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Navel-Gazing Both Literal and Figurative

I read somewhere that we only keep doing things if they benefit us in some way. This statement was made regarding being fat, or overeating, or something like that. At first I called foul - how on Earth does being fat benefit me? Why would I choose to stay this way? But then I thought about it some more, and realized that it's true.

Every bad habit is a safety net. My top two bad habits are overeating and procrastinating. I procrastinate like whoa. They should canonize me as Our Lady of Perpetual Procrastination and put my image on a medal. Seriously, it's ridiculous. It stresses me out and makes my life a rushrush hell, but I keep doing it. Why? Because when I wait until the night before it's due to start a painting then I can always say that it could've been better if I had more time. It's okay if I don't like it, because it was rush job and certainly isn't my best work. If I spend days or weeks on something and still don't like it then I have to face the fact that my best isn't good enough.

Overeating is sort of the same way. Obviously food is delicious. It makes my mouth happy to eat chocolate and cookies and an extra serving of those awesome peanut noodles. But it also serves me on other levels, the ones that make it harder to break away from. There's a level of comfort eating involved, sure. It also keeps me fat. Again, why would I keep doing something if it keeps me fat? I pretty much hate myself, and a large part of that is because I'm fat. I hate my body. I have the self-esteem of an unwashed hobo at a black-tie gala. It's not a good situation. But I keep myself in it by continuing to overeat. Why?

For much the same reason that I keep procrastinating, actually. I place the better part of the blame for my unhappiness on the fact that I'm fat. I have all these little daydreams about what it would be like to lose a lot of weight. How I'd look. How I'd feel. Usually I'm happy in them. But the truth is that losing weight probably wouldn't change how I feel about myself. I'd still look in the mirror and want to crawl under a rock - it would just be a smaller rock. I'd still be socially awkward. I'd still have all the same issues, and on top of that I'd have to deal with the fact that being fat wasn't the source of my unhappiness. And I don't think I could deal with that. With losing 60 pounds and still hating myself. As long as I'm fat I have something to blame. And something to look forward to. It's nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And in some ways I guess I'd rather see the light and know it's there, know that someplace brighter and better is waiting for me if I just go a little farther, than reach the light and find out that it's no better than the darkness.

So I stay in this tug-o-war with food, counting calories and watching portion sizes and then eating everything in sight one day because I'm feeling particularly down. As if chocolate can soothe my wounds. As if cake really makes anything better. Then I beat myself up and go back to counting every bite, because even though I always sabotage myself I can't stop trying. Because as much I would love to be one of those awesome fat girls who owns it, who loves herself and doesn't take shit from anyone, who doesn't let her pants size dictate her state of mind... I'm not. Sometimes I think I could be. Most of the time I'm pretty sure I couldn't. I love fat girls. I wish all my friends were fat girls. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with being fat so long as you're happy and healthy. But I'm still secretly hateful and jealous when I notice a girl I know from school losing weight. She's working her ass off and she deserves to succeed. But I liked her better when she was fat, because the new thin version just makes me feel even shittier about myself.

Anyway. I could rant forever, but I'll spare you anymore. Mostly because I don't think I'm making sense anymore. We'll resume our regularly scheduled food blogging this evening.

Wow, that sounds exactly like something I could have written. Especially the procrastination part, I have been my own worst enemy in so many ways since day one. But at least you keep trying and you seem to have pretty good perspective, sooner or later you will feel good about yourself inside and out if you keep working at both. I’ve lost about 1/3 of the weight that I want to (20 lbs of 60), but I’ve stalled and not lost any for a few weeks. Somehow I’m not feeling quite as bad about it as I might usually be, I fully blame the regular exercise for that ;)

You know, regular exercise really does make a huge difference. I know this. Everyone knows this. And yet somehow whenever I stop doing it, it starts to seem like the least appealing thing ever. You know? Self-sabotage sucks. :( Congrats on your weight loss - 20 lbs is amazing. I just keep trying to tell myself that even though diet/exercise/whatever sucks now, I'll feel ever worse a year from if I have to look back and say, "You know, if I'd have stuck with it then I'd be done by now." Sometimes it works.

I am totally the same way about weightloss. Being fat is my excuse for failing, everything that goes wrong is because I'm fat, it's been going on for as long as I can remember...

At the moment I'm working my way back from falling out of loosing weight, hopefully I can get back to getting thinner, I'm doing it slowly this time and hoping that my mental state is being worked on at the same time.

Hugs to you.

"Being fat is my excuse for failing, everything that goes wrong is because I'm fat." That's exactly how it is. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this - thanks for commenting.

Ah dude, you're definitely not alone. I relate on so many levels. I've had messed up issues about food since I was a kid--as an 8 year old, was told I was fat and ate too much. Way to f*** someone up, right? Naturally, the baby weight fell off, but I developed some pretty nasty eating disorders in high school and the beginning part of college. I've been ok on that front for awhile, but my obsessive issues with food are still there. I'd love to lose 10-20lbs.--this is what I ALWAYS say. Yet I just can never seem to deliver. I like to think my vegan/healthy eating is a huge positive step, but I worry it's becoming overly obsessive as well. I think about food and meal planning A LOT and have make a conscious effort to NOT think about it. Oy. I could also rant forever.
Ok, so point being: I appreciated your post, a lot. Just remember that every meal of every day is a new experience, a new chance.
ps-I think you're a great writer and I really look forward to reading your posts =)

Oh, food issues. I wonder if there are actually women in American who grow up without them anymore. I think on the food obsession front, there's a spectrum. Like, when I first went vegan there was a lot of, "Okay, so now what do I make?" because it was a whole new food arena. I gathered so many recipes in the first month or so, it was really a little ridiculous. Now it's edging a bit more into the bad type of obsessive, where I kind of hate myself if something has more than 400 calories in it. The first type is fine; the second, not so much. I think it's just a part of life for some of us, though. Like you said - food issues.

P.S. Thanks for commiserating. I worry about straying too far off topic here, so it's good to know people don't mind too much. :)

Wow, I can totally relate as well. Although, I'm on the other side and here to say yeah, it's true losing weight isn't a panacea. I lost 50 lbs about 3.5 years ago and I still struggle on a daily basis with my weight. I work out 4 times a week, watch what I eat, etc but I still have a hard time dealing emotionally. I still turn to food for comfort or as an escape. I still feel fat. I felt really good for about a year or so and then I went back to thinking I should lose 5-10 lbs pretty much all the time. I've read a couple books that you may (or may not) find interesting. First off was Francis Kuffel's weight loss book Passing for Thin about her struggle to lose weight almost 200 lbs. Another one that helps motivate me is Thin for Life which is really awesome because it talks to people who've lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off about how they do it on a day to day basis. And I have this on my list, I'm Not the New Me, which I think is going to deal with the whole "my problems aren't solved by being thin" thing.

I actually have I'm Not The New Me - I enjoyed it a lot. I related to it on a lot of levels. Plus there are hilarious 1970's Weight Watchers cards in the center. Thanks for the other recommendations - I'll check them out. And thanks for giving your perspective here. It's interesting to hear from someone who is at the place you want to be.

>> I pretty much hate myself, and a large part of that is because I'm fat.

Awww! We love ya, Vegancore! (L) Keep at it. It takes time but the results will come soon if you stick with it. Your blog has motivated me to start monitoring what I eat and exercise...that's a great influence to have!

Aww, thanks. :) Usually I can deal with things, but some days you just feel like gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe, you know? I'm glad I've been able to motivate you... now your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to start a blog of your own and motivate ME!

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