Friday, January 15, 2010

I don't know what I was thinking.

I don't know how I thought I could get away with remodeling my body but not changing my mind. 

Don't get me wrong now, I don't believe in "The Secret" or anything that specific.  I don't believe that positive thinking  alone will magically make me thin. However,  I can't help but wonder if the lack of self-belief has been my tether this whole time.  How can I succeed, if I really don't think I can?
It seems silly.  I understand that.  But bear with me.

Logically, I know how badly I want this. I want it more than anything. I can write lists, miles long, for all the reasons I want to lose weight.  I try to imagine my body, and my life, as it is in this dream future. But I never stopped to think if I really thought I'd do it. If I truly believed it could happen.

The answer is no, I don't think I do.

I am a fat girl. I always have been, and therefore, a very large part of my personality is based on this. Being overweight has truly sculpted who I am. How I react to things, and how I interact with other people.  That is quite a bit of ones self to just toss out the window in exchange for some size 8 pants.

When someone tells me I look thinner, I waste not a second in telling them I have not lost any weight. I have not lost any inches. Oh, but thanks anyway.  I am quick to tell you how much I despise exercise. How I can't express myself properly in my clothing because they just don't sell much in my size.
I seem to go out of my way, to convince people that I am not changing.

Change is scary, especially to me. I've spent my life avoiding it. Why should weight loss be any different? Just because I WANT it does not make it exempt. Doesn't mean it won't drastically push me from my comfort zone.  I repeatedly fail to realize this.

Eating well, working out, drinking water, it's all healthy and great. But what is it doing for me, if I am not willing to simply believe in it?  What if I love working out, and I just won't let myself feel that?
What if I can be confident in my ability to lose this weight, without fear or doubt?

What if, what if?!  

I need to erase the what ifs.  I need to find a way to believe in myself and the goals I am working toward.  I need to stop poo-pooing people's comment and compliments. I need to find confidence in myself and my resolve to see this through.  I don't want to get down to my goal weight and still be who I am right now.  I don't want that.

I honestly haven't a clue how to accomplish this. How do you start believing in yourself? I don't know. But I know I am going to try. I have to.

Of all the diets, programs, and gimmicks I have tried (and failed at). . . believing I could do it was never one of them.  Now,  I truly feel that it is the most important hurdle for me to tackle, or I will never make it over the next ones.

Reading this over, I've decided my first baby steps are as follows - 

1. Stop hating exercise. I say I don't enjoy it because it hurts, its gross and sweaty, it makes me do more laundry, it takes time from my day, blah blah.   I will turn this around.  If it hurts, its working.  If I am sweating? Its working! Laundry? Ppshaw.   Time from my day?  Maybe I can learn to consider it "me" time.  Find a way to make it cathartic in some way.  People do that. I know they do.  Simply put, I can't really hate exercise the way I think I do.

2. Find a positive way to respond. When someone tells me I look smaller, I need to respond in a positive way. They don't need to know that I haven't lost anything recently.  I will say, "Thank you, I've been working very hard."  And when they say "How much have you lost now?"  I can answer truthfully but not harshly.  "I have lost 35lbs total" I don't need to include that its been 2 years to lose that.

I apologize for this lengthy post.
But I applaud you if you finished it! :)

Can anyone offer me some advice, on how to believe in myself?

9 refreshing comments:

Muffy said...

Wow... wow. I see myself in this post so much it is hard to believe, and I just want to say that I know what it's like to be there. In fact, I'm still there right now, and even if it's hard to believe in yourself now I (and the rest of blogland) am here for you.

Although I don't know if there's a cure to get your mind now and the image of what you want to be in sync with each other, what helps me get through is just reminding myself--all the time, if necessary--that regardless of the changes I have made and the hardships I have gone through, I am still a strong person no matter what the size and I will always be me.

Also, with exercise; I try to look at is the set time in my day when I can listen to music without interruptions. It helps to be focused on the music and not how much my legs/arms/insert random body parts here are killing me. :)

laura said...

i'm not sure how to describe it... but in a way, i couldn't see the positive changes i made until i forgave myself... for how miserable i was and how i consistently made decisions that kept me trapped in that situation of basic helplessness.

you make positive decisions everyday, and i hope you have that realization soon because we all want to you to succeed and be happy! believing in yourself is pivotal, but also the toughest aspect of this whole shebang.

100in12 said...

i could have written this exact same thing! if you figure out a way to find that self-belief let me know!

Tony the Pink Panda said...

Honestly Chai, it has less to do with whether or not you believe in yourself, and more to do with forming new habits that you can sustain.

Gimmick diets always fail in the long run because they are not sustainable.

Find something that you can do for the rest of your life that will get you the results you want.

Most importantly though, above anything else, you need to want this more than you want anything else. It has to be your top priority.

Chai Latté said...

Tony... you must not have read the same entry.....

All those things you describe? Those are all the things I DO have. And it ain't working.

Anonymous said...

I also saw myself completely in this post. It's good to know that other people feel the same way, that life has been shaped SO much by weight, that you have to accept a new reality, and be willing to not just repeat the same old patterns and the same old outcomes. I know you can move on, let yourself love exercise, and give yourself the credit you are definitely due. You go! Thanks for the inspiration.

MackAttack said...

I'm so with you. I have no idea who I am other than a fat girl. It's not not believing in myself, its just it's part of who I am....I don't know how to get past this. If you figure it out, let me know!

Mandy K said...

I wish I could offer advice, but I am in the midst of a confidence crisis myself right now. But you seem to answer your own question with the last two points.

I *love* when during exercising, I reach onto my back and feel the sweat. Sounds gross, but that means my heart is pumping! I also thoroughly enjoy the alone time. So much so that when Andy offered to join my weekday runs, I hesitated a little. You may want to poke through the book Zen and the Art of Running.

You also bring up a good point about accepting compliments and admitting YES I AM working hard! I think this is important step - realizing you took on a challenge. You are a brave woman :)

Chai Latté said...

Thankyou everyone! Such great comments . I am glad I am not alone in my feelings. Thank you, Manda :) for always inspiring me to better
myself. You're a great example :) someday, we'll run together :)