Self-Protecting

It seems part of my weight has always been a form of self-protecting.  As a young child it was a child’s way of protecting against further abuse and then became a way to stuff emotions.  As the years went on, it was a way to protect against hopes and dreams because, well, because I just didn’t hope and dream so much.  I would begin to and then immediately discount those things as impossible.

I have done a lot of work in this area.  I have come a long way.  I can tell.  I have this handy goal list with all sorts of adventurous and fun things on it that I once thought impossible.  When I run, I dream of doing these things with strong legs and arms and a heart that I don’t fear will give out and in gear that fits and actually looks good.  Those are the thoughts that often fill my head as I run.

Yet, I still find myself itching to self-protect.  This time though it is from disappointment.

A few months ago, I had an interview for a job that I really wanted and was very qualified for.  The interview process went so well.  I was quite excited and certain I would be offered the position.  In the end, I didn’t get it and I was hugely disappointed.   So much so that I actually cried.   I don’t cry often.  So crying over a job is kind of a big deal.

This week, I have had an interview and in a few hours will be having a 2nd interview with the same company.  The situation is the same.  Great first interview.  I am perfectly qualified.  On Sunday, while having brunch with Coach and a few others, the topic of the interview came up and I was quick to dismiss it.  I had not heard by Friday that they wanted me back for a 2nd interview (which was the time frame they gave me) so I had already written the job off as something that was not going to happen.   I refused to listen to wisdom that said that they could just be behind on things.

See, I was already steeling myself against disappointment.  Friday, I had eaten alot of chocolate chip cookies and it wasn’t until it was pointed out to me that I ate those on the same day I had given up on the job possibility that I realized that I can’t not be disappointed.  Even though I have been very careful to only tell a select few that I even have an interview and even among those few, I don’t think I have even said out loud that I really WANT this job.  In my mind, if I say that, then don’t get it, it will hurt worse. Be more disappointing.

I have been working overtime to downplay my desire for this job in hopes of it not being as bad as last time if I don’t get it.  While I did get a 2nd interview (they called Monday), I still find myself playing it safe in my mind and telling very few people about it and preparing for the worst while planning to do my best in the process.

On other fronts it happens with my weight loss.  Since realizing that I have been stagnant since June a couple weeks ago, I have been more conscious than ever of calorie intake and exercise.  The first week I gained.  This week I lost 1.2 lbs.  I remember a time not so long ago when a 1.2 lb loss would have had me jumping for joy.  But I have gained and lost the same 4 lbs for the last 2-3 months.  I am still afraid I am not gonna make it past this mental road block of  “never having lost 65 lbs before”.  So I think until I make it past that marker, no weight loss will make me jump for joy.  It isn’t new weight lost after all.  And yet, then I have 135 lbs of “never having lost XXX LBS before” to go through before I reach goal weight.  I sure hope that once I make it past the 65 lb mark that the rest won’t be so incredibly mentally difficult.

As for the self-protecting part of this.  As I drove to the weigh in, I found myself starting to get exciting, knowing for SURE I had to have lost weight.  Yet, there was a part of me that kept saying, “simmer down, don’t be too excited or you will just be disappointed again”.  I don’t think I could have handled it if I had NOT lost today so I was mentally preparing for the worst then couldn’t even be excited when good happened!

Here is what I notice about my self-protecting.  I miss out.  Today I missed out on the celebration of 1.2 lbs down and my work paying off.  This week I have missed out on the joy of sharing this interview process with others and the joy that comes from having hope for something.

I know a certain level of self-protection can be helpful and even wise at times such as when in dangerous situations or with people who are legitimately unsafe.  But I think in these two cases of mine, it is unhealthy and I am not sure how to stop that automatic response from happening.  I guess that is what relationships are for.  People in your life who know you and are willing to speak out what they see so that hopefully the patterns can be stopped.

So with that said.  I really, really, really WANT and NEED this job.

I am not giving up on this weight loss thing…even if I have to battle hard for the next 5 years, I will win!  I want it too much to give up when it gets hard!

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12 thoughts on “Self-Protecting

  1. Good luck with the job. It sounds as if you have been going through a bit of an emotional roller coaster internally. Regarding the last few months, I know what you mean. I have had that happen to me too, and I am a bit afraid I am there right now. That is partially why I was so hard on myself Sunday.

  2. GREAT post. I totally know what you mean here. All summer I gained and lost the same 5 pounds after gaining 15 back…because I hit my “I’ve never los tbelow this point” weight as well. 219 had been my lowest in years, and when I got to 217, I completely freaked out and put on some comfort weight. Isn’t it crazy what we do to ourselves?

    That being said, don’t miss out on “going all in.” Sure there are bigger risks, but there are also bigger rewards. YOU WILL keep losing the weight! You’re doing great!

  3. Isn’t it funny that self-protecting as an adult actually turns into self-hurting? I think of this in my own life and how I protect myself, or TRY to protect myself, and how it just doesn’t work out the way I want it. I end up damaging relationships, work too much, and so on.

    So, to the both of us, or to all of us on the comment part, WE CAN DO IT! We can enjoy the moment! We can roll with the disappointment when it happens and not let it dictate our future hope. YES WE CAN!

  4. {imagine my best cheerleader rendition}
    Give me a K
    Give me an I
    Give me an M

    What does it spell?
    SUCCESS
    PERSISTENCE
    ACCOMPLISHMENT

    GOOOOOOO KIM!

    Yes–It’s late and I’m feeling a bit silly. {High kick and pom pom flutter} WOOT!

    • Oh, and on a serious note, I totally get the self-protection thing. I struggle with that too. Acknowledging it, as they say, is the first step. Looks to me like you are figuring things out. Way to keep moving forward.

      • Girl!!! You make me laugh!! Especially the high kick/pom pom flutter!

        Yeah, the sooner I blog/journal about things the quicker I seem to work through them…and figure them out…

  5. This is one of the best posts you have ever written. I love the way you work through these things, owning your feelings, noting your patterns, being honest about the whole process. You truly are a shining star.

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