Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miles to Go Before I Sleep


I've been on this leg of my journey to sincerely shed pounds since my thirtieth birthday on February 17th.  Since then I have abolished about 87 pounds, gotten into a new "century," dropped 4 pants' sizes (8 if you count the odd sizes, too), decreased my BMI by 12 points & whittled a combined 35 inches off of my whole body.  So, given 9 months & all of this success, why am I still so filled with self doubt?

The past couple of weeks, I have really struggled with my faith in myself & the progress I have made.  Though I have come so far, in my head I often revert back to Old Sara.  When I get on the scale & I'm waiting for the number to pop up, I guess what I think it will be...always putting a 2 in the first position, though I have been out of the two hundreds for two months.  When I think about my clothes, I sometimes ransack my room for "the only jeans that fit"...just to remember that I shrunk out of them six months ago & took them to Goodwill around the same time.  And then there are the less concrete, but more damaging things about the adjectives that I use to describe myself in my head where no one can hear me: fat, lazy, lumpy, saggy, stupid, huge, unattractive, dirty & my personal favorite: squishy.

It came to a head because I was out of my controlled environment while on vacation.  I had wonderful, supportive family all around me & not a single food pusher among them.  And even though the scale subsequently showed that I made great choices & proved that being on plan doesn't mean being deprived,  I couldn't help feeling out of control & I couldn't stop the nagging voice in my head from saying undermining & hurtful things.

I'm sick & tired of this kind of reverse pride.  As a middle-schooler, an influential adult said to me that humility is "the accurate assessment of yourself," neither fluffing yourself up nor putting yourself down.  Both ends of the spectrum amount to a kind of detrimental pride.  That has stuck with me for nearly 20 years & I often go back to that idea as a way to gauge how I am presenting myself to others, but now I am realizing that I also need to shine that light internally.  Clearly I have come a long way, but mentally, there is still so far to go.  How do I rewrite so many years of internal self-loathing into a healthy appreciation of self?  Not sure, but once again I am fully convinced that the battle against bulge for me (as for so many people) is primarily a war in the mind rather than a war of the behind.

1 comment:

  1. I lost about 35 pounds ten years ago, then re-gained about 15 pounds and have been hard on myself about it ever since. I had this constant self-hatred narrative going on in my head--even though I'm at a healthy weight, I'm on a diet every day, and I felt like people would love me more if I could lose that 15 pounds again. It's a familiar story. Then I read--ta da! Geneen Roth's Women, Food and God, and When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair, and have been much happier since. They really changed my mindset. Now I focus much more on exuberance and self-respect, and paradoxically have learned to love food more than I did before (before I had a love-hate relationship with food). It's freed up a lot of time and energy that was previously directed into trying to discipline my body. Highly recommended.