Thursday, July 14, 2011

Looking for a compelling vision

Yesterday, Anna, my counselor, asked me what my vision was around losing weight. I have to admit that the question baffled me. Usually, I can come up with an answer to what she prompts but this time I was stuck. I knew she wasn't asking about the obvious, like the vision of myself thinner. Because I could so easily see, that that vision, of a thinner me, isn't sufficient to change my behavior. I don't want that enough to eat less or exercise more, the two ways to lose weight. When I'm restless and bored, and it occurs to me to eat something, nothing in me says "Don't, you won't get thin that way."

I know I'm still stuck in an old mindset. That weight loss is painful, miserable torture, the way it has been in the past. That my chances at succeeding at it are slim (irony intended). That my chances of gaining all the weight back are high. I'm still in that vision and so some part of me says "Why bother?"

For 17 months, I haven't eaten dessert. Two things keep that present and easy for me. I lost 20 pounds and I'd probably quickly gain them back if I started in on ice cream again. But more importantly, I don't feel guilt and shame anymore about what I eat, and I don't want those feelings back.

But there's a part of me that is still suffering from self-loathing. It's a feeling I can ignore most of the time. The way our bodies are set up, the position of our eyes and faces means that we look down at one part of ourselves, the front and I'm okay with that front. It's when I'm at the gym and faced with mirrors that show all sides of me that the self-loathing comes up to bite me. Somehow this self-loathing, dropping this, is part of the compelling vision I'm looking for but alone it's not enough. 

Will I be happier thinner? I don't know. Many people aren't. Will all the things I want fall in my lap if I'm thinner--like an agent and publisher for my novels? Doubtful. Will I suddenly be irrestible to handsome men? Also unlikely. So what is it I want?

1 comment:

sorella said...

Dear Jill,

Ah, you have to love therapists -- mine will bring up the "what do you want?" question, and it usually leaves me flummoxed. I'm getting better at answering it. It feels like you are, too.

hugs