Thursday, January 22, 2015

Disappointment with a Dash of Perspective

Yesterday was the last day of my cleanse, I was thrilled to be done and couldn't wait for my morning cup of coffee. I'll be honest, I was about 95% compliant with the rules of the cleanse, my portions were small, my food was clean, and I drank A LOT of water. I took the supplements, drank the fiber drink, and only cheated with a few tastes of some of the food I cooked for the kids. I stayed off of the scale the whole time, even though every morning I felt like it was staring at me waiting for me to step on. Waiting for me to pass judgement on myself because of the numbers on the screen. I truly was expecting a few pounds, would have been thrilled with 4-5 pounds but happy with 3-4 pounds. When I stepped on the scale this morning this was the number staring back at me.

10 days of eating healthy, following the rules, taking the supplements and I only dropped 1.2 pounds. I was so disappointed. I was frustrated and angry. Those emotions exacerbated by a hectic morning and a less than compliant 21 months old. I almost cried. I struggled with the reality that the point of the cleanse wasn't to lose weight, it was to reset from bad eating and build healthy eating habits. I had done that. I felt better, I was less tired, less sluggish, and my pants fit better. The cleanse was a success in all aspects except the number on the scale. Just another instance where I let that number change how I felt and let it take away all of the good I had done.

Here is what I know in my head. Weight fluctuates, especially for women all month. Muscle is more dense than fat, so weight lifting will invariably make moving the number down the scale harder. Once you are only a few pounds from goal weight, those pounds are incredibly hard to shed. I know all of this in my rational brain, but it's not my rational brain that is tearing me down for only losing a pound and a half. It's the emotional, self conscious and critical part of my brain that is making me feel like all of that work wasn't worth it. That part of my brain is loud and unrelenting, that part of my brain wants me to fail because eating poorly and not exercising is so much easier (and tastier). It's easier not to go to the gym, not to meal prep, not to care what foods you eat, but I've done that. I've spent my 20's that way and I wasn't happy with how I felt, looked, lived. I have an amazing life and I am blessed in uncountable ways but seeing that is hard when you don't like what's looking back at you in the mirror.

I've spent a lot of today trying to give myself perspective, trying to be realistic about my goals and intentions. I've spent much of my life so far disliking what I looked like, most of which I tied to my weight. If I was thinner I'd be happy was a constant mantra for me, but experience has taught me that that's not true. My body issues aren't going to disappear when I fit into my goal jeans, and honestly I'm not sure yet what steps I'm going to take to work on them. What I do know is that I'm a goal oriented person and I have made improved body image my 2015 goal. It's not just about losing weight, it's about finally accepting the reflection in the mirror flaws and all and being OK with it. I've spent 31 years beating myself down, I want to spend a year trying to build myself up into a healthier and more confident me. I'm not sure of all the steps yet but I'm ready to take the first one by sharing this all with you.

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