Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trying to Motivate Myself

Fairleigh Dickinson University
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

When I was a kid I remember my dad getting his college degree and how proud I was of him. The memory of his hard work is one of my motivations to finish my Ph.D. He gave me a sweatshirt (pictured above) that I've never let go of. Of course it was too big for me back then, but then suddenly I was way too big for it, having become overweight by age 12. I always told myself I would fit into it one day.

I did fit into one day, when I was about 36. And I do mean "one day", because it took about five minutes for me to start regaining the 190 lbs I had taken three years to lose. I was devastated, and since regaining the weight I've had a hard time imagining myself in that sweatshirt again, or fitting into smaller clothes at all. I had really let myself down, and believed I had let my family down as well. I didn't trust myself anymore.

But now that I'm eating raw, I truly believe that losing weight permanently is a possibility for the first time. The types of foods I eat now are easier to control; so few of them are addictive to me and I can pinpoint the one or two things that I need to be wary of- raw milk cheese and nuts that I put salt on (fat and salt!) - and decide without too much fanfare to give them up completely or to greatly lessen the amounts I consume.

On my Standard American (weight-loss) Diets 90% of what I ate was addictive- the carbs in my frozen meals, the sugars in the "lite" desserts, the chemicals in my favorite pops, the salt and fat in the "lite" snacks. How could I regulate my weight-loss efforts when I was feeding addictions at the same time? I'm so glad that now I can see that the types of foods I was consuming were the cause of my eating problems, not greed, laziness or any of the labels people slap onto us overweight people.

Raw food takes away most of my obsession with food. Not all of it, though, because years ago the obsession with food and eating became a mindset that is hard to get rid of in just 4 monhts. But I have a lot more mental "freedom" since going raw because I'm not obsessing over my next meal or trying to see if I can "fit" such and such a thing into my menu today the way I use to. I still have to learn to eat when I'm hungry and not out of boredom, but the boredom issue is not about food, it's about getting up the courage to get out of the house and DO things without caring about the fact that I'm still overweight. That's a whole separate issue to work on!

Sometimes I feel a bit depressed that I have over 100 lbs to lose, but that is tempered by the fact that I've lost over 60 lbs already and am healthier than I used to be- and getting better all the time! So one day - next year, I'm sure- I will fit into that Fairleigh Dickinson sweatshirt for a third time. (Maybe I'll even buy a modern one to go along with it.) :-)




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