May 17th, 2014 I Haven't Been The Same
It's been over 48 hours since the epiphany on the way to the YMCA that I wrote about in the May 15th post. And I still can't stop thinking about it. I feel like I was given a secret to a great mystery. This concept I discussed as it applies to me is universal too. This will be my TED Talk someday. Oh yeah, I don't think I've ever expressed my dream of speaking at a TED Conference. It will happen sometime within the next five years. I've envisioned it in detail, watching my imagination's best version. I'm 100% serious.
Once understood, finding the core of who I am and have always been required a simple question: What are the qualities in me that do not change? If I'm 500 pounds or 230 pounds, what positive attributes do I possess at both of those weights? The same question can be applied to other things, example: If I won the lottery tomorrow, what positive qualities about me would remain from my previous financial existence? These core qualities are the ones with us through it all. Stability and certainty, instability and uncertainty. The list includes not only the way our brain works through compassion, empathy, sense of humor, intelligence, etc. It also includes our likes and dislikes, our roles as parents and grandparents--the things that bring us joy and peace, love and laughter. These things are often overlooked because identity and self-worth has been attached to something that fluctuates.
My identity and self-worth was always hooked onto my weight. Someone else's identity and self-worth might be tied to their bank account. And another's might be tied to whether or not they perceive their current station in life as stable or unstable. Still another's might rely on the progression of their career. All of these things fluctuate. And through it all, we're still who we are within our core qualities.
In order for these core qualities to flourish and enrich our lives to the fullest, they must be loved and nurtured like watering a plant. If they're neglected, they wilt and wither. I believe this is from where the expression "I feel dead inside" comes. And when identity and self worth is attached to anything else, these positive attributes get neglected on both sides of whatever is fluctuating. When the changing source of identity and self-worth is moving in a positive direction, we feel great about ourselves. And when the source is moving in a negative direction we feel worse about ourselves. Then we get into a tug of war, constantly battling to feel good.
We've all heard, "Happiness must come from within." Now I understand how that can happen and I understand how it doesn't happen when we rely on external things that change. Money doesn't buy happiness. Losing weight doesn't magically fix us. Getting the big promotion or settling down into a relationship doesn't do it either. We're truly free when our identity and self-worth is authentically attached to the core qualities of who we are. And the best thing?? It can NEVER be taken away from us, no matter what.
I've never felt more determined to take the best care of me than I do right now. And taking the best care will ultimately result in a healthy body weight once again.
I didn't plan my food very well today, that's for sure. I ate well, don't get me wrong--but I ending up skipping lunch, had an early dinner and found I had 524 calories remaining afterward. Then I was asked by a friend to be the designated driver for their wedding party, and I accepted the responsibility--not eating another thing until I returned home after midnight. My #lastfoodofday was a turkey burger with onion, swiss and a Laughing Cow French Onion wedge and I still ended the day with 151 calories unclaimed in the Calorie Bank and Trust account. I'll plan better tomorrow!
It was a great day for many reasons. I got up and caught up on a few emails, read some other blogs, took care of some business at the bank and post office, then went into work to catch up on a few things before heading to the YMCA for an amazing workout on the trusty elliptical.
I'm telling you--since this whole identity-self worth thing hit on Thursday night, I haven't been the same person. My friend whom I was driving tonight asked me, "Have you been drinking?" No!! Is the change in me that noticeable?? Perhaps I'm a little giddy. And you know why?
It's because I've spent my entire life not understanding how to genuinely love myself and just be okay. And please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying I've figured it all out, but I'm exploring areas and things long forgotten, things sacrificed by the pursuit of fulfillment in all the wrong places.
Now I'm contemplating a very exciting question: What can I accomplish now that my strongest embrace is around the things that matter most? Redefining the list of things that make me worthy of all things good is like giving myself permission to soar, no matter the direction of the wind.
As I continue my journey back to a healthier body weight and beyond, I've put into place some high accountability tools. I've committed to tweeting a picture, description and calorie count of anything and everything I eat. And I'm keeping the Calorie Bank up to date with a MyFitnessPal food and exercise log.
Join me on Twitter, I'm @SeanAAnderson And SeanAAnderson on MyFitnessPal.
Thank you for reading,