We’ll start with The Ugly… In my heart, I’m a therapist (yes, really… the degree is somewhere in my basement, nicely framed… thanks, Mom! I should probably hang that up, huh?) So, being a therapist, sometimes it’s really, really hard to look at myself objectively… and sometimes, it’s shockingly easy. When something is going really, really well, there’s a part of me that is hell bent on sabotaging it. I suppose there is that part in all of us, but in me, it’s centered squarely around getting healthy. Knowing that with every success comes a bit of sabotage, it should be easy to avoid… but it’s not. It’s really, really difficult. I’ve been working on the “why” and it’s a slow-going process with many ups and down.
Somewhere deep inside, there’s a part of me that feels undeserving. I see it mostly in the gym. It often manifests itself in fears that I really don’t belong there, that I’m a “poser,” and I can’t hang with the Big Kids. I find myself wondering if I’m lifting hard enough… am I spending too much time talking… am I taking too many breaks between lifts… am I that person in the gym who talks a good talk but when it comes down to it, spends 20 minutes putting chalk on her hands and 20 minutes talking before doing a second set.
This also manifests itself in my eating. (We’re on to The Bad now) It hasn’t been horrible… but it hasn’t been as clean as it was in the last few months. It shows. It shows in my lack of weight loss. I’m working my patootie in the gym three days a week and a fourth at home, and I am once again sabotaging myself by not eating as clean as I need to be to get the results I want. I’m maintaining. I don’t want to maintain. I want to look as healthy on the outside as I am becoming on the inside.
There’s no doubt food is my coping mechanism and Fall has thrown me for a loop. Monday is my only weekday day without after school activities and some days have two. Things are BUSY! I cope with an extra bite of this or that… an extra date lunch with the Hubs… a bag of chips between cubscout popcorn sales and the grocery store… making mashed potatoes for dinner “for the kids” and then eating them too… there have even been a few… cookies! Sometimes I think it would be easier if I could just have a cigarette and be one of those skinny chicks who smokes like a fiend and never eats. Difficult encounters with my teen girl would be easier if I could just have a relaxing cigarette instead of tearing the kitchen apart to find something carby to numb my agitation. Going for a 10 minute walk in the middle of after school activities/dinner/homework/bath/bed routines just isn’t feasible. Of course I’m NOT going to smoke… because I’m deathly allergic and would probably set myself on fire, klutz that I am, or something… lol… so I’m left with continuing to try to figure it out. I’m left with trying to address the agitation… the craziness… the constant demands for my attention… the never-ending NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW with something instantaneous and something OTHER than food! Any ideas??? I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been interrupted while trying to write this last paragraph. It’s laughable.
And finally… The Good. My gym… which is one of my favorite places to be… has named me Member of the Month for October! WooHoo!!! It’s based on all of the progress I’ve made over the last year… the huge improvements in my blood work… the pant sizes that have decreased…. the increase in the weights I can lift… and my meds being dropped off the table like crazy. I’m beyond excited about this… and I’m also struggling NOT to sabotage it. I’m struggling to enjoy it and not think about how maybe I really don’t deserve it because I haven’t lifted hard enough… or eaten clean enough… or really, it all boils down to… just not being good enough. The old tapes in my head, created by me, are not so easily silenced. It’s a struggle… but no way am I throwing in the towel. I’m making progress. Could I be doing better… sure. But isn’t that always the case, with everything. I’m doing what I can sustainably do. It might not be 100% of my focus 100% of the time… I have a full life… but I am making progress and I am doing the best that I can… and even as I write that the tapes in my head are asking, “Are you? Are you REALLY doing the best that you can?” It’s a balancing act… taking care of my own needs and taking care of my family… and yes… I do think that overall, I really am doing the best that I can.
See… psychoanalyzing yourself is the pits sometimes. Anyone remember the old Saturday Night Live skit… Stuart Smalley. “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!