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The Happiness Conundrum

Monday, November 21, 2011

I have found, at least for myself, that when I get happy that continuing the battle with my weight becomes exponentially difficult. Please tell me I am not alone.

It's happened before, I am trucking along, I am doing great, I am basically kicking a$$ and taking names at the weight loss thing. I am honed, focused. I am an animal, and nothing can take me down. The things in my life improve, I start to feel healthy, and happy. It's usually about this time that I notice that as I am feeling better about myself, the rest of my life starts to improve as well. I make new friends. I meet someone special. I begin to improve socially. And that's when it happens...my focus slips, or maybe that's the wrong way to describe it, it doesn't slip, the beam of focus starts to encompass not just my weight loss journey, but also my social life. And I don't think I am alone when I say, having a social life and losing weight is HARD. Inevitably, I wind up gaining weight. Slipping back into old habits because I am enjoying my happiness. I am letting life be really good to me.

I am back there again. Since February of 2011 I have been gradually and steadily becoming more and more happy with my life. I fell in love. I got married. I added half a dozen amazing friends to my existing friends that I hope I will have for life. I am even happy with my waitressing job, which coming from a tech background, I never thought I would enjoy let alone excel at. I am so happy. I feel like it's shining out of my pores. If you look directly at me you might be blinded. This is even with the waiting for immigration paperwork, and still not having a 40 hour a week career, or medical insurance. I remain, happy, hopeful.

Yet...my weight is suffering. I haven't weighed myself since my honeymoon when my diet officially went off the rails. We stayed in a bed and breakfast where a five course dinner was included every night. We ate, slept and well you know for four days, and since that moment I have been just living. I even had a moment where I thought "I can do whatever I want". And I have been. I've started eating late at night, blaming it on working nights. I've justified eating an entire 1.5L of ice cream in one day, when I never used to do that even before I lost the weight. I know I am gaining because my clothes aren't looking right.

I am happy, but the voice in my brain is starting to whisper I don't look good. I've stopped putting makeup on because I don't see the point in trying to pretty myself up. Even my wedding ring is starting to feel a little snug. I feel like I am drowning inside myself again. I know it's not extreme yet, but the way I've been feeling toward food, and with the holidays coming up...I am scared.

When I get scared like this, I also get defiant...instead of it making me turn toward all the good habits I've created, I get like a sullen teenager. It's like I literally have an angel and a devil on my shoulder and the devil wins. I don't exercise...I eat more than I should...and not a little more, a lot more...I've never been a binger, but dear god...I might be creating one.

I don't know how to be happy...and also be focused on my weight loss. I've never successfully done both. I feel like I am going to kill my happiness if I continue down this path, but I also don't know how to get off this path...

I am going back to what I know...I am counting calories again. Measuring, and planning. I hope it's enough to shock me back into my good habits. I hope I have the strength.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMATALOSS 1/5/2012 3:36PM

  "When I get scared like this, I also get defiant...instead of it making me turn toward all the good habits I've created, I get like a sullen teenager." You are NOT alone. I could have written this myself.

I hope you've stayed true to your restart. I've also been off the path for awhile and just came back to Spark this week. I'm glad to see you're back as well. See you around my friend! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/1/2012 11:42AM

    I am sending big hugs and I hope you find all of the answers you are looking for. Being happy is certainly a great place to start.

Have a great New Year, gorgeous.


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JOSEPHINE34 11/27/2011 9:28PM

    emoticon I really understand exactly what your saying but it's in us so we just have to fight that devil off the shoulder and start again like your doing emoticon emoticon

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YOMAMA128 11/27/2011 5:50PM

    This is brilliant. Thank you for sharing this conundrum.

I guess it all comes down to re-invention, hey? Being our happy, healthy, confident selves AND find new ways to indulge and reward ourselves.

I know exactly what you mean, and appreciate your thoughtful blog very much.

Thanks & all the best to you in your quest to have it all!


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ROXELLS_WARRIOR 11/21/2011 11:12PM

    You know, I have been struggling with this same thing and just didn't realize it. I am happier in my personal life than I have ever been, yet I find my commitment to my health taking a lower place on my totem pole... thanks for the food for thought!!

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KITHKINCAID 11/21/2011 3:30PM

    OK - so I'm in exactly the same place you are right now. Except, I wouldn't blame this on being happy anymore like I might have in the past. Here's the therapy talk that I'm still trying to work through myself but that I know holds SO much weight (both literally and figuratively):

When we add another person (or people) into our lives we slowly start to lose sight of ourselves because loving and living and being for that other person becomes who we are. It's second nature for us - negating ourselves and our goals and aspirations in order to better serve everyone else in our lives. We call it happy because it feels good - for the time being. But eventually it won't feel good anymore. And then we start to get angry and resent the other people/things in our lives because they prevent us from being and caring for ourselves and we start to remember and long for the days before the "happy" came along when we had control over things.

So the ONLY way to prevent the unhappy from creeping back in is to maintain YOU. And that is NOT at all easy. Because it means standing up for yourself 100% of the time. It means turning down food when hubby wants to order in, it means insisting on exercise when all you want to do is cuddle on the couch, it means speaking up when something doesn't feel right or you don't like something about your partner. And keeping in mind that all of these things are NOT to deprive you of the "happy" but to keep you in it long term. Remember the famous marshmallow experiment? The one they did with the kids to test level of delaying instant gratification? This is that experiment. This is not eating the marshmallow because you get a whole bag of marshmallows later if you wait. Binging is instant gratification. I do it too and have a huge issue with this. I haven't yet figured out how to delay my gratification, but I'm working on it. And I KNOW you can do it too.

So glad you're back. So glad you're HAPPY! Let's both be happy for a long long long time!

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SANDAM1 11/21/2011 3:16PM

    Reading your blog, one question came to my mind - and it is tough one - are you afraid to be truly happy AND healthy? And if you are, is it possible that you self-sabotaging because you are afraid to "have it all?"

If that's the case, let me be the first person to tell that you are a good enough person and you do deserve to have it all. You know how to be healthy and it sounds like you've found a lot of happiness in your life - now just go out and DO IT!

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So...a bunch of stuff happened...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let's see...it's been a while.

I haven't blogged in such a long time. In fact I think the last time I blogged was the last time I truly felt like I was in charge of this weight-loss situation, and then all these things started happening, one after the other, and I sorta maintained for a while, then I lost my job the last day of March, and things went kind of wonky. Let me start there...

On March 31, I was called into my manager's office and put onto a conference call, where a very nice woman named Jenny from HR politely told me that my position had been eliminated. It wasn't a complete shock, but I was the only one in my department, and it was immediate. Honestly, it felt like being fired more than laid off, but they framed it as a lay off. My manager then escorted me back to my desk where I had to pack in record time, and then he walked me to my car, took my security badge and wished me luck in the future.

I had been with the company for almost 15 years. I started when I was 19 years old, it was all I knew. Don't get me wrong, I hated working there, the politics, the ridiculous things that happened. And over the course of the last two years my company had been outsourcing our jobs to the Philippines, so I had been preparing myself for this mentally for a while. But I wasn't being let go with a large group of people...I was walked out the door alone. I didn't even have time to say good-bye to the people around me because they did it at noon which is when most people are out to lunch. And just like that...I was in the unemployment line.

I've been working since I am 13...I've never really been without a job...maybe for a few weeks, maybe a month or two at most, but when that happened I was in college, so this is the first time in my adult life I am not working. I am collecting unemployment, and I feel like such a slacker. April started out very badly. I felt ashamed. I wasn't gainfully employed, and as it turns out, I make more money collecting unemployment right now than I would if I took a starting position with another company. If there were actually other companies to take a starting position with...which there aren't, because I've been looking. So, I applied for Unemployment, and even have gone so far as to apply for TAA benefits which will pay for a certain amount of schooling. But the impact of having 24 free hours in a day...it just played with my mind. You would think having more time would be a blessing, but it wasn't. My schedule went bye-bye. I wasn't sleeping right, and I wasn't getting enough water, and I stared eating what I wanted, and slowly...weight started to creep up.

Then my boyfriend came to visit. And the first day he got here....he proposed. Which, I will be honest, wasn't a huge shock. We'd been discussing marriage for a few months, but still, I was (and am) so happy. And the 10 days he was here were a whirlwind. Every single day was packed with things...he met every single member of my family, we ate out every single day he was here, we wedding planned. It was a whole lot of craziness. And I didn't deny myself a thing. We celebrated my Birthday while he was here and not only did I eat a gigantic pasta dinner, I also ate dessert, and had a few drinks. It was food madness. He went back home to Canada on May 1....the week following that was more family birthdays and me consoling myself that SO was gone back home. Not to mention I had been messing with my pill to move TOM, and that COMPLETELY messed with my emotional well being. recipe for disaster.

So...skip to now. I bought a wedding dress. It's beautiful. It's not something I thought I would ever do...ask anyone, I was never the marrying type. It's all really bizarre. I am still grappling with not having a job. And I am planning a semi-traditional wedding (SO. Many. Details. Ugh.). A lot of stuff. But I need to own up...I've gained weight. I have no right to the 90lbs lost award. I've taken it off my page for the time being. I've also adjusted my tracker. It's time.

I've been back on point with my food since last Monday...just over a week. Already, I see my weight dropping back down to where it belongs. I started with a running group yesterday, and I took a walk today, running again tomorrow, and on Saturday too. I might also join my Aunt for water Zumba (who knew??) one day a week. I feel like things have fallen back into place. I am trying to make a schedule within all this free time for myself. I work better in a schedule.

I am making a go of this....my wedding is in October, and I want to be at goal by then...I am willing to do the work. Let's do this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/28/2011 8:08PM

    Congratulations on your engagement. emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/28/2011 7:23PM

    Congrats on the engagement, gorgeous. That's wonderful!

Thanks so much for the update too... I thought my Denzel might have whisked you away to travel New Zealand or something. I know that's where he's taking me :)

I am sorry so about the job and the way it was handled - "they" never seem to get that right. I would be devastated by someone escorting me to my car - that is so foul.

You have a lot of bravery in that beautiful body. Who knows what adventures are in store - all I know is you deserve the best.

Yay! You're back :) muah.

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IMATALOSS 6/3/2011 3:18PM

  You're getting married!!! I read your status this morning and had to pop over to see what you've been up to. I am SO very excited for you!! Are you going to be moving to Canada now? We'll have to hear all about your wedding planning. I just went through all of that with my sister last year. (She got married in October too). Sorry to hear about your job but I remember your past blogs and it was probably a blessing in the long run. I know no one really likes/wants to hear that but you're on a new journey with new and exciting changes in your life and it's all going to work out. Good luck with your getting back into the swing of things. You've done it before so you know you can rock it. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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KARVY09 5/19/2011 11:04AM

    Congrats! So happy for you, but angry as well for how your employer handled your layoff. There are so many more classy ways that the situation could have been handled. It's sad that it's always about the bottom line and I hope you were able to get to reconnect with coworkers outside the office.

You will get back to where you were. And I hope you post a pic of the dress soon! YAY!

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KITHKINCAID 5/19/2011 10:57AM

    #1 - I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! #2 - I am so sorry you lost your job - that sucks the big one. #3 - I AM SO DAMN HAPPY YOU'RE BACK AND YOU'RE BLOGGING. I think about you constantly, but I'm a sucky friend when it comes to keeping in touch because I'm so damn self-involved right now.

Just remember something for me. As hard as it seems to imagine - you will have more time and energy to devote to your wedding, your life planning, your job hunt and all the rest if you take the time every day for yourself FIRST. Hardest damn lesson to learn, and I have no idea why, but it's true. Just do it - you first, you first, you first. Then everything else. You'll be amazed.

So happy you're back :)

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NIELSENSLADY 5/19/2011 1:30AM

    I just popped by your blog. I'm sorry about your job loss! Hopefully it will be a career gain for you somewhere down the line. You deserve it after all your hard work. And congrats on the engagement and you look amazing!

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GOLOPTIOUS 5/19/2011 1:06AM

    Congrats on the engagement!!

I was laid off a year ago and ran into the same problem. When you ahve 24 hours to get things done, it's much more easy to put those things off and then you end up getting nothing done.

You'll get through this!

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Slipping Into Complacency

Friday, February 18, 2011

I've been slipping into complacency. I am not gaining weight, but in the two months since I have come back from Christmas vacation I've only lost around 5lbs. I think this is because I have become really comfortable with myself. I am fitting into all of the clothes I have from "before" when I lost weight. I know I am starting to look good, and I am getting happy with myself. I am letting myself slip a little more often in the nutrition department. I've felt the back sliding ever since I came back from Christmas vacation, and it's scaring me.

I've stopped tracking daily. First, it was just the weekends I would skip, and that seemed to be working just fine, but on Valentine's Day, I made a recipe that I just didn't feel like adding to the recipe calculator, and I knew I would be eating it for the rest of the week, so I just didn't track at all this week. And without that keeping me in line...well, I stepped out of line. I used stupid excuses (I was sick with a headcold, I deserve this extra piece of chocolate. Or, it's my friend's Birthday I should let myself celebrate with her) to eat what I wanted instead of keeping myself in check. I knew last night after I indulged myself in not only a meal of pasta, but appetizers, drinks, AND dessert that the madness has to stop. I need to get myself back in check. I am less than 20lbs away from my goal. I've come too far.

So, I started by creating some accountability. I told my SO that I feel like I've lost my focus. I talked with him about how I feel like I am loosing control of myself, and that the lessons I thought I had learned just didn't stick in the face of my past behaviors. He was wonderful, and helped me make a plan. And now, here I am back at Spark, hanging my head asking you to help me be accountable.

My 14 day plan....

emoticon Go back to tracking every single thing that goes into my mouth. If I eat it, I track it. For the next fourteen days. This also means, get away from processed foods again, back to 5 freggies a day, and enjoying my food so I don't need to bust out by going to a restaurant and eating a ton of food.

emoticon Get back to exercising. I am going to start small it's the only way it works for me. Just 15 minutes on the treadmill every day for seven days, then after the first week bump it to 30 minutes a day for the second week. Track it. I want to get back to at least 5 hours a week like I was doing at the peak of my exercise.

That's just two things. The eating will be fine, but the exercise...yeah, I've been failzor with that, so it's going to take some effort. I need to focus again.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSTANGMISSY 2/18/2011 3:50PM

    I know just what you mean! I've been kind of lost for a while now. I've gained back about 7 lbs but am getting myself back into the active groove. I really need to focus back on logging in my food as well. You can do it girl!

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KITHKINCAID 2/18/2011 3:16PM

    Good job honey! You can do it. But also - keep this in the back of your mind. It's ok NOT to track on Spark as long as you are tracking mentally. And I don't mean counting calories in your head and holding on to that information all day, but checking in with yourself during the day - are you hungry? are you full? are you happy? We all need to pick up those skills so that we can just live in our bodies when the weight is gone. Unless you're happy Sparking for the rest of your life - in which case - Spark on! :)

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/18/2011 11:47AM

    Go go go go go girl! DO IT!!! :)

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IMATALOSS 2/18/2011 11:38AM

  I hear you!! I have been in the same place of complacency and rededicated myself this past Tuesday. We can do it!! I already feel better from eating the right things and exercising every day and it's only been 3 days. We know it feels good to eat better and move. FOCUS! Yep, you can do it!! You rock.

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Fighting My Winter Brain

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's been freezing in my area for the last couple of days. Negative numbers, wind blowing, skin instantly in pain as soon as you go outside, freezing. I am sure everyone has heard about the record low numbers on the east coast, and I am sure more than a few of us actually live in the east, so I know I am not alone.

As the weather gets colder I start to crave things that I really shouldn't be eating or drinking all the time. My winter brain wants Cafe Lattes and Hot Chocolate, hot tea with real milk and real sugar. And I don't want them in small quantities, oh no, I want them in gargantuan sizes like perhaps the new Starbucks size of Trenti! I also crave things like grilled cheese with tomato soup, and pot roast with all the trimmings. I want creamy soups and all things that equal warmth and comfort. I want my servings to be huge. I want to take comfort in my food and drink.

It's scary that after nearly a year of clean and healthy living that I still have to fight all these thoughts. I still have to remind myself to make the better choice. I so badly want it to be easy, and am again struck by the realization, that for me at least, it will never be easy.

I am always going to have to fight my natural impulses. I can hope that they will weaken a bit overtime, and it may get easier, but it will never be easy. Doing the healthy thing has become habit, but I am always going to be tempted, and fighting the temptation. This is my life. This is who I am...forever. And it takes my breath away. And sometimes...I just want to quit.

Then I catch site of myself in the mirror. And I remember....oh right. I am happy with myself. I am worth fighting the fight.

To battle!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEC1974 1/28/2011 9:12AM

    grilled cheeeeeese... (thanks, now I'm craving it, too!) :)

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SAMBIDEXTROUS 1/26/2011 6:26PM

    Seattle's weather isn't as bad as yours right now, but trust me when I say I get it!!

Our house is heated by a wood burning stove, so mornings can be extra cold. Brrrr!!!

And I love the term Winter Brain!


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VEGGIE-FITNESS 1/26/2011 6:14PM

    So very well said! I am in the same boat and its not even that cold here (its all relative) However, we are fighting the good fight and soon it will be Spring emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Think Spring! Think Spring! (a cold weather mantra)

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/26/2011 6:06PM

    Yup, the battle is always on - gorgeous.

I love the term Winter Brain. It describes my desire to lay under my comforter accurately. That is what I want to do as the snow keeps coming down... It is certainly a struggle for me to even care about working out.

Someone said this to me today - and I shall pass it to you.

"Winter is tough, but you are tougher."

This I know for sure.


It's just another challenge for us to conquer. But conquering thangs is our specialty.


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KITHKINCAID 1/25/2011 4:49PM

    Man - you and me both sister. I keep trying to convince myself that I burn more calories in a day when I'm so cold because my body is working harder to heat myself up...still, I doubt it's burning a 1600 calorie pizza binge more per day. Ugh!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

I have officially recovered from my Christmas weight loss. It took a little over a week to get rid of the extra weight, and this week I actually managed to move my ticker down a pound. It feels like such a long time since I got to do that.

I feel like I am drifting through Spark since I got back from vacation. I don't read as many blogs, or comment on as many pages. I just feel like I am floating. I think it's because I have a lot of exciting things that are about to start here in my "real life". I found a part-time weekend job, and other exciting things I am not ready to share yet. But life is moving, and I have to move with it.

So, I guess if it seems like I am not around much, that's probably why. I am a bit ghosty, and floaty right now, but I still check in and I still weigh, and track and measure. And hopefully, I will get back to being around more soon.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEACHGIRL76 1/23/2011 11:34AM

    As long as you stay on track with YOU that's what matters most. I find when I come on line to SP it just gets me excited and makes me want to do better...so I stay on here a lot! :) lol

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SMILE2HAPPINESS 1/22/2011 1:39PM

    We all have our moments. Congrats on the weight loss and the new job and the other secret exciting things! emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 1/21/2011 4:11PM

    I drifted for a while too when I came back. It takes a while to get back in the groove. Just glad your "real life" is roses :)

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BLACK-PRINCESS 1/21/2011 9:26AM

    keep up the good work . It's okay sometimes to be drifting. But if you need encouragement & just to talk come on back and send an e-mail & I'll help in any way that I can.

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