I recently made a connection about how I tend to block things out. I guess it's how I protect myself, even though it can potentially be a form of denial.
For example, when I was a teenager I didn't even bother trying to dress fashionably; I was fat and nice clothes for fat girls were hard to find and far too expensive. I also didn't try to exert myself because it seemed pointless and potentially embarrassing to have everyone watch me huff and puff over seemingly nothing. Whenever it hurt to not have something or be able to do something, I tended to block it out.
When I was a little older I developed an allergy to seafood. It seemed pointless to pine over fish and shrimp when I could no longer have it, so I blocked it out. And more recently I discovered I had a bad reaction to aspartame and had no problem learning to read labels in order to avoid the god-awful headaches that those products cause me.
And now? I'm currently in the groove of a healthier lifestyle, and I recently realized that I've learned to block things out to my advantage. It used to be that if someone close to me wanted to indulge in a treat, I just had to have one too. If I tried to deny myself, I'd feel terribly deprived and left out. But I've learned to block it out, so to speak? I've realized that I don't have to have a treat just because someone else is. I don't have to go back for seconds just because my husband did. I don't have to dig into the chips at the Mexican restaurant just because everyone else is. It used to be more than an excuse, it was a justification to indulge. My husband can eat a whole pizza at once and still weigh much less than me, it just isn't fair! I should be able to eat as much as I want as well and not weigh what I do, right? Except I wasn't taking into account that every body is different and doesn't have the same needs.
So why did it take me so long to learn how to block out the things that have robbed me of my health? I had no problem letting go of seafood or aspartame, so why did it take so long to realize what added sugar and deep-fried food does to me? Because once I did, I was able to block those out as well. I don't ever say I "can't" drink soda, I simply say that I "don't." Because it's true, and it's much more empowering. I don't eat seafood because it makes me sick (itchy, vomiting); I don't eat or drink aspartame because I get severe headaches and bladder symptoms; and now? I don't drink regular soda because it adversely affects my blood sugar, which makes me hungrier and plummets my mood; I don't eat deep-fried foods because it affects my stomach and makes me cranky; I don't eat too many calories in one setting because I don't like feeling overly-full or gaining for the week. Eating unhealthy is simply not an option for me anymore because I'm blocking it out.
And in the meantime, I'm slowly opening myself up to things I formerly blocked out, like dressing myself fashionably and learning to physically exert myself and push beyond my comfort zone. All in the name of being healthier and finding my confidence. It's been interesting to switch up my priorities into ways of enriching my life rather than just denial and attempts at self-protection.
Strange observation or is it just me?