Getting Out of My Own Way
Thursday, July 18, 2013
For the past year or so I've been gaining and losing the same 5-10 pounds. I'll get serious, then get down to the low 180s and decide I "deserve" to try this or I want to eat that. As a result, I'm where I was a year ago. I look at it as practice for maintenance, which is good, except I'm not in a healthy weight range yet, which is not good. I did have several doctors tell me, as a 280-300 pound woman in my 20s, 30s and 40s that I would NEVER weigh less than 200 pounds since I'd been over that number since I was a child. Now, they were obviously wrong, but why do I still think about that?
I AM under 200 pounds. I have been for over a year. So, the answer lies less in my body and more in my mind. I am the one keeping myself from reaching goal at this point. (Notice I didn't say forever. That's an important distinction. I WILL get to my goal. I do believe I can do it.) No one makes me engage in unplanned eating. I do that. I get in my own way. No one is stopping me from getting to a healthy weight except for me.
I keep trying to figure out why I don't seem to want to finish the job. The only thing I can figure is that I lived my whole life, since I was 5, as the fat girl. If I'm not the fat girl, who am I? I don't think I see myself the way I look now because photos still surprise me, and if I hold up a pair of size 12 pants or a medium shirt I think they cannot possibly fit me. But they do fit me. What doesn't fit me is the image of me in my head. I never thought I even saw myself as the fat girl...I was always surprised by how fat I looked in pictures before because in my head I was thin. But people called me fat. I heard it, I saw it in their eyes. For 40 years.
Some people call me skinny now, but for a split second after they say it I don't believe them. I know it's more about what I say to myself than what others say.
One piece of advice I got about seeing yourself as the person you are now, not the one you used to be, was to try new things, thin person things. I had always exercised but I started buying form-fitting clothes, mostly shirts because my legs still look really fat to me even though measurements say they are thinner than they were. Last summer I would get up and go walking outside. On the route there would come a time when the sun was behind me and I could see my shadow walking in front of me. That was my favorite part because my waist looked so tiny! I would just stare at my shadow and think "That's what I look like" over and over.
Then it got too hot to walk outside. And I just haven't done it since for whatever reason. I guess I need to find a new thing to do that will reinforce the vision of myself as just ME, not some girl defined by her size. None of us are defined by our size, and I never thought I'd done it to myself. Is it truly the result of decades of programming from the outside world? And how do I un-program? Is it as simple as affirmations? Hypnosis?
I believe that once I get this figured out I will be able to get out of my own way and just do what needs to be done, over and over. I am certainly not giving up! No way!
I read on a board somewhere that giving up after you make a mistake is like dropping your cell phone then stomping on it till it breaks. I liked that one better than the falling down one stair then throwing yourself down the rest. I haven't fallen down many flights of stairs (thankfully!) but I drop my cell phone with enough regularity that I put a protective case around it.
Hmmmm, if my weight loss/healthy lifestyle program is my cell phone and slips ups are dropping it, it seems I need to find a protective case for the weight loss/healthy lifestyle program. Bingo! One step closer!
Now, what IS the "protective case"..... Something new to think about.
It could be as as simple as just doing it anyway, getting right back on plan. Track it, move on, do better. Or, it could be as simple as fake it till you make it. Do it anyway.
For today, I choose to do it anyway.