Saturday, January 28, 2012
How many times have you heard to enjoy the journey? “Don’t wait until you’ve lost weight to enjoy life; start enjoying life now.” How many of you have struggled to do so?
I did, for most of the time I was losing weight. During the last few months of weight loss, I gained an appreciation for the steps I was taking, how far I’d come, the person I was evolving into. The majority of the time, though, was spent dreaming about a goal weight I equated starting a desired life.
Of course that’s not the way it happened. Last April, I wrote a blog I saved but never posted, on account of how personal it was. It discussed the issues underlying my weight, my fears about reaching goal weight, and my resurfacing struggles with emotional eating. Anyone that’s read my blogs in past months knows that maintenance has been very difficult for me as I’ve battled emotional eating and bingeing on an increasingly frequent basis. Ironically, the more I’ve tried to take the lessons learned from weight loss and apply them to other areas of my life, the more I’ve slipped back into the very habits that led to my weight gain. As I’ve tried so hard to avoid *directly* facing the problem areas in my life, the self-doubt and self–defeating thoughts I’d largely kicked to the curb slipped back into my head and have been poisoning my self-confidence.
I became so impatient with the journey! I stopped caring about progress; perfection became the ideal. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I wasn’t WHO I wanted to be. Therefore, I felt worthless. After losing over 110 pounds, the realization that self-improvement was an ongoing goal drained me. To discover that I still didn’t feel “good enough” threw me into a loop of self-hatred when all attempts at improving my life and, subsequently—in my head—my worth, fell flat, time after time, no matter the approach.
Three chapters in, Dr. Roger Gould’s book “Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional Eating” addresses some of the exact issues I’d pinpointed a year ago. Even better, the second part of the book includes exercises so that I can actually take my awareness and *do something with it*! I haven't gotten to the exercises yet, but the promise of actually having steps I can take fills me with hope. While I’m not thrilled about where I am currently by any means, I’m excited about the journey again.
Earlier this week, I found an element of patience for myself that’s been lacking for months, and the finding helped pull me out of the several week-long depression that’s been imprisoning me. Tomorrow I may wake up impatient about the process again, but today, I’m deciding that I’m ok with me, just the way I am at this moment in time. I make mistakes, am flawed, and have weaknesses. That's ok.
How do YOU stay in the moment and enjoy your own journeys?