The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.
Not the best day of my life, suffice to say. Someone important told me I create my own suffering, and I
think he’s right. I stood on the scales and lo and behold, no weight loss. I have lost 4lbs in the first
4 days and now nothing. I can get very disheartened at times, mainly because so many things fly through my mind at
the same time and I have no distraction from them. Coupled with my not-that-great chat with my boss the other day,
and some stuff in my private life that is causing disturbances to my emotions, I felt very low today.
I did manage to start decluttering and put a lot of items on ebay, and had some buyers already. It’s a good thing.
Not nearly enough but a good start.
I have wanted to create a diet and lifestyle plan that would work for me. I know the extreme juicing detoxes work
just fine — they are easy on the instructions part, easy enough to cary out, and bring amazing results. However, I
also know myself and should have put in allowances for my personality in my plan. My mind is my biggest asset and
also my worst enemy. Whenever I have embarked on a diet in the past, I ended up feeling like crap — this is why I
am not looking at this detox as a diet, or a quick fix, but something that will be incorporated into my life
forever. When I used to diet, I would start doubting myself, feeling desperate and unable to achieve my goals, and
eventually abandoning the diet as the combination of the diet and my mind would be making me mentally unwell. I
believe it would have been easier to stick with nutrition plans if I had someone around me. However, I live alone, I
work alone, I choose to spend my time alone most of the time. I have few relationships in my life, connections that
I treasure. But mostly I am alone, and have been that way ever since I was a child. It is quite shocking, really, to
realize how alone and lonely I am, and almost always by choice.
Even when I socialize, I can sit in a room full of people, friends even, and feel isolated and detached from
reality. I have by and large been living in my own head for years. I have been thinking ‘I'll do this when I'm
slimmer’; ‘I'll go on some nice holiday when I'm slimmer’; ‘I'll start going out more when I'm slimmer’;
‘I'll dress nicely when I'm slimmer’ — everything is conditioned by getting slimmer. I am blaming my mind
mostly, but also my ex to a certain extent. Part of why I ended it was because he was unable to love me the way I
was, fat or slim, for who I was. I have promised myself that if I ever end up with anyone who cannot love me for who
I am, I will recognize the signs early on and leave. It’s bad enough that I can only be content with myself and
love myself about 50% of the time. I don’t need my significant other to bring out this trait in me more and
nourish it so it becomes a full-blown self-hatred.
Even though I live my life alone, it is really important to be surrounded by people sometimes. Friends and loved
ones put things into perspective. I am a person of extremes, and my mind creates such extreme suffering for me that
I often ask myself what the point of it all is. I would never take my own life but I often used to wish I could just
go to sleep and die, never wake up. It is very rare for me to get this bad these days but sometimes I do. Usually,
it is a sign that I need to take a step back, look at the situation in a different way, and go back to acceptance.
In the grand scheme of things, I am living a happy life, I am blessed wth so many things, and it is perspective that
I am often lacking.
I think I need to learn (and remember! sometimes, remembering is harder than actually learning something) that life
is about the journey, about the progress, and not about quick results. After all, if I wanted quick results, I could
have gone down the liposuction route — but I have always been opposed to that. I don’t want to wake up after
some operation, slimmer, and feeling like a total failure because I couldn’t do it my way. I want to lose weight
and get back to size 12, but I mainly want to do it in a healthy way, get fitter and stronger and healthier along
the way. I have realized how important losing weight is to me today. I sometimes joke with my friends that I'll lose
the weight even if it kills me. What they don’t realize is that I place so much value on this, that I am deadly
serious. If I realized today by some miracle that nothing I ever do will make me slim, I don’t think I'd want to
live. I'd probably eat myself to death. Fast.
This is the first time I have admitted this to myself, and to the world. These were my thoughts today, before I
reigned myself in and stopped myself from making myself even more unwell: There are some people who are big and
happy and reasonably healthy. They are big and they live fullfilled, happy lives. I am not one of them and I envy
them for being so at ease with who they are. I know what that feels like, but can only be content when slim. I have
never before consciously realized just how inextricably linked my body image and my happiness are, even though it
has always been pretty obvious. I am shocked at this because it is not vanity that is driving me there — rather
the feelings of worthlessness. I have no worth to anyone but myself if not slim. And if I am only valuable to
myself, then there is no point to my life.
At this point I knew I needed to break the cycle somehow but was too involved, too wrapped up in my own head, that I
couldn’t work out what to do. So I went to sleep. Sleep is my only hiding place in this world. When I woke up, I
had gained a bit of perspective and realized I am making myself ill. By letting my thoughts wonder around like this,
I am creating my own downfall. By watching the scales, and ruminating about weight issues, and agonizing about what
I put in my mouth, I am creating the perfect environment for some undefined eating disorder to take hold of my life.
An eating disorder is the kind of self-imposed prison I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone, and something I don’t
really need in my life.
I had to break the cycle somehow. I was dreading making a smoothie so instead, I made scrambled eggs. Protein, and
easy on the stomach — after 4 days of mainly smoothies and juices, I couldn’t go back to chips, it would make me
physically ill. From today on, I will be (loosely) following the food combining plan. I was a little disappointed to
have broken a nice stretch of a juicing detox, but I need to do things for myself. That is, after all, the whole
purpose of this week. I had to remember that if the detox became my prison and I couldn’t adjust my attitude to
that of gratitude (for whatever reason), I needed to break the cycle somewhere else. I briefly considered having a
full-blown meal but reasoned against it. It would most definitely make me sick, and make me feel like crap. It
doesn’t mean I will eat as much chocolate as I can every day from now on — I will still be eating healthy foods,
and having most nutrition from smoothies.
Even in this blog post, I can see the obvious obsessive content, but believe you me, it is a million times worse in
real life. When you look at even wholesome food with feelings of fear, you know things are bad. Time to step back
and go back to basics.
Tomorrow, I am not going to weight myself. I am putting the scales under the dresser so I am not tempted. I will go
to the gym and exercise, not for weight loss but for health. In fact, I won’t weigh myself until Tuesday morning.
This should give me enough time to get rid of the obsessive thoughts and feelings. I am not going to let myself slip
into depression — been there, done that, and thanks, but no, thanks. I will weigh myself on Tuesday so I can recap
my progress and write it all up.
All in all, I have learned something today. It is hard to relinquish my grip on control of my life, but when I
manage to, it feels good. I have been reminded that every now and then, it’s ok to make a mistake, in private life
and at work. I will go back to work on Saturday and apologize for my attitude the other day to my boss. I learned
that action plans are all very nice in theory but one needs to allow for the human variable. No one can take into
account all the little things like mood, emotions, previous experience, or conditioned behaviour. I need to do what
I need to do for myself. I will lose weight and do all the other things I need to do for myself (declutter, get my
money in order, sort out my career, find out what I want from life) but on my own terms. After all this is my plan
and I can adjust it to what I need. This is amazing freedom I have found at the end of a pretty rubbish day. It just
goes to show that every cloud does indeed have that silver lining. Now all I need to do is to remember this (sigh).