Friday, January 28, 2011

Confession: I Love To...

Confession: I love to dance. Did you hear me? I LOVE to dance. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to dance. I'm actually not bad at it. Don't get me wrong...I'm no Ginger Rogers, but I can keep a beat and follow some simple steps. I'd love to learn to swing dance. And salsa. And hell, let's be honest, I think it would be cool to know how to work a pole, not that I want to do it for a living or anything. But that's not all I love. I love to play tennis. I love to play volleyball. I love to go hiking. I love to run.

But here's the thing: I don't do any of those things. As I sit and reflect on this, the excuses are flying through my head. I'm too out of shape to run and hike. I don't have anyone to play tennis and volleyball with. I get sideways looks and rude comments made when I dance (You would be amazed the things that have been said about me dancing out places because I'm not a size 6. Apparently it's offensive and laughable for a girl my size to want to move her hips.) out places.

It's a bit crazy to me that I have allowed my weight, and the stigma that comes along with it, to stop me from doing things that I LOVE to do. On one level, I get it. I would have to or I wouldn't have allowed it to happen. But on another, I'm so perplexed as to how I have allowed this to happen. Common sense should have kicked in year ago: I love to do things that are active. If I do things that are more active, the weight will slowly go away, as well as the stigma that comes with it. When the weight goes away, I'll be more in shape and more able to do the things I love. It's win/win. What have I been thinking??

So, I've decided to ditch the excuses, and start doing the things I love. I'm gonna shake my derriere, and hope I don't hear the comments (and TRY to filter them out if I do). Though I can't run yet, I can definitely walk. No more excuses. No more craziness. Tennis anyone??

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Insides: Exposed we go again. Take Two. Or is it Take Twenty? Who knows. I've completely lost count. Regardless of the number of stumbles, some of which were followed by enormous falls, this is me...getting back up...again.

Emotionally, on a scale of unstable to stable, I would say I'm wobbly. Not that I'm going to leap off a cliff or melt down into a puddle of tears at any moment - really...I'm good. But I think if all of us are being honest, our emotions vary from day to day, and even minute to minute. I'm definitely in that realm.

Needless to say, the knee injury I had last summer threw me almost completely off track. I didn't go TOTALLY wild. I did still attempt to make SOME healthier choices. But rather than following an 80/20 rule, I was following more of a 40/60 rule. And since this seems to be the confess your sins and be washed hour, I will admit - I felt abandoned. It seemed as though as soon as everyone realized I was down for the count, they gave up on me. Whether that's real or imagined, it was discouraging. I felt like a failure. Again.

One night late this summer, I laid awake at 2 am in the silence with my mind racing. I finally decided it may help to journal my thoughts. I pulled out my blackberry, opened a notepad, and started typing. This is the result:

"Sometimes this weight loss journey can be so daunting. I feel as though it is such a mountain to climb, that I may as well weigh 800 pounds. Each day I watch that stupid scale fluctuate, and though it has generally overall trended downward, it is still so frustrating to see the arduously slow pace in which the weight is actually coming off. It seems to be so much work and frustration to be rewarded with a loss of 0.2 of a pound one week, only to gain 0.1 the next. It's maddening to know that my goal weight is years - YEARS - away.

The old saying of two steps forward, three steps back seems to come to mind often, though I'm fully aware it's actually more like three steps forward, two and a half steps back. It's those two and a half that haunt me when I lie down at night to sleep.

The thoughts slowly start to invade my mind. I recognize them, and I know on some level that they are detrimental to my overall well-being as well as the obvious: my mental health. But they're as impossible to control as they are damaging. Like little voices from within my very soul, they penetrate me from the inside out. "You shouldn't have had that spoon full of ice cream. You're never going to reach your goals at this pace. Sure, you've lost, but you are still heavier than you were even two years ago. What is wrong with you? You have no self-control, no will power, and no ability to conquer this. You're wasting your time. Everyone else knows it. They don't cheer for you anymore. Failure."

The irony is, just like the cartoons I loved when I was young, I seem to have the devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other. So, at the same time as the negative thoughts are sabotaging my self-esteem, my inner hero is also in full swing: "You've come so far. You're still making overall progress. Don't focus on the negatives, but on the positives. You managed to have only a spoonful of ice cream rather than an entire serving. You're doing it. You're slowly making the right decisions. Don't be discouraged. You're getting to your goals. Prove them all wrong. You can do this. Don't give up."

The monologues in my head create a constant back and forth argument. I often wonder if I've gone completely mad...having insane all out arguments with myself inside my mind. This can't be normal, right?

Regardless of the crazy parade going on in my mind, I'm not giving up. In fact, I have been finding myself to be moderately motivated lately. It is rather peculiar, however; in spite of being motivated and inspired, I still find myself not being fully true to the decisions I know I need to make for success. It's a true testament to exactly how strong of a hold that the sickness (it IS a sickness) has on me, and how deeply the habits and dependencies run. I want to be thin and healthy more than anything. And yet I still find myself consciously making unhealthy choices that keep me from reaching that goal at the pace in which my potential lies. Which leaves me to wonder: is my potential really my potential, or is it an idealistic way of viewing this journey? Am I basing my goals on a purely utopian mind set by not accounting for setbacks, or am I truly just not living up to what I am fully capable of physically and mentally? And I wonder most of all, if I'll ever find those answers. "

This journey, that through the stumbles and falls, I'm somehow still on, has wreaked havoc on me mentally. You'd be amazed how crazy I feel sometimes. You'd also be genuinely horrified at the negativity in my internal monologues. To date, I haven't found a way to revert that. I feel like a failure before I ever start. As I type this, it's happening. The Jekyll/Hyde battle is raging. One side of me is optimistic, and the other side is already prepared for my next failure.

I have joked that I'm a professional dieter. It is completely ridiculous how much I know about nutrition and exercise. I think I could probably rival some of the most well-trained wellness coaches. This is not a matter of not knowing the right things to do. It's a matter of psychologically finding what is stopping me. It's a matter of determination and diligence. And ultimately, it's a matter of perseverance and success. Here's to hoping that success comes sooner rather than later.