I met my goal of 125 pounds, but then the holidays hit, and now I struggle to lose the three pounds that I gained. Admittedly, I have, like most Americans, felt overwhelmed at the events of last Wednesday, and needed comfort food. Douglas made Banana-Walnut muffins and Banana-Walnut Bread. I have been eating as if just the act of chewing can soothe me and help me overcome my fears for race and politics in this country.
Yet, even before now, I had to work so hard to get to 125 pounds, and I just believe that my body has found its comfort zone at 128 pounds, and doesn’t want to go below that point. I asked Douglas if he thought that the body finds the weight in which it is most happy, and nothing we do will make it lose the extra pounds? And should we try to force the body into a weight that may not be healthy for us?
What I fear is getting so consumed with getting under my goal weight that I stop eating the nutrition my body needs or I start to exercise more than I need to because I don’t want to feel like a failure. I found myself causing back pain, trying to walk on a higher incline on the treadmill than I think my back can handle.
I have struggled all of my life to not be seen as a failure at anything! Often, my sense of my value and worth came from being the A-student, the person everyone else comes to for help in the class. In college, I was determined to make all A’s and still be the best technician on my job, which was draining physically and emotionally, ending up in the hospital for 28 days! If you want to hurt me, just tell me that I am wrong or that I don’t know what I’m talking about! It scares the living daylights out of me to have people see me as incompetent!
I was raised in poverty, and even when you leave being poor behind, the thoughts of failure often attached to being poor don’t just go away. I was told that I would never accomplish anything, mainly because I had dreams nourished by books of escaping the poverty. But, sometimes living as a child among adults who have acquired a sense of hopelessness and helplessness because of their lack of success leaves that child wandering if they, too, will wind up like the adults, and there becomes an anxiety regarding failure that seems to linger a lifetime.
I know that asking the question of if my body just likes being at the weight I am now is a way of letting go of the fear of failure. It’s sort of ironic, because I actually lost over 20 pounds in ten months, which is really an accomplishment in which to be very proud. Maybe the answer is for me to just appeicate what I have done so far and realize that if it means hurting myself to get smaller that it might be best to be content where I am. If I lose more then good, but if not, then not losinbg the weight doesn’t reflect on who I am or can be.