March 1, 2010 at 8:25 am
I’d like to present my new doorstop!
I know many of you were waiting to hear about my experiences on week three of The Beck Diet Solution, but after putting off the entry for longer than it would have taken to complete the first three weeks over again, I realized I have no desire to continue the plan. I think it has some merit, but I don’t want to spend that much time thinking about my weight, my food, and my fitness every week. Not right now, anyway.
Beck burnout seems to have occurred to other people before. It makes me wonder if there is a secret chapter in the middle featuring a wonderful surprise. I heard of a software company that offered a free $100 bill to the first person who actually read their terms of service to find the offer. Dr. Beck might give away free ponies in chapter 32! I’ll never know. If you’re looking for someplace to discuss the book, it looks like Prior Fat Girl has a discussion page set up.
After ditching Beck, I read my One More Time in 2010 post again and thought, “Man, I was really fired up! Did you see how fired up I was?!” That’s all good, but I’ve simmered down from the fireworks and transitioned into a slow burn instead. I am content to do it the slow way, or even the super-slow way. I was listening to the Two Fit Chicks podcast this weekend, and Shauna, aka DietGirl, mentioned that she spent five years reaching her goal weight. That made me stop and look at my iTunes for a few seconds thinking, “If it takes me five years to lose fifty pounds, that’s fine. As long as I keep heading in that general direction, I don’t care how much time it takes.”
Back when I hit 235 pounds in 2006, which is a bit higher than my current weight, but not by much, I wrote:
“I could never lose another pound and I would honestly be happy with my body. Wow. There are girls who look 10 times better than I do who wouldn’t be able to say that.”
And amazingly enough, that’s still true. My current size doesn’t limit my lifestyle. I can buy clothes. I can walk around without getting winded. I probably have a higher risk for diabetes and other obesity-related diseases in the long term, but, well, no one’s perfect and I have to die of something. I’m going to hold the line and slowly push towards a lower weight, but it CANNOT be the sole topic on my mind night and day. And lately, it has been on my mind way more than I’d like for it to be.
When I first lost weight, I was doing it for myself, to make my life better. This go round however, it’s been more about other people. There was a man at my old workplace, Joe Anonymous, who had lost a few hundred pounds via weight loss surgery, but had recently gained back seventy of those pounds. A few of my coworkers and I passed him as he got off the elevator. As soon as the doors closed, one person said, “That was Joe Anonymous. He had weight loss surgery, but he’s gained a lot of weight back.” Immediately, I felt sorry for Joe Anonymous, not just because he’d gained back some weight, but because I doubted we were the first group of people to talk about him in the elevator. He wasn’t morbidly obese anymore; he was much thinner, but evidently not thin enough. I didn’t want people to talk about me that way in elevators, focusing only my body and comparing it to how big or small it’s been before.
The only bad thing about my current weight is all the time I spend thinking about what other people think about my weight. It’s a problem caused only by itself, like a snake eating it’s own tail. It’s a cyclical worry cycle, and I’m getting dizzy spinning around and around in my head all the time. I’ve wasted so many hours worrying about food, the scale, what I ate, what I should eat, and nagging myself to exercise, all because I’m worried people might be disappointed about how big I am if they meet me. Aaaaaaah!! It hasn’t been about about me and my health, it’s been about other people.
That’s why when I’ve gained a few pounds, I freak out a bit and feel like I should do something drastic, because WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?! When really, I should just chill out, and get over myself. People don’t think of me half as often as I think they do, and people who judge me on my weight aren’t people I want to like me anyway. I should just get my slow burn on and take care of myself for my own sake, not because I want people I don’t know to like me. It’s so easy to make up a reason that I should be ashamed of my weight. At my thinnest, I worried I was still fat. Now that I’m fatter, I worry that I’m not thin. It’s got to stop. There’s no way to win.
Lately, I feel like I’ve been running for mayor of Crazytown. I’d really like to retract my bid for that office because I don’t want to fritter my life away worrying, especially worrying about what people think of me. I don’t want to get ginormous again either, so I’ll always have to monitor my weight to some extent. I wish I could magically maintain my weight without thought or effort, but that’s not going to happen. I’d like to find a happy medium where I’m spending some time thinking about my healthy living habits, but not so much that I wind myself up over it or feel like I have to justify my choices to the rest of the world. I would like my weight to be between me and myself, not me and the world, but I also know it’s my own damn fault for writing a book and a blog about it.
Which is all to say, The Beck Diet Solution isn’t the solution to my problems right now. Chilling out and getting over myself, probably is. If I lose weight, it has to be for me, not for you. You can talk about that in the elevator if you want to.