Sometimes, it’s just the mundane snap shots that are the most telling. The mistake I make in writing is that typically I wait until I have something “important enough” to say, and much like “some day,” it never seems quite important enough– that day never comes. The struggle is also a statement, a testament to hard work. It seems like magic happens when you just see where the moment will take you, when expectations are not allowed to measure the outcome. Maybe the takeaway for me today should be to celebrate the fact that I am trying, and allow the positive return, whatever that might be, be enough.
Lately, I’ve been struggling quietly. There’s nothing elegant about the early stages of (what hopefully amounts to) extreme weight loss. It’s gritting your teeth, sheer stubbornness, that fuels you. The moment where it all becomes too exhausting and redundant that something breaks inside you and the choice becomes to change or always wonder what it might be like if I had put the wish for change into motion. It’s hard at this stage, knowing that at my current weight, it will take quite some time before anyone (self included) notices. Changes are happening-they must be-but they seem so intangible and far way.
I’m making the “right” decisions, saying no to temptations, mostly. A large portion of back sliding for me, is that the initial efforts, the first 15, 30, 40 pounds– it all feels so small compared to the 275 total pounds lost I want to discard and dispel forever. It’s so easy at this stage for me to say fuck it, it’s just too hard. I get into this negative mindset and feel discouraged. I fear that making the right decisions won’t make making the right decisions easier in the future.
Strangers on forums will share anecdotal evidence that it gets easier to shift gears into healthy/mindful mindset once you break yourself of the habits, but my relationship with food is so complex it’s difficult to say if it will ever get to a point where it can be called “healthy.” I wonder, will I ever get “better” or is it like AA, and I’ll always be obsessed with food? When I was starving myself or succumbing to bulimic tendencies, I was constantly thinking about food. About the numbers that stacked and always seemed to amount to too much, or how many calories I could burn exercising. Certain foods became unsafe, and then all foods felt unsafe. I would throw myself into projects and clubs and practice and painting and the hours I could spend distracted would serve as a reminder that I could overcome food. Ultimately, food would overcome me, I would always be thinking about the next time I could eat, and what I could eat. It amounted to another kind of hopelessness.
Truthfully, my behavior is not too different when I’m eating at a healthy deficit. I scroll aimlessly through affirmations, search for tips and forums and seek out like-minded weight loss focused content. So much of my weight-loss efforts are based out of fear and the wish to gain control. I struggle with allowing myself to veer from “healthy foods” because I fear my self control is far too weak. I worry all of my resolve will crumble and I will cave back into my old, mindless habits. I fear that I won’t be strong enough to say yes and then say no.
I have to allow myself space to be a work in progress. That’s what all of this is supposed to be. It seems like for now I am living life between the before and after pictures. That’s where all of the magic is really happening- overcoming the cravings, the tiny transformations, overcoming the little challenges and coming out on the other side victorious.
Note to self: little victories are still victories.