Oops, I forgot to write my usual post-therapy update last week! I'm bored out of my mind at work at the moment, so it seems like as good a time as any to jot some things down.
As I think I mentioned in my last blog, I had my first binge in almost a month after my last appointment. I haven't binged again since, but that whole week was really rough. First I had a lunch event at work, then we drove down to San Diego and spent a couple days with my in-laws, then we drove up to LA for Mothers Day brunch, then we drove back home. I spent almost the entire week out of my routine, away from home and my comfort zone, and at the mercy of other people's tastes and schedules. On top of all that, I was having some serious anxiety issues and felt like a mess the entire time.
So then last Monday, it all made sense -- I got my TOM a full week early. I'm on birth control, so I have no idea how or why that happened, but I hadn't even considered that hormones might have been a factor in my freak outs and cravings. Obviously they were, though! On Tuesday, I felt so bloated that I couldn't even sit at my desk without taking off my belt and unbottoning my pants. (I was up 2 full lbs that day of just water weight and misery!)
When I finally saw Dr. B on Wednesday, I felt like the week had kind of been a wreck, but at least we finally had some bad behavior to discuss! I realized that in addition to the hormones and the traveling, some of the behavior happened because the novelty of having told my husband about this had worn off. I realized that just because I'd come to terms with this problem didn't mean it had gone away, or that it would go away any time soon. That's a humbling realization, but it's helped me remember that I'm a work in progress.
Anyway, Dr. B's words of wisdom for the week were very helpful. We talked a lot about my anxiety surrounding food-related unknowns (restaurant menus, other people buying groceries and/or cooking for me, etc.) We also spent a lot of time talking about this one incident when my hubby and I were in LA, when we were supposed to meet his sister for dinner at 6:30pm and didn't actually get to eat until 9pm. We were both ravenous, but I really felt like I couldn't say so because his sister is so thin and I'm not. Like it would have been embarassing and ridiculous to say that I was hungry given my size and shape (and given hers).
Dr. B asked, if your sister-in-law invited you to a midnight movie but you were exhausted, would you go? I said no, of course not, I'd say that I'm exhausted and need to sleep. She said, Ok, so anyone can be tired, but only skinny people can be hungry? Touche, Dr. B. Touche.
She told me that I can't control the feelings and thoughts that arise in those situations, but that I CAN control the way I react. If I react in a way that reinforces the behavior, the thoughts/feelings will keep coming back (i.e. I don't deserve to be hungry, so I won't say that I am). If I react differently, the thoughts/feelings will eventually go away. Some of them may go away in a week, and others may take 20 years. It's a process.
I also saw an MD this week for a physical, and she weighed me at 144.5. Sure, that's midday, clothed, with lunch in my belly, but... ouch. I mentioned that I've had weight issues for a long time, and I asked her if anything medically fixable could be causing it. (I've had my thyroid tested, and it's in the normal range.) She assured me that I'm fit as a fiddle, my muscle tone is good, and my fitness regimen is great, so my body is perfectly healthy and I should just let things be. That's a pretty tall order for this perfectionist, but I am trying to take the advice to heart, particularly since Dr. B has basically said the same.
On Friday, I decided to go for a run, intending to do my 5 mile loop. I felt pretty good, so I decided to push it to a 10K (6.2 miles). When I hit that, I still felt good, so I decided to keep going to 7 miles. When I hit that, I decided to exceed my farthest run and go to 7.5 miles. And when I hit that, I was inspired by one of my brother's recent runs and decided to just make it an even 8. Unfortunately, when I looked down at my iPhone, my fitness app quit at 7.37 miles! I wanted to get credit for 8 full miles, so I sucked it up and kept running. All said and done, I ran 8.5 miles!!!! That is a personal record on so many levels, and I was VERY proud of myself.
On Saturday, my legs and knees were stiff, so I took it easy and did some upper body ST, core work, and yoga. Yesterday, I went for an 18 mile bike ride, sore quads and all.
All this is to say, I am feeling some kind of second wind and I want to push myself to be the person I want to be. The best part is that it's extending past my fitness life and into my singing life and my emotional life. I've been wallowing for months, drowning in self-pity and anxiety instead of picking myself up and doing the work it takes to be great. No more wallowing! I am out to conquer the world!
I only have 4 more weeks at home before I head out to my next gig, and I want to use that time to become my best self. I want to be strong and prepared and confident, and that only happens when I put in the effort every single day... so that's just what I'll do!
There is definitely still a ways to go. I'm still trying to figure out the sweet spot between not enough and too much food. I'm still trying to make peace with my body type and not hate myself for something I can't control. I'm still trying to find the focus to practice every single day and stop justifying all the ways I waste time. As Dr. B said, it's not "I can't have xyz." It's "If I have xyz, how will that make me feel?" I've been trying to keep that in mind, and it's been very helpful. Will it feel better to have a cookie than to fit into my skinny jeans? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Evaluate, commit, and don't look back! Same goes for practicing. Will it feel better to watch Game of Thrones than learn my music? Maybe for awhile, until the anxiety of not being prepared kicks in. Etc, etc. etc.
Ok, so that's my epic update. I see Dr. B again on Wednesday, so I'll write again soon and have much less to say. In the meantime, world domination continues!!