Saturday, July 23, 2011
I am not an emotional eater. The history of alcoholism in my family makes me think twice about putting anything in my mouth in reaction to how I feel. The minute I think ďI need thisĒ I step back and reassess that thought. Do I need it? Why do I need it? If the reason is because I do or because I deserve it, then itís time to step away from the food or drink and find something else to do.
So when asked to blog about issues that make me eat, I was a bit stymied. Until I read deeper and saw that Spark People wanted me to look at a Ďlife issue [that] may not have immediately obvious weight loss repercussions.í
Oh, do I have a tale! The story has pretty much ended. Ended the way books do, where you turn the last page and the readerís relationship with the characters is finished but, somewhere in bookland, the lives of those characters continue to play on. Itís not a story I want to revisit, but itís a story that haunts me, so revisit it I will.
I recently told one of my SparkTeams that I had joined in 2007, but that my life kind of fell apart around me so I took a hiatus. I had already lost about 48 pounds when I had joined back then and I really felt I was on the way to freedom. Then one of lifeís paradoxes came to play : what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? If the unstoppable force is a sociopath, and you are the immovable object, then you will get crushed. There is no immovable object when a sociopath is involved. If you try to remain an immovable object, if you are stupid enough to try and stand firm, then you will be obliterated.
We beat this horse at work often enough, and I will not get into the details here. The actions of this person and the reactions of the people around her caused me to slip into a mental trench. One of my co-workers and I had been walking at every break. I had walked at lunch. However, the atmosphere of disbelief and despair this creature generated kept me firmly in my chair. My head was always down, my shoulders rounded forward, my gaze always glued to the floor. If I slept four hours a night I felt lucky. My friendly co-worker regained the 150 pounds she had lost, and I regained my 48 and more. Hers came by plowing every possible horrid thing into her mouth, and mine from inaction.
There was no motivation to do good or right in any aspect of my life. Any attempt to move forward was getting us slapped down at work; hell, our supervisor threatened our jobs if we said anything about our section to anyone else.
So this problem did affect my health. I didnít ever go back to eating really poorly. When I picked up with SparkPeople again this past winter I was eating too much and my nutrition was a bit wonky, but I was still eating good and healthy food. But my exercise, my self-esteem, all suffered, and, as a result, my weight and life suffered.
One of the things we are meant to do in this life is to learn from our lessons. I think we are presented with the lessons we need to learn and that we are put in those positions more than once to make sure we have mastered them.
I hope I never run into a situation like this again, where you feel youíve been hit with a big stick and everyone in charge just laughs. However, if I do meet with an unstoppable force again, and if I begin to feel like my immovable object is being pushed beyond bearing, I hope that I can use the lessons I have learned, and just move. Or perhaps, just perhaps, I can stand firm.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Buying a bra must be one of the most humiliating experiences in the world.
You walk into the dressing room feeling some confidence because you've lost enough weight that your old bras are in danger of sliding up at any moment, releasing your charms like the Enola Gay releasing the atomic bomb. You have been careful to bring a range of sizes into the dressing room with you, and you are clever enough to start with the largest.
You slip it on and WHAT THE HECK? How can it be this so tight? So, well, so WRONG? So, grumbling, you put on your clothes and go out and get a bigger size. But this one is too big and you are starting to feel a little like Goldilocks in search of Juuuuust RIGHT!
Suddenly, the realization hits : you can't do this alone. It has been so long since you've bought a good bra that you aren't even sure of the sizing any more. You are going to have to ask the salesgirl for help.
Now, I don't know about you, but I always seem to get the smallest busted salesgirl in the store, and I am definitely not small busted. This somehow seems to make the entire episode harder to take. How on earth can she understand years of stuffing yourself into a wire-framed torture device?
Now, you stand in the corner with your arms over your head while she whips out her tape and measures your rib cage. Well, the good news is your chest measures smaller than you expected! Wooo Hooo! The bad news is, she still needs to get that other measurement. You roll your eyes toward the ceiling and think of England. That done, you wait while she pulls out a calculator to compute that all important cup size. Then with a smile, she's off to pull a variety of samples from the wall. You accept them with a semblance of a smile and head back into the dressing room to try on another batch.
Oh, this isnít right! This oneís too tight! This oneís too low! This oneís too pushy-uppy! This one isnít pushy-uppy ENOUGH! This oneísÖ Alright. Iíll tell the truth. The problem is that fat bubbling out at the back. The problem IS that if I were a hog I wouldnít be lean enough for bacon! I donít understand. Iíve lost tons of weight! Iím exercising my butt off! Iíve worn out three pairs of shoes on the TREADMILL!
You look at yourself in the best-fitting bra. You take a deep breath and look critically but not cruelly. Okay, yeah, thereís some, er, spillage in the back. But what about the front? Hey! You put your shirt on over the new bra. Oh my gosh. Is that me? Wow! I HAVE A FIGURE!
All of a sudden those days and weeks and months seem so worth every pint of sweat and good food choice. All of a sudden you believe, deep, deep in your soul, down where you never really quite believed it before, that you can do this. That you can go all the way. That you can be the you that you want to be. And thatís worth all the humiliation in the world.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Someone on one of my SparkTeams (Go Missourians!) asked us to "Name one thing that Spark People has started you to do."
A million things popped into my head : Track food, track exercise, connect with other people...but really, one thing covers it all : SparkPeople has started me making informed choices.
Because I understand the caloric cost of what I eat, because I understand the benefits of different types of exercise, because I have contact with so many other people, all striving to make a better life, I am better able to choose which foods, which exercise and which groups and friends help me most.
So maybe in the end it isn't so much informed choices that SparkPeople has started me making, but informed living.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I need glasses. Ugh. I HATE to have to wear glasses. Hate, hate, hate it. I didn't even need glasses at all until I was 35, so going so many years without them made it so much harder to have to put them on. When I picture myself I do NOT picture glasses. My daughter, who has worn glasses since she was ten, has no sympathy at all! And I'm not 'blind-as-a-bat' without my glasses, I just can't read those pesky road signs without them.
So, if I'm not driving, or even being a 'navigator' on a long trip, I will usually leave them tucked into my bag. (I'll leave the rant about having to carry a bag because of my glasses for another place.) But if I'm driving I need something in, on, or around my eyes so I can see.
This year I broke down and got contacts. I LOVE them! EXCEPT...if I'm wearing contacts I cannot see close up. So I end up seeing clearly as I drive and run through stores sliding fluorescent green reading glasses up and down the bridge of my nose as needed. Why reading glasses don't bother me as much I don't know. I've asked myself several times, but I still have no clear answer.
Any road. Friday I drove my momma and Uncle George to St. Louis, some two plus hours away. We go up every few months to stock up on all that stuff you find in the BIG CITY that we don't have here in our small but growing town. We generally leave at 7 AM and are home at 4:30 PM, just enough time to haul everything in from the car and for my uncle and me to haul our butts over to our Taiji class.
Our class is held at the local gym, and that is where I weigh myself. Every Friday night I take off my shoes and take the plunge, sliding the weights over to the highest weight I can bear to be without feeling upset.
So this Friday I slid the weights to, um, well, about where I was last week...I, um, think. Because, of COURSE, I'm still wearing my contacts and cannot see the scale clearly. I stand on the scale and I have to slide the upper weight one click to the FATTER side of the scale. NO. No. crud. I step off the scale, take a step or two back and squint and open my eyes wide, but I really cannot see it at all clearly. I step back on and, yep. Looks like I gained a pound. GRRRRRRR!
I was bummed the entire weekend. Now, I did NOT do the old Soxy thing of "Woe is me, I am such a loser, I can't do this." I was sorry, bummed, frustrated, but not angry at myself. I stayed mostly prosaic. Frustrated, but how it goes. I didn't binge and freak and eat a bunch of stuff, neither did I stop eating. I stayed careful and Soldiered on.
Monday nights I go to the same gym for my body/cardio/sculpting workout. I have taken to weighing myself on both Monday and Friday. That's it. I'm usually the same on Monday as I was on Friday, but I do it anyway.
Mondays I'm coming home from work. Work, where I spend all day on the computer and cannot wear my contacts. I take off my glasses before my class begins.
I sighed. I stepped on the scale, and I was five pounds lighter than Friday. Huh? I stepped off, squinted, move the weights a few times and tried again. Yep. Five pounds lighter. NO WAY! So I counted the divots and, as I'm sure you've figured out by now, I had mis-counted, mis-judged, mis-calculated on Friday. I had not gained a pound at all! I had lost FOUR!
Thank goodness for SparkPeople, and my friends here, and for my head somehow getting around itself so I DIDN'T do all the crazy bad things that I had done in the past when facing what I THOUGHT was a set-back.
I think from now on I won't weigh myself if I'm wearing my contacts. Unless I bring along my reading glasses, too!
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