Those thoughts above don't sound like the healthiest mindset and it's because it's not - that person has obviously prioritised weight loss in front of their health - both mental and physical. Fortunately, I am nowhere near that mindset...at least, when it comes to my body. (It's pretty awesome, thank you for asking).
Replace 'weight' with 'hair length'. Swap 'shed these pounds' to 'gain those inches'. 'Lose weight' with 'grow my hair'. You can replace pills with hair products or keep it the same, it's similar.
And then suddenly, it is me.
I didn't realise it until The Wonder Thing pointed it (thus, once again, living up to his name). I think I was scrolling through someone's Instagram or watching another Youtube video.
"You know...your thing with your hair is kind of like the thing people have with losing weight."
I admit, I confess, I laughed initially.
But he was right. I am (was?) obsessed. I was planning long and unrealistic regimens that I could never stick to in the hope of gaining/retaining length. And then thinking of ways to improve my sprouting, even marginally. I had to start planning my life around my hair, instead of vice versa. I'm like that page in Bridget Jones, where her friends realise that she knows the calorific detail of a banana, and yet her weight goals have fallen on the wayside. I can talk about the structural make up of a hair strand, but I'd become so disillusioned, so distanced from my own. I didn't understand the phrase 'Health over Length' - because if your hair is healthy, you should have length too, right? So surely they're the same thing.
It came to a head when I finished washing my hair late at night, and thought "I need to stretch my hair so I can deal with it tomorrow." But the stretching method would take another hour or two, taking me into the twee hours of the morning, and then eventually robbing me of the comfort of a good night's sleep, because I wouldn't be comfortable. But how could I sleep when I needed to manage my hair?
It did not occur to me for a while that I could just sleep and not deal with my hair till I was ready and had the strength. I thought it was exhaustion or just chopping off the whole thing to avoid exhaustion. I was so exhausted already that I actually cried at the idea of having to give up my sleep to deal with my hair. I'm not a crier, as in at all. I cry when someone I love is no longer in my life or at the beginning of the film 'Up', so for me to be crying actual real, salty tears over this issue meant that, deep down, I knew I had to do something. The Wonder Thing was right - my obsession was getting out of control. My perspective had shifted and was making me very unhappy.
I'm someone who always advocates being happy where you are, and if you're not happy, then change it.
It seems stupid and superficial that something so seemingly trivial is having such an impact on my wellbeing, but there you go - it happens. With skin, weight, money,..hair
My first action was to cut out all my 'triggers'. So I'm off hair blogs, hair posts and even vlogs and the instagrams of my favourite hair bloggers. I can spend up to 3 to 4 hours a day, browsing hair sites. Some women are doing the least ("Why can't my hair grow that fast with that little effort?") and some women are doing the most ("An 8 hour wash day may seem silly, but it's giving her results! Wait, she's putting WHAT on her scalp??"). I even walked away from this blog for a little while, to give me some breathing space. I'm also kind of hoping that this will make me more productive - less time wasting my efforts reading and looking at other's people hair and more time riding my bike in the sunshine, or something equally twee.
I'm trying to get a more realistic point of view. I still like my hair. It's still breaking. I'm still breathing, so there's probably something I can do about that without bankrupting myself. If there isn't....well, I guess I'm going to have to accept that, for me anyway, waist length hair may just be a pipe dream. It's hard for me to even think that, let alone write and publish it - I've been aiming for waist length that since the outset of this blog in 2010 - but I'd rather feel good about myself and know what's realistic, than fruitlessly chasing something that is not possible with my lifestyle. Less complaining and wailing in sorrow and more being proactive and sensible. Less of this and more of this. I don't want to choose a goal that consistently makes me feel like a failure. Either the goal is wrong or my hair is. My hair is awesome. But so is my life. I intend on living it.
I think I'm finally on Team Health > Length.