Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fear and Fat

A little more introspection for you on this gloriously boring Tuesday afternoon.

Once I identified that I was still living with the fantasy of being thin, I tried to trace why that was leading me to self-sabotage. In theory, if my problem was that I was expecting things to get better as I got smaller, you'd think I'd work HARDER to get thinner, like there's some sort of magical poundage threshold I needed to cross, and then life would be amazing.

But obviously, that wasn't the case. The closer I get to my idealized goal, the more I fuck myself up and run away.

Five of the the seven weeks since I've returned from Spain have ended with me "in the red" with my WW points. I have bounced in the same five pound range for most of that time.. The only thing that's balanced out my increasingly self-indulgent eating has been my ramped-up exercise. I have allowed negative emotions and irrational logic to screw with my motivation.


I think I'm afraid.

I think I'm afraid that I'll reach my own vision of success, but I won't know myself when I get there. I won't recognize myself in the mirror. I won't see myself as I really am, or if I do, I won't know how to live within that skin. I'll never look the way I want to look. I'm scared I'll get complacent, I'll gain it all back anyway. I'm fearful that I can't sustain these habits. That I won't remember how good it feels to treat myself well, and I'll stumble again. Will I be able to maintain? Will this all truly become second nature? I'm irrationally worried about how I'll operate in the world in this new body, how people might treat me differently, if I can ever trust someone's opinion of me without them knowing who I used to be. Will I ever actually find peace?

And that's the thing.

There is kind of peacefulness in living in a body you hate. There is safety in choosing to disregard all expectations, in deciding to do whatever the hell you want. In being fat. In knowing that disappointment is inevitable. There is so much comfort in the familiar, in doing what's easy. Even if the familiar and easy is a state of sadness.

The mental issues that go along with losing weight are absolutely the biggest obstacle for a lot of people. It's never just as simple as "calories in, calories out, get some exercise and you'll be fine!" If it was that easy, we'd all be Bar Rafaeli. There are infinite reasons why someone might punish themselves with food, might find comfort in self-destructive habits, might resist making healthy choices in favor of what's familiar. It's so hard to motivate yourself to move outside your comfort zone when everything outside it is terrifying and new.

And I'm right on the edge of leaving my comfort zone, permanently. I think I'm stalling and self-sabotaging because I don't want to cross that threshold, I don't want to enter a world where I'm "normal" and have to operate as such. A world where I'm not getting constant praise for my improvements, where I'm just supposed to be better. Reverting back to the comfort of bad habits makes me feel like me, instead of a stranger I have yet to really meet.

No, becoming thin doesn't change the person I am. But in order to become thin, I have changed. And I don't know how to feel about this person yet.

But I think I'm refreshed and recharged. I have plans for the months to come, ways to keep myself excited and motivated, ways to challenge myself and my perceptions. I think I've come to a place where I'm ready to truly live a permanent, healthy lifestyle. I've discerned the reasons behind the last few months of struggle, and I'm ready.

There's no reason to be afraid.

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