Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This week I lost 3.5 pounds. I'm thrilled that they are gone, but the truth is I've been on something of a doctor-unrecommended diet. And that would be stress.
The retaliation continues and I have been feeling a tremendous amount of stress. Stress leads to nausea, which leads to difficulty eating. In another time, I still would have been able to make an exception for comforting pastries, ice cream, or chocolate, but keeping emotional eating in check has eliminated those options. It is quite a challenge to eat enough when one is constantly nauseated. Something has to change.
How does one cope successfully with massive amounts of stress without eating to avoid? I even went to the gym every day this week and had good, hard workouts, but still feel a tight band around my chest that won't let up.
I keep telling myself that everything will ultimately be okay. And even if everything blows up completely, well then maybe that was supposed to happen for a reason. But, in any event, almost all of what is happening is completely out of my control, so I should just let go and let everything unfold as it will. That is what I tell my mind. My white knuckles and the knots in my stomach have something else to say about the whole situation entirely.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Last week I wrote about sticking up for myself. I'm still glad I did, because I gained a lot of confidence and insight. However, the person on the other end of the "sticking up for myself" was not nearly so pleased. In fact, this individual, who had very little time for me over the past many months all of a sudden has found plenty of time to try to make my life, shall we say, a little less than enjoyable.
The retaliation has been very challenging, to say the least, but I did notice something very significant today...I have not used food as a coping mechanism even once these last few days. I have been eating when I am hungry and keeping within my calorie range.
I also had an eye-opening experience at a restaurant last night. I ordered half the food I would have ordered a couple of months ago. I was debating with myself, but decided that I would order half, and then order more or eat something later if I were still hungry. Well, to my astonishment, I didn't finish my meal. I almost wrote that I couldn't finish, but I could have finished. Instead, I stopped when I was satisfied and left half a baked potato and part of the protein on the plate. The only thing I finished was the steamed broccoli.
I really don't recognize myself. How could I have struggled with my relationship with food for SO many years, then finally feel in control after only a very short period of time? It really is like a switch was flipped. I stopped trying so hard to be perfect and now life in relation to food has been so much easier...not exactly effortless, but a world of difference from before. Now, if I could apply that lesson to other areas of my life, then maybe I wouldn't be so stressed and worrisome all the time. Ironically, if things keep going the way they're going, I bet that it will happen without much effort on my part.
Sometimes I think life is a journey of self-discovery where the good times are pleasurable, but the trying times are when the real learning and growth happens. I guess now is my time to grow.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Stretching after a hard workout feels so good!
I took my usual Wednesday afternoon water jogging class today, but the instructor had a few new tricks up her sleeve. Boy, did she push us! Then, we spent the last 5 minutes stretching along the side of the pool. I felt muscles I haven't felt before, and I've been doing a variety of exercises lately, so that was a little surprising. The lady stretching next to me and I both groaned at the same time, then burst out laughing. Turns out she,too, was feeling the delicious pain.
Here is another benefit of exercise...without it, stretching might not feel so wonderful.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
A year ago on Good Friday I was told that my employer was terminating my employment ďfor purely economic reasonsĒ (aka laid off). Last year, Good Friday fell on April 10, so I guess that is the one-year anniversary of my job loss, but itís hard for me not to remember that not-so-good Friday. That being said, I feel like there are actually two anniversaries; the first, last Friday, and the next, this Saturday. I am in between the two right now and thinking a lot about the fact that a year has gone by/will soon have gone by since I lost my job.
Today I had to go to an office downtown to pick up some documents. It was a beautiful day so I decided to combined exercise and errands, so I walked the 3+ miles round trip. Going both directions, my path took me past the office building where I used to work. At this time in that place, I thought about why I was laid off. I was only told that had the economy not been the way it was, the firm wouldnít have considered letting me go. Even so, I was the only person laid off in that office in my group. So, why me? I will probably never know. Most likely is the fact that I was the last person hired so I had the least experience and the least investment in my training. But this is just a guess, because they wouldnít tell me.
So for an entire year Iíve wondered off and on, why me? Was I not fast enough, good enough, funny enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, young enough? Iím no closer to knowing the truth even though Iíve invested a lot of mental energy into this question.
But as I walk past the office building for the second time today, a thought occurs to me. Maybe I was too good. I was told by numerous people that I was an excellent researcher and writer. I was given responsibility for writing news releases that were sent out to clients just three months after hire and before I was even a barred attorney. Iím not a litigator, but I wrote a motion for summary judgment that was successful, meaning the case would never go to trial because the judge ruled in favor of our client just based on the law applied to the facts. That saved our clients tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. I did not do anything wrong and what I did do, I believe I did great. So whatís not to like? Why was I tossed away? Maybe, just maybe, they were afraid that I would become experienced, then leave for a more prestigious employer. If I did, they would lose the money they invested in me, so it might as well be me that gets the heave-ho.
Do I believe this argument? Not really. But thatís not the point. The point is that I can let the ďnot _____ enoughĒ questions continue to roll around in my head or I can re-orient my thinking toward another possibility. Why is my argument any less persuasive than the reason that I was too fat? Since Iíll never know, I think Iíd rather pick the one that led me to my next realizationÖ
I am a highly capable person who can do great things. I lack confidence only. Once I truly believe on every level that I can do whatever I set my mind to doing, then whatís there to stop me?
I was laid off from my job because I was TOO GOOD! So sad, but true. Now, itís time for me to go conquer the WORLD!!!!!!
Monday, April 05, 2010
So Iím doing a favor for someone in a professional capacity. My involvement was only supposed to last a few months, but has turned into much more than that. Initially, this person was not particularly helpful or seemingly appreciative, but I didnít feel like it was worth addressing because this person is also quite argumentative and, as I said, the interaction was supposed to be relatively brief.
Well, today was the final straw. I wonít get into the details, but letís just say that I could no longer bite my tongue for the sake of temporary peace. I am proud to say that I was very professional about the situation, but I made my thoughts known and drew a line that will not be crossed again. No matter what happens now, I feel really good about the fact that I stood up for myself.
Thinking about the whole situation after the confrontation was over, I realized a few things. I bite my tongue A LOT. And I think it is partly to keep the peace, because I really donít like confrontation and subsequent tension, especially since most times the issue is far short of being monumental. However, I now think it is at least partly because I somehow donít think Iím worthy of having a voice, sticking up for myself, and not letting people walk over me. This realization led me to think about my relationship with myself and my relationship with food.
Iím sorry to say that I have been abusive to myself. If I treated a child the same way I treat myself verbally (mentally) and physically (lack of sleep, poor food choices, couch potato tendencies), I would probably be in serious trouble for child abuse. The sad thing is I really think that thereís a small child within me that is still hoping that her parents will love her and pay attention to her, that she wouldnít be so invisible and forgotten, that she would be a special little girl. I think I have been truly unkind to that little girl, but didnít feel worthy of better treatment. As a result, I think Iíve used food as a mechanism of abuse. I know I eat for emotional reasons, but in this instance I mean that I think I have actually forced myself to eat food that I know will likely result in weight gain. Initially I would eat something delicious and highly caloric to feel better and enjoy the taste, but then I would continue to consume it far beyond the point of satiation, knowing I would feel sick or continuing to eat even though I was already feeling sick. Itís as if I were punishing myself for something. I think that somewhere inside I believed that I deserved to be as fat and disgusting as I saw myself in my mindís eye. After all, I wasnít worthy of love and attention, so I must be an unworthy person. Why should I love my miserable self?
I will tell you why. Because I am worthy; I am lovable. I finally stood up for myself because I AM worth it. Since being on SparkPeople, I am learning so much about myself and why I am so overweight. I am also learning self respect. For the first time, losing weight is not the ultimate goal, finding self love and happiness is.
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