Please note the qualifier … FOR ME. Getting healthy is hard for me. It may also be hard for you. Or it may also be super duper easy for you. Or somewhere in-between. That is your truth and I respect it. My truth is that getting fit and eating right is not easy or second-nature or even something I always want. Sometimes the fault lies with me and other times, albeit far less frequently, it doesn’t. And I’m learning to accept this, not as a fatal flaw or excuse to give-up but an acknowledgement of the hard work I must do every day.
I haven’t talked much about my get healthy journey this year because it shames me. Shame is such a powerful emotion. Sure, it occasionally makes people change because they have faced some sort of public humiliation or reckoning. But for many, including me, shame is a paralyzer versus a motivator. I’m ashamed of where I stand right now, while I have not regained all my lost weight, thanks goodness, I have regained some excess pounds. I have lost muscle. And my better eating habits.
Bad News First, So What’s the Good News?
I am not completely lost. I am aware of my choices, which is different and better than when I slept-walk through life. These are also mostly conscious choices, which may seem bad, but they represent hope to me. I haven’t given up. Not completely. That healthy person still exists in me. And aches to come out and be seen.
And I just have to let her.
Self-awareness is one of those things most people say they desire because well … celebrating your lack of self-awareness ain’t anything to brag about to the world, unless you’re a Kardashian and it’s your brand. But the truth is self-awareness is hard. It is often scary, seeking out those dark places in our hearts and minds and separating lies from truths. Realizing that some lies are truths and vice versa. Feeling overwhelmed by it all. And if you’re like me, those feelings can just make you want to eat even more.
Acceptance is also Hard
Truthfully, there have been times, many times, where I wanted to just give-up. Accept my fatness as who I am. After all, don’t I constantly tell people to embrace themselves and you do you? Maybe my fatness is just me. America is fat. Super fat. I’m just part of the in crowd for a change. But of course it’s a lie. I have accepted the fact that I am overweight, even though that’s not the life I want for myself, but more specifically – I resigned myself to this fate.
Maybe you recall a few years ago when I reviewed The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. As you may know, Shonda also lost quite a bit of weight while she was working on the book because she realized the one area that she had consistently said “yes” to was being overweight. I have done the same thing. No more.
I’m Saying Yes to Getting Healthy … Again
Like I said earlier, I am well-aware that I make daily decisions that work against my get-healthy aspirations. Some of these include:
- Not exercising consistently … or at all.
- Eating too many “bad” carbs and not enough veggies.
- Eating until stuffed versus just feeling satisfied.
- Snacking when bored or lonely or sad or mad. Or even deliriously happy.
- Not making my health a priority.
But my biggest crime and why I faltered in my get healthy journey, is that I assumed since things had been going well for a year – exercising six times a week, eating healthy, paying attention to my calorie intake – that I was good. Systems were in place and I could go on auto-pilot and be fine. And certainly some people at this stage likely could. But not me. Not with this because I have a complicated relationship with food and weight, which is why getting healthy is hard me.
Say It Again, Tanya. This Time with Feeling.
Getting healthy is hard for me because my relationship with food and weight is complicated. I am a deeply emotional eater, eating when happy and sad and everything in-between because I don’t know how to handle emotions without eating them. I hide behind my excess pounds because I’m scared to put myself out there. To be rejected, which would be awful. But even worse, to succeed beyond my wildest dreams.
I’ve always known this but chose to ignore this for many years. Because as much as I whine and complain about working out and not being able to eat pasta, potatoes and bread every day, those are just excuses. I am scared to confront my relationship with food and weight. To dig deep and really address those beliefs, both real and imagined, that have me reaching for another Reeses peanut butter cup or serving myself a super-sized bowl of spaghetti.
I am Scared but I Want to Live
I want to live in good health, not huffing and puffing up the stairs or feeling slow and sluggish. I want to look good. Yes, I’m vain. No, I’m not ashamed. But even more then the obvious good health is key to longevity argument, I want to live. To enjoy life. Get outside my comfort zone. Pursue those dreams that I pretend don’t exist because I’m scared. To laugh. To love. To fail. To succeed. Because those are the things that happen when you live out loud. I live in my mind; a safe space. I’m ready to live in the open. And I know it will be difficult, some days almost impossible, but I can also do it. Be the joyful, healthy person I am meant to be.
What is something you struggle with? What did you do to overcome your struggle?