Sunday, November 21, 2010
Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 339.2
Goal this Week: 337.2
Actual Weight: 339.4
Loss/Gain: +0.2 pounds
I warned yesterday that I wasn't expecting a good weigh-in today. Why?
1) I've been an emotional wreck and I know that stress can lead to weight gain.
2) I added in some stress eating this week. Not at all good, but I tried to hold myself back as much as possible. I certainly didn't give in to every impulse!
3) I ate out much of the week. Why, hello, sodium...nice to see you again! ...NOT!
4) I didn't work out much this week. I had to force myself to the gym yesterday in order to get in my 2 swipes a week at the gym required by the insurance company's weight loss program.
5) I didn't drink all my water. Not at all. Some days it was almost non-existent.
6) I didn't get enough sleep due to the stress.
So all of these things could have lead to a massive (or at least in my mind) gain on the scale today. All week I'd been watching my weight hover in the low 340s, and I knew that even the chanting of 338, 338, 338 wasn't going to make a difference today because I woke up bloated (my ankles are a little tight, which means they are slightly swollen).
Why didn't I have a huge weight gain this week then?
1) I ate less most days. There were days when I'm sure I went over...days I even forgot to track, but I was always conscious of what I was doing. The little rebel in me fought hard, but there were times that I simply won over by sheer stubbornness.
2) I did not let a few "bad" days dictate the rest of my week. Every morning I woke up with the thought that it was a new day with new opportunities and I had the choice to make the most of them.
3) (As MEZZOANGEL so kindly pointed out), I went to the gym even when I didn't want to. I remember Wednesday and the little fit my inner lazy rebel dished out, but I fought against it and went anyway. I cried through my workout. I focused my gaze on a nail in the wall and ran on the elliptical out of anger and fear and hurt feelings, and a dozen other emotions. It was not a happy workout...but it was a workout I made happen.
4) Even when my choices were bad, they were better than they used to be. Let's face it, I did not go to the store and buy Suzy Q's and Ho-Hos and 2 candy bars and coke. I pouted at home and, instead, rebelled with a grilled cheese on whole grain bread with light Campbell's tomato bisque soup.
5) When I was feeling out of it, I didn't withdrawal and hide. I was present. I showed up, and I made my frustrations known. I let it out in an attempt to let it go. Sometimes the support of Sparkies, even in the darkest hours, can lead you back to the light or keep you afloat. Don't underestimate the buddy system!
6) I used distraction methods for eating, and positive rebuttals to negative thoughts. "I still have so far!" was combated with, "And you've COME so far!" And "I hate these 24s!" was rebutted with "But they are beautiful and you are getting closer every day to making them part of your every day routine!"
That is what I attribute an only .2 gain (mostly bloat, I think I can safely say) to. In some ways, I am more proud of that .2 pound gain than I was of many of my previous losses. I needed this week, for some reason. And I got through it. And now I'm moving on.
So now we've reached Turkey week...and my goals look a little like this:
Weight Goal: 337.2
Calories Consumed: 1600-2200 per day
Calories Burned: 2270 for the week
* No eating out. I can go one week without eating out anywhere after the week I just had! Who is going to join me on this one week challenge? Should be made slightly easier this week with Thanksgiving coming up, a time to be thankful for the abundance of food we have available in this country - good food that's good for us and fuels our bodies!
* Water overload! I do best now on 10 glasses a day, so that will be my goal this week. I need to flush this sodium out of my system. Ethan asked me yesterday what was so bad about salt, so I'm going to do some research and have a talk with him about it this week. We'll both learn and teaching is always the best way for me to learn!
* Head held high! I made it through a very crappy and emotional week without trying to kill myself with unhealthy food. I made some bad choices, yes, but I made some very good ones as well. May this week be a lesson to me for the upcoming weeks left in this year and in the year to come!
My Turkey week plan:
Sunday - I'd like to get out for a walk sometime today. If my hips and legs feel up to it, I plan on giving myself the gift of a running spurt or two. If not, just walking the dog would be nice. I'll also do some cooking for the week. Going to make some pasta dish (which will make Hubs extremely happy) - a form of Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli - and then our every-week staple of Tator Tot Casserole with ground chicken.
Monday - Short day at work #1. Only 3 8-hour days this week! I'm going to be productive and, after work, I'm going to reward myself with yoga class and some ST!
Tuesday - Short day at work #2. I need to make sure I finish up everything that needs to be done, I don't want anything hanging over my head for the holiday. After work, I'm going to reward myself with my choice at the gym. I might go for a walk/run, or I might hit the elliptical. I might row, I've been missing that. Either way, I'll hit my calories burned goal for the day and make up for whatever I didn't hit on Monday (yoga doesn't burn as many calories I need, but it's only shy by about 100 calories...easily made up!).
Wednesday - Short day at work #3. I'll need to take a walking lunch this day. I don't think I'll have time after work to get to the gym, so I need to take advantage of the blessings of outdoor exercise. I'm thankful to have a job that allows me to eat at my desk and then use my entire break for exercise purposes. It's possible I'll be driving up to my mom's house after work and spending the night there. Make the turkey trot decision.
Thursday - Thanksgiving Day! There's a turkey trot in my mom's town this morning, so I'm seriously considering doing it. It starts at 9am. My mom mentioned it to me last month, but I doubt she'll be up to it, but that doesn't mean I can't do it on my own. Race or not, I'm getting some mileage in this day. My mom's walking route is lovely, so even if I just walk the loop a few times, I'll feel pleased with myself and okay to gobble a few of my favorites at lunch. Other than that, I plan on spending some glorious time with my family, loving my aunts, rejoicing in the traditions of our family, and just being the person I've become in front of all of them - changes they've already begun noticing and seem to enjoy.
Friday - BLACK FRIDAY! *lol* We'll get our plan of action together and get some holiday shopping done. It'd be best to do this in my mom's area where all the stores are, but we'll make that decision as a family where to hit the stores this year. I plan on doing some walking, running, and punching people out who try to take my stuff! *lol* Just playin' on the last one...unless it's a really great deal! ;) The gym will be open again, so if I need it, I'll go stress relieve there.
Saturday - Another SIBCCT, me thinks. It was a great joy to me yesterday as I was actually able to run 3 laps back to back. Usually 2 is my limit, and it makes me hurt. I'm working toward 4, then 5, and on from there.
I'm dubbing this week - BTTW Week. Balls to the Wall, baby! I'm making this week count! I won't kill myself over my goals, but when going, I'll push a tiny bit and make it count. I'll give myself one challenge a day, whether food, exercise, water, or mood related. I'll be conscious of every move and every action and be thankful for having another week to right whatever "wrongs" my mind may have tallied up for me this week.
Other things of interest:
First of all, a request to my Sparkies. I'm going to D.C. on the 5th of December for a week-long training. What I need from you is the following:
1) A song for my workout playlist that will let me use you for my fire while I'm gone.
2) A walking direction, route, or place of interest to visit. I have a half-brained scheme to let you all take me on a tour of the city by challenging me to walk to places and experience the enjoyment that travel + fitness holds! (May have more on this later...I have a thought but it's not fully formed, but you can still direct me to the sites using walking routes and mileage and such...)
Second, a thought. You see, I've been invited to Vegas for my birthday this year by a close friend. The first thing I checked about the hotel was whether it has a gym (it does), and the second thing was whether there were any races around that time. Well, there is. On my birthday. The Running from an Angel Marathon, Half, 10k, 5k and 50 miler is running in Boulder City, NV. I keep thinking that it would be great to start my 30's with a race in a foreign city, but working out the logistics in my head has been....stressful. How do I get there? Will my friend mind? Is it a crazy thought? I don't have to decide yet...I haven't even bought my ticket for the plane ride yet. (I'm a little nervous if I start a new job they won't let me go...) But I'm still thinking on it and considering it seriously.
Finally, some exciting news, at least in my eyes. A couple months ago I got a little crazy at the consignment shop. I bought a pair of 26s and a pair of 24s without even trying them on (because, well, they didn't fit yet). The 26s I could get on and buttoned, but could not zip, or breathe, or walk comfortably in. They now fit me and I wore them to work a couple weeks ago. (Yay for black jeans!!) But, as you know, the 24s were taunting me. To me, these jeans look SO small. I don't remember the last time I wore size 24s, but it was certainly back in HS at some point. When I bought them I could get them on my legs, barely...that was it. I have a picture and it's sad. Well, last night I put them on...all the way on. It was a struggle, for sure, but up they went. And then I took a backwards dive onto the bed and hurried to button and zip them. Talk about non-public jeans! *lol* They certainly don't "fit" yet, but my original goal was to wear them Christmas day (although I had a secret goal to have them fit by Thanksgiving). I count this as a win in my book! They will go on, button and zip - all by Thanksgiving! Now the real test is to see if I can drop the weight needed to wear them Christmas Day. Either way, they don't scare me anymore... And thanks to another wonderful Sparkie, when I finally get these jeans on (and maybe take them to wear on my Birthday in Vegas!!), I'll have a pair of size 22's to put in their place on the back of my door, the place reserved for goal clothes. I'm taking this accomplishment, especially considering the week I had!
What are your plans for Turkey Week? Wherever you're from, wherever you will be, be thankful for what you have, for the wonderful strides you are making for yourself, and hold your chin up with pride and determination.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I didn't work out on Thursday. I didn't work out yesterday either. There's no excuse for Thursday beside being an emotional wreck. Yesterday I was busy, busy, busy.
Slept in - much needed!
Showered and hurried to the doctor for my Depo shot.
Weighed in at 345 on their scales (always higher than mine). She looked at my file. I weighed in at 352 on 10/8. Decided I could do better than that and I will next time I'm in there, but was happy to report to my doc on the way out that I was under 350.
Came home to prep for my interview. Once nails and such were done I headed toward Charleston. Showed up 30 minutes early (not late! *lol*)...oops! I apologized and explained I never knew what the traffic was going to be like at lunch on Friday...she understood.
Interview lasted for an hour. Went well, I think. It would be a great place to work. A lot of what I already do, plus a little extra, with higher pay and in the private sector. I explained that while I understood there were risks with the private sector, there were also more opportunities. What should be, will be.
Left there and drove straight up to the movie theatre to grab tickets to HP7 for me, Hubs, the boys and my MIL. Hubs left to drive down to meet me with MIL and boys in tow.
Shopped at Fashion Bug for a bit and found a purty sweater for 10 bucks and a couple other shirts on sale or clearance. All sizes were 1X or 2X. Much different from the 3X and 4X I used to buy. Felt good.
Movie was pretty good. Not the best HP, but good still.
By the time we drove home I was only up for grabbing pizza and movies for home and chilled with the boys before getting to bed and setting my alarm for this morning.
The gym opens at 9am and I plan to be there soon after. I need a good workout to break me free of this madness. Also needed today? TONS of water to flush this week from my system. It's been a crazy week mentally, but I think I'm ready to move on with force.
Plan for today?
1) Exercise well.
2) Drink LOTS of water!
3) Plan for the week ahead.
4) Grocery shopping.
5) Watch some football, maybe.
6) Clean! I want this living room DONE!
I'm not likely to have a great weigh-in tomorrow. I may even gain a pound or two from the bloat and stress of this week. But I'm trying hard to remember that this is just another week in my life, and not a make or break thing. I've got more work to do, and I've got a fire left in me. Going to surf some friend pages and ignite that fire a little more. And, if all else fails, listen to Katy Perry's "Firework" and remind myself to show myself what I'm worth.
I'm worth the time it takes.
I'm worth the trouble.
I'm worth the heartache.
I'm worth the success.
I'm worth the chance for a better life.
I'm worth the money for gym memberships and healthy food options.
I'm worth staying on the path I've paved for myself.
I'm worth a job that awards and appreciates my talents and lets me prove myself.
What are you worth?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
First of all, a big thank you to all of you for your support yesterday. I'm still a bit of a wreck and getting a bit of distorted vision, but at least I recognize it this time. (I woke up today and looked in the mirror and was sure I was still as fat as I was on April 18th. Just like portion distortion, we all experience, at one time or another, a figure distortion. Sometimes the distortion is pleasant, and other times...not so much. As for me? For the rest of the day I'm avoiding mirrors.)
I sat down and took measurements yesterday. Like, mass amounts of measurements. I measured everything - my head, both the upper and lower parts of my neck, even the width of my shoulders and the length of my stomach (both sides and middle). I printed out an outline of the human body and just kept measuring and writing it down. Now it's time to tuck it away for a while and let myself just work.
I also dragged myself to the gym last night. I mean dragged. I whined and cried (literal tears) on the phone to Hubs on the way home about how much I didn't want to go. I hated myself and everyone in the gym and this stupid journey and everything about everything. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has "I hate everyone and everything" days!) The plan was to waste my time until pilates started at 7:30pm and then suffer through that torture once again, but the plan changed.
My workout last night was fueled by sadness, anger and bitterness. I hit the elliptical and I cried a bit before just being angry. I maintained a 130-150 pace nearly the entire time, through every interval change, because I was just running to blow off steam. Pilates started and I childishly said no. I wasn't torturing myself that way...it wasn't aggressive or active enough. I wanted to run away, so I did. I started taking laps around the track, I ran a few laps, on my last running lap I sprinted the end of it, balls to the wall, all out, leave nothing behind. And it felt good, but I was still quite angry.
Forget this, I thought. I'm going home. I stopped by Kroger and bought one of their rotisserie chickens, grabbed some mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and biscuits from KFC and went home and ate my anger. And I STILL felt angry and bitter.
I *hate* this. I *hate* feeling not in control of my emotions. I thought I was doing better yesterday and then I got slapped in the face yet again by some of my biggest stressors and fears.
So today is going to be spent trying to let go. I don't care about anything but making these feelings go away! I've been so overly stressed lately and it's just making me crumble under the pressure. (Oh, I'm sure I forgot to mention that Hubs' grandpa is in the hospital again. I adore this man, and the other day he had some sort of fit, kept pulling out his IVs, there was blood everywhere, cursing at people, locked himself in the bathroom. This is 200% NOT like him. He's the most gentle and kind and loving person I know and he would NEVER act this way. And I'm scared...scared it's the start of dementia again. It killed me to watch my grandpa suffer through it and forget the wonderful person he was...I don't know if I can take it happening to another amazing man.)
Life is mean right now. And while I want to crawl under the desk, cry it out, and then move on to the happiness of the season, I feel like a shell of myself.
So...bare with me. I'm hoping to catch a break soon.
Tomorrow - Interview
This weekend - Harry Potter!
Next week - Thanksgiving!! and Black Friday
D.C. trip upcoming, Vegas after that, Utah mid-year next year.
The weather will change before I know it, racing season will be back, and I see myself actually RUNNING one this year!
(One positive that came from my anger-fueled workout yesterday - running has become much easier. I think I'm going to just keep doing a little here and a little there, but once the weather starts to turn a bit and I can stand being outside in the freezing cold again (it's hard to find that fancy winter weather running gear in super-duper-extra-looper fat@$$ size!) I'm going to try C25K again or some other running program. My goal is to be able to run a 5k by summer of 2011.)
EDITED: It felt good to write it, but it's no longer necessary.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday I went home from work early. I didn't feel good. My stomach felt weird. My head was causing some pain. I was exhausted from no sleep the night before. So I left for lunch at 1:15pm and didn't come back. I figured I'd go home, take a nap, and then maybe hit the gym for some yoga later. I spent the rest of the night on the couch, eating everything in sight, never fully hungry, seemingly never full, certainly never satisfied.
Tuesday I woke up still feeling horrible. I called work and told them, "Nope. Ain't gonna happen. See ya tomorrow!" and went back to bed. I slept for a good long time. And I still didn't feel much better when I woke up around 10am...just not exactly tired anymore. I moved my sickly operation to the couch so I could put on the TV as background noise. I thought of Sparking, and thought against it. I had no plans to go anywhere. I didn't really want to see anyone. I wanted to curl into a ball and have people take care of me. And then Hubs left and I was all alone, which actually felt quite nice.
Sick? Well, yes. I did NOT feel good. I barely ate Tuesday, but each time I did I was trying to find something, anything to make me feel better - and everything I ate only helped to make me feel worse. I would have been better off just sleeping for 24 hours straight. I watched Biggest Loser and felt a twinge of guilt for not working out for two days. This was heightened when I saw the sign in the BL gym that said, "Stand up and finish what you started." Not today, Bob. I watched Parenthood later, and cried, literally had a little crying fit for no apparent reason, especially after this line, "Life will knock you down more times than you can imagine. Don't knock yourself down." *sigh* And it wasn't until I started myself toward bed that I asked myself, "Just WHAT is your problem?"
I was on a high this weekend. I saw my family and had wonderful conversation. I felt like an adult among my aunts. I got a ton of compliments, even one from my uncle who is known for his jokes, NOT his compliments. (Unless you count, "Hey! You don't look quite as ugly today as you did yesterday!" as a compliment.) I visited friends and got more compliments. And I felt great! I even asked for a picture to be taken of me! ASKED, I tell ya! I wanted an updated picture of Hubs and I, since I haven't had one since my brother graduated in May of last year. And even though I was really angry at myself the next day for forgetting Ethan's football banquet, I was still able to rush him down there in time to see him get his trophy for the 2010 season. I was feeling great!
And then the pictures came back, as they tend to do. And my excitement faded. I look basically the same to myself as I used to. I can see changes in my face and shoulders, yes (collarbones and jawline, hello!), but I still feel 2-3 times larger than the rest of my family. And this one thought started one of those wonderfully tragic snowball effects...it gathered speed and momentum as it went, and suddenly I was crashing again.
230. TWO THIRTY! That's still 109 pounds away! ONE HUNDRED AND NINE! When will I ever get to a place where I can honestly say, "My last XXX pounds" and not need three spaces? Granted, the first hundred pounds weren't easy. No way, no how. But staring down the barrel of another hundred pounds makes me want to run and hide. ONE HUNDRED AND NINE! One hundred and nine... For two days I've felt every emotion possible.
Anger and resentment.
Sadness and loneliness.
Joy and Happiness.
It all came at once like the gathering of a wave that waits to break until it's just upon the shore. I was drowning in my own emotions, self-pity, and self-doubt.
Losing weight isn't fun or easy. Okay, that's not exactly true. Sometimes it's both! I swear to you now there are some times that I feel like I'm having a blast and the weight melts off like nothing. But, more times than not, it's a brutal road. I don't know how to take things easy. I don't know how to keep doing the same thing over and over again for months and years. I am driven by the mere thought of change. I want something different and exciting. I want to feel alive every day! But many times, feeling alive is painful!
The commitment of another 100+ pounds is scary. It scares the crap out of me, because I know how hard it has been to maintain what I've been doing. I've enjoyed a lot of it, but I've also been sore the majority of the time. Blisters on my feet taking weeks and months to heal, only to return again and again. Bruises up and down my legs, in my hands and arms. Constant knee pain in both knees. Pain in my elbows. This battered body doesn't know how much more punishment it can take.
It gets easier...unless you're me. Because I challenge myself to do better, be faster and stronger, go farther. I want more each time. I want to see the changes in my fitness level because it's easier and quicker to recognize and pick out for me than the changes in my body. I've lost 76 pounds so far, and this stupid stomach still hides much of my legs. I don't remember ever not having it, though I'm sure I once did, but any joy I could ever imagine from trying on clothes is severely threatened by the large mass of hanging skin and fat right on the front of me. It greets people the same time I do. It holds me back from what I want. And it's a constant reminder that, no matter how far I've come, I'm not even close to where I'm going. I *hate* my stomach.
I keep thinking - soon, maybe, MAYBE? PLEASE?! I keep thinking I'm noticing it receding, but then I tell myself I'm delusional and only seeing improvement there because I want it so badly. Shrinking, yes, receding? Don't know. So I tell myself to just keep going because it has GOT to recede soon...but I doubt that as a fact. I don't remember myself without it. I'm not sure I can exist without it. I don't think I will ever be able to pull off the perfect black pencil skirt. I love fashion, but I hate dressing this body because of all its limitations.
So the number 230 was hanging over my head, and, I have to say, more than any actual pounds of fat or muscle on my body, the heaviest burden I've been carrying the past two days, has been that number, that 230. Because even though it's the number picked out for me by the PT, and even though it sounds great right now, even 230 sounds quite large. And I'm scared both that I'll never get there, and that I'll get there and it still won't be enough.
I tell myself not to think big picture. I know the secrets of working on each pound, a pound at a time, 5 at a time, 10% at a time. I know it all, I've said it all. But I can only stand staring into the keyhole for so long before I want to open the door and really see what's beyond all the hard work it will take to allow me to open it. I need a bigger peek...and my imagination runs wild with what COULD be behind the door. The possibilities are endless, both the negative and the positive ones.
I spent the past two days letting my imagination take me wherever it wanted. And it didn't feel good. And then I got up to go to bed, I packed myself a salad for lunch today, I folded the laundry, I put away clothes and towels, I set out my clothes and gym clothes for the next day. I set the alarm and crawled in bed, pulled my little eye-covering down over my eyes and thought for the next hour and a half all the thoughts I'd been avoiding, and I planned over them and around them, and I fought them mentally. And I told myself it would be alright. And I drifted to sleep again.
Today I woke up better physically, if not 100% mentally. I'm still exhausted, and still feel daunted by the task at hand. I'm literally afraid of the size 24 jeans in my bedroom because I fear they will never fit. I also spent the past few days not drinking water and eating whatever I wanted (basically, thankfully I was restricted mostly to the foods already in the house) and whenever I wanted. Monday I weighed 343.something. Tuesday 342.something. Today? 340.something. All is not lost.
Some progress I noted, however:
* I did not jump in my car and head to the store for a binge buying spree.
* I did not jump in the car and head for fast food or take out.
* I did not allow myself every negative thought without rebuttal.
* I did not resort to eating all day every day just because I was emotionally hungry.
* I did not forget how far I had come, or diminish those efforts.
* I did not automatically think the week was wasted or ruined.
* I let the feelings come and go without judging myself for them.
* I spoke up and let Hubs know that I didn't have the energy to cook and let him take over dinners.
I'm not sure if I was actually physically ill, or if the physical pains were merely manifestations of the emotional turmoil I was experiencing. I still feel really tired today and completely anxious about going to the gym tonight. I will likely attempt to talk myself out of it, but I'm going to remind myself that my card must be swiped 2 times a week at least for my membership in the insurance program to stay active. I'm also dreading spending another high amount of my membership fee when I go in again tonight. I'm also dreading questions about where I've been (when you become known as a regular gym rat, people want to know what happened to you when you don't come for a bit...I think this may be heightened by their fear that I am still very large and am likely to burn out and lose all the progress I've made thus far).
I took 2 days off and had 2 very off days. I'm hoping that will be it for now as I have some great weeks ahead of me.
This weekend - HP premiere! and an interview on Friday
Next week - Thanksgiving and Black Friday
The weekend after - short rest before my trip
Weekend after that - D.C. training
I still need to go grocery shopping ...something else I avoided the past 2 days. We'll see when and if that happens.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Well, we're back again. These exercises are from Stacey Halprin's book "Winning After Losing." For a look at parts a, b, and c, go here:
So, moving on. So far we've talked about the old me and the new me and how my thoughts have changed since losing this weight. We've also tackled the daunting task of acknowledging some of my support system (though certainly not all!). Oh, and my favorite part of all was thinking about the thing I am the most proud of - which, for me, was learning to live instead of waiting to die. We're still on part 1: Celebrate your success, but we're moving on to new challenges of self-discovery.
Part D: Shedding the Invisibility Cloak
I struggle with this...a lot. On the one hand, I get nervous when people notice or compliment how good I'm doing. No, it's not only because I think "You are looking great now!" translates roughly to, "Man! I'm so glad I can finally tell you how hideous you used to look!", but also because there's this level of expectation that comes along with the compliments. Maybe I'm over thinking it, and it's not too much of a stretch to think I put these thoughts in their heads for them, instead of them actually having them, but I feel like every "I'm so proud of you" comes with a threat of disappointment if this doesn't continue. If I can't keep up my end of the bargain, those looks of pride will turn to looks of disappointment and my heart will break.
But there's another side to this coin too. I guess this is why it's different thinking about these things in mid-process rather than when it's all over. I have this recurring thought that people at the gym and elsewhere are looking at me and thinking I'm just starting out. Seven months, nay, several years of hard work mean nothing when people make snap judgments of me because of my weight. It saddens me to think that they might believe this is my first time on a treadmill. And I really do know I'm not so far off base when I get the comments and looks following my proud statements about the 5k and 10ks I've done already. REALLY?! It's hard to feel like your work can't really be appreciated, and it leads you back to the "I still have so far to go" thinking that many of us try to avoid like the plague! (and for good reason!)
Part E: Don't Swallow It, Say It
I'm going to be 100% honest about this part. I hate journaling, but I love blogging. Why? That's easy! Audience! We all want to be heard and having the support system that SP provides is a huge boost to that feeling of belonging we often feel we lack in our day to day lives. But does this mean I don't give myself "the credit as being a valid audience?" Well, yes, and no.
I don't want to live in my head. I know what it's like there, and sometimes it's really, really messy. Living there all alone is scary, and that's why I adopt friends to take the journey with me and help me pass the time without worrying about every single random (and they are very random, monkey, monkey underpants) thought that pops into my head and what it means and what I should do with it. But as much as I love my audience in a blog, be it 1 or 100, I write solely for me, with the chance hope that someone, somewhere can derive some sort of inspiration, motivation, or even just kinship through my writing. I can't count the times I've watched a movie and cried at a line just because it struck something in me, or read a book and completely snatched a quote out of context to apply it to my certain situation. These accidental meetings of another's mind with my own is something I think, perhaps, I can share with others by putting myself on the other end of the equation.
EXAMPLE: Just last night I was watching an episode of Parenthood (how can I not? Hello, Lauren Graham!) and this line struck me and made me actually cry: "Life will knock you down more times than you can imagine. Don't knock yourself down." Wow! Big, right?
Something else comes out of my blogging, and I'll likely need a whole other blog post to talk about this fully...it's a delayed thinking. Many times I write to write. I don't plan, I let my brain speak. I'll read this blog throughout the day and in the days to follow several times...and many times it's not until days later that I pick up some hidden sentiment or (usually) fear in what I wrote. I realize something about myself, but it takes days of distancing myself from the emotion and that one specific moment, to read about it and discover it more objectively. So blogging here connects that need for an external audience and sense of belonging with my sense of self-discovery through more objective readings later...if all that makes any sense to anyone.
EXAMPLE: For the past 2 days I haven't felt well, that is true. But it is also true that much of this is mental exhaustion, fear, and struggle from both the ups and downs I've experienced in the last few weeks. It's been a roller coaster of a ride lately, and my body and mind are having a hard time keeping up. It took me over an hour and a half to fall asleep last night...and took me an hour of off and on waking to actually get up this morning. It's not healthy, and it's physically draining.
Still, I know I need to really seek validation from myself. Something I struggle with is the fear that once the weight is off, there is a vast assumption that the journey is over, that the hard part is done and there are no additional struggles ahead. I know that won't be true. I Know It! It's all hard. Losing weight, maintaining, heck, just living life with a sane mind can be hard some times! But I know that the external audience will dwindle in times to come, and when all is said and done, I need to be comfortable getting my validation from myself.
Okay, now everyone repeat after me:
"I appreciate that you want to help me, but I'm not open to feedback about that."
What a great line to battle unsolicited feedback from folks. (I take no credit...that's right from the book! And I know some of my Spark Friends have been struggling with unsolicited advice lately, so I brought you some helpful armor.) Look, people will always think they know what's best for us...they did it when we were fat, why not when we're skinny? Whatevs. You gotta do what's best for you. Period, end of story. But people aren't generally trying to be rude (even though when we get immediately defensive, it may actually feel that way), but think they are really going to help us. They have the best intentions, but remember that road to hell?? Best Intentions, LLC paved that one too!
Part F: Stress Leads to Weight Gain
Increased stress = increased coritsol levels = BAD! (weight gain)
Okay, so we've all heard this, but when you hear of the biological/physical reasons for the actual weight gain that results from high levels of stress, it really makes me want to find trigger releases. It's like a grenade whose pin has been pulled, but whose trigger has not been fully released. If I can find a way to settle myself before I release my anger and stress, and lead myself down a road of binge eating, if I can find, instead, a way to pick up that pin again and replace it to it's original space, all will be well. I don't have answers for how to do that right now. In the past 7 month I have had high levels of success with this, and then, as if the past few months weren't a big enough indicator, increasing struggles with it. It's going to be all about finding those situations that stress me out, figuring out what my usual response is, and then testing alternative activities that can help relieve that stress.
I do know that exercise is a HUGE stress reliever for me. I told Hubs last night that I wish I had a punching bag in the garage so I could go out there whenever we're fighting. Lately, when we argue over stupid things that make no real difference, I will actually change my clothes and go to the gym to work out my aggression. It's a much healthier outlet, but not completely 100% realistic for handling every situation...that's why it's important for me to find other ways to dealing with it. No answers yet, just awareness.
I'll talk about the last two days more when I'm ready...which isn't quite yet. It's been emotional and telling, but I'm feeling much better today and I can't wait (and am simultaneously terrified) to go to the gym tonight.
Till then...I'll miss you, Alot! (*snickers*)
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