I like talking to you guys. Did you know that? When I started writing this blog I just was trying to avoid studying for an evening. I found writing to be a little addictive and kept coming up with more words. Granted, at first I just wanted to have one of those famous blogs and eventually be asked to write a book which would of course be a bestseller and then I would retire at the old age of 30 without ever having to finish my college education, thusly getting me out of studying for my sociology exams. (Ha. Oh, youth.) Fortunately, only my mother and a few friends read my blog and I let go of my dreams of Internets Stardom. I eventually just wrote for the sake of working out the thoughts in my head. I worked out some pretty big things through this blog. In fact, it was through my earliest posts re: religion and Christianity that I found the courage to admit I was no longer a Christian, which was a huge thing for me. Y’all keep me honest. I can’t tell lies here; seeing my words in black and white (surrounded by pretty vintage birds) forces me to get all Real World-y and stop being polite and start getting real.
This honesty is really good for me, I think. But it can also make me clam up (see also: All Blog Absences, Ever). Sometimes I’m not ready to face something; sometimes having to be honest about a certain topic is scary, so I just get quiet because silence is easier than thinking too much about my biological father, my weight, or why I can’t remember 1st and 2nd grades.
But. I’m doing this thing where I’m trying not to Avoid. So I’ve entered self-imposed AA, in which I Avoid Avoidance. This doesn’t mean I have to share all my business with the Internets but it does mean I have to ask myself hard questions and find difficult answers and even hold myself accountable to setting/meeting goals and putting an end to certain destructive patterns of behavior. This is not a new revelation. I’m the queen of starting and stopping self-improvement projects.
Once upon a time, in grade school, I always began each semester with clean binder and a promise to myself I would keep it pristine, organized, pretty. And I would, for a time. But then I would be in a hurry and would stick one paper in the inside pocket instead of in the rings. Then it would be two papers. And maybe a drawing on the back corner. And another one on the front corner. And then before I knew what had happened, my papers were falling out of my torn-up binder and I had lost my homework. I would stress out, scramble to finish the semester, barely scrape by in my classes, and then sigh with relief when I could get a new binder and press the reset button once again.
Once upon a time, I wrote this about how I was dissatisfied with my weight and my body, how I wanted to be healthier, how I wanted to lose 50 pounds and wear a bikini top and shorts without shame. I had plans, Big Plans, plans that would end in a flatter tummy and a trip to Hawaii with Slim.
Well y’all, a year has passed. Maybe it’s time for a progress report! Let’s see how we did, shall we?
- Number of pounds lost: 10
- Number of pounds gained: I have no idea; I am once again afraid of the scale.
- Pairs of new jeans purchased because my other jeans are a little tight: Two
- Date of most recent weigh-in: Cha. No. Too scared. (And even though I no longer live with Paul and the Wii, I’m certain my sweet little Mii would keel over and die from fatty heart explosion.)
- Trips to Hawaii I’ve taken: Zero
- Number of Slims still in my life: Zero
Oh. Well. Um, yeah. So. That’s a little horrify– I mean, humbling. And y’all, I’m sitting here trying to remember what it is I did with my time, instead of sticking to a plan and exercising and losing the weight that has plagued me for more than half my life. I can’t really remember. I think there was a couch and a television. I know there was a broken heart and a lot of ice cream.
Once upon a time, I wanted to lose weight and so I made Big Plans and vows to exercise and eat right. And then I did other stuff instead. And then I wanted to lose weight so I made Big Plans, etc. Etc, ad naseum.
I have a choice right now, in this moment of reflection. I can berate myself for my failure, for giving up, for abandoning my goals. OR. Or I can blast some Mika, shake it off, and try to focus on tomorrow’s steps instead of yesterday’s missteps.
So I guess it’s time to try again. I’m not sure what I think is going to be different this time. Honestly, maybe nothing. Maybe this is my future, complaining about something I have the power to change, vowing to change it, failing, and complaining more. But you know what? I don’t want that. I’m better than that. I’m stronger than that. My heart was broken and my life was turned inside out but I didn’t let it break me. As my grandmother would say, I am a Compton and we are thoroughbreds. Shoot, I got hit by a freaking old woman who broke my freaking foot and I am STILL STANDING (on a lovely sparkly boot that was recently loved and complimented by THE GAYS, thank you very much). Surely I’m stronger than a carton of ice cream and some quality reality television.
(Although. Have y’all SEEN 16 and Pregnant???)
I’m serious though. It breaks my heart that I allow myself to continue in self-destructive patterns like this. Shouldn’t I love myself more than that? Shouldn’t I be the person who fights the hardest for what I want?
When I was 26, I sat down and honestly reflected on what I wanted in my life. That is when I made the decision to move to Seattle. And from that moment, when my goal was clear and bright in my mind (the goal that took the shape of the Space Needle), I lived my life in a very deliberate manner, doing only the things that would move me closer to that one thing I wanted so very badly.
So why should this be any different? Why should it take the offer of a trip to Hawaii to get me moving toward this thing I claim to want so badly? Shouldn’t my own happiness and sense of self-achievement be enough to get my ass moving, so to speak? I think the answer to those questions is a very simple ‘yes.’ So I’ll try this. I’ll focus on my individual decisions each day and ask myself if each decision I’m making is getting me closer to my goal or pushing me off the path.
And maybe this won’t work. Maybe a year from now I’ll be writing this post again, talking about how I’ve failed but THIS TIME THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT. I hope not but it’s always a possibility. I just hope I learn how to be kinder to myself, how to nurture myself in ways that don’t always include ice cream and delicious real sugar soda. Because the bottom line, the lesson I’ve learned this year is this: In the end, the only thing that really matters is if I can look at myself in the mirror with pride and love, no matter what my reflection shows.
And that, friends, is the weightiest goal of all.
(And just for fun, here is my self-love prescription for the day):