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Saturday's pep talk

Saturday, October 08, 2011

We are facing the beginning of a three day weekend off work. I am determined that *this* weekend is not going to be like *last* weekend. I have taken steps to adjust my attitude and examine my feelings, my priorities and motivation. This morning was my monthly maintenance consultation at the JC center and I had a good talk with my consultant (who is, by the way, the greatest... and about to get married next weekend - congrats and best wishes to her).

Armed with all of this, I feel confident that the weekend will be a good one. I went for a brief walk as I was early for my appointment, and I looked up at the sky. My camera is too poor to take a picture that would do it justice, but it could have been a book cover... the strata of clouds with the rising sun playing on them is an amazing sight.

When I got home I went outside and while the allergies are bugging me a bit, it felt good just to be outdoors. For this weekend, I give myself permission to live, and to enjoy life, moment by moment, with no expectations for performance or for pleasing others... mindfully, with gratitude.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 10/8/2011 8:34PM

    Enjoy your weekend! I am working all three days. Just got back from our walk.

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SUNNY332 10/8/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Now - go out and have a GREAT weekend.


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GOHUSKERS2 10/8/2011 2:16PM

    What a great attitude....enjoy life!!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/8/2011 1:57PM

    I am sensing your inner peace returning, Barb, and that makes me happy. Wishing your a beautiful weekend in which you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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NAVYMOM133 10/8/2011 12:13PM

    emoticon Awesome attitude going into the weekend!! You CAN!



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_LINDA 10/8/2011 12:02PM

    Sounds aweome!! You can survive this -just find fun physical activities to enjoy that will keep you out of the kitchen and boredom! Go for it!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/8/2011 12:01PM

    Enjoy your weekend -- with that attitude, you will!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2011 11:35AM

    Ohhhh, that attitude adjustment thing: when you've done tightening up the bolts, could you just send the wrench along to me???? Thank you kindly!

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Let's see if we can reinforce positives without stirring up the negatives

Friday, October 07, 2011

First off, Thursday was a decent day with the food. I didn't write it down, but I know the drill, and know what I ate, and it was all pretty routine stuff, so I know I'm in range. No "extras" or slipped ins... and I can do that when I am *not* in rebellion mode.

I consider that a blessing. Because it takes at least a certain amount of time to track, and it's more important to *do* than to write about. I took my break walks, because that's one point I refuse to give in on.

I ended up leaving work late. Not a good thing, usually, because lately it has been putting me in a foul mood, resentful. And we all know what emotional / compulsive eaters do with feelings. However, I came home to a ton of supportive comments on my last blog... and found some resolve for the evening hours in those. Thank you, Spark Friends! emoticon

This morning, I am pondering the resentment thing. When do I "eat" feelings? Don't know about you all, but I tend to "eat" instead of "speak" when I don't feel that speaking is "safe". So, mad at boss (i.e. not able to separate out the feelings enough to see the intellectual issues and reason / talk them through)? Hit the chips! Not good.

And since I'm "miss perfect goody two-shoes" I can't possibly ever hold feelings of "you're not holding up your end of the workload" toward my teammates, either.

So it must somehow all be my fault for not doing enough *myself*, right? (OK, chime in here... anybody else have this trap in their personality?)

It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself.

Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion, to help me "avoid" thinking about the troubling emotions and how they conflict with the self-image I want to be me!

This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out.

Conversation in brain: "You overload me at work? I have to work late? So I won't get my workout in, and I might as well just eat." That is sick thinking.

Today, just for today... I choose to eat healthy, to plan for the good, to make sure I get those vital breaks with walking. Today I choose to speak my feelings, rather than eat them, if I can do so in a balanced, rational and kind way. And if I don't trust myself to speak that way, I will "take a break"; I will remember that "junk food" isn't going to make things better.

Every day is day 1. emoticon And life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 10/7/2011 11:11PM

    Well thought out and right on point! Good job!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/7/2011 7:54PM

    "Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion": yup, that's me too. If I'm miserable, what could make me feel better than a whack of potato chips? Maybe some fatty salty dip with those fatty salty chips?? Yeah. Right. So that tomorrow I'll still be miserable AND bloated too.

But: something I have to learn and relearn over and over again. So: I really like this blog. And "liked" it too!!

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MSLZZY 10/7/2011 10:26AM

    I tend to get upset when someone else isn't pulling their weight (no pun intended) but then I find I will grab onto a project beyond my scope of capability and just do it. It might take me twice as long to do it alone as with help, but I work it out of my system. So don't tell me I can't do it because I will do it, just to prove you wrong. I think this a female thing becuase we always have to prove ourselves to the boss. Unless your boss is a female, we try to please those pesky males way too much.
Have a better day, dear friend! HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 10/7/2011 10:05AM

    Resentment is such a huge motivating factor toward self defeating behaviors and we go in a circle with it, spiraling down. I like the way you're thinking here about what is going on outside you, how you react and how you defend against that reaction. That is the whole ball game right there. Not easy to play, but I believe with enough practice, we can win.

Go Barb!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/7/2011 9:52AM

    Oh yeah -- you and I are probably twins who were separated at birth. I relate 100% with all you blogged about. "Sit down, be quiet, and be a good girl." Does that sound familiar? Doesn't quite build self-esteem or self-confidence, does it. But as long as we take it one day at a time and one choice at at time, we'll make baby steps forward.

And if you have to work late and miss your workout? Be glad you have the fortitude and will to take your walk breaks throughout the day. Something is better than nothing. You rock, Barb!

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NAVYMOM133 10/7/2011 9:18AM


"This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out."

You are so right on!! Every day is emoticon
Why not? We live in the present, strive for the best day possible, each and every day!

Thank you for this perspective!!!

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PATRISNA 10/7/2011 9:16AM

    Barb this was a great blog. I can always relate to your blogs. I think emotional eaters do hide their feelings with comfort food. I am still struggling with it.

"It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself." really is so true.

You are right every day is emoticon


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HOT4FITNESS 10/7/2011 8:47AM

    Good thinking! taking it one day at a time is good too. I myself usually have no problems speaking my opinion or feelings at work. Gets me in trouble sometimes though. I tend to eat my stress. When I get overloaded or overwhelmed with things I tend to start eating and then can't stop.
But let's keep those positive vibes going, just one day at a time!

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DEBRITA01 10/7/2011 8:33AM

    "Speak my feelings, rather than eat them", there's a concept. I know exactly what you mean and can relate. Oh, how we often stuff our feelings down with food. Here's to talking it out when possible, and finding alternate ways to deal with our feelings when it isn't. It's Day 1 again...and life IS good! emoticon

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Demons, dark places, and the big cycle

Thursday, October 06, 2011

One of the major reasons I am not comfortable with compliments that surround weight loss success is "the big cycle". I've written about it before. It is the cycle of many things, I could give it a dozen names. "The myth of continuous improvement." "Burnout." "Trying to do too much." "Competing obsessions." "Project versus process mentality."

In any case, when I'm doing well, I'm doing well... and people say nice things, and I feel good, but I also feel scared. Because there is this little dark demon at the back of my brain that says, "You are going to let them down!" emoticon See him? There he is! And he's been talking to me big-time for the past month or so.

It starts with little slips. And small bumps up in the scale. It escalates into rebellious feelings and worse behavior. It culminates when something else shiny or scary takes my attention and he starts saying, "you don't care. You aren't worth it. You need a pick me up now! Come, dance with the chips and cheese and sugar and fat!"

I bring my tools to bear on it for a while, but eventually, it turns into a full-scale backwards slide. Right now I feel myself slip-sliding away. Only a part of me is fighting the fight. I could go into detail of the distractions and other things my brain wants to work on *instead of taking care of my body*... but I'm sure every reader could match it with a list of their own!

For now, I'm just saying... what usually happens when I get to this point in "the big cycle" is that I disappear for a while... sometimes a loooong while. I come back only when I get past the dark places and back to a place of hope. Because nobody wants to read their way through the "I don't give a ___!" phase. It's *not* an inspiring place to be.

On the other hand, it might help me to keep writing. If a morning pep talk gets me through even a good part of the day remembering I need to (and deserve to, and want to) take care of me... it's worth writing!

So... I had two bad days over the weekend. Then I had two days in which I behaved well. And last night, I had a panic-overloaded-rebellious episode again. I can only live one day at a time. This will be a true test of majority rules. I'm reminding myself of last year's holiday season: I told myself I knew I would have days with more celebratory eating, but I would try to have them limited, and more days of "normal" eating in between. I need to get into that mind set again: put "normal" as the goal. One... day... at a time!

emoticon Every day is day one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 10/8/2011 6:43AM

    Guess what? You're human! We are always so much harder on ourselves than on others!

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ANDI571 10/6/2011 10:45PM

    I don't think we would be here if we all didn't go through what you are going through. I was going through clothes today. I could open a shop of all sizes. I thought, I could get rid of the bigger sizes, but am tired of always having to buy clothes all over again. I could get rid of the smaller sizes, but what if I do finally get down to that size again. I get scared too. I know this is a life time struggle, but am sick of doing it. I am tired of thinking about it. But I know I have to think about it and keep moving forward.

Only you know if you can ease up on the strictness you have done for so long. You know what you need to do, and what not to do and it will always be with you.

Stay with us. We are all in this together and we will persevere together.

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WATERMELLEN 10/6/2011 8:58PM

    Very inspiring blog, actually -- because we've all been in this spot and will be in this spot again. So: to have someone write about it so honestly (instead of just disappearing) is helpful to say the least.

This is such a struggle: I've gotta decide EVERY DAY that I want to be thin. More than I wanna eat whatever it is that's calling my name!

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_LINDA 10/6/2011 8:06PM

    Friends stick with friends through good times and bad. We want to be there to celebrate and also lift up as needed. You wouldn't be human without any failings. We are inspired as much as by failure as by success, when we see you CAN recover from a downfall and get right back at it. Its not the end of the world and certainly not the end of your lifestyle to have a bad weekend. Never EVER beat yourself up for not being perfect, nobody is.
So vent away!
emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 10/6/2011 7:52PM

    You have done so well and need to keep that great attitude going to get over these rough spots. You need a kitty break- so go play with the kitties.

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MOBYCARP 10/6/2011 7:08PM

    We all have cycles. Yours might be bigger than mine; but I notice my own more than I see yours. That's the nature of being human, I think.

I've fallen off the fitness wagon multiple times since I took up weight lifting at the tender age of 49. Guess what? Each time I climb back on that wagon, it's a little easier. Even with cycles, you can make progress.

Sometimes, you need to back off trying to be better than before, and settle for being good enough for today. That's okay. The nature of cycles is that you will have up cycle some time in the future.

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DEBRITA01 10/6/2011 6:13PM

    emoticon"every day is day one" is my mantra. Some days are pretty good and some days are just plain ugly. But, each morning when I awake, I recommit to myself and continue on the best that I can.

Everything in life is a cycle. You are at a challenging point of yours, but you can do it just as you have in the past. Blog if that whatever you need to do to help you through this rough patch. No one expects you to be positive and motivating all the time. If we can help in any way, we would love've been there for so many. Yes, you are an example that it can be done...and it's good to know you are human, you have challenges, and you continue to move forward to overcome them. Don't put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and keep showing yourself some loving kindness.

Some days you've just gotta fake it til you make it, right? Keep your chin up and keep sparking on! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 10/6/2011 11:15AM

    All any of us can do is one day at a time. You have made amazing strides, and I know you will get back on track. Don't do it for us.....don't worry that you might let us down. Do it for YOU. Because even during the dark times when you might not feel like ARE worth it!

Blog away, my friend. We're here to follow along with you on your journey, just as we lean on you when we need to. That means we will be here to celebrate your many successes, and we will be here to lift you up during the darker days.

As you are fond of saying: Life's good....Spark on!

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/6/2011 10:46AM

    You are going to get through this phase again, and I pray it is short! You are loved, and we'll cheer you on through this! Don't go away ... One choice at a time --

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/6/2011 10:37AM

    First things first: you are an inspiration and you ARE doing well. You have impacted my life and motivation in more ways than you can possibly know.

Secondly, I (and probably 99%) of all other sparkers out there have been through the exact same cycles you have (many times). We're all in this together, Barb. It's great that you write such motivational blogs for us all to benefit from. But who's there to motivate you when you're in one of the not-so-nice areas of the cycle? Hopefully we are.

I say go ahead and write the blogs. I've written more than my share of whining and complaining blogs. Poor, poor, pitiful me blogs. I've also done a lot of confessional blogs. Very few motivating blogs. To me, the keyboard therapy is key. I start a blog and by the time I've typed it, proofed it, re-read it a few times (my perfectionism does not allow me to post anything not perfect LOL!), it's been ingrained in my head. If it's a whining blog, usually I feel better by the time I post it. If it's a confessional blog, I'm usually "over" whatever it is I was confessing. I know I do so much better when I blog, but lately I've fallen out of that habit. I may begin again -- though I'm kind of in the same place you are right now.

My vote would be for you to continue to blog. Give those of us who follow you faithfully an opportunity to be there for you. You've got yourself together. You know what you need to do to feel good both physically and mentally. The problem is, you're human. You fall. You can't expect yourself to be perfect all the time. Or even most of the time. If you're like me, accepting the fact that you are imperfect is the real problem. Something we both need to work on.

I'm writing a book here, so I better close. But one more thought before I do: as a JC client, when was the last time you listened to your Touchstones DVD? Maybe it's time to pull that out again . . . .

Have a great day. Chin up and all that jazz. Just one day at a time. And when necessary, one hour (or minute) at a time.

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DEBRA0818 10/6/2011 10:03AM

    Remember that old adage: "No matter how far down the road you are, you're always the same distance from the ditch"? Well, no matter how many times you fall in the ditch, you're still the same distance from the road ... one choice away.

Plus, and just by the way, you don't have to be "inspiring" to be here -- every place you could possibly be, there are a host of other people in the same place eager to hear a common voice.

That doesn't mean you have to keep writing, just that you can if you want to from wherever you are.


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CONCHA77 10/6/2011 8:52AM

    We are here for you, Barb! And don't quit blogging. I look forward to reading them, the good and not so good ones. I think they help you and they help us. See you in the a.m.

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SUNNY332 10/6/2011 8:40AM

    Every day is Day 1, Barbara, so keep on keeping on one day at a time. We all have those demons & dark places. Living life as it presents itself will keep you in the moment. Living live in the moment helps us to enjoy the journey.

Hugs, Sunny

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MSLZZY 10/6/2011 8:13AM

    Continue to do battle with the demons. They only win when you give up. And your attitude tells me that is not one of your options. HUGS!

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HOT4FITNESS 10/6/2011 8:11AM

    Getting through those "storms"can be difficult. But you are doing the right thing. As it passes assess the damage, make amends, and move on, one day at a time. And keep writing!!!

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Next steps

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Monday was a good recovery day. No "extra" exercise, stayed on the food plan, treated myself "gently" from a self-talk point of view, and began trotting out my bag of mental tools related to binge recovery:

1. As best I can, figure out the elements of "what am I missing" and "why am I missing it?"
2. Satisfy that "missing" thing.
3. Assess the goals, stated and unstated, that I have been pursuing.
4. Figure out if they are still relevant.
5. Adjust and move on!

Saturday's rebellion was a precursor to Sunday morning's. The entire rebellion started with the realization that I did not want to take the *time* to drive to Omaha and back for that 5K. This is a clue. My brother is fond of saying that time is the ultimate scarce resource. The longer I live the more I accept this. It is important to spend this scare resource on things that matter most to me.

So then we get into "why did this 5K not matter as much to me?" Truth to tell, I signed up for it late, mainly because I wanted to somehow demonstrate my support for the cause. Which is a good one. But it was one more race in an already full schedule. I just did a 5 mile one three weeks ago, and two weeks from now I was already signed on for another 5K. This one, tucked between? Just plain "too much".

What was I missing? Time to just "be". Time to indulge in some grief (yes, I watched a sappy movie Saturday morning and cried for a lot of this year's losses, including the one I wrote about earlier in the week). Time to not have to be somewhere and do something. I need this. And I need to recognize it's importance to myself, especially during a phase at work that is keeping me overtime more than "normal" and stressing me. Time to hang up the "competition" part of my nature.

The biggest error in all of this was overbooking myself. It's one I have made in the past. I doubt it's the last time I do it. I don't want it to unravel the life I envision for myself: one of dignity and order and harmony. I must pull in my horns and accept that for now, the "official" 5K's have to go. I'm not training properly for them (due to the overtime and exhaustion at the end of the day). I need to take better care of me in other ways right now.

In my heart of hearts, I want that dignified orderly life, to have my home be a refuge. I accept that, and will get back to the "one thing" goals, which have been sliding between the OT and the races. I shall nurture myself. Because I'm worth it.

I will not give up: Tracking my food and activity levels so I can maintain my healthy weight. Walking breaks at work to manage stress levels. Strength training to the evening TV shows, two or three times a week. Positive self-talk, every day, because I'm worth it.

I will give up, "for now": the scheduled races... not going to sign up for any more. I will decide closer to the race itself whether I will actually go and participate in the last one I have already signed on for.

I will re-assess, in a week or two, how this plan is going. Am I feeling less pressured by myself to do "too much"? Because having reactionary binges is *not* healthy! And healthy is the real goal.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 10/6/2011 1:14AM

    I recognise it all - me, I tend to "paralyse" when I have too big ambitions, instead I lurk in my sofa and feel awful...and eat of course.

I miss the energy I used to have. I have probably not fully accepted that my life today has to be more limited in actions than it used to be. I am rebelling against that and when I do, I take on too much and get paralyzed... hmm.

Thank you for helping me seeing this!

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DEBRITA01 10/5/2011 3:19PM

    You're doing great...keep Sparking on! emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 10/5/2011 12:57AM

    It is very good to be self-aware! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/5/2011 12:05AM

    I can schedule myself so tight that I meet myself coming and going. Then I ask myself
"Why"? Being highly competitive myself, I know that I need to just "be" and let go.
And life will go on, regardless. Take care. HUGS!

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MOBYCARP 10/4/2011 9:08PM

    Fascinating blog. Reading it, I recognize a piece of myself in it: I tend to fall apart when my time is scheduled so full that I don't get enough unstructured time to just be. That could be thought of as rebellion, taking the form of refusing to do planned productive stuff in favor of down time.

I need to keep in mind that I shouldn't over-schedule the exercise. Maybe missing the gym entirely for the last couple weeks of 5K training isn't such a bad thing.

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_LINDA 10/4/2011 8:17PM

    Sounded like you have it all figured out. You were simply taking on more than you can handle with your work load. With such stress you need to find more ways to relax and have a me time that will recharge and renergize you, not more work and stress training for a race. You go Barb! Find some FUN activities that don't require thought or commitment! Cut loose! You can do it!

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KARIDIAN1 10/4/2011 6:25PM

    It's important to take time out for yourself. Glad you took some "me" time for yourself.

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SUNNY332 10/4/2011 3:42PM

    Be good to yourself, Barb. Life is meant to be enjoyed too.

I don't beat myself up if I have one or two days that don't fit into "my plans". I just jump back into my plan as soon as I can.

Take care and remember that all of life is taken just One Day at a Time.

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 10/4/2011 10:58AM

    It's OK to say "No" and just relax & enjoy life.


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SHELL- 10/4/2011 10:41AM

    Fascinating insight into motivation behind the rebellion. So did it boil down to "self care"?

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ANDI571 10/4/2011 10:14AM

    I think you are definitely figuring things out. I wonder too, if you are signing up for 5K's that you really don't want to do, if it is another way to escape. I know with me when I don't escape with food, I have to watch that I don't do it with shopping. Then I feel guilty shopping, then I escape that with eating. A viscous cycle if we let it happen. Being aware is very important.

It only goes to show you, we are always learning about ourselves.

Love your cat. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 10:14:38 AM

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/4/2011 9:00AM

    Bravo! Way to think it out and make a reasonable plan.

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Practicing what I preach

Monday, October 03, 2011

Treat yourself gently. Imagine your best friend came to you and told you what you just wrote. What would you advise him/her? Would you tell them they are a terrible person? Or would you comfort them?

That's the advice I preach to others. Today I put it into practice for me. Yesterday was just that... yesterday. In fact the whole weekend, lost or not, is that "past". It doesn't reverse the entire program.

I slept well, which I generally do when I eat more. Perhaps I had been undereating a bit, leading to stronger temptation to "overcompensate"? Take that into consideration... and don't swing too far the other way today.

So, I packed my lunch, the usual healthy stuff. And I made my breakfast of steel cut oats with fresh strawberries (they were on sale on Saturday, so I even saved money on them this time).

I shall take my walking breaks at work. And I shall keep my self-talk positive. And this *will* be a good day of recovery. Because despite the days of rebellion... majority does rule. And the majority of the time, I really *do* care.

Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/3/2011 9:35PM

    Wiser words were never spoken! So glad you were able to turn things around and get yourself back to normal. It feels good slipping back into the healthy routine after a slip, doesn't it? I'm doing the same thing after having indulged all weekend.

I was thinking about you on my walk this morning. I found myself wondering if perhaps the slip you experienced was your body/subconscious telling you that it need rest. You've been doing a lot of 5Ks all summer long. Maybe this was your body's way of getting what it needed. You may not have liked it's tactics, but it did slow you down. And you got good rest last night. Just a thought . . . .

Have a nice evening and a great start to your day tomorrow, Barb!

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MIZCATHI 10/3/2011 7:06PM

    Wow, now I don't feel so alone. For the past several days I have been in "rebellion" too, and not sure why. It really wasn't much fun!

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DEBRITA01 10/3/2011 6:06PM

    Glad you've shown yourself the same kindness you show to friends here on SP. You keep Sparking! emoticon

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_LINDA 10/3/2011 3:06PM

    Good Recovery!! Good attitude!!
I can't get enough of strawberries and don't care what I have to pay to get them lol.
You have a GREAT day of recovery and treating yourself with TLC and respect! Your body will thank you for it!

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ROSEWAND 10/3/2011 2:54PM

    I am discovering that maintenance is a path of
balance and equilibrium. It is not straight.
I lean to left and undereat; I lean to the right
and overeat. As long as I rebalance and return
to the center, I am fine.

And you are wisely acknowledge, love and
patience are a big part of restoring the balance.


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BESTSUSIEYET 10/3/2011 9:43AM

    Yes! And for the record, I think your one day of rebellion will do less damage than the daily "just a little bit over" thing. You are not lying to yourself and then whining when the scale & your pants try to tell you that you have been off track! Blessings today! Throw away whatever is left of the junk food, and go back to the healthy things you've come to love!

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SUNNY332 10/3/2011 9:01AM

    Great job of putting the weekend behind you and stepping out into the new week. emoticon

Love the PINK!

Have a Marvelous Monday, Barb!


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MSLZZY 10/3/2011 8:34AM

    I vote for recovery. The past is the past so move on. HUGS!

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SLENDERELLA61 10/3/2011 8:14AM

    Brilliant! You are SO right. It is the majority that counts. An occasional slip isn't significant -- what is significant is renewing that commitment to health. Good for you!! -Marsha

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SHARON2014 10/3/2011 7:57AM


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HOT4FITNESS 10/3/2011 7:48AM

    Onward we move my friend...onward. Gently of course.

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