So you might recall that at the beginning of this year I actually made a goal (and only one this time), I made it public, and I told you all about it, then I wrote a follow-up post, and then you just never heard anything more about it. In fact you didn’t hear much at all from me, and one of the multitude of reasons is that I will not finish my goal. Nor do I continue to try. I’ve had enough.
My goal was to, and I quote:
Lose 10 kilos of weight or more.
Until the end of the year, and then I’d do it all again next year, and stay at something between 64 and 70 kilos for the rest of my life. At least that was the plan.
For once I really was on a kind of diet but it didn’t last long, and sweets and beer kept creeping back. Actually, I’m telling this as if they popped up in my house like weeds, and the only way to get rid of them was to eat them. But that’s not the case. Fact is that I brought those things into the house, and I did it because I happen to like sweets and beer. And maybe, just maybe I happen to like sweets and beer more than losing weight.
The connection between what I eat or drink, and my weight is weird at best. I’ve had phases in my life when I could eat and drink like a partying teenager and not gain a gram, and other times I would gain weight the minute I ate anything vaguely food-like. I have gained weight while exercising daily, and I have lost weight while not exercising at all.
In fact if I were to evaluate my past “weight-loss successes” I’d say the one that worked best for me was being totally unhappy about my love life, so much so that I didn’t want to eat anything (worked three times, I think), closely followed by the time when I just concentrated on thinking about my music instead of being fat. One time I lost weight because I was afraid that my teeth would fall out from lack of nutrition. That worked too.
I’m still quite sure that my body would want to be somewhat lighter if I just let him, but I’m also extremely sure that
- feeling bad when drinking beer is not the answer.
- buying clothes that are too small is not the answer.
- feeling bad while bingeing on gummy bears is not the answer.
- setting myself a goal of not drinking alcohol for the rest of the year, and then downing not one but two beers two hours later is not the answer.
- constantly thinking about how fat and disgusting I am is not the answer.
- buying yet more books about weight loss is not the answer.
- joining weight watchers is not the answer.
- thinking that everybody who meets me thinks, “Oh my God, I can’t believe how fat she is.” is not the answer.
- trying to take up less space is not the answer.
- not going to the lake because I feel too fat for wearing a swimsuit is not the answer.
- not having sex because I feel unattractive is not the answer.
- living for a soon-to-be-here future when I’ll be feeling fabulous because I’m thin(ner) is definitely not the answer.
So I did several things this year (apart from not losing weight): I did start to care for myself again. I went to a couple of doctors and other health people, I got diagnosed with asthma which means I am now treated for asthma and I’m no longer afraid of keeling over from lack of breath. I also got myself treated for my hormonal/mood dilemmas. And all of that came back to the fact that I had thought I should be a nice, sensible, grown-up, mother-person. I thought I should take a step back from the limelight, be nice and kind, and mindful and all Buddhist about other people and my family. I tried to vanish into the background, and only do my own stuff in the small corners of my life.
Well, obviously my body doesn’t like me to vanish. I bet my soul doesn’t like me to either. So it made up for my lack of real fulfilling life by making me bigger. More cushioning is more protection, and maybe my body thinks that if it makes itself big enough I would eventually notice it again.
So I had been feeling like a total failure with the losing weight, and everybody says that you are supposed to have goals, and then follow them through all the way. And I didn’t.
And then I thought that I should concentrate on making music again, and art in general because I obviously need to, otherwise I get sick. No kidding. So I joined a group of women who are making art, and we made goals again, and I wrote them down, and I tried to follow them, and I started getting a bit weary about all these goals.
And then I read “Walking in This World” again. And did commit to do the program. I haven’t really started yet because I’m so busy. But just reading that had me thinking. Maybe being sensible isn’t all that good for me. After all it hasn’t really worked all these years, so why should it now. And would it really be so terrible to stay as overweight as I currently am? Healthwise I’m good. Women with a BMI of 30 to 35 live the longest and are the healthiest. I’ll just have to gain a pound or two and then I’m there.
And I thought that setting myself up for failure is really foolish. Telling myself that today I wouldn’t be eating or drinking something or other. When I knew deep down that I’d do it anyway later. So I quit. I quit all my goals, even the “make music for at least 30 minutes a day” goal.
And then I asked myself what I wanted to do. And I got myself a ukulele. Because it’s so totally silly and ridiculous, and it’s not about being a serious musician, and a virtuoso, and practicing hours and hours each day. It’s just about fun. And I love it. I am feeling a lot less unhappy these days. I also started weaving, and I’m reading tons of books about all kinds of stuff. Life is great again. And interesting.
And then, and this is really important, I found Ragen’s blog “Dances with Fat“, and a few days later my copy of “Nudeldicke Deern” arrived, and I had this feeling again that the universe is trying to tell me something.
I’m really fed up with feeling like I should be somewhat different. I think I’ll go and play and have some fun.
The most interesting thing is that the mood in the house has changed for the better ever since I decided to just do whatever I love to do at the moment. I eat what I want to eat, I play the music I want to play, I read the books I want to read, and I’m not living my life constantly checking all the lists and crossing things off. It’s totally great.
And I have been practicing this song all the time:
I love this post. I could have written it. Except the parts about the ukelele and making music. But, yes, apart from that, I could have written it word for word.
I wish I could read German because that book looks great.
Let’s drink beer together one day.
Die Linkshänderin says
Wenn mir dieses moderne, dürre Schönheitsideal zu sehr auf die Nerven geht, dann schaue ich mir einen alten Film z.B. mit Marilyn Monroe an. Sie hatte Kurven und war deshalb (nein, nicht “trotzdem”) heiß begehrt. Es ist normal, dass Frauen Kurven haben. Es ist auch normal, dass wir mit zunehmendem Alter dicker werden. Und es ist ach normal, dass man nur noch mehr zunimmt, wenn man Stress hat, insbesondere Stress wegen des Gewichts. Warum? Das steht in “Lizenz zum Essen”. Ein großartiges Buch, das mich viel gelassener gemacht hat. Ich kann es nur empfehlen!
When I had to go thru Menopause for the first time (yay, I’m going to experience that twice) I had to reduce my daily dose of calories to around 1200 kcal just to keep the weight I had. That meant WW for the whole time. I learned to eat healthy that way. If you are having hormonal issues, that might be the case for you too. And no, it’s not “normal” to gain weight with increasing age: we do have a lot of women in my family, who lost weight as they aged due to the lost of appetite. I guess, if you want to loose weight, you have to deal with your hormonal issues first and be happy first. That also might mean getting help with that.
And it is also normal not to loose weight at some point of excercising since muscles are heavier than fat but at some point they will start to burn more fat! Excercising is important, please keep on doing some kind of sport! (It’s also a key to prevent breastcancer!)
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu dieser wunderbaren Einstellung!
Liebe Grüße, Anneli
Painted Maypole says
happiness is so much more important than thinness.
what a wonderful lesson you’ve learned
de a says
Your post strikes me as amusing, because you’ve written with wry humor a description of yourself which sounds very much like me and my life. Which, on some days, does not feel funny at all, but is rather frustrating, depressing, and pathetic.
I literally have said outloud, in a very self-affirming voice, “I prefer to drink beer than to lose weight.” Because even if it’s not “normal,” gaining weight even while I am dieting and exercising is what is happening to me. I hope to drink beer with you and Joanne one day!