Sunday, March 21, 2010


Note: don't read this post if you're not into deep navel-gazing, revelations of insecurity, and all that rot. My poor husband is the only person who's commented on it and bless him, he's obligated by virtue of the fact that he married me.

Okay, as you were...

I'd meant to do this post last week but got all caught up in truth and lies. And while I don't regret it a bit -- those posts were a blast! -- I have been thinking about the questions Jack asked in the above-linked entry. It required some serious navel-gazing, and honestly sometimes I wasn't sure I wanted to put that out here on the internet, in large part because I'm not as anonymous as I once was. Also, who I am now and the person I show the world in this blog just don't match the person I was.

But this is where I came from.

Why do you suppose you let your life be less than you imagined it to be?

I don't know how it started, but I do know that once it started, it snowballed. From sometime in my teens I started thinking I was "less-than." Less smart, less talented, less pretty, less controlled, less socially adept... just less. Even though my parents were wonderfully supportive, I never quite got over the feeling of being less.

It had disastrous consequences for me in almost every area of my life, and my weight was certainly no exception.

Why do you stumble so often despite all your good intentions?

I stumble because I'm human. The stumbling doesn't really bother me so much. I'll start being concerned about it when I stop picking myself back up. In my experience, that's the danger point.

Why do you sabotage yourself?

Part of me wants to say I sabotaged myself because I was weak, I didn't want it enough, I didn't think ahead for what Choice X would cost me. But another part thinks that perhaps the sabotage occured because on some level I still felt like I was less. And when you're less, you don't deserve more.

Why are you here anyway?

Now there's a nice vague question. If you ask why I'm on this planet, part of me thinks it's so I can serve as an example to others -- a horrible consequence. Don't get married to spouse #1 for [insert stupid reason here], or you'll end up like Amanda. Don't get married to spouse #2 for [insert second slightly less but still incredibly stupid reason here], or you'll end up like Amanda. Don't major in English then decide six years later you can't stand teaching or you'll end up like Amanda.

Now all that said, most of the time I don't beat myself up. I've made mistakes, but we all do. I just happened to succeed spectacularly in my particular levels of errancy. Yes, weirdly in spite of all this I'm actually an over-achiever, and my mistakes tend to be huge examples of that tendency. I'm still recovering from those mistakes, both emotionally and financially. But I am recovering from them. And for that I am grateful. And I'm proud of myself.

And Choreboy rocks. Sometimes third time's the charm. Get married to spouse #3 when you're smart enough to know what a good man looks like, and you'll end up like Amanda. Now that's a legacy I can live with.

If you mean why am I here, specifically, with the weight loss community in the blogging world, it's because I've been working on my weight in varying ways since my mid-twenties, more intensively the past three years. I have kept off the majority of a fifty-five pound weight loss that took from the fall of 2006 to the fall of 2007, but I've also been watching the pounds creep back on after a year of maintenance. I've been fighting that creep for the past year; while hitting several ups and downs, I have seen what a difference a supportive community makes in how I view my efforts. And now, a year after I quit smoking (one year TODAY, thankyouverymuch), I am succeeding.

Speaking of which...

If you’re making it, if you’re succeeding on this weight-loss journey, tell me why this time is different than all the others.

This time is different because I am different. I'm not who I was in my teens. I'm not who I was in my twenties. I'm not who I was through most of my thirties. And I thank God for that. I know I am not less. I have a supportive community both in my day-to-day life and also through the virtual community, both here in the blogging world and at Spark People.

Why are you going to make it this time when you’ve fallen short before.

The whole "lifestyle change" doesn't scare me anymore. It used to be I was terrified of change. And okay, I have to say I'm not a huge fan of it even now. But sometimes change is necessary and good. Sometimes doing nothing is the absolute worse thing you can do, and causes more harm than any active mistakes you could make. I spent decades feeling paralyzed. No more.

I'm done.

Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before.

I understand now that my environment and my life are under my control. There are things that will happen, horrible things can happen, but the little things like what I eat? I've got a grip on that. If I want chocolate I will have it, I will log it into my calorie counter, and I will make adjustments elsewhere. If I want pizza I will have it, I will log it into my calorie counter, and I will make adjustments elsewhere.

Repeat as necessary.

Why are you a different person now than you were before?

Because I know I'm worth my own effort.

Because my children are worth the best effort I can give them and myself.

Because my husband is the most amazing man on the planet.

And because it's simple. Never easy, but always simple.

I can do simple.

Now I'm going to go bake a cake. Quitting smoking was simple too. And it's time to celebrate.

1 comment:

Choreboy said...

I don't think so much that "3rd time is the charm", rather that when you reach a certain point in life and relationships you realize in order to be happy that you find someone with the least amount of things that you don't want. And also learning that you can't change anyone, only they can change themselves.

Besides, it's easy to be a "great guy" when you're with such an amazing woman.