Sunday, January 2, 2011

Remembering to believe in myself

Happy New Year a day in.  It's been great reading peoples reflections on the old year and intentions for 2011.

My low carb eating has been going pretty well.  Friday and Saturday I eased up a bit on the low carb but stayed reasonable with my eating, outside of too many lemon squares on New Year's Eve.  I make kick-ass lemon squares, and apart from the sugar and flour content thought they were a better choice than many other desserts I could have over done.

In reading many late 2010 and early 2011 posts, I find comfort in being somewhere in the middle of the span from amazing success and dismal failure in this endeavor to lose weight and find fitness.  Perspective is important for this blogger...I can get emotionally inflated or devastated when comparing myself to another.  Actually any dabbling with comparing myself with anyone else is futile and self defeating activity.  Either I can feel smug that I didn't gain AS MUCH this year as another, or become mired in self-contempt and self pity in finding myself the lowest form of life when stacked against another.  This truth doesn't just hold true for the blog community...but spans all my day to day interactions.

Yet another concept about living a day at a time that I've learned in AA is to resist at all cost the temptation to compare oneself with anyone else.  Rather, comparing myself to myself is the more accurate gauge of reality when inventorying my progress in any realm.  How am I doing today vs how I was doing last week, or month, or year?  What is better?  What is the same, or worse? Which of my habits affect where I am now? Progress?  Change?  Is my thinking anchored in reality or am I in denial about basic truths about myself?  Now, even this kind of self appraisal can leave one feeling fantastic or craptastic depending on the results of the inventory.  Trust me - craptastic is where I find myself this January 2...weighing more than January 2, 2010 after the ensuing 12 months of the same behaviors over and over while hoping for different results.  But in looking at "MOI" honestly, at least the final tally is a clear picture of myself that is workable - by myself.  When I put myself up against Jane Q Blogger who set out to lose 30 pounds, lost 40 with seemingly little effort and endless enthusiasm and no "issues", my frustration becomes murky and more about "why I'm not like her" rather than accepting myself lock, stock and barrel and determining to work with what and who I am.  The one thing over which I have control is myself and my actions. 

I'm done with with resolutions and list making about all the changes I'm going to make in the new year.  Or for my current round of determination.  Or the newest challenge.  I see clearly that getting whipped into a frenzy of motivation and positivity is no problem for me.  It's the sticking and staying when things get tough.  Or progress is slow.   Or when I'm in a challenge and "keeping up" for awhile, but then starting to fall away when others are making more progress and sticking to their convictions in a way that I can't seem to muster.  There is a fine line between getting fired up and inspired by others' accomplishments and feeling defeated when it seems everyone else is "doing better" in some way.

I need to keep my focus on myself first and foremost.  How many times have you heard a successful weight loss blogger, or a celebrity like Jennifer Hudson who's had amazing success on Weight Watchers say, "if I can do it, anyone can!"  During a WW commercial last week I heard the voice in my mind reply to Jennifer,"well, not anyone...not me apparently."

It really hit me between the eyes when I became aware of that thought the other day - playing like a taped  message from the depths of my unconscious.  That's what jolted me into this whole taking inventory thing...looking at now vs last year.  Last year I was unknowingly between 2 knee surgeries on Jan 2, but my drive to succeed at weight loss was still in gear - fueled by months of steady success and progress - and losing 28 pounds from the previous summer.  I knew I could do it because I'd been doing it.  But over the months of 2010, my belief in myself deteriorated - out of my awareness - to the point where I was answering Jennifer Hudson that of all the "anyones" out there she knew could do this, I was the one who couldn't.

So my main goal/resolution/intention this January 2 is to affirm myself daily, hourly if needed, that I CAN.  That I WANT to.  That I'm GOING to.  I know I can because I have in the past, and the past is a darn good predictor of the future.


  1. Great post, Leslie. I have also sat here, reading posts that sum up the past year for other bloggers, with a tad bit of disappointment in myself that they had a nice steady progress while I had a yo-yo. The funny thing for me is that I don't think I ever stopped believing in myself. That I could/would turn things around. So I guess that's something:) That past predicting future behavior thing... I used to use that a lot when I taught managers how to interview job candidates. It's a bit scary though since my past... yes, I've lost, but every darn time I've regained. So for me, this is my year to break the cycle and change my story.

    I predict wonderful things for you and me this year. Wonderful things. And if nothing else, we'll enjoy the company along the way:) Thanks for your support and friendship.

  2. Thank you also for this post. I'm always a little embarrassed that I could think, blog and even try a little and end up the same weight as the year before. But I also never stopped believing that I will eventually get to where I want to be. This is our year.

  3. This is an excellent post. I just discovered your blog today and am very glad I did. I look forward to following you in the coming year.

  4. Your honesty is motivation to so many of us (I say "us" bcs I know I cannot be the only one).

    I just know you are NOT going to be writing the same thing come Jan. 2 of 2012! You are going to be writing "Look how far I've come-I can't believe it. And it's true...If I can do it ANYONE can!"

    We'll never stop following you Leslie. You are stuck with us through uhm, "thick n' thin"!

    We are going to make it to the end! Of this I am confident :)

  5. yep. It's the sticking to it when the going gets tough that is the thing.

    This year, Leslie, this year--no matter what--we're going to stick to it.

    There's a blogger you might like if you haven't already come across her. Her name is Beth and her blog is Obesity Strike. You can find her thru comments she has left on my blog.

    She has a way with words and is determined to beat food addiction.

    One day at a time, girlfriend.


  6. "...the past is a darn good predictor of the future."

    I agree! That's why when I started, with a history of try/fail/try/fail/try/fail.... I had to build a "new history" in order to start believing in myself.

    With each little victory, I was building a New History that I could look at and say "I did it there". And slowly it built, so that I finally DID have something to look at, that could inspire me to continue, even at the times I flubbed up.

    Wonderful, thought-provoking post. I am glad you are forging ahead this New Year, and keeping your focus on YOUR journey. That's what I'm trying to do, too.

    To our success,

  7. You always know how to get to the heart of the matter my friend. So, I ask you... will power or willingness or both?

  8. Your last paragraph is POWERFUL!

  9. That Jennifer Hudson kills me! I joined and failed at WW for 12 miserable years before I finally went to OA. I cheated and cheated and binged on the foods they allowed but I really couldn't go near. Funny enough, I still use WW points for my food plan in OA with no problem at all at 10 years and 23 weeks of abstinence! There's a difference there, though! Hmmmm. Oh yeah, I'm not doing it anymore. I accepted I couldn't do it. The ability came in surrender. :)

    Happy New Year, Leslie!

  10. I have a hard time not comparing myself to others in a lot of areas. Funny story - I dressed correctly for our very cold run on Sunday morning. I knew I had on the right amount of layers. But when I got to my running club and saw how many MORE layers most people were wearing, I instantly started doubting myself and KNEW I would be freezing on the run. I wasn't...but I hate doing that to myself.

    Not-so-funny-story: Shortly after I started my blog, another 40-something woman began blogging her weight loss. She was nice and left me great comments, and I liked reading about her diet and adventures. Well, she blasted through 100 pounds in less than a year, while I was plodding along. Talk about comparing yourself to someone else's progress! I had so much negative talk and self-doubt going on in my head - why was SHE able to lose her weight so quickly and I wasn't? What was I doing wrong? I'll NEVER get there! Oh, it was not pretty.

    So I guess I said all that to say that you are definitely not alone with "those" feelings, and I'm glad you are re-directing yourself to the positive self-affirmations. You've got this, you really do.

  11. Good for you Leslie. It's a part of this journey I tend to forget about too. We will make great progress this year my friend!

  12. Power on one level and willingness on another?
    You are strong, and have both!
    Affirmations are great - I sometime do them by the minute....
    Not just by the hour or the day.....
    Can't hurt, right?

  13. Yep, its hard comparing yourself to anyone else, and that's including yourself!

    Just take each day as it comes Leslie - I think if you only focus on the one day ahead of you, your not likely to get as overwhelmed!

    Hugs and Happy New Year!

  14. Excellent post with a great message for us all.
    NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.It's much easier said then done but liberating once accomplished.

  15. Dear Mom,

    If you doubt youself for a single second, I hope you know that I never do. I know you can. You are the toughest person I know. It may sound strange coming from me, but I am so proud of you and so proud to have you for a mother. I brag about you to people.

    I love you so much and feel so lucky that you´re my mom.


  16. Leslie - that was truly an awesome post. I think the realization that this is about us - not anyone else is the biggest. I am the blogger that avoided my blog and put on 30 pounds in 2010 (many reasons only one was viable). But I look forward to a new year (only cause it is) with a remewed faith in myself. I know that as some point I will be face down in a bowl of chips and that I will pick myself up, dust myself off and continue on with good choices the next day.

    Here's to you - I have missed your fabulous posts.

  17. Nothing is going to happen if you just sit there after the analyzing is complete. I bet you're reflecting on the last couple of months that has really been a frenzy for a lot of us. We have a new beginning now and it's time to get excited. You made a lot of good points about only comparing yourself to yourself. I never thought of doing that but I'm sure there were things you were proud up and can use as a springboard. Whatever it takes, take the first step and whatever you do keep writing and get those feeling out. We're all cheering you on to see the results we all want to see in you and in ourselves (but no to compare :)


  18. You are so amazing Leslie. I see good things are coming for you this year!

  19. Leslie, thanks for dropping by my blog, good to have your comments. Finally, the leftover greens, blackeyed peas, and pork are gone and I can get serious about eating more healthy! And I agree it makes no sense to compare ourselevs to others in terms of how much weight lost, how fast they lose it, etc. I do, however, like to read about the approach of other bloggers and compare it to mine to see if there's something I want to add/adjust to what I do.

  20. I have a feeling this is going to be a REALLY good year, don't you? ;)

  21. I just had to come by and say how I loved your comment on my post today - if you lived closer Hannah would be at your house tomorrow to organize! :D


  22. Love to have found your blog too, Leslie. There are so many good ones that I don't even know about; I'm so glad people stop by and let me know they are out there :)
    Your post is very timely, especially during my current challenges that I have going on (in public on my own blog, nonetheless). I think as long as we are truly doing our best and KEEP moving forward, we will succeed. Thank you for sharing this, and I'm looking forward to doing some back reading as well. Lovely blog!

  23. really good post
    as you said - IT has to come from within - linking to this next week - fits in well with a post I already have started.