Whew! I recently re-read my old Spark Page intro, and realized that although a lot of the info there was factually correct, a lot of it was also wishful thinking, self-delusional Bullscheiβe! ('Tis German for... well, sound it out.) It's funny how you can see something *almost* every day without ever really taking a good hard look at it.
Case in point, the old title read "Third, fourth... fifth time lucky?" Was I kidding? How did I get to my *fifth* try to lose this weight and still naively believe that it was a game of luck? By doing a first-class ostrich impression, that's how! Ass in the air, head in the sand, blithely believing that I was merely "big boned" and had gotten screwed in the genetic lottery that leaves me taking after my hulking, 300lb Dad instead of my 100lb model-thin Mom (nickname "Spindles").
Picture via "ostrickheadinsand.com" although it's widely accepted that ostriches do not, in fact, actually do this (good news too, it's a terrible strategy).
WHAT A CROCK! I mean, don’t get me wrong, those things are true: I do have big, dense bones, confirmed by many a shocked orthopaedic surgeon (“let's look at that density test again, that can't be right!”). I do resemble a female version of my Dad (sans beard, thank the Lord), as anyone possessing the gift of eyesight could tell you. BUT... These are not the defining factors that led to me being so overweight and out of shape that I *actually cried* when I saw a picture of myself at my best friend's wedding. My choices, and mine alone, are responsible for that. And my choices are the only things that will change it. Not luck. Not providence. Not scattering blame anywhere but at my own feet. Choices.
Pic via C.J. omololu's blog (http://cynjay.blogspot.com/20
So... with that in mind, let's choose differently, from now on, okay E?
First of all, I choose honesty. This should be an easy one, since in my personal and professional life I have trouble being anything other than honest (with decidedly mixed results). No more attributing my weight issues to externalities or to the, admittedly sometimes crappy, things that have gone on in my life in recent years. It doesn’t mean that the challenges and setbacks I’ve encountered in the past few years are no longer “things” – of course they are, and it’s normal and right that I still think about them. But, my response and my own actions and choices (there it is again) are what have brought me to this point. Time to OWN it.
Secondly, I choose love. My philosophy has long been to pour love on my family and friends, and not give them any choice about whether or not to accept it. To give of myself freely and let the chips fall where they may. It’s a good way to be, but it’s time that I turned that doting affection on myself as well. To be clear, I don’t think I’ve ever had low self esteem – I’ve always liked myself and felt confident and secure, but I’ve never felt all that comfortable actively “doing for myself” the way I try to do for others. At the same time, I’ve occasionally made myself crazy and indulged in a little selfish wah-wah-ing when I feel that others don’t take care of me the way I take care of them. Insanity! It’s not as if I have a finite amount of care and concern to dole out, after all, and sending some in my own direction will make sure I don’t feel like I’m going without when I take time to address other people’s needs, which is still hugely important to me.
Lastly, I choose accountability, which I think will be a big challenge. The first step will be updating my Spark Page with, y’know, **the truth** - I’ll put my entire program up there and hope that my friends will hold me accountable to it (update – now done! I’m loving the results). I’ll also challenge myself to blog more frequently. Not because I feel that everyone in the world should have the gift of my opinion at their fingertips (I promise), but because keeping all my frustrations as well as my successes bottled up and waiting for someone to ask me about them is soooo not working for me.
Why would it? It’s crazysauce. And for all the effort it requires and how draining it is, it doesn’t burn any calories. So eff that.
Accountability in my “real life” will be more of a challenge, since some of my friends and family are sometimes not that supportive… That said, I’ve shared the fullness of my current dissatisfaction and my big plans for myself with a few really close (and awesome) friends and my equally awesome husband. Their response was amazing and so supportive – what a weight off my shoulders (har har) to know that they’re behind me and that I can talk about this if I need to! It’s a good thing to get what you need from people because you had the good sense to ask for it (see also “secondly…” above – why didn’t I figure this out years ago?)
So. All this to say – today I am born again. It isn’t about luck. It’s about choices.
Happy Freakin’ Weekend, Sparkland!