Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stuck in a Rut

I've been stuck in a rut.  A routine, if you will.  A never-ending cycle of stupid.  You see, after I became 'healthy' I decided that I didn't need to worry about food, about calories, about what I put into my body.  I told myself that I had spent too much time being destructive in the name of vanity.  I made myself believe that I would no longer have to stress and fret over this subject.  For a while, this was totally fine.  I was gaining some much-needed weight and everyone was so proud.  I was like a toddler learning to eat with manners (in a matter of speaking, of course).  Watch me use my fork to eat this cheesecake without worry or purging, aren't I swell?

This became my new normal.  Eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, daring anyone to say anything about it.  One thing led to another and after years of hiding behind the excuse of being overly sensitive on food-related issues, I eventually became a fat girl.  Thus ingraining in me the above mentioned stupid-cycle.  A cycle consisting of over eating, feeling guilty, making the choice to exercise and eat right, stop eating healthy but continuing to exercise, being mad about not seeing results, stopping exercise, and then starting all over again with over eating.

I've had the need to be thinner, for both vanity and health reasons, for quite some time.  But I only have fleeting moments of a spastic want to actually do something about it.  I mean, most of the time, I want that cookie much more than I want that celery (oftentimes praying that God would just take all the calories out of the cookie, but let it keep it's taste).  And I want that cookie, more than I want to go to the gym.  It's funny that I complain about being fat and get driven about wanting to change my life and get healthy, but the drive only lasts for so long.  Then I get tired.  I get frustrated because I don't see results fast enough and I give up.  I get to this point where I am super-angry and I feel like the results (if I ever get them) just aren't worth the effort.  I feel like I exercise all the time, but then when I sit down and really think about it I realize it's been a month since I've done anything but teach Yoga.

Although this may be true for some, I never run, and I generally don't ever regret eating one cookie.
A whole batch of them?  Yes.  But never just for one cookie.

So I get stuck.  Stuck in this self-loathing guilt for not taking better care of myself, this mind-racing need to do something about my situation, but baking that Lemon-Blueberry Swirl Cake anyway (yes it's cooling on my counter as I write).  I pick myself apart from top to bottom -- My hair is too limp; my nose is too big and has a funny bump in the middle, my teeth are too yellow, I have a double chin, my arms are too fat and are covered in scars, my belly sticks out way too far, my thighs are too fat, my butt is full of cellulite, I hate my cankles, my feet are flat, etc.  This is what runs through my head during my times of give-up-ness.  These are the times of feeling like the fattest in the room, the state, the world.

While I don't particularly love the language on this, I totally get it.

I go through little mini-cycles in the middle of all of this, where, late at night, I am so excited to start on this new journey of being healthy and setting a good example for my friends and family.  Then I wake up in the morning and I decide that tomorrow would be a better day to start the new journey.  FYI -- this happened to me about a million times with cigarettes.  I would throw a half-full pack away at night, excited and ready to finally quit, and then dig them out of the garbage in the morning, deciding that I would quit the next week instead (thankfully I've now been smoke free for 2 1/2 years).  This is what keeps me up at night.  These thoughts of making new decisions and changes and setting new goals for this new life of health and fitness... then I stay up all night, I can't sleep because of the anticipation (and because the Olivia theme song has been stuck in my head all week).  Then I wake up the next morning, exhausted and over it.

...or singing to itself...

I don't want you to think I'm crazy.  Too late, eh?  Oh well.  Maybe I am a little nutso.  That's fine, I suppose (I recently read a quote that said "It's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring" -- well I guess I won't ever have to worry about being boring).  Know, though, that I do go through periods of feeling amazing.  I work hard, I make smart choices, and I forget about all of my self-perceived flaws.  I can look in the mirror every once in a while and actually feel pretty (today, though, my belly was really showing the effects of all those cookies).  It's during the times where I am trying hard that I feel amazing (and feeling amazing means so much more than what the scale says).  I can't figure out why I quit every time it gets hard or I hit a plateau.  I want to feel amazing, I would like to look amazing (preferably sooner than later), but I quit before I get the chance.  See?  I told you.  Stupid-cycle.

None of us are perfect, but parts of all of us are pretty awesome.

So I've decided to make a list of the excuses I hide behind when I go through my periods of eating like crap and ditching the gym. It goes a little something like this:

1.  I am emotionally allergic to taking any one's advice on weight-loss.
2.  I do not crave health food.  I probably never will.
3.  Everyone has issues, mine could be worse than being fat.
4.  If I wasn't fat I'd be perfect, and perfection is oh so exhausting (this is a total joke, by the way).
5.  I spent too much time worrying about food and counting calories in the past.  I'm not ready to do it again.
6.  I just get too carried away if I pay too much attention to what I eat.
7.  I just keep hoping that the doctor's will find something wrong with me so that they can write me a prescription to change my hormones to make me miraculously thin.
8.  I would have such a terrible headache if I gave up soda and sugar.
9.  I've already lost 50 pounds (which is looking a little more like 47 lately), isn't that enough?
10.  "Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality." -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

There are many more excuses that seem reasonable at the time I tell them to myself, but if I'm being honest, they are just excuses.  The truth is, I'm afraid of failing.  I'm afraid of pouring my heart and soul into getting healthy and into making a change and falling flat on my chubby round rear.

So, I'm trying to make a change.  I know I keep saying this.  But I feel like I'm at a point where I'm either going to have to chose to be fat forever and to be disappointed every time I look in the mirror, or I'm going to have to suck it up, stop hiding behind the fear of failure, and get physically motivated.  I'm motivated mentally (it's easy when I'm sitting here just typing about it), but when it comes to making very real, very tough, physical choices, I tend to not believe in myself.  I don't even let myself try.

So, six months after starting this blogging journey, I am sitting at basically the same exact spot.  It's embarrassing.  But it's real.  So I will start taking my doctor's advice to "eat better and exercise more" (even though it makes me roll my eyes because I already know all that, darn it) and actually make a point to do it.  Not just for a week or two.  I'm going to do it (I'm praying very hard for God to help give me the physical motivation to do this), and I need you to hold me accountable.

Be healthy.  Love yourself.  And thanks for keeping me In Good Company.

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