Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 82 | Reflections
A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog in this category (or any category, for that matter). The scale has even crept a little higher than what you see in the cover photo. That terrifies me so much I have stopped stepping onto the scale. I know it can be an obsession if I get on it too frequently, but also dangerous for me to be oblivious about what my weight is. I watch shows like my 600 LB Life and The 1000 LB Sisters. I don’t watch because I want to be like them or to be on one of the shows. I watch to remind myself what is going to happen if I continue to make bad choices.
It is early January 2022. My husband and I went on a road trip, the first one since July of 2019. We traveled to Nova Scotia to stay with his mother for the week. It was a nice visit. My mother-in-law knows I love lobster, and she made sure there was plenty for me to have as a treat during our visit. I ate my fill, and then some. After all, it was the holiday season, and with the world the way it is, we didn’t have plans to paint the town red during our visit.
We did go out one evening to see the Christmas lights. There were some really great decorated houses to see, and it was a nice break from having to stay the blazes home. (Hey, I was IN Nova Scotia, where this song came from…)
While I was away, I had a lot of time to think.
Too much, if you ask me. I got inside my head a bit, and when that happens, it is not always a good thing. When I am being creative, it can be wonderful, but when I am just left alone with my thoughts, they aren’t always nice to me.
One change my mother-in-law has made in her home since inheriting it is the layout on the ground floor and adding an ensuite bathroom. Before, when we visited the home she grew up in, there was a bathtub but no shower. I am not a bath person. I might take one from time to time, but I love a good, long, hot shower. At home, I often run out of hot water before I am finished, and it is something that irritates me a lot. I do think in there, and that does happen when the water is running. So believe me when I tell you, the showers I took while I was away were glorious! Not only were they in a brand new bathroom, but the shower had a light in the ceiling, the shower head was detachable and held in place with a magnet, and I had plenty of hot water. I did not feel rushed, which I often do at home.
She also has a lovely oval mirror hanging on the back of the bathroom door. It is wider than the ones you find on sale in September for the college crowd. It has a lovely wooden frame, possibly oak. and it is hung at the perfect height on the bask of the bathroom door in the ensuite. With no real schedule to follow for a week, I was able to take my time in the shower, and in getting ready, so everything I needed was easy to find when I got out.
I found myself admiring the mirror.
Of course, when I had undressed to get into the shower, I looked at my reflection. Something I do not stop to do very often. What I saw was a person who carries her extra weight on the front of her body, for the most part. From the thighs to my chin, the excess weight on my body hangs on the front half. Sure, there is room for improvement all the way around, but the majority of my weight issue is all in front of me. And it was obvious to see as I looked at my reflection. I just don’t know when the last time I stopped long enough to take a good look at the side view of myself was. Or to be honest, if I ever really did before.
I did not look with any thoughts in my mind. I was not bashing myself for what I saw. I just took a real good look and was objective about it. This is where the weight is, and these are the areas that need the most work. It didn’t affect me emotionally to do this. Which is both good and bad. Let me explain.
Obviously, if it made me feel bad about my self image, it would have been devastating to see my reflection. It is a good thing to be in a place of reality when it comes to my weight. I understand that I have a lot of extra weight and that the only way that changes is if I change. Which is good. But being okay with what I saw isn’t the healthiest outcome, either. I am accepting myself at face value, and not in a desperate panic to change how I look, either. It won’t change overnight, but there needs to be some feeling there to make me want to change, and I am not sure the feeling was in me.
This is what I look like.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a reality check and a wake-up call to understand what others see when they look at you. When you come from a place of kindness to yourself, it makes a world of difference. It means I didn’t spiral out of control with food, and I allowed myself to have treats, just enough to be something small, but not overindulgent. There are no selfies accompanying this blog, as I saw what I saw, and I have moved forward with the start of a plan for 2022.
I am making the effort to prep cook and meal plan this year. I am also going to live up to my word for 2022, and dance every day in 2022. As a result of this, I will be more active, and I will be able to leave the dead weight of 2021 behind me. Now that is something I can commit to.
What are you doing in 2022 to move forward in a more healthy way? #trustyourgut
I need to clarify that my recent success is not as good as it appeared to be last week. I knew something was off on the scale, and I tried to believe it was true. It happened at least once before. My scale had a false reading. One I happened to take a picture of, coincidentally, but I have not lost as much weight as I thought I did. Which is both more realistic in terms of healthy weight loss, and beyond frustrating, simultaneously. The last time I checked I weighed in at 313.1 pounds. Still better than July, but not as good as it looked last Friday.
In the second week of working with Coach Elaine, I have not been as diligent. I did what I always do when I have success. I listened to the inner gremlin, which I previously wrote about in Part 56 of the Trust Your Gut category. It convinced me that I didn’t have to be so strict with what I was eating. Old habits creep in when I am doing well, which is why I have such a hard time finding success.
Self-Sabotaging Only Hurts Me
To understand why this happens, I fear I might have to go really deep inside. This inner reflection will take time, more time than I have if I want to publish on time this week. I have begun the process, and I have seen the results. They are positive. So why do I slip up every time I get something good going for myself? This is something I feel a lot of people like me struggle with.
It’s like when you need to take medication all of the time, and when you do, you feel better, so you stop taking the medication. First, it is never advisable to stop taking medicine without medical supervision. Second, for most situations, this does not allow you to continue to feel better because the medicine is the reason you were feeling better in the first place. The medicine as a general rule does not make anyone sick, it makes you better. I do understand this is a general rule and does not apply to every circumstance. Consequently, when you stop doing things that make you feel better, you relapse or feel worse than you did before you started.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. ALWAYS check with your doctor before making any changes regarding your health. I also realize that side effects can sometimes seem worse than the disease. I am not advising anyone to make any decisions about their own health without discussing all of the options with their doctor, or without being your own advocate for your own health without including medical professionals in that discussion.
When I take this concept, which usually refers to the treatment of mental health, or taking antibiotics for less than the prescribed number of days, and compare it to people like me who are morbidly obese, there are similarities. I slipped and got back into old habits last week. More fast food came in. It is like I am testing my body to find out how much it can take before I start putting on weight again, to fail at this healthy lifestyle.
When I slip up, the inner gremlin laughs delightedly.
Maybe that is why I hear ringing in my ears constantly. I am kidding; although I do have tinnitus, and it is another irritation I am contending with. Will I turn down my music when I bounce the house? Not a chance. I love music, and the louder it is, the more I love it. Maybe it is so I can’t actually hear myself singing along. Whatever the reason, I will always crank the tunes when I am listening to them. My hearing is not suffering that I can tell, so I will keep on the way I always have.
What I do mean is that when I slip up and make poor choices, misery loves company, as the saying goes. One poor choice is not so bad, and then I make another one. Before I know it, I have picked the easy way more than the healthy way, and the inner gremlin is cheering me on! When it is in charge, I don’t make the right choices. When I don’t make the right choices, I am not being kind to myself. Which I learned last week, is something I need to learn how to do better. When you don’t know why you make poor choices, it is harder to convince yourself to make better ones.
And when you do choose to be kind to yourself, and you are kind to yourself, the inner gremlin is threatened. It starts acting up and throwing temper tantrums like wild cravings into your mind, and the next thing you know, you give in and go to the nearest drive-thru. Because it is easier to feed the cravings and the inner gremlin than it is to be kind to yourself and make the right choices.
How does this all fit in with what I am doing?
In Trust Your Gut Part 56, the one linked above, I wrote about looking at myself in the mirror. As my week 2 takeaway from the VIBE method created by Coach Elaine, I decided that I was going to practice looking at myself with love when I look into my own eyes in the mirror. I want to see me, not a morbidly obese person with type 2 diabetes, just me, a person who is worthy of love.
In the session, I talked about how I feel when my husband looks into my eyes. He has always looked at me as a person, and it was one of the first things I found attracting me to him early in our relationship. It stayed with me from then and still does, as something we have always been able to do, to be connected to each other by looking into each other’s eyes.
It has been such a profound feeling for me while being in a relationship with him, that I wrote about it in the song I wrote for our wedding. (Don’t worry, I didn’t sing it for him). When I think about how our relationship started, and how we have managed to be together for 25 years, 9 of them married, I know the love I see in his eyes when he looks at me funny holds the answer.
As long as I keep trying to do better, I am winning. Maybe not on the scale every single week, but certainly in my heart, where it counts the most.
This week I will do better.
Yes, it is Thanksgiving on Monday here, in Canada, so I am not going to have a perfect week. I will indulge, eat too much, and try not to regret too many food choices. The food will be homemade, not fast food, shared with family in combination with spending time together. I may not have pie with every meal, but I may have some in moderation. Followed by a short walk if the weather cooperates.
I challenge you to look into your own eyes with kindness and love, to start healing yourself in your heart and soul. Seriously, take a look in the mirror without judgement, criticism or hate. Leave the inner gremlin under your foot on the floor, where it belongs. It doesn’t love you. You do, and you need to let yourself know that you are beautiful from the inside out. When you do this often enough, it will not only become a good habit, but you will start to see changes. A phrase came to me in my sleep a few weeks ago, and I didn’t know what it meant. I think it belongs here.
Be Your Own Inside Out
Find the love in your heart and treasure it until it grows so big you can’t keep it inside anymore. Let it radiate and glow, to be seen by and shared with everyone you meet. I am seeing this in different areas of my own life, and because I know it to be true, I know it is something we all can do. I believe in you. Start with yourself.