I’ve been watching a lot of old Biggest Loser episodes lately and what really struck me last night is that season after season Jillian and Bob push the contestants relentlessly until they spill the beans about their issues. For some it’s a crappy childhood, others have never felt good about themselves, some are mad at their parents, but all of them have a reason that they got fat and stayed fat for so long. It really got me thinking that there’s a HUGE difference between recognizing your issues and dealing with them and/or letting them go.
I’ve always considered myself pretty self-aware. It could be because I’m one big mass of neuroses and I tend to over-think everything so how in the name of Neil Patrick Harris could my issues be exempt? I’ve always been overweight with a propensity for putting on weight easily and quickly. I was a chubby kid. One of my thorny issues is that certain people (including family members and mean-spirited contemporaries) hassled me ENDLESSLY about it. I hadn’t even hit a growth spurt and had people riding me for being fat. What made it worse was that when I actually thinned out in high school I was 5’5″ and about 135 lbs (a perfectly normal weight) and they STILL told me I was fat. So many days I wonder “If everyone had just left me alone would I STILL be struggling so hard with my weight?” Obviously, I think not.
I’ve done therapy, complained to my friends, had a special relationship with Jose Cuervo and none of it has actually helped me get over it. I’d just like to say for the record that walking around thinking about how awesome you are doesn’t make you drop weight..unless of course you walk 5 mi. a day thinking about how awesome you are. Either way, just thinking you’re tits doesn’t get the job done.
I had a mini-meltdown this morning because of some photos I saw of myself. It’s been a big week. Lucy’s graduation party, Kate’s Baby Shower and…well, I accidentally turned 36 so I went out with a bunch of folks to a local bar/restaurant. All of these events were fantastic and I wouldn’t have missed any one of them but people also took pictures. I should probably note that I am not particularly photogenic before I tell you that I looked like CRAP in every, single one from every, single event. I’m telling you right now that I could get a summer job relieving the Goodyear blimp. What was worse than looking that bad was that I kept thinking “I looked in the mirror before I went out – I DIDN’T SEE THAT PERSON LOOKING BACK AT ME.” I saw one thing but the camera saw Delta Burke (makeup and all!) and Shamu wrestling under a black shirt. I really thought that when you’re dysmorphic you thought you were heavier than you are!
So what did I do? I cried and grumbled…mostly to Eric because that’s always a good choice (he actually has productive suggestions) and some to Christine (who just gets it). I still feel like crap but I did a little talking to myself and think I have it worked out. I HAVE NOT let go of any of my issues. On the emotional side: I feel judged and embarrassed and angry. I feel like nobody is going to love me, even though I am pretty awesome, because I’m overweight. I’m mad at myself for not being able to get things in check. I’m frustrated because I AM trying. Logical Me (and Eric) says: You have to figure out how your body wants to be fueled and I suspect you need more protein. You HAVE TO go to the gym. Working out at home was nice but you KNOW that your body responds well to weight training and cardio on the elliptical and bike. Your energy level is low and as a result Emotional Me is getting the crazy eyes. Logical Me knows it’s going to be ok…just not RIGHT NOW. This will take a while.
For the moment, until I can figure out what it takes to deal with my garbage or let it go, I have to be contented with getting back to the gym. It’s going to take a Herculean effort to get myself back on an a.m. schedule but that L’Oreal lady keeps telling me I’m worth it.
How do you deal with all the baggage you’re carrying around? Just so you know before you make suggestions: I don’t have a handgun permit or access to cyanide.