I was getting all set and ready to go full on self-deprecation mode with this. I mean, it has been nearly two years since I last checked in. And probably about thirty pounds in the wrong direction. How would I know for sure? I’ve contracted scale-itis. It stares at me with that knowing, blank, LED screen when I enter the bathroom and have to turn sideways to maneuver between toilet and tub. . . but I’m certain not to make eye contact for fear of feeling shamed by an inanimate object.
We might lie to ourselves and think “it’s not so bad” as we burgeon out of stretch pants and refuse invitations to go places, afraid of not being able to fit into our jeans, but deep down we know the truth. At least I know my truth. I feel it in my skin, in my knees, in my inability to sleep well. I see it in the mirror, in disgusted looks from strangers, in the eyes of concerned loved ones too worried about hurting my feelings to say anything about the weight gain.
But the longer we hide, the worse it gets.
It’s easy to douse ourselves with loathing. What am I doing? Why can’t I get it right? I know better, what’s my problem? I HATE MYSELF!!! But that only gets us to the bottom of an ice cream carton.
It’s love we need. It’s love I need . . . from myself.
Hey that person’s fat too . . . and so is that one!
I’m not nearly THAT big!
I’ve got a ways to go . . .
Screw salad. “I’ll have a cheese burger and fries, please. After the nachos come out, of course.”
That’s kinda how it goes in my mind when I am out at a restaurant and the mental tug of war between my gluttonous self and my know better self have at it. And it gets NASTY. When two out of every three people in the place are overweight, some super fat, gluttony wins out when I am not careful. The rationalizing that happens when I crack open the menu quickly turns to guilt and hand wringing once the last drip of sauce is wiped from the corner of my mouth.
It’s so easy.
No wonder Americans have problems losing weight. Just look around any store, eating establishment or gas station and reasons that we “aren’t that bad” are in your face. It’s like watching the television show COPS. You just feel better about your life because you aren’t trying to stick weed up your butt or run from the police in handcuffs.
Rationalization happens in other ways. In many other ways.
- Ah well, I already had one slice of pizza. Another isn’t going to hurt. That much.
- My nephew’s third birthday party is Saturday, I’ll loosen up my diet for the weekend and restart Monday.
- That pumpkin spice latte only comes around once a year, I have to take advantage.
- I had such a stressful day at work, I deserve to gorge as much as I want.
- This cake is about to get stale. There are starving kids in China. It’d be inhumane to let it go to waste.
- I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch, so depositing my daily allotment of calories into my pie hole at dinner is okay. Dang it.
But for me, it’s usually the COPS strategy.
However you like your rationalization, it’s usually just one of the stops in a vicious cycle. Once you’ve made the conscious decision to eat badly, to not work out, or to just not be good to your own body, shame, guilt and even anger can overwhelm your emotions. How do people stuck on fat cope? They eat. And so it goes on.
But it’s okay. At least I’m not as fat as her.
Wait. Then again, maybe we don’t.
Or we just think we do as an excuse to not do. And call it cramps.
Ugh. See what I mean?
Losing weight is simple in theory. It’s about making the choice to take action for the betterment of your body. Not for the detriment of it. It’s getting off of work like my hubs does and saying, “okay I’m going for my run!” Versus sitting in front of the computer logging more work hours instead of miles all the while resenting the fact it’s just so easy for him to “go for a run”.
Doesn’t he know there’s stuff to do still. Important stuff?
But what’s more important than nurturing your health? I ask myself.
Then I think and think and think . . . Once I stop thinking the answer is clear.
Hmm. Is it a coincidence that the word HATE is just ATE with an H in front?
How could I Have ATE that?
I sometimes HATE myself after I ATE something that I knew I shouldn’t have stuffed in my face…
Did you ever have that feeling? That feeling of insta-guilt?
And then the obligatory WHY? Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I making the conscious choice to cram crap down my food hole?
Just the simple fact that I associate HATE with food means I have an unhealthy relationship with what I need to live. It’s like saying I hate the fact that I took a breath of that dang oxygen. What the heck was I thinking?!
So the question must be asked. Why do I self-loathe? Even better, why do I eat what I eat knowing shame will set in the moment I crumple up the wrapper?
Is it because I am ashamed I’ve let myself go? So screw it. Lots of people are fat. Look! I’m not nearly as fat as that person . . .
It’s because I want to be perfect . . .