This is a difficult time of year for most people, I imagine. The media fills up with dieting and life-fixing advertising. It’s easy to believe you’re less of the person you should be, and I’m concerned that my kamikaze change-my-life monologuing of late might persuade others that their unhappiness means they should gut everything.
Not necessarily. Change will be right for you when it’s right. The media can’t tell you that and I know I sure can’t. It takes a lot of soul-searching to find the right path for any of us, and there’s no quick route to it out there.
I’ve also been talking a lot about dieting and working out, and that possibly flies in the face of what I sometimes write about, learning to love yourself as you are. I really think self-love’s one of the most difficult places to get to, so it’s something we need to constantly work on. There’s always that little voice that tells you you’re not good enough, and learning to shut that voice up can take some people a lifetime. For me, it’s going to be a lifelong journey towards love of self, and I know it.
So it’s important, I think, that I clarify myself. I’m not on a diet. I’m not following the South Beach Diet or the Zone, there’s no book or trend behind my food choices. I’ve learned that I’m overweight for four reasons: ignorance, laziness, emotional eating, and fear. I’ve never really known just how bad my diet choices were. I’ve been ignorant of just how conscious one needs to be about what they eat, or how much. For me, this is a massive re-education. I’m learning so much, and need to learn yet so much more, and I’m learning to restrain myself and have a yogic mindset about food, and I’m teaching myself about nutrition and food value.
I’ve also been talking about having to buy new clothes in order to feel I’m worthy of socializing, when I’ve, in the past, said it doesn’t matter what others think. And I stand by that. If someone’s happy looking like a slob, then go for it. Me, I want to feel like I look my best, and my clothes… jeans that are torn near the crotch, shirts with minor stains– have not been allowing me to feel that way.
I’m not looking to fit into any perfect little fashion window. I want to look like I’m taking chances with my wardrobe. I want to look as edgy as I feel in my head. I want to have that sense of whimsy in my style that I have in my personality. It’s not about fitting anyone else’s concept of style, it’s about looking like the person I know I am and feeling as though my self-respect is visually evident, which I haven’t felt in some time now. (Until recently.)
The point is this: Don’t change because you think others expect it of you. Fuck them. Change because you know it’s what you want, what you need. Change because you’ve taken the time to really consider who you are, where you are, how you got there, and why you don’t want to be there anymore. Change because it’s something that excites you. Change because you have hope, because you have motivation, because you dream of something better for yourself.
But if you’re waking up in the morning and your day fails to excite you or a sense of dread lingers in the back of your mind, or you’re feeling shameful when you’re out on the street, or you’re wondering if this is all life holds in store for you… then maybe change is right for you, too.
My plan for change excites me. I’m amazed at how easy it is once you simply start. Me, I’m feeling like my food’s back on track after Christmas. I just started reducing the madness a bit on the weekend, and finally ran out of butter Sunday. I’ve eaten very well the last two days and think it’ll be much simpler now that I’ve got something to build on again. I had the delightful experience at 12:30 last night of lying in the bathtub and noticing I was displacing less water. Oh, how exciting. One cannot argue the displacement of water. The scale knows nothing, the tub knows all. Remember, we’re not talking cosmetic weight less or minor diet changes in my life. My weight is a serious health issue and I can’t ignore it any more. I’ve been very, very lucky that I’m reasonably active and have kept serious problems at bay. Luck runs out, sooner or later. I’m circumventing that. :)