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How much further can I fall?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wow. I have fallen completely down, far below where I was last month at this time. It's completely my fault, because all these things are within my control and ONLY mine.

This time last month I had been smoke free for 4 days. I had not had a soda for over 2 weeks. I had completely given up fast food and was eating lots of freggies and drinking tons of water. I was exercising at least an hour a day. I was even controlling my spending habits and not using credit cards (non-weight related, I know).

As of today, I have started smoking again. I have been drinking soda daily and have eaten fast food at least 2-3 times in the last week. I haven't had my 64 oz of water in at least 4 days. I haven't exercised in over a week and a half. I've been spending like money grows on trees. I'm a mess.

All of this is within my control, I know. Honestly, I don't know what happened or why I've completely lost it. I want to find something to blame, but really it's just a lack of discipline on my part. I started to get stressed about my new position at my new school, meeting all my new colleagues and how much work I need to do already. Once that stress hit, I just lost it.

Again, I know this is all within my control. I have a plan to get past this dark, dismal place I've gotten into, but I really need support in following through with my plan. I'm not normally one to ask for help, but PLEASE - if you are my spark friend - check up on me when you have the chance, see how I'm doing and KICK my a$$ when necessary! Seriously - I need this accountability. I need LOTS of support.

So here's my plan:
Smoking - I quit originally because I read a book called "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking" by Allen Carr. It made so much sense! It really was easy to quit at that point. But he even says in the book that someone should try to quit when they have stress in their lives. When I quit I was on summer break - no stress from work. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was not beginning to read the book again when my stress level started increasing. SO - I'm going to read the book again starting today and quit smoking again ASAP. I know it's the worst thing for me, I can feel the effects with each puff. It's the MOST important thing to stop NOW.

Eating - I have not been tracking at all since I know how badly I've been eating. So back to tracking I go, no matter what I eat. I need to see those calories rise to realize what I'm doing to myself. I am also going back to eating from home - making lunch to take to work and eating dinner at home. I really need to make sure I have enough snacks too, because when I start to get hungry is when I stop at the drive through. Now here's the biggie for me - NO MORE SODA!! Next to smoking, it's always been my biggest vice. I will to replace it with water, like I did before. I don't keep it in the house, so if I'm not eating out/getting fast food, this shouldn't be a problem either.

Exercising - Now that summer is over, this may be the biggest challenge for me. I already wake up at 5 a.m. because my school is 45 minutes away from home. When I get done with work, I am exhausted. BUT I know I have to make time to work out somewhere in my day, if only for 10 minutes. It makes me feel better physically, clears my mind and helps me emotionally. I HAVE to remember that! I do have a free gym membership through my job, and the gym is close to my school, so I have no excuses not to stop on my way home to work out. I'm also going to set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. to get in some yoga before work. It always helps me clarify things to start my day off right. This schedule has worked for me before, with the exception of the 4:30 wake up time, so I think it will work again. I just have to remain focused and remember how good exercise makes me feel.

Last but not least - Spending - I have already taken my credit cards out of my wallet. I still have my debit card, but that's necessary for gas and groceries. Since I will be packing my lunch and snacks, I will spend a lot less money in that area. However, my car tends to steer itself into shopping areas and Goodwill quite often emoticon I'm going to have to put my foot down and tell it to quit doing that to me! Seriously though, I know I don't have the money to spend on frivolous things right now, so shopping for anything but groceries is out!

So there is my plan - any thoughts? Suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. AGAIN - A$$ kicking is also welcomed when necessary! I know this is about me and my life, but support from my friends is always helpful. Thank you in advance for reading, responding and being such great support!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MSEMBERSTORM 8/25/2012 4:47PM

    Okay woman! You can do this. You have a plan. You are strong. You will win this battle.

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AHAPPYLIFE 8/12/2012 11:20PM

    Don't forget to forgive! Nothing is worse than hanging on to those negative feelings! You have a plan, just remember that sometimes you'll encounter a kink so have a back up plan & if that doesn't pan out - remember to forgive!!

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TXLADY110 8/12/2012 5:32PM

    Okay, You can do this again get back up we all fall.. One step at a time you will make it.
You can hit 2 problems in one step.. quit buying cigarettes...not spending the money and not smoking if you dont have them. :-)

Then get on here ad track every piece of food that you consume... even if it is gum...
If your like me the guilt after tracking honestly for 2 or 3 days will get you eating less and exercising again.


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CHECHEL27 8/11/2012 9:53PM

    I agree with ANGRITTER. It's not about willpower, because you have already proven to yourself that you've got it and a lot of it. These are all huge changes, and though it seems that all these things are connected therefore it would be easy to knock them all at the same tome, that is the very reason that when you slip on one, you slip on all (we all do it). Focus yur efforts on 1 thing at a time, but that doesn't mean you can't make good choices about the other things too. You can do it! Just be patient and gracious with yourself.

Best wishes to you!

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LYNNWILK2 8/11/2012 9:52PM

    Good for you for developing a workable, logical plan. Finding substitutions for those things, including spending money, will help in your fight to work past them. Just keep it simple, don't overload your body or your mind with a lot of "have to's" - for me that is a sure way to set up myself for failure (that is just the way my body and mind rejects having those comfort things taken away all at once). I quite soda's (all carbonation) last summer and that was all I drank for, well, a very long time. It was expensive and my body depended on it. I also quite pure sugar at the same time (just made it easy and I was only cranky and had a headache for a few weeks). Smoking, well, I am still actively working on that one and I am doing it in such a way that works for me. Find what works for you.
Spending, well, that is a way to comfort yourself when all the other vices have been taken away from you. I made a rule, that NOTHING would come into this house without sending twice as much out. I have a lot of "stuff". Some of which I haven't used because I can't seem to get it organized enough to utilize them... primarily most of my art supplies. And it kills me that I don't have them organized yet.
Go easy on yourself, except for the exercise, as you know this will make you feel better - immediate satisfaction. When you are exercising and you are quitting smoking, you are sweating out the toxins and you are also giving your body immediate satisfaction.
FORGIVE YOURSELF. Since you are a teacher, the stress of the upcoming year had been looming for the first couple of weeks of August, ever teacher I know feels this and things in their life go a bit bizzare. But as you start your school year, so starts your plan ... give yourself a reasonable healthy and safe reward system... if those sort of things work for you.
You've got my support .... and this is just my humble opinion in how to handle all the things you want and need to change, but taking them on one or two at a time is an easier way of making healthy choices in the other areas. emoticon emoticon

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ANGRITTER 8/11/2012 9:10PM

    OK, so you've been bombarded with good ideas, so I wanted to tell you what helped me.

Take the quitting smoking seriously and concentrate on that first. Until you've been smoke free for a month, focus mainly on that. I just quit in April, and didn't join Spark until June. I knew that focusing on the quitting smoking was the best thing I could do for myself and my family, so weight loss was put on a backburner. Plus, who wants to cough the entire time they are working out? It's not easy to breathe with smoker's lung.

Next, I want to tell you about getting in a quick 30-minute workout you can do IN BED! Look up the strength training exercises called: Lying Leg Adduction, Lying Leg Abduction, Lying Single Leg Lifts, Lying Straight Leg LIfts, Lying Leg Curls, and Pendullum. These are the "moves" I use in bed because I have a broken ankle/leg. These can be done on the fllor as well, but I do them in bed so I can do them at anytime. Just make sure that as you are going these exercises you hold the lift position for 2-3 seconds. It sounds lame, but it really does work you out. And 2 of those are just for your core! I can feel new muscles in my stomach that I thought were gone forever!

Just a few tips I like to share. I also keep yogurt in the fridge every day so if I have to have a snack, it can be something healthy. I do not eat fast food anymore, but will occassionally splurge on some Chinese food, which is the worst fast food, but I can't help it.

Everyone should have a vice or two, and you should probably break down your goals and concentrate on one at a time. I know that's the only way I can make any progress.

Hope this helps a bit. Hate to hear you are in a dark place. Start talking about it on Fighting Depression with Movement team. We'll lift your spirits!

Take care of yourself! And hang in there!

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MARTHAWILL 8/11/2012 8:18PM

    Thanks for sharing your struggles. You certainly are not alone. One of the joys about SparkPeople is knowing there will always be others out there who totally get it and wish you success in reaching your goals.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TAMARA6905 8/11/2012 4:11PM

    Erin, we seem to have similar struggles and at the same time!! I picked up smoking again as well and have to start all over again on Monday. But the good thing is that we've done it before and we now know we can do it again. I also slacked off on exercise. I've only gotten in 100 minutes and it's almost 2 weeks into August. My eating has been ok, but it could always be better.

Maybe you're taking on too much at once?!?! How about you focus on smoking first, because that's MOST important. Limit fast food and soda until you can weed it out completely. Until then, make smart choices when you do decide to eat fast food!

As far as exercise goes, start with yoga in the morning. Add in another 10 minutes during the day if you can and build from there until you''re easily doing 30 min to an hour after work. Go for walks in the evening with A.

I think we both want to take on everything at once, but let's be smart and ease into this! I'm here for you, we're doing it together!

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SNUZSUZ 8/11/2012 1:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RAINRUNNER5 8/11/2012 12:22AM

    Watch out for iron will, it usually gets used against us not for us by the mind saying, "you're supposed to be" without listening to the voice inside telling us how it really is.

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NPA4LOSS 8/10/2012 9:54PM

    You have a great plan. emoticon toward your goals. emoticon and are going to be so much healthier physically and emotionally. emoticon

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MARVEEME 8/10/2012 8:51PM

    You do deserve to treat yourself better, by realizing that less is more.

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GRATEFUL_BEING 8/10/2012 7:01PM

  Don't beat your self up so bad! I quit smoking, got control of my spending addiction, and tried to get healthy but not at the same time. Its all addiction doesn't matter what its called. I got my spending under control in my 20's thankfully. Quit smoking in my 30's after pre-losing a lot of weight. I knew from past experiences I always started again because I was gaining weight. So that time I gave myself permission to do whatever it took to succeed. I did gain from 221 to 253. What got me though was telling myself that-the cigarettes wasn't going to make me feel any better. It surely would not solve the problem (or reason I wanted to smoke). Meditation helped a lot. I did not quit for myself unlike the 10 or so times before. I quit for my father. He was in a do or die situation. He opted to quit smoking. I did not want contribute to his re starting because of smelling it on me, so I quit. Unfortunately he started smoking again and passed away In December. A 3 1/2 years smoke free now. Last May I came to Sparkpeople weighing 253. I am now slowly working through this addiction so far its my hardest! Incidentally since starting working on food addiction I have really had a difficult time not smoking. I refuse to give in though. I don't want to jump from one addiction in life to another. Its all related. There is no such thing as failure-only practice. It doesn't matter how many time you fall as long as you give up.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 8/10/2012 6:17PM

    Scanning the comments it seems you're getting some ideas and support for others, but I want to chime in.

When we try to change everything at once it can be overwhelming. Is it possible it became too much so you reverted back to what was easy? If so, this time why not try making just a few small changes at a time? Cut back on soda slowly over a week or two so you don't have caffeine withdrawls. Cut back slowly on cigarettes, if it helps you quit forever, as this will ease nicotine withdrawls. Add in movement through your day by parking further away, being inefficient with tasks, and adding in squats and lunges when you're doing household chores. Before you allow yourself any shopping say you must do X minutes (start with 30 or something a little difficult but doable) of exercise - hopefully by the time you're done the craving to shop will have passed. Maybe go back to keeping just a small amount of cash on yourself and deny use of the debit card for anything that isn't absolutely necessary (food, gas, etc). Once that $10 or $20 (or whatever you choose) is spent in a week or a month, you don't get anything else. The trick about cash is your brain doesn't want to hand it over as easily as it does a hunk of plastic. So you'll ask yourself if handing over the cash is worth what you're buying, and once you run out then you get nothing else.

Best wishes to you. One good thing to take pride in: YOU'RE NOT GIVING UP! You realized you weren't sticking to your plan, admitted to it, and asked for help. That's so important! You don't have to be perfect, but you do need to stick with it.

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    Good for you for being honest with yourself and with us! I know stress can be a huge factor in why things spiral out of control. But I'm glad to hear that you own up to this setback and are willing and ready to move forward. You can do this! We're here for you. One day and one step at a time, you will reach your goals :)

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HDHAWK 8/10/2012 5:22PM

    I go back to school a week from Monday. My plan was to lose 20 lbs. over the summer. Didn't happen. I made everything but me a priority. I actually do better in school because I have to be more structured. If you find trying to do all these things at once is overwhelming, start with one habit and go from there. I like your idea of no fast food. That will save money and keep you from drinking soda at the same time. Good plan!

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STHAX10 8/10/2012 2:34PM

    First things first...never invite negative energy by asking "what is going to happen next?" Usually if we anticipate failure, that is what will happen.

Fill your life with positive people, places and things. (The nouns in our lives) Then do something. (The verbs in our lives) Then write your own story each day. And at the end of the day or week, reward yourself! Have 1 diet soda or something that you love, that is a way of paying yourself back for your efforts.

I do things that don't cost money, so no excuses.... walking, biking....I don't make unnecessary trips by the convenience stores, so I am not tempted. I carry water with me so that I don't make those stops. I pay at the pump so that I don't go in the store. These are just some things that help me.

I hope that you can find peace within yourself, it starts there. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 8/10/2012 11:28AM

    Erin, I'm happy that at least you didn't disappear as you have in the past. I told you there was a change about you and there IS. You suffer from what a lot of us tend to have - fear of success. We have a period of great advancement and then something subconsciously makes us revert to our old nasty, unhealthy habits. I believe it is the fear of what lies ahead once we are completely successful - Will we be good enough once we are slimmer, healthier? Will our success solve our problems or will we still have the same old garbage facing us? The answer to both questions is...YES. We will and we ARE good enough; we always were, have been, and will be good enough. The garbage of our lives (if there is any) will still be there. That's the truth. It will be there whether we are fat or thin, sick or healthy. The difference is that we are able to deal with it a whole lot better as healthy individuals. Being slimmer will NEVER solve our problems unless they are health problems. Life is going to always challenge us and give us grief along with the beauty. Being better equipped with good health will make the bad times easier and the good times better.

Toss the nasty butt out of your mouth and move the cute butt a whole lot more. You don't have to run a marathon, but EVERY day you need to move a little to progress your endurance and strength. Most important of all is your food intake. It's 70 percent of the battle. That's the hardest lesson for me. I work my tail off and then eat like I don't need to watch the calories. I am eating way healthier, but my intake levels are still too high. Feel free to kick my butt as well!

Okay, I'm done with my spiel. I used to write to you and worry that I wouldn't hear from you again for months...I don't worry about that anymore cause I know you have it now...that spark that will keep you getting up faster when you fall. Love you, girl!

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KJAZZINGILBERT 8/10/2012 11:16AM

    Thanks for coming clean. I think being upfront and honest about your fall is probably the most important step in getting back on track.
Doesn't it really all come down to choices?
Do I smoke and die younger than I need to from all the diseases it causes and feel like crap everyday and stink like a dirty ashtray or do I not? Do I want to lay around the house and just get weaker and heavier or do I want to exercise and feel terrific? Do I want to suck down empty calories by drinking sugar water and make the Coka-Cola Company's stockholders rich or do I want to give my body what it needs for free, water? Do I continue to buy crap at Goodwill and charge it on credit cards until I no longer remember what it is that I bought but somehow I'm making a huge monthly payment for who knows what causing much stress, causing more smoking and eating poorly, or do I take control and use cash only and buy only what I need?
I do think it's all a matter of choice.
Knock off the cigarettes first of all. Smoking is ridiculous.
Quit spending. You can't afford it.
Eat right and exercise.
Drink lots of water.
That's as close to an asskicking that I have in me. It's up to you to save yourself from yourself.

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SMURFETE09 8/10/2012 10:21AM

    Ok, you CAN DO THIS!

I haven't had a cigarette since I've blogged about it. I quit cold turkey. But I've always been able to just drop it when I wanted to. I don't really have an addictive personality, so I don't think I get addicted to things. I smoked because I enjoyed it. (I know what's to enjoy right?) But I've been doing good. Granted when I'm stressed enough I do want one, but I wait a few minutes and that desire goes away.

And the soda thing. I used to drink soda ALL the time. And then I'd quit for 6 months, and then I'd have one, and I'd get hooked again. And then I'd decided I was drinking too much of it, and I'd quit again... I've done this for years. Now I've been soda free for almost a year. (September 6th will be my 1 year anniversary for being soda free). And when I got out, I treat myself to flavored lemonades. Because I LOVE lemonade. I make my own at home, which is way better than what you can buy at the store. And I know it's a lot of sugar, and it's no better than drinking soda, but soda is a gateway drug, it's like Lays Potato chips. It's hard to stop at 1. So it's a way for me to have a sweet treat without having soda. Or I just have ice water with lemon. Which flavored water is GREAT. You can flavor it with lemons, oranges, limes, strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers... you name it! Just drop some fruit in your water and stir it around. Or squeeze some juice from your fruit in there. Might help kick up the taste of your water.

And exercise. Do you get a lunch? If you do, exercise on your lunch. I do that at my job. Even if it's only for 10-20 minutes. It's better than nothing.

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IGSBETH 8/10/2012 10:14AM

    Setbacks are part of the learning process. Just get up and try again.

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ROCKRUNNER404 8/10/2012 9:38AM

    Changing jobs/schools is SO stressful.... I am glad you checked in though and got your thoughts on your blog--great first step. Good luck!

Soda and fast food is a vice of mine too that I am working with--if you need to chat about it please don't hesitate to get in touch!!

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ADARKARA 8/10/2012 8:20AM

    Pretty Lady, you can do this! Everybody falls every now and then, you just have to pick yourself up! Admitting you have an issue is the first step to solving it, and having a plan is the second! Your plan sounds good, and I commend you for getting up so early! I couldn't do that, lol.

We're here to support you!

emoticon is now!

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EARTHMOTHR 8/10/2012 8:05AM

    I'm right there with you right now and have just re-committed to taking better care of myself. I'm diabetic, so it is really a matter of life or death. I know about the stress that accompanies the beginning of the school year. I am a college professor and it happens to me every time. But, as Ravensoul said, baby steps. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Reward yourself for what you do well. Don't punish yourself when you are not perfect (none of us are). This is a journey with a lot of detours. Treat the setbacks like detours (it may take a little longer to get there); just don't let them be a stop sign. We're all behind you.

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AUTUMNBRZ 8/10/2012 7:49AM

    You CAN do this. You WILL do this. Repeat that to yourself over and over. You are worth it.

We will all be here to root you on.

This "health" thing ;) is an uphill battle. We all slip sometimes. Like Wilson said, the important thing is to get back up. Knowing why you are overspending, overeating, & self indulging is a very important piece of the puzzle. It sounds like you have a decent handle on that. Knowing the whys and triggers will help you a ton. Never be afraid of self evaluation. It is essential. We need to know how we tick or how can we ever fix what is broken?

Good Luck Erin! You can do it!

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RAVENSOUL69 8/10/2012 7:45AM

    Oh, hun, we've all been there--trust me, you're not alone! You're doing so well, trying to change and improve SO many things right now... If you're like me trying to change too much at one time sounds like a great idea at first, then I start to feel overwhelmed and deprived until every bad habit starts up again all at once.

What is currently helping me is what I call "baby steps". Change ONE thing that I want changed every week...or every 2 weeks...or even every month. Once I stop overwhelming myself it becomes much easier to focus on the current change and stick with it!

It sounds like your spending is most important right now. The only thing that worked for me years ago was NOT just removing the cards from my wallet, but to CUT THEM UP, pay off the minimum every month, and then CLOSE the accounts when fully paid. Bankrupty is no fun. You may think it will never happen to you, but it sneaks up and can destroy the best of us...

One day at a time, one step at a time...give yourself some breathing room, and know that we're here for you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/10/2012 7:50:03 AM

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Smoking is hard to give up, believe me I know I was a 100 cigarette a day puffer. You really need a couple of goes at it and in the end, even if you use aids, you really need self control pure and simple.

Soda, well I drink soda (diet) never more than one a day, again self discipline, if you like the fizz try some plain soda with a squeeze of lemon or a little diet cordial.

I've never had a credit card, don't want one, my debit card is the best I've got for internet shopping. I can hear my Dad telling me over and over and over, "if you haven't got the money to buy it, you just can't have it" talk about being imprinted onto my brain!!!

I don't think I could have a go at anyone about exercising. It's cold, wet and miserable here and no matter what anybody says I'm not going out in that to go walking. I'll stick to working inside!!

Well it wasn't an ass kicking, but you just have to give yourself the time to change, some things take a couple of shots before they sink in, the important part is that you know what you need to do and no matter how many times you fall off the wagon, you are getting back on it again to try again.

Keep pushing it and you WILL get there in the end, it might take a little time, but you will get there.

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WILSON1926 8/10/2012 6:59AM

    Sorry to hear you've slipped.


Today is a new day. One minute, one second at a time.


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