Sunday, March 25, 2012
I have this mug with a poem on it about how you gotta throw yourself in the river, away from the shore, and let it carry you because the river knows its destination. Trying to catch onto the sides or control your direction will only harm you. I'm trying to let go of the sides and just be present in the current, but I've recently noticed that I'm holding aloft a smartphone and desperately trying to activate the maps applications so I can see where I'm headed.
Weight loss cannot be done with GPS.
And that's been my problem. I've been reading weight loss blogs or taking weight loss tips and poring over weight loss programs... and I just realized I don't actually want to lose weight.
I want something else...
...I want to be able to say "No" when I'm not hungry
...I want to be able to tackle the obstacles in a 5k mud run in my barefoot shoes
...I want to go out to a party and sleep well afterwards, without the headache from the booze or the stomach ache from the sweets
...I want to be able to play in the grass doing cartwheels, jumps, rolls and laughing
...I want to open the fridge and feel like my food is singing to me (right now it is just taunting or slowly decaying!)
...I want to cheer up my intestines so I don't feel bloated on a regular basis
...I want to sweat buckets and then put on a cute dress
I've been hovering around my scale, watching it bounce around (the scale is, for me, a bogus measurement. I change weight within a 5lb window through the day) and it isn't the numbers specifically that bother me. It is the upward trend and the EVIDENCE of my apathy.
There you go, Sparkers, I've been apathetic. I've been cynical and sad and given up. Then I've hawkishly watched the scale to confirm my own failure.
I can't guarantee I've learned my lesson. I'm probably still going to try and micromanage from deep within the river. I'll just have to forgive my meddling and sink under the current again. I love Sparkpeople and while it is specifically a weight loss tool, it is so much more than that. It is a community and a lifeline. I hope that, like Stepfanie Romine, the act of pursuing my own health with ultimately pull my body into sync and turn me into a well-oiled machine. I really like her :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Looking back over the week (really? Just a week?) my notes tell me the following:
There are two points during the day which hurt me: 4pm lull (even unemployed I get that lull!) and then the space after dinner where I am thinking, "Where's dessert?"
The "bad space" where I am throwing stuff down the hatch without care or thought looks like this: straight out of the can/jar/box, cold, hyper-flavor. My go-to's are grape juice, cranberries, leftovers, and (weird) pasta sauce.
I recovered from one binge by treating myself to a fancy kale salad, reminding myself that I am lovable and mistakes are not forever. I stopped a binge by drinking my juice from a glass and prevented another by making my own ice cream.
The next week of the challenge is to limit the "trigger" foods or lessen sugar intake. Here are my three spots:
No more juice. If I want juice, go out and buy the fruit and eat that.
Everything must be plated. My house is an all-you-can-eat buffet but I'm not allowed to stand over the sink anymore. No drinking out of the jug or carton (sorry, I'm a pig!) and NO COLD LEFTOVERS! Heat them thoroughly.
Finally, PLAN for the snacks at places I'm going. I don't leave myself room for the snacks at my bible study or book group or church and I really need to give myself the allowance to enjoy a social munch.
So there they are:
No juice, just fruit.
No more foraging for food.
Incorporate social foods into meal plan.
We'll see how I go :)
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Today I had lunch with my husband and his drum circle. They watched me drink a beer and eat only half my lunch. I mentioned briefly that I ran six miles that morning and biked (a quarter mile) to meet them. Perhaps they admired my healthiness: my organic burger which I fastidiously cut in half, and my muscular legs which ran me through Chicago and Evanston.
When I'm bored or alone at home I cram cold leftovers into my protesting stomach in an attempt to feel something. I've been doing that more and more often recently. A week ago I tried to throw up after a binge but I'm just not good at it. I didn't stop myself, I didn't reason myself out of it, I just physically failed.
I'm going through physical therapy for my hips and a problem I have with intercourse due to my lady parts. My husband and I are looking into marriage counseling, not because we fight or don't love each other enough but because we both have harmful tendencies which are affecting our ability to express our love to each other.
What I mean to say is, my problems are not on my sleeve anymore. Ever since losing weight and becoming more slender I have had difficulty with this. When you are fat or ugly or awkwardly alone everyone can sympathize with just a look. I got so much support and surprise from strangers when I began running. LOOK AT THAT FAT GIRL GO!
My illness is that I feel the need to manifest problems in order to communicate the fissures and ruins that are hidden inside me. How will people know I am sick unless they see it? Who will believe me when I survey my perfect life and say, "Yet I am unhappy."?
My loved ones believe me. They never resent me. It's that snake-tongued voice tickling my ear that puts these fears in me. I am allowed to be unhappy and to deal with that unhappiness. I am allowed to ask for help and to express dissatisfaction with the world even as I am struck by its beauty and whimsy.
I took the jug of grape juice from my lips today, craving the immediate and sickening sweetness. I said to myself, "You can have as many glasses as you want but you must put it in a glass." I meant it. If I poured the whole jug out and drank it one glass at a time that would be fine. I only drank one.
Thursday I treated myself to a healthy meal at a fancy vegan restaurant after a binge. The voice in my head laughed, "Well now you are going to binge more so that you can get the reward!" but that is like the man laughing at the welfare mother. He does not know that this hell is not voluntary, that we do not want to be here and would not choose it were we given the choice. That voice is one of ignorance, one completely unaware of the problem.
Tonight I craved ice cream. I could go for a walk and pick up some frozen yogurt or low calorie gelato. But no, I decided, I'll make it. I have the ingredients and an ice cream maker, so why not? I chose a custard-based vanilla, using my organic milk, local eggs, and some whole vanilla beans I had on hand. If I still want it in an hour when the custard cools I can have it. In a bowl with a spoon, as much as I want.
I've decided I will give my cravings everything they want. I will let them win, reward their tantrums. I will only ask that we heat up the food or plate the lunch, that we pour the juice into a glass or prepare the ice cream myself. You can have as much as you want, just let me make it for you. While she waits I will hold her, stroking her hair, and show her how to tell when the custard is ready.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
I binged. I'm not going to tell you what or how many calories because it really doesn't matter. I ate past the point of satiation when I wasn't really hungry to begin with, and it was enough of a "mistake" to affect my health. I also overate to the point of illness yesterday.
So what do I do? Do I exercise like mad, even though my stomach is upset and I have a sugar-headache? Do I restrict my calories tomorrow? Skip dinner tonight? Practice a fast? All these ideas instantly ran through my head. I started to look around for help.
A website said, "Make sure you eat after a binge." Counter-intuitive, I know. They mean, make sure you get right back on the healthy schedule. But something else clicked with me. I thought about how I shame myself and how I hurt myself, and how binge-eating, for me, is intended to hurt myself. I eat to the point of pain. I eat foods I don't even particularly like (such as ketchup) to overstimulate and numb my palate. I don't eat for joy or pleasure or satisfaction.
So why not treat myself to a gorgeous, healthy, pricey meal after a binge? Why not give myself a gift? Why not try the exact opposite of my previous reactions and be gentle this time?
Before I go to my book club tonight I am stopping by a vegan place that I've always wanted to visit. They are a little expensive ($$ on yelp!) but that will make the experience stick better. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve healthy, good, delicious food and I deserve to love eating it. I don't deserve half-cold, hastily consumed left-overs. I deserve food made with love, grown with love, and recognizable in its forms.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
I take you for granted.
Sometimes I go crazy with the calorie counting and the fat and the protein (I NEVER GET ENOUGH PROTEIN!) and don't even start me with my carbs. Then I blame you for making me look at my own mess.
How dare you point that out to me? I already feel like crap and I'm eating crap and not exercising, how dare you hold up the mirror and say, "Lookie here."
So I leave for a little while and hack it on my own, not looking in the mirror and still grieving over feeling unhealthy. I muck around in my own mess and wonder why everything is so icky. Then you come out with a little email that says, "I think you might like this..."
And I'm back. Thank you, Sugar Detox challenge. Thank you for being so gentle. The first week I'm not even supposed to worry about my sugar binging, I'm just watching it, recording it, asking myself questions. I thought (after four years of being with Spark, I still don't know you!) the first week would be CLEAN YOUR PANTRY! THROW IT ALL AWAY! But no, you said, "Just bring back the mirror, honey."
Thank you. Today has been one of those good days, the sort of days I wish happened every day but have to realize are jewels I need to savor as special. I'm going to watch how my body demands sugar even when I'm happy. I'm going to acknowledge that later this week I will feel down and depressed and I have to examine how my body demands sugar then as well.
You even gave me a test ( www.sparkpeople.com/resource/assessm
to help me determine what kind of relationship I have with sugar. I'm situational. I don't have a natural sweet tooth, I know I can beat this. I'm emotional or pressured by the hedonistic thrill of parties. I have to reign that in and recognize my deeper pieces (the pieces I don't like looking at).
Thanks, Sparkpeople. I'll go AWOL sometimes, but I'll always come back.
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