Some words carry a lot of weight and meaning that you don’t intend, so you end up qualifying them with More and More words and you find yourself thinking how did one simple statement get so complicated? Other times, the thing you want to say is SO VERY COMPLICATED AND WORDY, that you settle in on a simpler phrase that doesn’t really say what you need it to say, but suffices in minimal words.
That’s how I feel when I say, “I need to lose some weight.” I feel that phrase fits BOTH statements. Sometimes the words are not enough, and I feel like I need to add more explanation. But other times I choose them BECAUSE they don’t require the explanation is closer to the truth.
The FIRST thing I feel like those words imply is that I want to be thinner or lighter or skinnier. But that’s not the case. Not really anyway. That’s more of a by-product of losing weight, but that’s not the why. I don’t feel like I’m fat, or overweight, so losing weight is not about being skinnier. It’s just about…well…losing weight. My friend said that she found a good list of steppers that helped her decide on the exercise equipment maybe that’ll help when we get to it.
See? A lighter body is an easier body. I am currently about 15lbs over where I’ve been in the last year or so where I felt like my body was the easiest to control. The main area that affects me is running. The lighter you are, the less pressure you put on your joints when you run. The time in the past year or two where I’ve held around 15lbs lighter than I am now? Are the times where running felt the easiest on my body. My friend told me that she saw great results with a certified personal trainer so I might consider a similar path but I am yet to decide.
So…losing weight is about becoming a lighter body. So those words are exactly the truth, but I feel like they need more explanation.
HOWEVER, losing weight is actually just another by-product to the BIGGER problem I’m constantly trying to solve: Emotional Eating.
The truth is, my real goal is ALWAYS to have a healthy relationship with food. When I’m maintaining a healthy relationship with food? I settle in around that 15lbs lighter goal I mention above. So, when I’m thinking about weight and my body the real desire is to break my habit of emotional eating. To stop going to the kitchen and stressing out because nothing in there fits what I need to dull my anxiety or my sadness or my stress…so I run to Publix, buy a box of donuts, and eat them all in the parking lot.
But saying, “I need to quit my dependence on food to help me cope with my unpleasant emotions…” is such a burdensome and personal statement. It’s much easier to say, “I need to lose some weight.”
So, sometimes I choose those words because they don’t require more of an explanation, sometimes I avoid them because they require too much explanation.
I’m a mere 10’ish pounds away from where I was in this picture. That’s significant because that’s less than I’ve put on in the last few months. I’m now closer to this girl than I am the girl that ran 52 miles last March. The problem is? I’m doing that same run again this March, so I’d really not to get any closer to her and get back to the body I was at the same race last year. The body I have right now? Will not survive 52 miles. I barely survived 31 this weekend. I think a lot of the new problems I had running this season is because I’m carrying more weight than last season. And I’d like rectify that.
But I’d also like to quit sneaking 6-packs of donuts into my belly while parked at a local Grocery Store. I’d like to NOT eat 15 bean burritos for lunch. I’d like to be able to fall asleep at night without that over-full feeling in my stomach.
So…I need to lose some weight. But it’s much more complicated than that. But it’s also just that simple. All at the same time.
I gave myself this week of trying not to think about it too much. I earned that. But today I’m kicking it into gear. I’m going to try meditation again for the 14th million time. It’s just one of those things that I feel like should help me if I would just stick with it. I’m going to try to quit cheating my plant-based lifestyle when I’m in need of the emotional salvation that donuts and chocolate chip cookies can bring me. I’m going to try to drink more water. I’m going to try to cope with my anxiety or my sadness in ways that don’t require digesting.
I’m down to one pair of jeans and one pair of ugly corduroys that still fit this body. I need to turn this train around before I’m restricted to all elastic-waist clothing indefinitely. My main goal of this running season is accomplished, but I have a 12-hour run in 5 weeks and a 3-day stage race in April and I’d like to enter those events with the same body I had at those same events last year.
15 thoughts on “The Burden of Words.”
For meditation, I cannot recommend the Headspace app enough. Not free (though you can try it for 10 days) but really great, has got me meditating for the first time in my life and loving it.
I’m sorry, Kim.
I too, recommend the Headspace app. I tried the free trial and loved it.
I would also recommend the book, 10% Happier. I got some good ” aha” moments from it and I am going to start meditating again because of it. Think I’ll finally actually pay for that app, too.
I went on a great, clean diet in early January and lost some poundage, but emotional eating reared its head after about 2 weeks. I realized YET AGAIN that the problem is not “how do I get my body to lose weight” and is actually, “how do I deal with difficult emotions, loneliness, and boredom?”
I recently found Andie Mitchell’s website and although I have no tragedy that has left emptiness I’m trying to fill with food, as she has, her wisdom about emotions and eating is pretty great. I recommend her Ted Talk–in particular the last 5-10 minutes. I might read her book too. Maybe it will help you too?
Backing the headspace thing. Lovely sexy British accent is a bonus.
This is a great post. I’m currently divorcing my husband, learning so much (sometimes very unpleasant) things about myself and I struggle with this daily. People asking me how I’m doing, and the words that I can come up with do not reflect the complexity of the whole thing. And sometimes that’s ok, and sometimes it feels,I don’t know, off…so thank you again….
I have been reading this website for a long time and the changes you have wrought in yourself have been amazing and inspiring. I wish you could give yourself permission to ask for professional help with this one thing.
This is exactly what I was going to say. You are amazing person (a role model, I daresay) and asking for help will do nothing to diminish that.
Seconding or Thirding Jenny. You have done so amazingly well in your life journey. Reaching out for help on the emotional eating issue would be a wonderful thing… and wouldn’t it help your readers so very much? Same as talking about help for Wes? We get a doctor when we’re not feeling well?
I know I have told you before about how I see a therapist for my eating disorder. And on Tuesday, she is starting an adult eating disorders group that I am going to attend. This is both exciting and terrifying for me.
I cannot recommend therapy for food issues enough. Although I still struggle, therapy has changed my life.
Fifthing or sixthing the recommendation to ask for help. If you decide not to go that route, can I recommend Pilates? For me, it has an effect similar to what people describe with meditation, without the catch-22 of trying to concentrate on not thinking of anything. I always feel really good in both mind and body when I’m done. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck.
If you just want to vent and not have ideas for change, I’m here listening and willing you the emotional strength you need to make the changes you want in your life. If you want ideas, I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried Overeaters Anonymous. Big hugs to you.
I just started the Headspace app also, on a recommendation on another blog. I’m through day 3 and really liking it, so I’ll second the suggestion.
I third this suggestion. Sometimes you really need someone totally objective to talk to, to help you strategize how to deal with the emotional root of your problems. Sometimes, (and I’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that you know this) you cannot do it by yourself.
You’ve been talking about going to see a therapist for yourself for a while, and I think that would be the best way to loose weight. Once you learn better ways to cope with anxiety, you will be healthier in both body and mind. (Not that I can talk. I do worse things to my body than overeat when I’m stressed.)
I have been doing a kickboxing class. They gave us a formula on how much protein and carbs we need each meal (6 meals a day). It’s really nice as you get to eat often, its easier to eat more non-processed food. And it makes it more intentional about what you eat and how often you eat. 🙂 If you want more info, I can pass it along!
I struggle with the emotional eating SO much, although mine is probably more accurately described as stress eating, since that is the emotion that triggers it. I’m also stuck in a cycle where my spouse does it too, so it seems like every other day one of us is doing it and the other joining in.
But, a friend recently convinced me to join Weight Watchers and actually go to the meetings. Tracking my calories generally works for me, because I like to meet goals, even ones on my phone. And going to meetings works too, because I can sit and listen to other people who have similar issues and feel inspired and not-alone.