Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cognitive dissonance sucks and so does my bathroom scale

Cognitive dissonance is that icky feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. It sucks and it’s stupid but it occurs with all of us. If it was a figurative wall, it would have a permanent indentation of my head on politics, family, and most recently weight loss. Example, I’m a smart, able person who should be able to lose weight if I try. If I don’t try, I won’t be successful. But if I follow “the rules” I will be. 8 months ago Eric and I made a conscious decision to change our lifestyle. It wasn’t a diet – it was a lifestyle choice. I decided that no matter what I’ve wanted to do in life I’ve been able to achieve simply by working hard.

Wanted an amazing partner and spouse? Married him.
Wanted to go to a top-notch university? Graduated in 4 years.
Wanted to travel to Australia? Worked hard for scholarships, got there.
Wanted a Masters degree? Worked hard, and while literally working, got it.
Wanted a beautiful home? Got it.
Wanted a beautiful, healthy family? Got it.
Wanted that job? Got it.
Wanted to feel less anxious financially? Saved up, got it.
Wanted to be a size 12 (shit I’d settle for an 18)….er….

I was never afraid of hard work or sacrifice before, why should being fat for 20 years be a hurdle I couldn’t get over? Genetics schmetics. Hardwork, discipline, willpower, sheer will, and a good support system I should be successful. Joined the gym, got the family on board, read articles, have a STFU buddy, a personal trainer, a friend who's in with me (someday we're gonna be so HOT )...should have all the tools ready, right?

March 2010: 261 (God, putting that out there for all you to see…)
October 2010: 251.3
November 2010: 254

Apologies to those reading who don’t enjoy the rainbow of language I employ but g*d dammit, m*therf*cker. No one should start a Friday morning at 5:40am like this.

I cut my caloric intake to 1300-1500 per day, put in 5 total hours of kick-ass time in the gym sweating, I haven’t seen my kids for more than an hour any day this week and I GAIN??????? So the scale sucks and the only reason it wasn’t on the front lawn at 6:02am in a million pieces and torched is because it cost about $40 and Eric still had to weigh in.

So I’m trying to focus less on the ONE negative (which I’m wont to do about 90% of the time) and focus on the many positives. I don’t see any real change in my appearance, but then again, I flee from mirrors. Behavior and life style have changed, but how?

In March, I hated the gym and found every excuse not to go. Now, I feel weird, not guilty but weird or off, if I don’t go.
In March, I literally couldn’t do the elliptical for more than 30sec. It was painful. Now, I can do 35 minutes with the level from 5-17.
In March, I could barely curl 5lb weights in my hands for 10 reps. Now, I do 12lb weights for 10 reps THREE TIMES.
In March, I wouldn’t dare anyone see me in spandex. Now, I don’t care what I look like at the gym, I’m not there for you, I’m there for me.
In March, I couldn’t run an entire lap around the gym at about 5mph. Now, I’m at a lap and a half.
In March, I couldn’t bear the sauna at all. Now, I look forward to the stretch and sweat.
In March, I would look for the closest parking spot. Now, I try to figure how many steps I can get in to the door.
In March, I’d never ever had signed up for a boot camp – ARE YOU NUTS????? Now, I can’t wait until 9am Saturday mornings and I’ll be the one in the front row, in front of the psycho with a whistle.
In March, I was a 40DDD. Now, I’m a 38DD.
In March, the size 24 pants fit. Now, the size 20 pants fit.
In March, I had never signed up for a 5K (that wasn’t a fundraising walk and I wasn’t 12). Now, I finished the Turkey Trot before Thanksgiving in under 45 minutes.
In March, I never stopped at the fish counter at the grocery store. Now, I can’t wait for the salmon, tilapia, or scallops to go on sale and sometimes, I even splurge.
In March, fast food was a given on at least 2 days a week. Now, maybe once a month.
In March, I drank 4 cans of diet soda a day. Now, only 1.
In March, I never ate breakfast. Now, every day.
In March, I struggled to get in my water. Now, 3quarts by lunch is a given.
In March, I didn’t make me a priority. Now, I recognize that trying to eat better and every moment at the gym is for ME.
In March, we'll let's just say I won't list the measurements. Now, down 14 total inches.
I’m trying and maybe that’s my success. I wanted to be under 200 by my 33rd birthday. I don’t think that’s going to happen. My husband’s success is nothing against me and I need to work on that. Maybe this 3lbs is just sheer jealousy!

I’m trying and maybe that’s my success.
I have to unlearn about 15 years of bad behaviors and it’s only been 7 months. I have to unlearn about 30 years of negative self-image and self-loathing in my head. I think I need a therapist for that – not a personal trainer! I can’t hold myself above a standard that I’ll never reach – a standard I’ve never and WILL never hold anyone else to. Pathological negativity and self-loathing will not lead to success. Maybe if I remember these GAINS I’ve made in behavior, I won’t only see the GAINS I’ve seen on the scale and the rest will flow.

Here’s hoping.

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