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!" 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!
Every day is day one.
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!
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.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
OK, we all know weekends are hard. But it's been a very long time since I went into full and blatant rebellion mode. As in make a list of target foods and go to the grocery store and purchase them with the express purpose in mind to eat without recording.
Good, healthy foods? Heck no. We are talking Halloween candy, a full month before the holiday. And chips. Yes, sour cream and onion potato chips. And full fat-laden natural processed cheese. I bought them, I brought them home. And I ate them. Not all of them, yet, but enough to feel full and bloated.
I was supposed to go run a 5K in Omaha this morning. When I got up at 4:20 a.m. I hit this wall of full rebellion. In fact it was already in progress yesterday afternoon. The run was in a very good cause. But I wasn't doing it "with" anyone else. And I did NOT feel like taking my today and using it that way. And I took the bit in my teeth and chose NOT to go. I paid them my money. They mailed me my shirt. But I did not go run. I had a bad case of the "I don't wannas." OK, I was also hiding from the Autumn allergens.
Instead I laid around the house, watched old TV shows on Netflix, and vegged. And by mid afternoon, it escalated to the grocery trip. And there you have it... confession. Not sure when this mood will end. But it is this kind of attitude that can undermine everything I've done for the past two and a half years!
Sigh. The roller coaster goes on.
Friday, September 30, 2011
The word "design" popped into my brain today. Maybe it is because I'm in the design phase of a project at work, but maybe it's just one of those random things. Either way, where the brain went was, "Live your life by design".
I think this is very similar to creating a vision for what I want the next phase of my life to be... weaving a fantasy that can turn into a reality, one day at a time. Perhaps it is the natural optimism that I tend to wake up with every day. I can't explain it exactly, where it comes from, but I seem to have had it since childhood. Oh, yes, I've had some darker times and moods, and "I don't care" and "this is NOT working" periods in my life, but left to my own devices, a good night's sleep seems to make almost everything better.
I wake up this way. It is a gift. One that I think might be cultivated, nurtured and encouraged, but at its base, I was blessed with it from birth, I think. Just ask Moby! We used to have long conversations as teenagers. Or ask my kid... we've had a few.
But I digress, rejoicing in the gift... this morning "live your life by design". Maybe this is the phrase that I'll use to refurbish the "do one thing". I know I feel better when I am taking action... so the design of my life is around doing just that: taking action to live the life I am meant to live. After all, the journey on this plane is not forever. I mean to make the most of what's really important in it.
Hug your loved ones, and live by design! Life's good... Spark on!
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