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How I know I'm different

Saturday, February 16, 2013

If you know me much, you may have noticed I really live in my head. It's wild in there. It's why my husband married me. I had to beat him at chess before he would propose. It's a crazy story. At the same time I've very aware of the manichean fallacy, which is the idea that the physical doesn't count. Maybe I'm all the more aware of it because I have a tendency to feel that way about things, that the spiritual and mental are what really matter. (Look at the irony there, the word I used, "matter". Heh).

And so the fact that I frequently don't feel that different from before is related to how my before self managed to be okay with being obese. There was an element of procrastination as well, of figuring that someday I'd get around to being in better shape, when life was less crazy. And I was only kind of obese. I mean that's a funny thought right there. Obese by definition means overweight enough to have serious consequences on your health. So there's no "kind of." Yeah yeah, muscles can make you obese. Well, that wasn't me. The thing was I don't think about how I look. If I don't take a shower in the morning, I can go out of the house without doing anything to my hair. And I often don't see it unless I catch my reflection in the car window. Hilarity ensues. It's not that I don't like how I look, it's that I assume I look okay.

I used to think extra weight was my body's way of trying to make me invisible, of avoiding having to deal with people judging me, since by being fat I was telling them what to think of me. It's hard for me to decide whether or not that's true, now that I know how simple it is (simple is not the same as easy) to manage weight. I had no clue what portion sizes I needed, and I had no clue what activities burned what kind of calories. But I guess the fact that I definitely always consumed more than I burned still means this kind of sabotage was going on. Perhaps my body was trying to get through to my mind that it needed attention, that it wanted to matter to me. Oooh. That's wild. My body looking for her voice.

I think she's still looking. And here's why. The times I don't feel any different are when I'm doing things that will take me backward. Sitting on the futon. Standing still. Eating sweets. Times I feel different are when I'm working out, and picking clothes, eating freggies and waking up in the morning. I can't necessarily eliminate all time spent in the backward activities or spend all my time moving forward. But I can shift the balance. I can be consistent. Like Coach Nicole says, on step back, two steps forward. It's not just a coping mechanism for visible setbacks, it's the dance of life.

But how about some specifics? Well, I lost a pair of my pants for about a month. They were in plain sight, but I thought they were my daughter's. I look for opportunities to get up and move around because my fitbit tracks all that. I'm much more positive than I used to be (and I used to think I was a lot more positive than way back when). I love having muscles. I love feeling powerful, and I'm starting to be able to see them a lot more often. I love stretching, when I remember to.

I do think I should get out and do more stuff, more of the vital stuff, and being alive in my body. It's not that I never do. Being alive in my body includes mindful eating, and hugging my loved ones and stuff like that. Because it's not picking whether to live in my mind or my spirit or my body, it's bringing it all together.

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  • TANYA602
    Truly, I couldn't have said this any better, and this is exactly the thinking I was doing the last 48 hours! I don't notice things about myself, until I really stop and think about it and then I have to wonder - when did that happen? How did it happen? I know I've lost weight, I am wearing smaller sizes, but I don't notice it on any kind of daily basis. I think balance is key, yes, and I also think that I am due to shake some things up. When I get complacent I can get into that other place and I don't want to go there.
    Dang you wrote this speaking to all of us so clearly! hmmmmmm
    Have a fabulous day! And yes, keep those loved one close!
    1920 days ago
    I stared this journey with a simple change of what I ate. DD said indirectly, "Popie your are killing yourself and my son, your grandson, needs to have you around for a while yet."

    Now she said it much more kindly, and a little around the back door, but it lead to a small change. That small change lead to another, followed by another, and so on.

    I stumbled in to various "Chi" practices and these have slowly moved me more and more in touch with my mind, body and spirit, in ways I have not done in the past. It is funny how sometimes when I am driving I will take a breath, relax and become more aware of driving. The same can happen standing in a line at the check out. Take a breath, relax and be more aware of being there standing in a line. Not in the old annoyed way, but very aware.

    It is like Zhan zhuang, or Baduanjin you are aware and unaware, focused deeply, but without much conscious thought. These practices are leading towards an interesting balance within and without
    1920 days ago
    You nailed it for me at "balance." I do feel I need to tip the balance more toward the "different" activities (exercising, portion control), but 5 decades of doing the things that made me obese aren't going to be undone in 24 months of trying to develop new habits, IMHO. Now that I am in maintenance, it's still a daily battle not to lose ground, and it's one reason I've kept that Japanese proverb taped to my computer where I see it for hours each day: "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
    1921 days ago
    That last paragraph was profound... Thanks!
    1921 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    1921 days ago
  • ANY010113
    emoticon emoticon
    1921 days ago
  • POPSY190
    It's the old story of achieving The Golden Mean, isn't it? It sounds so easy, and is a straightforward message but so hard to realise on a daily basis! Great blog.
    1921 days ago
    Balance is not easy but it can be done. You can do it.
    1922 days ago
  • RX_2_RV
    Well said...and yes, it is simple, but not always easy. Keep up the good work!

    I had to giggle....I do the same thing...walk out of the house without a thought as to how I look...girls at work were always straightening my collar, tucking tags, and so forth :) Now that I am semi-retired, I have to fend for myself! LOL

    1922 days ago
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