Monday, 8 November 2010

Ditching the Blog is Healthier?

It can become a bit of an obsession, can't it? Focusing on the body I mean. I know when I focus on mine, in it's out of shape, lardy condition, I can bring myself down. I knacker my brain and my self-esteem with focusing on how big I've become and how slow my weight-loss progress is. Not good. I try not to, but in all honesty writing about fat me and how I deal with my eating problems/lifestyle problems is becoming a bit all-consuming. I'd be better off out walking somewhere (in the rain) than sitting here writing this.

Until fairly recently (OK, so sometime in the 1990s) I just got on with life, going about my business, never taking much notice of what I weighed. I didn't jump on the scale much at all. I have never been one of life's 'dieters' or weighers really - not because I was always slim and fit (far from it) but because I just wasn't preoccupied with me. I was busy and happy, successful at work, generally up-beat and content in myself, no matter what my size. It wasn't an issue really, even though I wasn't a particularly slim woman. What happened?

I realised I was gaining a considerable amount of weight, and it was at a bad time in my life, because my Mum had died. I was ill too with one condition/illness after another. I was inactive and fed up at the turns my life had taken.

I did nothing about it. I ate more, hated my shape more and the cycle continued...with hospital visits thrown into the mix. I didn't stop the rot, I just became fed up with the way I was living ad the shape I was becoming. However, if the frame of mind isn't right, there is no way you change your diet and lifestyle to fight the fatness. Mentally, you have to be 'in the zone' and I had no idea where my zone was.

And anyway, I hate being herded, made to conform...Fat? Get thin then. Huh! No way was I having that!

My brain was all over the place, trying to hold on to all I was, telling me to resist changing, yet at the same time agonising about my lifestyle and my shape. I am fat. I don't like being fat. But don't you dare tell me slim is the only way to be! Confused? I was.

I wallowed and drowned in a sea of fat self-hatred, but did nothing about it - almost rebelling against the diet and exercise philosophy so prevalent in the western world. This was my thinking. "Sod off! Leave me alone. I am me, like it or lump it. I am not buying into the slim and fit marketing scam. I like cakes too much. I realise the world is full of air-brushed and beautiful women - I'll never be one of them, I don't want to be either, I am a feminist don'tcha know, so go away you horrible jogging woman in skin-tight Lycra and let me eat and whine about life's unfairness es. I am not buying into it. Go on. Clear off! Leave me be, just as I am."

Laughing here. Too much resistance is just as destructive as a dieting obsession? :)

I am not sure, but if I analyse the way my mind worked, that was the tape I was playing for most of this decade. "I am not going to conform and become a diet bore. Not me. I am above that nonsense. Obsession with shape and size is for bimbos."

Resist, resist, resist.

Then, when I came out of that unhappy and muddled place and confronted my denial I decided that it would be best for me to draw up a plan for myself, so that I could be the healthiest version of me possible. I wanted to come out of the blinkered darkness and see the light. This was about my health really, not my looks. That's what I told myself.

And then - OMG - then I'd see a recent photograph of myself and be plunged into despair. My looks DID matter after all. I looked hideous in photos. I didn't look good, despite my self-conscious smiling for the camera. Where had my looks gone?  Ageing is bad enough, but when every photo is one you want to rip to shreds, you know changes in either thinking or physique have to be considered.
Then the thinking went - "I've tried. This mountain is too big to climb. I can't do it. There are too many changes to make, and even one by one I am missing cakes. It's too hard. I am a mess. Unworthy. Useless."

Oh-oh. Warning signals. Despair. Depression.

The mental battles were affecting my well-being. This was my thinking once I started my campaign and the progress was slow and I reverted to my former idle lifestyle.  "Remain fat. Resist the wisdom that tells you such a big body is an unhealthy body. I am fat. Let the world deal with it - and in the meantime I'll glower. How dare society cast me out for being a size 20/22? Huh! I am staying like this. Get over it world!"

See how the thought processes became completely f*cked up?

Then in gentler, more forgiving moments I'd tell myself - "Embrace the knowledge that you can change yourself and retain your integrity. You don't have to become a diet bore, a woman obsessed with what she looks like. Actively start to fight your resistance. Slowly. Gently. Start making healthier choices about the way you live. You deserve to treat yourself well, and remaining fat and unhappy isn't to do with a superior feminist code, it's more to do with a lack of belief in your ability to change things."

And that's where I am now. Trying to do this gently.

Doing it because I deserve to be healthy. I want to be healthy. It's good to be aware of  the choices I have. I think that's a fairly healthy state of mind.

I won't lie to you. It's hard doing this every day, because I still invariably beat myself up when I have a 'bad' day.

All I know is - trying to lose weight seems to take over a large portion of the brain and consciousness. That disturbs me. However, I suppose it HAS to be that way, until a healthier way of life is established and becomes automatic?

I am wondering whether I should just get on and do it (or not do it) and leave the blogging behind? It seems to me that I can almost write myself down. It highlights my lack of progress. It allows me to zoom in on my short-comings. (I have many!) I'd zoom in on my successes too, and I do recognise all that is good about me, but my failure to lose weight steadily and regularly is all too clear, because I write about it - and may be focus on it too much?

Blogging helps me remain accountable, and I am slimmer now than when I started writing, but it also documents the struggle. Does my blog scream "Loser! No commitment!" to you? It often does to me. I am fired up, and then I'm not. I am enthusiastic about drawing up a plan, and then I'm not. I am going to do this - and then I fail to do it regularly, consistently...until I get fired up again. It's not good, is it?

Perhaps I am just being hard on myself - again, but I am not sure if my writing about my up and down days as I try to lose weight is helping me. If it's not helping me - how can it help you? What is the point of it?

I have a dilemma, however, my fingers get lots of exercise when I write. Every cloud has a silver lining eh? :)

Is blogging helping or hindering you?


  1. Falling out of my chair are so much like me it's amazing...If someone tells me I Have to do something I put the brakes on...even if it's myself telling me..I'm so bad!

    I've had the same thoughts of blogging especially when I sit in front of my computer and the words just don't come..(that's when I go to your blog and you never let me down)..
    Motivation for me ....hell yes...where else can I go for a good Grump?
    I love that you are free to say what you want and damn it you shouldn't have to worry about what anyone else thinks..Hey this is your life!
    If nothing else, coming here gives you a place to vent!
    Do you feel that you have to come EVERY Day and blog? I purposely stay away some days just because I feel that it's a HAVE TO and I hate HAVE To's!

  2. We are all so different. Everyone has to decide for themselves WHY they blog. I decided that I would write what *I* needed to read, in order to succeed. That works for ME. I already know my faults, and re-hashing them without working towards solutions doesn't help me.

    I am solution-oriented. I am determined to succeed. Some days I sure don't "feel" it... but I still know that just wallowing in negativity won't take me closer to my goal. So... I try to be honest about where I'm at, and then aim for a solution. Basically, I write for ME. The things I want to fill my head with to SUCCEED.

    I WANT to change, and to do that, my mind must change. "Heal the mind, the body will follow."

    But like I said, we each have to find our own path. You will find yours, I am sure!

    PS: That was an amazing quote you left me on my blog!
    'We have to choose either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons."

  3. Computer time can certainly suck you in and yea, sure time could be better used but I find blogging helps me be accountable (to me) and it's a place that I can come and write my thoughts (normal and crazy) and not feel so alone. It helps me process it.

    But blogging is different for everyone and it all comes down to moderationn. I try to remember that word with food, exercise, my thoughts, my computer time and what not.

    I'm glad you're making progress. Truth be told. I've fallen in love with the process of losing weight. I love how exercise energizes me and recently, I'm having the most fun eating different foods.

    hang in there. Sorry to hijack your blog and I apologize if I sound preachy. Truth be told, Iv'e questioned why I blog. I just can't give it up because of the great friends and support I've come to rely on.


  4. FG:
    Maybe your blog was not created to set the world ablaze with inspiration and hope for dieters.

    Maybe your mission and healing is in the actual process of writing--you are an excellent writer and very funny to boot. I ALWAYS look forward to reading your blog and many, many times I laugh out loud.

    And, you have given me hope and insight on the days/weeks/months when I was struggling and wondering why I should keep going.

    I often complain to B and Ms. M about our lack of followers and wonder if anyone really gives a sh*t about what we post. But when I really examine all of that I realize that is healing for me to write and to stay connected to other people like me that are struggling with their weight, whether or not anyone ever reads a word.

    Hang in there. It's the big picture we are looking at, not the daily screw-ups or riding the horse off the path.


  5. Yeah, it's hard to remember sometimes that most of weight loss blogging is about actually doing the stuff to lose the weight...