Saturday, November 16, 2013
In the last year and a half I've been through a ton of stress. We had a death in the family, then we moved to a new area, then I lost my job. I quit smoking about a year and a half ago. I turned 40 during the past year, and I may have started pre-menopause. I know it's early, and I'm self-diagnosing, but I've got hot flashes all the time now.
In my professional life, I'm trying to start a small business, trying to find a full-time job, trying to be a student so that I can be current and marketable in my industry, trying to increase my income so that I can get my mother-in-law out of my spare room and into her own apartment. AND of course, raising a child.
In other words, my mind and stress level have been pushed to the limit repeatedly. I'm busy.
I've got to-do lists that are pages long.
Pre-menopause is suppose to cause weight gain, and after the age of 40 a woman's metabolism slows. AND, I quit smoking. These are all contributors, I realize this. When I quit, I said to myself "I'm going to be smart, and I'm going to keep my weight where it is. I WON'T gain the weight many smokers do when they quit".
And guess what? I did anyway. I gained 15 pounds. But why, with everything going on, am I so focused on these 15 pounds? They are a weight on my shoulders, not only on my belly.
Why do I spend so much of my energy focused on something that really matters to no one but me? When I get out of bed, I think about what to eat for breakfast, and not in a "oh, I need to fuel my body way" but in a "What is the largest amount of nutrients and proteins I can fit into the smallest amount of calories?" way. I obsess.
When I get dressed I think about what is going to hide my extra pounds and be flattering. During my day I read articles about different diets, I join in debates about carb/no carb lifestyles. I think about where and when to exercise, read healthy recipes about what to make for dinner.
Don't get me wrong, exercise is important like eating healthy is. They make me feel good and will hopefully lengthen my lifespan. I don't intend to stop either one of those things, but I will stop being so vain. Because that's what it is. Vanity. Doesn't the word have a negative connotation to it?
I'm healthy. My triglycerides, cholesterol, etc are perfect. My body works as it should. My family loves me as I am, so do I, really. It's all just vanity.
I need to shift my priorities. I'm going to start by making an effort to recognize when these thoughts invade my day and re-focus them. It'll be like meditation. Focus on the candle, when your mind drifts (because it will), bring it back to the candle. The exercise is in bringing your mind back to where you want it to be, over and over, until it becomes second nature.
And I don't want my mind to be in my belly fat. It doesn't belong there.