Wednesday, June 27, 2012
As I surf around here each day to see what my fellow Sparkfriends are up to it got me to thinking about the words we live by, the words we use to define ourselves. A few words I see used quite a bit and have used to describe myself is "The Fat Girl". I hate those words. I hate that anyone uses them to describe themselves. Why can't we just be us? Why can't we define ourselves as just, Sandy (that's me). Why do we always focus on what we aren't? There are so many wonderful people in this community that are wonderful human beings, mothers, spouses, have successful careers, singers, actors, writers and the list goes on and on, but when it comes down to it, we live our lives trapped in a society that defines skinny as the key to happiness. If we can say, now we are the "Skinny Girl" then will all the other things we are or have now be better? I think we think so, but if we are a loved spouse and mother already, then how can being the "Skinny Girl" change that? Just being Sandy should be enough.
But then Sandy gets on the scale, another word I hate, and sees a number, another one of those words I have a love hate relationship with, and again, these two simple word can shake my resolve, make me sad or happy, determine my fit into society. Why is it that we live in a society where the number on our clothes is so important? In other words, why is being a size 8 so much better then being a size 20. I know in our hearts we don't believe that being a size 20 makes us any less of a person. It is just a number right?
That number that represents our weight, it is just a number, not who we are on the inside. That number on our clothes, it just the size we wear, not who are. These words, the words we live by, are hard to change. We get up each day with the greatest of intentions to change the number, to stop being the "Fat Girl" to make the scale our friends, but it does not always work. But because we live by these words we forget the more important ones, like courage, the courage to keep trying even when we don't want to, beauty, beauty outside and inside no matter what size we are, inspiring, healthy, intelligent, talented, loving. All the things we all are, no matter what size girl we are.
I got on the scale on Monday and I did not like the number I saw but for the first time I think ever, I did not let it destroy me, define me. I just let it be a number. Because that is all it is, a number. I can change it, I know how.
Whatever you chose as your words to live by, chose them so that you are good to yourself, that you remember all the things you are that are so much more then what a number represents. Continue on a path to being healthy, because that is a good thing but I don't see any "Fat Girls" here, and I hope none of the rest of you will anymore either!!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This is a common ideal in many things we do in life but I think in the battle for weight loss it is one of the most common occurrences of all . Do we want the ice cream or do we need the ice cream? Thinking logically, of course we don't need ice cream to sustain us nutritionally, we like it, we want it and in moderation, why not? But when we want ice cream to fill a need that is not nutritional we get into the real nitty gritty of this ideal. Grappling with this idea of want vs need this morning I started to really think about how many other areas of my life want vs need really applies to.
I have been battling depression for the better part of my adult life, and knowing what I know about it now, probably for most of my childhood. Depression can really hold you back from what you want and what you need. It is a hamster wheel that you can really get stuck on. A counselor explained it this way, you want to get out of bed, you know you need to get out of bed, but you just can't. Your brain is working against you. You know you need to work out, you will feel better when you work out, you will lose weight if you work out, but it is amazing how often depression wins the battle to NOT work out, to stay in bed, to eat the ice cream. It is amazing how often depression wins the battle over something as simple as picking up a book and not just reading it but getting enjoyment out of it. That hamster wheel can keep spinning when you think about wanting and needing to accomplish things in your life, losing weight, exercising, relationships, the list could go one forever. That internal battle of wanting and needing something but NOT be able to because your brain is holding you back is infuriating. Add insult to injury and compound this with a low self esteem, getting off the hamster wheel seems next to impossible. You see I said "next to" as I think that it is a battle that can be won.
Which brings us back to this morning and last night. I blogged yesterday that I was going to pick up and put down books until I actually found something that I "wanted" to make mine, that I wanted to read. I got home last night and I looked at the 4 books I have on my coffee table and started to read one that I started a few months ago. I thought if I decided I don't want to read it I will put it down and pick another book, and so on. Well, I read for awhile and decided I was tired and put it down but for the most part I would continue to read it. Then this morning I got up and read a little more, and while I was reading I began to think about what progress I was making on finishing the book, not wow this is really a good book. Then I thought, am I reading the book because I want to, or I am reading it because I started it, and I need to finish it, because not finishing it in my mind is a form of failure, a form of being lazy, a form of not being perfect. Isn't it something that not finishing a book, that I probably don't want to read in the first place, can make me think I am a failure. Yeesh! How often do we apply this ideal to not staying within our calories, or not seeing the number on the scale that we want. Or focusing on the weight we have not lost instead of what we have lost. See where I am going, hamster wheel.....
Let's get off the hamster wheel, let's be kinder to ourselves, let's give ourselves a hug for all the small things we did today to meet our goals! Let's only get on the hamster wheel for exercise and if we want to read a book while we are there, well then that is ok too!
Monday, June 18, 2012
This past weekend for me was well, boring. When I find myself in that position I find myself head first into a box of crackers. That got me to thinking once again about that role food plays in my life. I literally thought to myself on Saturday night, at least I have dinner to look forward to. Sounds pitful when I write it out but there are times when you just got nothing going. Specifically being that right now my budget is tight and it is hard to motivate when it is 110 degrees out. But still, it nags me to no end that food becomes the emphasis. Why can't I look forward to something else? I know in part what the answer to that question is, it is my struggle with depression. A battle I have been fighting for many years. So even though I could be doing something sometimes nothing is my alternative. I am working on that and it is a process. So, as I was getting ready this morning I starting thinking about making something other than food mine. Many people have lots of things that are theirs, a wonderful hobby (not for me), working out (I do it, but not the mine I am thinking of), a job they love (work in progress), a significant other (work in progress). Those are big things that come to mind, but what if I start small, with one little thing.
So tonight I will start that little thing with a book that I really want to read! I have at least 3 books going but nothing that really grab's me! I am going to open as many books as it takes tonight to make the book so mine that I don't wanna put it down.
What else can I inch my way to? Any suggestions on what works for you?
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
What do you want to be when you grow up? That is a question that has been haunting me for years. I think people who know what they want to be and then achieve it, are truly amazing. I wanted to be many things of course, we go through so many stages as we grow, but what I thought I would be and where I am right now are vastly different. You see, I grew up in a home where success was expected but you were basically on your own to achieve it. As a child, you are totally dependent on your parents for everything. You need them to guide you through life until you are ready to step out on your own. I was always under the impression that my parents would help me to figure out what direction I would take; recognize my strengths and weaknesses and help me become that successful person they expected me to be. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way and when the time came to take that step, I came to the realization that I was on my own. The worst part was I was not emotionally equipped to handle taking that step on my own and I have been playing catch up ever since. The long and long of it is I am finally realizing that I harbor a great deal of anger about it.
How does the above long winded kind of cryptic paragraph have to do with the title of my blog? Well, success in my family was measured by what you turned out to be when you grew up and it seemed that no matter what I did, it was never enough. I never measured up. I have been living with that for too many years. I have been kind of wandering through life, wondering what my purpose is. Am I an unsuccessful person, no, not at all? But, when I have a bad day at work, when I think about how things could have been those feelings of, ďWhat are you doing with your lifeĒ start a churning. Once that churning begins, I get sad, when I get sad; all I want to do is make myself feel better and how do I make myself feel better, by retreating to the couch with pizza and ice cream, because to me, those things make me feel better. Then I just start spiraling, eating more, feeling sad because I am gaining weight, not exercising, even though, that would be the best thing for me, and so on and so on. This weekend I felt myself spiraling. As I was laying there I said to myself, until you really deal with this anger, you are going to keep finding yourself right back on the couch spiraling. Until you can accept yourself for who you are, you are going to keeping finding yourself right back on the couch spiraling.
I think we all know that spiraling is not the answer. So where does that leave me? In a place where I know that I have to keep that promise I made to myself at the beginning of the year; To Tackle It! I am not dealing with things; I am not doing enough work to get myself there. It is time to get to work, (the year is slipping by)! I see what success people have by writing out their feelings and what better place to start then doing just that (more regularly).
My goal for June is to blog it out instead of spiral it out!!
Monday, June 04, 2012
I donít know about you, but I start thinking about what I am going to eat for dinner before I have even finished my breakfast and today and most of the past weekend was no exception. You might be saying to yourself right now, that seems good, I am playing ahead, thinking things through. Nice try! Ideally, I would love for it to be about planning ahead, but I know that is not what I am really doing.
That really got me to thinking about the role food plays in my life. When I eat, what I eat and why I eat. We have to eat, so that encompasses the when part; what we eat plays a major role in our weight loss and maintenance, but how much focus do we put on the why part? The answer to the question of why we eat seems pretty easy; we eat to fuel our bodyís right? I know for me that it is only partially true. I eat for these reasons as well:
* I eat because it is time (12 noon, 5:00pm Ė you get my drift)
* I eat because I am tired, sad, happy or angry
* I eat because I am bored and donít have anything else to do
* I eat because the food is taunting me from the kitchen
* I eat because I had a bad day at work and in that moment a pizza seems like the only thing that will make me feel better
* I eat because I had a good day at work and in that moment a pizza seems like a wonderful reward
* I eat because I am low on groceries and money but feel starving
* And the main reason I wanted to write this blog today I eat because it is the highlight of my day/life
Meal time is the highlight of my life? Seems kind of pitiful doesnít it. For me, not really, it is just reality. The fact of the matter is I donít have a lot going on in my life right now. I am not married or in a relationship, most of my friends live in other states, I donít have a child at home any longer and even though I am blessed beyond belief to have a job, it is so boring and not what I really want to be doing. As I said above, I donít just eat for fuel; food to me has become to mean something totally different. I have changed the role food plays in my life as a substitute for family, companionship, entertainment and my relief from boredom, which is not the role food should be playing at all.
Although, each item on that list needs to be addressed (all in due time) I am going to start today with dinner time, which when I really think about it (obviously if I am thinking about dinner at 9:00am) is the meal I have been having the most problem staying within my calorie range on. Tonight when I go home, dinner will not be first area of focus. I am going to try to change the routine. I not going to throw my pajamas on (yes I put them on when I get home, because I can) and immediately start making dinner. Instead I am going to do something else, a chore, read a chapter in a book or work my crossword puzzle, something else, other than focusing on food. Then when I am hungry and not because it is time I will make dinner, eat it and be done with it.
My hope is to make meal time just a part instead of the starring role!!
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