Coping with fear
Saturday, January 21, 2017
I came to an uncomfortable realization today... I'm scared of this journey. I think I've figured out why - it has to do with being afraid of what my results are going to tell me about myself. While I may not be able to run a marathon or win any weight lifting competition, my body has been able to do what I needed of it, including go for long walks with my kids, run around outside with them, coach soccer, and participate in karate with them. However, I have let others, including my ex-husband, demean me because of my weight, and I am deeply ashamed of it. I am, in spite of the fact that I'm blogging here, a relative private person in my "real" life. I have a hard time showing my vulnerabilities to others, largely because I have a long history of close family and friends taking advantage of those vulnerabilities.
The point of the matter is that I have always felt like my excess weight is this huge, glaring sign that let's everyone know that I'm weak, I'm not coping well with my challenges, and I have a problem. At a minimum, I feel like people assume I'm lazy or stupid, and that is why I'm overweight. At worst, I'm afraid they can see the deep hurts and loneliness that often drive my overeating. I am afraid of what it says about me if I had control over this all along, but just didn't do anything about it. I'm afraid that I'm going to fall back into the pit where I just don't give a damn (at least in the moment), and I'm equally afraid that I'm going to discover that all those article I've read about how hard it really is to lose weight are going to prove true, and I'm going to find that I'm not capable of getting where I want to be.
I am working on dealing with my fear, but it's tough. I keep trying to remind myself to focus on small things, like continuing to faithfully log my food, even when I feel like I've overeaten and don't want to deal with it, to keep remembering to just fit in as much activity as I can, but I have a hard time not leaping weeks into the future to a point at which my current behavior won't be enough to keep me losing weight.
I want better for myself, but I am so, so scared. I'm even scared of actually reaching my goals - when I was younger, I was thinner, and I used to get hit on, sometimes aggressively, pretty regularly. I am afraid of that, too - my experience with members of the opposite sex hasn't been great, and I've been prone to giving in to people I'm not interested in out of a desire to make them happy. I didn't like my ex-husband at all when we first met, and had more doubts about our relationship than I have ever had about anyone, yet still ended up staying with him for sixteen years, getting married and having children with him. I am working on my boundaries, and I like to believe that I wouldn't do that again, but I know how often people tend to repeat patterns that are familiar to them. The one experience I had after my divorce was a brief, but obvious, repeat of past patterns.
In all honesty, I have been sticking to my goals, and following my loose plan pretty well, and as I've mentioned before, I'm feeling much better. This little taste of success is what has me scared... but, if I'm honest with myself, this hasn't been that terrifically difficult, and I have to remember that by the time I need to do something more difficult, I will have built up some skills to help with that. Tracking my food, exercising regular, etc. - these things are all skills I'm building at the moment. By the time I have to get to more complicated things, these habits should be second nature, so I won't be balancing them with the new things that I need to do. As for the rest of the fears, I just need to keep focusing on taking this one day at a time, and stay focused on what I need right now, not what I'm going to need in six months.