Thursday, December 27, 2012
Super shorty tonight. I'm doing great. Tonight's close = 7 days binge-free. Reviewed where it all went wrong last time I broke my streak, and I developed a strategy for dealing with rough waters this time around. I hope you've all been keeping up with your strength training as of late, because my plan involves leaning on my dear Spark friends.
[ETA: In answer to what my strategy is:
1. While feeling mentally strong, imagine I'm feeling a binge urge and role play using positive coping strategies
2. Post on Emotional Eating and Living Binge Free teams before reaching crisis mode
3. Ask for support via huddles on EE & LBF teams when vulnerabilities start
4. Wear the bracelet I received for Christmas (spelling the word "Breathe") nightly (my most vulnerable time), as a reminder to cope positively
5. Listen to encouraging message I saved in my voicemail inbox
6. If on the verge of bingeing, call one of my closest Spark friends for support
7. If I need immediate social support/am very lonely (recurrent trigger)/on the verge of bingeing (and it's too late for #6), "attend" Overeaters Anonymous phone meeting]
As to maintenance, well I can't really speak with any certainty about my weight. The last derailment involved 3 very high-cal binges within a 24-hour period, and the gain was significant. My weight had been dropping, but seeing how Mother Nature has me rockin' the red right now, I don't know what to make of the number on the scale. All I can say is, it's not dictating my mood.
P.S. Christmas, thankfully, was largely devoid of the usual goodies and temptations. While I overate a little, I ate sensibly on the whole and cooked healthier alternatives for myself.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I resolved in my last blog to determine what led to the mental shift to maintenance mode. Determine it I did, and what better time to put it down into words than following a relapse with bingeing?
There are several factors that contributed to the shift and which sustained it for its duration, but they're really secondary to the key difference:
**Lack of food**
It's amazing the mental change I underwent with: 1) the elimination of binge foods into my environment in particular; 2) scarcity of food in general; 3) complete lack of money to buy more food; 4) uncertainty as to when there would be money to buy more food.
Sounds like it would be stressful, right? It was to a degree, but mostly it was a godsend, because it forced me to exercise moderation and mindfulness.
As this is a factor out of the realm of my control, I suppose I'm left working with the other factors:
1. Mental toughness coaching, courtesy of FatLoser.com
2. Read & work through "The Solution" by Laurel Mellin, a workbook addressing the psychological, physical, and lifestyle causes of weight problems, available
3. Learn new/different ways of "how to stop bingeing." The concept of developing a "pause button" was especially helpful.
4. Regularly role play use of adaptive coping skills when I'm feeling invulnerable: imagine I'm on the verge of bingeing and use stopwatch to practice emotion regulation in 2 minute intervals. Use emergency box, "50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food" ( www.amazon.com/Ways-Soothe-Yourself-
Without-Food/dp/1572246766 ), positive affirmation cards.
5. Foster motivation daily. Read blogs, my motivation journal, positive affirmation cards, Transcendentalism quotes, excerpts from "The Alchemist"; watch "The Last Lecture" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo ); listen/read lyrics to uplifting/inspiring music.
My binge-free streak this time lasted 11 "full days" (that is, from the time I awoke until I fell asleep), 12 days from binge-to-binge. Now I start anew, feeling vulnerable, on the approach of the most temptation-laden holiday of the year, replete with a surplus of food.
P.S. Getting my body fat measured on Monday really threw me for a head trip and actually triggered emotional eating. My weight at time of measurement was 2 lbs higher than when I'd last weighed myself at home, and my bf % had increased 0.6% from my last measurement. Granted -- I don't hold much stock in bioelectrical impedance; and I know weight fluctuates daily and varies from scale to scale because of calibration differences. Given the fact that I can see and feel physical indications of weight loss, the numbers themselves *shouldn't* have set me off. Yet they did, underscoring my assertion that it's wise for me to limit the frequency of my weigh-ins.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Figured it's about time to update this since it's been 3 weeks since I last wrote and even longer since I wrote about things being friggin awesome. And friggin awesome they are.
Tonight will conclude 8 days binge-free. More importantly - and contributing to the latter - my head's in maintenance mode. What's that mean? I'm no longer fighting myself. I believe. I'm trusting myself. I'm recognizing myself for and feeling like the warrior I am. I'm trying without letting the fear of failure or the pressure of attempting perfection dissuade me.
I can't say with certainty what catalyzed the shift (though I'm determined to ID it for future reference). I do know some things that helped:
1. I covered the full-length mirror in my bedroom.
There are 8 (yes, 8) wall mirrors in the house. I can't cover the rest or avoid most of them. But looking in a mirror that allegedly distorts reflections (which I've never detected but which 3 other people observed independent of each other), when my body image is already distorted in a prototypical ED fashion, was heightening my obsession with body dissatisfaction.
It's still covered.
2. I stopped weighing myself. For 8 days, anyway.
My worth's been so contingent on the number on the scale for so long that this was doing more harm than good most days. In addition to my weight affecting my self concept and coloring my thoughts and emotions, it added to to my interpretation of myself as a failure for seeing a higher-than-desired number over and over again. I think it actually contributed to the bingeing. So I ditched it.
As the binge-, mirror- and, scale-free streaks proceeded, physical changes clued me into the fact that I was losing weight. Once I noticed about 5+ cues previously corresponding with being in my ordained maintenance range, most of which I haven't experienced in the better part of a year, I decided to weigh in to see just what number corresponded. Because, while I'd set my maintenance range +/- 3 lbs of goal weight (145) I've been treating 158 as my "scream weight." Anything in the 150s made me unhappy, but it's not till I reach 158 that I freak out and resolve that no matter what, it ends now. Well, that's crap. I want a scream weight that's, ya know, the top end of my maintenance range. Leading me to...
3. I decided to reassess my maintenance range.
145 was my goal weight. By my standards, I successfully maintained for 5-6 months. However, I question(ed) whether it's sustainable given my physical activity. The weight regain started very closely around the time I stopped running regularly and really picked up after I had to give up kickboxing, Combat, and high impact exercise in general. Maybe the range I'd chosen was no longer realistically sustainable.
Problem is, the bingeing restarted around the same time. The only way for me to determine whether my weight goal is sustainable with my current level/intensity of fitness is to knock out the bingeing.
Also, I picked 145 pretty arbitrarily. I liked that weight quite a bit, but maybe I needed to re-evaluate whether it was necessary to be that light to be satisfied. Only way to know was to strip away the emotionality - meaning rely on other measures than the scale.
So that's where I am. 153 is my scream weight. I'm breaking from daily weigh-ins for at least the time being and am going to continue my assessment based on non-scale feedback. When I start looking and feeling how I'd like, I'll jump back on to find out what number corresponds with that weight. As I neared goal weight the first time around, I had no clue how to approach maintenance so I winged it. In retrospect, I think this is a better approach for me to take to find a satisfying, achievable, sustainable maintenance weight.
Oh yeah. On Monday I'm getting my body fat tested again. I haven't had this done since June. Totally avoidance. I'll be interested in seeing if the number's gone down. While I weigh about the same as then, the physical changes I'm seeing used to be reserved for sub-150 territory. So maybe my body composition's changed.
Monday, November 26, 2012
I'm not. But I want to. All of 2012 spent over my weight maintenance range, the best month consisting of "only" 4 binges (the worst: 16)...I can't help thinking this is all in futility. Telling myself I'm making progress couldn't look more like a lie.
Friday, October 26, 2012
October 26, 2012
Today, I promise I will not quit.
I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey.
I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself.
I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations.
I pledge to treat myself as I would my best friend, because that is who I am.
I pledge to stay in the race and to be a WINNER!
Leisa (Sunflowergal40) 04/26/12
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Shirley (Lookingup2012) Friday, June 29, 2012 who needs to do this because she quit SP three times in 3 years.
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