I also posted this in 'Strugglers and Restarters' before deciding to do it here as my opening diary post. I have no idea why it is all in bold - tried to format it but it won't change!
For the past 20 years (I am almost 35), I feel as though my life has been all about all the things I am going to do - tomorrow, next week, on Monday, at the start of the month etc. I've started so many 'diets', 'healthy lifestyles', 'ways of life' - whatever you want to call it (I've called it everything it can possibly be called I think) and I've had some successes, including two really good successes - one with Weight Watchers in 2008, when I lost 3st 8lb (before gaining back around 3st) and one where I entered a triathlon and worked my backside off in the gym and ate healthily in 2011/12 when I lost 4st 4lb (before gaining back all of it plus another 10lb on top).
Since July 2012, my weight has crept up and up - with a few losses along the way, but always, always gaining back the losses. The truth is, as unhappy as my weight makes me, as unfit and unhealthy as it makes me feel and look, as much as it's ruined so much of the last few years of my life, including putting an enormous strain on my relationship (which is at breaking point even as I write this) - I've never finished what I have started. I went back to Weight Watchers, but didn't enjoy it. I tried Slimming World but didn't like the group, so quit. I started eating Low Carb, High Fat, but gave up after a month, even though I lose 10lb. I joined a new gym with all good intentions, but sometimes I go, sometimes I don't - no real commitment. I thought the 5:2 diet sounded good, but the fast days were too hard so I stopped. I was going to cycle to work, got a new bike and did it for a few months - then didn't like it anymore so the bike is sat in the shed, unloved and probably going rusty. I wanted to 'eat clean' which I did for awhile, then stopped. I was doing the 30-day shred but gave up after about 10 days as I got injured. There are most definitely more examples but you get the picture.
I could talk about all the reasons why I have such a hard time with diet and exercise - with finishing the things I start - and many of them, you'd possibly relate to and understand. But really, I think I finally understand that the excuses have to stop. The reasons I am the way I am, however valid or just or reasonable, don't change the fact that as a woman about to turn 35 (5 sleeps from now), I am lonely, I am lazy, I am unhappy, depressed even, I am negative, I am dysfunction...and I am the reason. It is a choice. And that isn't the same as me saying that this is what I want - because I don't want this life and I don't want this version of me. I am so disappointed with myself. I can't even begin to tell you...
It's not easy, changing your life. No-one who has ever tried it could argue with that I don't think. But nothing that is worth anything comes easy. I have choices in my life - no matter how hard they are - I can choose what I do to make my life better - I can choose how I let life affect me - I canchoose how I act and react everyday. And I have to choose to stop making excuses, to stop seeing how hard it is and giving up instead of working through it, to put one foot in front of the other, take one day at a time, to see the struggles I face on any given day as a chance to change my life for the better. If I knew that tomorrow wasn't promised, wasn't certain, how would I feel about what I did today, and yesterday and how I lived my life? I'd feel regret - I'd be absolutely devastated - not because it was over, but because I'd finally realize what I was losing and I'd know it was too late to change it. But if I knew that tomorrow was promised - and we go through life assuming that it is - what would I be willing to do to make it matter? How much is my life worth? How much am I worth? That's what I need to ask myself. How much does it matter?
And you know what - it's not just about me. I have parents who worry when they go to bed at night because my weight, my physical health, my emotional health are so bad right now that they can't sleep soundly. I have friends who are not getting anything like the best of me because I have sunk so low because of my weight and everything that happens because of my weight. I have a dear, most beloved man in my life who has stood by my side for four years - has been my cheerleader - has given me his trust, his faith, his heart - and watched in pain as time after time I refused to see anything through. He is hurting because of me. He never smiles. He never laughs. He doesn't even want to come home because home is not a place where he feels he can come to relax and be happy. He tells me he loves me, surprises me with lovely weekends away, tries so hard to build us a foundation from which we can both achieve our ultimate goals in life - marriage, family, happiness - and he has to stand and watch me destroy it over and over again. I feel worthless. I feel disgusting. I feel completely and utterly incapable of dealing with life. And it all starts with one key thing - my weight. I think it's true what people say - that no-one else can ever really love you until you learn to love yourself. And when I look around at the people in my life who love me - I feel like I cannot even look them in the eyes because I am ashamed. And what is worse is that I could change this. I could be the change I need to see in my life. I could be the change the people who love me need. I could. And I haven't - because it's too hard. And I see in my boyfriends eyes the confusion - he can't understand why I won't do something to change things for both of us. But I have every excuse in the book - and I have chosen to sit here and convince myself that it's too hard. But oh my God, I need to wake up and realize what I am doing, what I am risking. I am the reason I look the way I do. I am the reason my life isn't what I want it to be. I have to break through all the negativity - years and years worth of it, layer on layer of it - it's wrapped itself around me and it's suffocating me and the people who try to love me.
I don't know if anyone reading this will understand. I don't know how many people will read it, move on, never give it a second thought - or like me until today - dismiss it because thinking about it, really thinking about it might mean having to stand up and make the choice to take the hard road and keep going instead of thinking about it, taking a few steps and then turning their back on it because it's too hard. I've been here before. I've made all the declarations - 'this is it', 'things are definitely going to be different', 'this is my last chance', 'this is the last time I'm ever going to be this big' - I've changed usernames, started new diaries, new threads thinking that somehow that'd make all the difference. I've been there and done it. And it changed nothing because I didn't change. But for me, this really is it...it's change or give in and the choices I make will make or break my life. Because I really can't keep doing this. I'm about to lose everything if I don't change anything.
So, I have to choose to have courage and conviction. I have to focus my energy on being positive and on the things I want my life to be instead of always, always focusing on the negatives; my fatness, my being unfit, the things I don't have, the way I look, feeling super sorry for myself. Because what we focus on is what we inevitably attract - I truly believe that. And it's really, really hard because my brain is so hardwired to focus on the negatives - because one way or another, that is what it has always done. I have to create an attraction and a pull towards what I want, where I want to be, what I want to be and leave the rest behind. I have to create energy. I have to stop thinking and start doing. I have got everything I need to succeed inside me. I've just got to fight myself to get to it - because I am the only person stopping me. How ironic! Psychological strength is the most powerful weapon I could ever possess - but I'm not using it right and it's destroying me. But I can change it. I am powerful beyond measure. I just need to remember that and never, ever give up. My life is in my hands and that's so powerful!
Sorry for the long post and I hope nothing I have said is taken in a negative way. I'm just rambling on - just writing what's in my heart and head. I hope you don't mind me sharing it. I am going to join a new Slimming World class on Tuesday - I think group support will help and a friend recommended one.
Hi ZenDog :-)
Didn't want to read and run- I found myself really relating to some of the things you said in your post.
When I first started slimming world, though I wasn't huge at 12st2, I did feel huge. My issue with my body consumed me and I thought about it all the time. I found it affected other aspects of my life, I had no confidence which began to spread- not only did I hate the way I looked I began to question my academic capabilities (I'm a post grad researcher) and work performance (run my partners business).
I too made excuses and tried so many 'diets' etc- 5:2, insanity, slim fast and gym membership in the past 12 months!
But slimming world has really turned things around for me. I'm happier in my own skin and can feel my confidence growing. I'm so glad I've discovered it young-ish (24) so I can maintain it hopefully for life. I'm still working on my losses, and some other confidence issues, but really feel like over the last 6 months I've come so far.
I really wish you the best on your 'journey'. Here if you ever need a chat :-) x
Hi I wanted to post back too as it's such a cry from the heart. Personally I think that usually we overeat/are fat/weight cycle because we are unhappy with ourselves and are really disconnected with our bodies.
One book that really helped me accept my body as it is (I still want it to be slimmer/healthier) was Body Confidence by Astrid Longhurst. It helped me connect with it again, I'd really hated it, felt ashamed by it and utterly apart from it.
I came to sw via learning about intuitive eating through an organisation called beyond chocolate. It was very much about unpicking "why" we overeat and "how" we eat. (There are books by Sophie & Audrey Boss).
I wonder if looking at some of these things might help you? Be warned though, they're not keen on diets. I do think we have to accept that dieting will only change our size and not the rest of our lives and you sound as if you're unhappy in your life.
Hey, I've subbed to your post: your unapologetic transparency is comforting as I relate to swathes of your post. Is like to send you a proper response. It's hard, being dissatisfied with your weight and in turn, your life - not something you can execute into a nice neat post with ease.
I feel I've screwed so much up because I've failed to conquer self-loathing, self-destruction, or ever seeing anything to the end. If you stop punishing yourself on just one score, know you're not alone in how you're feeling.
I hope you don't mind if I send a proper reply tomorrow.
Sent from my HTC Desire 610 using MiniMins.com mobile app
Your post struck many chords with me, I hope you are doing ok and all went well with joining sw.
Like others have said, I can also relate to a lot you have said in your post. I wish you the best of luck with your SW journey xxx
Originally Posted by ZenDogNine
Thank you all so much for your replies - they mean a great deal to me.
@RosiePops - it doesn't matter whether you have 1 stone or 10 stone to lose - if you feel huge, then the effect that can have is the same. I am glad you've started SW so young so that you can make the changes you really want in your life and appreciate the offer for a chat anytime :) I think it's so strange how our feelings about the way we look can so quickly and devastatingly impact on every other area of life. But the positive is that surely by working hard to look better and feel better about that, we will hopefully then have that positive impact in every other area of life too :)
@liqouricet - I do like books like the ones you mentioned so may well look into reading those. The one I am reading right now is called 'The Positive Woman' which was a birthday gift from my mum (she knows me too well I think!) so after I finish that, I think I might look up the ones you mentioned. I recently finished 'The Secret' and that says that if we see faults with our body and actively hate it then we will never have success with weight loss because we tell ourselves such negative things about our bodies that we cannot act well towards it. It also says that we should focus on the positive body we want to achieve and not on the fact we need to lose weight so that we become much more focused on the positive goal and less fixated on the negative pressures. Allowing it to happen and trusting that we will achieve something is half the battle really - giving up is easy when you have no faith!
@NakedLunch - I am glad you subscribed and look forward to receiving your reply. It sounds like you have similar experiences to me so hopefully we could understand and support each other :) I'll be interested to hear how you are getting along.
@kally - thank you for the good luck.
I've taken a while to respond, mostly because I've not reached a decision as to where the hell I'd start without graphically spilling my guts everywhere. I also apologise now I'd this comes off as introspective rubbish.
I'm nearly 30, people laugh it off as its still 18 months off, but to me, it's literally hurtling towards me. By now,I thought I'd have myself pretty much figured out, when in reality, I'm probably more confused by the fact I still harbour the same frustration, anger, resentment, dislike towards myself that - if I'm brutally honest - I can always remember having since being a kid.
Without this transforming into some pity party: I had a great childhood and a loving family. Like the rest of the world, it was littered with some crappy periods and experiences, but i grew up surrounded by the best my home could provide. But I remember struggling with myself all my life.
You grow up as a screwy self-hating kid, you turn into a screwy self-pitying teenager, that in itself brings many years of self-destruction, empty love, searching for other people to affirm your self-belief, bad decisions, risks, and before you know it, you've saddled yourself with a decade of baggage, which piles up on top of everything else you were handling from the beginning.
I've picked up, and promptly dropped, many things. Little deviations into this and that, in a bid to make myself more interesting/make news friends/improve social interaction/lose weight. I've walked away from them/not even started them/ or given up because I've not believed I'd finish it anyway. I've always beaten myself up for not seeing x/y/z through to the end.
Relationships - I've been with my boy six years, by the time we found each other we weren't exactly easy people to be with, which led to many stormy years of navigating each others history and insecurities. When I got to my biggest which was 15 stone, it was three years in. We were really unhappy, mostly circumstantial due to life at the time. My weight compacted all of that negativity, it gave it this extra life force. I drank and I ate, and I did this solidly. Negativity seeped into everything. Although we weren't getting on, we were still loving. Yes we were arguing, but we still had good patches,and no matter how reassuring he would be, that negativity just decimated it.
Patience runs dry: there's only so many times he could soothe the demons of my weight and appearance, and then watch me entertain those demons in my very next move.
I did eventually face up to losing weight, its far from over yet, and there's bucket loads I'm sure we could probably discuss and make comparisons with. Weight and psyche manifest their own complex aspect of an individual's personality, it's years in its unravelling.
I'm not professing to know exactly where you are emotionally or psychologically. One thing I have done, although its taken nearly six years, is accept there may always be a part of me that is dysfunctional. The part that thinks the worst, is over anxious, is critical to the point of neuroticism, that doesn't posses this beaming social life full of people and places, is lonely from time to time. There are parts of me that will exist regardless of me being overweight. So I improve the small things, I take control of the aspects that can be controlled. You know you can lose weight. You've done it before. Where you are now does not define you.
You don't actually have to be defined, if you don't want to be.
I hate group, I go tomorrow. They're nice enough but I just feel massively uncomfortable, I feel stupid when I speak, I analyse their reactions, I just sit in a minefield for an hour. But then I walk away and quantify that most of those people won't even give me a second thought until I walk back into that room the following week. Personally, this time i gave myself a reason to finally get to the weight i want, instead of just doing it because I know I should, because I'm letting myself down in not doing so. This time i needed that something else to focus on externally, rather than my own expectations of myself.
Focus your energy, centre yourself. I too believe that harvesting all that negativity is unhealthy for your mind, body and soul and causes more surreptitious damage than I'd have ever even entertained ten years ago.
It's comfortable clinging on to all that familiarity, even if it's dark, cold and miserable.
There's something you said about fighting yourself, and it's something I've written in countless journals (usually around January when I decide the following year will be the year I change my life). You don't need to fight, just use your strength (cheesy? Yep) but I believe it.
All these years fighting ourselves? Which battle did we ever win?
NakedLunch, there is no need to apologise and it did not come across as introspective rubbish but more as somebody who thinks a lot and self-searches a lot and who wants to make sense of their life. Like you, I never imagined that I would be halfway through my 30s and still feeling the same way that I have done for I don't even know how long. I just imagined by now I would be sorted and would understand and would be different. My overwhelming need for the validation of other people is my biggest failing and my biggest stumbling block. I look to other people to feel good about myself and the slightest hint that I am not validated the way I want to be sends me under. My biggest challenge in life is not to lose all this weight but rather to lose my need to be validated by other people and as a result to gain an ability to validate myself. I can also relate to what you were saying about you and your boy and how you have spent many years navigating each other's histories and insecurities. I think as we get older we can be so much more of our baggage and if we have not got it sorted it just gets bigger and bigger. My relationship is under so much strain I can't even begin to find the words. He looks at me differently now, and in some ways he has given up and it is now down to me to change things. I agree that I do need to change things but do sometimes think it is a classic case of someone who knows you have weaknesses and vulnerabilities and even though they are loving and genuine and wonderful person, take full advantage of those and to a certain extent, use them against you. On to more general things, I went and joined one of my local slimming world group last night and it actually wasn't that bad - I even made a friend, another girl joining at the same time as me who has a similar weight to lose. The group leader seemed nice as did the people who stayed for the full group. I weighed a little more than I thought I might - 17st 9.5lb and set a final target weight of 10st 9lb, giving me 7st to lose. My plan is just to take things one day by one day - today is day one and it has been a good day :)
Hi Zen dog, we had the same start weight, we'll both get there. Xx
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