Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So I promised some thoughts on weight loss and what’s been going in my head…so here you have it, a deep look into the mind of Sarah (insert scary, creepy music here)…

I have “friend” let’s say, (and it’s not one of those friends-who-is-really-me-but-I’m-too-afraid-to-admit-it type things, it’s really not me) (but not really a friend, more like a relative who isn’t a relative by law anymore but still will always be my relative because that’s just how it goes when somebody has been in your life for its entirety, no matter what the “law” says)(you know how I love to be a rebellious law breaker, right?) So anyway, this friend, for as long as I’ve known her, so my whole life, has been dieting. Every holiday, every birthday, every family reunion… she always brought her diet dish to share and was always dieting in some way shape or form. Even today, she’s doing weight watchers, which technically isn’t “dieting” but you catch where I’m going, right? Her whole life has been trying to lose weight.

That thought deflates me. It takes every ounce of energy, hope, will, courage… it takes it all and punches me in the stomach with it, knocking me clear out of breath. I panic with the thought “Is that going to be me too?” Is the woman-who-is-always-on-a –diet-but-never-quite-where-she-needs/wants-to-be-with-her-weight, is that what I am going to be when I am in my late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s? Am I also going to be a lifetime “dieter”? Because you know, I don’t want to be. I’ll kick and scream like a 2 years old throwing one of their infamous tantrums, “I don’t’ want it, I don’t want it I don’t want it!” because I really, really I don’t want it to be me! It exhausts me to think that for the rest of my life I will talk about weight loss, think about weight loss, struggle with weight loss. It’s an overwhelming feeling to think that I may never be in a place where I can say “I’m happy, I’m content and I can maintain this”. I know if you make a true lifestyle change that eventually you will be at the “maintaining” stage but that seems like such an abstract thought to me, not in the least bit tangible. I was almost there once… and look where I am now, almost all the way to the beginning, where I started this whole ball of wax. My weight is not back to my all time high but it is where it has been for the greater chunk of my adult life. I’ve been writing in this weight loss blog since late in 2006. That’s almost 4 years. Will it be another 4? Will it be another 8? Will it be 10, 15, 20 years of me blogging about struggling? Because I’m not interested in it, to tell you the truth. I don’t want that to be me. I really, really, really don’t.

So then where do you go from being deflated at just the thought of the all consuming weight loss? Where do I go from here?

Well, I’m making a trip to the dietician’s office. That’s next Monday. This week I am keeping a log of not only what I eat but what I think and feel when I am eating it. That’s a new step for me. I’m making those ever so subtle, yet important changes, like substituting water for my morning coffee. I’m taking the stairs, not every time but more often than I had been. I’m making those little changes and I’m just keeping going. What else can I do? In the end, I’m going to be here 4 years from now. I’ll be here 8 years from now. I’ll be here that 10, 15 and 20 years from now (I hope at least!). It’s my choice if I am here 4 years from now and 100 pounds lighter or the same weight as I am today. It’s my choice if I am here 8 years from now and 100% healthy or right exactly in the same spot I am today. I’m going to be here, regardless of the circumstance, so I may as well be here and be happy, healthy and in charge, right?

p.s. the "friend" that I spoke of is one of the most beautiful, kind and caring people I know. She has always "looked" perfect to me and I've told her so, recently. We talked a lot about her struggle with weight, and our struggles with weight. She's one of my biggest fans, (as is her daughter) and they're going to cheer me on through this. We're going to be in touch and be "there" for one another. I'm glad I reached out to her with my feelings and thoughts on her life long struggle. We're not alone in this by any means.

9 comments:

K said...

Sarah, I read your blog and commented a lot back when you first started blogging in 2006/2007. (I had a blog called living thin to be thin and then Manure Happens). Anyway, I've continued subscribing to your blog all these years while I've...gained weight. I hate that you've struggled so much lately, but I also want to tell me how much your determination and struggle is inspiring me to try again (and again if necessary).

So, Good luck to you and to me:-)

Weighing in w/ my .02 said...

K - I appreciate your comment and your "coming out of the closet" more than you ever know. If it weren't for people like you, I would have given up this blog many moons ago. Thanks for posting and please, do so more often! That's why I write, so we can share and learn from one another (and gripe together and laugh together all that good stuff too!)

The Austrian said...

Sarah - you need to forgive yourself for gaining some weight back. Please, please, please forgive yourself. You can't move on when you are still living in the past. You might think that you can "shame" yourself into losing weight but believe me, IT DOES NOT WORK.

I spent all of 2009 yo-yoing the same 30 pounds up and down up and down, doing every diet plan, following every book which claimed to not be a diet (newsflash - if it makes you eat completely different than you normally eat and drastically reduces your calories - it's a DIET). I was so unhappy. And whenever I did lose weight I could just think "Well, that's great but I am still only halfway down to my lowest weight and then my lowest weight is still far from where I wanted to be". I hated myself so much for what I had done to my body. I didn't want to dress up anymore or make any effort to look good because I wasn't as thin as I wanted to be. And then whenever I had a bad day and I ate stuff I wasn't supposed to I gave up and I had to start over again and again and the guilt continued.

And then in 2010 I decided that I would stop beating myself up about the past. Now, when I have a binge day I just move on (because you know what - everybody has a bad day sometimes and overeat, even skinny people) and not only am I slowly losing weight, despite eating butter and oil and cheese when I really want to but I feel "sane" for the first time in years.

Weighing in w/ my .02 said...

Thanks Austrian! I think there is a great deal of validity in what you're saying. I am harder on myself now because of where I had been in the past and maybe that's not the right approach to take. Thanks for your input!

alea said...

Your post really struck a chord with me! You're saying out loud a lot of those thoughts that are constantly churning in my head and it helps me tremendously to know that I'm not alone... Oh, and The Austrian's comment? That is so true for me too! I actually think the first time round (i.e. before I almost got to goal and the gained it all back) was a lot easier because I didn't know any different and wasn't beating myself up about having gained everything back...

I've come to the same conclusion though. We'll just have to try again, one step after the other. Good luck!

Weighing in w/ my .02 said...

Wow! I'm so glad people are responding positively to what I thought was a Debbie Downer post. Thanks everybody!

Erin said...

Gotta say, I can relate in someway myself. I worked hard to lose the weight, it wasn't the number that you are facing, but it was a number that did wonders for my health and physical being. I slept better. And it took me *10* years to realize that the extra weight was affecting an old knee injury (kind of "duh" moment there, but hey, it happens, lol). I got pregnant with our daughter so naturally, the weight came on again. I'm not going to lie, the motivation to re-lose the weight was daunting. I mean, I *just* did it! I did that already, damn it! Through the small steps, bad days, cupcakes and all, I did it. Again. But we all have our battles...

I fear that I will always be thinking, "Hmmm....that pan of brownies/plate of cookies/bucket of ice cream will go away faster if someone just eats them....". And of course, that someone is me. I practice portion control. I workout. Hell, I rarely bake but DH turned into Betty Crocker recently. I know that I deserve a treat now and then. *A* treat. Not one brownie six times. Now, I'm not sitting there, binging on brownies like they're going out of style tomorrow. It's one here, one there. And it's that "one there" that nags me. It's not that I need it or even really want it. I figure that I'm helping the cause of getting rid of them(while cursing DH for making them) and as a bonus, they taste good too :::sigh:::

I don't want to spend my life thinking that I shouldn't have a second one just because I "shouldn't". That I'm sabotaging what I worked/work SO hard for. It's so easy to get yourself into a way of thinking and it's hard to shake it.

I think it's great that you have someone that relates to the struggle you are going through and that you can talk to. I see the weight (and subsequent health) struggles of some of my family members who, by the way, are also always on a diet and think, "I don't want that". I also think it's great that you are taking this new step. A different approach. I did that the second time around because I felt I needed a new way to fight the same battle. I had to find something I could *live* with, not just deal with for the time being.

Madame K said...

I totally agree. You cannot shame yourself into losing weight. Also one thing I’ve noticed about you from reading this blog. You mentally beat yourself up alot! How can you stay confident and motivated on a steady diet of negative self-talk?
(pun intended.)

I don’t know how, but you desperately need to learn how to be kinder and gentler to yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you are to Sadie. (Isn't it amazing that we actually have to be reminded to be kind to ourselves?)

In my life most of my weight problems have popped up at times when I’m really struggling mentally and/or emotionally, or I am going through a difficult transition. A big part of my personal weight issues are in reality mental/psychological/spiritual issues. The weight gain is nothing more than a physical manifestation of these issues. I don’t have a weight problem. I have a thinking problem. Right now I’m spending time getting my mind in shape. I have full confidence that my body will naturally follow.


Something to remember: There is nothing wrong with your body. It’s keeping you alive, so it’s doing it’s job. Your body is not the enemy. It does not need to be controlled or subdued. What DOES need to be controlled and subdued are any negative thoughts that you’ve been holding onto about yourself.

Weighing in w/ my .02 said...

MadameK thanks for your thoughts. I really love what you said "The weight gain is nothing more than a physical manifestation of these issues. I don’t have a weight problem. I have a thinking problem." That is so true but I was actually quite surprised to read that you feel I'm hard on myself. I have never seen myself that way. I'm going to reflect on that because according to "the bible of weight loss" Dr. Phil's book, it's one of the keys to unlocking weight loss success and if I haven't mastered that key as well as I think I have then it can be soemthing specific that I can work on. I'll listen to my thoughts a lot more carefully and see what I come up with. Thanks!