Friday, May 28, 2010
Maybe it was because I was hungry.
Maybe it was because I was tired.
Maybe it was because I started delving into some rough stuff with my therapist that I'm not quite sure how to process yet.
Maybe it was because I thought I deserved it.
Maybe it was because it was there and it was seemingly healthy.
Maybe it was because I hadn't had enough calories during the day.
Maybe it was because I burned a huge number of calories the night before and I needed an extra boost.
Maybe it was because of TOM.
Maybe it was because my body needed more fiber.
Maybe it was because I haven't really talked to my boyfriend all week, and he's moving to Germany at the end of the summer, and that date is creeping up on us so fast, and I don't want him to leave because I'm scared of being single again.
Maybe it was because I was in front of the television.
Maybe it was because I had planned for it and there was no talking myself out of it.
Maybe it was because my friend at work - the one who just hit goal - wore that awesome dress that I am so jealous of again and I wish I could be that skinny.
Maybe it was because I wasn't prepped for a proper dinner.
Maybe it was because the weather is changing and it was too hot to cook.
Maybe it was because laundry was piled up, and the kitchen is a mess and my couch looked too comfortable.
Maybe it was because the flamboyantly gay teenager on the bus who has so many issues of his own that I cannot help him with called me Miss Piggy very loudly to draw attention to himself because that's what HE needed.
Maybe it was because I really want some new sandals and summer clothes, but I'm too short on cash to buy them for myself right now.
Maybe it was because I'm nervous about my job and about having to find a new one soon.
Maybe it was because my show is ending this weekend and I'm going to have to start planning for a more active social life over the summer which I hate having to do.
Maybe it was because I needed a friend and I don't seem to have many.
Maybe it was because I'm worried about my cat who seems to be licking all of his hair off his entire body.
Maybe it was because it tasted SO GOOD.
Maybe it was the wine.
Whatever the reason, I binged last night. For the first time in a while. And now that I write all of this out, I realize I had damn good reasons to binge, and it's truly amazing that I don't do it more often any more. I haven't felt the need to. But very obviously, the tendency isn't gone yet. I did some damage to a bowl of homemade guacamole (not totally evil since I made it so I know what was in it), half a bag of tortilla chips and a glass of wine. But I stopped. After 1436 calories, I stopped. I was full. I could have had another glass of wine, but I didn't need to - by that time, my head had cleared and I was able, once again, to reason with myself. I went to the fridge and got myself a glass of water, and then another, and then put away the chips and the guacamole and the wine.
The psychology of a binge is a really interesting thing. For me, it starts really early in the day before I even recognize it. Then I spend some time during the day thinking about it and starting to crave certain things (I have very specific binges and they can involve just about ANY kind of food, so nothing is really safe in my house. Something that I've never had a problem with in the past can turn into a binge food really easily with me). By the time I'm on my way home, it's a fully-fledged plan, I've made up my mind that I'm doing it, and I've lost the ability to reason with myself before I even step foot in the kitchen. Most often I will have stopped off at a store to pick up something (or two or three things) on the way - everything I buy is subject to "binge haze" so usually I will end up with things that I would never typically buy. I can't think straight or even hear myself talking until the binge is over. You take the right combination of triggers and a lack of something specific planned for dinner and WHAM, it happens.
All in all - I didn't fare too horribly. I was 500 calories over for the day, way high on my sodium, fiber and carbs - but within range for everything else. Since it was the day after my weigh-in, chances are it won't affect the next one since I have lots of exercise planned over the next week. I woke up feeling like I knew I would - dehydrated, tired and bloated. So I've already consumed 8 glasses of water today and will likely get in a few more to replenish what I lost and to flush out all the salt. I'm not sad, or depressed, or even feeling all that guilty about it - I'm just moving on.
Binges are bound to happen in this journey. I am a recovering food addict. It's an addiction that unlike others you can't go 'cold turkey' with. As things surface in my therapy, so do the reasons why I eat and why I need food so desperately. The feelings that come with learning about these issues are not often emotions that we want to deal with - so we cover them with food. When you're learning how to 'break up' with food, it can be a tough road - and sometimes you just need a good, long, make-out session with an ex-lover (why is ice cream so damn sexy?).
But the binge has taught me what it needed to this time. Now I can move forward with my newly gained knowledge and continue to live my normal, healthy, active life. Binges will surely happen again in the future, but it's how I'm dealing with them now that is different. Drinking my water, planning my activity and learning that food should always be enjoyed, but should never be a bandage for hurt feelings, or deep, down emotions that should have been felt a long time ago.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Wow. I haven't blogged in a week. To be honest, I haven't really had all that much to say. I've been coming to terms with my last blog and letting the idea of becoming an "athlete" truly sink in. I like it. I'm game for it. I'm making plans to exercise more and start my training.
TOM's also in town this week and I think my uterus is trying to kill me. Seriously, it hurts. So I'm looking forward to the pool tonight to work through some of the cramping.
I have one more weekend of shows before I am restored to a normal weekend schedule. It's bittersweet. I'm going to miss this cast and this show - I've learned so much, felt so much, become so much more aware of myself and my issues during this show. And, I've managed to maintain a schedule that allows time for me AND the show during this whole process - something that I've never done before. Usually the show takes over my life - I eat fast food, sleep whenever possible, don't even think about exercising, and continually promise that I'll get healthy again once the show is over. But the truth of the matter is that when the show IS over, I usually end up giving myself a couple weeks "off" because "I deserve it", "I've worked so hard", "I need a rest" and then that two weeks turns into a month, then into two months, and before I know it I'm working on another show and treating myself poorly again "out of necessity". Not an excuse anymore. I have realized that the better I treat myself, the more I am able to do and the more I get out of what I'm doing. I'm more prepared to be active and don't resent people asking me to do things because I'm physically too tired to move my large behind. Now I'm ready for the show to be over so that I can fit in more exercise. Use the weekend hours that I've spent in a dark theatre to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather, dust of Roxie (my pink easy-rider bike), and plan a yard sale (I desperately need to get rid of some junk)!
Otherwise, besides a short visit from my parents over the weekend, I've spent this week like I'm assuming a lot of Americans spent the week - saying goodbye to the season of television that has consumed the better part of my weekday evenings since my rehearsals ended. Oh LOST - how I shall miss you. Biggest Loser, Dancing With The Stars, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, V, Flash Forward - the list goes on and on and on...
Seriously? Almost 10 shows (most of which are an hour or more in length) I'm keeping up with every week on top of my already insanely busy schedule. It's kind of disgusting to list them all out. But I'll be perfectly honest - I. LOVE. TELEVISION. It's the perfect relationship. When I want to laugh, it makes me laugh. When I want to cry, a drama is as close as the click of a button. When I want company, it's always there. When I want to fall in love, I have fallen in love with Rick and Jack and Sawyer and McDreamy. I've tried to break up with television before - it didn't last long. The people on the screen are my friends, my entertainment, and seem to know just what I need after a long day of work. I think at times I have a more meaningful relationship with my t.v. than I do with my boyfriend.
But I'm on Week 5 of my Healthy Diet Habits schedule "Eating With a Purpose" which involves cutting out distracted eating. While I have been working on doing this since before I started SparkPeople and have gotten pretty good at only eating when I'm hungry, one of the weekly suggestions is refraining from eating in front of the television. I tried this a few months back at the suggestion of my nutritionist. I did it for about a week and then couldn't handle it anymore. It was too quiet. To unnerving. Too lonely. I needed to eat with my friends - and they were in the living room. So back to eating in front of the television I go. I have made rules with myself that I only eat things in front of the television that have been properly measured out. I have to check in with myself during each commercial break to make sure I've had enough, and any walking back and forth to the fridge while watching t.v. is only to get more water. So far it's been working - but I know this is a habit that I am going to have to break eventually. And if I want the SparkPoints this week for that step of the process (and I do love my SparkPoints), I have to do it - consistently. And there is no better time now that all the shows are over to break myself of this habit - *insert audible whine here*.
I always eat with distraction. Whether I'm eating on the run, in front of my computer at work, at the theatre before a show, or out with friends, sitting down to a meal by myself, in my kitchen, at the table is really unheard of. My kitchen table is a dumping ground for my purse, old magazines, mail coupons, dirty dishes, food prep and more often than I'd like to admit, my cat's bottom - bad kitty. I've tried the pretty center-piece, the scented candle, keeping it cleared off - it's still not a place I like to eat.
Under all of this is a larger issue with social eating and a lack of friends that I haven't fully worked through yet, but for the time being, t.v. is filling the void and I'm just not so sure I can give it up that easily.
So - since I'm working on doing everything in moderation - I'm going to consciously work towards curbing my appetite for television while we're in the low season...I'm still woefully addicted to The Bachelorette so Monday nights will still need to include a couple hours of smut - but only after my weekly 2.5 mile walk home from work. It's a good payoff. But for the rest of the week, I'm really going to try not to rush to catch up on all the seasons I've missed on Netflix and try to be anywhere BUT in my living room for the summer.
Maybe if I sell my couch in the yard sale it will stop calling to me!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I just had a CRAZY idea. I mean seriously, I think someone might have to lock me in a loony-bin.
I had a GREAT swim tonight - and quite possibly it is the reason for this crazy thinking I've been doing. I have a sneaking suspicion that I finally understand what "exercise euphoria" feels like... and I'm not sure that I like it - haha. But I'm darn well posting this as proof of this feeling before it goes away and I can deny it!
So I'm sitting on the bus on the way home, and I'm thinking to myself - I want to do a triathlon.
WHAT??? A Capital "T" Triathlon.
Now I'm not talking about doing this tomorrow - but maybe once I'm at goal. I've already decided that my goal reward is going to be a trip to Hawaii. But now I'm thinking that a REALLY good reason to go to Hawaii once I hit goal will be to do a triathlon. With my brother. Yeah - I'm going to drag other people into this CRAZY idea too. Stay out of my path - I might make you train with me.
I have NEVER thought like this before. Ever.
In previous weight loss efforts (let's be honest and call them what they were - diets), my only goals were tinier clothing, a smaller behind, and hotter dates. But the thought of being a Capital "A" Athlete never crossed my mind. Exercise wasn't really even part of the equation other than the painful, agonizing thing I had to do to get skinny. But every time I get in that pool, and every time I rock out a swim, and FEEL my muscles working and stretching and getting stronger, I feel like an athlete - and that feels good. In all the things that I have been called in my life - athlete has never been one of them. And I want that to change!
Oh Lord do I have my work cut out for me! The shortest triathlon involves a 750 metre swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run. I have no idea how many metres I swim a night - but I doubt it's 750 and currently I spend an hour doing it. I have a bike. I've ridden it once this year. It's a far cry from a street bike - a pink Schwinn Cruiser that I call "Roxy". Roxy's only ever seen about 5 miles total...in her whole life. And as far as the running is concerned - eesh. I walk home once a week - 2.5 miles. But the thought of running that distance scares the crap out of me.
But whatever drug was in that chlorine water tonight is making me feel that no matter how scared I might be of the Swim, Bike, Run routine - I can do it. I can do any darn thing I set my mind to. Anything. Throw it at me.
Ask me about this tomorrow and I won't know what you're talking about.
I know, physically, I won't be able to do this until I shed at least 100 pounds, so the goal is a distant one. But it doesn't mean I can't start training now. Swim. Bike. Run. Individually, I can do all of those things. I'll worry about putting them together later.
I guess I better tell my brother what I'm signing him up for!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It's been a long week. Well - at least it feels that way. I've been a bit more detached from my "Sparkiness" of late - checking my page only a couple times a day, using my nutrition and fitness tracker, checking in on the DGOTD and then signing off.
I guess it's because I've been struggling with being ME over this past week. It happens to the best of us - the attack of the ugly green monster - jealousy. And spending your days wishing you were anyone BUT who you are.
It started last Friday. My office-mate, who has been doing Weight Watchers for the past 6 months, hit her goal. I saw the post on her Facebook page and braced myself - it's all she ever talks about anymore. We used to be buddies - when she was new to the city I took her in and gave her a job and we'd hang out and do dinner and drinks after work, we'd watch Biggest Loser together every Tuesday night and cook each other dinner. Then her best friend from college moved to town and I was out of the picture. We still see each other every day at work, but we don't hang out anymore. She's a lot younger than me and her priorities are different. Plus - I'm her boss, and that just makes things awkward. Then she decided that she wanted to get skinny and started WW. Our office conversations went from dating and gossip to Points and her running schedule. It got boring - fast. I have done the WW thing - about 11 different times. It never worked for me. I know it's a great program for some people, but I can't help thinking that it's just a diet. Who wants to count points for the rest of their lives? But I watched her succeed at this thing that I could never do. Dropping pound after pound. Having everyone at work make a big deal about how great she looked and her success while I struggle along, drudge along, pull myself up by the bootstraps every time I see the same damn numbers on the scale. She's got cute new clothes, and cute new boots, and a cute new haircut. It infuriates me! Why was it so easy for her? She never plateaued, never had any issues along the way, and brought in CUPCAKES to celebrate her victory! CUPCAKES? Who rewards weight loss with junk food?
I ate two of them.
And then I wished I was her. Wished I had it that easy. Wished away my lifetime battle with this "thing" that has seemingly chosen ME to plague. Wished I was anyone else but myself at that particular moment in time. And then wished that those cupcakes made her gain back 10 pounds out of spite. (I didn't say my ugly green monster was friendly - au contraire - it is evil and vindictive and downright nasty).
I took a nice, long walk to try to work off the cupcakes and to attempt a re-balance of myself and my work thus far. I'm doing well, I'm making changes, I'm happy in my skin...but am I really? I ended my walk at the theatre for our weekend of performances. Four shows sitting in a dark booth, doing a thankless job that no one really even knows exists besides the people who work in theatre. I press buttons, I keep the show on time, I reprimand the actors when they get silly. I don't get to stand on stage and sing my heart out and carry on inside-jokes with my cast members back stage and take my bows to thunderous applause when the show is over. Applause. I live for that applause. It's why I got into theatre in the first place. And sure - I get the applause - but indirectly. People applaud when they love the show, and I am a huge part of that, but I'm not standing on the stage to get it. I'm the person at the back of the house that sits behind the audience - out of their field of vision. I wished I were an actor. I wished I were a singer. Wished I was anyone else but myself at that particular moment in time.
Over the weekend I was talking to one of our actors - she's one of those people who everyone loves. She's beautiful, has a great job, is incredibly talented and is engaged to an equally gorgeous, talented, and kind man. She's also Miss Suzie Homemaker - bakes her own bread, does home improvement projects, seems so wholesome and pure. I want to BE HER. So I was talking to her before our show on Sunday, sharing with her that I had channeled my "inner her" and baked bread that morning (and it is YUMMY bread). She told me about this blog that she's addicted to and said I should check it out for more yummy recipes and home improvement advice. I went home and Googled it immediately. And given my current state of "green" it was probably the biggest mistake I could have made. My foray into "The Pioneer Woman" involved a whole day (until 2:30am last night) reading her blogs about how she met and married her dream guy, lives on a gorgeous ranch in Oklahoma, has 4 beautiful children and a perfect dog, and just did a book tour for her first New York Times Bestseller cookbook. Ugh. If I was green before, by the time I made it through that I was reeking of pungent, fluorescent, emerald slime. I wished I was her. I wished for that perfect life. I wished I was younger. I wished for a do-over. Wished I was anyone else but myself at that particular moment in time.
Did I mention that all three of these women are redheads? I wished for red hair, and then went to bed and dreamed of cupcakes, and horses and being so fat I couldn't get out of bed.
I'm suffocating in jealousy right now.
So to appease the ugly green monster, just for 3 seconds, I'm gonna have at it - WHY MEEEEEEEEE????? *Kicks, stomps, jumps up and down screaming in frustration* AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
OK. That's over. I'm done now. Picking myself up by my bootstraps and moving on. I've spent so much time over the past week wishing I was someone else, I've lost sight of me and who I am and WHERE I am right now. I'm reclaiming my "Sparkiness" and I'll be damned if I'm not going to be excited about this and for the future that I WILL HAVE. I have today. I have tomorrow. And every day after that will be better than the one before. Everyone is fighting their own battles. So many things come easily to me that other people struggle with. Sure I'm angry that my battle is out there for the world to see...on my thighs, but I'd rather be me than any of those women on a good day. 90% of the time. And as for the other 10% - I'm working on it.
When I was 10 years old I was selected to sing at the Grade 8 commencement ceremonies at my school. My song:
If I were a bird, I could fly
High as the stars in the sky
But a bird I'll never be
So I'm happy, you see
Just being me, being me
Being me, Being free
Being all I can be
I can pass every test
Cause I'll give it my best
Just being me, being me
If I were a bell, I could chime
Ring-ding-a-ling, all the time
But a bell I'll never be
So I'm happy, you see
Just being me, being me
I am a light, I can shine
The light of the world, I can shine
Jesus love shines through me
And I'm happy, you see
Just being me, being me
I can always be myself
Better than anybody else
Just being me
Being all I can be
I can pass every test
Cause I'll give it my best
Just being me, being me
I can always be myself
Better than anybody else
Just being me
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I've been working through the idea for this blog for a few weeks now. This morning I am mad at the scale again, so I think it's time to get this out of my head and down somewhere that I can see it.
Only ten pounds into my journey and I have already hit a plateau. I knew it was going to happen, but so soon? It's frustrating to say the least, but I've been trying this new mantra on for size, and it seems to be helping with the disdain I have for those 3 ugly numbers on the scale...3-0-0.
A few weeks back in one of my regular therapy sessions, I was spouting about the new-found (at that time) SparkPeople, the amazing tools and the fact that I had already dropped a handful of pounds. I'll be honest, I was looking for a "Good for you!", "Great job!" or "Way to go!" from my therapist. I didn't get one. Instead, she looked me straight in the eye and said - "I want you to have a boring weight loss".
At first I kind of laughed it off. I understand that this is a forever journey. I understand that what I'm doing is by no means glamourous. I get that it's about the little things. But do I REALLY get that it's all those things? Like I said - this comment has stuck with me for almost a month now and over the past month it has grown to become a fully fledged thing that I am now living with and is changing the way I am looking at what I am REALLY doing here.
My weight loss is NOT an event. Events pass. Everyone makes a big deal about events, and when they're over, people pack up and go home. I've treated weight loss like that in the past. The next big thing. You graduate school, you get married, you lose 100 pounds. Here comes Miss Jenn - look at her now. And then when I'm done with the "event" - I quit. I pack up and pack it back on.
When you lose weight too fast, it's easier to look at it like an event: that project you completed last summer; the time so-and-so got skinny. If you can package it in terms like that - it's an event, and you run the risk of being able to pack it up and put it away.
Boring weight loss happens so slowly and over such a long period of time, it can't be quantified by anyone but the person doing it. There's no big reveal, no "Ta Da!" moment. Most of the people in your life don't even realize it's happening. It's just you, and your life and your new way of living healthfully. And it's NOT easy - especially for those of us who love being in the spotlight. But learning how to separate a need for attention from my weight has been a big, bad lesson that is only now just coming about.
A plateau is just your body's natural way of letting your brain catch up. You might think that your head is in the game since you're doing so much planning and counting and tracking and thinking about weight loss. But when weight loss slows down, it isn't always because our tracking and counting and planning is off. Perhaps it is because psychologically, we're not ready to be another 10 pounds lighter.
What does being 10 pounds lighter actually mean to a person? 10 pounds can mean a new clothing size. 10 pounds can mean a loss of inches. 10 pounds can mean lower blood pressure, and better lung capacity, and more energy, and less mindless eating. 10 pounds can mean the difference between being morbidly obese and just obese. 10 pounds can mean that other people might notice that you're shrinking, and maybe you're not ready to let other people in to your personal business just yet? Maybe it's just time to settle into that 10 pound weight loss and just "be" 300 for a little while. Live in 300, breathe in 300, stretch through it, roll it around on your tongue and check in with how it really makes you feel, right now. And then once you're mentally caught up to your weight loss, you'll be ready for the next 10, 20, 50, 100.
So I'm embracing my plateau. I'm having a BORING weight loss. It doesn't mean that I'm quitting. I'm just living - and tracking, and planning, and exercising, and counting - the same way I have been for almost a month now. Because wishing me a boring weight loss wasn't the only thing my therapist said to me that day. She also shared with me her real wish for me: a wish for a life that is so much bigger, and fuller, and more complete, and more grand than any one weight loss event could possibly give me. Losing 100+ pounds is definitely a big deal, but eventually the congratulations stop, people quit noticing, and life carries on, leaving you with everything you had before, just in a new body. The real gift by the time you get there if you have done it right is the life that comes with it.
I have decided that by the time I get there, it won't be about the weight lost or my small body, but about how much my brain has gained and my HUGE spirit. So bring on a boring weight loss - it's not like changing this quickly is going to happen overnight anyway, so I'm not going to waste my quality time trying - I'm too busy living my life to capacity!
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