The latest pre-season (preparatory) task for my weight loss program is all about commitment. Making one and keeping it – to ourselves and others on the program as well as friends and family.
Last pre-season my commitment to Michelle (the program’s leader) and myself went like this:
My commitment to you (and to me) is to make my health a priority. I will commit to giving this challenge my all and I will make sustainable lifestyle changes so I can become the person I would like to be and SHOULD be. I will actually ‘try’ for a change. I will be committed. And I will not allow excuses.
And, having lost 52cm and 18.7kg over the 12 weeks, I bloody well think I kept that promise.
But as I sit down to ponder upon my commitment for this round of the program I realised that this previous one is as relevant as it was when I wrote it 3-4 months ago. So frankly… it can stay.
The only thing that I have been thinking about has been the concept of ‘making the commitment to someone’. I guess if you have a partner or children you need to keep fit and healthy for their sakes as you – presumably – owe it to them to be there in spirit, mind AND body. Although I’m by myself I do feel a sense of responsibility to (and for) my parents who would have laid down their own lives for me while I was growing up. I owe them. Big time!
But… it occurs to me that this weight loss journey(!) about me. (I know… yet again it’s all about me!)
I’ve probably commented before that I’ve been struck, on a number of occasions, by the reasons I give for losing weight; because they are usually external reasons. I’ll cite the fact that I feel judged by others for being bigger; or that men aren’t attracted to me because of my size; or that I can’t fit into clothes I want to wear and so how I dress doesn’t reflect who I am. NEVER do I say that – in all honesty – I want to live longer or that I DESERVE to be as healthy and happy as I possibly can be. So I sometimes wonder… if I lived in a bubble, would I let myself get as big as I wanted? Would I eat what I wanted, whenever I wanted and not care?
As shocking as that sounds I cannot help but think that… people who know me well (and know what I used to look like) would probably say I’ve already done that. After all, how does someone ‘inadvertently’ go from a 45kg anorexic teenager to a 130kg woman? How does someone go from exercising regularly, to exercising obsessively, to not moving at all? How does someone go from wearing makeup and/or caring about the way they look to looking at their scarred and dedraggled face and hair and shrugging off what they see reflected back at them?
I’ve spent a long time not valuing me. This first occurred to me in a work sense a few years ago. I’ve been working in these ‘Executive Officer’ positions attached to senior government officials for some time now. But one day it occurred to me that I’m establishing my sense of self and importance through those to whom I am attached, rather than through myself and my own accomplishments. I’m not sure if that makes sense but at the time I realised that back when I managed projects and the like, the buck stopped with me. Sure I wasn’t always in cutting edge or high profile areas, but I was the centre of my domain.
My brother was a bit of a hometown star as I was growing up, excelling in everything including sport and academia and I was as proud as punch to be his sister. But later at University one of my friends commented that I viewed myself as P’s sister. Not as ‘me’.
So… my sense of self appears to be a bit screwy. I don’t exactly know why, but I know there are things I can do about it: ways I can ‘find’ me.
Making a commitment ONLY to me, to improve my life, is one of those ways. I can’t do it for other people. I’ve tried that. It hasn’t worked. I owe it to ME to live the best possible life I can. Because, like I keep saying…. it IS all about me!