I’m overweight. I have been for about 15 years. I used to be thin and flexible, and a couple of months ago I realised I couldn’t touch my toes.
Dealing with my weight issue is how I used to deal with my alcoholic husband.
When I walk by a full length mirror or glass window and catch my reflection I look in disgust and think what a shame or get angry at myself for not doing anything about it. I used to look at my husband the same way.
I think to myself – I have to loose weight because it will make me feel better, my quality of life will improve because I will feel more confident. I will be proud of myself, I’ll be able to go to places, socialise and enjoy myself better because people won’t be judging me. I used to feel the same effects would happen if my husband would give up drink.
I see my weight as being the thing that is stopping me from living the life I expected – being fit and healthy, hiking, being able to run, acting like I used to. The same way I blamed my husband for years.
It takes up all my head space, everything I do or look at reminds me of it somehow. I give out about it to those who listen, it’s like my weight is not part of me, instead I loath it and hate it.
I used to do the same about my husband.
Every now and then I get determined to do something about it – I am determined that things are going to be different – I do something huge I join a gym, do crash dieting, this lasts two weeks or maybe until the next meal.
I buy books about how to get skinny in 10 days. I read them while eating a chocolate bar usually. My last one of course because I will do it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and I have another excuse why I am not taking action to achieve the results I want. Living the norm, even thought I didn’t like the way it was making me feel, is so much easier than doing something about it, right? Determination takes energy, and sometimes I just don’t feel I have the energy to follow through so I go on the way I am – overweight and unhappy about it.
A month ago I found a track near where I live. Seven laps is 5 km. I decided it was now or never – My aim was to jog the 5km within 8 weeks and by that time I would have lost lots of weight.
The first day I did three laps, walking – I was breathless, sweating but it was a start, I felt positive. The second time I did 6 laps – the following day I was sore all over. My body was rebelling, but I was determined. The third time (in week one), I did the seven laps and even jogged a bit of it. I felt that was progress. The scales went down two strokes (-2 lbs = Progress). “Ha ha body take that!”.
The second week I went out four times to the track – each day took effort to go, but I stayed focus – my end goal to loose weight. The same way I used to do things to get my husband sober because if he got sober my life would be perfect.
By the end of the second week – I was jogging 2 sides of the track each lap. I was making progress. At the end of the second week I stood on the scales – I was UP 4 lbs – what the f***k?
I was so upset – all this effort and nothing, no progress, it was like I was worse off than when I started. What was the point in continuing? I might as well just sit down and accept my lot – I was a fat and it was something I just had to live with.
But then I thought about it – I had gone from being breathless and sore after 2km. To jogging part of 5 km without being breathless. The time out away from the house gave me time to think or not think! It gave me, me time! And I could touch my toes again! So even though the end result wasn’t happening (yet) the journey to the result was having positive side effects – I was feeling healthier and stronger and better in myself.
It was the same when I stopped trying to control and change my husband. I started working on what I wanted by taking different routes.
I wanted my kids to have a good childhood, so I started to take them out to places at the weekend and do things with them.
I wanted to have a social life, so I would arrange for my kids to have a sleep over with friends and I would go out for a night with my friends.
I wanted to see a movie, I’d go to the movies without my husband.
I did all these things without my husband because he was too drunk or too untrustworthy to partake but I stopped letting his actions stop me taking actions.
Yes I wanted him to get sober, but I realised this was not the only way to my life being fulfilled and happy. It would help of course! But it was not the only solution. I needed to take responsibility for my quality of life. When he saw what he was missing and compared the quality of his life to mine, he became sick of being sick and did something about it. He took action because he saw me taking action. It didn’t happen over night but I eventually got the end result by taking little steps.
The same way loosing 20 lbs is not going to happen overnight. By taking little steps forward it will happen but in the mean time I am going to enjoy the side effects!