Things I've Learned
Friday, March 23, 2012
Well, I haven't been around spark that much the past week. I have been partially tracking my food and logging my exercise, but on Monday I woke up and I could just tell that my "obsession" with all this was over.
What does that mean? I've written before about how my life goes in cycles. Something grabs my attention and I focus on it obsessively, to the point of driving myself and my husband crazy talking and thinking about it. It can be a new video game, a tv show, or sometimes it is weight loss. Usually when I've come off a period of overdoing it and I look and feel like crap.
Health and nutrition are always somewhere in the back of my mind. I definitely don't always take my own best advice, but I know the dangers of our modern food supply. I know fast food 5x a week is bad for you. I know you should try your hardest to get organic, grass fed meat. But sometimes my knowledge of that turns into something else... a quest. Like Don Quixote, it's on my mind all the time and all the pitfalls of my diet are windmill monsters that I let chase me through guilty days and nights.
I usually start out on the right foot, not just full of motivation but also full of good intentions. But along the way, my good intentions change and I find myself unable to focus on anything but the goals I want to meet but don't seem to be meeting. The pounds lost, the muscles gained, the minutes I should be working out. It always ends up imploding into a giant meltdown.
Then one day, a switch gets flipped in my brain. Like night and day, I suddenly am not worried about the things that were so troublesome to me. Something else grabs my attention, lights up my brain's pleasure center, and steals me away. Monday, I knew that day had come again.
But this time things are a bit different. I haven't dived head first into a pile of junk food. Sure, I could get more vegetables into my diet, but that was true even when I was busting my @ss every day to log every bite I ate. I've just gone back to eating what I feel like eating and stopping when I'm full. And because there's something else making my brain go buzz, just like magic I am not craving junk. Two nights ago Bradley wanted ice cream so I went with him. We both ordered shakes but about halfway into mine I didn't want it anymore. So I put it down, and put it in the freezer when we got home, where it's been ever since.
I've discovered that the more I freak out about eating healthy food, the more my mind craves junk. Probably just because I'm THINKING about food all the time - any food. So now I know, when I get too obsessed with this, it's a sign I need to stop and find something else to crush on. Cause just like early humans must have, when you spend your days thinking about your next meal, your brain is wiring you to eat sugar at every opportunity.
I've also discovered that I actually like running. That is something I never ever thought would be true. But even though I feel my attention being pulled away from exercise as an obsession, it is still coming back to running as a release. I don't run every day. Probably not even every other day, at least not steadily. I am not forcing myself to do it. It's just that sometimes I get the urge to do it, as a release, as - dare I say it, fun. And then I do it. And I really enjoy it. Honest.
I have come to accept that I was, when I started, and I am now, at a healthy BMI. I'm OK with being here for a while. History repeats itself so I'm sure there will be a time in the near future when I feel driven by a compulsion to make this the sole focus on my life again. It's just who I am, to work like that. But I've lost all but 1-2 lbs (depending on the day) of the weight I gained when my mother was living with us. And I feel like I have a grip right now on my overeating. I've gained some valuable things to take with me on the next leg of the journey.
I now have a wonderfully equipped gym, IN MY HOUSE! This definitely has increased my frequency of exercise. I now know that I CAN drink unsweetened beverages, and yes, come to prefer them. I know now that I actually like to run, love to hike, and love to do yoga. These things aren't chores, they're enjoyment. And thanks to my Lent commitment (still going strong), I no longer have uncontrollable cravings for pizza.
My toolbox is more full for the work of the past 3 months, and I'm satisfied with it for now.
I'm still here, reading all your blogs, even if I'm quiet. I'm just not spending 3-4 hours a day on the site like I was a few weeks ago. I'm working on writing a story, the first piece of writing I've done in a long, long time. It's just fan fiction but that makes me happy. And I'm finding out that when I'm happy, and busy, I'm not spending all day wishing I could eat a chocolate bar. I like that, too.