Thursday, August 16, 2012

How did I get to that point?

I totally intend on this time being different. I mean, how many times have I lost weight, gotten fitter and then get to goal or hit a snag and BOOM, end up heavier than ever? It has happened more times that I care to admit. So, why do I think this time will be different?

One thing I am trying to understand is how I let myself get to the place where I reached what I considered "critical mass"...a point that I could no longer look at myself in the mirror...a point where I had no self esteem...a point where I didn't care for myself...a point where I was slowly but methodically killing myself. Note that this is my experience and I do not mean to reflect my experience or life style changes on anyone. This post, as hard as it may be, is meant to help me accept and understand what is going on with me and me alone.

First, I have always been an introvert. I have had very few close friends. I have NEVER been a hermit and I definitely have always had fun with people and such but as far as letting people in on who I am, well, that really does not happen. Lately, I have found myself being a bit more open with some people who are relatively new in my life and with some people that have been in my life for some time. I have even found myself being more open and honest with my husband, which may seem a bit strange but it is definitely true that I feel like he probably knows me better now than ever...and you know what, he still loves me! My friends that know a bit more about me...well, they're still friends.

Second, I have long expected perfection in all areas of my life, except my health and fitness. That was one area that I allowed myself to not worry about being perfect. It was the one area that I would just let things go. When I did try to take control, I would find myself trying to force perfection...and end up failing...and reverting to the "just let it go" mentality. I am getting over that whole idea of needing to be perfect in my life. While I have been quite success in many areas of my life, in the past, if one thing would go wrong, I would feel devastated and like a failure. I am learning to relax a bit more and give myself a break from time to time. I am working on that in the area of health and fitness as well. I am not dropping off my path towards the person I am meant to be. This is definitely one area I need more improvement but I am getting there.

Third, I have always looked for the easy way. I think that the media tends to let us believe that there is a miracle way to weight loss and fitness. All you have to do is find it. I tried so many ways. I have gotten to a goal weight in the past using a national diet program. I have gotten close to goal weight using another program. Every time I would get to a certain point, I would fall off course...and having never understood proper nutrition or what is right for my body, I would gain weight back. This time I am not obsessing with counting points, calories, carbs or whatever. I am paying attention to my body and how it reacts to certain foods. I am focusing on life style changes more than I am on the scale. I am feeling good about the changes. I am not looking for the "quick" answer. Sure, I wish my weight loss was happening at a quicker pace but I am more happy that even when my weight loss stalled for a couple of years, I never gained the weight back. I am learning a lot and listening a lot.

Fourth, I never gave myself the time/money/respect I deserved. I hated spending money on myself. I hated focusing on myself. I hated trying to better myself. That's a lot of hate. I am now understand (and a lot of this is thanks to my husband) that I am worthy of the effort this is taking. I am worthy of taking time out of my day to become healthier. I am worthy of spending a few more bucks on quality food or a good fitness class. I do not always have to skimp on me.

Fifth, I think I have always tried to figure out why I got to the weight I did. I mean, I know that I was overweight as a kid so being an overweight adult is no surprise. I was always trying to find out the WHY...even trying to place blame. But you know what? No matter what, it was still me that ate the food that was not good for me. It was still me that sat on the couch day after day. It was still me that allowed stress to play such a big part in my life. Sure, there may be some underlying issues to my lack of self confidence but the bottom line is that it was me that allowed it to effect my life in so many ways. I can admit that and now I can deal with it.

Sixth, I never thought of myself as someone who could do physical challenges. You can bet I NEVER thought I would be running a mile much less training for a half marathon and thinking about a triathlon. I always thought I would like to do something like that if I ever got in shape but I am now realizing that doing these things is what will help me make the goal of being healthier. I am learning to deal with the feelings of inadequacy when I think people are staring or laughing at me. I am learning to think that I am out there running the trails for ME and not for anyone else.

Seventh, I never really looked for help before. I always thought I could do it on my own. Support did not seem that important. I am sure this is partly because of the introvert tendencies I have. Now, I feel like a large support network. I am working with a trainer that I tell a lot of things to...I am working with a nutritionist that has been very helpful...I fired my doctor and found a new one that is much more supportive (truth be told, I went into that first appointment and sort of demanded that she listen to me as I was tired of not being heard by my previous doctor)...I have friends that support my life style changes....coworkers that encourage me to go to the kettlebell classes or support me at my physical challenges...on line friends that have been more helpful than I could imagine...and a husband who is proud of me and tells me often. It is amazing what a good support system can do to one's sense of self worth.

I think that is enough for now. I am sure there are other things I would like to add to this list but suffice it to say, I do not intend on getting back to the unhealthy person I once was. I only plan on better things for the future. It is that future that I am focusing on and I will not dwell in the past. I am learning to be the person I was always meant to be.


  1. This is a great idea - to write a list of things in your life that are affecting you - both positively and negatively. Learning from the past without dwelling on it is a very important process! A lifelong one for me.

    1. It has been quite a long process...I am just glad that I am finally feeling like I am learning something about myself!

  2. This is a pretty accurate description of many of us I think. The cycle that never ends unless we take charge of our lives can be our undoing as you know. "The paralysis of analysis" can get us as well. We spend a lot of time in the planning stage when we just need to get on with it. We have all tried this way and that way when it wasn't the method we were trying at the moment but what is going on inside of us that was the problem. You are wise to start working on this with relationships and your own personality traits - although I think the perfection thing gets a lot of us. We are so afraid of failing again or not being exactly on the plan that we become paralyzed. The easy way does not exist - we need to stop looking for it. I just read in one of my daily readings from OA that we will probably have to spend as much time in the recovery as we did in the years of compulsive eating - not something to look forward to but it is what it is. There is no light bulb that comes on and now we are "fixed". Resigning ourselves to what we have to do with food/eating doesn't mean we don't have other things in life to celebrate and enjoy. We can compartmentalize the eating/food thing and do what we have to do without letting it be a cloud over everything. In fact, if exercise becomes something we enjoy and we do it for our health and well-being rather than losing weight we will get both. I have battled weight all of my life from grade school on so I know what you are going through. I will soon be 63 and am just now feeling like I have a handle on this. I hope it doesn't take you as long as it has taken me. Blogging helps. We also just need to come to terms with what has to be done and do it whether we feel like it or not. Take care.

    1. I know that I will be dealing with this the rest of my life...that is why it is lifestyle changes and not just a "diet" for me. It seems to work best when I don't dwell on the scale and other things. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Great post. I often say to myself "how did I get to the point where I..." and usually it's not related to my weight. I think that we fall into certain types of behavour and it can be really hard to break out of these. Especially as we get older, if you've been doing something for 10 or so years, why stop?

    We aren't machines. We all act in different ways and are often impossible to predict. I guess that has its upsides and downsides.

    1. It is hard to break behaviors...especially when it is something that you have been dealing with for your whole life...but we can do it. It is amazing what happens when you start caring and liking yourself.