It’s fairly common for the masses to loathe Monday mornings. I mean I get it, the weekend is over, it’s back to work/school, all you can seem to think about is the fact that you have this many more days to suffer through until the next weekend and it sucks. I don’t hate Mondays though.
I guess it’s easy for me to say, because Monday is not a work day for me. However I do have a certain routine that I follow every day of the week, regardless of work, just like everyone else.
Every morning I wake up early. I set my alarm for 5:30 and hit snooze until 6:15 (Josh finds that highly annoying), I throw on my robe over my pajamas and make my way to Dylan’s room to start rousing him for school. We’re out the door by 6:30 and we drive to the end of the driveway to catch the bus. Hugs, kisses, have a good day, then I come back home.
Then, on every Monday after I do all of the above, I weigh myself. A habit that I formed during my nearly year long effort to attain a healthy body weight. It ranks in importance all the way up there with brushing my teeth or taking a shower. It’s something I just do now.
But sometimes I try to convince myself that it’s something I shouldn’t do so often. Especially now that I’m no longer trying to lose weight.
There are varied opinions people have on the relationship a person should have with their bathroom scale. Some vehemently cling to the belief that whatever the scale reads is unimportant. Others like the idea of hovering over the scale every morning and using the information to meticulously plan the day around what it reads. Though I personally don’t think that being part of the second group helps to foster a healthy self image, I can attest to the fact that it’s easier than you think to form that habit, in spite of your best efforts not to.
I went through a time when I weighed myself nearly every morning. The numbers it displayed would tell me whether it was going to be a good day, or a bad day. It became an obsession of sorts. Then I remember thinking to myself ‘why am I doing this? Sure, my weight is important to me. I’m trying to get it to go down. But I shouldn’t let it affect my happiness to this extent. How did I get here?’
It’s difficult to express feelings like that to a person who has never tried to lose weight, or who wants to but has never put forth all the effort to do so in the same ways that you have. From an outsiders perspective, maybe even the person you’re most close to, it’s easy to see the changes on the outside, and assume that the changes on the inside are just as spectacular. That’s not always the case.
I’ve lost 50 lbs. I wish I could say that my experience during the whole thing was nothing short of always awesome all the time, just like a skinny girl’s testimonial on a Weight Watchers commercial. But the thing is, there are just as many obstacles to overcome as there are goals to be achieved. For every personal victory, there’s usually something unpleasant waiting just around the corner. Whether it’s an unhealthy habit formed (like my problem with the scale), a hurtful comment, conflicting feelings about ‘where do I go from here?’…etc. It’s different for everyone.
One thing that’s been particularly difficult for me, personally, is when I realized after losing a substantial amount of weight, people around me began to really take notice and pay attention to me in ways they never did before. Almost as if I were under a spot light on an empty stage. Some saw my outward success and wanted to dissect my lifestyle, my diet, and my life trying to find any little weakness in me. Something that I wasn’t doing right or a reason why my choice to do this or that was pointless/unhealthy/ridiculous/etc.
And that’s something I never had to deal with when I was fat. Strangely enough, people seemed more accepting of my choices then. When I was content in that same complacent state as everyone else and my actions couldn’t be perceived as threatening.
But then I have to remember, it’s not about others’ opinions or whether or not I have the approval of a third party. At the end of the day, I’m the only one that has to look myself in the mirror and contend with the choices I’ve made, good or bad. Strangely, I’ve gained a kind of strength from the fact that through all of it I’ve been able to look at myself and say, ‘This is my life and no one else’s. I can do this alone if I have to. If I damned well want to.’
But I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom. Changing your life is hard. And sometimes it’s unpleasant, even though things are looking great on the surface. If losing weight is something you want to do, go for it. Don’t let anyone hold you back from doing something you want to do. As I said before, you’re the one that has to face yourself in the mirror every day. And you’re the one who’s alone with your thoughts every night. Make them say what you want to hear.
I have no regrets. There have been far more good experiences than bad. And if I had to do it all over again I would. I would make all the same mistakes, deal with all the same doubts, problems, frustrations, and rejoice in the same victories, big or small. I would because it’s worth it to me.
So, now I weigh myself on Monday mornings. It doesn’t define me in the way it once easily did. I’ve learned from it. They’re just numbers to me now. Numbers that I use as a tool to make sure I stay on the path that I want for myself, and not a deciding factor in my failure or success.
What has been your experience with trying to lose weight and/or live a healthier life? What has been your biggest obstacle? Your biggest success?