My Person War .....on Terror
Monday, April 04, 2011
Many of you know that I was beyond morbidly obese 5 years ago before I underwent RNY gastric bypass to lose about 120 pounds. Now, before those of you who don't know me shake your heads and think to yourselves, "great...another know it all that the the easy way out", let me tell you, RNY has been a tool (albeit a drastic tool) to get me to a manageable weight. I NOW work very hard physically and emotionally to maintain my success. In all honesty, both aspects of this (emotional and physical) are a constant battle for me.
The PHYSICAL aspect, though difficult, is really the easier battle. You work, you move, you exercise, you stress your body, you challenge, you sweat.....you get a benefit. Your results are all dependant on effort. When I'm really "on my game", I'll put forth all the effort demanded of me and get good results. When I'm "off my game", I become lethargic, slow, depressed and sedentary and therefore receive poor results in weight loss management. This physical battle is all EFFORT dependant - If I DO, then I will GET (results), If I DON'T DO, then I DON'T GET (results).
EMOTIONAL battles....completely different kind of war. To me (as a person interested in current world politics), the emotional batter is like the "Personal War on Terror". It's not like ground fighting where you sweat off/work off to get the win. This is emotional warfare on the psyche and self esteem.
The enemy in me "personal war on terror" is none other than.....ME (my past, my self image, my self esteem, my faith, my belief system, my self acceptance....you get the drift). This enemy is such a different enemy to fight. In this battle, effort does NOT yield results. How then do you conquer such a non tangible hard to identify and touch enemy? Hmmm...If you get a good answer for that question, share it with the top guns in Washington who are fighting the real war on terror, protecting our way of life and freedoms.
Alright, all politics aside....the war, at least for me is ongoing and the front line gains and looses territory all the time. Sometimes I actually think I am talking aloud when I hear the voice in my head telling me...."you cant, you shouldn't, you'll never.....". Sometimes that thought in my head distorts my thinking so much that I still see myself as that "fat failure" when I look in the mirror 120 pounds lighter then my maximum weight. My thoughts and goals are centered around what I haven't succeeded to do or what I am inevitably going to fail at and of course the fear that I am going to gain it all back.....(GASP) because I don't DESERVE it.
Entertain me by letting me illustrate with a recent example[le of this distorted thinking. I have maintained as physical active lifestyle as I can tolerate over the past year and a half or so. Running and biking are my personal choice for cardio vascular activity. I started noticing that I was winded, couldn't catch my breath, no stamina about 1 1/2 years ago and slowly stopped running and self treated myself for exercise induced asthma. Left to my passion of bike riding, I resorted to feelings of frustration at having to push my bike up hills because I just couldn't get myself up the darned thing. The enemy in my head said...."See, you ARE a failure, you're fat, you're a loser, you're lazy, you're going to gain it all back, everyone's going to be disappointed because you failed...." (blah blah blah). Honest....this is where my head was going. I would work harder and harder with worse and worse results. Before I recently began a recent structured exercise program, I decided to check some bloodwork out and found that I was severely iron deficient and very anemic. I was carrying one half the oxygen capacity of a normal adult female. Now get this....no oxygen=no air=no stamina!!! Yeah this is an example of a "fixable" problem, but I spent 1 1/2 years beating myself up. This added up to ALOT of wasted time, energy and emotion.
I don't have an end all winning plan for my personal war on terror but I honestly am consistently trying to find strategies to keep an upper hand on the enemy. This requires a variety of weapons:
Adventuring the unknown/untried
Truth/Honesty (with self and others)
What's in your arsenal of weapons? Do you know how to use your weapons? Do you need an instruction manual? What are you willing to do about acquiring and learning to use them? So you even WANT to win the war or are you comfortable in your little space of discontent?