My Toxic Mind

My current lifestyle doesn’t seem to support any more weight loss.  Whatever.  My weight is fine, for now.  That makes me queasy to write that, and of course I don’t believe it, but for the sake of my sanity, will force myself to drop it for now.  Most of my pants are size 6-8.  I can’t get my BMI to stay below 25, but I’m backing off for now.  I still feel very fat.  I look in the mirror, I occasionally look okay, but usually I look huge.  The last time I said to NG something about how gross my tummy was, he looked very sad, and asked if I really believed that.  I hate that I can’t stop speaking this shit, and I hate even more that I can’t stop thinking this way.

I went to a talk on happiness tonight.  Sciency, of course, I love science, have no use for New Age.  Happiness, in her opinion (from Cal Center for Greater Good or something like that) is something that doesn’t come naturally, but must be worked on, like muscle (or losing a fat ass).  I can’t remember the terms she used, but kids (and everyone else, too) can be greatly influenced by the way they are told they are capable of a task.  Kids that are told “you did this well, you must be really smart”, do worse in the long run, are less happy, etc., than kids told “you did this well, you must have worked really hard”.   I don’t really have a point here, just a lot to think about.

All those things that were supposed to be better once I lost the weight, where are they?  I guess I’d better get to work, figure out what I want, find it or make it happen.  I want to be more extroverted, friendlier.  I still feel like the invisible fat girl hiding in the corner, but I don’t look the part anymore, and can’t pull it off.   I am forcing myself out of that corner, though it is scary and I keep running back.  I went to a 12 step meeting last week, for weed.  I was very surprised to be one of the younger ones there.  I haven’t quit, don’t really believe it’s addictive, don’t like 12 step, but have to admit, that I can’t/won’t help myself, and I need help.


12 Responses to “My Toxic Mind”

  1. May 6, 2010 at 3:43 am

    The person you were before you lost weight is the person you are after losing it. That much does not change. Personally, I’m very outgoing and friendly already, though I find that my nature is often tamped down by the constant torment I face from strangers who judge me by my body (and I haven’t lost enough yet for the abuse to stop – from 380 to around 270 is still too fat not to be judged constantly). Mostly, I get depressed because of this, but it doesn’t change who I am when I’m with people on an individual basis or in a social situation.

    I think that all changes to character take time and monumental effort. I’ve often felt like changing my personality (and I have made efforts throughout my lifetime to do so, particularly in terms of temper and negativity) has felt like trying to sculpt a mountain with a teaspoon. It can be done, but it’s a lot of hard work and quite exhausting mentally.

    One thing you may want to consider starting with in order to be more outgoing is to abandon your rigidity. I say this as someone who was once very rigid myself, but moved out of that state to being much more open-minded about at least accepting and understanding the fact that other people have their realities that are no less valid than mine. That means I can believe my way is best for me, and that their way, which may be very different from mine, is best for them (not that my way is “right” and theirs is “wrong”). It’s easier to be genuine and interested in others in a way that makes them enjoy your company if you aren’t rigid in your thinking. The fact that you have some pretty hard and firm definitions (which I’ve noticed in your blog posts)and the fact that you assert your faith in science only is why I reach the conclusion about your rigidity. I may be wrong, but it was an issue for me at one point and can empathize with how you appear to be thinking.

  2. May 6, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I find that when I do not watch TV or read magazines, I tend to be happier with myself. I think the fact that you are in size 6-8 pants is something to be proud of. Not every woman can say that.

    Before my car accident a few years ago, I am like you. I say negative remarks about my body around my husband just to see how he will react and how I will react. The fact that I could have died change how I see myself. Life is too short for me to keep tabs on every little thing that is wrong with me. It’s hard, but I eventually learned to let it go.

    There are people around you who love you. There is a reason why they love you. You might not know why, but just accept it and be grateful that you have it. That is all that really matters. Everything else is just window dressing.

  3. 3 N
    May 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hey Julie. I get the sense that you’re pretty well read and have already explored the books/classes/support groups/sessions, but I’ll go ahead and throw it out there: have you seen a counselor? I suggest it because I am in counseling and it is totally changing my life for the better. There are days when I’m completely free from the negative self-talk, and I feel so *present* in my life, that everything is awesome, awesome, awesome. I know it’s pricey, but maybe there is a university nearby that has grad students who’ll give free or reduced price counseling. My only advice for anyone searching for a counselor is find someone who you really trust. Someone who makes you feel listened to and liked, someone who you feel is intelligent and perceptive. A tall order, I know, but worth it.

    Anyways, you deserve to feel proud of yourself and in tune and happy with your life. Not because of the weight loss, or how smart you are, or how funny, but because you are a human being and you only have one life. Enjoy the crap out of it. Get out there and share yourself, you are a fabulous person.

    – N

  4. May 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve heard that many people who have gastric bypass gain the weight back because they didn’t take care of the “head” problem first. I know you didn’t have that surgery, but you seem like a smart person, so you must know that since you are a size 6-8, you HAVE to look smaller. Geneen Roth, in her book Women, Food and God says, “The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value and possibility”. How do you really feel about yourself? Go from there. Also, think about this….. you are who you are no matter how many pounds are on you. Of course you may be a little different as far as how you act and feel around people, but that doesn’t change your essense. What did you think would change as you got thinner? I’m really curious. And last, we all have “fat days” no matter how thin we are. Sometimes that mirror can be evil!

    About the 12 step program… I think it’s a good idea – if just to get you to stop sucking toxins into your lungs.

  5. 5 N
    May 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I read my comment again, and I hope I didn’t sound paternalistic or anything. I also feel fat/ugly. Always — since 2nd grade or earlier, at 107 lbs or at 182 lbs. It’s a head thing, and it sucks terribly. A few years back, what got me relief for a few months was really, deeply realizing that no matter how I looked, I would never think it was good enough. It was kind of a relief to stop fighting that battle in my head constantly, and to just let negative thoughts slide by because I realized that they were a constant. Unchanging, they were something I could ignore.

    Now, what’s brought me to counseling is the desire to NOT think of myself as ugly. I want to think that I’m good enough, that I look good enough. It sounds so natural, and yet is such hard work…

    – N

  6. May 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I’m a lurker of your website and don’t really comment much. But some things you said in this blog really struck a cord.

    I think you should read an article entitled The Fantasy of Being Thin on a popular blog, if you haven’t read it already. It’s a long article but I think it helped me a lot with some things you sound like you might be struggling with.


  7. May 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    It’s hard when you lose lots of weight, and your life doesn’t get any easier. There is in fact a fantasy that being thin fixes everything. It didn’t fix everything for me. While I’m a lot thinner than I was, I’m a size 12. I had to decide if I wanted to be sane or as thin as American society thinks everyone should be. I chose sanity. If there is something you don’t like about your life, you need to work on that thing. Some things–your inclinations or personality–will not change, fat or thin. But they have stong points, too, and you can’t make those strong points work for you if you reject them.

    You may not be Hollywood thin, ever, but there are a lot of people who aren’t and are happy. And Hollywood and advertising make a full time job out of telling women they aren’t thin/pretty/good enough. You have to tell yourself differently. Learn to find things about your body that you do like–how strong it is, or how it moves well. Hell, parts of me look like a Shar Pei after my weight loss, but I’m grateful to move around better, and have more stamina. And even the Shar Pei parts look good with clothes on. Much love and good luck to you.

  8. May 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Response to your comment on my blog: I too wish my mom had that conversation with me. My sister looked very differnt that me. We talked about this for the first time about 3 years ago [in our 40s]. I shared how I felt that the men relatives and male friends of the family all thought I was dumb beause I had a figure with big boobs. She said that she always felt like the ugly duckling. How different things would have been had we been able to talk and share back then.

  9. May 10, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Find the book, Das Energi, by Paul Williams, and read it.

  10. May 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    That’s always the catch, isn’t it? We can’t change ourselves unless we’re willing to make the change. And sometimes, we just have to find the right motivator to get us going.

    It’s truly amazing what a change in mindset can do for us. I swear, on days when I FEEL pretty/smart etc, OTHER people treat me as though I’m pretty/smart etc. On days when I feel blah, other people seem to pick up on it.

    Maybe you could experiment? If you’re really struggling with seeing your beauty when you look in the mirror, then get away from the mirror for a couple days. Try to bypass it so you don’t start criticizing yourself. Tell yourself that you’re smokin’ hot and BE it. It’s worth a try, right?

  11. May 18, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I think you raise interesting points. Are our expectations for life after weight loss realistic? And do we need to work at happiness? I have seem a lot lately about the latter and am starting to think that we do need to find or recognize our own happiness, to some extent at least. I don’t do that… so appreciate the reminder.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog:)

  12. May 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    As someone, like yourself, who has lost the weight I can tell you that what you are experiencing is similiar to some of the feelings I had. Losing weight doesn’t change who you are on the inside, and if there are things that you want to change internally then you have to work on those separately from the weight. That’s what happened with me. I had the food thing “down” but the emotional side took a lot longer.

    And the problem of not being able to see yourself as “small?” I STILL find myself being surprised when I see myself in pictures because I don’t feel small. I don’t feel morbidly obese anymore, but not small. It’s very strange.

    Over time those feelings diminsh and I think some of yours will as well.

    Take care and try not to be so hard on yourself.

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