Thursday, July 21, 2005

All in the mind

The more I think about this journey, the more I realise how it's my "fat chick" way of thinking rather than my physical limitations that affects my chances of success. I know from my progress so far that I can do this, but there are times when I just don't believe I'll ever be anything other than fat.

Today at work someone said to me that she couldn't believe how well I am doing. Well, that's the problem. In a way, neither can I. And that makes me start thinking that this success is only temporary, that I'm fooling myself if I think I can keep it off, and that it's something so unbelievable that I won't taste the success for long.

Since I turned 16 or so I've had 11 years of constantly realising how fat I was. Not always as fat as at my highest, but for almost all of it I must have been fatter than I was now. I looked at my mother, and I looked at my grandmother, and I took it for granted that being fat was my fate. That there was nothing I could do to avoid it, and that the best I could hope for was to like myself despite it. And like myself I did. My weight never bothered me in the slightest really. Or at least, I should say my size. I never actually knew my weight so by definition it couldn't bother me. It was only the day that I realised how much I actually weighed that the trigger in my head which had been on the verge for a while (and which had already made me join a gym) actually realised what I had to do.

It's one of the great ironies of this journey that I can be far more obsessed with how awful my body looks now, 50 pounds lighter, than I ever was at my highest. It's strange, the double image. When I look at myself and compare myself to how I used to look I see myself looking absolutely gorgeous, thin (ish) and pretty. When I block the old image out of my head and think about how other people look, and how I want to look, I see myself looking just as bad as I ever did. Before I started this journey I never thought about that at all, and was just happy being me.

Anyway, I digress. (Nothing new there...) What I'm trying to say is that I ingrained into myself the idea that I was fat despite anything I tried to do. And therefore there was no point trying. My diet was never wholly unhealthy. It was more generally healthy, with the occasional binges. Chocolate, and alcohol mainly. I never lived on crisps, or chips, or takeaways, or sweets, or biscuits, or cakes. But when I binged, boy did I binge. And although my food was generally healthy, I suspect my portion control was off. But to me, all I could see was that here I was, eating pasta with low fat sauces, chicken, some fruit and veg (not 5 portions at that stage, but some), and I was still fat. Therefore it was inevitable that I would always be fat. No diet would help me. And that mindset lasted even after I started at the gym. I didn't join the gym to lose weight, I joined the gym to get fit. Strangely I barely even imagined that it would help me lose weight. I was a member for weeks without bothering to step back on the scales. And then I did, and I realised that maybe there was hope for me yet.

But still, when I'm feeling down, the old fat girl comes back. She tells me how much more stable my moods were before, when I had one less thing to worry about, when I was happy with myself despite everything. She tells me that there's no point wasting a year or two trying to get thin, when that isn't in my destiny. I ignore her the best I can, countering her arguments with thoughts about how much better I feel now in the good times, even if I feel down in the bad times. And there are more good times than bad times, it's just that they're not so interesting to write about.

I'm slowly coming to realise that it's the inner fat girl who is my problem. It's not my eating habits, which I can stick to now. It's not exercise, which I love. It's those nagging doubts that make me wonder whether it's all worth it. Earlier I seriously started considering whether something like hypnotism would help to shut her up, because if I could just get rid of her voice I'd be fine, I really would. And I wonder how long it will take to convince her that this isn't just some brief visit to being thinner, but something that can last for life.

-------------------------------------------

Stage 1 in the silencing the voices plan was, of course, to step away from the scales. One day gone, and I'm coping. Today was easier because I decided to swim and didn't go into the fitness room at the gym where the scales are. Tomorrow might be another matter though.

Today was a lot calmer, I don't know whether it's because of the lack of weighing (although I'm now obsessively using my body fat monitor instead), or because of my lovely relaxing evening last night. After going out last night for a run round the park (about 4 miles in total, but I walked some of it), I made myself a lovely bath, lit some candles and relaxed. I then lit different candles, got into bed, and relaxed. How much nicer it is to get my sanity back by genuinely treating myself rather than giving myself "treats" that aren't even good for me like the old staples of chocolate and wine!

So the voices are a bit quieter, but I know they'll be back, more's the pity.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kykaree said...

I can't believe how similar our stories (and our inner fat girls) are. Like you I never knew my weight, but the moment I found out, I had to do something about it. I was always comfortable in my own skin.

And to have the similar head crisis at the same time too!!!!

You have played a huge part in helping me over it, and reading your blog has really helped

Kylie

xxx

10:14 PM  
Blogger YP said...

I'm glad I helped, Kylie - I was trying to convince myself as much as you though!!! I reckon we're Gemini twins ;)

10:26 PM  
Blogger Jude said...

I like your pics is that new?

12:51 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I swear, I could have written that. I am always worried about my genes and how I can't beat them. My body is already looking like my mothers and that really terrifies me although I'm much healhier than I think she ever was. Thanks for opening up.

2:44 PM  
Blogger MrsDawsondn said...

"It's one of the great ironies of this journey that I can be far more obsessed with how awful my body looks now, 50 pounds lighter, than I ever was at my highest. It's strange, the double image. When I look at myself and compare myself to how I used to look I see myself looking absolutely gorgeous, thin (ish) and pretty. When I block the old image out of my head and think about how other people look, and how I want to look, I see myself looking just as bad as I ever did. Before I started this journey I never thought about that at all, and was just happy being me."

You hit the head ib the nail here I felt and still feel exactly the same way. BTW have you ever thought about taking your blogs and publishing a book from this. You may not realize it but your thoughts capture alot of what people that are on the journey to a thinner self thinks and feels. This is really a great blog I may have to add you as a favorite.

5:02 PM  

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