Why Am I Still Doing This?

4 11 2010

A few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty discouraged that my weight was stuck in the 230-233 range for a very long time.  One of the frustrations was that I would weigh myself daily, but Thursdays – when I take a snapshot of the scale and post it to this blog – were always my heaviest day of the week.  So, being the superstitious person I am, I started taking snapshots any day that the scale showed a lower weight.  In my (admittedly warped) mind, this was proof against Thursday — and my body wouldn’t dare put up a higher weight when I could prove I had weighed less the day before!

This morning, when I stepped on the scale, up slightly from last week, which was up slightly from the week before…well, I was pretty frustrated.  I had a photo from earlier in the week where the reading on the scale was 225.  I thought seriously about posting that photo instead of today’s.

As I sat at my computer, indecision gave way to resolve.  I have to choose the whole truth when it comes to this journey — the good, the bad, the ugly…that has been my internal contract since I started blogging about my weight loss.  Whether anyone ever looks at it or not, I have to tell my story as honestly as I can.  NOT being truthful with myself is, to a great degree, what made this journey necessary in the first place.

So, here are some truths I have to keep telling myself:

  • Losing weight is hard.  Even after all this time, despite ongoing daily commitment and more good choices than bad choices, it remains hard to do.
  • It would be nice to have the pounds drop off “Biggest Loser” style, but for most people who have large amounts to lose, and for me, weight loss is a long journey: a marathon, not a sprint!
  • Be happy about progress, even though it may not show in the way you want it to on the scale.  My body shape has been changing while my weight has not.  I am now uniformly wearing size 16W in pants, and regular XL or Large in tops.  Two nights ago, I bought my first size 14W skirt.  While it is strange to be straddling the “womens” department and the other departments at stores, it is also awesome!
  • Feeling good trumps everything else! This is the secret that is so hard to hold on to when I get discouraged at the scale.  Imagine, if you can, how it felt to weigh 352 pounds…panic attacks, labored breathing, never feeling good about how I looked, never fitting in chairs or public transportation…I can tell you that it rarely felt good.  Now, I pretty much feel great every day, both physically and psychically.

Posting my weight on Thursdays keeps me honest – with myself and with anyone else who looks at my posts.  I want others to know that, while there are plenty of them, it is worth the hard parts.  And I want myself to know that the truth has, truly, set me free. And that, friends, is why I am still doing this.

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9 responses

4 11 2010
Cindy Marsch

Thanks for the great inspiration, Jenion! You’ve come further than I have, and you’re further down the scale than I am, and your story reminds me that I can do it, too.

Signed, Chris’s friend Cindy

4 11 2010
jenion

Nice to hear from you Cindy! I love that inspiration can function so reciprocally when it is other people who inspire us — we give and we get in equal measures. I am definitely going to check out your blog! (Just took a quick look, and can’t wait to read it!)

4 11 2010
Molly

You and Ricky Martin have been set free! 🙂 All kidding aside, you are doing a wonderful job! Keep it up!!

4 11 2010
jenion

I missed the Ricky Martin reference, but thanks, Molly!

4 11 2010
Scheckel

Like a sister, I love Jenifer Hanson.

Your ongoing struggle and passion to keep shedding the pounds are admirable, motivating, and quite unbelievable. For someone like myself who’s entire life has revolved around sports and fitness you are breaking several barriers. Often I’ve said you can’t teach someone to be competitive or to be internally motivated. It’s something you’re born with. Well, you’ve either hidden that from me the last 14 years or you’re doing something else you love to do, prove me wrong. You’re not competing for a team, school, or even coach…the motivation is coming from within. No one else is benefiting from this in a way that you are and the competition, the competition is against yourself. I hope you kick your own a$$. I wish some of our athletes and coaches could learn this from you. I am…

5 11 2010
mocknet

Just starting the path to better health myself, and I’m amazed at some of the stories I’ve seen. Going from 352 to the 230’s is amazing! That’s more ambitious than my goal, but knowing you’ve made it that far, gives me hope that I can too! Thanks, and continued best wishes!

5 11 2010
jenion

I checked your blog out, and want to wish you as much joy, love and good health as I have discovered in changing my life! Looking at root causes, instead of focusing on the weight alone, is the truly difficult stuff. It can be painful to open some of the deep places up to the light of self-exploration and discovery…but it is so worth it! Thanks for visiting, and take care!

5 11 2010
carol erhart

Jen:

I am inspired by your wise words every thursday. Thanks for keeping honest, your words help me to be a better person.

5 11 2010
jenion

Thanks, Carol! You’re a pretty great person to start with, you know 🙂

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