If you're even half a girl you've probably seen Bridget Jones' Diary and you watched Mark Darcy list out all of Bridget's faults and neuroses only to finish by telling her, "I like you very much. Just as you are." And you swooned. Don't even lie.
That's what I've been looking for. My mission is to do the work it takes to be able to say that to myself. Not because I made it to a certain weight or fit into a certain pair of jeans. I want to love me just for me and I want to do it v.v.v.v. much.
At the same time I've trying very hard to get back to a weight I'm more comfortable at. I work out about 6 days a week. I track my food and keep account of all my carbs and proteins. And I use the scale and body fat percentage to measure "progress". (I'm going to pretend those quote marks represent a more philosophical argument that progress could be measured in a multitude of ways but in this instance I was actually just trying to infer sarcasm over the rate in which the scale is moving.)
I'm trying to love me just the way I am while simultaneously trying to change the way I am. I'm having a real hard time rectifying the matter in my head. How do I do them both at the same time? It's like an enigma surrounded in riddle wrapped in bacon. And so far it's been total bullshit for me.
One could argue that providing healthy activity and nourishment is a form of loving oneself. However, I'd counter that it can be unhealthy if one has basically got a white-knuckled death grip on the Spin bike because she's trying to force the scale into submission.
I'm one of those people that loves exercise. I really do. So much so that I did it for a job for quite awhile. However, sometimes I lose focus on what my real motivation for doing it should be. And it all boils down to that stupid number. And if there is one thing I know for sure it is this. Getting that number to say what I want it to say won't fix me and it won't make me love myself. Been there, done that. Didn't work. And you, too, will be waiting a long damn time if you are waiting for the right number, the right job, the right partner before you can finally say, "I'm fixed. I love me now."
As a personal trainer I had many ways to measure progress with clients. Sure, we started with measurements, body fat and the scale. But there was also watching their endurance increase. There was a measured progression in the complexity of the exercise or the weight being used. And one of my favorite ways to see progress in the confidence in my clients was to look for when they finally started watching their own form in the mirror. You have no idea how many people won't look at themselves while working out. That day I would catch them staring into the mirror and know they were watching the workout and not thinking negatively about their body - that was a good day. But in the end, if the scale didn't say what they wanted they still weren't happy.
Sadly, I'm no better.
So the scale and I have to take a break. I need to work on the issues from the other direction.
- Work on my inner Mark Darcy. (This will probably encompass steps 1-78 but we are simplifying here)
- Exercise because I like the way it makes me feel and I love feeling strong.
- Eat healthy foods that make me feel good instead of sluggish
- Stay off the god damned scale because it's a total mind fuck (especially when one seems to have more gravity that the average person of the same size).
Maybe I'll know when I can look at myself in the mirror and like me just as I am, v.v.v.v. much.