Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Saboteur

Okay, so it's been 11 days since my last blog post. Ugh. Can't believe I've been away that long. Life has just been so stinking busy lately.

I'll start back with last weekend's weigh in. I gained 6/10ths of a pound. Which took me back out of the 100 pound club. But I wasn't that concerned with it. I knew something like that was going to happen. I was just thankful that I didn't gain a couple of pounds. Whew!

Then at yesterday's weigh in, I lost 2/10ths of a pound. So I'm still 2/10ths away from the 100 pounds, but again, I'm not worried.

Normal me would be panicking. Normal me would be saying "what the heck!?". Normal me would be lamenting over every little thing I did or didn't do to take me away from my glorious 100 pound loss.

So what do I mean by normal me?? That's the "normal" me I've made myself into for the past 25+ years.

I've learned so much about me and the way my mind works over the past few months. I've learned so much about myself once I found out that I was sabotaging my weigh loss efforts but more importantly when I found out WHY I was sabotaging myself.

Have you guys watched the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock move called Saboteur? Robert Cummings plays this guy, Barry Kane, who was unintentionally framed for a terrorist attack. He was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time and suddenly the whole country was looking for him for causing a massive fire at an airplane manufacturing plant (during war time) that caused the death of his best friend.

I remember when he first found out that the cops were looking for him because they suspected he started the fire and intentionally caused the death of his friend by handing him a fire extinguisher that was filled with fuel. He was completely shocked. The look on his face was that of a total innocent man.

That was me. Once I found out that I was my own "saboteur", I was shocked. I even denied it for months. No way! I mean, come on! Who in their right mind would intentionally sabotage their incredibly hard weight loss efforts. Shocked is putting it mildly. No way would I do that to myself.

So just like Barry, I took off trying to find out who was responsible for this sabotage. Like his search that took him across country, I started out trying to find out how and why this could happen. I came to the conclusion, at first, that there was no way I could be doing this intentionally. That was the key word—intentionally. I was NOT sabotaging myself intentionally. I wasn't going crazy. I wasn't undermining all my year and a half long efforts. No way.

It was unintentional for sure.

But then, once I made it through the first revelation, kind of like when Barry first found the "big boss" who was responsible for masterminding the factory fire, I had to find a way to bring justice. I had to find a way to understand why exactly I would do this so that I could stop it.

This wasn't easy. It's hard to figure something out when you have no idea what it is your looking for, you know? So I hit the road with Barry Cane and had a lot of good conversations with people who helped me along the way. Like the truck driver who saw Barry (me) as a decent human being who couldn't hurt a fly. Or the blind man who took Barry (me) in and fed us a warm dinner who could tell I had handcuffs on but knew I was innocent. And then I hitched a ride with a traveling circus and found a few friends along the way who would help keep me safe while I was looking for the answers and finally made it back home in time to stop the damage I'd caused. These people I met along my journey were you guys. You each helped me see what I was truly doing.

Now unlike the movie, I did end up being the saboteur. In the movie, Barry Cane ended up bringing the culprits to justice. But for me, I ended up bringing myself in for trial and sentencing. I cross examined myself (many self-examining blog posts) and brought in a jury of my peers (you guys) to help me see what was really going on.

The verdict?

Deep down, I felt like I wasn't worthy of being thin.

I've been overweight since my senior year in high school (1983/84). I've been obese since I came home from the hospital after having my daughter (who just turned 20 last month). I've been fat for 26 years. That's over 60% of my life. It's just about all I've ever known. So over those 26 years, I've learned how to hide behind my fat. I've talked before about how I have a hard time standing in line at the grocery store because inevitably the person in front of me will turn around and look at me as soon as I walk up behind them. I didn't want them looking at me. I was fat. I was disgusting. Turn around and mind your own business! Or how I would always bring my hand up over my face when I'd cross in front of a line of cars when I'd turn left at the light. I didn't want them to see my fat face. I was always so embarrassed about the fat. I hid inside my fat suit. I hid so no one would see me.

But then, once my fat suit started to disappear, suddenly I had no where to hide any more. Now what was I going to do? I was in a panic! So the only thing I could think of was to stop this weight loss thing so I could still be over weight and still have somewhere I could hide.

So I made every excuse in the book for the reasons I wasn't losing. I would talk about how frustrated I was. I'd say "I don't understand why I'm not losing when I'm doing everything I should be". Boy, what a bunch of hooey! I was not. I was still on plan, sure. But I splurged like crazy! But only a little here and a little there so it wouldn't look like I was falling completely off the wagon. I would splurge just enough so no one would notice and so I would stop losing my comfortable fat suit.

It was a masterful plan. I just never realized I had hatched the plan or that I had implemented it. I surely didn't realize that I was pulling it of beautifully!

But now I see it. And now, when I only lose 2/10ths of a pound or if I gain 6/10ths of a pound, I can say to myself, honestly, I am not doing what I need to to lose weight. I am only getting out of it what I put into it. That honest look is so refreshing.

Now I can look at myself as thin (even though I've still got 10-30 lbs left to lose). I can say, I'm thin and I'm happy with that. I don't need to hide inside of myself any longer. Now, I am the one who looks behind me in line at the grocery store and says hi. I am the one who doesn't even think twice about all those people who see me pass in front of them at the red light. I'm the one who can eat in the car and know that no one is disgusted by it. I can tuck my shirt in to my jeans and not be mortified that someone might see my fat roll (which by the way is almost gone),

I am proud of my new body. I am no longer a saboteur...

I am a winner.

And I'm proud of it, too.

I hope my words here can help someone out there who's going through the same thing I did. It makes all my pain worth it, you know?
P.S. the movie ended with this spectacular chase to the top of the Statue or Liberty where Barry single-handedly caught the bad guy, just minutes before he accidentally fell to his death (the bad guy) by sliding off the torch of Lady Liberty. Was a spectacular scene (for 1942). You should put this movie on your list of great ones to watch.

On a slightly different note, check it out... I'm spotlighted as Blogger of the Week on Fitago. Woo hoo!! =D


Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Very thought provoking post, Cara.

Congrats again on all your success.

screwdestiny said...

Great post. It's so awesome that you figured out what you were doing and you're ready to go full force ahead on your journey.

jinxxxygirl said...

You give me alot to think about Cara. I'm so glad you facing and conquering your demons. JInx!

Lori said...

What a great post - and you are a winner!

spunkysuzi said...

Figuring out why we treat ourselves the way we do is one of the hardest things!! Congrats :)

Miz said...

its these ah ha! moments which SO propelled me onward in all aspects of my life.

Great post and applicable to weight loss, sure, but to much much more in life as well.

Lake Mary WWLeader said...

Bravo and well spoken. Please keep up the good work!

MaryFran said...

Whew! That is a post and a half! Very well written and so perfect for me. As I was reading I was able to identify and say, "Yes I've done taht! I've been a sabateur!"

Thank you very much!

Tena said...

Thank you, Cara, for this post! I, too, have hidden myself in my fat suit and tried to be invisible. I think I've been my own saboteur for too long but change is hard. Reading this helps me so much.

Marisa (Trim The Fat) said...

So true, Cara, so true!

Lisa said...

You ARE a winner!

Jerzy said...

Wow - so much to think about. I'm also class of 84 - and been overweight since high school. I was a champion Shot Putter back then - so the weight wasn't really an issue. My oldest is only 12 - so I had a later start - but I'm still hiding. I lost 75 lbs 2 years ago - and then I realized I was almost under 200 lbs - and wham - I'm back at 240. Did it to myself. Your post opened my eyes as to why - it wasn't because I quit my WW meeting, it was because I was scared to be thin. Thanks for sharing such a personal post.

Mama Bear June said...

Wonderful, thoughtful post. Two-tenths of a pound is a really small amount! I know you'll be back under that 100lb mark soon.

I love Hitchcock movies. I don't think I've seen that one, though. Will have to look for it. So applicable to being our own saboteurs at weight loss.
Path to Health

JC said...

Cara, I read this post just when I needed it most. I've realized the I am my own saboteur as well. It seems that I punish myself with food. I live a blessed life and why I do this I don't know. This post is really a help to let me know I'm not alone. Thanks.

Georgia Mist said...

I wish you the very best of success on your weight-loss journey! You CAN do it!

SeaShore said...

Been missing you. Hope all is well!

Jessica said...

You shouldn't call it the 'normal you'. You should try to acknowledge it is the OLD you. You are new and improved these days, and super empowered, and awesome. Ya. From now on when you talk about what you would have done in the past, you should look at that way.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! We (obese people) are all saboteurs. That's how we got this way. As I posted about on Sunday, it's all about figuring out what our weight is saying FOR us. Going inside, doing the dirty emotional work to figure out why we are the way we are. Until we do, it's going to be impossible to become a normal, healthy weight.

I really like your style; when I have more time, I'll be back to read up on you! :)