What does being obese have to do with being a product of your internal environment?

Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Have you asked yourself if you are a product of your internal environment?
  2. Where do our weight issues come from?
  3. Am I ready to be a bariatric patient and did you select bariatric surgery for the right reasons?

Did you know you have a specific living environment? If not; you do. We all do. We all come from different homes, cultures, social classes, financial incomes and so on. What is a product of your internal environment? Internal environment has everything to do with what is going on inside your home. Family and extended family. This internal environment molds us to the adults we have become today. Our personalities and habits come from our parents; directly and indirectly.

I am not going to explain how we got here with our obesity issues and how we have decided to have bariatric surgery to help us live. But have you ever wanted to ask your parents what the hell were they thinking? Seriously! Sometimes I just sit and scratch my head and look around and ask myself, “How the heck did I get here? What is my purpose in life?” All the while I am shoving something to eat into my mouth to comfort myself. Even now as a bariatric patient I eat blindly; when I know clearly I should be mindful of my nutrition.

This is my environment

I am a product of immigrants from a third world mentality from the 1940’s and 50’s. As immigrants in America they brought with them what they knew. Their own third world culture. I lived in a minimalist home. Nothing fancy, just simple plain and bland. You would think there would be a mini Virgin Mary Shrine, bright colors; everything their culture embraces of life. But this was not the case and I never knew any different. Our household was bilingual but mostly spoke english.

My mother was very controlling with portion control on food and we were not allowed any type of junk food. We were the kids that never had anything to trade at lunch time. She was very negative and judgmental. Always had something bad to say about anybody. One day I had told her I love Eva Peron, an Argentinian public figure and her story and my mother came back at me and said “she was dirty and is a whore.” That is the kind of person I grew up basically my whole childhood. She made all women out to be bad and whores. That no women is worthy of anything.

Family? There was none. We as a family rarely ever attended any family functions and never understood why my mother was the way she was. So angry, bitter, hateful and most of all hurtful. Emotionally and physically. I remember being that kid at the window wishing I could play outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids. But because we lived in the ghetto she never let me out. Always too dangerous. Looking back the only thing that was dangerous was her. She never believed me, she never protected me from others; the only thing she cared about was her anger.

My father is a different story. He was always working and rarely home and more of a social butterfly. Rarely did we go out as a family because my parents spent more time fighting than actually enjoying the moment of getting ready. This was my environment always. My mother hated my father but yet they stayed married. Father only knew whatever my mother would tell him and mostly I would hear them in the morning talking in the kitchen. My youngest memory was at 6 years of age and they both were saying I am worthless and stupid. That I would never amount to anything other than being a whore. Sad; right? These were the type of conversations I would wake up to in the morning and my father believed.

One day I was so hurt by their words I swore to myself that I would never be such a parent to my children. I would never want to be anything like my parents. I looked down on them as there was nothing positive to look up to in my eyes. My environment was very much negative and extremely controlled. Lived in a bubble with no outside interaction other than school; where I often went to get beat because I went to a Catholic school in a time corporal punishment and verbal abuse was allowed.

My realization of my environment as I grew up was that my parents didn’t think of the effects they have imposed on me. See, I understand life is hard. I understand there is no silver spoon in their mouths. I understand that life all around was crap for them. But when you hate your life and you have kids it becomes a domino effect no matter what; because that is all we know and have learned throughout our lives as a child.

Do you remember “Sticks and stones my break my bones but words will never hurt me?” BULLSHIT! SIMPLY BULLSHIT! Words and actions mold a child’s brain. I was an innocent child. How does this affect my weight loss journey you ask? Well my mother was controlling and she controlled everything I ate in the house. We never had junk food in the house nor did we go out often, if at all. She controlled what we put in our mouth, how I dressed, what school I would attend and much more. Key word: CONTROL.

Enough about my woes and back to how I became a product of my environment. Obese. Looking back and looking forward I decided to make a list of habits:

  1. Lived in a controlled secluded environment
    1. Made me an internal introvert (no up and close friends)
    2. Closet Eater (mother control portions)
    3. Always scared (anxiety driven (fear))

I can be socially awkward. Why? Because if I don’t know that we may have something in common it is difficult to keep a conversation going and I walk away awkwardly. I always felt eating in front of people was disgusting because that is what I learned from home. (Be private always) A dainty woman would only take a nibble and put the rest down. (I was always starving) Also, never say you are hungry out loud or at someones house. This was taboo.

How I got Obese

These events in my life had lead to me my obesity. This is where I YELL!  HELLO STAY WOKE!!! But I didn’t; instead this what I got out of me subconsciously.

  1. I learned shame (hide, binge eater)
  2. Be private (always hide and eat in the dark; binge eater)
  3. Fear (allowed other to walk all over me; anxiety, hide and binge eat)

Three children and almost 400 pounds later, I realized I needed to take action. This did not happen right away. First, if I am introverted how did I have three children? I sold myself short and was blessed with three amazing children. In which with each child I kept on gaining weight. My environment was secretly toxic. I went from strict controlled environment to me trying to figure out the adult life. Toxic and ignorant is not a good recipe for self care success. BECAUSE, we put ourselves last; while we try to survive life and raise kids.

Now, if you noticed when I bullet point out my own questions and answers they were very similar. Why is this? Because I learned this in my childhood, my internal environment. Although I am an introvert; I do not have issues talking to strangers. But once I get home that is it, I speak to no one. Until this very day I am an internal introvert.

I am a product of my environment. I have been ambitious enough to learn, grow and improve my own personal life. I asked for help. I had bariatric surgery but this did not solve my issues. I had to ask for more help and I received the therapy I needed. I am now in my late 40’s and I say it is never too late to break a vicious cycle of a negative environment. I never had time to feel sorry for myself; instead I got fat. Almost 400 deep. I chose not to be stuck in the past. I chose me. I chose to provide a better life to my children than the I once had. I learned how to give myself self-worth; so that I could be a positive influence to my family. I chose to beat fear and learn to be free and become who I am today.

Food (mother) and sugary drinks (father) don’t control me anymore. The after effects are long gone. I learned to let go and be gone from it all. I have no shame. My past is my past. Can’t change it. It is what is was. I beat obesity. I beat anxiety. I beat negativity. I beat all the toxic shit in my past life. I no longer allow anything to control me like a drug addiction. Not every story is like mine but just take a moment and ask yourself these questions and dig deep. Be honest with yourself no matter how painful. Ignorance has great consequences. Stay Woke and be real honest with yourself.