Tuesday, June 28, 2011
is action. I have consistently over-eaten for the better (worst?) part of the past week. I have eaten about twice the amount of food I should be taking in, based on my activity level, age, and weight goal. It is no coincidence that while I have been over-consuming, and over-indulging, I have been avoiding certain realities in my life. This morning, after having spent a fairly miserable night that resembled most of the nights I used to have prior to committing to losing 50 lbs with the help of SP, I found new resolve. The first bit of courage required me fully facing the fact that I over-ate last night AFTER I went to bed. Granted, I went to bed uncharacteristically, ridiculously, indulgently early, before 8pm, and I logged the food before I consumed it, but the fact is I ate after I went to bed. This is OLD behavior, and the very behavior that led to me lugging around 50 extra pounds and being miserable in the process. Also, while I logged the food and the amounts prior to turning in with a book and with food, the fact is I ate far more than I initially tracked, so, this morning I went back and corrected it and faced the facts of how much I ate, and while I was dealing with unpleasant truths, I corrected my weight tracker because over this past week I have re-gained a pound of weight that I had worked at losing. Another bit of resolve required of me this morning was to keep my early morning exercise date, despite the fact that my over-eating caused me to wake at 2am, thus resulting in a lack of sleep, along with an upset stomach. Staying in bed would not have fixed anything - the damage was done. I know from past experience that the best way for me to deal with the kind of fatigue caused by restless sleep is not to try and steal a few minutes or a couple hours of more restless sleep, but to get up, exercise, and then look forward to going to bed at a decent hour. The way to deal with an upset stomach from over-eating is not for me to avoid food, thus setting myself up to over-eat once again, but to eat an especially good breakfast filled with protein and fiber, thus giving my body what it needs rather than setting it up to be at the mercy of what it thinks it wants. So, once I exercised and ate well, I required myself to face some things I had been procrastinating about, before I allowed myelf the reward of Sparking. Task one involved dealing with a medical bill for over a thousand dollars, that my insurance company has not paid, and that the medical provider had sent a second bill for. There are several daunting parts to this task: dealing with an unpaid bill (anxiety), dealing with a large sum of money owed, that my husband is stressed out about (fear), dealing with an insurance company and the hold time (frustration) - so I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and dialed. I did what I had to do, I was able to stay pleasant with the person at the medical billing facility and at the insurance company, which inspired them to be pleasant with me, and I received assurance that it was an oversight somewhere along the way and will be paid (relief). I then picked up the phone and made a call to an attorney regarding what should be a routine matter unless it is overlooked (again fear, followed by the relief of taking action and being assured that no deadlines had been missed). Once I was on a roll, I turned my attention to smaller tasks that I had been overlooking: I prepared some food for lunches and a dinner, I cut up some fruit for snacks, I did some laundry, I watered and fed some plants - just little things that don't take long but, when added up, can cause anxiety to build. I am, by my nature, an overly anxious person. Prescription medications are NOT helpful to me, and can be quite the opposite, as a matter of fact, because of my particular brain chemistry and my history with various substances. I know for some people, medications can be a saving grace but for me they tend to cause a number of "unpleasant side effects", the kind they rattle off at the speed of auctioneers during all those commercials that make taking a drug seem equivalent to winning the lottery or setting off on a cruise. THerefore, I am required to find alternate ways to "dial it down" or I find myself turning to food, food, and more food, in an attempt to calm myself. The deal is, it works. Food does calm me, for awhile. It, too, however, has unpleasant side effects like, say, fatness, or regret, or insomnia, or shame, or heartburn, or nausea. For me, prayer and action are my best anti-anxiety strategies, and, of course, they work better together because "faith without works is dead". Sitting around on my arse, begging God for relief, isn't going to fix most of what ails me. Praying for strength and willingness, and then doing what needs to be done, no matter how slowly or reluctantly I may begin, produces far better results and wonderful side effects.