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Tough Love

"Be kind and gentle to yourself - Love yourself - You are beautiful!"

That's something I often read in the comment section of my blog. You all mean so well, and you seem to care about me and my well-being. I appreciate it very much - more than I can say.

The truth is, I have been too kind and gentle with myself; I allowed myself to go overboard with food and weight for so many years. There were no limits, no healthy boundaries. My priorities were screwed up. I thought about losing weight; I thought about eating healthier but walked in the opposite direction each and every time. I used every possible excuse known to man, and I forgave myself -often in advance. I was kind and gentle when I should have been blunt and brutal. 

I had a rude awakening, and I am brutally honest with myself ever since.

I am morbidly obese - I am out of shape - I am a heart attack waiting to happen and there is no more sugarcoating it. I have been asked not to use the word "morbidly obese,” but I cannot do that  -it is what it is. I take pictures of myself every two weeks and while I am able to see a little bit of progress, I still see the whole picture as well, and it's not pretty. It makes my eyes sweat, and I wonder how I ended up like this. 

I am very big and while I think I am beautiful inside, I am not beautiful outside. "Big is beautiful" and all the other nonsense they tell us, I fell for all those lies -believed them, because it made everything so much easier.

I don't like the way I look like right now. I am not talking about my eyes or my face. I have some pretty cute features hidden somewhere under a few layers of fat. People are stunned when they hear my age. "Hardly a wrinkle in your face," they say and they are right. Fat doesn't wrinkle much. 

The wonderful man I am married to loves me unconditionally, the way I love him. Nevertheless, lately, I can see the pride in his eyes when he looks at me, something that I haven't seen in years. He loves to see me fight for my health and I assume he can't wait to see the end result. How much nicer it will be, to go out with a woman, who will fit in a booth seat. How much nicer it will be to go out with a wife, who won't hide under a tent. He wants the "old" me back, I know that, even though he would never say it. I will thank him for that at the end of my journey. 

I do love myself. I love the woman I have become. That's the one thing that's beautiful about aging. We accept who we are and we learn to love ourselves with all our weaknesses and flaws. 

And while I believe in love, I also believe in TOUGH LOVE and that's what I need the most right now. The same tough love we show our kids when we fear they might get into trouble.

I know there will be days when I will jump into the calories head first, that's just the way it is. The difference is, I will not longer give myself a permission slip to do so on a daily base. I cannot allow myself to fail. I don't think I have another "restart" in me. This is it!

Sometimes I feel like I am walking in a mind field. One bad step and all can be over. I see people here disappear left and right. Today they are here, they are enthusiastic and full of plans; the next day they are gone. Some come back, they stay for a few days then they leave again. I have been there, I have done that. No more!

I need to hold myself accountable each and every day.

Tough love Babe, get used to it! 

43 pounds lost - 97 to go!

135 votes + -

43 comments:

ButterballBookworm wrote 4 months ago:
I wholly agree with this. My mum and husband are always complimentary and tell me not to be hard on myself, but it's the lack of being hard on myself that got me to this point. I need to be brutally honest to get myself back to a semi-healthy place (at least to start).
Domomallow wrote 4 months ago:
It IS a mine field... I see what you mean, people disappearing and coming back with more weight to lose. I'm guilty of it, too.
vikinglander wrote 4 months ago:
Warrior mode! No prisoners!
SilverSheWolf55 wrote 4 months ago:
I feel like you just wrote my story, my friend. I am right there with you. We both have a lot in common. I was one of those that "came and went". Not this time. We're in this together! Tough Love it is!
Ke22yB wrote 4 months ago:
If it makes any difference you are the same as all of us either are or were I am asked all the time how did you lose all the weight as if its a magical secret and I start to explain and soon the eyes roll up in the back of their head and glaze over as they realize what I am describing is discipline and hard work and sometimes not having the things we love or loved any more. May 22nd it was 9 years since I had a drink of alcohol of any kind that went from drinking every day to never again ( except for the half of a bottle of wine in 2014 at my daughters wedding) not much processed foods no more bacon and a lot of other things I have cut back or eliminated. Add to that a healthy dose of exercise every day maybe I overdo it most days cause I just love being able to do it for the first time in over 40 years and there it is simple right. 40 years of going from over weight to obese to morbidly obese to being at risk for a stroke with high blood pressure because I told myself its OK you are fine it is easier to tell ourselves this than to do anything about it. So yes you were in good company. Just remember the part of tough love that is important is the love of yourself you are now accomplishing
YOU GO GIRL you got this
meaganhelms wrote 4 months ago:
Your words are beautiful and I agree with every single one. I'm in that same boat with you. No slipping off the wagon. We're in it for good!
Laurie6578 wrote 4 months ago:
You got this! Don't quit even on the bad days and they will come. Just keep going..I see you reaching your goals.
jewell0607 wrote 4 months ago:
I'm in your boat. I've left and come back several times, and I have a lot more weight to lose. I'm not sure I agree so much with tough love...sometimes that's just permission to be cruel. I vote instead for unconditional love. Recognition that we all do the best we can do in every moment, and that getting up when we fall and starting over is as much a victory as a lost pound.

Inch by inch, ounce by ounce we can do this.
izzybelle2013 wrote 4 months ago:
Your attitude is the ONE main thing that will help you get to goal. Your attitude is GREAT! Keep those thoughts, just as they are. And remember - you may have 97 lbs to go - but it is no longer 140!!!!
kdavid1987 wrote 4 months ago:
As always, your writing is very impactful. Best of luck going forward!
Gardengal1222 wrote 4 months ago:
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you wrote and I can truly relate to all of it. After 6 months on MFP I left myself slide a little. I didn't gain any weight but I didn't lose any either, but that was not the plan. The plan was to keep at it until I met my goal. It is very hard to stay committed to MFP through life's ups and downs. I am here for the long haul...right along with you. Best of luck to ya!
musicsax wrote 4 months ago:
You have the right attitude and you will get there. We are all in the same club - fighting the flab or fighting to maintain the loss; it never goes away, once one has been overweight there is that tenancy for the rest of one's life. That's why we all have sympathy and support for each other. I know what you mean about folk "coming and going", but what is important is that you keep fighting and keep the determination; I know you will, your doing so well.
thelifeilove1 wrote 4 months ago:
I'm one of those people who disappeared. Why? I have no good excuse. It was working. Effectively. Yet, I left the people with whom I'd built relationships and both supported and received support from. Some even reached out to me. But I was either so embarrassed, or depressed, or something I just came back on and deleted all of them with no explanation. I'd like to say I'll never do that again. What I do very much identify with above are I am also morbidly obese, a heart attack waiting to happen, and believe this is the last try I have in me. I also have a wonderful man who loves me inspite of the fat, but I know would be so pleased if I could at last master it, as I've seen it in his eyes and felt it in his caress when I've reduced previously. I hope to accompany you on this journey and see us both be successful. You are a inspiration.
KickassAmazon76 wrote 4 months ago:
There's a difference between hating the state that your body is in, and hating yourSELF. I'm so happy to read that you love your SELF.

A lot of times, when people tell others to be kind and gentle to themselves, they are saying it because it's so easy to try and hate yourself into changing. When you hate yourself, when you turn the fat you carry into your valuation of self worth, that's when it's really unhealthy (and also very hard to recover from)

What you've typed shows that you're not that person. That you recognize that the fat you carry is not a reflection on your worth, but rather, something that is hurting your lifestyle and you want it gone! Now!

As others have said... you TOTALLY have the right attitude for success. You've got this, GRRRL!!!
HippySkoppy wrote 4 months ago:
I think it is sad that the word tough is associated with love. If tough was replaced with the word honest then it is possible that people would stop avoiding the obvious. I am so glad you have found that place where you are honest with yourself it is something rare and precious.
marymcgee54 wrote 4 months ago:
Great blog, and as usual, inspiring!
garreight wrote 4 months ago:
I have fallen off the wagon more times than I can count. But, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. Although I've not gotten back to the weight I started with, it has gotten close. I am determined to not let that happen. Just got back from a vacation, gained 6 lbs. Don't know why it wasn't more, but I am happy. We have to love ourself and our bodies and we will be able to get where we all want to be. Your story was so inspiring - going to read it every day for a while. Tough Love does work!!
texteach66 wrote 4 months ago:
"Walking in a minefield" - yes! That is exactly right. I'm so proud of myself for how far I've come, but I'm also very conscious of the fact that I made it to the end once before and it didn't stick, so there's a part of me that's constantly fearful of slipping backwards. That fear is not totally a bad thing. It's the fear that makes me log my food, even when I know it's not going to be terribly accurate or I'm not going to like the calorie total. I've committed to logging my food forever. This week I entered a new phase in my journey - I've moved from "obese" to "overweight". I'm not sure that I'll get to "healthy", as I've discussed with my doctor getting my BMI below 30 as an end goal and he thinks that's fair.

Be tough on yourself because you love yourself, because you believe in yourself! I'll do the same.
AngWBald wrote 4 months ago:
I wasn't hard on myself this year and allowed myself to gain 30 pounds between doctor office visits. The doctor comes in and asks, "Why did you do this to yourself?" I told her, "That's a good question and I have no excuse except the fact my mother died last July from complications of a stroke, and my sister just got diagnosed with Breast Cancer." I told her it wasn't a good excuse but it's the only one I have to give you. She was sympathetic, but went straight to the heart. She told me, "You need to shut that Pie Hole in your face and stop eating so much." Ouch, that really hurt. But she's right. I've been eating my emotions and I need to stop that or I won't be around much longer. That's the reality. Yes, I've been easy on myself and letting myself go. So far I've lost almost 10 pounds since my visit with her in April. Another 20 pounds to go and more pounds need to be shed. I'm glad my doctor was mean to me and hard on me, because I haven't been hard on myself. People have said she was too mean and I need to change doctor's. I say she's only doing her job. She's taking care of her patients.
lynder64 wrote 4 months ago:
an honest read... thanks for sharing your thoughts!
futuresize8 wrote 4 months ago:
I totally get what you're saying. I do. But one thing that has helped me is making sure I am not only tough and realistic with myself, but I also find ways to enjoy where I am at this moment. It might mean getting a pedicure or manicure (whether DIY or at the salon), coloring my hair, taking the time to coordinate accessories with my outfit, getting a massage...whatever self care thing I can do to make myself feel good about me right now, I do it. It may seem superficial, but it gives me some pride in myself while I work to make the bigger parts of me smaller and more toned. Learn to take a compliment...as I always say, you are right now someone else's after. For every tough thing you say about your appearance, find something complimentary to say.
starling39 wrote 4 months ago:
I needed this... I'm SLOOOOW going and only 5 lbs lost since February. Only 30 to go to get to what I feel is a manageable weight even if it's not my ideal weight, it's the weight I last felt myself at.
Laura80111 wrote 4 months ago:
Honesty can hurt but in the long haul this is what you need. I'm so glad to read that you know you need the tough love. I wish that my Mom would have had your attitude she would have done so much better in her later years. Keep going I'm rooting for you to succeed.
annem6806 wrote 4 months ago:
Well said! One thing I have been able to do (even on those not so great days calorie-wise) is keep logging. I'm coming up on 3 years of MFP and logging my food in August. I look at it as an honest look at my day-to-day life: no excuses when I overate or ate the "wrong" foods. Just an honest look and through my journaling, I'm learning to love me and treat myself with the kindness and compassion I try to treat others. Although I'm far from being at my "ideal" weight, I recognize my lifelong journey is going to be filled with ups and downs (whether I'm talking about calories, weight, or life itself). It's how I go through and come out the other side of those moments that make up life that really shows my commitment to being a better (and healthier) version of myself. Thanks for the great read!
Deb4224 wrote 4 months ago:
Great post. Just what I needed to hear, as I can relate so much. But, 43 pounds lost? Wow. That really is awesome. You're inspiring! Thank you.
SiegfriedXXL wrote 4 months ago:
I could not agree more. Spot on and sorely needed words for me today. My husband and I were just talking this morning about how afraid I am of change and how I'm too nice to myself. He's the one who provides the "tough love" and it hurts him to be the villain. I need to take control of my motivations and keep on keeping on.
daneejela wrote 4 months ago:
This is just what I needed to hear today!
Although I often say that to others, be kind to yourself, and I mean that in the most positive way, I couldn't agree more with what you've written!
bart9743 wrote 4 months ago:
I know how you feel. My family has been super supportive and is kind about my struggles. Sometimes I think we give ourselves a break and rest on the success we have made and forget about the journey we still have ahead of us. I am down 20lbs since April, still have at least another 25-30 to go. My fire has started to dwindle a bit, but reading others posts has helped me cope with the struggles I face daily. Thank you for reminding us that sometimes we need to be brutally honest with ourselves to keep that fire going. I agree with futuresize8, do little things to help lift you up during this transition time. My sweet husband brought me flowers one day out of the blue just because he knew I had had a rough time trying to meet one of my "mini goals". Sometimes the little things help a lot.
elffkin wrote 4 months ago:
Hello,

Thank you for this: it's hard but true.
What is also true: you are a beautiful person, right now. I also believe that.
We are lucky to have these bodies, and we need to love them and take care of them, including not feeding them too much.
The most success I had before this was a medically supervised fast. It was pretty easy and actually a relief not to struggle with food.
The hardest thing is to make good food choices everyday.
Good luck and keep at it!
Handyshamrock86 wrote 4 months ago:
Thank you for your share. I feel exactly the same way! It is hard to open up and I thank you for doing so.
LadyLilion wrote 4 months ago:
I think we have SO much in common! I bet if we'd met in person, we'd have been great friends, you and I. There are times you write things that I have said so many times myself. I cringed a little at this, "'Hardly a wrinkle in your face,' they say and they are right. Fat doesn't wrinkle much." Is it terrible that I worry that I'll look older when the weight is gone?

I completely agree that beautiful about aging is learning to be comfortable in our own skin; accepting of our flaws. We're lucky, those of us who learn to be content with ourselves. But contentment can become complacency, and that's not a good thing.

Tough love is hard. I've had to deal with it as a mother. It's no easier to apply it to myself. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog.
arrghmatey1 wrote 4 months ago:
Boo Yah! This woman knows how to blog!

I just love it when people step into the 3rd person and make an honest evaluation of their current condition.

It smacks of success!!!!!

It is the toughest battle of all and she just won it!!!!

Fat has NO CHANCE when you go at it this way!
vivalawenn wrote 4 months ago:
Dang! I love the brutal honesty in this blog. I long to get to my "aha" moment, or my clash with my "why". I don't have these. I've tried every gimmick in the book, except for the RNY gastric bypass. I need to wake up and start tough loving myself. I don't want to be a passerby. I don't want to be seasonal. I need to find a way to not be such a damn pansy and take control of my stomach, my mouth, my mind and life - for good.
suzwriter wrote 4 months ago:
Been slipping, been gaining, not been running. And my husband yesterday said that he was concerned about me when he heard me out of breath walking up a hill, and he hadn't heard that for a while. He said that he had waited a long time to find me and he wants to keep me as long as possible. I think that's inspiration...
PinkCaribou wrote 4 months ago:
This is a great post! Congrats on losing what you've lost so far, that is so wonderful!

My journey with honest love has been... interesting.

I've never had any self-esteem, and my immense self-hatred and brutality had me eating crap as punishment, as hate. Then, one day, I realized I was carrying 300 pounds on my 5'5" frame.

Slowly, slowly... I began to change that horrific mindset. I lost a big chunk of weight and began to see myself differently. But I was still using food as a weapon against myself, and it was intentional. And then I'd attack myself with a barrage of insults.

This went on until January of this year, and that's finally when the honest love happens. "Listen to me. You are awesome, beautiful, and fabulous. You can't keep eating crap and expect to live without health problems for much longer. You keep complaining about not being able to find clothes, but yet you still say nasty things to yourself and stuff food in your face simply to make yourself feel worse about it. Food is not the enemy, and YOU can't be the enemy any longer."

I'm well aware that I need to talk to a therapist, but until I find one I'm trying to alter my mind and my life with honest love that fills me with courage and a growing sense of self-love.
Buttons61 wrote 4 months ago:
I needed this today. I eat emotionally and just slipped up again. I love the motivation that gave you the insight to write this, and the motivation it gives me to drop the baggage and just start again. I can not quit on a journey. No one needs a road to nowhere. Bless you!
shlottelac wrote 4 months ago:
Tough love but Love! ❤️ I think it's impossible to live well if we don't accept ourselves... so be kind to yourself in the same way you would be to a close friend, someone you love, who made mistakes but you help when there is need! I am always hard on myself and the result is a big culpability baggage I always carry... instead I don't want to wait till my weight goal to love me and feel beautiful. Fat or not I think I deserve my love, the way my friends and loved ones deserve it... so I see why you wrote this post, and I agree in part, but I think there is nothing wrong with myself now, yes I'm sure I will feel more energy if I loose some weight, yes, it would be nice to conquer my weight goal... But I don't want to forget that the reason I started to feel sad and fat is that I didn't love me then... So I need to love myself exactly as I am! It's not easy but I try! Thank you for writing down this blog and sharing your thoughts, you are important and you help me, really!
Wysewoman53 wrote 4 months ago:
I so understand where you are right now! My husband of 43 yrs also loves me unconditionally and never said a word about how much weight I had gained during the 45 yrs we have been together. I have lost all the weight I need to lose, according to my doctor, but I stick with MFP no matter what just so I don't ever gain it back. I am eating so healthy now that I have a hard time eating things I know are not as healthy as they could be. Everything I see, everything I eat has a calorie and I get to decide if I want it to be a healthy or unhealthy calorie. When I look at it like that, the choice becomes much easier. I used the excuse of having a bad hip as to why I was so heavy. While it is true I couldn't walk without a cane, had a hard time getting from my front door to my driveway (about 20 ft.), what I was eating as 'comfort' food and the amounts didn't help at all. Once I got a hip replacement, all my excuses where gone. Now, I walk every chance I get since I've been given a second chance at being able to move again. Moving, combined with MFP, has helped me enormously and I know you will get there, too, with every pound you lose. It just gets easier as time goes by. Be very proud of the weight you have lost and don't beat yourself up IF you slip. Just get back to your plan the very next day. Be patient and persevere and those other pounds will also come off. We all may love ourselves unconditionally but I know from experience there were those days when I didn't like myself very much. One thing that helped me so much was not looking at what I was eating as a 'diet' (altho that only means the food we eat every day and not a bad word at all) but looking at what I was eating as a lifestyle change. It has worked for me. From what you have written, I know you got this!! Congratulations on the weight you have lost so far.
darcy2102 wrote 4 months ago:
You know what's beautiful...your acceptance of yourself. Most of us have never laid eyes on you so we only know your spirit and outlook. These things are beautiful.!!!
MLSC14 wrote 3 months ago:
I've been a member of MFP for a few years now but never seriously used it. I stumbled upon your blog today and your stories resonate so strongly with me. It's like reading my own story. Thank you for the inspiration.
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osier5 wrote 2 days ago:
Oh my goodness....I have 100 pounds to lose. It's insane. I first signed up for MFP two weeks ago. And I did great until yesterday. I could feel myself slipping. It's been a tough week. All the old tapes started playing: "You deserve to treat yourself." "You've had a hard week." "No one expects you to deny yourself ALL the time." The voices are all very nurturing at first. Then comes the things that are harder to fight: "You'll never lose the weight." "It's too hard." "You are too old." "You'll never succeed." Soooo I went off the deep end and ate until I was uncomfortable and then went to bed. Disgusted with myself, but not hungry...for the first time in 2 weeks. I woke up this morning, feeling discouraged and logged onto MFP and added all the extra calories and clicked around on the site. I re-read a brilliant post from Capt_Apollo about "The Myth of Motivation" And gave myself a stern talking too. Then I clicked on your post "Standing Tall and Letting Go" and it floored me. So much of what you wrote really resonated with me. I discovered that you had many other posts. And I kid you not, I have been reading all your 2017 posts, starting with January 2017. I can't tell you how much it has meant to read through your journey. I keep crying...my 12 year-old son who is sitting next to me thinks I've lost my mind. But, what you are writing is true. You are helping me to see the damage that I have been doing to myself but with wit and the hope of a better future. Thank you for your posts. When I logged on this morning, I thought I would go treat myself with all the foods I had been denying myself for the last two weeks...after all, I can always restart tomorrow. But, now I feel encouraged and emboldened to continue on this journey to a healthy body. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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