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Meet Me in the Middle | Week 57 Weight Loss

Athena Perez
by 

February 1, 2018

Day 396. 194 pounds lost.

I had some time to reflect on my month of January this week.  I didn’t make my monthly goal, but I’m not upset about it. I take ownership of the things I didn’t do right. Me and Peanut Butter have been apart for almost two weeks now, and the breakup isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be {{laughing}}.

Self-reflection is something I regularly do. Maybe I didn’t do a lot of that previously because I was too prideful to admit that the problem was ME. If someone had told me a year ago that this journey wouldn’t be about weight loss, I wouldn’t have believed them.  I thought weight loss was the whole point? For a while there I got caught up in the numbers when in reality this expedition is about growth. The reason I got up to almost 450 pounds had everything to do with pride, jealousy, ego, guilt, shame, blame, poor self-image, lack of confidence, despair, depression, hopelessness…. (insert mile long list here).  The weight problem was a consequence of these things.  If you want to get to the root of your weight problem (or some other kind of addiction) you need to get to the heart of what caused it in the first place. Most of us don’t want to admit that our challenges in life or problems with others are a direct reflection of how we FEEL about ourselves.

One of my worst downfalls in life has been pride. I never let anyone help me with my weight problem growing up because I was too embarrassed to say I didn’t have it figured out.  I went through my twenties and most of my thirties entirely comfortable proclaiming that my weight problem was because I was abused when I was a kid. “I didn’t cause this problem, they did.” Not to get vulgar here, but when I was in my 11-year relationship, my favorite phrase was “fuck you.”

Athena, we should go to the gym and work out together.”

Fuck you….. I will lose weight when I’m ready. Why don’t you go work on you?”  (It had NOTHING to do with the fact he merely enjoyed my company. Oh no… I KNEW he was sending me subliminal messages about my weight).

Athena, here I cut you a piece of cake.”

Fuck you; I can cut my own, I get to decide what I eat, not you”  (Because of course…… I immediately assumed he cut me a smaller piece because he was saying something about my weight. It couldn’t POSSIBLY have been because he was simply trying to be kind. Oh no….. I KNEW he was trying to send me subliminal messages).

Poor self-worth and shame drive pride. We feel so badly about ourselves that we compensate by feeling superior or……..we look for others’ flaws as a way to conceal our own. We relish criticizing others as a defense against recognizing our own shortcomings. Pride prevents us from acknowledging our human vulnerabilities. It makes us too uncomfortable to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, I made a mistake.”

I stopped the train this week so that I could reflect on my own behavior for a bit.  My progress got stalled up, and I needed to figure out what was going on. That long list of problems that caused my weight gain in the first place I spoke about above still surfaces from time to time, and I recognized it. I spent a lot of time on the phone this week apologizing for those shortcomings. I will give you one example; not because I’m proud of it. To the contrary, however, I want to share because we are all human.

About five months ago I witnessed this one particular girl getting attention from a guy I liked. I decided that day I wasn’t going to like this girl. No fault of hers, and it was very subconscious, but I allowed it.  She was always very kind to me, and I was still very short with her. I had to call her and tell her that I was an idiot. Probably one of the hardest calls I’ve had to make because it required a sincere apology for allowing my pride and jealousy to take over who I was.  I can excuse it and say, “Hey Athena, you’re a woman, we all feel these things,” but I’m not going too.  Things like this are 100-pound bricks that we carry around that prevent us from being the best version of ourselves and many times prevents us from personal progress.

I heard the song below earlier this week when I was driving around in my car. In the song she’s talking about meeting someone in the middle; obviously, she’s talking about a relationship, but it resonated with me.  Sometimes I think we need to do a better job of meeting OURSELVES in the middle. However we feel about ourselves is going to surface in our behavior, our relationships, and impact our ability to grow. Why are we so afraid to be vulnerable, to be human, and to admit when we error?  This journey is teaching me to be so damn proud of who I’m becoming. I’m not perfect, but I’m learning. That list above has taught me so much about life and where my weight problems materialized. It wasn’t anyone else; it was ME. Jealousy stems from something that we identify that we want. It also happens because we sense that a cherished connection we have with another person is threatened. Pride comes from not wanting to admit we have faults. A negative ego happens because we have not learned how to free the mind for deeper self-inquiry. I could go down that list and say I’m guilty of all of them. I’m going to stop beating myself up and meet myself in the middle and say, “Hey Athena, its okay to be human.”  Being human is normal. Correcting these human weaknesses is totally up to me though.  

These phone calls or personal meetings this week were good for my soul. Some of them had to do with miscommunications never corrected.  Being too prideful to see another person’s perspective. It’s all of the things we tend to run away from. But I guarantee you; these are the things that cause you to run to food or alcohol or whatever it is that you’re running from. Once you can stand before yourself, you can stand before anyone. Remember that.

Lovingly,

Bean

Love,

Athena

Comments

  1. Adrian says:

    Balls! Christ woman. Admitting your weaknesses is one of the most difficult, yet liberating things you’ll do.

  2. Bean says:

    I just get to where I hit publish …. right?…. I pause briefly, wondering if this is going to be the story that derails my path. It’s that fear in all of us that believes that our pains are singular. The voice that tells us that if we tell others about our weaknesses, they’ll think less of us.
    Maybe it’s been me just getting to a point of not caring, or something more sincere, but hey, I decided that I was just going to write about what was on my mind and not worry about the consequences. Cheers <3

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I’m Athena Perez, a Christ-loving dog mom and CrossFitter who has lost over 200 pounds on a long journey of self-discovery. I’m obsessed with sharing everything I’ve learned to help you too!  

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