Friday, March 15, 2013
Last week I participated in a blogging challenge. I really enjoyed it, especially all the communication and support it fostered between me and other bloggers. Blogging every day seems a bit overwhelming to me right now, but I think a weekly update or two is doable, so here is my first.
This week has been a bit strange.
But let me back up give some context. I "resparked" on Jan. 31st, starting the official SP Spring into Shape Challenge. I went into this challenge hoping for motivation and accountability. I knew from past experience that I needed to focus only one or two small steps, hopefully succeed at that and build further success from there. This challenge seemed like a great way to do that.
I also knew from past experience that I could not use the scale or the food tracker as a measure of my success. I know that's counter-intuitive and not what's recommended. But I suffer from severe perfectionism and my body has added an anxiety order to the mix. Seeing those numbers, whether calorie counts or pounds, becomes a manner of judging myself. That was just too much for me to handle...right then.
Fast-forward 29 days and I completed that first challenge, joined the 5% challenge to continue my journey and frankly, I was feeling really, really great. Niggling thoughts about my food choices, which were mostly good, started playing louder and louder in my head. Was I getting enough of this or that, what was my calorie count really. Maybe I was ready to take this next step. Deep breath, okay let's give it a try.
But I wasn't ready.
This past Monday I logged my food for the first time in years. I was well within my SP assigned range, only about 150 calories above the lowest limit. But I could NOT get that supposed "overage" out of my head. I felt that old fear and guilt rise up in me and I could not talk myself out of it. So I immediately stopped tracking. All week I've working hard to replace the negative voice with the a positive one.
It's not been a week I've really enjoyed. I've fought higher anxiety than normal, been more emotional, eaten a bit more than I would've, and made a few food choices that weren't all that healthy.
But I think the experience has been a good one. First, I was able to stop tracking immediately. Second, I didn't succumb to the perfectionist voice in my head and took action to replace it. Third, I gave myself grace this week when I felt anxious, stressed, or made a poor choice. Fourth, I took stock in what other triggers may have affected this. And being a person with SAD, I feel the time change (even though I eased into it ahead of time) had a role in this week as well.
Do I think I was wrong to give the tracker a try? No, I don't. I fully believe there will come a day when I can use the nutrition tracker as it's meant to be, a healthy tool not a form of personal judgment. I also think without giving the tracker a try, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to face this trigger reaction. Because even though the tracker wasn't a success, I think my response to my perfectionism was a good one. Hopefully this experience has made me stronger. And I'm proud of that.