Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Psyching myself out

I have been "training" for stand up paddle for about 8 months.  I use a Reebok Balance Board and a kayak paddle.  When I got sidetracked due to my injury, my balance suffered immensely.  I have thankfully recovered the balance and feel like I'm about as ready as I can be...physically.

Mentally, I'm a friggin' mess.  I have had crying fits just thinking about doing this.  I know this is something the Mr really wants to do with me and I want to do it for him but I am terrified.  The part that terrifies me is actually getting on the board.  I've watched the Mr's video of him getting on and he fell a few times but you know, the Virgo in me feels like I shouldn't fall or I should do it perfectly the first time.  I am almost paralyzed with fear at the thought of other people watching me attempt to get up or whipping out their phone and ending up a viral video.  I know, that is completely insane to let those things get to me and I would tell someone else in my same situation to not deny themselves or their spouse the happiness of doing something like that together.

I remember when the Mr did the stand up paddle in 2010 and I watched him paddle off with the instructor. I went in the truck and cried not just because of how proud I was of him but how disappointed I was with myself.  I told myself that the next time I went, I would do it for him.  The fact is, I'm not just doing it for him.  I WANT to do it but it's easier to shift the blame to take the heat off of yourself.  I said I wanted to be 250 when I did it and I'm just over 20 lbs away from that so there's excuse #2.  It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of it all because the Mr was just over 300 lbs when he did it so the weight limit isn't a valid excuse.  When we go I will be 100 lbs less than the last time I was there.  Problem is, I sure as hell don't feel 100 lbs lighter than when I was there last.  I feel like I am just as big, just as insecure and just as pathetic.  THAT is where this all stems from.

Then the Mr mentioned snorkeling...one of his favorite things.  A new terror took over me at the thought of going onto a beach in my bathing suit.  I know...what do I give a shit?  I mean really, I don't usually care what people think that I know but I'm going to not do something because a stranger might say something, record it, make some kind of noise at me even though there are people bigger than I am who would be on the beach.  I've cried the whole time I've written this post because I know that even though the Mr says it wouldn't matter to him if I didn't do it, I know it would no matter how many times he says it wouldn't.  I've seen his excitement and he's talked about nothing else when we refer to this trip.  I think of how because of my big, stupid ass last year's anniversary surprise fell through and I'm afraid I'll be writing the same kind of thing at the end of this trip because I'm really not much thinner than I was last year...18 lbs to be exact so yeah, that's not going to make a difference.  (No, my measurements are not different either.  I've lost 2" in my gut in 18 months!)  I'm crying because I get these wonderful emails from people telling me what an inspiration I am and this behavior and the idea of letting you all down is far from inspiring.

So I get to sit here for the next few months in panic mode releasing stress hormones into my system which makes getting more weight off by the trip virtually impossible.  There is no amount of pep talking, reasoning, logic or whatever that gets through to me on this.  I will probably just force myself to do it and people can film me puking all over the instructor.  Then by the time I come back I can be a web star with my own auto-tuned video of me yakking and re-yakking on him.  I'm tired of ruining everything new and different that the Mr and I can finally do because I'm mentally an idiot who feels like she can't just gonad up.  I need to find a way to stop this anticipatory stress because it's not helping to have my heart beating out of my chest or getting dizzy or whatever.  Ugh...I suck.

Have you been in a similar situation?  If so, what activity/event was paralyzing you with fear or doubt?

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27 comments:

  1. I know it is scary but I know you will do great with it. At the same time, there is no pressure. You don't have to do the stand up paddle if you don't want to, but I understand that it is a challenge you are facing and I am here to help if you need it.

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  2. Get your bathing suit out. Wear it. Look at yourself in it. Sit in it, stand up, bend over, see yourself from every angle. Eat in it. Walk and run. And watch yourself do these things. If you are not used to wearing it, you will feel super self-concious and hyper aware in it. If you see yourself in it a lot, it will be a normal thing you wear, and you will feel a million times more confident.

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  3. Oh, you are so not alone (and it's not a "virgo thing" either--I'm capricorn, a notoriously uptight sign).

    What's helping me get over the whole "I'm just going to suck, so I'm not going to even try" thing is to just OWN my suck-titude. Roll up into that new situation and announce "I've never done this before, I'm going to suck at it but. . .well, too bad for all you folks who have to put up with my suckiness."

    It's kind of like making fun of yourself before anyone else can. Take the power back from the situation and OWN IT.

    Does it always work? No. But it does help. And more often than not, I don't suck as badly as I thought I was going to and I'm happy I did it (even if I do end up embarrassing myself).

    And it ALWAYS helps to have someone who cares about you there as a buffer. My spouse frequently leads me into new situations that I'd avoid if I was alone (I'd be a full on hermit if not for my spouse).

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  4. well JUST DO IT....i know u can..come on Anele..u know better...u are just freaking out for no reason Woman....I know u can do this...i like someone's suggestion of wearing ur swim wear and getting used to it!!! I know u will go ahead and do it and have a blast!!!

    Manasa

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  5. I think it's time to just do some deep breathing, look into your mirror and say, I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and dog gone it, people like me. :) Seriously though, you're doing all that you can to prepare, you're not going in without any training or education, and that's a definite plus. Life's too short to sweat it, get in there, give it your best and whatever happens, happens. I've always regretted 100% of the chances I didn't take and sometimes the worst choices make for the best stories! If you don't do it, you'll look back someday and regret not trying. So go for it, hot shot! YOU GOT THIS!

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  6. Oh, hon. :( This is going to be a novel, but I hope it helps.

    I'm stressed about our flight to San Francisco in June. I'm smaller than I was the last time I flew, and the seats are 19.7" wide instead of 17", but I'm still worried. I carry all of my weight in my thighs/butt. I measured two office chairs I'm comfortable in, and they're both 19.5-20", but I'm still worried about all of the "please don't be next to me" looks as we walk down that aisle. My boyfriend will be in the middle seat, so it's not like I have to worry about my thigh touching someone else even if I AM still too wide, but again - I'm scared.

    On the other hand, my boyfriend is facing his intense terror of flying because he really wants to get over it, so I have to be strong for him. That means no worrying about the seat, the stares, or the whispers, because I have to be a rock just in case the Valium isn't enough. I LOVE flying, so part of me is excited, but I know I'm not going to breathe easily until that arm rest is down. My boyfriend did point out that I was 310 pounds when the 17" seat squeezed me and kept the arm rest from going down that last inch, and this time I'll be around 280 pounds in a 19.7" seat. My brain refuses to acknowledge the math and the fact my office chair is just fine, though.

    If I can get on that plane, you can get on that plank thingie. :) Why don't you hang back and watch other people do it for a while? Maybe there'll be other people there who fall in several times. Maybe there'll be others who are close to your size. I know how lonely it feels at this weight, but 260/270 is more common than you think. When I see current pictures of you, you look like most of the overweight people I know, not the big woman you're picturing.

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  7. {{{Hugs}}} I'm going to trust that you'll forgive me for linking to one of my posts, but I'm hoping it will help: http://tippytoediet.com/2012/03/making-music/

    (And you might notice in the teensy picture that I'm wearing swim shorts over my swim suit. JCPenney for about $20 and a definite confidence booster on the beach that day.)

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  8. You're going to do it and it will be fun and you will wonder how come you never tried it before. Remember, If you think you can you can, if you think you can't you can't. Start telling yourself that OF COURSE you can do it.

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  9. Oh am i feeling for you this morning. I do the same thing to myself all of the time. Last year me and my ex took the kids to Disneyland because my daughter was dancing there. I would see large people get on and off some of the rides but I would still refuse to ride them because in my mind I was bigger than they were and was so worried about embarassing myself and my girls. In my mind I could just hear everyone snickering and laughing at the fat chick trying to squeeze into a seat. I actually faked being sick the first two days so I would lessen the disappointment for my girls. In my mind I was the almost 400 lbs I was the year before the trip. My girls were early teens so I could have sat them down and talked about my fears and what was going through my head but I was too ashamed. Finally on the last day I said screw it and tried a couple of rides. My 300 lbs fit fine into the ones I tried and we had a great time. To this day I regret psyching myself out and ruining the first part of the trip. This is just one of many examples. I do this crap to myself all of the time. I'm coming to realize that the majority of people are kind hearted and if they were to see you out their trying paddle boarding and it wasn't "perfect" they would be saying kudos to you for trying. There's thin people out there too afraid to even try it. Don't be like me and have regret years later because you were too afraid of what might or might not happen to try. You've worked so hard and come so far and inspired so many people myself included. Have those thoughts running through your head rather than the mental abuse we put ourselves through. I know you can do it!!

    As far as the swim suit goes, there's plenty out there that hide some of our flaws. Get a good spray tan and you'd be amazed how much cellulite doesn't stand out.

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  10. Just to "weigh in" , you are an inspiration to us and many, but the only person you have to make happy is yourself. We will just have to deal with it all our own. It is not your fault that we can't do it just because you have a problem!

    And for that problem, well, you just have to learn that this is what you do. You derail your good time and moan about it for a while. If that is not what you want to do, do something different. I don't go to concerts with my hunny because I don't like spending the money to only hear the songs that I like once and the loud music just kills me. Gimme a CD for crying out loud, they still make money on it! And when he tells me it's ok, I believe him! Start somewhere. Does he dislike doing things that you do, and you let him off the hook? Well, just learn to allow that feeling for yourself. It's ok to not have the same interests, really! That is why being different is so much fun.
    Blessings!

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  11. First: virtual hugs for you. Nothing we say is likely to fix this for you but we've been there so at least you aren't alone.

    I'm still scarred by an incident at a local amusement park when two teenagers argued about whether it was ok for my little sister to sit between my large hubby and myself and they stopped the ride to make us switch places. Just thinking about it makes me want to rant and cry at the same time. But I still go to amusement parks. The truth is, no situation is likely to be more humiliating than that or leave a deeper scar. I'm already scarred so might as well take advantage of the experience. Worst case, my bulk doesn't fit and I have to get off the ride. I've done it before and it will never again be that humiliating.

    As for paddle-boarding, I would bet a large sum of money that the instructor has seen it all and you will be far from the worst. I'm sure plenty of super-thin chickies with no muscle tone have had problems getting on the board too. And once you do it, it will never feel that scary again.

    Seriously, though, parasailing (yes, I re-read the old posts)? Parasailing is on your bucket list and climbing on a board in the water scares you more?!? I'd rather spend 30 min falling off the board than spend 1 min suspended by strings and fabric 50 feet over the open ocean!!! You are a seriously BRAVE chick and you need to give yourself more credit for that.

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  12. I think that sometimes we allow our worst fears to grow far larger than the reality could ever be. Yes you will fall off the board. Maybe more times than your Mr., maybe less, maybe more spectacularly, maybe not. Yes, someone there will probably film it on their camera because people can be a$$hats. It's possible someone will even post it online - but you put your life out there everyday of your own free will, and you share much more personal pain and joy than a short video could ever be. Once you get past the initial awkwardness, if you enjoy this it could be an activity that you and your Mr. could enjoy together for many years to come. What price could you put on that?

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  13. Oh man, I can totally relate. It's the airplane seat for me all the way. I DREAD getting on that plane. I DREAD asking if I can sit next to a empty seat. I DREAD having to ask for a seatbelt extender. I DREAD shoving my ass into that seat and being so uncomfortable I'm going to scream. But, I do it. Only when I have to for work. It is the most embarrassing, spirit killing bullshit I've ever encountered. But every time I do it, it motivates me to make change, I don't want to be that person. And I just think, once I can actually sit in a seat without an extender next to someone who I don't think I'm suffocating, I will be the happiest person in the world. I'll likely cry and get a vodka. Then, I'll plan a trip to Russia. (Hence the vodka).

    I know you've overcome the situation I fear most right now...that's why you're an inspiration. Not because of how much you've lost in the last year but because you struggle, like I (we) struggle and you overcome. Maybe one day I'll get on that board like you or walk in public in a bathing suit but for me, today is not that day. This is your time and you're going to succeed. I hope you get on that board and then realize that it's all about making changes, becoming healthy and doing things you want to do, not a number on the scale. Just one more thing you can check off the list. We're rooting for you!

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  14. Well- you know you are not alone in this. We all suffer from it. My little group and I were talking about that last night and because we refused to look at ourselves (really look) when we were our fattest, we also couldn't really 'see' ourselves when the weight came off. We just see what we want to see/need to see. But it's defeating either way. I'm practicing making myself look at all sides of me in the mirror. It's painful- but necessary. I loved the idea of wearing your suit around the house. Suit up, Mrs! You know darn well when you were at your highest if you saw someone your exact same size now on the beach you were thinking 'dang if I just looked like she does I'd wear a suit shopping!'. Second- your hubby is awesome. But you already knew that. Love you lady!

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  15. Of course, you do not suck, because if you do, we all do! Just know that I have been a bawling stress ball for the last 2 weeks anticipating my oldest daughter's surgery. We've done this 7 times before, you'd think I could deal, but nooooo! So, as I sit here in the hospital with my fam and she looks pitiful and small in her bed, I just want to bawl all over again. But, we just have to do it and keep going. So, you my friend, will do it and just keep going!! And if you just can't do it, I for one will think NONE the less of you. Love you just as you are--nerves and all! Hang in!

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  16. Wow. I understand how you feel, and I know that you know that if you don't do it, you will probably have regrets later on. There is so much stuff that I continue to miss out on just because I am so insecure. I think in my head like I am the biggest person to ever walk this earth. When my husband and I go on cruises, there are things that I don't do for fear that people will make fun of me. Last year on our cruise there were some things that he wanted to do, but I couldn't because I exceeded the weight limit. It's disheartening, demeaning, and embarassing. Everytime when I don't do something for fear of what people that I may never see again in this lifetime might think, I end up regretting it. Then this year I went on a cruise with my sister and my niece, and I still let my fear get in the way of having fun. I can really be a spoil sport to other people. They don't realize that I am not trying to bring them down, but my feelings about myself are so strong that they almost paralyze me and make me unable to really let loose and enjoy myself.

    I really hope that you can relax and not let fear get the best of you on this one. Once you do it, you'll probably laugh at the apprehension you had leading up to it. Can someone convince me of this when I feel this way? Well, truthfully, it's something that we all have to make up in our minds to do. We just gotta get out there and "Just Do It".

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  17. First, you ARE an inspiration to me and countless others. The fact that you're sharing your fears makes it more so. You're not letting anyone down, but I think you'll be disappointed if you don't do at least ONE of the activities. Snorkeling is AWESOME! Forgot those people on the beach. Wear that swim suit knowing what you've accomplished.

    I had an experience in Columbus at the Science Center, when I let my fears get the best of me and I didn't ride that unicycle. That's all I wanted to do for a month. I got there and freaked out, and I cried, and I didn't do it... I was convinced that the fatty wouldn't be able to do it...I totally regret it. You're awesome mama, don't let the thoughts in your head get the best of you. *HUGS*

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  18. You are going to feel so great after you actually give it a try. Just focus on that "after" glow you'll get. It really sucks that we care so much what complete strangers think about us. What should it matter to us that they are judging us completely on how we look? SCREW 'EM!" Easy for me to say--not easy for me to do.

    I don't think you will be satisfied with yourself until you at least give it a try. Yeah, you might fall down, you might never be able to sustain the standing on the paddle board (sorry I don't know the technical terms for all this), for any period of time--but at least you gave it a try and it sounds like that is pretty important to you. I tried to ride my new (used) bike just after I got it, but the fear of the initial pain in my knees from making a full revolution on the pedals overwhelmed me and I was unable to make myself peddle around even once. I have ridden a bike since my weight loss, but not since last summer, and for some reason, I just couldn't get past that fear of pain. But I am determined--I will DO IT! I will get past that fear and RIDE MY BIKE! Are my knees worse than they were a year ago? I don't think so, but my fear is greater. Why is that? WE WILL OVERCOME ANELE!!!

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  19. Yes, there are definitely some assholes out there who may sneer or make a comment, but that is NOT the majority of people. And their judgment says ten times more about the kind of person that they are than it does about you. Also, even though you said pep talks won't help, just remember that people are not paying as much attention as you think. It's true! Almost no one feels that comfortable in a bathing suit and more likely than not, they're so focused on themselves that they don't even care about anyone else! Something to remember when you're powering through.

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  20. This reminds me of the time my ex-husband persuaded his 4th wife (I was 2nd, and #4 and I have become friends) to wear a string bikini despite being somewhat fluffy...the argument being that she would never see any of those people again. Understand that he would never have persuaded ME to do that, even when I was skinny. I have been trying for ten years or more to get out of my comfort zone, and am completely disgusted with myself when I'm too self-conscious to dance in public although I love to dance, or sing in public (karaoke) although I love to sing. Don't do this to yourself! I know, easier said than done, but I know you have a heck of a lot more willpower than I do.

    As for what I was afraid of and did anyway, ziplining in Puerto Vallarta. I knew I would love the zipping part, but we had to hike steeply uphill between each take-off point and I had not yet started losing weight, so I was afraid I would hold up the entire group by not being able to keep up--and I did, a little. I was always last to arrive. But everyone was amazed that I would even try, so it turned out to be something to be proud of rather than embarrassed about. Bet you'll find your challenge is the same.

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  21. Quit beating yourself up! You are awesome...I just started reading your blog a couple of months ago and I am super jealous of your determination and amount of exercise! Wow! Baby steps..baby steps...and again quit beating yourself up and start loving yourself! You are amazing!

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  22. I am a huge lover of all things Disney... My husband likes it, and tolerates my love of it- so when we go, I make sure to include him in the planning. Last trip he wanted to do one of the water parks. *gulp* Uhmm... Whoa. Ok. I bought a bathing suit, and went. Didn't do any of the slides, I was terrified of being too big and getting stuck, or my suit riding up my chunky self.... I did the lazy, which was nice but not so lazy as I was embarrassed about my pale, big legs sticking out. It was horrible! I wish I had not cared and been so self conscious, it could have been wonderful!

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  23. I am the most self-conscious person I know, to the point where it's probably not healthy. So I can completely, 100% understand everything you're feeling and I would be a huge hypocrite to tell you to get over it, that it will be fine, etc. But ultimately, most people are probably too concerned about their own bodies and their own insecurities to pay any attention to yours. That's what Chris tells me all the time and I'm pretty sure it's true. I hope you're able to get over your fears and enjoy your trip...

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  24. Part of why you are such an inspiration is because you are so honest about everything - good and bad. You have just voiced what so many of us live every day. There are SO many things that I have missed because of fear - afraid I wouldn't fit in the seat, afraid someone would make fun of me, afraid of dirty looks and snide comments. I know nothing any of us can say will convince you otherwise - you need to come to terms with it yourself. But I hope it hopes to know so many people are in your corner rooting for you.

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  25. First, let me give you a big virtual hug before I say what I gots to say, yo. Next, let me say that I'm not understanding this belief you have that you are "letting all of us down". You've said this on a number of occasions and I'm wondering who's putting it in your head that you have the responsibility or the power to let anyone down? If people are putting pressure on you to live up to some kind of iconic status, that really doesn't say much about their character. Your achievements are wonderful and people can glean from your experiences what works for them and what doesn't. But to feel you have to live your life as some kind of inspiration to others--and to feel such a responsibility to do so--is not living life for YOU!! It's keeping the focus on others and their reactions and didn't you have enough of that to last a lifetime when your life was out of control food-wise? You are not letting ANYONE down with these fears--not even your husband (believe him when he tells you that--don't project onto him young lady! xoxo). Your fears are completely understandable and I live with the "their watching me, pointing at me, and making fun of me" mentality all the time. But damn, it gets old. Constantly feeling "less than" because I weigh "more than" is my issue to get past because it's doing nothing but holding me back. I have a junior high mentality of feeling like the local freak and no one liking me. The truth is most people don't care enough to stop, stare, and laugh. I've allowed myself to miss out on so many things just because of what *might* happen. It's that *might* that allowed me to stay were I was. I read a great quote the other day that says: "Nothing will work however, if we do not." That doesn't just include the eating and exercising...that includes the MENTAL work as well. Cuz I gots news for you my fun, beautiful, talented, and precious friend...YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH RIGHT NOW whether or not you are 250 lbs, standing on a board or not. You are enough. Period. Fear is fear, and it's 100% understandable. If there's one thing I've learned about you (and I've learned lots I'm happy to say) it's you don't like to feel vulnerable--ever. And this trip has you stressed out because you will feel vulnerable when it comes to trying new things and feeling like you will fail. By whose definition would you fail? Yours? Your hubs? When the Mr fell off his board the first few times did you (or anyone else for that matter) point at him and laugh and criticize him??? I think not. You said you were proud of him. Why wouldn't he be equally as proud of you? AND if he chose NOT to do something, would you be disappointed in him? Um, no. So why would he be disappointed in you? You have more value than that my friend and all these pounds later you still don't see it that way. It breaks my heart that you are SO hard on yourself, far harder than anybody else would be on you (I say this because I live it). Can I suggest that you just take this one day at a time...and I mean it--ONE day at a time. Today. That's it. What are you going to work on *today*? Maybe it means standing in the bathroom and forcing yourself to just stare at yourself naked and say over and over that you're improving in so many areas. IT'S PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION!! Ok, that's my lecture for today. I say all of this with love in my heart even though you might very well be flipping me the bird (either you're laughing at that because that's such a perposterous idea or because you really are flipping me the bird). tee hee xoxoxoxoxo

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  26. You are my hero. You do realize that, right? That you are doing this in spite of your fears (which is the real definition of courage, versus a lack of fear) is astounding to me. That you love your Mr and trust yourself enough to do it is so huge, HUGE, I say! So here's what you do. Go out there and DIVE off that puppy right off the bat. Then you get the falling off over with and you won't have to worry about it anymore. :) I have absolute faith in you, dear one. I know you will survive this and then have months of blog material to share with those of us lucky enough to call you friend when it's over. Who know? You might even have FUN. Wouldn't that be a pisser? *wink* I love ya. I truly do.

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