The last two weeks have been strange and kind of awesome - only in the sense that I've learned a heck of a lot about myself and it's only made me a little more accepting of myself and a little more committed to this process of getting healthy, losing weight, and cultivating a positive outlook by deeply accepting that I am in this for the long haul.
I could have written a whole blog post about what a failure I've felt like and how I totally stopped doing EVERYTHING that I had been doing for the last few months -- I haven't connected, haven't tracked my food, haven't exercised beyond walks in the woods (which counts!) meaning I haven't put on a sports bra in three weeks or tracked anything. It was like I had never reconnected to Sparkpeople and started working on my food/body issues that have plagued me my whole life.
However, I ran across a blog posting from a gentleman named Steve Chandler - he's a life coach/motivational speaker type and I like his blog. www.imindshift.com/my_we
After reading this, I kind of "played the game tape" I realized what a valuable few weeks this last three weeks have been. I really learned HOW TO GET DERAILED and TALK YOURSELF INTO STAYING DERAILED.
Here's how it goes:
1. Don't Track Your Food: Get lazy, forget to add something. Then forget another day. Then one day, don't track anything at all.
2. Stop Planning Weekly Meals: Yeah, so now you're stuck eating Subway two nights in one week because there's no plan, nothing's defrosted, and it's easier. Also, half-assed track it, but not really because your favorite sub is about 1,100 calories, it's easier to eat the whole thing if you're ignoring the calorie count. Tell yourself it's healthy because it's Subway.
3. Stop Exercising: ignore your workout calendar, ignore your reward system, ignore your sneakers, get nice and slothful, because the more you lay around doing nothing and feeling horrible, the easier it gets. FORGET the fact that you can't THINK your way into right action, you have to ACT your way into right thinking...forget that exercise boosts your mood, forget how good it feels to feel your body responding to weight lifting and running. Don't do something, just sit there! Don't forget to call yourself a huge failure all day, too, because that doesn't motivate ANYBODY.
4. Stop Measuring Portions: This kind of ties in with 1 & 2. If you're not consciously aware of what you're eating, you start not really caring -- the brain in denial is a powerful weapon against positive progress -- and you can eat all kinds of things you haven't touched in months because who cares! You don't!! Maybe deep down you do, but not right now! Know what helps that?....
5. Stop Connecting To Your SparkPeeps: Don't tell anybody you're struggling, do NOT huddle and say, "I need support" - especially when you do. Don't open up, or be honest, or talk about how you feel like you're being held hostage by a tantrum-having toddler who is stuffing food in your face to shut up that voice inside that says, "Hey, this isn't the lifestyle change I was working for!" Isolation really helps feed all the other things on this list. So get good and isolated! You'll be off the rails in no time because there's no accountability but worse, there's no cheering secion, there's no inspiration, there's no camaraderie. It's just you, your self-loathing, and food!
There you have it! I have learned how to disrupt a consistent streak of good behavior and make it feel impossible to get back on board.
But like Steve Chadler says -- messing up, being wrong, making mistakes - that's GREAT STUFF. It's all a learning process. I've learned it's SO EASY and insidious to forget all the good things I want for myself. And it's not an overnight thing either. It's one little thing at a time that snowballs until I'm in such a funk I feel like I might as well give up.
This girl is DONE with giving up on herself, though. Awareness of the issue is half the battle. I accept that my path isn't one of those awesome "I started changing my lifestyle with Sparkpeople and kicked ass every day until I lost 100 pounds!" paths. My path is a little windier and twistier, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She got lost among the mean trees, she laid down in fields of poppies. But she had the help of her friends, she never gave up on her dream to get home, and as we all know -- her way to get home was with her all the while.
I am picking myself, dusting myself off and tracking my food today. I'm reading your blogs today. I'm reminding myself why I started doing all of this in the first place today. I want a stronger body, I want lower blood sugar, I want a higher quality of life, I want the sense of accomplishment that nothing else will give me - because nothing has ever been as hard as this. I want more energy, I want to be an athlete, I want cuter shoes -ruby slippers or not. I know that no matter how long or twisty my path is, the point is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And I can start it over at ANY TIME. With any meal.
So yeah, I guess I'm back and I'm going to do this one day at a time, not worry about this little detour into the haunted forest and keep on heading forward.