In maintenance mode
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Figured it's about time to update this since it's been 3 weeks since I last wrote and even longer since I wrote about things being friggin awesome. And friggin awesome they are.
Tonight will conclude 8 days binge-free. More importantly - and contributing to the latter - my head's in maintenance mode. What's that mean? I'm no longer fighting myself. I believe. I'm trusting myself. I'm recognizing myself for and feeling like the warrior I am. I'm trying without letting the fear of failure or the pressure of attempting perfection dissuade me.
I can't say with certainty what catalyzed the shift (though I'm determined to ID it for future reference). I do know some things that helped:
1. I covered the full-length mirror in my bedroom.
There are 8 (yes, 8) wall mirrors in the house. I can't cover the rest or avoid most of them. But looking in a mirror that allegedly distorts reflections (which I've never detected but which 3 other people observed independent of each other), when my body image is already distorted in a prototypical ED fashion, was heightening my obsession with body dissatisfaction.
It's still covered.
2. I stopped weighing myself. For 8 days, anyway.
My worth's been so contingent on the number on the scale for so long that this was doing more harm than good most days. In addition to my weight affecting my self concept and coloring my thoughts and emotions, it added to to my interpretation of myself as a failure for seeing a higher-than-desired number over and over again. I think it actually contributed to the bingeing. So I ditched it.
As the binge-, mirror- and, scale-free streaks proceeded, physical changes clued me into the fact that I was losing weight. Once I noticed about 5+ cues previously corresponding with being in my ordained maintenance range, most of which I haven't experienced in the better part of a year, I decided to weigh in to see just what number corresponded. Because, while I'd set my maintenance range +/- 3 lbs of goal weight (145) I've been treating 158 as my "scream weight." Anything in the 150s made me unhappy, but it's not till I reach 158 that I freak out and resolve that no matter what, it ends now. Well, that's crap. I want a scream weight that's, ya know, the top end of my maintenance range. Leading me to...
3. I decided to reassess my maintenance range.
145 was my goal weight. By my standards, I successfully maintained for 5-6 months. However, I question(ed) whether it's sustainable given my physical activity. The weight regain started very closely around the time I stopped running regularly and really picked up after I had to give up kickboxing, Combat, and high impact exercise in general. Maybe the range I'd chosen was no longer realistically sustainable.
Problem is, the bingeing restarted around the same time. The only way for me to determine whether my weight goal is sustainable with my current level/intensity of fitness is to knock out the bingeing.
Also, I picked 145 pretty arbitrarily. I liked that weight quite a bit, but maybe I needed to re-evaluate whether it was necessary to be that light to be satisfied. Only way to know was to strip away the emotionality - meaning rely on other measures than the scale.
So that's where I am. 153 is my scream weight. I'm breaking from daily weigh-ins for at least the time being and am going to continue my assessment based on non-scale feedback. When I start looking and feeling how I'd like, I'll jump back on to find out what number corresponds with that weight. As I neared goal weight the first time around, I had no clue how to approach maintenance so I winged it. In retrospect, I think this is a better approach for me to take to find a satisfying, achievable, sustainable maintenance weight.
Oh yeah. On Monday I'm getting my body fat tested again. I haven't had this done since June. Totally avoidance. I'll be interested in seeing if the number's gone down. While I weigh about the same as then, the physical changes I'm seeing used to be reserved for sub-150 territory. So maybe my body composition's changed.