I was thinking about this today, as I was on my six hour drive for work. What do I want?
My whole life, I have "wanted" to lose weight. Always. Since the age of 9. I have had people tell me that I need to lose weight, I was too heavy, I was fat, or the ever popular, "You have such a pretty face, but...." What I realized is that all this came down to in my young, impressionable mind, was that I wasn't good enough. So, I began to people please. I made good grades. Helped my teachers, my classmates. I tried to be perfect, to make up for my substandard body and weight. I did everything I could to make up for this horrible body of mine. Even up to last year, I have never accepted myself. I had never accepted myself as I was. I had only accepted myself as I wanted or hoped to be.
Earlier this year...something changed for me. I was working part-time for a very well known weight loss company (had lost 30 pounds and kept it off) in addition to a full-time 60-80 hour job and I missed one online training. Apparently that training was something magical because I had to have a conversation with the manager and we ultimately decided it was best to part ways. Well, of course I was hurt by this and decided not to continue doing that program, which I had done off and on for most of my life. The most interesting part of this was....for the first time in YEARS (yes years), I was not ON any program. I felt so free! And then, so afraid. Was I going to gain everything back? Should I start tracking every morsel again that crossed my lips? Do I track in Sparkpeople? MyFitnessPal? Find a new app? A new program? Maybe go back to tracking in two programs? Calories? Macros? Should I try Keto? I didn't know what to do.
I had relied on programs for so many years, that I was actually, in hindsight, blaming the program for my lack of progress. And now, because I didn't have anyone to blame but myself, things felt differently. Was it like this all along? Duh! Yes, my success or failure was MY fault. Not a program's fault. This event spawned a lot of looking at food, watching documentaries and just re-learning about health as opposed to weight loss. I am a trained Certified Health Coach, and I have helped other people but had yet been able to help myself. I know that it's because I have subconsciously told myself that it will "work for others, but it won't work for me. I am not good enough." That old phrase has haunted this girl for 40 years.
It stops now.
I decided that today is my new Day 1. I will NOT spend any more money on dieting, weight loss programs, or any other "just do this and you'll look great" schemes. I know what I need to do to lose this weight. I know the behaviors I need to change to make it happen. I know the obstacles that are before more, and they are all mental and emotional ones.
So what do I really want now?
I want to be healthy, I want to be happy, but most of all, I want to love and accept myself as I am now. Scars and all! If I can't love myself now, at this weight, I will not be able to keep myself at a lower weight for any significant amount of time. Nor, will I let anyone else really love me either. And, I don't want the illusion that my life will be all better once I lose the weight. I will be dealing with a lot of the same challenges, whether heavy or lighter...while some things might be easier physically, others will be much more difficult emotionally if I don't learn to love myself now.
This year, I will rid myself of this excess weight by speaking to myself with kindness and love, but showing myself grace when I make mistakes and by taking each day one at a time. I will track my food in the Sparkpeople app and stay more consistent in the Community. (Feel free to friend me!). I will get to my 10,000 steps each day, even if I have to march in place, not because I need skinny jeans but because my body needs the movement, my heart needs the exercise and I need to get blood pumping through my veins to keep this body healthy. I also need the exercise to keep the depression at bay. I will not fantasize about a size I want to wear or how my life will be so perfect, but I will imagine myself completing my fourth half marathon in under three hours, I will think about how easy it is for me to glide up four flights of stairs without a drip of sweat on my brow or back and I will smile brightly when a camera is pointed at me because I am proud of this body and life I have created.
That's what I really want. The crazy thing is, it's been here this whole time.
I chose to make things hard and complicated. I chose to procrastinate and get back on track on Monday... next week... next month... after the holidays. Those were my choices and this body is the result of that.
Now, I am choosing differently. What will your choices be in 2019?
What will your choices be tomorrow?