Saturday, April 17, 2010
So, I know it seems contrived and cheesy, especially with the amount of Biggest Loser I've been watching... but I had a pretty huge breakthrough while running a few nights ago. It's not completely earth shattering, and I've known a lot of the bits and pieces of it for years, but have somehow not put this together in my head until now.
I think I finally know why I'm overweight. Sure an immensely crappy metabolism, love for high calorie food, and a twisted upbringing are easy answers, and I'm sure they play a role... but the truth is I've been sabotaging myself for years.
See, I know how to lose weight. I've done it successfully several times. I know I have the willpower and the motivation to get through it. I know I can go exercise every day, and that I can say "no thanks" to all of the tasty temptations that come my way (for a time). But what happens is, as soon as I lose enough weight that I start to see or feel the difference, I have an extremely hard time staying the course. Dieting is hard, but continuing to diet once I've started to see change is the hardest part for me.
This became most apparent last summer when I lost a lot of weight, ultimately going from a size 18 to a size 12 (to be fair, the summer I started at a 16, as I had lost down to the 16 in the previous year). I don't know if this makes sense, but as I became smaller I felt more exposed and like I was walking around without my security blanket. The closest thing I can relate it to is kind of like the feeling you get when you first wear shorts and a tank top after a long long long winter, and you feel kind of exposed, and (at least me) highly uncomfortable in your skin. It's hard to let go of the weight. I think I also associate being heavy pretty deeply with my identity. It's a part of my identity that I absolutely HATE, but for the most part, it's been a part of who I am since 6th grade, or so I was told, and so I believed. Change is very hard for me, and losing that part of my identity, even though I hate that part of myself, is still change, and therefor hard.
And finally, I use being overweight as an excuse for soooo many things. And losing that security is kind of scary. When people don't want to dance with me, I blame it on being big. When I don't get invited to things that everybody else seems to be invited to, I blame it on being big. When I'm in a social group, and everybody is talking with each other, and ignoring me completely I blame it on being big. The list goes on and on like that... ultimately it comes down to I don't think I'm worth as much as other people because of my weight. I realize this is complete nonsense, but you have to understand that these aren't things that I tell myself, these are things that I've inherently believed without actually even being aware that it's what I've believed. Hence this being a breakthrough.
So, now that I've figured these things out, I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I'm hoping that it'll make sticking to my current "getting back in shape" kick a bit easier, but I'm not sure that it will. Just cause you're aware of something, it doesn't mean it'll go away. But I'm going to continue to meditate on it and figure out what my next step will be. For the meantime, I'm going to see if I can be ok with dropping my next 20 lbs, which I'm hoping to do by England time (though at the rate the scale is moving right now, I'll be lucky to lose 5-10... it's going sooooo slow... but I'm trying not to give up).