Saturday, June 29, 2013

Drawing a Line

Ahh, morning.  It's a fresh day, a new start and I've been starting out each day feeling motivated and ready to go.  But something happens as the day goes on...I'm sure lots of you have had this experience.  And by 4 or 5pm all my resolve is gone.

There are a few things going on.  A few things that are making things not normal.  Plus some things going on in my head that just aren't helping.  I think a list is in order.
  1. No exercise.  It started with a cold.  Well, I could go all the way back to the pneumonia but I won't.  I had a cold last weekend and couldn't exercise.  I was just coming off the Disneyland not-exercising deal so I hadn't even established my routine again.  So I skipped the gym during the cold.  All told I'm guessing I've exercised once or twice in the past few weeks.
  2. My back.  It's been hurting.  I have a physical therapy appointment for this Monday.  As the cold healed up, I decided to continue to rest and wait for the PT appointment for some guidance on what to do.  
  3. My face.  I went to the dermatologist and she did a treatment on my face that has me looking a bit like a wild animal.  It will heal in the next few days but it was another good excuse to skip the gym.  I am avoiding as much human contact as possible.  
  4. Stress.  No exercise, no sweat-induced stress management, has always meant I have a harder time making good food choices.  The two healthy behaviors go hand in hand for me.   The exercise keeps my stress in check so I don't need to turn to food for that.  
  5. Stinking thinking.  My 12-step friends will recognize that phrase.  I realized last night, as I was fighting an ultimately losing battle with a decision about having a bowl of cereal (or two), that my thinking needed some attention.  I wasn't hungry, it was the classic evening snacking thing I've been doing lately.  So I tuned into my thoughts to see if I could figure out what was happening.  And a few surfaced...

    I'll start eating healthier tomorrow.

    This is the last time.

    Next time I'll make a better choice.

    Recognize any of those? 
  6. Resentments, excuses and lowering the bar.  I'm allowing resentments to be an excuse to make unhealthy choices and harm myself.  Isn't it fun how we can use even good feedback as an excuse to spoil our own party?  I'm not blaming anyone, I know this is my own crap.  But I think I'm using some of the feedback I've gotten as an excuse to eat.  Good feedback, not-so-good, I'm taking it all as justification to eat crap.  And it makes no sense at all.  Not even a shred of sense.  It's that broken thinking that I've let sneak back in.  Oh and lowering the bar, knowing I still look pretty good, knowing 145 isn't so bad.  But feeling so bad, not feeling so pretty good.  Which leads to my next, and final, thing...
  7. You've blown it.  I've gained, what, 8 - 9 pounds?  I was over 146 when I got on the scale this morning.  That shocked me.  Why it shocked me I don't know.  No exercise + overeating = weight gain.  So here I am subconsciously feeling like 8-9 pounds is too much to face, too much to have to lose, too difficult to tackle.  HA HA HA HA!!  If any of the things I've said so far hasn't made you think I'm crazy, this one should.  I am a woman who has lost over 95 pounds on this journey.  And if I were to add up all the pounds I lost and regained we'd be in multiples of a hundred by now.  And I'm balking at 8 - 9 pounds?  Oh the lies we tell ourselves, the excuses we make.  But I won't let this distorted thinking go unchallenged.  I won't let this be the day, the week, the summer in which I fall off the wagon and put on 10, 20, 100 pounds.
  8. I feel fat.  And I know it's a feeling.  And I need to let it go.  Yes, some of my clothes are snug.  That's what happens when you gain weight, your clothes get tight.  But those clothes are sizes 2-4.  Just because my clothes are snug, just because I feel fat, does not mean I am fat and that I should just throw in the towel.  Stop, stop, stop.  
Ok, enough with the list.  So, what am I doing to combat this tsunami of unhealthiness?  Darnit, more lists...
  1. Challenging my thoughts.
    I'll start eating healthier tomorrow:  I've been saying tomorrow for weeks now.  The convenient thing about saying tomorrow is that if you keep saying it, it never arrives.  Today is always today and tomorrow is always tomorrow.  There is no tomorrow.  Tomorrow is today.  Tomorrow is a fantasy that doesn't exist.

    This is the last time:  That would be a fine line of thinking if there were a shred of truth to it.  It's a lie.  A lie I tell myself to make it easier to give in.  Beck writes about strengthening your giving in muscle (as opposed to your resisting muscle) every time you give in to a craving.  I think it's about habit, and giving in to cravings is a bad habit.  One I've let get established once again.  So how do I break this new/old habit?  By making a bold break, by stopping the lies I'm telling myself.

    Next time I'll make a better choice:  There is no next time, there is only now, only this choice.  Last night I remember thinking, if not this time why next time?  What will be different about the next time you face a craving?  Nothing.  Make the change now.  Next time...pooey, more lies.
  2. Meetings.  I went to a Lifetimers' meeting on Wednesday evening.  They have it once a month, on the last Wednesday of the month, and I'm going to start going from now on.  And it was so good.  They talked about all the crap you face on maintenance.  Almost everything was directly relevant to what I'm going through right now.  But once a month won't cut it.  So I'm going to at least one meeting a week, if not more.  I went on Friday to a regular meeting.  I'm going to get to a meeting whenever I can.  I just need the support right now and it's free, so why not, right?
  3. Support.  I'm trying to find new ways to reach out and get support.  I'm lining up some texting buddies to help encourage me when I'm feeling low and celebrate my healthy choices.  
  4. Drawing a line.  This is a tough one.  I'm generally opposed to extreme behaviors, to extreme "diets" but I think I need to go cold turkey on the junk for at least a week to break the bad habit.  Not sure exactly what this will look like but I think I'm just going to eat my 3 meals and my 2 snacks per day - all healthy ones - and avoid all the rest.  I'm going to write this commitment on a piece of paper and read it every day.  
  5. To top off the fun, at 4am this morning I stretched and something in my spine seized up.  I had to miss out on the family picnic my mother's club is having.  Miguel is there now with the kids and texting me cute pictures.  I'm sad to be missing out but as I'm writing this I'm realizing it might be for the best.  The picnic is filled with snacks and whatnot and my resistance muscle is just too weak right now to face those things and still keep the line unbroken.  Anyway, this point is about exercise.  I'm going to rest the remainder of the weekend and then go to PT on Monday.  After PT I'll draw up a new plan for the week, incorporating the exercises they give me.
  6. Recognize progress.  I have stopped the random candy and junk purchases, for the most part.  There was an ice cream the other day but it was with the kids and...ah forget the justifications.  But still, I know I've made major progress in this area.  I have some hard and fast rules and they often work and make my life easier, one is "I don't get food from vending machines."  I see it and I know, it's just not for me.  "I don't buy candy in the checkout line" is another.  Anyway, these things serve to help me make better choices and lately it's been better.  It's the evening snacking that I need to plan to will work on.
  7. Clean up the house food.  I've been letting all kinds of craving-type foods come into the house.  We're not talking red light foods, mostly yellow light foods.  More lies I tell myself about being able to resist.  That was actually true before but right now, because of the tsunami, it's not so true and I need to face that.  I know I can have snacky foods in the house again some day but not for the present.  I need to break these bad habits, build up my resistance muscle, stop the cravings (which are only strengthened by giving in) and get back to my exercise routine and then I can consider having those foods in the house again. 
  8. Stop blaming others.  And know that it's all about how I feel.  No one else holds even a shred of responsibility for the choices I make.  No one else can be held accountable for the food that goes in my mouth.  Not one, teensy, weensy, eeny bit.  It's all my choice.  Voice my twisted resentments, stop using looking "pretty good" as lame excuse, and don't lower the damn bar.  I know, more than anyone, that it's not about a number.  It's about how I feel.  145 pounds is a perfectly fine weight, it's not about that weight, it's about the food choices making me feel like crud.  When I'm eating in a way that feels nourishing and healthy and balanced I was in the high 130's so that is a weight I'd like to get back to.  But I won't be striving for that weight, I'll be striving for the thoughts and behaviors that lead to that weight.  The number is only a manifestation of healthy habits and thoughts.  And challenge the fat feeling.  I am not fat.  I. am. not. fat.  Allowing myself to feel fat, to let that feeling go unchallenged, in some twisted way just gives me an excuse to eat junk.  I am not fat and I will not allow myself to get fat.
Well, I've rambled on quite a bit but I think it was needed.  It's noon.  I'm going to eat lunch.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Blues, I Got 'Em

So now I have a cold.  Blech.  The combination of not exercising and having a cold has turned me into a grumpy girl.  I've accepted that it's going to be a full week before I can get back to it.  On top of that I'm going to the dermatologist today and will look a bit freaky for a week or so while my skin recovers from the work she's doing.  It feels like since getting pneumonia it's been one thing or another that's kept me from my "normal routine."  I can't stand whining, even when it's me doing the whining, so I'm going to make this short.

I do have one positive thing to share, on Monday I resisted these:

I will check back in when I'm in a better headspace.