Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3rd, 2014 Dressing Room Mirrors

May 3rd, 2014 Dressing Room Mirrors

Today was a tough one. It wasn't tough with food and exercise, I did stay within budget and I had a good 1.7 mile walk this morning.  It was tough because I made a trip to buy some clothes to get me through.  I hated to spend money on clothing I know I'll be too small for in a month, but I needed them, so I did it.

Subjunctive thoughts plagued me today, you know the "if only, had I just done X, coulda, woulda, shouda" line of thinking.

Inside that painful box known as the dressing room, surrounded by mirrors revealing the reality that is, I couldn't help but think about my positive plans, hopes and dreams as they once were and then wonder how I ended up back here, looking at a much larger body as if it were a stranger, but knowing it was me...it was all of me. And how did I not realize how far I was heading back?  I foolishly believed one more day wouldn't hurt, but in that line of thinking, the ONE day needed is put off until reality slaps you hard. I've had several of those slaps along the way.  And it hurts.

As I was trying on and rejecting articles of clothing for various reasons, namely because of size, the only comforting thought was that I'm headed in the correct direction once again.  And with that thought comes a fierce determination to never see those Destination XL employees again.  Nothing personal toward them...Just, you know.

I settled on a few items and made my way to the counter and another thought occurred to me. I must immediately re-frame my thoughts on this whole situation.

Subjunctive phrasing and thinking is fun and exciting when it's applied to the future because it encourages positive hypothetical thoughts.  When it's directed to the past, it opens up a plethora of opportunities to feel very negative things.  No more of that nonsense.  Did you know some languages never use subjunctives in their language and grammar?  So these type of thoughts never occur to them. They literally don't understand the idea of "If only I had done this, things would be different." In languages void of this, they simply live today, never wandering into the land of "shoulda, woulda, coulda." It's not that they don't understand consequences, they do, but they don't dwell on the imagined consequences of things that never occurred.

If you're like me, someone who's been on both sides of the scale, then you'll get this: We've had one of the rarest opportunities--the experience of transforming into what appears to be a completely different person. But here's the deal--the core of who we are doesn't change. I'm not saying it can't change, of course it can--but these inner changes aren't dependent on diet and exercise.  With good eating and exercise, the appearance changes--the outside, sure--but we're still who we are. And that is who we must love.

I talked to mom on the phone today and explained what I was doing and why and how I was feeling about it and her first question was, "Did you gain weight?"  She loves me regardless of my size, to the point of not even seeing the difference.  She loved 505 pound Sean just as much as 230 pound Sean because she has unconditional love for me.  That doesn't mean she doesn't want me to be healthy, she certainly does, but when she sees me she doesn't see a weight, she sees her son.  And this is what I must do. I must love myself unconditionally, regardless of weight or appearance--simply because I'm me. Anything less and we get all of this negative mental noise plaguing our efforts, weighing us down and making our travels along this road harder than it needs to be.

I know I've written about this self-love and acceptance topic many times and just when I get to the point of thinking I have an honest handle on it, I walk into the dressing room of a big and tall store and I forget everything.

The point of developing the habits, routines and discipline to achieve and maintain a healthy weight can't be because we'll love and accept ourselves more. That part must be a separate deal--a separate work and understanding. Getting to a number on a scale doesn't change the most important element needed for our continued success: A truce, an embrace--an unconditional love of self anchored in our own personal spirituality.  We get that part straight and I believe the body follows the mind.

Perhaps I needed to gain back a portion of what I lost in order for me to learn and deeply understand these things.

I enjoyed a nice walk this morning. It's rare for me to walk in the AM. It felt so good to be out there moving, listening to my favorite music and feeling good about what I'm doing and how I'm doing it.  I'm staying connected and that's a big deal.  I'm making me a priority, even more so than before.  I'm taking care the best I can today.  I'm not perfect by any stretch, I'm just me... And ME is going to be alright.

Food was really good today...Oh my, from an amazing turkey melt omelet, to fresh fruit snacking while driving, to the Chipotle visit for a post shopping dinner...I ate well and stayed comfortably within my budget.
If you're interested, you can check out my food and exercise diary on MyFitnessPal, username SeanAAnderson.  And for food pictures, visit me on Twitter: @SeanAAnderson

I've had several remind me they don't do twitter, however you can still see the page without an account--simply click on www.twitter.com/seanaanderson  I'm using Twitter and MyFitnessPal this way in order to amp up the accountability factor.  It works very well for me.

Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

16 comments:

  1. Boy do I understand what you are going through. As I once again lose weight after gaining back 100 of the 140 i lost in 2012, I keep thinking... i remember when I was at this weight last time. And clothes that i easily got into now are too small so i had to go back to "fat clothes' which don't fit well either. And yet I think, "How did I get back to this place again...' But like you, I'm headed again in the right direction. if i could just erase 2013.... "if and buts where candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas." Right! the only reason I don't go out and buy new clothes right now is because i didn't get rid of my "fat" clothes so i just opened up the bags I thought were being donated. And yet there sits clothes I wore at 50, 60 or more pounds less than now, just waiting for me. we'll get there Sean. At least like you said, now we are headed back in the right direction. God bless my brother.

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    1. Wow...I cannot express how much I needed to read this, Micheal! I have somehow felt I am "alone" in my shame and stupidity of having gained back so much weight...

      Thanks, for sharing!

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    2. Michael-- Erasing 2013--oh my, yes. Wouldn't that be nice. We will get there. And we both agree--where we find ourselves isn't as bad as it could be...I mean, seriously--if I didn't have a peaceful confidence about what I'm doing now...I don't want to even think about how dark that might be. Right there with you, Michael.

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    3. Dave--my friend, you're not alone. We're all here, in this together. It's very hard to cease the self critical voice that pummels with its thoughts, but I'm learning to shut it down. It's hard, very hard--but I know self-compassion not self abuse is one of the elements needed to break back into the great wide open. Be kind to you. You're not stupid, you're human. Like me.

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  2. Keep up the good work you begun. I know it is hard.
    Glad you were able to get out and walk.
    I have two grandchildren over tonight and after church plan on getting some walking in before we need to bring them home.
    Linda

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    1. Linda,
      I appreciate your support! Some days are harder than others.

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  3. Well done on getting clothes for now - for today. I am so relating to this post Sean. I also have gained and am so resistant to spending money on clothes for this size... I say why waste all that money when I have wasted so much more money on food and bingeing recently than a whole new wardrobe would cost!! So thank you for sharing and for being such am inspiration every time i come here to read your words. Well done on all counts Sean. Keep up the fantastic work.

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    1. "I have wasted so much more money on food and bingeing recently than a whole new wardrobe would cost!!" I can relate. I hadn't a choice on buying the clothes--I literally had nothing in my closet except cold weather items... I hated forking over that money. But it was better than putting a fork in that money!

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  4. Thanks, Sean. I needed this - this morning in particular. I've dwelt too long in the "shoulda- coulda-woulda-bog".

    I've been arrested from another source of Support. Accountability and Encouragement about what role LOVE plays in this battle of weight loss...

    I have some more serious thinking ahead...

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    1. Going there--to that place where we are in a constant state of regret, shame and the shoulda-woulda-coulda--it's like stepping into a prison cell--it's dark, depressing and has very little light and all we have left to do in there is think...and it gets brutal...and it keeps us from moving forward because we can't find the key to let us out. The key is in our thoughts and actions, ya know what I mean? We can choose to get out of there, Dave. And move forward--leave it all behind and move forward.

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  5. Looking over the past can help make good decisions in the future. But looking back without regret and anger is tough. Keep walking, one step at a time :)

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    1. It's one of the toughest things, Nikki, without doubt. There is plenty of good back there to bring along into the future--that's true too. Yes, you're so right. One step at a time...

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  6. Great post today! Your discussion of your mother and how she accepts/loves you because you're her son hit home. I never took pictures with my daughter because I was too fat. She told me she didn't want to look back one day and not have pictures of us. The first picture we took together (after YEARS) was THE thing that got me started on losing the excess weight. All I saw in that picture was a daughter who loved her mama. That pic is on my blog and is a reminder.

    The 'scw' talk is so depressing, but I think many of us (me included) do it. And while it might sound trite, we can't undo the past, so let's not relive it. I'm actively trying to learn THAT lesson.

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    1. LuckyMama,
      Thank you for sharing that story. So beautiful. Made me all emotional, you!! I love it that you have it on your blog as a reminder. If I practice loving me as unconditionally as my mother and other close family members love me, it'll be like a revolution of body, mind, heart and soul. Now that's a transformation! I'm learning right along with you, LM.

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  7. I came to that a month or two ago...when I laid in bed and for once...didn't look at my body as an other...I love myself and am comfortable with me inside....it takes some doing IT is the most difficult work...like I said previously, don't let the weight loss fool you, it's all interior work. And it is...and has been. My weight loss was stymied by a roadblock...a road block I had to get past....but by then I had pushed weight loss itself so far into the back ground that it didn't even register as a top three priority. Getting weight reduction back into the game has been difficult...because when i started losing weight...it was all I had to do...now I have so many aspects of my life to juggle...I think I need to make it work for me instead of against me.
    Thank you for checking in...I worked two double shifts back to back...say, you are busy. Do you keep non perishable healthy snacks in your vehicle..how do you handle a busy schedule and food?

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    1. I can't even imagine how you do what you do, Christine. Two doubles back to back--that's some serious busy. You're so right, my goodness, so right...it's all interior.
      As far as food goes--I don't leave stuff in the car--but I do pack stuff---fresh fruit in baggies, fixings for low cal sandwiches--I even wrap up my eggs in the morning for transport. I'm lucky that I work with a small number of people so there's plenty of room in the break room fridge. I've been known to stop in the middle of a production session and prepare a snack--setting it on the table outside the studio and occasionally stepping out for a bite. You've got some challenges, Christine--but if anyone can do it--my money is on you.

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