In my last post I wondered whether doing healthy things for the sake of weight loss was different from doing healthy things for the sake of health. I guess I should say that I KNOW it’s different – but I wonder what kind of a difference it is. In the comments Dan pointed out that I should just do healthy things because they’re healthy, and whether or not I lose weight should be incidental. And of course, he’s right.
To be perfectly honest, I won’t do healthy things just for my health. I haven’t totally figured that one out yet, but I lean toward the explanation that the behaviors I use to hide are still useful to me: the drinking and the bingeing serve a purpose that I don’t really think I’ll let go of without some outside motivation. Dying of cancer or heart disease or liver cirrhosis seems far away in the future somewhere. I KNOW that’s ass-backward, but there it is. In my head I’m still 16 and invincible.
On the other hand, the idea of losing weight? Of looking good (by society’s standards) in my clothes? THAT motivates me. I will get off my ass, go to the gym (well, the park – I hate the gym), watch what I eat, stop abusing my body with various substances, etc. I want to see the muscles in my arms from the Hundred Pushup Challenge. I miss the lines made by my quadriceps and calves.
Now I know there’s a balance in there: I know that I could/should eat better, exercise, get enough rest, all those things JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE GOOD FOR ME AND WILL MAKE ME FEEL BETTER. But at night, I could just sit down with some ice cream or a glass (or 3) of wine, I don’t care about how I’ll feel tomorrow. I just want all the voices in my head: the “shoulds,” the perfectionists, the listing of what I did wrong today and how it all starts over again tomorrow – I just want those voices to SHUT THE HELL UP. I want them quiet more than I want to feel good tomorrow.
But most of the time I don’t want them quiet more than I want to see the scale go down.
I wonder, though: coming from a disordered background, having been exposed to the Intuitive Eating module, can I split the difference? Is it even possible? I know a lot of people who would say no, but I’m not sure “no” is an acceptable answer for me right now. The 2 options I’ve got aren’t good: sacrifice my mental health on the altar of the diet gods, or sacrifice my physical health on the altar of “accepting” myself – put in quotes because if I’m abusing my body, I haven’t accepted it, don’t love it, etc. There’s a disconnect there.
Aaaaanyway. I’ve got some ideas about how I want to proceed, but I’m keeping them close to the vest for now. I’ve learned that I am a little like a pressure cooker when I’m embarking on new endeavors. If I talk about them too soon, it’s like opening the oven on a souffle: the air rushes out of it, and it deflates, like a balloon. But when I keep it to myself for a while, the pressure in the cooker builds on itself and I’m much more likely to complete and/or stick with something. How’s that for a bunch of mixed metaphors? LOL I usually need a couple of weeks to prove to myself that I really CAN do it. That’s why I didn’t mention the Pushup challenge until yesterday. Talking about things too soon makes me feel pressured to finish them, and then my inner 7-year-old gets all, “YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!” and I quit. But if I do it for myself, and don’t talk about it, then no one is being the “boss of me” – not even in my head, LOL.
The next couple of weeks should be interesting. 😉