Saturday, April 13, 2013
First off, I want to thank everyone for their comments yesterday about my 150 lb dilemma. I really did know that I needed to wait till I was fit and healthy again before I made any claims to some number on the scale. But I also suspected lots of other people sort of wish they could instantly be perfect in a twinkling - even if it did mean a painful night - No pain no ... er... loss? And I hoped you'd get a chuckle from my situation. I have had a bunch of girlfriends over the years tell me that the only good thing about the flu is the weight loss - and we always laugh because we also know it's just temporary and will disappear with the return of good health - and really, is the misery of stomach flu worth a transitory number on a scale? Nope.
In a way, though, this leads right into something that struck me in Dean Anderson's article this morning "Have you found your inner "Normal Eater"?"
A "Normal Eater" is someone who has
"a healthy relationship with food and eating that feels normal, comfortable, usually enjoyable, and relatively easy to maintain over time. ... Just a little common sense, some basic nutritional knowledge, and a willingness to trust your body to make up for your occasional dietary “mistakes” and balance out your calorie and nutrient intake over time to match your needs."
Sounds great, doesn't it? It's what we're all after, isn't it?
Or is it? I wonder. Do I really want that? Who would I be if that were true about me? I have been concerned with my body's weight since I was 10 years old! Not sure I want to give up that hobby.
Honestly - the first thought I had was ... If I had an inner normal eater I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be on Spark People. I wouldn't be interacting with other people around this issue. I wouldn't be reading articles and sharing thoughts and pondering possibilities and writing blogs about this. And then ... wouldn't I be so lonely?
Or would I be carefree and thinking and doing and interacting about Other Things? Not that I don't do this already - but ... what about my weight loss buds? I love the interaction with them too ... I even love talking about food and weight and body issues and secrets to success and boy do I need their support when I'm failing.
Of course, the real inner normal eater is trusting her body to do what's right and not obsessing over failures. She doesn't need to be perfect.
Well, neither do I - LOL - which is good. I just need to be good - and moving. Progressing. And that brings up another issue - a Maintaining issue - which is NOT a progressing state. Has the desire to be "going somewhere with this body of mine" also contributed to regaining weight so I could get back to an Old Normal of restricted eating? Was the thrill of moving towards a goal ... the exciting anticipation of getting close ... the adulation and cheering when I got there ... was that the whole purpose? Hmmm. I wonder. I bet it was the bulk of the fun.
And is there a fear aspect too? The fear that if I "got there" I'd have to stay there or risk my reputation as a "winner"? Would regaining weight throw me into the pit full of losers? I mean - it's been 10 years since I was overweight and almost 20 since I was obese. Lots of people don't even remember that once I weighed 200 lbs. So then I'd be a New Failure not an Old Failure. I can just hear the whispers ... "What's happened to Bess? God she's ballooned up"
Oh la! where am I going with this. Feels like some giant sucking sound to the south.
What I'm really coming to see is that I am fascinated with health and bodies, especially mine and need to be challenged - to feel like I'm moving somewhere - to stay happy. I already knew this about other parts of my life; work, creativity, learning - so it doesn't surprise me to find it so present in my physical life. Having an Inner Normal Eater might erase the weight challenge but I can have lots of other challenges to push me along that still center around my health and my body. The natural process of aging is going to throw down some new challenges but there can still be ones that are selected by me because they look like so much fun. And THERE is the missing word in all this. FUN. I like to have fun with the things I am doing - the things I'm learning. Like the Cat in the Hat - I like to have good fun that is funny - and at this point I can feel my natural ENFP* (look a bird) self wandering off into another weird direction so I better just stop here and say I wish each and every one of you a great relationship with your very own Personal Inner Normal Eater - whoever he or she is.
*ENFP - Myers-Briggs Personality Test - very 90's but still fun.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Well. Here is a conundrum. I have been on the long journey towards the land of good health. ( imagining here a sort of Disney-esque green field with forests near by and a trickling blue stream. There are talking bunnies and fawns and flowers in flat primary colors – maybe some tweeting birds fluttering around, bringing ribbons to twine in my hair. Definitenly have on a princess dress with a tiny waistband.) It's a broad landscape – with room for a number of “numbers” A weight range, fitness/activity points, numerical goals, even dress sizes. I slipped through the door by getting within 2 lbs of my goal – but I hadn't actually reached my goal. I was still walking there but had not arrived. Another cinematic image – Dorothy in the poppy field outside the land of OZ.
And Wednesday I came down with the stomach bug that laid Himself low on Monday. Needless to say, very little has passed my lips. A few bananas and some toast, part of the BRAT diet pediatritions used to prescribe for babies who'd been sick. I am now 2 lbs below my 150 goal.
Let's face it – I got there by throwing up. So. Do I count it anyway? Or do I wait till I'm back in the saddle, so to speak. Eating solid meals. Making wise choices. I would like to touch that bulls-eye and move on with Other Things – but I don't want to “win by a technicality”. I think I shall wait till my official weigh in day – which is Tuesday and it's at the WW meeting. I'm sure to have gotten well enough to eat normal meals by then and if I'm “at goal” I'll count it and change my ticker on the blog page. OTOH, if my home scales say I've stayed the same I'll just wait until May when I would normally weigh again.
But I have to say - it was a lot of fun to see that red needle on the left side of the scale.
I'm still a little wobbly, though I am heaps better. I have work at home, so I've decided to take another day off. It's Friday and no need to infuse the library with any residual germs. This is one virus I would hate to pass on. Short – but brutal.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Did you - DO you - ever hear that? I sure did/do. Especially as a kid I learned that you get along better if you put a lid on it. And I'm good at it. I have enough of a natural analytical mind (Left Brain School Marm) that I can usually find my way around, under, through - issues. Whenever I've taken those quizzes - you know them, the ones that ask "Are An Emotional Eater?" I always click NO. I don't binge - at least not the way I've heard people describe a binge - eating till you're sick, getting up in the middle of the night to find a 7-11 to buy snickers bars, scarfing down a pie and then baking another one and eating a slice so nobody will know you ate a whole pie.
Wait a minute
I did do that once - when I was pregnant but that was nearly 40 years ago.
so no. I didn't think I was an emotional eater. I did know I was a boredom eater.
I'm almost never bored.
So how come I got all the way up to 199 lbs back in 1996? For that matter, how come I've bounced back up pretty high so many other times.
What I didn't realize is that I have a powerful but stealthy Wild Child Right Brain who will make herself known. If I'm not paying attention to her - she will just get bigger so I can't miss her! No - she won't binge. No - she doesn't grab the box of chocolates like Andrea McCardle did in the movie Three Weddings and a Funeral after winning the pity party story. But she will nibble and snick and snack and whisper "Just this once" and "We can start tomorrow" so sweetly my somewhat lazy School Marm Left Brain will go along.
I've recently had an opportunity to look back over my weight history and I realized that everytime my life hit rough patch, I got fat. At 10 I had the world's most evil school teacher who so tormented me and terrified me that I grew to 100 lbs. At 14 my parents put me in a school I didn't want to go to (that Left Brain Wild Child really did get in with a wild crowd) and I got all the way to 180. In both of those cases I just grew taller but I also grew happier as time went on and I finished high school with a cute figure ... although I didn't know it. I can only tell you so because I've looked at photographs of me back then. At the time I still thought I was fat. But that's another story.
In my 30's, 40',s and 50's I've had my share of troubles - quite like anybody else - and each time I donned fat to protect me. Still, I never thought of myself as an emotional eater. I figured I was a victim of genetics, advertising, weak will, indulgent Left Brain. Well. A victim I am not, but all of those things did contribute to my weight issues. It's just that, another major component in my struggle with weight has been EMOTIONAL EATING!
There. I've said it. I know the enemy and she's mine, holding a bag of M&Ms. It's my dear little Right Brain Wild Child who's feeling unacknowledged. So she acts out. And when she feels like her needs are being met, she cooperates with the weight loss effort and here we are - right where we wanted to be - at goal.
The important thing to remember now is ... to not forget her. To check in regularly and see
that she feels like she's being listened to - acknowledged - getting her needs met. It's all about playing fair with both sides.
And the next time I see the question "Are you an emotional eater?" I'll say "You Betcha!"
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