The Weight-Loss Secret That Saved My Life

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woman standing on scale to check her weight
A woman ditches her toxic relationships—with food and men—after learning to love herself.

In life, I have always known my station. I am the funny and "cute" friend who makes people laugh. I'm the comedian, always good for a laugh and an outlandish outburst.

But no matter how comfortable I felt with "the comedy bit," I was always left feeling like I didn't measure up. If you had asked me to list the pros and cons of myself, the negatives would always outweigh the positives. It was so much easier for me to go there. But that all changed when I fell in love with myself. First, let's look back.

I was a kid who according to my mother was "always skipping, smiling and laughing." I loved my life. Then middle school came and with it puberty, and that's when everything changed.

These new hormones turned my life upside down. I went to bed one night a perfectly average middle school girl, and woke up to find that I had boobs. And a "training bra" was NOT gonna hold them. With my period and boobs came belly fat. All I could see that remained of the old me was my humor and wit. It left me hoping that if I had them laughing, maybe they wouldn't notice that I was also gaining weight.

As I went through high school, college and got my first "dream nursing job" my relationship with myself remained in the toilet. I ate my way through all of the hard times that happened to me. If kids were on my horizon, the extra belly fat would make it difficult to ovulate and conceive. But worse, my life was in peril—all the extra weight was moving my Triglycerides, LDL, and HDL into the dangerous zones. I was literally on my way to a stroke before the age of 30. To top it off, my constant self-loathing left me looking to please others at my own expense. Body Image: Do You Lose Weight To Feel Sexy?

My first marriage was a disaster. I got married right out of college to a man who had a promising future, but in the end had no follow-through. I allowed my inability to respect, love, and stand up for myself to grow into a one-sided commitment. I worked two jobs while he sat at home and played Xbox. That was when he wasn't on the internet trolling for women and porn. Seven years and chronic IBS later, I was at the brink. I ate whatever I could to smother my emotions. Finally, one day, I realized that this man-child was not going to change. If I wanted to survive, I had to get out. I had to learn to love myself first. So, I packed my things and left.

On that day, I was reborn.

As many others out there, I can say that I have tried diet after diet but none helped me really deal with my pattern of emotional eating. So I started reading up on the subject. I read that most food addicts choose to eat instead of allowing themselves to actually FEEL those uncomfortable emotions. That struck a chord with me. I can recall countless instances when I was mad, sad or anxious, but didn't want to feel bad for myself. I would eat because, in some twisted way, food made me happy. But later I would realize that I had just ingested hundreds of calories. That, in turn, would cause me to feel even worse, to get angry with myself and to experience more self-loathing. It was a cycle that needed to end. 7 Beauty Myths That Are Damaging Your Love Life

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elizabeth Cariaga

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Health and Wellness begins when you remember to love yourself.

Location: Bowie, MD
Credentials: RN
Specialties: Empowering Women, Wellness, Health Coach
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