Sunday, January 29, 2012
Conveniently, we're required to blog about our journey for BLC, and I just happen to be wrestling with a facet of my journey right now!
So, one of the Questions of the Day on my BLC team asked who is the biggest obstacle in my weight loss efforts. My initial reaction was to say my boyfriend - he's both a major inspiration and a major distraction from my weight loss efforts! Of course, the biggest reason that he's an obstacle is probably that I haven't TOLD him about my efforts, so my biggest obstacle really is myself!
Chris has been an inspiration since before I met him -the idea that I wanted to date, and eventually find a long-term relationship, was a huge part of my motivation for losing weight. Once I had lost 30 pounds, I signed up for e-harmony, and my desire to look cute for our dates (and for our increasing physical intimacy) has been a motivating factor for me during the whole length of our relationship. But, now I have a man in my life, telling me that I'm beautiful just as I am. He's attracted to me. So, I do feel like a big part of my motivation (the fear that I'll always be alone, if I stay fat) has evaporated. I've lost 40 pounds and reached a weight that is "cute enough" to attract a mate, and for me to feel pretty darn good about how I look.
Still, though, for optimal health (and optimal cuteness, in my own opinion!) I should lose another 15-25 pounds. I WANT to keep losing weight. It's just gotten a whole lot harder as I've gotten closer to goal. Also, instead of a motivation, now having a man in my life is bringing with it a LOT of extra calories! We live apart, so often our dates involve meeting in the middle somewhere, going to a park (yay exercise!) and then going out to eat (boo, excess calories!). Even when we do eat together at one of our homes, it involves dessert and often at least a little alcohol.
It's really tricky for me to reduce these indulgences! I honestly don't feel secure enough in the relationship that I want to stop "wooing" him - I like showing off my dessert-baking skills! And I think he feels the same way for me! Also, since we see each other infrequently, it's like we want to make the absolute most of our time together and enjoy it to the utmost - therefore, splurges like desserts. Lastly, I've always been very body-shy, and I definitely feel more relaxed and amorous if I've had a drink with dinner, so I haven't exactly wanted to nix that tradition when it started up! Doh! What's a girl to do??
My hope is that I can keep losing, even while letting myself have a once-weekly "date day" where I can indulge with him. But I'm concerned that it's definitely slowing my progress, and possibly establishing a precedent that will only grow harder to break. Also, once he moves closer to me (he's graduating this summer and moving here), we'll be seeing a LOT more of each other, and I'll HAVE to make sure that I can follow a liveable eating plan even on multiple days/week that we'll be together.
So, I'm contemplating when and how to let him know that I'm working on losing weight. He knows that I'm working on building physical fitness, such as doing the C25K. He was even inspired enough to start the program, himself! And he's very supportive of us doing outdoorsy and active dates (walks, tennis, etc). The hard part is the eating. I want to gently introduce the fact that I'm trying to work on weight loss, without totally spoiling all of our food-related fun (such as, we have an overnight trip planned for Valentines Day, including dinner reservations and an already-planned "cheesecake and champagne" breakfast in bed!).
As I'm sure you're thinking, that type of thing spells "disaster" for a diet. Yet, I'm NOT actually on a diet - I'm really trying to make healthier living a lifestyle, that will allow for holiday splurges and be something liveable for the rest of my life. I just wish I could find a way to gently tone-down how frequent the splurges are turning out to be! And I'm worried about my ability to convey the message without hurting his feelings or confusing him, since what to eat - and what to say "no" to - is a balance that I"m constantly struggling with and re-defining.
One thing I know for sure - somehow, the idea of telling him that I'm working on weight loss seems LESS embarrassing, the closer I get to goal. Why does it seem easier to contemplate admitting to being unhappy with my physical appearance when I'm looking so much better than how I used to look? Maybe it's just that I can imagine minimizing the emotional ramifications if I could breezily say something like, "Oh, yeah, I think I'd like to lose 10 pounds. I'm going to be cutting out dessert for a little while." On the other hand, explaining my real journey - including how far I've come, and how hard I'm working to continue my weight loss for the next 20 pounds, seems like it would reveal a whole host of struggles and insecurities.
What do you think, Sparkbuddies? If you were me, how much would you reveal, and how would you go about the conversation?