So, it is no secret that I have been working on weight loss for quite some time now. Hell, it is hard to think of a time when I haven't (at least in my own half-assed way) been working on it. When I was pregnant, maybe? I even worked on it as a child. At least to an extent. I was a fat kid and I can still remember my mother packing me alternate snacks for snack time at school so that I could lose weight. A bit on the humiliating side... Anyway, that is another story for another time. The point is, that I have been working on it (no matter how badly), for what seems like forever. So, why am I still 100 pounds overweight? It seems to me that I did it out of a feeling of obligation or a form of punishment. I never really grasped it as a lifestyle change at all.
In January 2006, I lost roughly 40 pounds and I was feeling great! My confidence was up. I felt better and I really looked great. So, what happened? Well, life happened. I went through some personal struggles with a family member that sent me out of control again. As much as this person hurt me, I realize now that I cannot blame them for not only losing control but also sight of my goal. This event made me extremely vulnerable and scared. It was almost as if I had retreated back into a child's mindset. All of my insecurities came rushing back. While I was working on my health at the time, I never worked on my mental health. I think that was the problem.
This time (although my loss has been slower), I am determined to work on all of me rather than the scale. So far I have done better than I ever have because I have become more dedicated to physical activity. Running has become a type of therapy for me that I cannot describe. I just know that I always feel better and a real sense of accomplishment when I am finished.
I have been reading Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change your Life by Jillian Michaels. I am sorry, but I really really like her. Her insights make so much sense to me. In the book, she challenges you to answer questions about your negative self image. She suggests writing the answers down in a journal. Well, this is my journal. So here goes...
Do you have a negative self image?
Yes. I know I am an intelligent,kind,capable person. The negativity has more to do with the way I am physically. Mirrors and any reflective surface are not my friends. You know when you leave the house feeling great about the way you look that day and then you see your reflection in the glass door as you walk into work and all of that changes? It seems like that is me...every day.
Do you lack self-confidence?
Again, yes. I work hard and do well in my professional life. I have great friends and a supportive family. One would think that would be enough to foster at least some level of self-confidence. Even when I am doing something well, I tend to second guess myself. I am not sure where this comes from or why.
Do you feel powerless?
Oddly, no. I am well aware that the power for change is somewhere inside of me. Actually, I have felt more power in the past few months than I have in my entire life. I think I just decided to put away the excuses and do something about my situation.
Do you label yourself in negative or self-deprecating ways?
Yeah, every now and then. I have always seen myself as the "chubby chick." I have always been the fat, nice girl. You know? The one where people say things like, "But you have such a pretty face." Gee thanks. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that as a child and young adult, I would be able to pay a personal trainer...
How is this negativity serving you?
It isn't doing jack shit for me. I think we all know the answer to this question. It is not helping me reach my goals. A negative dialog is not going to get me to my goal. It isn't going to give me the confidence I need to run that extra mile or to walk away from the chocolate cake. I need to tell the bully inside of me to shut the hell up, quite frankly.