tiistai 15. tammikuuta 2013

Day 116: Fear of my past self as a motivator


I've been thinking about these issues with eating I'm walking through, and I've read some really helpful posts from others for a wider perspective. I'm trying to get a clearer view on what's really going on with me but everything seems kind of fuzzy. It's like I'm missing something, a key element, a perspective, a memory, something. I'm somehow so entangled in this issue that I don't know where to start unraveling.

So today as I read those posts above I came up with a question I had not asked myself before: Why do I want to eat “right”? To be healthy. How does this “healthiness” show and how is it measured? By looking at how I look and how I feel.

So if I am healthy (which is “good” as opposed to unhealthy which is “bad”) I am bound to look good – a certain kind of good – with a certain ratio of fat and muscle, not to any extreme, but to fit an image of healthiness I have learned from my society, and with a certain kind of lively radiance. Also, if I am healthy I will feel “good” (as opposed to being sick when I feel “bad”), this feeling of healthiness consisting of energeticness (physical feelgood), satisfaction (mental feelgood) and a positive self-image (social feelgood). So my definition of the “right way of eating” is dependent on what gets me closest to my health ideal. So, yes, I am chasing an image and a standard I have defined myself.

When I was a child I became a bit heavier than the average, and this continued on to my teens and early adult years. About a year ago I suddenly noticed my BMI was for the first time ever in the “normal weight” zone – and to me this felt like a huge victory, like I had slain a dragon. This is because for most of my life my weight has been an issue. I felt pretty much normal within my body until other kids started to make remarks about it, and this is where I started to compare my body to others. My mother and sister kept encouraging me to lose weight, and no matter how gentle they were about it, all I learned was that I am not good enough as I am and that I need to become a certain kind of being to be accepted – to be enough. That's why during the past year it came as a surprise that people reacted to my weight loss with worry: I did not receive the praise I was giving myself in my thoughts but concerned questions about whether or not I was “alright”. Suddenly the weight loss I had been struggling towards for my entire adolescence was not a good thing anymore. This is where I got confused and didn't know if I was “doing the right thing”.

See, I have adopted an attitude towards losing weight where I think losing weight is “difficult” and “hard” because I tried for years and did not succeed. This is why for me at the moment it feels like a constant struggle to remain in the ideal state I have “achieved”, even though I am still far from my ideal but for the first time ever actually making some progress towards it. This is why I'm at constant battle with myself: “Alright, this is where we stand, there's no going back, we can't lose anymore now that we've come this far!” I fear falling back into my previous self so horribly much I can't even face the possibility of such happening. It is not an option.

This is because I have never truly forgiven myself for who I was as a child. I despise the “old me”, the pudgy kid who everyone seemed to despise, and because I have deemed myself and the state of my overall health to have been “to blame” for my seclusion, I do not want to return to such a state because I fear I would then again be despised by all, ignored by all and bullied by all.

I have defined that:
  • if I look a certain way, I will be judged
  • if I look a certain way, I will be admired
not realizing that what others see of me and interpret of me is not the reality of me in the flesh. As the consequences of the interpretations of others were so grave, I learned to give the opinions of others a defining power over me. As there appeared to be a pattern to the mindless judgment/admiration passed around, I defined my ideals and anti-ideals according to how others seemed to perceive others. I looked at the consequences of the opinions of the social surroundings happening around others and compared those consequences to those that were happening around me, and from this drew conclusions about how I should be to attract such social attention that would manifest a positive outcome.

Will continue tomorrow.

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