Thursday, April 25, 2013
I'm writing this entry from the front desk of the fitness studio where I'm doing a work exchange... All I have to do is check in a class and sit here for an hour updating my blog, and in exchange, I get to come back on Saturday and take a free Zumba class! So worth it.
Sooo I had my second therapy appointment yesterday, and it was good. We talked for awhile about my career, which I know is the single greatest source of anxiety in my life. Then she glanced through my food journal, which I kept diligently all week. I was very thorough (aka verbose), so I was both proud and nervous to present it to Dr. B. The sort of awkward thing is, I haven't really binged since I started coming to terms with all this, so there weren't any binges in there for her to analyze. There was a good sampling of events, though... a morning at work, a road trip, take out, eating at a restaurant, making meals at home, etc. Plenty for her to look over.
Honestly, as I was journaling, I was able to see some trends emerge myself. For example, anxiety (over everything from my marriage to traffic to feeling fat to my career) REALLY makes me want sweet food. For the most part, I've been able to stick to fruit for that fix. Dr. B said it was a normal human reaction to stress to reach for sweet food because sugar gives us a seratonin boost and takes the edge off anxiety. The thing is, we usually go way overboard and think that the more sugar we eat, the better we will feel... but the seratonin maxes out after a pretty small dose of sugar. I guess that's why a few strawberries do just as good a job as a bag of M&Ms!
In addition to the anxiety trend, I noticed that other people figure into my thoughts about food WAY too much!! I can't even tell you how many times I wrote about what other people were eating, what I thought other people were thinking about my eating, wanting what other people were eating, etc. It's ridiculous, not to mention a HUGE waste of energy and brainpower. I need to figure out how to just do what I want and need to do without projecting my insecurities and jealousies onto other people.
Honestly, I think she was surprised by how few calories I actually take in every day... and these were higher calorie days than I'd ideally have! She pointed out that if I'm eating 1500 calories and burning 500, then I'm only taking in 1000 calories. No kidding! I'm doing that on purpose, because I put on weight if I eat more than that, you know? She thought I was hungry more often than I ought to be, and suggested that I eat more carbs (brown rice, bread, etc.) I was like, "Um, I avoid those foods like the plague because they make me gain weight." So yeah, not really sure how to deal with that one... My inclination to appreciate her feedback, but know my own body's limitations after years of paying attention to it.
That leads me to the last thing we talked about, which was both frustrating and validating. She basically said that I must just have drawn the short stick when it comes to genes, because I should be a lot smaller than I am based on my effort. I said that I don't want to have to settle for being bigger than I want to be, and she said that's not what she wants for me either... but that I should at least recognize that just because my natural body type is maybe bigger than what's currently fashionable, it doesn't mean that I'm not fit and healthy. She said, "no one expects you to work really hard to become 5'5", and I see her point... I can kill myself trying, but I'm never going to have a long, lanky physique. I do understand that, and I do feel proud of the effort I put in. That said, I know I can do better than this because I have done better (and looked better!) in the past. That's all I'm after. I know my body isn't designed to be 120 lbs, even though that's a pretty average number for someone who's 5'3". For my body, though, I'd be emaciated and MISERABLE, because I'd have to basically starve. I felt like a rockstar at 130, and at this point, I'd be pretty happy with 135.
Anyway, that's the session in a nutshell! She's out of town next week, so I won't see her again until the week after that. In the meantime, I'm supposed to keep going with the food journal, which I am happy to do because it's extremely cathartic. Last night, I was able to ward off a binge just by writing down how I was feeling. Recognizing the feelings and verbalizing that my hunger wasn't coming from my stomach really saved the day. For people as infatuated with words as I am, I guess just saying or writing something down can make all the difference!
Well, I've checked in the yoga class, so I'm headed home for dinner and relaxation with my hubby. Have a wonderful week, everyone!!