Sunday, October 25, 2009

Creeping Back Around to Thoughts About Weight

So, a good friend of mine and I were having a conversation about weight loss shortly before I left for vacation. She had some good questions, and I had some surprising (to me) answers. It has taken me many years (and one pregnancy, long enough ago not to be any excuse) to get me to the weight I am now, but I have actually not been at my ideal weight or fitness level for many years, arguably never. As early as high school I was already larger than my frame required and didn't look or feel my best, and despite a spot of low weight in college due to some emotional issues, I was never "fit". And since then, it's been a gradual climb upward, despite finding, at times, various physical activities to work my body with. So, the really startling question was, "can you actually picture yourself succeeding in weight loss, and picture yourself at your fit, healthy weight?" I've always fantasized about it, had visions about it, certainly have spouted off about it in this blog on multiple occasions, but as time has gone on, especially since having had my kid who is now 4, I've gotten further and further from that place, and it's gotten harder and harder to imagine genuine success. So, when I thought really hard about it, and realized my answer was "no, not really", I was a little disheartened. Any trainer, coach, etc. will tell you that a key aspect to succeeding at a particular activity is visualizing the successful outcome, and "imprinting" in your subconscious the sensation of doing it right, and the feeling of success. So, I realized that to be able to move forward, I really had to picture a success point that seemed achievable. (Rather than supermodels, we decided we could settle for being MiLFs, hahaha.)

-During my vacation, I truly escaped, not only in body, but in mind, and it was a wonderful thing. I was able to spend the whole trip being moderately indulgent with no guilt, and mentally felt completely refreshed afterward.-

After vacation, however, came a second revelation. This one upon looking at the pictures from our trip. Now, as I'm sure anyone who is not happy with their weight has felt at times, pictures do not always reveal the version of ourselves that we would prefer. For this particular trip, however, I felt that I came up with a fairly decent and flattering wardrobe to suit my current physique, and I thought I was pulling it off ok. And in the pictures it's not that I wasn't "pulling it off", per se, it was a little weirder than that. It was like I didn't recognize myself, like the person in the pictures is not who I see in the mirror every day, and that's not the first time in the last couple of years that I've had that sensation. Like I just do not picture -that- as fully my "look", and it seems to surprise me on a fairly regular basis. Is that only a factor of being in denial about what I look like at this weight, or an age thing thrown in too, or what? Either way, it was startling as hell. I like the pictures, they turned out well, and yet I don't feel like that girl in them looks like me. That's messed up!

So, I was pondering today, it seems like I am at two opposing sides of a coin (or coins?) on this weight loss thing, and where I want to be is at the other two opposing sides. On one hand, I am having trouble picturing getting back to where I want to be, on the other hand I can't accurately picture that I am where I am. Not that I am in denial of my weight struggles, obviously I've been blogging about that in complete honesty for over a year now. But it's just that the visual result of that problem and the visual perception of myself, despite knowing I am overweight, don't match. Which makes looking at pictures a little weird, needless to say!

Why, then, can't I flip those two conflicting issues both to serve me for the better? I should USE the vision of how I kind of think I am looking and nudge it along to picturing how I kind of think I can and should be, so it doesn't seem like quite as much of a stretch to get there. And I should also try harder to USE the reality of how I look now to be a more regular reminder of the place where I do not want to remain. I have to be careful, of course, because it can cause or aggravate a negative spiral if I become too disgusted with how I look and perpetuate that into eating to soothe those bad feelings. Rather it should illustrate to me a contrast between my desires and potential. Something to think about.

No comments: