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If You Are Reading This – I Owe You An Apology

Almost four years ago, I started doing something that I never should have done.

I stopped being a blogger. You see a blogger, is someone that regularly writes material for a blog.

I was a blogger, a very passionate weight loss blogger for the better part of five years from 2010-2015. Many of you followed me along my journey from desperately seeking slender at 420lb. and my challenge to get my BMI to where I needed it to be to have weight loss surgery. Many more of you joined me through my weight loss journey, through the death of my father and through my reconstructive surgery journey. Together we ran half marathons and traveled all the way to Wilmington, NC, where I began pursuing my dream to become a personal trainer and help those affected by obesity.

Then it all started to change…

Though I still passionately pursued my dreams, and in fact, made them a reality, I stopped sharing that journey with you.

Looking back at it now it’s easy for me to see what transpired. It’s a little harder for me to admit it, own it, and write about it. When you write something down in words and publish it for the world to see, you can’t take it back. You are now vulnerable and exposed. I used to be good at being vulnerable and exposed. That is what many of you admired about me.

But once we got to that part of the journey together, when I had torn down all the walls that I had built up behind my weight, given up my relationship with food and realized much to my surprise that losing weight didn’t instantly fix everything that was wrong in my life, all that was left was the woman that had started building all those walls to begin with.

I convinced myself that I didn’t have anything relevant to write about.

I wasn’t “desperately seeking slender” anymore. I had achieved slender. I had accomplished the healthy lifestyle that my father and wished for me. I told myself that if I kept writing about all the stuff that was going on in my life I would just be the “skinny bitch” that everyone wanted to shut up and stop rambling on about how great their life was while everyone else was still in that desperately seeking slender phase.

But that was far from the truth. I had plenty to write about. I just didn’t want to write about it. I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was struggling. I didn’t want to be honest, exposed and vulnerable. I didn’t want to be judged or gossiped about. I was scared. So, I started building walls again.

This time I build them with silence, exercise, a busy career, and “love” instead of food.

Losing all the weight had made me a healthier version of myself. I was fitter and in much better physical health. I had a much better chance at the “happy and healthy life” my father had wanted for me so badly. But I was nowhere near happy. I wanted to be happy. I was chasing happy like a coyote chases a road runner. But if you’ve ever seen Wile E. Coyote chase Road Runner in a Looney Tunes cartoon, you can only guess how that was working out for me.

This presented a whole different issue. Here I was, trying to make a name for myself in the fitness industry as a weight loss and wellness coach and while I had won my battle with obesity and emotional eating, I was in a whole new battle with emotions, my past, my mental health and myself.

It’s time to own the truth, be honest and vulnerable again…

Some people might call me an addict. In truth, once upon a time I was an addict. A food addict. Now, I’m a recovering food addict. As a recovering food addict the one thing I know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that I can’t ever go back to that addiction. I can’t let myself slip back into that dark place. I’ve been there before. I’ve fallen off the wagon. It ended up with me weighing 420 lbs. for a second time in my life and having to find the strength courage and perseverance to start all over.

I’ve been emotionally and verbally barraged by someone I dated for the unhealthy behaviors I used as my coping mechanisms enough times to have almost been convinced that addiction was my problem. But I know, at the core of who I am, that is not what my problem is.

No matter what my vice is at any given time. I can trade it for something else. If I want to. I stress the I in there. Because it must be something I want. Not something someone else wants for me.

If you try to bully me, pressure me into doing it, beat me up for it emotionally, nag me about it all the time, argue with me about it in a fashion that board lines emotional abuse, what you end up with is Pandora in survival mode and victim mode.

I’ll fight back just like I did when I was a little girl being emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually or verbally abused. Whatever fashion you come at me in, I will come out swinging in the same manner. And when the fight is over, I will do what I do best, find some sort of escape from it.

Because that is what my issue is… I am an escapist.

There is always something that I am using to distract myself from whatever reality, issue or emotion I don’t want to face. Something that makes me “feel better,” whether that’s emotionally, mentally or physically. Sometimes I make some good choices regarding what I use as my escape, other times, I make some horrible ones.

We can talk all about addiction vs. escapism in blogs to come. Because I promise you, there are more blogs to come. We can talk more about food addictions, healthy emotional outlets, unhealthy emotional outlets. We can talk about how losing weight doesn’t fix everything. We can talk about battling re-gain, about weight maintenance. We can talk about exercise, fitness, and nutrition. We can talk about how desperately some of us that have been affected by obesity seek love, to the point that causes us even more emotional and mental trauma.

We can even talk about that 10 lbs. of yo-yo weight gain/weight loss that if we tallied up would probably be another 100 lbs. of weight loss and in the end, constantly leaves us in that “Desperately Seeking Slender” struggle with obesity.

You see we have a whole lot to talk about. I was lying to myself when I convinced myself differently.

I used silence as my escape from the dark realities of life after bariatric surgery and weight loss.

I am not going to do that anymore. I owe you all a big apology for doing it to begin with. Because you see my friends, the truth is, if I had stayed open, honest and vulnerable with you through my journey, some of you who were experiencing the same sort of things might have had an easier time with it. You might have known you were not alone.

Some of you might have appreciated knowing there was someone else struggling with the same things. Some of you might have been more prepared for some of the issues, challenges and obstacles you might face.

I got called out on my silence.

Here I was trying to convince this woman I hold in such high regard, that the entire reason I wasn’t a blogger anymore was because I had decided that what I had to say was irrelevant to people, and that they didn’t want me going on and on. I was trying to convince her, and in truth myself, that I had gone silent because it was what I would have wanted. I explained how I thought I needed to get someone else, that was more in that phase of “Desperately Seeking Slender” to write for this blog and its previous reader base. I justified it all by telling her how I always tried to treat people the way I would want to be treated.

This is what she said…

 “You deciding what other people didn’t want to hear about was selfish Pandora. Maybe some people thought that you had found your “slender” and you left them behind, abandoned them, and that you didn’t need them anymore. The golden rule is to treat people the way you want to be treated. But the Platinum rule is to treat people the way they want to be treated.”

That hit home hard. First because she was exactly right. What I did was selfish. But even more so, because what she proposed some people MIGHT have felt. Was exactly how I would have felt. So not only am I guilty of not treating my readers how they might have wanted to be treated, I’m guilty of not treating my readers how I would have wanted to be treated.

I vanished. No explanation, no discussion. I used silence as an escape and the facade of a far to busy life and good intentions to justify it.

To each one of you who have read even one of my blogs throughout the years…

To those of you who might have read all the blogs I haven’t posted in this period of silent escapism and couldn’t because I didn’t write them…

To anyone that felt like I moved on and abandoned them, or worried about the reasons behind my textual Houdini act…

I apologize.  

It was one of those “really horrible” choices of escapism methods I mentioned I sometimes make.

Now that I’ve come to terms with the reality that I have done it, I am choosing not to escape in this fashion anymore. I am back. I am willing to be open, honest and vulnerable again. Today that vulnerability starts with …

I am sorry.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.
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About (Pandora) The Author

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

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