Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Psychology of (my) Weight Loss

I am nearing 15 Lbs to my next goal weight, 225. Once I reach 225, I will have lost 100 LBS (I plan to do a VBlog when that happens). It is kind of hard for me to believe I have lost that much and also hard for me to believe I ever gained that much... and will still have some more to loose.

Since my move, I have felt so out of it, yes it is the move but as I near this goal, I find I am not sure exactly who I am. Let me explain, I know who I am inside: Kind. Friendly. Sarcastic. Witty. But who am I on the outside? For so long I have been overweight. I first knew I was overweight in middle school when I was 135 Lbs. Then through high school and college, I continued to gain.

While at first this new-found weight loss was (and still is) good, because I could see the results and felt healthier, now I have to deal with the psychological aspect of figuring out who I am as this person with less weight. Am I more attractive? Am I fat or skinny? My clothes currently do not fit me but the next size doesn’t fit me either... That is a odd place to be. Even my clothing doesn’t have a place to fit me right now.

Also, I am really losing a great excuse to not pursue dating now. When I had the weight it was a barrier I despised, but I would always come to the conclusion I was rejected based on my weight. I could use weight as an excuse, not only when I wouldn't risk the pursuit a female but I also used it as a way to narrow down her rejection to my weight and not to myself. Perhaps if she was rejecting me as a person, that would have hurt me even more deeply.

I took a picture of me in the mirror the other day with my shirt off. I will post it here, not because I am showing off but also not exactly because I am hideous. I took it and share it to show that there is a place I think between fat and skinny, a place where you are looking better but still not quite there. But where is there? I am not quite sure how to define myself now.

Apparently, there are many articles (I put some at the end of this blog) written by/about people who face this problem. People suggest this is why one should lose weight slowly over time, because you have more time to adapt to a new image of yourself. Perhaps this has been heightened for me since I an nearing such a great benchmark. While it is a great thing, it is also a milestone to a huge change. If I keep on this route, soon I won’t be obese anymore. Being (morbidly) obese has been a part of who I am for over a decade and overweight since middle school, which in total about 18 years of my life.

Honestly, healthy is a very new thing for me, not just the eating better or exercise, but looking better and feeling better. While it is great it is also odd. Sometimes I get looks from females and I am not sure what they mean. For so long females ignored me or seemed to look past me, so I am not sure if it is interest or if not being fat just makes people more likely to see me as a human being instead of a lazy person who just consumes mass quantities of food.

As I continue to lose weight, I continue to wonder who I am and who am I becoming; yet isn’t this always the question? Whether I am losing weight or not, are not we not always asking who we were, who we are, and who are we becoming? As a person, I want to better myself. As a Christian I want to glorify God. As a man, I want to become dating, marriage, and father material. And while all of these are different areas, they are not completely separate from each other either.

So, here are some questions for us to grapple: Who are you becoming? Who do you want to be and what are you doing to achieve your goals? Are you setting any goals? Are they achievable and realistic? The Psychology of Weight Loss is also The Psychology of Change... And when change happens, big or small, it means adjusting our actions and reactions, our perceptions and challenging self to move forward, even when we are not sure about the end result.

~ Single Me

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Blog About Anxiety

I remember when I was a kid, not a care in the world. I remember going day by day, those days seemed to last forever. I felt happy. I had little worry; at least that is how it all seems in retrospect. I remember sometimes I wanted to grow up, figuring I would really enjoy being able to make all my own decisions. The truth is my lack of decision-making, while annoying at times, was what protecting me from the outside. So long as I was a child or teen, I was still protected from the larger world of the adult. Making no money, I had things provided and paid no bills. Having no car, I never had to worry about getting lost or getting in an accident.

The odd thing is I never thought I really had anxiety, yet as I have grown older I've had to fight against it as the year’s have progressed. Yes, I have learned to see the signs, to be aware, and work on fighting it; however, it is something that comes up, a feeling inside, intense and sudden, of a fear or worry, even if it is unfounded or unreasonable.

I have anxiety over driving, especially anywhere that is different or new. I have anxiety in a large crowd of people. I have anxiety that I will get into an accident or that someone will judge me based on something I say or that is taken in the wrong way. I am afraid of getting fired from my job, perhaps for doing something I didn’t even know or understand. I get anxious checking my mail, that I might get jury duty before my job benefits start. I get anxious that I will get something in the mail saying I owe more money, maybe my electric bill went up or my student loans decide to start charging me obscene amounts that I cannot afford.

I get anxious and worried that I will never find anyone to date or marry... and that because of this I will never be a father... Ever. I get anxious about being so far from family and friends, so the last few months I have tried not to think about the actual distance. I sometimes get anxious about my weight, though I am losing, sometimes I feel I am putting in so much effort and seeing very little or no results... and this anxiety makes me just want to forget being healthy and just eat horribly (Thank goodness I give in much less to that voice than I did a while back).

I get anxious that all my friends from the past will forget me or be bored with me. I get anxious because I want to talk to everyone, but talking takes energy because I talk all day to others at my job, so after work I really do not want to talk to anyone at all. I get anxious calling and talking to new people on the phone. I get anxious the first few times I try to initiate a friendship, and extremely nervous if I want to pursue someone in a relationship.

All of these things whirl around in my head... not all the time, but at times throughout the day or the week. I am pretty good at keeping it hidden, because anxiety, worry, and fear mean weakness... and when you are a male living on your own, weakness is not attractive, not to potential friends, mates, or anyone else. I have to shape up. Welcome to real world. The real world is tough. There is no crying in baseball and all that jazz

"A League of Their Own" movie reference anyone?

Sometimes I just want to get away from it all, to go somewhere quiet, where the noise goes down or is calm, where the birds sing sweetly, the trees rustle, and a stream of water is going in the distance. When my anxiety comes I think of that place, so much peace, I breathe in and out, remind myself that all these things I am doing are moving me forward as a person, making me better, stronger, and ultimately are helping me fulfill my purpose in glorifying God with my life. Those thoughts give me peace, give me rest, help me to relax and continue to persevere and push forward.

What anxieties/worries/fears have you had in the past?
Which ones do you have today?

What are ways you cope?
What things bring you peace, rest, or hope?

~ Single Me