Tuesday, January 25, 2011
In response to my blog yesterday, RAVENSONG37 asked, "Just wondering, is there part of you that isn't ready to be at goal? Do you have any fears or anxieties about getting there or staying there?"
I decided to make this the topic of today's blog.
There are a lot of simple answers to this question. There are also a lot of complicated ones. In all honesty, I have been avoiding this topic, but I know that there is a certain part of me that continues to undermine my own efforts. It's time to figure out what's going on and move forward. I have weighed about 170, give or take, since last May.
This is just sort of a stream of consciousness list of reasons/factors that I think have been holding me back. Some are silly, some are emotional, some are logistical, some are a little irrational. I figure writing them down will be helpful.
*** 170 is an easy weight for me. I have lots of clothes in this size, and I've spent a lot of my adult life, when I didn't weigh more, at this weight. My body just seems to find its way here.
*** I remember having a first-time visit with a doctor in 2001 when I weighed 170. She pointed out that although I was not technically overweight, I was at the top of my BMI range, and she suggested I try to get down to 150, which would put me in the middle of my range, because it would be harder to control my weight later as I got older, my metabolism slowed, and I had children. At the time I received that doctor's recommendation, I was engaged to an emotionally abusive man. I had not yet come to the conclusion that our relationship was unhealthy, but signs were everywhere, including in how much I was eating. I was binging heavily at that time, and I continued to gain weight. Even now, for this reason, 170 carries that baggage for me.
*** I wore a size 14 wedding dress, and I weighed about 170. I am very unhappy with my wedding pictures.
*** This is the second time in my life that I've lost a significant amount of weight. The first was in 2006, when I went from 190 to 165. My motivation for losing was so that I could get pregnant, but when I was faced with long-term failed attempts, followed by difficult fertility testing and a very difficult diagnosis, I quickly gained it back, and then some. I weighed 165 for like, 5 minutes, and I was so happy and proud. Unfortunately, I was heartbroken over failing to conceive, and I started binging again. I literally ate because I wanted to punish my body for failing to get pregnant, even knowingly doing it, as though it made perfect sense. 165 feels like a really emotional number for me too.
*** Even though I tried not to, I realize now that I was mentally connecting losing weight with conceiving again last year. We had planned that in the fall, we would try another round of in vitro to have baby #2, but those plans have been postponed, and now I see that my motivation was tied to those plans. I am trying to find the motivation to do it for ME, and I'm struggling with that.
*** I haven't really been able to afford to spend money on getting clothes in smaller sizes. For every size I've dropped up until this point, I have had clothes in storage to wear, which has been awesome. If I lose more weight, I'm really not sure what I'm going to wear, but buying a whole new wardrobe seems impossible, and then what if I need to buy even smaller clothes after that?
*** I don't really believe that I can be smaller. I can't picture it. It doesn't seem possible. My mind can't process it. I don't identify with all those pictures of other people with great bodies--I don't see how that could possibly be me. And I don't need to have a perfect body anyway, so what's the point?
*** I've maintained this weight for many months now. I feel confident in my ability to continue. If I drop more, what if I gain it back? It seems safer here.
*** I've made most of my progress through exercise. Sure, I do eat differently than I used to--more freggies, not binging nearly as much, not eating out nearly as often, no more diet soda--but most of the calorie differential that has resulted in weight loss is due to calories burned, not from eating significantly less. In order to drop more weight, I'm going to have to cut down on my daily calorie allowance. I don't want to!
*** Not only do I not want to eat fewer calories every day, but it's just frustrating and annoying to track my food. I've done it, and it's gotten old. It's also time-consuming. Basically, I have done a great job maintaining my weight without tracking my food, but losing more weight is going to require constant tracking and measuring, and it's just... bleh.
*** I just don't get the same bang for my workouts as I used to when I was heavier. I have to work out longer and harder to burn as many calories as before. Sometimes, due to my schedule, I just don't have the time to workout enough to burn as many calories as I need to.
*** Nobody else in my life has a healthy lifestyle. My husband, mother, father, sister, mother-in-law and several friends are all overweight AND have related health issues. I have no support from them, no one in my life that feels like jumping up and going for a hike or a bike ride or doing anything that's not in front of an electronic screen or a giant plate of food, and, to be honest, I am mad at them for it. I am mad that they make me worry. I am mad that they don't do anything about it. I am mad that I have no one to enjoy my new lifestyle with. I am mad that they don't really support me. Sometimes, because I feel bad for feeling mad at them, I fall back into unhealthy habits. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting them to change just because I've changed.
*** I desperately want to incorporate activity into my daily life. I want to go for walks in the evening. I want to go hiking and camping on the weekend. I want to have a running buddy. I want to be able to plan trips with zip lines, and rock climbing, trying cross-country skiing, and seeing the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Not only do I do all this freaking exercise by myself, but I don't have anyone to enjoy it with or anything I can plan for. I want to have a life full of adventure, but I can't and/or don't want to do the adventure by myself. It makes me feel lonely. (Woah, writing that one brought tears to my eyes.)
*** I have a bunch of people telling me I'm getting too thin. They are crazy. The only standard measurement by which I am "healthy" or "normal" is BMI, and I am right on the edge even with that. But still, people say it and it messes with my head, making me feel complacent.
*** I'm afraid I'm going to fail or not be perfect. This is just a general fear I have. If I really push myself to get to the next level, I could fail. I feel like in order to lose the last bit, I will have to be perfect.
I've been in a rut, feeling like I know HOW to lose weight, and I just need to DO it. I stopped paying attention to the emotional piece of my journey, and I've just been trying to find the motivation to follow through on the mechanics on burning more calories than I eat. RAVENSONG37's blog today and questions on my blog yesterday reminded me how much emotional work I had done in the beginning, and writing all of these reasons is helping me see that I stopped paying attention to that very important piece of the puzzle. Writing all of this down has shown me that I really do have some emotional reasons that have been holding me back. I think that blasting through 165 on the scale will have a lot of important implications for me, and I think I need to do it so that I can let go of some things and move forward.
Thanks for asking some great questions, Becky!