Thursday, March 31, 2011

Speed Bumps

I have been reflecting on the past couple of weeks, and trying to see things subjectively, but it seems subjectivity is sort of a sticky spot for me lately.  I have been having problems with not wanting to stay on track with both food and exercise, letting myself slip into thoughts that work against me, even indulge in activities that are counter-productive, such as eating popcorn, extra cheat meals, drinking wine.  I am feeling a bit half-hearted about the journey right now, and this is exactly the time I should be making a big push, to help get me over the halfway point.  I think all of these things are completely normal during a journey like this, it is just getting under my skin a bit because up until recently, I hadn't really experienced them.
I don't like the body image issues I am encountering lately.  I feel like I am standing in front of a funhouse mirror, where everything is distorted.  My mind is in complete chaos.  I keep looking at my arms thinking, did they look better last month than now?  And if so, how did that happen?  And what do I do next?  Just how hard do I have to work, and how long is this going to take?  And is this gross stuff hanging off me fat, skin or both?  And, if the measuring tape keeps showing me a loss, why do some XL clothes not fit and some do?  My frustration is taking the wind out of my sails a little bit.  Am I right to assume most people go through this?  At least, the ones who've got more than 10  pounds to lose? 
The shoes made me feel better yesterday, but it didn't last, because the other part of my shopping trip was trying on shirts, in the size I am "kind of" in, and all of them made me feel like I am delusional about being in that size, clinging to the fat around my middle, advertising it in neon.  And when I looked at the clothing in the next larger size, everything looks like hideous moo-moos, aweful patterns and flowers, bright polka dots.  Vomit.  Its as if the designers of plus-sized clothing feel they need to distract people's attention from the fact that they are indeed plus-sized, by putting the most putrid designs on the front of their clothing.  What gives?  Anyway, once the novelty of the shoes wore off for the day (didn't get much of a reaction from my husband, which deflated me a bit), I started to let my frustrations take over.  It got me to such a low point, that I decided to get the tape measure out and measure my hips, (what I have referred to as "the bottom roll") as it is the most flawed area on me.  That was the smartest thing I'd done all day (other than my two cardio sessions and eating right).  And tomorrow is the day I take/post my monthly measurements, so I will see how the rest of my body is doing.  I'm sure I am moving in the right direction, my brain is just so confused right now.  I can't remember what I looked like a month ago, and I am thinking I was thinner than I am now (which, of course, isn't true) and its making me feel like I have lost some momentum, and then I internalize that.  I think, after twenty-some years of dieting, I am so hard-wired to believe I will never beat this thing, that I am starting to let some of that old, habitual doubt creep in.  That, is the most counter-productive thing anyone can do. 
So today, I am going to begin to sort things out in my mind by looking at photos of my journey, and spend some time focusing on where I began and where I'm going.  The contest ends in 3 months, which both motivates me and terrifies me a bit.  I was hoping to be 80-90% to my goal by then, and right now, I don't know if that'll happen.  Then, when I think about next fall, I feel totally confident that I will be in a great place with my goals.  Maybe the take-home message is that deadlines are great for challenging yourself (and I am still going to work hard to see if I can reach my goal by then), but what matters most is that I do reach my goals, no matter when.  And believing that I not only can do it but will, is all the empowerment I need.  This mental roadblock is just a speed bump in my path, and now it's time to move past it.
Happy April Fool's Eve everyone.  Hope you all have some delicious pranks up your sleeve for tomorrow!

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