Tuesday, September 23, 2008
When I look into the mirror I am often surprised at the person I see. Inside I am merely an improved version of the person I was 10-15 years ago. Outside, I hardly recognize the person I have become. To say I'm disappointed in myself is a gross understatement. I've gained 100+ pounds since that time that seems so long ago.
I don't like the way I look in the body I have now, so maybe the inside isn't so good either. The view of myself is becoming blurred. I was surprised one day when my daughter said to me, "Mom, you are such a warm , loving, nurturing person. I love you!" I asked her if she really meant it. Somewhere along the line I lost that image of myself. Several days later, my husband saw me writing a message to someone in crises. He told me that he thought it was nice that I would take the time to offer encouragement to others. Again, I felt surprised. Doesn't everyone do those things for others? He explained that he felt that I am the exception rather than the rule. He told me that I was special, caring, loving, giving and I tend to accept people as they are. Hummmm! Really?? Maybe he's seeing some other person. No, maybe my view of myself needs some serious adjustments.
Why am I always ready and willing to love and encourage others but I'm so critical of myself? After all, I deserve to be loved too - don't I? Does my body really define what I am on the inside? It shouldn't , but if I get into this love/hate push -pull within myself over my weight, it does affect how I feel about myself. Have I always been like this or was I different before I gained all of the weight? It's something I've been thinking about lately.
I used to use exercise to medicate myself for dealing with stress. When did I turn to work and food as my drug of choice? Oh yes, I think I know. When my extreme and compulsive exercise caused my body to break down , I was sidelined and couldn't work out. . Then I immersed myself in work. I made myself feel better by working and eating. Did this help alleviate the stress? Exactly what did this do for me?? It did about as much as the compulsive exercise, except I was closer to being healthy when I was exercising.
One of the things that I'm learning on my journey to a healthier me is, "All things in moderation". I didn't get this way over night and it isn't going to come off over night. Since having my second knee replacement in April 2008, I feel so much better physically. My tendency, of course, is to jump right back into exercising. Within 3 months of joining a gym, I was already working out 7 days a week, sometimes 2 hours a day. Did I learn nothing in the past? Hold on here!!! I'm 55 years old! Maybe this isn't the best choice. I've really had to reign in my tendency to over do things. I'm very lucky to have a loving family to help me do a reality check periodically. My exercising could very easily have gotten out of hand but it isn't now. Maybe I am making progress. Maybe I am that person that my husband and daughter describe. Maybe I don't have to be defined by my weight. Maybe I am an improved version of that person I was 10-15 years ago.