mental toughness... principles meet reality

Hey all...
so great, I was all it. Knew who I was.
Knew what I wanted...
what happened?
How did I become 262 lbs if I was so happy with who I was.
I forgot the human part of the equation.
What happens to most of us I suppose.
If we know what we want and who we are, but then are forced to live a life opposite of what we had supposed ourselves to be.
We have A dichotomy.
I met my husband..whom I loved.
I swore I would never marry an alcoholic.
I married an alcoholic.
I didn't know I had when I did it.
I then got pregnant right out of the starting gate of our marriage..
on Our wedding night.
So, I had many principles, and I didn't stop to think they might cause problems down the road.
Some of these principles were:
1.)I would NEVER STAY in a bad relationship.
2.) My kids would all have the same father.
3.)I would only divorce someone if they beat me or cheated. (this one saved our marriage.)

I had never prioritized my principles...but when the going got tough they got clarified.
My marriage was never bad enough to meet the two criteria in number three.
He never did either.
he stayed away alot.
He drank alot.
He was self absorbed alot.
But he had his good moments.
We had our good moments.
The thing was, when It came down to brass tacks. I was willing to accept a less then stellar marriage to keep my kids in an intact household.
At that point you are swimming in grey area.
You begin to do all kinds of things to make the trade offs okay.
You ignore it.
You find other ways to get your emotional needs met.
I ate.
Also, I was very young and immature.
I didn't know how to express what I wanted.
so I didn't say anything.
And it built up and I pushed it down.
build and push
build and push.
At the age of thirty my hair started going grey.
I still have the gray hair.
I had to learn how to express what I wanted.
That came about after a series of very bad upsets, my husband gone to war, a family member diagnosed with a terminal illness, a miscarriage.
I had reached the end of my coping mechanisms.
I went to las vegas for four days for a wedding.
Instead of enjoying myself, I locked myself in my hotel room after the wedding and ordered a large pizza , chips and dip and a 2 liter of soda and ate till I almost threw up.
On my trip back home through utah, I realized something had to give.
I had to put down my God complex. The one that said I had to be everyone's rock and shelter.
I had to put myself up there on the list of priorities.
I had to give up the notion that I was doing others a favor by living a lie.
I had to tell him, and everyone else..exactly what kind of relationships I wanted.
Here is where that fear comes in.
I was left alot as a child.
My biological father left before I was born.
my mother told me that my older brother was her favorite.
My grandma called me a bastard.
Duane, my mom's second husband (who I THOUGHT was my biological father) had his new wife tell me one day that I wasn't his so I should stop trying to come over and talk to him.
I thought (wrongly) that there was something inherently unlovable about me.
I knew God loved me...but people, not so much...
So, with my husband I thought it best not to push too much. That was why I was always so strong and steady. I didn't want to let him know I needed anything.
I was afraid. Afraid if I became too much of a burden, he would get tired of me and leave.
Then I had my kids.
They loved me.
I loved them.
Then I knew that I was lovable..that not just God loved me, but that other people could love me too.
I made a few very good friends.
They liked me.
I realized that I was being treated the way I was being treated because I was allowing it.
So I drew the line.
I was scared when I did that.
But you know what?
It's better to know if you are really loved, then to spend your life guessing.
Cause when you do that you are giving up any chance of ever finding someone who WILL love you.
So I gave him his pass to freedom.
"If you want to leave, then go. I am nobody's second choice. Nobody's burden.
You can take all the money, the house, and I'll take the kids...who you can see whenever you would like. I won't ask for half of your retirement. Nothing. No bitterness, you are free to go."
He said "I love you, I don't want to be free to go."
Then I knew.
I didn't have to guess.
I started making some demands of my own.
This is an example of mental toughness.
You can have principles that conflict, and you'll have to work through those.
But know what you will and won't put up with.
Know what is important to you.
It will help you get through the times when you want to quit.
I could live with a difficult marriage if that person loved me and I loved them.
But a marriage where there was no love or respect.
NO Way.
In the last four years my marriage has gotten so much better that I KNOW God's hand is in it.
Set your priorities.
Now...to weight loss...how does this translate.
Well, I think that huge victory in the area of my marriage set me up for victory in my weight loss.
Here was my mind set after the day I woke up...after I had spent the night crying and then woke up the next morning.
Let go of your expectations for amounts of weight lost.
I was so desperate, or focused...or whatever it is you need to call it...
That I said.
I will cap my calories at 1800 and walk every day.
(It became cap my calories at 1500 and do one hour of exercise every day for six days a week.)
Not.."I want to drop thus and such pounds before bikini season."
I did what I should and let my body take care of the rest.
I was willing to never lose a pound, just to KNOW I had control over what I ate and how I moved my body, it was enough.

That is why you don't see a weight loss bar on the side of my blog.
I didn't want to feel like I was in some sort of a competition.
I still don't.
I am okay with three pounds a month.
It's for life.
When You start, that's it.
It's for life.
Not for summer,
not for a family reunion.

for life.

So, whether you lose 1 lb a week on the way you have chosen to eat and exercise...or 3 lbs a week. It doesn't change anything.
Don't do anything you couldn't do FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
That is my best piece of advice.
If I had to eat 1500 calories with two or three higher calorie days a month FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE...well, I can do that.
If I have to exercise an hour a day six days a week for the rest of my life, then I can do that too.
Where that puts me weight wise, I guess I'll find out.
I am betting it puts me about 130 lbs (according to my calculations) and that is good enough for me.
But if I stopped right here at 155...FINE.
I will still eat this way and exercise this way.
Because I know why I am doing this.
So that i can live the rest of my life knowing I did my best.
I followed through.
I loved MYSELF.
Know why you are doing it.
Find a way of eating and moving you can live with for the rest of your life.
And then DO IT.
That's how you do it.
As simple and as hard.
Well, I am wiped out.
I Did my walk today and it's back to the gym tomorrow.
Have a great night guys.


Holly said...

Thank you for this post. It was exactly what I needed to read!

Becky the Design Lady said...

You are amazing. and inspiring.
and I'm grateful that I read this tonight.
I'm just starting out on this journey yet again. Thanks for giving me some new ideas and thoughts to ponder while I'm out there walking and walking.

The Exquisite Christine said...

=D Thanks for this post. It reminded me why I lost 60 lbs (marriage/self worth/principles). And how: focusing on daily targets and feeling in control of THAT DAY. I have been doing that again this week. I controlled myself today. I can be in control of the rest of my life.

I love reading you. Total groupie here.

Rettakat said...

I couldn't agree more. Decide.

Sure, there is the "fine print", working out what works for us as individuals. But without that foundation, the belief that we have the ability to choose, to DECIDE, we will fall back into victim mode, or excuse mode, or just plain self-doubt mode.

This is a wonderful post... and I know it will help many people, not just with weight loss.


Kim said...

Thanks Chris. :) You're such a mama hen and it makes me happy to know you....you're always taking care of we little chicks. :) I know that YOU know I needed this post.

Hanlie said...

Wow! Powerful words! I really admire you for not only turning your marriage around, but your life as well. And in the process you inspire all of us to adopt sound principles and live by them.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me to read more about what makes each of us who we are - how we got to this place. Chris, I am sorry to read of what you have gone through in your life. That being said, you wouldn't be the Chris we all know without it.

Fat Grump said...

Chris - great post. I too have lived through a haze of very bad times, bad years all because I wanted stability for my children. When you do somethingto change your life, become determined to ensure you have a life worth living too, you feel so much better. I loved reading about the way you know yourself, in that you will limit the calories and exercise daily if that's what it takes to keep you feeling healthy and slim. That's proper self-love! You have built yourself a new life and a new body to go with it. I so admire that determination! I have sorted out my life, and now it's time to make my body the best it can be.

Patrick said...

Brave words you share in your posts. So glad I found you recently.

Laura said...

I love having the chance to read your words. You are helping me clarify my thoughts as I struggle through this journey. You are complete right and confirmed to me that what I am doing needs to be something I can do for the REST of my life. Thanks Chris!

Anonymous said...

wow... reality check... i needed to read that too! thanks for sharing..and the advice..

Robin said...

This relates and it doesn't. I read in a book that the person you must forgive is the one you think you can't. The reason people think they can't is because they are focused on the how. Get off of that and focus strictly on the desire to do it. If you can do that ~ focus strictly on a pure desire to forgive someone ~ it will happen. It happens slowly, over time, by the grace of God. God takes care of the how if you can just stay true to the desire of wanting it. Sticking to the goal, so to speak. Not sure what made me think of that. But something that you wrote triggered that in me.

Anyway, got your characteristics, but didn't publish them. You already had one that I didn't have and now you have two more. So, you have three to call your own. However, you are missing 5 and you are so close on one (just dancing around it). The hair one. Narrow in and focus. Both of my physial traits are hair-related. Be more specific. Anyway, as always very insightful!

TJ said...

Great post Chris. Powerful words my friend! LIFE. I am in this journey for LIFE. I do not care how long it takes me to get to an END number on that scale...I know what I do and how hard I try and I am in this journey for LIFE, my LIFE. :)

bbubblyb said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading and I've gotten so much out of your last few posts. Not that I don't always get something from each of your posts but the past few have really hit me. Thanks for writing them.

Kim said...

Know what is important to you.
It will help you get through the times when you want to quit.

I came back to read this post again and to catch up on what I missed. I think you understand better than a lot of people do. If I just "compromise" and settle for less than I can live with, then I will do it in every other area in my life...including weight loss. I stayed strong...I was willing to separate to get him to see. I would not take being put down over and over again...I stuck by it and prevailed. Thanks for your motivation Chris and your wisdom.