Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Beginnings of my Weight Loss Journey


When I made my grand announcements that I was changing the blog up a bit, I stated that I was planning on talking diet and weight-loss on here...and as of yet, had only put my weight loss updates on Instagram. I have theories as to why I have avoided writing this intro blog post, and I think a lot of it has to do with how personal and sensitive a topic it is to me. So, this is me laying myself bare. Plus, if I put my intentions down on metaphorical paper, out in the blogosphere for all of you to read, it makes them more concrete and a whole heck of a lot harder for me to self-sabotage.

Now, one would think that would be a good thing, right? I mean...who ENJOYS self-sabotage? I would venture to guess, no one. But here's the deal from my vantage point, and we'll see if anyone out there relates in any way. When you have spent many years not taking good care of yourself, not liking yourself a whole lot, with low self-esteem, and pretty much dumping on yourself regularly...it kind-of becomes a habit.

I would never say it feels good. I know popular theory is if you're continuing to do something, even if it's negative, you must be getting something out of it. But to that I would say, the only thing I've gotten out of it is the continuing belief that I'm not worthy...that I'm less than in one way or another. And that can't be good, or feel good, or anything like that. It has just become a habit. Or what my husband likes to refer to as a self-licking ice-cream cone.

You know how it goes: your self-esteem is low for whatever reason, so you feel crappy about yourself and you treat yourself like crap, so you feel crappy about yourself and you feel crappy, so you don't look as good as you could or feel as good as you could, so you're not living the life you could be living, so you feel like crap, and you treat yourself like crap, so you continue to feel crappy about yourself and your self-esteem continues to be low. It's a cycle. Self...licking...ice-cream cone.

And just like every other bad habit out there, it can be excruciatingly hard to rid yourself of it. I have told my husband before that in order to change, I honestly felt like I needed to wake up one day and do absolutely everything different. That it wasn't a couple steps I needed to take. I truly believed, and still do sometimes, that in order to pull myself out of a way of thinking...an internal dialogue I'd been telling myself for decades really...and the way I'd been living for years, I would need to get up and basically do the exact opposite of what I'd done yesterday. And that is hard.


For me personally, this really came to a head when my youngest child, who is away at college, wrote to me and, in a very heartfelt and personal message that I'm not going to share, basically said that it had always made her sad that I didn't love myself as much as she did. I cried and cried, because I honestly never felt that my issues had an impact on anyone else...that it didn't really matter to anyone else how I felt about myself. As long as I was being a good mom and wife, ticking off the boxes and doing for everyone else, what did it matter? Well, it turns out I was wrong. But even the fact that it took that to wake me up is kind-of sad.

So this wake up call made me think that it was time to stop thinking about changing, and actually start doing the work. And when I say doing the work, I mean doing goofy stuff like replacing my phone background with a pretty floral picture that says I Love Myself on it...so that I see and read it all the time. For me, I have a lot of work I need to do internally to change the dialogue I have going on constantly that tells me that I'm no good. Affirmations and prayer have a big role in my life now. But it is a work in progress.

Now, what does this have to do with weight-loss? Well, years of not taking care of myself has taken a toll on my body physically. A formerly thin high school cheerleader, to reach my goal weight I need to lose roughly 160 lbs...basically an entire adult human's worth of weight. And putting that down on the blog is terrifying to me. Y'all are supposed to think I'm cool and fun, and in my head that person isn't as big as I am. And this is my weight right this minute...with the weight I've already lost on Weight Watchers.

Because shortly after my whole Christina's-going-to-love-herself-now wake-up call, I received an actual call from my doctor telling me that my cholesterol was high...which honestly scared the daylights out of me. So I asked if, before putting me on medication, he'd give me a chance to lose weight and change my diet, to see if I could lower it without drugs. And I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting that evening.

That was November 9th of 2017. As of last Thursday's weigh-in, I've lost 27 lbs. I am struggling with the thought that it's a drop in the bucket compared to how much I have left to lose. My Weight Watchers leader constantly has to remind me of what that weight translates to...3 gallons of milk and a couple of sticks of butter. When I hear it like that, I realize how much weight is no longer on my knees. On my ankles. On my hips. I could feel the loss when I went for a longer dog walk with my husband this weekend. But see, I'm still working on that internal dialogue thing.


Is Weight Watchers always easy for me? No, but I'm doing pretty good on it. I occasionally lose it, like I did recently on a grocery shopping trip with my son, when I let myself get overly hungry and started grumbling loudly about how I just wanted a large Starbucks drink and a couple of donuts. But I feel like it's a program I can stay on for the long haul, and I intend to until this weight is off. I like that their new program focuses on real food, and is flexible enough to fit into my life with ease.

The key that is really missing in my unique equation is fitness. I am still not getting as much as I should. I know it, I don't have any good excuses to give you, and I will get right on top of it now that I've put it to figurative paper. I have a hard time in that I know what I used to be able to do, and get horribly upset with myself that I can no longer do it. I need to get over that hang-up, and just get on with it because anything is better than nothing. And comparison is a bitch...

So, this is where I am. Everything is all connected in my mind, and I hope you can see it too. I am on a quest to heal my thinking, love my body, and curate the life of my dreams. I have bad days. Those are usually ones that are wrapped around a migraine, when I'm angry with my body...pissed that it won't just cooperate with me and play nice. I keep throwing tidbits of what I'm doing out into the world in case there are other people out there learning to love themselves too...who might find inspiration in talk of a skincare regime I've started (after neglecting my skin for years) or my favorite devotionals and bible study programs (filling a spiritual void), my success with Weight Watchers (loving a body I loathed) or my favorite makeup (having fun and learning to love looking at myself).

I hope you'll join me for this journey. I will post more regularly about the weight loss portion because, now that I've opened this can of worms, I won't try to shove those squirmy suckers back in again. I have a goal of losing 100 lbs in 2018. I regularly post my weigh-ins on Instagram, and can always use more cheerleaders because this isn't going to be a quick thing for me, and support systems are very important. And also, please let me know if you're working towards a self-love goal this year. I'd love to be one of your cheerleaders too. I am a pretty good cheerleader. 😁



10 comments:

  1. Love this Christina! I'm right with you sister. Let's cheer together!

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    1. I'm cheering with you Paula!! I've got your back, thanks for having mine! :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing!! I'm absolutely cheering for you! I found your post very relatable regarding self-love. We do forget to be kind to ourselves as much as we are to others. I feel like a constant work in progress unable to turn the corner sometimes. I'm looking forward to your continuing posts! Be fierce! Your tribe is here for you!

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    1. Thank you so, so much!! And I love that...Be Fierce! I'm going to remember you said that. :)

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  3. Ah nothing but incredible amounts of love for this and you <3 Go get 'em tiger!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! Your beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you so much!! And thanks for reading. :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing! It's so hard to lose weight (I'm a yo-yo dieter and weight loser myself) and I appreciate your honestly. Also, congrats on losing 27 pounds! I suck at fitness myself, and pretty much can only commit to walking the dog. I'm trying to add some weights to my routine a couple of times a week though. I think the key is doing something that's super easy at first so you don't get discouraged.

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    1. Very true! Our dogs should be good motivation to get out and about. I know mine loses her mind if I even look towards her leash!! I'd also like to start incorporating some weights in a little bit...even if it's just a few bicep curls while watching YouTube videos. :)

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