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,