This post is a bit long but it’s broken up into sections so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You’ll be taking a ride through my mind. No holding back.
Back when I wrote So You’re Calling Me Fat, I was determined to make my way toward health. I’ve done it what seems like 100 times before and quit every time. My quitting doesn’t always happen after a certain number of days, it just comes out of nowhere and when it gets hard, I get hungry, I don’t see quick progress or (insert any other excuse here) happens, I bow out and return to my “normal” eating. The problem: I feel immediate guilt. Not enough to change, though.
I thought this time was going to be different. It was 32 days ago that I, again, committed to being healthy. I didn’t want to make it a crazy plan, just something I could freaking stick to.
In order to pull my focus away from what I’d naturally veer toward (quick fixes, eating plans, etc), I had to take a minute to discover what would work for me. I have a really strong mind and once I put my mind to something, it can turn into an obsession. This goes for wanting a Diet Coke, chocolate, junk food and a Range Rover. Oh wait, whoops, that last part wasn’t relevant. I am obsessed, though. Just FYI.
Getting the Right Mindset:
Why am I doing this? Do I just want to be thin? Is it for health? Like, TRULY for health (not just what sounds good to say out loud) or is it something else?
My body is fairly healthy. I don’t have any major problems and haven’t had to deal with health issues. A lightbulb went off. My body has been functioning normally despite everything I have done to it. My heart continues to beat, my lungs work, my immune system fights sickness and I ignore the fact that I can wake up every day and live. I feed my body crap, I set high expectations and assume it will perform exactly how I want it.
I have started thinking of my body as a friend who would do anything for me. It wants to make me happy, it does things for me that I don’t even recognize. The thing is: I’m ignoring this friend but still expect her to do what I need. This whole time, she hasn’t said much. I continue to hang out with other people (junk food, no exercise) who ruin my reputation (build fat, clog arteries) but always expect that my friend will be there whenever I need her.
That’s not fair of me.
It’s time I started focusing on my friend and finally give her what she needs.
In this case, it’s healthy food for optimal performance, exercise for health and mental clarity and a whole sh*t ton of water to show how much I care.
I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t want to do what I’d done before because it got me to where I am today. With the exception of Weight Watchers (which I wholeheartedly believe works), nothing gets me (and you) to where we want to be and is realistic to maintain. Period.
So, then, now what?
I needed to recognize my habits.
I went through my kitchen and rearranged everything. I took the snacks and moved them to a different place, I cleared off the kitchen counters, I moved the tempting food in the fridge to the very bottom and put the Diet Coke in our garage fridge.
Every time I’d unknowingly make my way to a snack, I’d be forced to stop. This was clearly a habit I wasn’t aware of. Since the thing I was ready to grab was no longer there, I had given myself a moment to see what I was doing and decide whether or not it was worth the guilt that would follow.
In most cases, the answer was “no“. It wasn’t worth it.
It Only Takes Three Things:
- Lots of water
- Portion Control
- Exercise (no matter what it is)
It All Seems So Easy. Is it?
It all sounds good in writing, doesn’t it? Planning out menus, rearranging the kitchen and throwing out fluffy analogies is simple at the beginning. Of course we all approach our goals with the greatest intentions. We think it will work this time. Buuuuuut… life gets busy which means that we need to cut at least one thing out of our schedule – usually exercise. We get tired which means we snack more or grab something that will “wake us up”. Chocolate comes to mind. Maybe a latte? Insert sugar or billion calories here.
Am I Successful?
I have made bigger changes to life than I was prepared for. What’s most surprising is that I don’t feel resentment toward the whole process. For once. I believe I’m ready. I’ve planned to do this when my head is in the exact right place. I’ve cut out Diet Coke, added in over 100oz of water a day, cut my portions (and drink water through my meals), eliminated most sugar and cut out all fast food.
These things are a HUGE change in my life. It’s extremely uncomfortable and requires constant attention to every move I make.
Complete Honesty and Vulnerability (and it makes my stomach turn):
When I made the decision to FINALLY make changes, I weighed 190 pounds. Writing that down makes me want to barf. If I don’t, it’s just another thing I’m hiding. It will allow me to go right back and pretend like all is okay. It’s not. I drank about 4-6 Diet Cokes a day, would eat fast food no less than 4 times a week and snacked on sugary things by the massive handfuls.
Inner monologue: Please let this be smart of me to post right now rather than something that comes back to bite me. I have to just keep typing and not hit the delete button. Keep going…keep going…
Chin up. Shoulders back. Forward momentum.
After 32 days of completely changing my eating habits, taking walks (not even consistently) and believing in myself, I am proud to say that I have lost 17 pounds and am fitting into a pair of my old favorite jeans. Each day, I’m getting closer to my designer jeans that have been sitting in my closet for 6 years. Even then, I only wore them for two years. All of this is really new to me.
I’ve still got a long way to go but I can look at myself and be happy knowing that I’m not giving up, that I’m only getting better and that I can see changes that make me smile. My inner Tawsha is slowly but surely emerging.
Sounds silly but it’s true. I’m not chubby and insecure on the inside.
Because I’m OCD in many ways, having my inner Tawsha and outer Tawsha match makes me feel organized.
So, what’s your story?