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No more potential...weird headspace

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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Default No more potential...weird headspace

I apologize to all the people starting off. I'll just say that right off. I'd have rolled my eyes at this post 16 months ago and would probably have shouted at my screen, "Oh, poor baby!' But...I figure if you know these thoughts are possible, it's not a bad idea to prepare for them along the way. I think it's just as important to make ourselves mentally strong as it is physically in this process, because frankly, losing 100+ pounds is quite an adjustment.

I've been feeling very rejected lately, largely because I'm going through a divorce. But that excuse wasn't settling very well with me because I WANT the divorce. I'm in a good place there. So what is it? Then this morning, I realized the problem is that I have no more potential. When I was fat, it wasn't me. I didn't even realize I blamed things on my fat or that I hid behind it. It's been brought up here before and I've ignored it because it didn't apply to me. But it did! If I felt unloved, it was ok, because it wasn't really me that was unloved, it was the fat. If someone didn't like me, it wasn't me, it was the fat. I always had this "potential" in my head of what I could and should be.

Now, I'm there. There's no more potential left. What I am is what I am, raw, naked and without hope of improvement. Does that make sense? I can't dream up this supermodel that I should be, because this is what I am. So now, when I feel rejected, it's all me.

I need to get over this headspace. As always, at least I figured it out. I didn't know the end of this self-improvement project was going to feel like "the end". I thought it was going to feel like "the beginning". How do I switch it?
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html

Last edited by Eliana : 03-04-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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I totally get where you are coming from.

You just need to find other things to excel at - climbing mountains, rock climbing, running races, knitting, learning a new language, etc.

You now have potential in a million other areas, and are in the physical condition to pursue them!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
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Eliana, you do still have untapped potential. You have to because I don't think there is a perfect human. You just aren't sure what direction to look. You think that you have reached the top of your physical potential, and maybe you have. You need to look for potential in other aspects, mental, emotional, professional, spiritual, the list goes on.

Isn't there something else in life that you have always wanted to do? Other than lose weight, that is. The potential is there, you just have to find it.

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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I recognize the feeling, it's what's booted me back up from 'normal' to 'morbidly obese' twice in my life already. BE WARNED! Honestly hon, you don't want to go this way.

The only thing I can suggest is to
a) work really hard at accepting yourself. We have to learn to accept the Now, and not be constantly hankering for a 'not yet' in the future. Always to be hankering for some future state means not living life to the full now.
b) take time to decide what other things you might work on (the above comments about accepting the now notwithstanding), and start work. For me, I'm working towards being more outgoing and developing strategies to make and keep friends. I couldn't do it before because I felt too fat. Now that I feel I'm not physically offensive (I know, I know), I feel I can devote time to that piece of work

Once/if you decide what your next goals will be, devote as much time to achieving them as you did to losing weight. I know I talk about accepting the now but for many people, to have nothing to aim for means a slow drift into depression and fat. OK, maybe it's just me.

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #5
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Oh my goodness NO, NO, NOOOO!!!! We never stop growing, changing, thinking and being. You've changed your weight, (and may I just say a huge congrats to you on that) now its time to change your mindset. Just like we've learned that no one forced us to eat all the food that made us chubby, no one can make us feel inferior unless we let them. Take the toxic people out of your life (or at least give yourself some distance from them). As my mom always says, 'Kill them with kindness' and I have to say, it really works--the reaction you get totally throws them off and usually defuses the situation/relationship. And quite honestly, I feel better just by being nicer to them, itís a win-win.
Try things you've always wanted to do; we only go around once. Heck, I'm 41 and, God willing; I only have around 40 years left to make a difference to others and myself. This is your life; make the absolute most of it you can. Life is not all rainbows and roses but without a bit of rain in our lives we would never get to appreciate and know just how blessed we all really are. If you need help, don't be afraid to find some! You are worth the work!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:57 AM   #6
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Cognitive Therapy is all you need right now. Your potential lies with your ability to live the lifestyle with longetivty. Your potential lies with the idea tha you can shred some more body fat and create new leaner muscle. Your potential that you can learn even healthier ways to live now (we are all not perfect signs of health) there is always room where you can become healthier in your choices. I am a philosopher so this idea does not sit well with me. You will forever be evolving and changing. Aiming for more and better. You just lie in a crosswords where you dont know which direction to take is all. You are the crossroads, so you must now decide which Golden Path toward whole hearted soulfullness lies. Perhaps it's education, perhaps it's getting yourself out there more for people (most particularly MEN) to find you so you can chance the possibility of some real Love in your life.

So what do think, where are you going from here, what short term/long term goals do you have?
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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I'm too brain dead to respond right now, but I wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you well. After I have caffeine and breakfast, I'll ponder this some more, and try to come up with some intelligible answers for you.

Maybe you need one of these this morning!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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I think this post is SO important!!!

Firstly, thinking that ‘you’re done’ potential wise is absurd, but it’s just like weight loss – the work has to come from within YOU – us external people can support and encourage you but the change has to come from within. Hopefully that can be something you work on, and see how much you still have to contribute to the world! Teach someone English, volunteer at a soup kitchen, see how many people need your help.

Secondly, it’s important information to get out that weight loss is hard, physically mentally and spiritually. There are a lot of changes, a lot of shifts in thinking, a lot of changed relationships. Some relationships survive & thrive with the changes, and others may wither and die. I know I’ve harped on this is many of my posts, but losing weight will not make you happy. I know that’s a controversial thing to say, but I believe it to be 100% true. Will it make you happIER? Absolutely! Will it make you feel proud? Yes, guaranteed! Will you feel physically better? Of COURSE! But, if you were inherently UNHAPPY before you lose weight, that will continue once you’re thin. If you have low self-esteem, if you are chronically unhappy, if you don’t work on those things while losing weight you’ll never BE happy. No amount of thinness will do it – and if you DO temporarily feel happy at a hundred-and-some pounds, if your happiness and self-worth is tied solely to that number, it’s not ‘real’ and can’t survive. I think you’re doomed from the outset if your goal is “I’m going to be happy when……” I imagine people being a bit dazed and confused at the end of it all, like 'ok i'm thin now, why am I not happy????" I'm reading a really neat book right now called "The Happiness Project" and it's such an interesting idea. A successful author and mother and wife, has all the right 'things' and all the right relationships but feels she should be happier in life and sets out to become that way over the course of a year! A good read.

Thirdly and finally, I totally get what you mean about “this is it” Sometimes I feel almost…bored? Maybe that’s not the right word, but it’s like this huge lifelong PROJECT I’ve been on is now over and now what do I do? It’s like my favourite HOBBY is gone LOL I’m replacing it with other things, but sometimes I feel nostalgic for all the fuss and joy and sorrow of losing. I’m trying to put the same “project” feeling into getting fitter, and changing my shape a bit more. It keeps me occupied, and I’m trying to expand my horizons for new hobbies. I’ve started a therapy group for overweight women to explore thoughts and feelings, etc. but it hasn’t been going so well, mostly everyone wants my diet plan LOL I have to keep saying it’s not about ME it’s about YOU. I’m trying to see if there’s much interest in my area for a group of teens facing obesity, and I want to learn to knit!

I can only suggest that you ‘get out of your own way” girl, focus on what you can do for others, what you can LEARN, what you can contribute, how you can change someone else’s life! That’s got potential written all over it!!!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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Oh, so totally makes sense to me. One of my motivations for taking off 100 lbs after carrying them around for 20 years was to find romance. As I work from my home, figured the best way for me to meet potential dates was on line. Finally got the nerve to sign up when I was about 80 lbs down. Quite soul crushing to not get a single genuine inquiry for months. Wow, if it wasn't the fat keeping the men away, what was I to work on now??

Eventually I figured out the internet dating thing and started getting real dates and now am in a serious relationship. But I had some pretty dark times. I obviously wasn't someone who "needed" a boyfriend but pretty awful to decide I wanted one, got the weight off, but was still very much alone.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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I think this may take just some passage of time. It is as if you have a 'before and after' and there hasn't been enough time and events and happenings to create a larger scope of experiences in the 'after' or the 'beginning'.

Hang in there.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #11
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Gosh, Eliana...I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I don't know if I have anything useful to contribute, but I'll start typing and maybe I'll feel as if it's worth posting when I'm done.

I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention the possibility of depression being involved here. I know that there have been times in the past when, looking back, I have been objectively in the exact same circumstances but have been miserable one time and happy/content the other time. Even though you're clearly a very intelligent, capable person, it might not be a bad idea to talk to a counselor who can help you sort through your emotional baggage (from the divorce, the weight loss, and whatever else).

It definitely seems to me that your "end of the line" feeling has more to do with pessimism than reality. I read a post of yours recently where you talked about wondering if you were the kind of person who wears make-up or not. I think it's so exciting (though perhaps a little scary) to be an adult and have the opportunity to change and grow and discover things about yourself. You're far from complete...you're definitely still "becoming"!

I'm far from an expert on meeting people (whether for friendship or romance), but it seems to me to make sense to look into activities that you enjoy, or think you might enjoy...you're most likely to meet people with a lot in common with you that way.

Try not to listen to the negative little voice. The world is your oyster!
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Your post reminds me of a "Hoarders" show I saw once. The woman knew that all her accumulated junk was killing her/ruining her life, and on one hand she wanted her life back, but on the other hand it was so hard to let go of her stuff, not because she was doing anything with it, but because of its "potential." I imagine that once all her clutter was cleared away, she felt like you, that she had no more "potential."

I imagine that like you, she had to go through a period of grief for her loss. And I imagine that eventually she saw herself as starting again on a new playing field. A beginning, not an end.

I think you'll get to that point, and it will be incredibly exciting. And I think you'll keep in mind what *did not* work for you last time around. You seem to be a very insightful person, and I'm impressed with your ability to understand and express what you're feeling. It's not anything I have experienced, because I'm not anywhere near the end of my weight-loss journey. But I will remember what you've said. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #13
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There's so many good comments on this thread.

I think it's very important that we recognize that we are who we are no matter what size, shape, and space. I understand how you worked yourself into that head space. It's so much easier to pretend that it is not US that is unloved but the fat.

What's so much more important to me that you're posting this instead of denying these feelings! Wow! What a step.

I have always been dedicated to loving myself but sometimes I surprise myself. I was looking at old pictures from a vacation where I was much heavier and I shook my head and said, "How did anyone love her?" My boyfriend looked at me with an open mouth, shocked, "That's you. I loved her." It brings tears to my eyes as I type this.

I demand respect and love in my life and relationships. Very much of it is that even if I secretly think I don't deserve it, I fake it because that's the transitory period between thinking you deserve it and knowing it.

In other words, I think you don't recognize the potential because you might not know this person. I agree that therapy is probably an excellent step. And I loved therapy.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:17 PM   #14
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Eliana, I know you haven't shopped for your new wardrobe yet, and I was also wondering since you are waiting to lose the last 10, why don't you get a makeover? Go have professional makeup done, buy some new makeup, get a brazilian blowout or do some treatment to your hair (maybe get it straightened since yours looks to be naturally curly), get a spray tan or something girly that will make you feel good about yourself.

I feel that I am always changing. I like to do new things with my hair, different color, style. Right now I'm going through this whole 1940's style phase. I want to go darker with my hair and cut my bangs like Betty Page, but I'm waiting on getting a little more length before I do something drastic. I always feel better when I "change it up" a bit.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:10 PM   #15
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Don't know if it will help but some deep words from a song that the late Rich Mullins wrote:

Though the chill in the night still hangs in the air
I can feel the warmth of morning on my face
Though the storm had tossed me
'Til I thought I'd nearly lost my way

And now the night is fading and the storm is past
And everything that could be shaken was shaken
And all that remains is all I ever really had
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