Saturday, September 8, 2012

Honest Abe ain't got nothing on me!

I've been thinking a lot about honesty lately. Well, honesty and accountability--they kind of go hand in hand. For weight loss, it's been really important for me to be honest with myself. In the past, I've told myself that I needed other people to be accountable to and honest with in order to lose weight. That didn't work out so much for me. A prime example: Weight Watchers. I'm not dissing Weight Watchers; it's a great program and works well for many people. It didn't work for me; not because of any problem with the program, but because of a problem with me. What I failed to realize about myself was that if I wasn't losing weight, I just wouldn't go to meetings. I mean, no one was holding me at gunpoint, forcing me to weigh in every week. Although, in hindsight, maybe that's a good idea? Hahaha. I let my fear of failure in the short term losing weight practically guarantee my failure long term losing weight. And that, my friends, is what we call irony.

Boiled down, my main problem with Weight Watchers was that I wanted other people to take responsibility for my weight loss. I wanted to be forced to be honest and accountable. But if I were being real, I would have seen that the truth is that no one can force me to do that. Yes, I have many people this time that I feel accountable to (shout-out to my Destination Skinny peeps!). And when I screw up, I'll be honest and admit it to people. But when you get right down to it, the one who matters the most concerning my weight loss is me. In order to succeed, I have to be honest and accountable to myself. Other people aren't around to see the minute decisions I have to make every single day that add up to a big weight loss. I'm the only one around to make those decisions, and I'm the only one who will know if I am lying to myself. And lying to myself is something I have done extremely well over the years.

Okay, time to keep it real here, embarrassing though it may be. Back in my unenlightened days, through a combination of continually lying to myself and skillfully employing plain old denial, I somehow convinced myself that it wasn't really that bad to be at my heaviest weight. That it was okay to have my joints ache at the ripe old age of 27. That it was no big deal what an ordeal it was to zip up some of my pants. That it was normal to get winded climbing stairs. That it was no tragedy to be treating my body like it was worthless. In the back of my mind, I knew the truth (I mean, duh, I am a nurse), but I just wasn't ready to hear it. The truth was that all of the above was SOOOOOO NOT OKAY.

I count it among my greatest achievements that I am able to be readily honest and accountable to myself now. I may try to tell myself I don't have time to go to the gym on a busy morning, but that little voice in my head (the good one, not Gertrude! Perhaps we should call my good voice Gabrielle? My head is starting to get a little crowded lol) knows when I actually do have time. I follow that voice. I may try to tell myself that it's okay to take a day, or 2 days, or 3 days off my healthy eating plan, but Gabrielle tells me that that is not freaking okay, young lady! Gabrielle is kind of a downer sometimes, but I'm a fan of hers for the most part. . Bottom line though: I would much rather be happy, accountable, and honest to myself than miserable, in denial, and lying to myself.

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