games fat girls play.

February 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When I played sports in high school, coaches frequently spit clichés at us in response to our constant whining and complaining.  (Looking back if I was coaching a bunch of 16 year old girls more interested in tanning and prom than in passing the ball, I think I’d start spitting clichés if for no other reason that it would stop the expletives from falling out).  One of the clichés heard most was that “sports are 10 percent physical and 90 percent mental.”  The same can be said of weight loss and when I think back over all my failed weight loss attempts, it was never my body that physically failed.  My body has always responded to my behavior, which is controlled by my mind.  This made me start to re-examine all the mind games I’ve played with myself and that I know from lurking the internet that others have played as well.

1.  Is she bigger than me? This game can be played in any social situation where women are involved.  It can be played solo or alone and involves comparing the width of your body to that of any other woman in the room.  The thinnest wins.  The loser will win the consolation prize of playing “well I may be bigger but that means my boobs are bigger” because, you know, why should the fun stop at the is she bigger than me edition?

2.  Numbers. 136.  My weight in both seventh and eighth grade.  145.  The weight on my first driver’s license.  158.  The weight during my very first WW weigh in.  132.  My final weight during that first WW run.  (It was a good run there, wasn’t it?)  148.  My weight at the end of my freshman year of college.  176.  My weight on my 21st birthday.  205.  My weight after a vacation in 2007.  173.  My weight at my college graduation…and so on and so forth.  I can’t remember my college GPA to save my life for job applications, but yet I can rattle off my weight from 12 years ago like I’m ordering from a chinese menu board.

3.  Calculations. I’ll admit to you that I work in finance and thus am surrounded by numbers and calculations constantly.  Most of the time I need my calculator or MS Excel.  But if I’m playing this game, I can do it just about anytime or anywhere, including while having conversations with other people or even drunk.  This is the “if I started losing xx lbs per week, then I would weigh xx by this date” game.  “If I engaged in xx behavior, including then I could lose xx a week.”  Using common sense, I should know that these statements do not follow the SMART goal-setting technique…or really any goal-setting technique unless I was vying for a quick trip down eating disorder lane.

4.  When I weigh xx. This game is reminiscent of making a Christmas list.  “When I weigh xx lbs, then I’ll start to do/wear/go/see/date/insert any verb used in living life here.”  Instead of recognizing that you as a person have value and should be respected, you obsess over your weight to the point that you think you’re undeserving of living the best of life.

So how do you fix this?  In the book, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author is trying to explain that she can’t get her mind to stop running.  It’s constantly moving and in directions that are upsetting to her.  When she explains this to a friend, he tells her that the mind is like a child with a toy.  Take the toy away from it and give it something else to think about.  Of course, this is much harder said than done.  I find this approach to be useful but when it just doesn’t work I find myself thinking back on something a counselor once told me…”it’s hard to respect your body and expect it work with you when you’re always waging a battle on it.”  That always stops me and reminds me to love myself.  But it sure is hard sometimes.

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