A Vision of Me

Today, I am dreaming of white sandy beaches.  Parasailing and snorkeling.  And swimming with dolphins.  I’m dreaming of lounging on a chair (owned by an all-inclusive resort) while sunning myself next to J.  I can feel the heat radiating from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  And when the sun is too much, I just pop the umbrella up for a few minutes of shade.  My iPad is in my hand as I read book after book.  I’m hearing the kids squeal as they run into the water and back to create the moats for their sand castles.

And I’m smiling.  Because in my dream, I’m loose-skin-free and able to just enjoy my time in the sun and sand.  In my dream, I slipped on a swimsuit and grabbed my towel.  I didn’t worry about how to cover my saggy thighs or skin-rolls on my stomach.
And this dream is reminding me of all the reasons I want to stay on track until my surgery.  And then after of course, but especially up until then.  In my head, here is on track:
• Eating small meals frequently – meals that involve minimally processed foods
• Not eating at restaurants – like rarely to NEVER
• Keeping water nearby constantly and remembering to drink it
• Moving as much as possible – minimizing the time I sit on my ass
• Cardio 5 days per week and strength training 3 days per week – and learning to seamlessly integrate it into my schedule so it isn’t a chore
• Trusting my body to do its thing even when the scale and/or measuring tape is not showing progress
Heard this before?  That’s because I’m like the Broken Record Queen.  But I have learned something in my journey: you have to keep trying.  You can’t go into something believing that it won’t work because it hasn’t the last 55 times you tried.  You make necessary alterations and keep on truckin’.  (How many times do you think I went to bed vowing that I had just smoked my last cigarette only to lose all resolve by morning?  Yeah, countless times.  And then one day I quit, and I haven’t looked back.)
My current alterations include a fast-approaching surgery date and the knowledge that I can’t do this half-ass.  I can’t allow myself to just let it flow because I don’t lose weight that way.  I need to be thinking about the things I’m putting in my mouth constantly.  Obsessive?  Definitely.  And I wish it could be different.  I wish I could be part of that movement on Facebook that screams that you just have to “eat the food” (Go Kaleo) and stay active.  I want to be there.  But I’m not yet.  I’m still a binger who mostly lounges around if I have nothing I have to do.  I’m a work in progress.
It’s funny because now I feel like I have all these new problems.  Instead of just being able to fix my bad habits, I feel guilty for feeling like I should fix them.  I want to love myself just as I am, and if I want to make changes then I’m somehow failing at that.  So I have to separate it in my head.  I am beautiful and capable right now.  I am not a failure if I never lose another pound.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t work hard to have the body I’ve been imagining for years.  Because what I have to offer the world and the body I have are two very separate things.  I won’t become any better of a person by removing the skin or reducing my waist.  Maybe that’s the message?
I’m a badass because of the things I do, not because of the way I look?  Of course that goes for all of you as well.
I got a little sidetracked but I think about it every time I go to post something.  There’s this fine line that I’m walking.  In the end, we all want to have healthy habits and a body that reflects them.  But it’s easy to get lost in the diet world.
So let’s be clear – no where in my list up there do you see anything about dieting.  I feel like my goals are fair and healthy.  I need to eat less calories to lose than I do to maintain.  That’s a given for me.  That’s not the same as starving myself or even severely restricting.  I’ve already learned this weekend that if I don’t eat enough, my body quickly lets me know by dishing out a sudden stiff neck and an intense pressure that surrounds my head.  And it stays firmly put until I both eat more food and drink more water.  It’s odd, but I guess it’s my body’s way of reminding me that I can’t eat too little.
Back to my original point.  I have three months before surgery.  And as much as I want to tell myself that my size doesn’t matter, it does.  It really does.  And I don’t know any woman that doesn’t understand that.  So I’m not sorry for feeling that way.  But mostly I know that if I stay “on track” and treat my body right for the next 3 months, then I’ll be proud of myself.  I need to do that for me.  I need to prove to myself that I can follow my own plan.  I need to prove that I’m in control.  My laziness is not.  That is always what gets me – my laziness.  
So my dream of myself on the white sandy beach?  It’s a reminder to get off my ass.  It’s a reminder to choose foods that fuel and not ones that satisfy only my taste buds.  It’s a reminder that a momentary pleasure is only worth it if it doesn’t hinder my long term plan.  It’s a reminder of the girl I was 3 years ago.  She took a leap of faith and trusted that the girl I am today would take her hard work and nurture it.  I can’t let that girl down.  She believed in me.