy! You rock!!

Leanne said...

You are a gift and you are so gifted. Love reading what you have to say and love you. My dear cousin, Erika, you are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I admit I am one of those people who looks at the conveyor or the lunch tray and says "no wonder they're overweight." But many of us--including me--have compulsions and bad habits we can't seem to break. Way to go, Erika, for fighting yours--possibly a life-long fight, as avoiding a compulsion usually is--and for inspiring others to do it.

Heidi said...

Erika, I am sooooooooooooooooooooo proud of you. Love you!! Heidi

Maria Fernandez said...

you're so amazing, Erika, not for being exceptional, per se, but for saying what so many feel, think and experience. I am so honored to know you, both through work, and through your words.

Anonymous said...

Erika
What a huge accomplishment! you are an inspiration to me and I need to jump on your band wagon and get motivated keep up the good work!

MarceloCedeno said...

Ericka: You inspired me to write my own blog. I am also dealing with weight gain and the way it has impacted my life. keep doing a good job and you will reach your goal