Two Epiphanies and a Quote that May or May Not Have Anything to Do with the Epiphanies

Epiphany 1

I’m an extremist by way of being a secret perfectionist. (Perfectionist is not quite the right word, but I’m using it as shorthand for that person that pushes themselves past the point of reasonableness like, you know, panicking about all the work she’s leaving undone as she tries to get to Trinidad for her beloved grandmother’s funeral.) I say secret because I don’t really think of myself as a perfectionist; in my head I’m a goof-off and slacker.* But none of that’s the epiphany. I’ve figured out that although it’s normal to occasionally gain weight back during a weight loss journey, especially if you’re trying to lose as much as I am, that when I do lose gain a few pounds (or several pounds…sigh….), it feels to me  as if I’m right back where I started (which I can admit now was kissing close to 250). And since I feel like I’ve suddenly undone a year-and-a-half of work in a week or two weeks, I start feeling like a failure and guilty and ashamed, which of course drives me toward the donuts rather than the carrots.

This is further complicated by the fact that when I see things start veering off in the wrong direction–I make a million excuses for myself. Mostly because making a million excuses staves off that moment of having to accept that I’ve screwed up thereby staving off that moment when I feel like I’ve undone everything I’ve been working for. So I guess the lesson here is that when I do fall short, I have to nip the whole excuses thing in the bud, ease up on the super self-judgement, and instead go right to the part where I—as dispassionately has possible—take a look at what led to the “fall short” moment and adjust what I can (tracking my points, for instance) be Zen about what I can’t (controlling my body’s tendency to hoard water and bloat in the hot weather), and do my best to just keep moving forward.

Epiphany 2

I’ve been very unmotivated about my weight loss journey the past several weeks. I’m not quite sure how I managed to score the 50 pound charm cause really I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been tracking what I eat, and I’ve been all up in the sugar (and a few too many cocktails). Not surprisingly, the initial thought of “I’m so unmotivated” is swiftly followed by “I’m so lazy” and “I’m so undisciplined” and “I just can’t finish anything.” I realized today that while all of those statements may be symptoms of a lack of motivation, they’re not actually a core root of being unmotivated. I also today that I never push past the symptoms to really dig into the “why.” I just default to “beat myself up” mode as detailed in Epiphany #1.

So why am I so unmotivated? Cause I look good! I can comfortably wear a size small tank top from Ann Taylor Loft, my pants size is down two sizes, I’m getting tons of compliments, I like what I see in the mirror, and heck, I’m even turning a few heads when I walk down the street. Turns out that my true goal with this whole process wasn’t a number on the scale (though watching those numbers go down is incredibly satisfying). My true motivation was that I just wanted to feel pretty. And now I do…..which means it’s time for a new motivation. It’s a scary but exciting place to be as it’s a good opportunity to look at what really motivates me, what fires me up. Though I appreciate the health benefits, I’m not motivated by my health.** I don’t actually like exercise so I very much doubt that doing a couch to 5K thing will help. But I know if I keep looking, I’ll find my next goal. In the meantime, I’m just going to stick with things the best I can and just try and keep putting one foot in front of the other….by which I mean going easy on the donuts.

The Quote

“I was demanding of myself a deeper and greater honesty, more and more revelation in my work in order to give it back to the people where it goes into their lives, and nourishes them, and changes their direction, and makes light bulbs go off in their heads, and makes them feel.” — Joni Mitchell on Blue

* This is the direct result of being raised by a mother who wasn’t satisfied with straight As or a daughter who in high school was ranked 5th out of a class of approximately 750 butttt that’s a story for another time.
**Given that my body tends to have a mind of its own since my illness and I can feel poorly even if I’m doing everything right, “feeling healthy” doesn’t really feel like something that’s always in my control, hence it’s not much of a motivator.
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Posted on June 12, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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