I read a lot of weight loss blogs and the comments of other readers often, usually on a daily basis. There is a recurrent issue that I see pop up and it has recently begun to bug me - like, make me want to write long comments and risk the wrath of other commenters who think I am being mean and awful and uncaring. Well, damn it, this is MY blog and I am just going to say this stuff because it helps ME - if you don't like what I say, well - it's been nice having you visit.
So here's the issue... Why, if we are here to help each other, do I read so many comments that actually ENABLE destructive eating and inaction toward reaching goals? For example - One blogger that I read often is really having a struggle with "getting back on track." She is intentionally overeating and is gaining back her weight - slowly, but it's happening. She continues to spiral, though she claims to remain positive in the face of her own ruthless self-sabotage. The comments are positive, of course - supportive and loving, to some degree. But nobody says what needs to be said. Instead, people suggest that she should take time to find out WHY she is doing this to herself. Strip your soul bare, figure out what makes you want to overeat, analyze your feelings and somehow, that is going to make this woman completely change her life patterns and stop trashing herself. My question is, does it really matter WHY she is doing it? To me, the answer is to STOP doing it, not become stagnant as you wallow around in the mire of feelings and emotions. Those nasty things will adhere to your ankles and keep pulling you under until you just give up the fight. Taking a stand against yourself is a lot harder than simply giving in and letting the waves of self-pity and doubt drown you.
Now before you start calling me a big ol' bitch, just consider this - Sometimes we really NEED someone to say "Snap out of it and stop feeling sorry for yourself." And sometimes, that someone HAS to be us - because nobody else is going to give us the cold, hard truth - at least not in your blog comments. A really good friend MIGHT do it but even then... usually not. I believe that we don't give that cold truth to people because we don't want to hear it ourselves. We want life to be nice and simple and wow, if only I find out WHY I make such screwed up decisions by reading the right book or getting the right therapist or joining the right group or finding the right religious belief THEN I will have the answer and all will suddenly be RIGHT. I will be FIXED. And then life will be PERFECT. It's just another pipe dream, though - just because you find out WHY you act a certain way is not going to stop you from acting that way.
I know this from experience because I am an alcoholic and have been living with this internal fight for a very long time. WHY I drink or WHY I am an alcoholic, while important, is not what keeps me from drinking. I've known why I am an alcoholic for many, many years but that did not stop me from nearly destroying my entire life and the lives of others around me. I have to actively make choices to take care of myself every single day and that requires work - it requires accountability, responsibility, and discipline. Because I tell you, if I just sat around wondering why I was a lush all the time (and I did, for YEARS) I would just keep getting drunk. Thinking too much is what keeps alcoholics drinking - at least this alcoholic. I KNOW that I drink because of things that happened to me in the past but I can't dwell on those things if I am going to live a good life. I acknowledge those things but I don't waste time hanging out with them. Action (and a lot of prayer) is how I get out of myself and my feelings. Feelings are not facts - that has been a hard lesson for me and one that I have to keep re-digesting.
For me, the weight loss process is very similar to my alcoholism because I am an emotional eater. I eat to escape my feelings, just like I drink to escape feelings. I don't see the two being very different, at least for me. So when I see people advising others to sit and ponder their weight problem or why they are sabotaging themselves or whatever, I just get the urge to scream "Stop now, before your life passes you by!" Don't think about it too long or before you know it, you will be 40, 50, 60, 70, whatever and the best years of your life will have been spent on examining the WHY, without taking action toward the WHY NOT. Don't stagnate - don't be caught in analysis paralysis. Take ACTION. And you just might find, as I have, that a lot of the WHY is actually discovered during action.
Have a great week, everyone.