Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hate-Loss Challenge Week 2

This week's Hate-Loss topic is about self-acceptance and living our lives in the "now". For a more detailed explanation please refer to this post at Fat Girl Wearing Thin.

Exercise for the week:
Think about the answers to these esteem-deflating questions.  How often do you carry these thought around with you on a daily basis?
My life would be so much better if I were only:
I’d be so much happier if I had a better:
I wish I weighed:
When I look in the mirror, the first thing I criticize about myself is my:
The one negative word that I use about myself over and over again is:

Now, answer these questions so that they can be seen by everyone reading your update:

I often receive the most compliments on my hair, eyes and smile.
What I admire most about myself when I look at my reflection is I look damn good (for a 40+ year old). {Okay, I might have a little bit more work to do here.}
I take pride in my work ethic and ability to challenge myself.
I love the fact that I can get dirty and play hard yet still look pretty in a dress.
My greatest quality is I'm easy going and easy to get along with.

Over the past couple of years I have been working hard at taking it easy on myself. Yes, I still set goals and challenge myself with difficult endeavors (like Tough Mudder, running a marathon, and now Climbing Mt. Shasta) but my approach has been one of celebrating my body and what it can do rather than punishing it

In the past I've joined in many different challenges, most of them focusing on weight-loss or physical challenges that seem more about quantity over quality. For someone like me, it is easy to become so wrapped up in these challenges that I will do almost anything to accomplish that goal...even things that are truly harmful (like fasting, over-exercising and exercising when injured). All the while, my desire to achieve these goals has been based on my dislike of my own body, focusing only on those parts of my body I 'hate' was a sort of punishment.

Perhaps it's my age or the fact that this past year I have been face-to-face with other people who are just like me that I've been much more aware of the harm I've been doing to myself, both physically and emotionally. I found myself getting irritated with a few friends because I felt they were either training incorrectly and ignoring their nutritional needs, or both. I found them extremely competitive and their ego's were out of control. Because I had such a strong reaction I decided to really explore where these feelings were coming from and what they were really about. What I found not only surprised me, but caused a bit of embarrassment. It was as if I was looking into a mirror...the things I was so pissed about were the very same things I was 'guilty' of doing...basically an on-going reward and punishment system that not only kept my weight yo-yoing but also was emotionally draining. I was constantly stressed out and often took my frustrations out on myself or my loved ones.

For me, taking the time to be introspective and question my own thoughts has revealed a new acceptance of my self. Sure, part of me would still love to lose 10 or 15 or maybe even 20 pounds (that's the side of me that wants to wear a skimpy string bikini this summer) but the other side of me wants to be able to celebrate my life without always feeling like I'm not quite good enough to celebrate. My body is amazing. I'm so fortunate to have full function of my limbs, I'm healthy, injury free and have a love for adventure. How on earth would it make sense to try to put life on hold until I feel I meet some ideal weight goal??
After spelunking down 165 feet!!
Either way, the days, weeks, months and years will pass. I can weigh 8 pounds too much (by whose standard anyway??) and have a great time hiking around Calaveras County with my new husband, or I can sit at home, making meal plans, counting calories and opting to not to go on any trips (I'd just spend all of that time, surrounded by beauty, worried about how my muffin top might look in the pictures anyway) until I reach some arbitrary goal. When those thoughts creep in (and they do) I ask myself "will this matter in one year? Five years? 20 years? When I'm dead?"...

That spec is me on the zip-line...1500 feet of zipping over the tree line. Weeeeeeee!
I'm healthy, and other than vanity, there is no logical reason for me to worry about losing weight. There is no one out there in this world whose judgement of my weight has any sort of impact on my life. I won't make any more money if I lose weight, I won't magically become happier if I weighed less, I won't become rich and famous nor will my quality of life improve. What am I waiting for? Nothing...

1 comment:

  1. You are my hero, Lynn. What a beautiful love letter to yourself. This is exactly what everyone needs to read while they are waiting for their lives to begin.
    The fact that you sat down and figured out why you were upset with your friends (and finding out that it had something to do with you, not just them) is pretty profound. Most people wouldn't take the time to do the work. It's easier to make excuses. I really applaud you for that.
    Your life is getting better and better. And as a mighty fine lookin' 40-something, your desire for the important things in life (health, happiness, desire for experiences) will just continue to grow. Thank you for this, Lynn.


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