Family Pride

Be ye warned…this is a ramblin’, roamin’ Cammy’s-doing-some-pondering post….

So, I was watching the beginning of The Biggest Loser tonight, when they showed the contestants reuniting with their families. Seeing the astonishment of the families and the pride in their loved ones got me to thinking about what our families think and feel when they see us succeed…or fail.

Last month, you’ll remember I was interviewed for an article in The Tennessean, [Obsolete Link] a Nashville newspaper (my one and only interview–so far.) My sister posted a comment to the article:

This is my “big” sister, only now it’s just in age. She has struggled for years with her weight. We are so very proud of her success this time. If it were not for Daniel and all of the others giving her the support she needed she might have failed at her weight loss attempts again.

There are times we see her at a distance and do not recognize her. My husband and I are proud of her and wish we had half of her energy. She is truly an inspiration.

Super sweet (misty moment for me, when I read it.) Tonight, though, while watching TBL, I’m thinking of that quote and seeing my “before” self through my family’s eyes. It’s not a pretty moment.

Don’t get me wrong, my family has always loved me, and they’ve always been demonstrated their pride in my accomplishments. They’ve been tremendously supportive of me, in all aspects of my life, and in this conversion to a healthier me as well (although they struggled a bit with the “tippy toe” concept *g*.) Since all of them have struggled with weight at some point in their lives, I know they understand the issues and the difficulties. That said, I think it’s telling that one of my Reasons Why (written in 2007, posted here in 2008), I listed “To make my family proud” as one of the reasons I wanted to lose weight.

There’s a big disconnect here, and I realize now that it might just be me. I can talk all day long about how proud my family is of me, but what I felt back then was that my size somehow shamed them. (Good thing they don’t read this blog, or I’d be catching hell right about now.) What I know now is that it wasn’t my family that was ashamed.

It was me.

Even before I knew it, my family could see that with each failed attempt to lose weight, I loved myself less. And less. And less. And all they wanted was for me to love myself as much as they loved me, with as few conditions. Their pride in my success has little to do with my size, and everything to do with the love I have for my “new” self.

What I need to let them know is that I also have an emerging love for my “before” self as well. After all, if my family loved her, she couldn’t have been all bad, could she? :)

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And that concludes today’s rambliness.