Wednesday, January 04, 2012
I experience a lot of guilt and shame when I gain weight. I feel like a failure and like I'll never get back to "where I want to be." This starts when I've gained a few pounds and just keeps hammering away at me until I feel so terrible about myself that I start eating doughnuts and candy bars and too much at meals times. Obviously, this causes more weight gain and more feelings of failure. Eventually, I will mentally dig myself out and decide it's time to start feeling good. Sometimes I have a false start and spiral again. Eventually I will get "on the bandwagon" and start dieting. Every time I've done this, I've been able to get the weight off and then I give away all my "fat" clothes because I feel like I've really done it FOR GOOD this time. Unfortunately, as I always put the weight back on, it leaves me with a bunch of pants that just don't fit..."my skinny clothes." Last time I gained weight, I couldn't get out of the spiral downward until I bought some new pants in the largest size I've ever been. Otherwise, I had exactly one pair of pants I could wear. (Depressing!!) Basically I was telling myself "you're worth taking care of no matter what your size, you deserve to have clothes you can wear out of the house." You know what? It was like MAGIC. As soon as I did that, I felt good enough to make some positive changes and eventually lose the 40 pounds I didn't need.
Fast forward a year later - I have gained part of that back but I can say that every time I do this, my swing up and down seems to be getting smaller. Unfortunately, I got rid of almost everything that I *thought* I'd never need again and I'm down to 2 pairs of regular pants and some sweat pants that I can wear.
So again, on the theme of making peace with myself, I went shopping today and got some pants/jeans in my CURRENT size at Goodwill. I am telling myself "I love you no matter how big or small your butt is and you should be able to feel good about going out of the house!" I just feel like this totally takes the pressure off me and I can relax about losing weight and go for a slow, permanent change.
Meanwhile, I got an unexpected surprise while I was shopping. I used to have these absolutely favorite jeans that I got from Old Navy. As I gained weight last time, it got to where they were tighter and tighter and finally I popped the rivet/button off them and couldn't wear them any more. (ugh! embarrassing) Later, I looked for them and they had been discontinued. But I FOUND THEM today at Goodwill...and I got a pair in the size I am now (fit comfortably) AND one size down (too tight to sit down in LOL) so I have "happy pants" for now and for 15 pounds from now. What more could a girl want!??
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I've been back at SP for about a week now. I've really been reflecting on what it means to make a lifestyle change and about my goal to make peace with myself this year. For me, that means admitting that I'm a chronic crash dieter and subsequent gainer. I had an eating disorder in high school and college and still have a somewhat distorted relationship with food. Beyond just realizing that, I need to be at peace with this fact about myself and not let it sabotage my desire to make a permanent change in my life in a positive direction.
So this week, one thing I've been focusing on thinking about is not deprivation and limiting calories but on making more positive choices - more fruits and vegetables, more fiber, more water, less junk food - things I can keep up with over time. And not just because they will help me lose weight, but because they will keep me energetic and healthy in the long run. Just in case I need to remind myself later on, this is NOT about deprivation - if I make it into that again, I WILL end up falling off the wagon and putting on weight again, which always leads to a cycle of guilt and shame and I don't need that.
I also have to be at peace with the fact that I am living with mental illness and will be living with it for the rest of my life. So that means it WILL be harder for me to take care of myself when I'm depressed and I WILL tend toward crash dieting and an excessive focus on exercise when I'm hypomanic. However, I am making strides right now, while I am stable to live life on an even keel that I should be able to manage when I find myself in periods of instability. For instance, I have decided that I am done buying infomercial exercise DVDs or training for a 5K when I actually don't like running that much. (Also, last time I tried running, I got aggravating hip pain). I will be returning the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD and just focus on going for a 30 minute walk outside every day. I know the fresh air and bright light will help me maintain my mental health, I won't get all sweaty (which I really really hate when I'm depressed) and I really like that it's just NORMAL and a natural form of exercise that I can continue to do into my old age. I honestly don't like extreme behavior, even though I seek it out and crave it while I am hypomanic. I believe it starts to feed itself when I am cycling upwards and possibly makes the inevitable crash afterwards even worse.
Peace and moderation! That should be my mantra this year!
So, the results are in. Even though I didn't walk last week (didn't fit it in while the kids were on winter break), I did go vigorously ice skating twice and walked a jillion flights of stairs at the waterpark yesterday. I stayed in my 1200-1550 calorie range most days. The only miss was New Year's Eve and I definitely didn't feel that great in the morning so that was a good reminder. My fruit and veggie intake is waaaay up. I could be doing better with the water so I am continuing to work on that. I have been taking my medication, multi vitamin and fish oil (bought some burp-less ones today, hopefully will make a difference). I am relaxing more and reading more instead of working like a crazy woman. My goal is 1.25 pounds lost per week and I lost 2. So I am pleased with a gentle start and some mental refocusing. I have resisted the urge to buy "diet foods" and crash diet. I have resisted the urge to start some extreme exercise program. I am building breathing room into my days. Right now, everything is quite good.
Friday, June 24, 2011
My hip pain has not gone away. I adjusted my bed and woke up feeling like it was less so I started out with my Couch to 5K Week 4 training this morning but had to quit before the last 5 minute run because my hip was really starting to bother me. I quit when I felt a great big tear roll down my face!! It was painful just to walk the rest of the way home. So I will be taking some rest days until it clears up and then try to figure out if I should pick up where I left off or backtrack a little bit. I have extra weeks built into my schedule before I run a race so I have plenty of time to finish the training program. Part of me is tempted to do some other cardio while I am waiting but all the videos I have a pretty high impact so I will just have to be patient. I already have 2 days rest coming up right now so I'll just extend that and instead of Monday, I will see how I feel on Tuesday. I am disappointed but feel OK about waiting a little bit in hopes of healing.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I'm on a mood upswing right now. I had a very productive few days of working, making 3 new digital scrapbook products in three days, which is a lot. The downside is that I'm having trouble sleeping - I was up late last night because my mind was racing and I couldn't calm down enough to slumber. So it was hard to get up this morning and I wasn't excited about my training. Also, I started questioning why I'm doing this. Earlier this year, I was reading some books (personal memoirs) about extreme mountain climbing and overcoming hurdles in your life and was inspired to try something outside my comfort zone like running a 5K since I will never be able to climb Mount Everest LOL. I read a lot of different kinds of books and I got a copy of Ashley Judd's memoir from the library on my Nook and her story is vastly different. She is heavily involved in HIV/AIDS awareness, education and health care in Asia and Africa and reading about the extreme conditions that people live in every day made me cry enough to have to set the book down several times. It really made me think about how blessed I am. I am not starving - I am heavier than I should be! I have a nice home to live in. My children are all healthy and can go to school. I do not have to prostitute myself for the equivalent of 15 cents a trick to feed my children or pay their medical bills. We don't share our toilet with the neighbors. I forget this too often. I am not here by my own merits, I was simply blessed to be born into middle-class family in the United States instead of a destitute family in the developing world. Compared with the struggle to survive that millions of people face every day, I feel small and self-centered to have to invent challenges for myself. It feels ridiculous. My mental health issues seem insignificant compared to women who have been kidnapped and trapped in sex-trafficking, who have been repeatedly raped, whose whole families have been murdered in genocide and whose children have died in their arms.
So I will have to assimilate all this into my worldview and figure out what to do with these revelations. I don't know what it will mean for my future training and leisure time activities. I do know I want to try and impart some of what I learned to my kids. As a mom of 6 girls, I want them to know and appreciate that millions of girls just like them in other parts of the world are denied education and basic human rights simply because they are female. I want them to value their education, learn to work hard and be grateful for all they have every day. I want that for myself too.
A final word for myself, Ashley Judd does take regular intervals out for spiritual and physical rejuvenation in order to fight the good fight that she is doing. I should do the same. I don't think I'll quit. I did do my workout this morning. Partly because a certain part of my personality likes to check things off and get things done and I know today is Week 3, Day 3 and I wanted to "check it off" and keep on towards the end even if I wasn't really feeling the love this morning. But maybe my focus will change about WHY I am doing this. I don't really know yet. I guess we'll all have to stay tuned!
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