I made the mistake of weighing myself just now – a day early, midday, after meals, drinks and fully clothed. I was dismayed to find that a full week of stringent low-carbing and the scale had barely budged. An overwhelming rush of emotions washed through me: From frustration – “What’s the use? At this age, with my crazy hormones, I’ll never be able to lose weight like I used to!” to anger – “I can’t believe I spent all this time and work on this, for nothing!” to despair – “I’m always going to be this same fat, ugly, unloved and unloveable hideous hosebeat; I should just admit that my life is over.”
Ok, so, there’s a big jump in logic going on there, but really, what is logical about our emotions?
I need to debunk these beliefs in order to defeat the negative thinking. The one that stands out to me the most right now is the final one, because that is the one that is obviously teeming over with the most anger and hurt, and those are the emotions which provoke such strong urges to comfort eat and give up.
“I’m always going to be this same fat, ugly, unloved and unloveable hideous hosebeat; I should just admit that my life is over.”
There’s a lot of faulty logic there.
First, and most important is that my being a “fat, ugly, hideous hosebeat,” has anything to do with being “unloved and unloveable.” Yes, the past year spent on online dating sites and reading on a message board aimed at men’s issues have brought to light the depressing fact that, for men, appearance is practically the Number 1 criterion for even considering going out with someone. Oh, the complaints from the men came fast and furious how the only women on dating sites were land whales and heifers, gold-diggers and whores. Although the feedback on my appearance that I, personally, got back from the men I date was positive and often flattering, I’m sure that if I were x pounds slimmer and fitter, there might be a wider range in people showing an interest in me.
Logically, I do understand that whatever unhappiness I have will not magically disappear once I lose weight. I can go from being overweight and feeling unloved and unloveable to being thin and feeling unloved and unloveable. It’s obvious that I have to dig deeper, down to the source of my unhappiness and try to deal with the source.
Yeah, but this is where things get entangled.
I feel that loneliness is the root of my unhappiness.
And that brings us back to the point above. For most of my life I have lacked that romantic relationship. Although I was married, ours turned into a loveless marriage not long into it, long before we separated. Since then, my relationships have been based on sexual attraction alone. Oh sure, some of them may have tossed around the L-word, but it was never the real thing.
It’s left me feeling that there must be something about me that is fundamentally unloveable. Maybe it is something outside of my weight, some essential flaw of my character. It’s impossible to tell.
But about the weight, I’m afraid I had been getting ahead of myself. I was envisioning a minimum 2-pound weight loss per week, and imagining how I’d feel in a few weeks and then months when I would be slimmer and fitter, and how then I’d feel finally worthy of the dating scene again, and would be rewarded with the Love of My Life…. Then this barely-there movement of the scale today was like the Universe saying, “NOPE. Not for you, honey.”
Sometimes it feels as though despite all my efforts, all my hard work, the Universe’s homeostatic mechanisms keep dragging me back to my starting point. The point that I can never escape. Then I think: What if it NEVER gets better? What if this IS as good as it gets? THIS is my life now. And that is extraordinarily depressing.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how just the simple act of stepping on a scale can cause me to go from 0 to full-on anxiety in the matter of a few minutes.