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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    "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
    2237 days ago
    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.

    2241 days ago
    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
    2276 days ago
  • YOMAMA128
    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!

    2276 days ago
    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!!
    2282 days ago
    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!
    2282 days ago
    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!
    2282 days ago
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