Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Me: Only Better

I caught myself daydreaming while I did my hair yesterday. Again.

I have a lot of unruly hair, so it takes a long time to "do right," so it is kind of my daydream and/ or sing in the bathroom time.

But that is neither here nor there.

I was having a "good mirror day," where I could see a lot of differences in my self.

I'd posted a picture, recently, of some new hair color on facebook for the friends I knew would want to see it. The picture wasn't anything exciting. I was fresh from the shower and had no make up or supportive undergarments on, just a big, baggy sweatshirt (that I LOVE because it was too small to zip a year ago and is now voluminous), just me and a goofy smile and my new pink streaks. I intended to just take it down the next day after the required close (but far away distance-wise) friends got to see it. But then people said such nice things about it!!! My face was thinner, I looked like the me they remember from when I was a teenager, all kinds of nice things. So I kept it. I was chatting with my oldest brother about it on the internets the next day, doing the old "I'm not even wearing make-up" thing all of us do (though the specific words often change), when he said the very best compliment yet:
"Health Shines."

How cool is THAT?!?!
I didn't even have a good compliment-displacing maneuver type comeback for that one; it was too good!
It was like a self-conscious-armor-of-compliment-refusal piercing bullet of awesomeness good.

So I was still riding high on that as I sang along loudly to my radio and tried to tame my crazy hair (sporting pink streaks once again!) and thinking...
It's going to be so great when I'm even thinner.
Just imagine how in-shape and awesome I'm going to look.
People will look at me and see an athlete and know how hard I work.

Blah blah blah blah blah. I'm sure you all have your own script, no need running down mine.

And you know what?
Fuck that.
Things are pretty damn great NOW.
I'm in probably the best shape of my life, and I feel like I look pretty awesome, even if those kick-arss muscles still have a pretty thick insulative fat layer on top of all of them.
People who know me DO look at me and see an athlete, and frankly, to toot my own horn a little, so do people who don't know me when they see me kicking said arss in the gym.

I don't WANT to become a whole different person.
I don't want "thin" or "healthy" Lulu to be someone I don't recognize.
I don't think that being smaller is going to solve any of my problems (though I do think it will help a lot with persistent knee pain), I don't think it's going to make the people that matter to me look at me any differently, and, most importantly:

I KNOW it's not going to make me any happier.

So yes, I am improving myself on this lifestyle change journey, and a very motivating part of that is weight loss, but I'm not becoming a new person.
I don't want to.
After a lot of formative years of kind of hating it, I've grown pretty partial to getting to be me.
All this hard work to get healthy, be in great shape, live a life that loves my body and my soul better, that's a journey TOWARD being me.
Only better.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Namby Pamby

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lately I've been wishy-washy.
Ineffective, ineffectual, and irresolute.

It's certainly not very fun.

Oh I can eat out again tonight, I've been working out SO HARD and it takes up all the time that could be used for cooking...

I already worked out all week, I DESERVE the weekend off from hard exercise....

I'm not getting out of control. I'm eating pretty okay, I'm working out most days (sometimes twice a day)...

But I haven't had that cheerful energy behind it. I'm not gaining any weight, but I'm not losing any, either. More importantly, I'm not SURPRISED I'm not losing any, because of my half arsed efforts lately.

I was thinking, the last couple days, of analogies, because as you may know, I like to not only write, but draw it out, so I've got one!!

All efforts to change my life are an uphill journey. I don't care if it's weight loss or doing the dishes more often, it's a lot easier to NOT do what I know I should do, so sometimes I backslide, especially on the steepest, slipperiest parts, but other times I get to the "easy" part and have handy-dandy switch backs to help me up the grade gradually.

So recently, I found my old childhood friend, a slip 'n slide, on the hill.
I REALLY wan to dive headfirst onto that slippery yellow bit of joy and slide screaming as fast and as far as I can. It's easy to rationalize and tell myself I'll be able to sprint right back up to the start of the slip 'n slide and it will be like nothing happened, except for a fun little ride in the middle.

I REALLY wanted to buy a pizza when we were in costco Monday night and just chow down on half of it while guzzling diet coke and watching a kid's movie in my sweatpants. Ah the good ol' days.
Am I right?

Those days were not good. I felt like crap incarnate shortly after anytime I did that. I hated my choices, and sometimes myself. It's just not worth it.

It's hard to see from the top of the slip 'n slide that the little inflatable pool at the bottom is filled with self-loathing and doubt.

It's so easy to forget it's there and just kind of put a foot on the slide to feel the cool water.

Just a little refreshing cool-down for my tired feet, and then I'll keep going...
Then, before I knew it, I was basically running in place, like going up the down escalator. I wasn't letting myself go on the screaming ride of joy followed by the deep pit of a pool of despair, but I also wasn't making any progress up and away from it.

So Tuesday I made the conscious choice to step OFF of that yellow rubber, no matter how nice it might feel on my sore and blistery feet, and back onto firmer ground with better traction.
I didn't really do anything much different, but I changed my attitude significantly, and the difference is immeasurable.

I'm always going to feel a little bit like being the person I like being, and becoming the person I want to is one of those "up hill both ways in the snow" type of journeys.

To do what I know I should do is hard.
But to turn around and go back? Just as hard in a different way.
I can push my way through lack of willpower and motivation, or I can push up against self-doubt and a big lack of self-love.

So, after a little pit of pouting around, I've got my big girl panties back on, and I'm continuing to do what I know, now, works for me:
Do what makes me feel good ABOUT MYSELF, not what makes me feel "good" right now.
(Except when they happen to be the same thing, in which case, I do it twice as hard!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just a 'Toon

What I think of everytime someone says "hit the nail on the head":

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anywhere but Sucksville, Please.

Lately I feel like on the other side of every success, big or small, is another wall I run into.

They're so big and mean and scary and they jump out of NOWHERE and just stop me dead in my tracks.

Or at least I FEEL like they do.

And then there I am again: mopiness, mild to moderate depression, sucksville.
I do not like spending time in sucksville.

I go so quickly from wanting to call in fantastic to feeling sorry for myself. Working out because it's good for me instead of because it's fun. Eating the right foods with lackluster enthusiasm.

So seriously... why am I even whining about it?
I mean, did you READ what I just wrote.

I continue to exercise.
I continue to eat well.
I continue to drink my water and get more sleep and tell myself tomorrow's mood will be better.
And it usually IS better. And if it's not better tomorrow, it's better the day after that, or the day after that, but it DOES turn around and become somewhere between pretty darn okay and awesome again.


It occurred to me during another slump of feeling sorry for myself Monday night, that it's bothering me so much because it's just that: FEELING sorry for myself.

Not eating half a pizza and a pint of ice cream to "feel" better. (More like not feel at all!)
Not skipping workouts because I'm "just not up to it today."
Not giving up on living healthier because it "obviously can't make me happy."

I'm not looking to weight loss or exercise or even pizza and ice cream to make me happy.
I'm working on looking to mySELF to make me happy, and 90% of the time it's great, but sometimes I get to looking at my feet, or to how so very far the "destination" is from where I'm at now, and I trip over myself, take a wrong path, or just generally get overwhelmed.

But it's all okay.
I can handle wearing down these scary walls with persistence, even when it doesn't seem possible.
The occasional detour to sucksville will just help me better appreciate the scenery when I'm in, well, NOT sucksville!

I can FEEL my feelings, instead of eating them, and be okay.
I'm okay.
Everything is going to be okay