MEASURES OF SUCCESS: SOME MUSINGS
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
How do you assess how well you're doing in your pursuit of weight loss & getting into shape? I think there is so much more to this than just the number of pounds on the scale, BMI or waist to hip ratio. Numbers never tell the whole story. Like Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics". So, while I like numbers for measuring some things, like election results (numbers are handy for deciding the popular vote v. the electoral vote) and money, for example, after all, your bank is still going to charge an overdraft fee if you say, "I know I'm overdrawn, but I still feel like I'm managing my money better these days," numbers aren't always all that "count".
I've been making some useful realizations of late and most of them have nothing to do with the numbers. I'm not weighing myself right now. I am counting calories. The real success I'm seeing is that even when I go over on calories for the day, I stop eating MUCH earlier than I used to, so I don't do as much damage. (I don't think I was ever really a binger, I just ate a little too much all the time, not having extreme bouts of caloric intake all at once.) I think these behavioral changes will have much more of an impact on my life & health & weight than just sticking to any "diet" (calorie reduction) for long enough to lose some weight. This is more of a HABIT CHANGE. (I'm even GIDDY about it as I type this! I'm actually feeling PROUD of myself!)
I'm learning where the dangers lie. I have noticed that my calories are almost always the highest in the week on Fridays. I think this is a combination of feeling like I've had a long week (every week!), wanting to "reward" myself (with what? --Continuing to be overweight!? That doesn't make any sense!), being stressed & busy & trying to get everything done in time to have some time left for myself over the weekend.
There are some foods that I just cannot handle having around. Such as, and I know I've mentioned this before; white cheddar cheese popcorn. Oh the salty goodness! I love chocolate, but I'm able to stop when I eat even that. The white cheddar just makes my brakes malfunction. Maybe it's not evil, though. Just misunderstood? Someday I may be able to keep it in check, but that day has not yet come. So, If I buy it at all, for the time being, I'll only buy the single serving bags. And, no more than three of those at a time will be allowed in my house.
Stress: Yes, that ubiquitous bugger. It's stealthy & lurking behind every corner. You never know when it will strike. Even when I'm in a great mood, having a great day, it will show up sometimes. Sneaky little @#*$%!. I was thinking tonight (while watching the election coverage, which, by the way, I am finding very stressful because it's such a close race and it's not over yet. I do have an opinion on the matter, but I'm not expressing it here)... anyway, I was remembering that scene from Forrest Gump --maybe I was thinking of this because I saw a political ad by Gary Sinise ("Lt. Dan"),.. that scene where Jenny's boyfriend (at the protest in D.C.) hits her... and then blames his abuse of her on the war and on President Johnson! Well, much like that, it's just an excuse. When I overeat it's because I want to. I have often blamed my caloric overages on "stress", but really, I just wanted to eat whatever it was that I ate &/or however much of it I ate. So, the alternative is to just say that. I think this "taking responsibility" for what I DECIDE to eat puts it into perspective for me. I can CHOOSE to do this or I can CHOOSE another way. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying this. I'm not being judgmental of anyone who doesn't think this way. And, believe me I KNOW how hard this is; the daily struggle of trying not to overeat after doing so for years on end. This is just the corner that I've turned recently; my "lightbulb moment". There is no guarantee that I will continue in this headspace, it just happens to be where I am right now.... The number of days that will last is yet to be determined, but I'm not counting.
Happy sparking, everyone!