Old Jeans, New Outlook

Last week I did something I’ve been holding off doing for too long.

I took my size 14 jeans out of the closet and put them on.

It felt like defeat.

The jeans fit. perfectly.

Two months ago, they wouldn’t have stayed up around my waist.

Sigh.

Except.

Except, I’m trying really hard to pay attention to my thoughts about this jean situation. I’m pretty upset, to be honest. I want to lose weight. now. and fast. Those thoughts lead me down a bad place, a shame spiral, a failure mindset.

And then, just five minutes ago, I had this thought:

“If I’m going to be miserable trying to lose weight, I’m not going to do it.” It was a total “duh” revelation but immediately put me on a better path.

Before a few months ago, I genuinely enjoyed tracking my calories, logging my weight, and all the other habits associated with weight loss. Before losing any weight, I wasn’t a person who thrived on spreadsheets and tracking. I’ve never been that super organized, make lists, love-crossing-things-off type. To be that way for this long actually kind of amazed me.

If I’m going to lose anymore weight it has to be in a way I enjoy, because otherwise, what’s the point? The whole goal of being healthy was to have MORE enjoyment and participation in life, not less.

The thought of logging in to MyFitnessPal and tracking my calories seems like torture. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing it or because I feel upset about the whole idea of doing it.

I want to be excited about the way I’m living. And be healthier. Those ideas have to go together for me. It doesn’t work for me to say “I’ll just be on this diet until I lose more weight” – that leads to weight gain. Every. Single. Time. I have to be living, eating, and moving in a way that is joyful all the time.

I can’t continue to be upset about wearing these jeans because being upset is not going to get me anywhere. Hating how I look doesn’t motivate me to work out, it motivates me to sit on the couch and eat more.

Honestly, the jeans fit well. I liked how I look in them because I’m wearing clothes that are the right size and not pinching at my stomach. Why should the size of the jeans take that away?

And with that, my outlook changed. For some reason, putting on those jeans gave me courage to face everything else I was ignoring.

You’ll notice a couple of new things in the right sidebar of my blog. For one, I have a new “welcome” graf, but I also updated my weight on MyFitnessPal.

That was not easy. I didn’t want to erase that hard-earned 90-pound loss, but I can’t dwell in the past. I’ve gained weight. I am where I am now and facing that, instead of pretending it’s not my reality, will be more productive.

I have a bunch of exciting fitness things going on that I can’t wait to share, but I’m going to hold off for another post.

Part of me not posting regularly is because I just didn’t feel strong enough to be in my life.

Here’s the thing: when you’re overweight, obese, fat, whatever, you are (or maybe just feel?) pretty much invisible to society. It’s not a great feeling, but it’s a place where I felt safe and protected. Being this size, being on this blog, being me without the weight takes courage and vulnerability and I think a lot of my overeating/binging has been triggered by the desire to be invisible again. To retreat into the familiar.

I’m always and forever nervous to post things like this, but the one lesson I’ve learned from writing here is that every time I put myself out there in a way that is terrifying, I receive love and strength in return. When I first started losing weight, I used one phrase to push myself forward when my motivation waned: “What’s the alternative?”

Well, the past few months I’ve seen what the alternative is. Ignoring reality and soothing every anxiety with food. I’m stronger than that. Who I am right now is enough to handle anything that comes my way. I owe it to myself to believe that.

We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.
— Marianne Williamson

 

A Post I Can Feel Good About

Hi there 🙂

It’s been a while.

I have no real reason for not blogging, other than I haven’t been losing any weight. Shitty reason right?

I had a post almost done…that was two weeks before my birthday.

My birthday was on Friday.

So yeah, haven’t written in a while.

The post that I was supposed to post was titled “When nothing changes”

And, it talked about how my weight hasn’t changed in a year (birthday themed, obviously).

And, it talked about how, even though my weight hasn’t changed in a year, that I still know that I’ve changed, maybe the most in this year.

I don’t want to talk about any of that.

All I want to do, is spread a message of self-acceptance.

There are a lot of things that made this last year tough, that I’m “blaming” for why my weight hasn’t changed in a year.

It’s not worth my proverbial breath to talk about.

The night of my birthday, I had a delicious dinner with my best friend (Cocktails, Wine, Burgers, More Wine, FroYo), and like you do with best friends, we sat in my car until late at night talking about life.

She knows I haven’t been the happiest of happys lately, and she knows some (a lot?) of that stems from anxiety about my weight, and she told me that it didn’t matter to anyone else what my weight was, if I was losing, etc.

I felt like a failure because my weight hadn’t changed. If I had sat down and thought about how my friends felt about me because of my weight, what she said was probably the conclusion I would have come to, but it was different, comforting, reassuring, and lovely, coming from her. That’s how anxiety works, you don’t think about logical conclusions. Sometimes it takes someone else to cut through.

Best friends, AMIRITE?

I mentioned to another friend yesterday that I feel like I’ve been living “reactively” instead of “proactively”

As in, I need to lose weight for these things so let me start cutting calories immediately, but first, let me eat all the stuff in my apartment that I won’t let myself eat soon.

That is me, reacting inappropriately, to any kind of future situation.

When I’m in control, and know that who I am now, and who I am in the future, will be just fine and completely enough, for any kind of situation anywhere, that doesn’t happen.

Listen, it wasn’t self-acceptance alone that helped me lose a lot of weight. It was daily food tracking, consistent exercising, and keeping my emotional eating in check.

But, I only could do that because I believed I was worth the effort.

I’ve been getting caught in a cycle of not doing those things, gaining weight, feeling depressed, and then believing that the depression is from the weight gain, when it’s really from not taking care of myself (ie. daily food tracking, consistent exercise, keeping my emotional eating in check).

See how that works?

My weight, a number, the size of my clothes, does not trigger or take away from my happiness. There will always be a lower weight to chase and a smaller pair of jeans to squeeze in to.

I didn’t want to write in this blog for a while because I didn’t feel like I had the “answer” to weight loss. I didn’t feel like I had anything figured out, and I felt like a giant fraud.

But this blog, who I am, what I’m about, what keeps me going, is not weight loss.

Three years ago when I began to lose weight, the motivation, the “answer” was love. It wasn’t a new diet I was trying, it wasn’t a month-long challenge to cut out sugar, it wasn’t a 3-day juice fast.

It was about caring about myself, and not letting food control me, as it had for so many years with binge eating.

When I want to write about that, the words flow, they are words I feel good about, they are words I can completely stand behind.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection” – Buddha