I am 157 lbs in the mornings, 158 at night.
That's great right?
You would think so.
A few days ago...
I started getting frightened.
I don't really know how to be a "thin" person.
Oh, I have been 138 lbs before, but I wasn't intentional about it.
I had a fat mind in a thin body.
I don't know what I look like at my natural weight.
I know who I am when I am fat.
I don't really know who I am.
I am finding out.
So much of our lives are defined by how we look and by other people's expectations.
I think many times We become who we are expected to be.
We never stop to ask who we are.
We just go along and go along.
Then one day we look up and say
"Where the hell am I, and how did I get here!"
I knew for years what I DIDN'T want.
All my life, I have made choices based not on moving towards something..but on moving away from something.
I DIDN'T want to be married multiple times.
I DIDN'T want a lazy husband.
I DIDN'T want to be 'stuck' in a small town and not see the world.
So I made choices ( or reacted) to ensure those things didn't happen.
I made 'moving away' choices.
Not moving toward choices.
The thing is, when You are making choices based on things you don't want to happen...you aren't really creating outcomes you want....yes, you have an outcome.
But nothing you had a hand in, nothing you could mold.
They are reactions, not choices.
I didn't want to be stuck in a small town.
But, I didn't work towards something, like college or getting better grades.
I waited till the last minute and then joined the army in reaction to the idea that I would be stuck.
I wasn't stuck in a small town, but the outcome wasn't thought out at all.
When I started losing weight, it was because I didn't want to be fat.
Somewhere along the way it transitioned to wanting to be healthy.
From moving away to moving toward.
These seem like small distinctions, but they aren't...it's a huge shift in momentum...
Like I learned in my self defense class, you can go faster forward than you can backward...
you can also see where you are going when you are moving forward, or towards something.
Not simple backing away from something.
Now I have all these ideas in my head of things I want to try, and things I want to do.
I need to make sure that I am not reacting, but acting.
The thing is, the weight was an excuse not to live.
Because it was easier to blame an "other",
than it was to face the fact that I simply didn't know WHAT I WANTED.
So, instead of looking and doing, I excused and delayed.
It is easy to allow our weight ,
Or our obligations,
or our infirmities,
or our childhoods,
or our mistakes...to be our excuses.
You see, once I started saying yes to getting healthy...I started developing preferences.
What if you state your preference and make someone angry?
This whole 'change your life' thing is pretty scary.
If it gets to be too much, you start to want to move away from so much change.
Mostly, cause it's not just you.
Not if you are married and have kids.
For years, the expectation of who I 'should' be, kept me from being WHO I AM.
What do I mean?
Here is an example or two:
I don't LIKE to crochet.
But I did it for a year or two cause I thought it was a 'homey' thing to do.
And fat women...if we can't be pretty...or sexy.. or dynamic..well, we can be homey.
I decorated my house in a very 'country' fashion for years.
This was how I assumed a homey home (a "real" home) should look.
My first couch I bought was the couchiest couch in the history of couches.
You couldn't get any more couch like.
It was blue, with little wooden arms and wooden feet..buttons on the back and a ruffle around the bottom. Very midwestern country like.
I had no real opinion of that couch
It was what I grew up with.
It's what I expected when I looked at a couch.
I neither liked nor disliked it.
I still remember the first time I saw a couch I loved.
It was cream colored leather and very modern.
It too had buttons...big ones.
The legs were metal.
I can't like that couch.
It isn't me.
But me as defined by who, or whom?
I was taught to disregard my likes and dislikes from an early age.
It didn't matter If I liked the food on my plate.
I was to eat it anyway.
It never occurred to me that I had the right to my own likes or dislikes.
I was never asked, only told.
So I never formed any likes or dislikes, I felt it was outside of my control.
I felt powerless, up till a few years ago.
The only thing I really knew I liked to do was read and draw. I liked to draw because it kept me calm and focused.
It also allowed me my only form of expression. (As a result, I did develop definite ideas about self expression and every human beings innate right to do so)
I liked to read because I wanted to travel..
I have had to make a lot of things up out of whole cloth.
I didn't know what a normal family looked like or how it operated.
I didn't come from a 'normal' home.
I did know that alot of what I went through was NOT what I wanted for my children.
Don't get me wrong, I got a lot of things that you can't buy from my mom.
I learned the meaning of hard work...persistence and a no quit, no whine attitude.
These things have been INVALUABLE.
But again, I was taught for the most part...what I didn't want.
To fill in that void, I had to look for alternative sources of inspiration.
So now we come down to creating a life for me.
I know what qualities I want....But I have never owned them.
I know what it is to feel happy.
I also know that happiness is a choice, as is optimism.
Faith is a choice
Being well read is a choice.
Generosity, patience, cicumspection, it's all a choice.
It's a deliberate choice.
It's who I choose to be.
There really is no reason to wait.
I can do it now.
Not perfectly, but what in life is perfect.
All this time, it had nothing to do with being thin.
It had to do with wanting to be someone I can be proud of.
And I had to have enough faith that I could accomplish it.
That I was capable.
I guess what I am saying is that I am trying to reclaim a life I have never had, and a person that has never existed except as potential.
A person and a life I have never seen modeled.
But a life and a person I know CAN exist.
If that makes any sense.
That is what this last year has taught me.
It's all a choice.
Went to the gym..walked a mile, jogged a mile.
Did 15 minutes on the elliptical and 20 on the stairmaster (my new favorite machine)
Then I did 200 situps.
Oh, and I got a tattoo on Wednesday...That I will tell you all about tomorrow.
Have a great night guys.