For years, I told myself that I carried my weight well. The scale may have shown a huge, scary number, but I looked fine. Look at some of the before photos I’ve posted on this blog to evaluate the truth of that statement for yourself.
I never referred to myself as obese – even though I was by all ways of determining that. If I referred to my weight at all, I’d say I was overweight. Only an absolute and complete lack of clothing that fit and the need to have appropriate, nice outfits for job interviews got me to enter a plus size store that first time.
I told myself that the excess weight did not affect my life. I felt fine and could do whatever I wanted. When I could no longer believe that, I told myself that overall my life is good. I’m happy. I'm not missing out on anything because of my weight. I’m healthy. If you think one can be overweight or even obese and healthy, read this recent New York Times column.
I’d tried and failed to lose weight so many times that I told myself it was impossible for me to lose weight. I ate well and made healthy choices. I exercised some. I understood nutrition and portion control. I couldn't possibly be lying to myself about how much I was really eating or exercising. I was meant to be fat, so I should make the best of it. Realizing how all these lies and negative thinking patterns turned into expectations and results is frightening. How did I ever find the courage to try yet again?
I did. And, it wasn’t caused by hitting bottom. I’d done that years before in terms of my highest weight and biggest sized clothing. A recent PBS special I saw called This Emotional Life would say it’s the resiliency of the human spirit and the need to have hope. I’ve also read that sometimes what you want the most is what you are most frightened to attempt. Your ability to procrastinate or even self-sabotage attempts to go after this most wanted thing can be off the charts.
Somehow I still found the way to try again, and it was not with any great sense that this was the time I would succeed. I know I was very inspired by two friends who had lost 50 pounds in 2008 and by several seasons of The Biggest Loser. Somehow I walked back into Weight Watchers to try yet again but not quite believing I could really lose that weight. I have done better than I ever expected. It’s made me think a lot about the power of thoughts, expectations, bad habits and lies.
Weight is not the only area where you can lie to yourself. Have you ever said you want to be a published author and then gone months without writing or ever establishing a writing schedule? Have you avoided mastering the one or two craft areas that you know you need to learn before you’ll make that sale or move to the next level in your career? Have you ever submitted anything?
Are you lying to yourself in other aspects of your life? Finances? Relationships? At work? Do you drink too much? Do you still smoke? Are you denying other risky behavior? Are you refusing to acknowledge and work out your negative emotions and thoughts?
2010 can be the year you stop lying. It’s extremely liberating.