Brain Window on the Importance of Moderate Self Elevation

My head’s been in a funny place re: food relations recently, so it’s time for a brainwindow.

More pints of frozen yogurt, cookies, cereal, and candy have made their way into my body recently than are completely necessary. I used to not have a tough time turning down these foods at all, but recently there’s been a lot of, “well, Sarah, if you eat it now, you won’t continue to crave it and eat more crap later. Might as well eat that and get it out of your system!”

Now, at first that makes sense, right? But it’s actually complete bullshit. As a fat person, I have a history of being excellent at justifying things, and as an english major, I have a history of being excellent at convincing myself that if something is justifiable, it’s probably the best path to take. But that’s another issue.

On the side of my fridge, I keep a (quite neglected) list of potential future blog posts, and “Brain Window” has been on it for a while now. Whenever “Brain Window” appears on that list, it’s because I know my head needs a bit more attention to that I normally grant it. This time, I wrote “Brain Window” down intending to uncover the reasons that I haven’t been so consistent at tracking my food or miles moved for the last, oh, month or so. Tracking foods & keeping track of what you put in your body is weight watchers rule #1. In addition to not being consistent about tracking (i have been tracking good days, but the second I think about beer of frozen yogurt, I stop), I haven’t gotten on a scale in quite some time (and I’m probably up about 5 pounds from the all time low). That, I don’t have a problem with. That is fine–I can live a healthy life without the scale, but I can’t live a healthy life feeling like I need to wear blinders whenever I go to the grocery store. The scale will start to move in the right direction when my head starts to move in the right direction. It all comes back to headstuff. All of it.

Last night, when catching up on the Biggest Loser (a show which I enjoy a lot more now that it’s giving a more realistic portrayal of the mental stuff that goes behind losing a freak ton of weight, despite the INCREDIBLY unrealistic (and I’d potentially argue unhealthy) viewpoint of weight loss that the show presents to America), I realized that moving forward will require my headspace to actually move backwards. The size 12/14 Sarah has been around long enough that she’s forgotten about the size 24/26 Sarah and the pride that all of those in-between-sized-Sarahs felt about the shrinking/healthitizing process.

I need to that love of Fat Sarah and that admiration of Shrinking Sarah to stay present in my head to continue to be Shrinking Sarah, instead of just continuing have the combination of awesome gym sessions and tasty pints of Ben & Jerry’s (it’s only fro-yo because looking at the nutrition info for the real stuff freaks me out) keep me at this current state of Am-I-Treating-My-Body-In-A-Healthy-Way-Or-Not? And maybe it’s because this smaller, stronger body isn’t as new anymore, that it’s easy to forget about the Sarah I used to be.

The Sarah I Used To Be (she's wonderful, but she is quite fat)

A year ago, when I was easily avoiding frozen yogurt (and also shrinking at quite a healthy and pleasing rate), every day I woke up psyched out of my mind about who I was shaping myself to become. I was living by celebrating the life I was giving myself. It was just the most natural thing to feel that pride, because every day, I felt healthier and more excited than I had felt the day prior. It’s that “Holy Crap I am So Awesome, I Can’t Even Stand It” mindspace that I think I need to return to. Don’t worry–when I’m in that mindspace, I don’t go around bragging outwardly–it’s more of a constant inner pride that, I hope, only comes through to the outside world by a constant pleasant demeanor and lack of frozen yogurt stains on my shirt.

It’s way too easy to say “gloating is unattractive” and tear ourselves to pieces at every turn. We’d probably all be a lot less messed up if we allowed ourselves to see who we are and be proud of who we are. So now it’s time to proclaim my greatness. Hope you don’t mind.

Self Elevation

I am amazed with where I’ve come from to be where I am now.
I am amazed with my strength, both of will and of body.
I am proud of what I have learned about how to treat my body.
I am amazed by the person I’ve taken action to become.

All of my weight loss and healthy journey stuff is resultant of my own hard work,value, perseverance, capabilities, etc. If I have the ability to turn my life around like that, I must be pretty amazing.

My body is the one thing that I’ve got for my entire life. My body deserves to be treated like a magnificent entity. It deserves respect. And it deserves the best possible conditions that I can give it.

I am honored to be able to share my journey through this blog and through conversations with others and have an effect on other people’s journeys to healthiness.

I am capable of having a healthy relationship with food. If I’m able to turn my life around from 300+ pound person into the person you see on this blog, I am clearly able to influence change within myself. It’s fine that this is taking a while to work through–it’s totally understandable. For the vast majority of my life, I was eating everything I saw. It’s only been a few years now that I have been paying attention to what I put in my body. But by accepting that it’s going to take a while to continue to change my relationship with food, am I giving myself permission to continue to mindlessly eat during this “transitional” phase? Maybe. So that’s what I’ve got to work on, huh?

But I can use knowledge of the success that I’ve had in reshaping my life to know that I have what is necessary to continue to redefine my relationship with the ice cream and trail mix aisles.

What I Know And Will Remember Every Day

  • Treating my in the most respectful, beautiful, and smartest way possible will put me in the best place I can get. I have control over how I operate my body, and I should use this control to my best ability. 
  • Food is fuel. Some food is less fuel-like and is tasty. My brain is what occasionally wants the un-fuely food. Brains are what, 8 pounds? So 95% of my body is not Brains. So 95% of what I fuel my body with should be the stuff that my body wants, not that my brain wants. So there’s room for fro-yo and chocolate covered pretzels yet! Perfect.
  • I am great and worth the necessary head work that this whole living healthy transformation is requiring.

Hm, brain windowing is powerful stuff. I feel a lot more mentally cemented now.

In other news, I just cooked polenta from scratch and it was super easy & is super delicious.


5 Comments to “Brain Window on the Importance of Moderate Self Elevation”

  1. Sarah:

    How’d you get into MY head?

    Really! Esp the part about forgetting the old me and where I’ve come etc. (But I gained 20# before starting to lose again).

    • I love writing things like this because of comments like this! it’s so funny how so many of the frustrations we’re having with ourselves are ones that other people are also working through!

  2. Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been feeling the last few weeks!
    I need to get tracking and exercising again!

  3. Sarah,
    Loosing weight is hard. Exercising is hard. That’s why most people don’t do those things. But you did!

    I really like the part where you say “95% of what I fuel my body with should be the stuff that my body wants, not that my brain wants.”

  4. Sarah this is a really powerful post – relatable in so many ways to so many people! Thank you on behalf of all of us girls & guys who have been hit with the sudden realization that bodies don’t stay well & maintain good form all on their own – that it takes commitment and dedication. 🙂

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