I’ve lost track on how many years, how many attempts at weight loss and being healthy that I have tried. What I know for sure is that I have written about it in the blog at least once, like this one:
and this one:
Another attempt is going on right now, and overall it is going really well actually! This is what prompted a reflection to think about ‘what is different this time compared to previous times’?
One main difference is the fact that I went to therapy to address some key issues with trauma, tragedy and sexual assault. It blows my mind how much horrible events like these can affect one’s mindset and psyche. Perhaps in a subtle but significant way, how I view my self, failures and accomplishments influence the outcomes of something as personal as weight loss. It seems like the toxic tangles of self-criticism can sabotage something as tangible and unpredictable as someone’s weight loss journey. And perhaps, my mind needed to be in a more healthy state before healthy changes in my physical body can take place and hopefully stick.
Another perspective is my intention. I mean, even in the past I didn’t have the intention that losing weight is for me to look hotter/ more desirable/ skinny, etc. I thought that my goal was already viewing the long-term perspective. But perhaps something was missing then. The way I phrased my intention is missing a component of sustainability and forgiveness for any setbacks. “Something I can reasonably do, for a majority of the time, for a very long time that can be adjusted as needed”, is the best way to describe my goals right now and it seems to be working pretty okay.
As I read more books about mental health, self-compassion and vulnerability, how someone reacts to failure can really make an impact. Drowning in shame when a perceive failure happens can take away precious time and motivation from bouncing back and moving along. Shame resilience is valuable in this. Being excessively harsh towards one’s self is also detrimental I learned, so having self-compassion helps. Feeling unsure, vulnerable and lost and being trapped in that cycle is also not good; in this case it is important to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open to uncertainty and embrace whatever the outcome is.
This specific journey has been going on for about nine months with a steady progress and a few plateaus, but in the grand scheme of things that is fairly short. A very important self-reminder I needed to drill in my head is that when it comes to physical health, the long haul literally means just that, the very – long – haul. Not just in terms of months, but also years and decades. My partner, in his wisdom and love, had told me a bunch of times that it looks years to gain the weight, it will also take years to lose them (gradually and for good). Many of the techniques from previous times are still being used, but perhaps the change in my intentions and reactions to failure is what sets it apart in terms of both outcomes and how I feel about myself.
A person’s health and well-being is comprehensive – physical, mental, financial, and more. The hope this time around is that will all these other areas also experiencing gradual improvements, that my physical health will also complement the progress and be sustainable long term.