Friday, August 3, 2012

I Don't Think Algebra Applies Here...

Do you remember in algebra class when you were adding up letters to get number answers?   That crap never really made sense to me.   Letters and numbers are like apples and oranges....totally different, and totally NOT the same.  For all you mathematics peeps out there, I's DOES make sense (sort of) but I still can't comprehend the need to mix two completely different things all for the sake of finding the answers.  I'm a theatre major....I flunked algebra three times in college and had to settle for "Concepts of Math Thought."

Now....where am I going with this?   Well.....I realized something this week, and that is that I was trying to use the properties of algebra when calculating my weight and it's direct relationship to my own self esteem.  

Somehow I have been living a long time with the equation for success being....

Ideal Body weight = Happiness

It's a simple property.   Easy to understand.   SUPER easy to understand.   SUPER SUPER easy to understand.   Simple property actually, when my weight is high, I am not as happy with myself, my life, my surroundings, my body, my children, my home, etc. etc. etc.   When my body weight is "ideal" (and you can figure your own ideal, but let's face may not be realistic) my life will be all happiness and light, health, strength and purpose.   Easy peasy.   Right?

Problem is.....Body weight is a number.    Happiness is a feeling.   They are two completely unrelated things, and they have no business sharing an equation together.   Weight is one thing....Happiness another.

I have been struggling to break this equation in my life for MANY years, and with the help of professionals, family, and friends....I am starting to see it's flaws, but I had a glaring example of how I have to move back to simple math to simplify my thinking.  

We have been on vacation for a lot of the summer.   Not going nuts with food, but let's be honest, I take it a lot easier when I am sitting on a beach, or in a great city than I would when I am cooking for myself.   I have seen friends I haven't seen for years, and yes, we had drinks....AND DESSERT!   I dare say, I also didn't get up early to go to the hotel gym before I went out for the day with my family.  I let myself have some indulgence...and told myself that the experience was what was important, and that I needed to relax and enjoy the memories I was making.   Scale be damned.....I had fun.  

I came home and was determined not to step onto the scale for a week.   Travel and dietary changes make me retain water, and generally causes huge fluctuations in my weight.   I knew the number would be up, and I didn't want to sully the fun I had with that nasty equation.  

Well...for a seemingly innocent reason....yesterday I stepped on.   And guess what.....I IMMEDIATELY felt myself get fatter/uglier/stupider.   Suddenly the clothes I was wearing were tight, and I was aware of how they felt against my skin.   My hair was no longer shiny, but dull when I was doing it, and I was certain my face was puffy and blotchy.  I started negative talk in my head, and trust me....I can be MEAN!  It was IMMEDIATE people.   My entire feeling about myself changed, I became cranky and short tempered, and felt like a failure.   IMMEDIATELY.

This time however, after a short time passed....I was able to look at things with some clarity.   (I don't know why, and honestly this doesn't happen for me very often....but man am I glad it happened this time!)  I was able to see how that I have programmed my brain to BELIEVE that equation of weight = happy.  My weight was up slightly....and my self worth suffered, and all that negative thinking became what was in the forefront of my mind.    It was amazing to me how quickly it happened..... I mean, I am literally talking seconds.  

So....where am I going with this?   Well....all day today I have been thinking about a new equation.   I haven't completely figured it out, but these two are what I am thinking....

Tina's Life equation #1:
Living my life in a healthy manner while making the best choices I can with whatever situation I am in and experiencing things as they come = happiness and peace

Tina's Life equation #2:
The number on the scale = how much I weigh.   That's it.

It's like letters and numbers.   Apples and Oranges.   Weight and happiness.   Two completely unrelated things.   I am going to strive to keep weight and happiness completely separate.   It's okay to want to be a healthy weight, and it's okay to work towards that.   But it's also okay to have beer and cheese once in a while, even though it may cause a fluctuation in your numbers.

'Nuff said.   I never got algebra.....but I think I might be starting to "get" this.