Let Go

I have “let go” of my sanity!  Dude, not good!  In the last month I have gone right back to the anxious and neurotic person that I was for the last 4 years.  The only difference is that I’m doing it without the benefit of numbing that with food. 

I’ve been trying to decipher for the last week or so what changed in my journey that put me almost right back where I started, mentally.  You see, this journey wasn’t just about weight loss.  It was about getting my life back on track.  It was about moving past bad decisions and clearing the way for opportunities that I may not have had before.  I think what has happened is that I got too self-assured and too comfortable with how things were going and I “let go” of the reins.  The horse and buggy took off and now I’m left chasing after it.  Well dammit, that horse and buggy belong to ME and I’ll be damned if I’m going to void all my hard work and effort and just let it keep running to destruction.

So I’ve been sitting here thinking about what made me successful in my journey and comparing that to what’s changed. 

For one thing, I have always been a ‘fat person’ in my head.  It was part of my identity and especially in the last month or so I have had to shed that description.  I’m not fat.  Not even close!  It’s not an instant thing to then replace that with ‘normal person’ though.  The day that I looked in the mirror and really realized that I’m not fat anymore was the day when I lost part of the identity that I’ve carried for over a decade.  I sometimes wonder if that is part of the reason why people who lose a lot of weight put it back on really quickly.  It’s something that I wasn’t able to understand until now, why when you know how good you feel when you’re a normal weight, how you could ever go back.  I think this is probably a big part of the reason.   Fortunately I noticed that trap before I fell in.

For another thing, I have people telling me on a pretty regular basis how nice I look and while that’s lovely, it does certainly tend to shift the focus of the whole thing onto the image aspect.  Yes, it’s nice that I look better but it was never intended to be solely about the way that I look.  I’m still me, just in smaller jeans.  I’m still the funny, witty, loyal, slightly insecure person that I’ve always been.  The fact that people tend to notice the exterior before the interior these days makes me feel a little lost and without an identity.  It’s up to me to keep the focus of friendships and acquaintances off of the physical aspect of what’s happened.  Compliments are nice but they are superficial and in no way are they a testament to who I really am.

Also, in the last month or so it’s been picking in the back of my head that I am feeling totally exposed and like I have no protection left.  I realize now that that is totally my own doing.  In the last few years I’ve perhaps had less interaction with people than is generally healthy.  In this process of the weight loss I’ve been really honest with my dear friend and on this website.  It was something that was incredibly uncomfortable at the beginning but that yielded such amazing results that it was well worth the discomfort.  That has morphed into something that, again, has left my control and taken on a life of its own.   I went from one extreme of not ever telling anything about myself, to the other extreme of telling everyone everything.  That has to stop and I have to get some of that emotional protection back.  Less is more!

So ya, some stuff has gone a little screwy.  When I was running this evening I was thinking pretty hard about why I had done this and what I had hoped to gain from it.  I couldn’t seem to generate a thought about that though because the line that kept running over and over in my head was that I was feeling more lost than I had ever felt before and that just didn’t seem fair.  I’m not lost.  I may have veered off on a mislabelled side road but I’m on my way back to the main road again.  I may have lost a little of the respect that I had built for myself these past few months but I’ll get it back.  Some of the respect that I may have had from other people is probably a little tarnished but I’m committed to getting that back too.  Just like the fact that it is no secret that what I used to eat led me to being fat, it is no secret that certain mental behaviours are equally as problematic.  I can’t forget that I didn’t really change when I lost the weight.  All that happened was that I got to wear smaller clothes.  That’s it. 

If I have learned one thing from the actual weight loss it is that you put in the effort and you do what you have to do but then you wait.  You wait for nature to take its course.  You can’t force it or speed it along if you want it to stick.  It just is what it is, nothing more nothing less.  It takes as long as it takes and as long as you put in your best effort then you will get the results that you were meant to have.  That theory, without doubt, applies to every other aspect of life.  You put in your best effort and then you just wait.  Doing nothing can be infinitely more difficult than doing just about anything else and so it is an easy mistake to make to force an action when inaction is actually the best decision.

As far as my bad habit of examining and twisting and turning every little comment and action and look until I’m a neurotic little ball of anxiety?  I think the trick is to think of it a little like putting together a puzzle; you try a piece and if it doesn’t fit you put it back and try another piece until you eventually find the one that was meant to go in that slot.  You do not try to convince the wrong piece to fit, you don’t try and force it to fit and you don’t try to peel it apart to figure out why it doesn’t fit.  You simply try it and then put it back if it’s not the right one.  The piece is what it is, nothing more nothing less.  Actions, comments, looks, they are all puzzle pieces that are not meant to be examined at length and peeled apart.  They just are.  And unless that piece fits in the slot that you have available it ultimately means absolutely nothing.

It’s an odd thing because just these last couple of weeks I was engaging in the same type of behaviour that defined my life for the past couple years.  It was painfully familiar, these thoughts and actions.  I was doing to a ‘T’ what I had done before and in clarity right now I shake my head.  I was miserable and torn and ripped apart for 3 years because of it and then I walked right back into an almost identical situation and almost let it happen again.  I’ve noticed this time though, before it got me.  So in talking to my dear friend tonight I said that I was DONE with my desire for this other person.  My friend didn’t really believe that I could have flipped a switch so quickly as to be attracted to/infatuated with a guy on one day and then to be completely DONE several hours later.  My response to that?  I may still be physically attracted to this person but I am DONE because I can now see it for what it was.  A familiar behaviour in this unfamiliar little world I’m in right now. Painful and stupid, but familiar.   

So that’s a lot of stuff for me to chew on over the next couple of weeks.  May 2nd is going to be a well-deserved little vacation and while I do hope to be into my weight loss goal range by then, I am going to be spending a little more of my time focussing on straightening out this little kink I’ve run into than I am on the weight loss.

NOTE:  Comments on all posts are now closed.  The comments became a bit of a validation issue for me.  This website has always been for me.  I’m thrilled that people find inspiration or distraction or enjoyment from what I write but it really is just for me and having people comment on some of my most personal thoughts is perhaps not quite what I need right now.  Thank you very much for visiting me, I truly do appreciate it!

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