Apr 292005

This was at the top of a handout that was given to us last night at Weight Watchers. Now this particular handout was not new to me. They hardly ever are. I realized last night that I have been on program for over four years now. I started in late January of 2001. Four years. It’s amazing, really. Not just that I’ve been on program that long, but but I’ve manged to keep the weight off for as long as I have. Yeah, I put back on 40 pounds, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still weigh 143 pounds less than I did when I walked in the door for my first meeting.

I’ve never really thought much about the handout, though. I don’t use the “tools for living” that the program endorses. I’ve always thought of them as self-help babble that didn’t really apply to someone of my mindset (in other words, being honest, I think I’m better than that). For some reason the combination of the handout and the accompanying dialogue from our leader Karen got through to me last night and made me start thinking.

A dangerous thing, that.

I started to think about the beliefs I have, and how they are affecting my weight loss struggles. There’s a big one I wrestle with all the time that continues to be a thorn in my side.

I believe I’m the fattest guy I know. I believe that everyone looks at me and thinks “there goes the fat guy.” I feel like the fat guy. I look in the mirror and I see the fat guy. Even when I was at my lowest documented weight (232 pounds), I felt like I was still the fat guy.

How about that shit?

I know that a lot of people who are my age and struggling with weight have the completely opposite problem. They aren’t accustomed to being fat. They haven’t lived with it their whole life. It just kind of snuck up on them. Which is one of the cruel tricks that life plays on you. See, if you don’t change your eating and exercise habits at all once you hit your mid-twenties you will gain 5 to 10 pounds a year on average. In other words, if you had a healthy diet and exercise routine that kept you fit as a young adult you would still have to eat less and exercise more to maintain that healthy lifestyle.

Pisser, ain’t it?

People who have been sucker punched in this way don’t have a lifetime of memories enforcing the fact that they are overweight. They aren’t used to being fat. They don’t believe that they’re fat, and when it’s pointed out to them by standing on a scale or trying on a piece of clothing that used to fit comfortably it’s devastating. It doesn’t feel real. This can’t be possible, they say. I’m not fat.

Which leads to depression. And what do overweight people do when depressed? Why, they eat!

Obviously my problem is just the opposite.

But we have these beliefs. These ideas that we think are true. I believe I’m fat, and it affects my life every day. Every time I eat. Every time I get dressed. Every day in every way I remind myself that I’m fat, because it’s what I believe.

The question is – How do you change your beliefs? Do I really need to do some of that self-affirmation, hanging the message on my mirror and repeating it to myself every day kind of thing? Do I need to emphasize new beliefs to myself, as instructed by Weight Watchers?

My weight goal is desireable and worth it to me.

You’re damn skippy it’s desireable, and hell yes it’s worth it. Can I even list the number of benefits that I’ve gotten from losing weight? Clothes last longer and are less expensive. I can move without getting winded. I can bend over to put my shoes on. I can look down and see my naughty bits. I get flirted with. People don’t look at me and instantly assume I’m some kind of lazy slob. I’m going to live longer and have a better chance of my older years being healthy ones (goes along with the no smoking thing, too – Almost 5 weeks now). I’m cast (or not cast) in shows because of my acting ability, not because of my weight (in most cases, anyway…I’m still a big guy…and am even told I can be imposing).

Is all this worth it? Oh yes. Yes it is.

Do I have a desire to continue these benefits. Yes I do.

I’m capable of achieving my weight goal.

My weight goal? Shit, fool. I’m capable of achieving anything I damn well want. Anyone is. I firmly believe that if you want something with all your heart and set your mind on getting it you will do so. I’ve gotten pretty damned far in this life, and I’ve done a lot of awesome shit. Including, but not limited to, the huge amount of weight I’ve lost to date.

So yeah, I’m capable.

I deserve to achieve my weight goal.

Yes, I deserve it. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to live a long life surrounded by the family and friends who I have come to love over the years. I like to think I’m a good man, a good lover, a good father and a good friend. I deserve to be good to myself as well.

I guess I just need to keep telling myself that.

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