Now that the glow of New Year’s has faded, I’ve been asking myself a lot of unpleasant questions. Actually, more accurately stated, unpleasant questions have been popping unbidden into my head.
Let me start with this: I’ve lost THIRTY-SIX (36!!!) pounds. Yes, I now weigh less than I have at any point in the last 10 years (my son is 10) and probably what I weighted 18 years ago when my husband and I, before kids, lived on the West Coast among the granola-eating, soy-milk drinking, naturally fit outdoorsy types. (I say that with jealously and affection for those of you on the West Coast.)
Now, as I reflect on my accomplishment of losing 36 (!!!) pounds, the question that keeps coming to mind is – why the $%^& did I weigh 212 pounds?!? Not “how,” but “why”? I know “how” –> Brownies, burritos, hot dogs, white wine and bowls of cereal at 10 p.m. But why? And, what the #$%^ was my internal self-talk that made it OK when I got over 190 then over 200 then over 205?!?
My first response is – I don’t know – but that’s not entirely true. If I think about it – which I really, really, really don’t want to do – I realize that I have some ideas about what was going on.
Let’s see. If I’m painfully honest, I was thinking each of these at one point or another:
- “I’m perfectly healthy, because I’m tall and I’m an athletic person who COULD be active at any time if I wanted to.” (These are just plain excuses [um, lies] I told myself. I hadn’t exercised in years and years and had no intention to start. I was making preemptive excuses to allow myself to continue to mindlessly over-eat.)
- “Eating makes me truly satisfied like nothing else does.” (Wow. I now see that I needed other things in my life to make me happy and satisfied and am working on that.)
- “I’m in complete control of me and no one is going to tell me what to do or be; I can eat and weigh what I want.” (I misinterpreted the freedom to eat or weigh anything as being in control. But I wasn’t in control at all. I’ve learned that freedom and control are not about a lack of accountability, but the opposite.)
- “I don’t want to stand out, so let me be chubby and blend in.” (Um, wow again. At 46, I now have insight to deal with this. I wish I could’ve told my 36-year-old self how to handle others.)
Listen, I’ve always loved myself – I think I have great hair and skin and a great overall build – at 175 pounds or 212 pounds. I’m smart and successful. This isn’t about self-love or self-hate. It’s not about being embarrassed or ashamed by being fat.
It’s about near and long-term health, strength & vigor into old age, and personal accountability.
I was lying to myself that I was healthy and strong at 212 pounds when I wasn’t even walking around the block. I was lying to myself that a big lunch and a big dinner and dessert every night was appropriate for good health.
If there’s one thing I’m reminded of EVERY DAY by tracking what I eat in the weight watchers app – it’s that I was so incredibly over-eating in the past. I’ve cut down what I eat and I don’t even miss it. I was eating and eating and eating. It was just incredibly unnecessary.
So there you go. Those are my unpleasant lies to myself. What are yours?