Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tale of the Scale 5/22

Weight on the scale this morning: 133#

I am deeply happy today. I have been since early in walking Bay to Breakers on Sunday.

Most of the rest of this post is not going to be pretty; if you hold on to the end, though, I think you'll find a light at the end. But if you're having a bad day, or a bad week.. just skip this. It will be here when you're in a better place to read it.


I was raised in an abusive household.

No, I was not physically beaten nor was I sexually abused. My father was emotionally absent most of the time; when he did contribute anything, it was to suggest that I settle for what I have as long as I am not UNHAPPY (Happy? Too high a goal to aim for). My mother emotionally and verbally abused me from the time I was little until she could not longer speak about 10 years ago.

What's this got to do with getting healthy?

When I venture in any activity where I might make positive changes in life, the old "scripts" from my childhood come back and play in head. Trying to defeat me. Daring me to ignore them and succeed.

And if you check back over the past two months of these Tales, you will read me saying I've grown complacent. What I really mean is that I reached the half way point to my goal. And I was no longer unhappy with my body. Not happy, but not unhappy. My father's lessons have been ringing loudly in ears:

If you look at your body first thing in the morning and you are not unhappy with its appearance, why not simply settle for where you are? Why work any harder to lose more? And, why, for goodness sake pay someone to teach you how to exercise? If you can't do that for yourself, maybe you shouldn't be trying at all.

Settle for what you've got. Why risk trying to be successful at something? It's not like it will get you more money (the standard by which every worthwhile activity is judged. Will it make you more money?) Accomplishments for their own sake are vain-glorious exercises.
So my exercise and eating right routine has been waged against this nearly constant rhythm inside my head.

Settle. You are not unhappy.

Why work so hard?
Signing up for Bay to Breakers (walking in my first race) was another huge challenge to the ways things have been. I did about the same time I hit the half-way point. The script from my father got louder.

Settle. You are not unhappy.

Still I persisted. This past weekend my mother's voice decided to chime in because it looked like I was going to succeed inspite of my background.

You are a worthless whore!

You are a not unhappy worthless whore. Why bother to work any harder??

My mother's voice almost succeeded in making sure that I did not make it Sunday. How could a not unhappy worthless whore try to accomplish a simple task like walking 7.5 miles across a city with thousands of other people?

Yet Sunday morning I got up on time. I ate my oatmeal and banana. I got dressed. I drove to BART and joined a trainful of other people who were going to walk 7.5 miles across a city. Happy, worthwhile people.

I followed them to find my staging area, waited and eventually stepped over the START line.
As I walked through the city, it felt like a 50 pound weight flew up off my shoulders. My mother shut up! My father shut up!

I took back my power from the negative thoughts.

And I was suddenly so very deeply happy.

And I still am.