Breaking through the cocoon: Any ideas for self-transformation?
Hi all. I've been floating around here for some time, posting now and then, but I never manage to make a regular thing of it. Just like I never manage to make a regular thing of changing my lifestyle. I've been obsessing about my weight in some form since I was eight, and now I'm 25 and 100 pounds overweight and I could use some help here.
I am ALWAYS thinking about weight loss/fitness/health. Always. Not an hour in the day goes by that I don't think about my body. Sometimes it's the desperate-panic-stricken-need-for-denial kind of thinking that leads to cheeseburgers. Sometimes it's the revved-up-feeling-level-headed kind of thinking that leads to reading books and websites and sometimes even drawing up meal plans or even actually picking up an exercise video.
All this has resulted in having a huge amount of information about health, but no real wisdom. I have tried a few plans (NutriSystem, Weight Watchers), which fail when they don't fit my lifestyle (almost all plans are designed for middle-class white-collar women with a nine-to-five work life and some measure of discretionary income) or ask me to eat spinach (NO). I have many times tried making my own eating and exercise plans, which also fail when I realize that despite the information I am armed with, I can't seem to apply it very effectively, and I am overwhelmed with the complications of all there is to know and apply, and I don't regard myself as enough of an authority figure to trust that what I am doing is the right thing. In addition, I am constantly thwarted by my deep-rooted emotional hang-ups regarding food, exercise, and the female body.
Is this sounding familiar at all?
Sometimes I just want someone to tell me exactly what to eat and when, and how to move and when. Sometimes I want to be "parented" into good health. I want it to be done for me. No decisions to make or numbers to crunch. Just a simplified way of living in a complicated world.
But that doesn't work, I am finding out. Because I don't trust that any of the plans out there are necessarily right. Because the plans out there often have us eating things that make us thin but don't make us healthy in the long run. Because packaged foods are filled with preservatives, pesticides, and other icky things (my mom just filled me in on animal renderings, and I'm afraid I can never eat anything again, it's so gross). Because individuals cannot be forced into a mold. Because being healthy is a lifestyle, and no one can reach inside me and reprogram who I am and how I respond to the world. Because I am not a child who can live in a world of do's and don't's.
But floating free on my own doesn't work either. My own plans for living healthfully are woefully under-informed. I read about differnt kinds of fats and vitamins and antioxidants and et cetera and my head starts spinning. How can I possibly combine all that information into the basic mechanics of putting food into my mouth? How can I know if I've gotten it right? How can I get from all the information and ideas and theory and emotional considerations to the basic mechanics of living my day-to-day life?
There must be a balance. Some way to take the resources available and turn them into concrete actions. There must be a way to use the plans and points and counting systems and prescriptions for living and synergize them with the facts of getting out of bed and moving around in the world. There must be a way to live somewhere between a diet of cucumbers and a diet of cheeseburgers.
There must be a way to slowly change not just what I do, but what I think and feel. To get from exercising and eating right (whatever that really means) because I am told to, because they are things on my to-do list or are goals I will myself to complete, because they are the "right" things to do, to exercising and eating right because they are my first instinct, because those are the choices I naturally make, because they are ingrained in my thought process and psyche. There must be a way to get from "changing my lifestyle" to being changed. There must be a fundamental transformation. And I just don't know how to get there. I feel like I've been stuck in a cocoon for a very ling time, and I don't know how to wiggle out and spread my butterfly wings.
I'm hoping some of you will share clues, ideas, successes. Any ideas?