Friday, August 21, 2009

Defining Ourselves

This subject, these thoughts, have been on my mind for quite awhile, but the inspiration to write about it has been absent until Mark read me a blogpost written by MC,, I thought "Damn, she beat me to it!' lol! Seriously though, she wrote about the subject at least a week ago, and, still, I'm just now sitting down to write my thoughts about it. Defining who we are, defining who I am.

When I first started to blog I was new to this "successful" weightloss stuff, and I say "successful" because there was no doubt in my mind I would be able to maintain my new found health and fitness. No doubt because I had made permanent changes in my attitude towards food and training. I will always prepare most of my own foods, and I will always swing a kettlebell....period. Those are two things that absolutely reflect a part of who I am and what I do, but do they qualify as a "definition" of what and who I am? When I was 250lbs. I never defined myself by how much I weighed, I knew I was so much more than what my physical body reflected and I wrote about it. I wrote about how I knew I was talented, smart, pretty, lucky, sucessful, capable, etc., but what I didn't write is how being more than 100lbs overweight was, in fact also, part of what defined me. (hard to admit) How could it not? I was a person, living parts of my physical life letting myself, allowing myself, to try and control how I felt by overeating.....good Lord, is it still part of what defines me?

MC writes, "What if we define ourselves as lean, and we get fat?" Or how about defining ourselves as fat and then getting lean? I never saw myself as a "fat person", although I joke about having a "fat girl" mentality.....or a "former fat girl" mentality. It always surprised me when I saw my fat reflection in a mirror or window because I never saw myself that way, even though as far back as I can remember I was always "chubby", so it wasn't like I had been a "thin" person and then I got fat....physically, I was always that way. But not on the inside.

It occured to me recently that I'm more bothered by weighing 140lbs than I was weighing 250lbs! Are you kidding? When did that happen? For so long it was no problem for me to maintain weighing around 130lbs, and then something happened.....I had defined myself as the woman that successfully lost over I was the woman that lost only I feel less special? Yes. Why? Because I don't see my 120lbs weightloss, I see my 10lb weight gain, there's nothing special about gaining weight.....uncontrolably gaining weight. Do I feel like I failed? At times. Why am I so embarrassed and ashamed? Because, once again, I can't hide the fact that I'm not perfect......I'm wearing my imperfections for everyone to see......and judge. But no one is judging.....just me. When did I turn into such a critical bitch? Some of the people that know me would probably say that I've always been a critical bitch, lol....but I'm critical because that's how I feel towards myself.

During yoga the other day, in savasana, the teacher said "don't judge yourself", and I questioned her to myself, 'You mean right now, or all the time? Because I judge myelf all the time.....I may be able to let it go right now, for the moment, about judging my yoga pratice, but to not judge myself the other 23 hours, 59 minutes of the day is going to be hard.'.

Last year I admitted that my blogging had become less regular because I was "hiding out"...trying to hide the fact that I had gained some weight. This past year it became worse because I had lost the extra 5-10lbs, only to gain it back, plus a couple more. There's lots of reasons why my body weighs what it weighs. Sure, I eat more food than it takes to maintain a lower bodyweight, I believe that's the #1 reason....calories in, calories out. But something else is going on here.....

Of all the things that I feel define who I am, who Tracy is, I may only be able to remind myself of those things by first reflecting on who I know I'm not. And who I know I'm not is the number on the scale....easy to say, hard to feel, because I am, in actuality, particially at least, physically a reflection of the number on the scale. Maybe the question isn't 'what defines you?', but 'what makes you feel special?' Why is 250lbs not special? 250lbs wasn't special when I weighed 250lbs, but now, when I recognize how lucky I was to have had the experience because of the things I learned, and the compassion and understanding it gave me I can look back on it as special. Why is 140lbs not special? Well, 140lbs may be special if I find myself weighing 150lbs......but why do I feel like I have to lose something before I appreciate it for it's "specialness"? Who decides what or who is special? We do. Not our parents, not our friends and certainly not strangers.....we do. Part of what makes us all special is the ability to define, and then redefine ourselves, to re-invent who we want to be, and become something different.....or not. We lay down the history of our lives, chapter by chapter......or blogpost, by blogpost, lol!

I've always known I was special and I believe that everyone feels the same way....really I do.

Enough for now.


fawn said...

I can't wait to see you in person! I miss you so much, I miss our conversations.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm counting the days....I'm so bummed that we weren't on the schedule this last spring....(can you believe I said "we"....I mean Mark. of course, lol!)

Lots of stuff going on and much to catch up with. Good thing we'll be there twice.