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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have a lot of issues with my Dad and my weight as well. It's a long story but I empathize a great deal with what you've written here. In fact, at one point I thought I would have to wait until Dad was gone before I could bring myself to lose weight at all. I still haven't mentioned anything about losing weight, going to the gym or anything else to him and that is helping. I DREAD the day he notices I have lost weight and says something. I kind of live in terror of it actually. He knows I am going to the gym though because I keep seeing his neighbours there. Oh well, we'll worry about that when we need to worry about it. Just know that you're not alone in this respect. I'm not sure how I am keeping my head in the right spot but I am sure glad I am doing alright so far. If I figure it out I'll try to share. : )
    2882 days ago
    I am so sorry that your dad said that to you. No dad should have been so rude not only to you but also to your mom. I hope that you can let it go and just love yourself for who you are. When a parent finds you lacking it is so hard to overcome but you can do it. I have had to overcome my mom finding me lacking and it has been a battle, but I am finally making headway, and I believe you can too. Best of luck and take care.
    2883 days ago
  • DEE797
    I am sorry your dad said that to you. Have you thought about writing a letter to him about how that makes you feel even after all this time? Sometimes getting it down on paper and working through it helps to lessen the impact on yourself.
    DO NOT MAIL IT! After you have finished writing it, tear it into little pieces and burn it.

    Then try and put it in the past. You have your whole future ahead of you and YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TOO!

    emoticon emoticon
    2883 days ago
    It could very well stem from your childhood. And I know just what you are talking about when you wonder if you are setting yourself up to fail. It is so hard sometimes to stay on track - but try to keep pushing yourself along. I use to feel as though I am not *good enough* to be healthy. And slowly I am overcoming all those nasty, negative self image thoughts. I am feeling much healthier and I can even breathe better too! Keep on trying hun, you will succeed. :)
    2883 days ago
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