Wednesday 5 June 2024

My new obsessions.....Disappointing Affirmations and weight loss!

I recently discovered an Instagram account called Disappointing Affirmations. I heartily recommend it!

I LOVE them. Words to live by, although you probably shouldn't. Having said that, sometimes you should. The one above is actually quite positive in it's way. There really never is a perfect time so just get on with it! Anyway, sometimes they are not to be taken at all seriously but they also got me thinking. I feel like I have been putting obstacles, similar to the sentiments portrayed in these disappointing affirmations, in my own way for the majority of my adult life.

I have been writing this blog, on and off, for years now but not many people read it. Partly because why would anyone read what I have to say unless you are a friend indulging me but partly because I never put it anywhere anyone who doesn't know me might read it. Putting myself out there is not a skill I possess.

The biggest obstacle I have put in my own way has absolutely been my weight. I'm sure I've spoken about my weight at other points in this blog but this is a little different. I think, with hindsight, I have purposefully kept myself on the heavier side since my early teens in order to avoid moving out of my comfort zone, or having to speak to or interact with new people. 

This is a pretty weird thing for an ex-performer (I say "ex", I may go back to it) and now choir leader to say. These two careers involve putting myself "out there" constantly but I am convinced I could go further with both if I had more self-belief and stopped putting self-imposed barriers in my way.

I am pretty sure I did this for one reason and one reason alone. To make myself unattractive (in my eyes) so no one would want to employ/date/befriend me. This attempt at sabotaging my life did not work with the befriending thing. I have somehow found myself with a wonderfully, copious amount of fabulous friends so I failed there, but I did pretty well with the other aspects. 

We're not going to talk about my dating life. There are things to mention but that's not what this is about and I would like to keep some things to myself and not share everything with the world. As far as employment goes I have never been out of work. I think I claimed the "dole" once for one week at some point in the 90s and then got a job so that was that. I have not been out of work since. However, I have kept myself at a certain level and never gone above and part of this is to do with my weight, or rather, the perception of what I feel my weight means. 

To most people my weight means nothing at all but I tell myself it means everything to everyone I come into contact with. I assume the first thing people notice is my size and after that I believe they won't be interested in me. Weirdly, I feel my weight makes me invisible. I wear my weight like it is armour.

I was listening to a podcast called "How to fail" earlier this week. The guest was Rylan Clark and he said something that really resonated with me. He said has a habit of saying self-deprecating things about his appearance because he feels if he says it first then nobody can hurt him by saying anything to him about the way he looks (I'm paraphrasing, he said it better). He also said that he has made peace with himself about how he looks. He knows he will never be happy with his appearance and so just accepts that and is now much happier. I, kind of, feel the same but I have turned a corner regarding my weight.

When I was 39 and a half I decided to join a gym as I had become aware I was getting older and, as a single person with nobody to look after me when really decrepit, I wanted to get fitter. I kept going to the gym for the next 6 years and my weight plateaued. For about 3 years I never got heavier and never lost more weight. I was happy with that, at the time, because it was still fat enough that I was still "invisible". It kept the boys at bay and also meant I wasn't asked to do anything new or out of my comfort zone. Then lockdown happened and I happily gained 3 and a half stone. I say happily, I was only happy about it until I saw myself on a video with my choir in the summer of 2021 and thought that, even for me, that was unacceptable so I decided to try and get back to my pre-pandemic happy place.

Well, in 2023 I got there and then went beyond. I recently weighed myself again and found I was half a stone lighter than when I had been going to the gym! But what does this weight-loss mean? Well nothing really. My weight has absolutely nothing to do with my success or failure. That's all in my head. I have to sort out my mindset in order to make actual changes to my life. Don't get me wrong, my life is pretty good. I'm not depressed, I don't hate my job, I have fabulous friends. I am tired ALL the time (not in an ill way) but I feel like I need a new challenge. What kind of challenge I don't know BUT I feel like my weight is no longer going to be the thing that stops me pursuing that potential new adventure. Watch this space!

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