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I learned 2 things about myself this week.....

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I have not done any exercise since January 10th. During the holidays it was hit or miss. On the 17th I had my "accident" so for the next 7 days or so I was just trying to get somewhat back to normal. On Tuesday (29th) I had spiraled into a blue funk. I'd had a lot of stuff going on--the one year anniversary of my dad's death being one of them. But, I didn't think that was the total cause of my funk. I was sharing my mental state with my husband. His normal response is to nod, sympathize and leave the room. For some reason, on Tuesday he listened to me. He was quiet for a couple minutes and then he said "You need to exercise". He went in to an in depth analysis of my moods and pointed out that it's almost a sure bet if I stop exercising for a couple of weeks, I sink into a depression. He has to do exercises every day for his back and he compared that to me having to exercise for my mental health. As I looked back on the past 6 months or so I could see the direct correlation! What a revelation!! I had never seen that connection but there it was plain as day. I felt so much better just understanding this about myself. I'm still having a lot of pain in my knee so this morning I opted for a yoga session (of course, bitter cold wind may have influenced that decision also).
As I was going about my morning, I was thinking of this newfound knowledge about myself. I had a real "aha" moment. I am a "self sabotager"!! It seems the past couple of years whenever I get on "a roll" with exercise, healthy diet, and start to lose weight, I stop. It has been for any number of reasons but the fact remains that as soon as I start to feel good and lose weight, I stop the exercise, stop focusing on my diet and put the weight back on. It is a definite pattern that I could see so clearly today. Now, I had no idea that I was doing this!! Why?? I've seen interviews with overweight women who have been raped and are afraid to look good by losing the weight. I have seen the women who have been abused and are trying to hide in their weight. OK--I've had neither of these things in my life. So why will I not let myself be consistent and lose the weight? Really? Anybody else deal with this or have any ideas of why I'm doing this?? Baffling to me. At least I can see the pattern and that's a good starting place.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Exercise makes me feel better too and it helps my mood. When I'm stressed I exercise. It's a cure all for me for many things. I've often wondered why I don't lose the weight and keep it off. So I go back to when the weight gain started - after menopause. I went into menopause the day my mom died. So I tend to think I am self medicating with food as food for me is tied to my mom. She was a good cook and we had wonderful holiday celebrations and Sunday dinners. Many families are wired around food like this.
    1932 days ago
    My husband has made this observation for me exercise=grumpy Sherri.
    Although I can understand the whole concept of self-sabotage and all the issues around it--I once had a boyfriend who ate and ate to "feel better" and put a bigger and bigger wall between him and the rest of the world. Depression, feelings of worthlessness, self protection...I can understand them all.
    But I kind of agree that sometimes it doesn't do to give in to too much self-analysis and just use the info you've learned to get back into the swing of things. I know, sounds funny coming from me. Sometimes it just is what it with it.
    I know I would feel better exercising. Hubby knows I'd be happier exercising. Neither one of us can really see how to get it in. So as I see it, I basically have 4 things going on here.
    1-I just really like to eat. No real reason, just plain I like food and hate being "deprived" Not quite as much of a problem if I'm up and moving and exercising regulary, but a major issue if I'm not moving.

    2--Guilt. If I take some of the limited free time I have to exercise I have to give up on something else. Its time I can't put into cooking, or doing dishes or working on another house project (and I don't care what they say, not all exercise is equal, raking the lawn does not provide the same kind of "burn" as an equivelent time walking or jogging, even thought I rake like a bat out of ....) Hubby knows I'm happier and healthier if I exercise, but forgoing a meal or doing some dishes is a little farther than he cares to go to help support me. He'll also give me a long list of reasons why I need to rush right home after work instead of heading to a gym or going for a walk before making the trip home from work, which works the twinges of guilt even harder.

    3--Attention span. My life is a series of unfinished projects. I work at something whole heartedly and then am distracted by something else that comes along and zip off in an entirely different direction.

    and 4--time. Simply, there isn't any. Not helped by the fact that my normal 70 minute one way commute has been running closer to 2 hours with the snow and ice we've been having this past week. And the dark. And needing to rush home to feed the stove so that we can actually stay warm. And by the time I do get home, deal with the dog, the stove, the firewood, starting dinner, I'm pretty much ready to collapse.
    which leads to a general sense of "laziness" that I just haven't quite figured out how to overcome..

    1933 days ago
    Great blog! And so cool that he recognized and helped you find that aha moment! emoticon
    1934 days ago
    This is a great blog and and so honest and true. We can all relate to this on so many levels.
    You are on your way now.
    Big Hug from me!!!
    1934 days ago
    I am so glad your husband is supportive. It is so true about exercise and feeling better about yourself. I hope you are healing well and get back to doing exercising and anything else that will be good for you.
    1934 days ago
    I've often wondered why I, like Oprah, am a successful person in so many areas of my life- EXCEPT this one.
    Then I think- if O can't do it with her resources no wonder I can't!

    when I am being witchy around the house- my dh says- do you need to go to the gym or something?
    1934 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    I think I use weight to keep a distance of anger between me and the rest of the world. I am very shy but can't act that way -- I have to be 'on' 90% of the time, and I hate that. I am pretty angry about a lot of stuff and by eating, I avoid acting out the aggression that might come spilling out if I did not watch my mouth. So I self-sabotage, too. I have a skilled therapist who has not been able to change this pattern, but I keep trying.

    Grrr, what a bear I am! A BIG bear, lol.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1934 days ago
    What terrific insight, Beth! A segment on the radio this morning described how seratonin levels drop during the darker, cloudier days of winter, and that one way we raise our seratonin levels is by giving into carb cravings. The segment went on to say, though, that exercise also ups seratonin levels, so it sounds as if your DH's charting of your moods/depression based on your exercise has a solid basis in science.

    As for being a self-sabotager, I'm one, too. Through a lot of introspection, I concluded my self-sabotage is from guilt. I was raised with guilt. I feel guilty over things that are not even my fault. The result is that I feel I don't deserve good things, such as a strong, healthy body and looking good in my clothes. A goal of mine in 2012 was forgiveness, and I spend every day of last year working on forgiving myself and forgiving others. The project has made a marked difference in my self-concept. Hoping for a breakthrough for you, too!
    1935 days ago
    What a great ahah moment and for whatever reason you are doing it, it doesn't really matter as long as you know you are doing and you change it :) Why do men notice those things before we do, LOL :)
    1935 days ago
  • SCOOTER4263
    I agree with Suzy. Unless you truly feel a need to dig through your subconscious to find a reason for this, just be happy that you've made the realizations and get busy acting upon them.

    Personally, I blame short attention span. The minute I achieve some success, I allow myself to be distracted from my program by some shiny new thing, figuring I've got the weight/fitness thing locked. Then it takes me about a month to say, "Wait...isn't this where I was four or five weeks ago?" then my attention returns, I get busy with exercise and smarter with food and beverages, and the success returns. Then I do the cycle all over again. No big traumas or anything, just being inattentive.
    1935 days ago
    1935 days ago
    Oh Yes, I understand completely sister emoticon
    I have come up with many many reasons why I self sabotage and then I deconstruct them all and in the end it is still a super irritating and baffling thing. sigh.
    All I know is movement helps so much. I know that I spiral if I go too long without regular exercise. I even start getting paranoid about everything (which is a tip off for me that full blown depression is on it's way).
    I bet once you get those endorphins flooding your system again you will feel so much better. I know for me, the "why's" start to fade for a while and I start to have peace again about not ever totally figuring it out and just moving onward.
    1935 days ago
    Great blog! No matter what the reason might be you are now armed to deal with the problem and that is a fabulous A-Ha.
    1935 days ago
    What a smart DH you have. You know about the HAPPY ENDORPHIN'S I' m sure!

    EXERCISE releases these happy endorphin's and they often help your moods. I am certain they do mine. They energize me for sure.

    DH is getting in a blue funk so I called the Dr and he said to back of on exercise for a bit . I am not happy but he still has more pain than before. He and I have discussed it and he has been back to his PT again and he said he feels better.
    I am hoping tomorrow to get him out of the house because I urged him to go outdoors for some fresh air and he soon was motivated.
    NEVER underestimate exercise as a mood enhancer. Smiling and laughing are too along with social contacts and loving relationships.
    Now after you are pain free, please do give it a try. Do not try to figure out why you do it, none of those appear to be in your lifestyle.
    I think you just need some MOTIVATION to LIKE Exercise.

    So give it a good try YOU MIGHT LIKE IT. You are worth it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1935 days ago
    I just want to give you a big hug! We've all been there. I know I am a real grump when I don't workout. Did you notice the sad, depressing and all around angry blogs in Dec/Jan?

    Kudos to the spouse for taking notice, being a good listener, and for giving you that ever so gentle nudge to get moving. I hope you will continue with the yoga so you are at least keeping up with your fitness routine. I would also recommend swimming or water aerobics. It's gentle on the body.

    Last but not least, I am sending you the greatest wishes for your continued recovery. Now you've had ample time to wallow, time to pick yourself up and nix this idea of self- sabatoge. We've got work to do-- hop to it (carefully)!

    1935 days ago
    I think many of us do this. I know I feel better when I exercise. I know it right after I exercise, in fact. Still, it falls to the bottom of the list every time. The food, I feel like I got a handle on it and while it can slip, I can right it more easily than the movement. But, realization is the first thing. I will say - and I hate to gender stereotype because it isn't true ALL the time, but I've noticed that women (including me) have a tendency to view weight and all that attends it (food, size, exercise, etc.) to be an emotional issue and many men see it just as a fact (when they finally notice), like "Oh, my pants are too small. I better walk 5 miles a day." My husband can do this without drama or recriminations or evaluating his worth or even berating himself for a "failure". It is just a fact and the fact is that if he chooses to feel better, he has to exercise. It is always more complicated than that for me. BUT ... when it came to finishing school, or getting motivated to deal with certain financial dealings that he doesn't quite feel he understands, he hems and haws and procrastinates.

    I guess what I'm saying is that we all have our 'thorn in the side' and this one is yours. No one is exempt, it is just that we have different weaknesses.

    I did discover that I made the connection a long long time ago, exercise=misery. As a fat kid with adults who around who didn't get it, including PE teachers who just tortured me (making me run til I threw up), instead of encouraging me and giving me realistic goals, exercise WAS misery. My adult mind has to unwind that and reprogram it. My logical mind knows it, but somewhere is that little kid who would rather do anything BUT sweat and pull a muscle and potentially feel like an idiot trying to be 'athletic'.

    But I'm working on it!!! You will find the answer... just keep looking. In the meantime, don't decide to go from 0-60. Just add a little each day, even if it is just toe raises while you're cooking dinner or curling bags of groceries. Once your body feels better, you may want to do it??!!
    1935 days ago
    I wouldn't overthink it, Beth, but be grateful that your hubby is so insightful and gave you an aha moment. Now time to do something about it!
    1935 days ago
    1935 days ago
    Excellent start - self-realization. You are on the right track. Exercise seems to always change the color in my mood -- no more BLUE! Keep going!
    1935 days ago
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