Based on that title, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that this piece was about a relationship. And in a way, I am writing about a relationship – my relationship with myself, or My Self.
I am very, very (oh, so very) happy to get 2011 behind me. This year has brought an onslaught of brain-melting change and uncertainty for my family and me. Now, thankfully, we’re finally in a home of our own and we are finding a rhythm for our days … sort of … at least to the extent we can control our days.
Over the past year, I’ve started and stopped my Weight Loss Journey, Round Two, many times. I’ve used every excuse I’ve helped other people overcome, and even scripted a few new doozies. The uncertainty and stress of my circumstances have made me feel like a bystander to my own life. Any ground I gained, I promptly lost, and then lost some more, for good measure. I’ve stood by, feeling helpless, as nearly every habit from “Old Me” has come home to roost. In many ways, it’s been comforting and easy to return to “Old Me,” because I know her better. I lived with her longer. Today, none of my clothes fit, and I barely recognize myself – not in recent pictures, I recognize myself in those, because they’re how I always remember myself looking and feeling. It’s the skinny “New Me” pictures from the recent past that look strange to me, and of which I’m slightly ashamed, because I don’t know that girl is.
Wow, I sound mad and despondent, eh? Here’s the thing: I’m not. I’m not depressed, and I don’t hate myself. That’s how I know I’m really ready to fix things and find the new, “New Me.”
I’ve written in other places that when I first got a grip on my lifestyle, lo these several years ago, my motivation came from a hopeful and positive place. I wanted to lose a few pounds to audition to be the next Sportscenter anchor. I wasn’t mad, despondent, depressed, et cetera. I was excited. That mindset made all the difference and set me on the right path, in the right way.
Today, as I look back on 2011, even though I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve my weight and lifestyle goals, I’m proud of many other accomplishments – our home, my child’s development and health and sense of humor, my work, my relationships with my family as well as with old and new friends. Instead of beating myself up over what I didn’t do, I’m going to smile and be proud of what I did do – I survived! — and I’m going to build on that relieved feeling of success as I move ahead. Dwelling on my screw-ups sure isn’t going to motivate me.
Forgiveness is a significant element of lifestyle change. Look at your past transgressions, name and acknowledge them, and move on. There’s plenty that I would change if I could – for instance, I’d have gotten exponentially less drunk at my high school reunion – but I can’t change anything. Wallow in regret, or learn from experience. Your choice.
I learned for certain what I had come to suspect: that my grip on “New Me” was rather tenuous. “Old Me” was in charge for 30 years, and she’s not going to evaporate overnight, or even over a few years. Plus, the new, “New Me” isn’t going to be the same “New Me” that I crowned in 2004. My job now is to get back on the horse and head for the horizon, today.
Today is square one, my friends. Let’s be patient and persistent.