Written on 12th November.
I had the most wonderful visit from my very dear friend this weekend. It wasn’t wonderful because it was full of really exciting activities or going out on the town or getting roaringly drunk (we did get through a fair amount of Prosecco that said). It was wonderful because mostly we just stayed in and talked. But we really talked.
My friend is a trainee counsellor and an extremely wise and intelligent one. We talked about NATs (negative automatic thoughts). These are thoughts that we have that negatively interpret the information around us and they become habitual, creating pathways in our brains that constantly lead us to the same negative thoughts and feelings.
They create associations and behaviours in our minds that hold us back, make us stressed, anxious, over eat, drink etc. I tried to identify what my most common NATs are. After a while of talking and thinking about this I realised that my ultimate definition of myself is ‘fat’.
I assume that everyone who ever knows me, loves me or meets me identifies me primarily as fat. When you think of how you identify yourself at the core, are you an artist? A runner? A gardener? An activist? Blonde? Rich? Successful? Or something else? Something entirely negative?
But of course, we don’t think of others around us in these simplistic ways, and certainly not in such negative terms as fat, ugly, old, spotty. We are ultimately our harshest critics, unable to view ourselves as those who love us do (I am talking about those who struggle with self esteem here, if you are able to love yourself and think incredibly positively about yourself and your identity-great, you’re doing it right!).
And so, if everyone around me definitely doesn’t think I’m just a fat waste of space, then I am the only thing standing in my way. The odds are stacked in my favour and against my being overweight. I don’t have a physical disability like ME or muscular dystrophy, which might make exercise a challenge. I’m not so poor that I can’t afford a gym membership or good nutritious food of my choosing. I don’t have an under active thyroid or polycystic ovaries which can make hormonal changes in your body a big challenge for weight maintenance. I don’t have a fussy palate that means I only like MacDonalds and pizza. I don’t have a massively busy schedule and three kids to cook for and no time to do it in.
I have literally no excuses or barriers to getting healthy. Only me.