do I set myself up to fail?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
One thing has always destroyed my efforts to lose weight--myself. Every "diet" I've ever been on, every "life style change" or whatever you want to call it--I start enthusiastically, I am gung-ho for a few weeks, or maybe even a few months, I see results, then I quit. Usually it's something specific that stops me in my tracks--maybe an illness so I can't get to the gym for a few days, or a vacation or busy period at work or at home that gets me out of that good routine that I got started. But for some reason, I have a hard time getting my good habits back after the initial interruption. And sometimes, after I've seen some success, I get complacent and gear down on my efforts--for some reason I think that if I've lost a few pounds I am done and I no longer need to follow the actions that caused me to lose those pounds in the first place. Dumb, huh? And me a university graduate.
So why am I my own worst enemy? I know that I have developed an unhealthy attitude toward food over the years, and gradually, without my even being aware of it, I developed some pretty odd perceptions about what/when/how much it is appropriate to eat. Combine that with a loathing for sports and physical activity that goes way back to childhood, and you have the explanation for the fact that today I am battling to lose 100 pounds.
I am an emotional eater, and I consider myself to have an eating disorder of sorts. Yet there are all sorts of aids out there to help me deal with it, and I still struggle.
What is it about me that makes it so hard? I've always been a glass-half-empty kind of gal--I've always felt that if I expect the worst I'm not disappointed when I get it, and then when things go better than expected I have reason to rejoice. I know that overall, people who are optimistic versus pessimistic tend to be healthier and happier. So, I work at trying to turn this tendency around--make a conscious effort to look at the bright side, count my blessings, think about how lucky I am in comparison to many of my fellow human creatures. It helps, but it's an effort sometimes.
Perhaps I am afraid of losing weight? Although I really don't know what I could possibly be afraid of. Seems a no-brainer to me--lose weight, be healthier, feel better, look better, move more easily and have less joint pain. What's to fear?
I think that part of me is just defiant--I say to the world, accept me as I am, or go ****** yourself. When I was a young teenager, I remember once my father patting me on the butt and with a critical glance saying "you better go easy on the potatoes, or you'll end up looking just like your mother". Now my parents had a dismal relationship and ultimately divorced, and he said this to me while he was standing right in front of her. Yes, she was overweight, and I was a bit on the chubby side. And my dad has always expressed disdain and contempt for those who have "let themselves go". So I was in a really uncomfortable situation there. I didn't say anything, but I felt awful--and I wanted to tell him, I would be proud to be just like my mother. To this day, when I visit my dad he usually comments on my weight. I wonder if some of my trouble with my weight isn't still an adolescent rebellion--just love me as I am, Dad, instead of worrying about how I look or comparing me with someone else. Can't you be proud of me for who I am rather than how much I weigh?
So maybe I need to say goodbye to this particular emotional baggage. I need to focus on me loving me for myself, and continuing my good efforts because I love me and want to honor my body and have it continue to serve me. I know that SparkPeople and the support I get here will continue to help me.