Work in Progress…

I don’t like looking in the mirror. Ever. I have memorized when to turn my head just slightly enough to avoid what I see there. I used to have a full-length mirror in the bedroom but it (mysteriously) died a horrific death. I’m not saying that I broke the thing on purpose, but I’m not NOT saying that I did. And I must admit, it was something that really helped ease the anxiety in my life.

Not too long ago, I shared with a good friend something that happens to me every time I get up in the morning. I don’t know why I shared it, but I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. I suppose I needed someone to know my inner turmoil. (And I have to state that I owe her a lunch after having to be the first person to hear it.) Either way, I shared that I wake up every morning to go to the bathroom and the same movie quote goes through my head as I walk through the door and (temporarily) forget to look away from the mirror: “Fatty, fatty, two-by-four. Can’t get through the dressing room door?” Every morning. Without fail. I suspect that I would still hear it, even if I had no mirrors in the bathroom. And while I usually watch the original Hairspray movie for a fun time, that quote is by far the most memorable part of the whole thing.

I don’t share this with you to get sympathy or attention (although I would appreciate either) but to just set up why I’m trying so hard to make better choices for myself. My weight has always been a THING for me, whether it was just a fault I created in my own mind (because I’ve never done that before) or an actual physical and health issue. I’ve tried very different diets and weight loss techniques and bought different vitamins and supplements, but I think that I have finally decided to attempt the one thing I have dreaded since I ever knew I was fat–try to give up sugar.

Now why whould I use the word try when I make my big announcement? Because I know me. I am with me every single second of the day (insert any self-deprecating comment I have ever used in your presence here). I have had plennnnnttttttyyyyyy o’ time to know of what this person is and isn’t capable of achieving. And giving up sugar permanently isn’t one of them. But Rene, isn’t that a defeatest attitude? Shouldn’t you be more optimistic and just KNOW that you’re going to make that shit happen? No, I’ve been let down too many times by myself. Just, no. Once upon a time someone way more important than me famously said, “Do or Do not. There is no try,” to which I respond, “Shut up, Yoda! You don’t know what you’re talking about!” (Somehow, I don’t think my quote will end up being nearly as popular.) I guess when you’re really trying to pump up the guy that will ultimately save the galaxy it works, but when it’s a fifty year old woman who really just needs enough body positivity to get through the day, just trying can work wonders.

Put another way, it’s like playing Candy Crush. I start off knowing that I am going to kill it at each game and clean the board on the first try. I know it. And I do it. And then I don’t. And then I don’t again. And then I just have to tell myself just to clear one more piece than I did the last time I played. And then one more and so on until I reach my goal (which does eventually happen because if it didn’t I would have a mangled phone and hole in the wall by now). I was originally going to go with a story about not being able to climb a mountain in one try, but this game/phone/app stuff is much more in tune with my current life situation. Either way, I give things all of my effort and intensity to start and then end up taking things more day to day and gradual. (Kind of like my writing content. Huh.)

So, if you haven’t guessed (or didn’t absorb absolutely anything I wrote in the last two paragraphs), I am going to try to give up sugar. Like, the kind of sugar that I put in my body on purpose and not so much the sugars that are hidden in other foods. You know, the candies and the ice creams and the cookies and all of the things I used(?) to think made life better. And I am proud to announce that I am currently on day five and still going strong-ish. I do have to admit to an embarassing long inner dialogue (on day three) with myself, in which one part of me was trying to strong arm the other part of me into just making a quick trip to Dairy Queen (“We can just order the small!” Yeah, right.). I’m proud to say that I won(!) and I didn’t fall for it. So, five days a winner is where I’m at. Huzzah!

So, for the moment, I feel proud and accomplished. I feel much better overall but I haven’t actually seen any changes in any mirrors (or movie quotes). Unfortunately, my need to SEE actual results may (will) be a stumbling block in the near future and I am currently setting up my defenses against such self-sabotage. I am still in the do stage, but I’m really only one bad day away from a real doo-doo stage. Huh, maybe I do need your sympathy and attention (and I will gladly accept thoughts and prayers.). It’s just that, I really, really need to get better with this mirror thing, because my wardrobe is the next thing and, well, I think you get the picture.

© DRB 2022

photo: Sam Mgrdichian on Unsplash

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