I Give Up… For Now

Cupcakes 8-27-09Typically this is when I post my Weight Loss Challenge results for the week. After doing my weigh-in this morning and attempting to keep my Lenten sacrifice of not cursing, I instead bawled my eyes out and said to Heck with it. Why? Because I HATE this. I’ve been trying to eat even healthier, cut back on my portions, get more activity built into my day, and lose weight. I am failing miserably at it. I gained a few pounds back so that I’m only down three pounds from where I started six weeks ago. SIX WEEKS!!! In that time I haven’t been able to even keep off five pounds! Perhaps if I wanted to starve myself then I would be able to do it, but that’s not the way in which I want to take off the weight. I want to be able to do it in a manner which will allow me to keep up the habits that I’ve picked up so that I can keep the weight off.

I started writing this post during my lunch break at work. I was sitting there, having finished my salad and yogurt, and I was VERY angry. I was ranting and raving about the gluten free diet and how it’s not easy, or cheap, to eat the healthy whole grains that we have available to us. I went on a rant about how easy it is for some people to lose weight or stay thin, but that I’m working against genetics. After all, I come from peasant stock where most of my ancestors worked farms. Seriously. I am the first generation in my direct line of family who isn’t involved in farming, in some way. I am genetically predisposed to being bulky and able to handle the hard manual labor of the farming life.

My First Piano 1986After Jay left for work I decided to do something that I haven’t done for a while. When I was younger I had a room where my piano resided, and in that room I was allowed to play and sing as long as I wanted. The only rule was that I had to keep the door shut so that I wouldn’t disturb anybody who was watching TV in the adjoining living room. I would play and sing for hours, putting on a concert for myself. When nobody else is around I am the greatest pianist and singer who ever lived. Elton John and Billy Joel have nothing on me! lol So that’s what I was going to do, except that I couldn’t find any songs that spoke to me. There are times that I can play and sing every song in a book. Tonight I barely plucked the notes from one of them. I determined that apparently I wasn’t supposed to put on a concert tonight so I should do something else.

God has a funny way of smacking you in the face. I’m sure that you’ve realized that prior to reading this blog post. God had a message for me tonight and I am trying to hold back tears as I realize what He’s telling me. When I couldn’t find the solace in my piano I decided to finish writing this post that I had started earlier. This computer is set to bring up Yahoo when you open up the browser, and that’s where God left the message for me. One of the headlines caught my eye and I had to read the entire story, “What Losing 180 Pounds Really Does to Your Body – & Your Mind.”

Jen Larsen wrote this article about the weight loss surgery that she underwent and the subsequent weight loss. She is a wonderful writer so it’s definitely worth reading, but the short of it is that after undergoing that huge physical transformation she realized that she had undergone a mental transformation as well. There are psychological issues that you don’t realize you’re dealing with and you don’t realize it at the time. She thought that all of her problems would be solved if she just lost weight. After all, doesn’t society constantly tell us how wonderful it is to be thin, how you’re only attractive if you’re thin, and how happy you are if you’re thin? The only time you see thin women being grumpy is when they are modeling (which is kind of disturbing to look through a bridal magazine and see these grumpy, skinny women in wedding dresses on what is supposed to be the happiest day of their life!).

Ms. Larsen writes, “I thought that my body was wrong when I was obese; I thought that my body was wrong when I was thin past the point of health.” She continues, “I felt helpless before. I tried to dodge out of the feeling by getting weight loss surgery, and now I’m angry. That I wasn’t fixed, yes. But also that so many people deal with this, this exact and pervasive struggle at whatever size they are, whatever shape, whatever they do. That we’re not good enough, with the implication that the best we have to offer to the world is an appropriately sized pair of jeans.”

That’s what hit home with me… that feeling of never being good enough. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be as perfect as possible. I want to be the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, and now the perfect spouse. I want to clean perfectly, I want to garden perfectly, and I want to cook perfectly. But guess what? I’m not perfect. Not by a long shot! And that is very hard for me to deal with at times. The stress from trying to achieve perfection is compounded by the stress of every day life. Stress is beginning to wear me down.

I thought that maybe if I could lose weight then I would begin to like myself better. It might create a happier attitude and then I wouldn’t have to worry about Jay living with a grumpy wife. The last thing that I want to do is scare him away. He is the love of my life and I don’t know what I would do without him. I know that he doesn’t want me stressing out and trying to be perfect. He married me because my imperfections are perfect to him.

So, I’m going to stop worrying about the physical and work on the mental/emotional. I’m going to attempt to stop striving for perfection and just be me, the imperfect Kerry that I am. I have a lot of family and many friends who love me despite the fact that I make mistakes and that I can get very grumpy. I am a VERY lucky woman.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go show up Elton John once again…

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