Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Progress and Not Making Progress

I started back on antidepressants once I realized I was depressed. I am amazed EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I start them how fast they work (in about 2 days I feel markedly different, and for the better), and how much more they make me feel like *me*. It is really great. I think it is so interesting how misunderstood depression is, and anti-depressants are. But that's another post.

The bad news is that I have not been doing well tracking my food. Last week this slippery slope started with an all day trip to Kansas City for work. I had little control over lunch and I had no idea what even was in what I ate -- so I used that as an excuse not to track. It was situation after situation like this last week so I didn't track the whole second part of the week. My roommate's birthday was Sunday and so yesterday was another day of indulgent eating. Today I was back on track. I don't know.

On the one hand I am tired of excuses. JUST DO IT ALREADY! Track all the time, lose the weight, get on with life. It's just food. No excuses!!!! There are plenty of militant bloggers (and just people) out there who take that attitude.

For me, it doesn't work. I lived life as a very all or nothing person for a long time. Black or white. Do or don't. In or out. No middle ground. If I am not careful, I still think like this. For me moderation is a LEARNED skill. I do almost nothing in moderation. This was one of the main things that came up in my various stints of counseling -- breaking free of all or nothing thinking. Because to me it's just not reasonable to never have _____ again. I believe in the concept of trigger foods, and think that everyone is different. But I reject out of hand just never having something forever just because someone else thinks it's bad (e.g., flour). To me it is not sustainable.*

Honestly, I think that starting to break free is part of is what has helped me to be successful at overhauling much of my life. I went almost totally crazy with food for 2 months in November and December. I gained 15 lbs. But you know what? I am back in the saddle. I am not ready to let this fat thing lick me. I think to myself, "Wow, not exercising was a bad decision. Please don't let your core get weak again; the back pain is not worth it." But I also think to myself, "OK, we learn from this. The cookies were good, but probably not *that* good. Can you just gain 5 lbs next year?"

I lived with a subtle but definite sense of self-loathing when I was obese. Yes, I was still selfish and self-serving for sure....but if you get right down to it, I had a very healthy dose of not feeling comfortable with my body and not liking myself. And to me, that is as emotionally unhealthy as I was physically unhealthy -- and my goal here is to be healthy, not skinny (though a healthy weight will put me skinner than what I am today). That includes my emotions, and being emotionally healthy means being kind to myself.

So -- back to the point. I think that this "NO EXCUSES JUST DO IT NOW!!!!!!" talk is well intentioned, but for me not the way to go. The self talk is so NEGATIVE. When I hear "NO EXCUSES DO IT NOW!!!!!" in my head, I can't help but tack on a "YOU STUPID FAT COW!! WHEN WILL YOU EVER GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER MORON?!" on the end of the sentence And honestly? That is just not healthy. And so I won't do that.

I'm not advocating not setting goals for yourself. I'm not advocating not owning when you make a mistake. But I AM advocating being gentle with yourself. Because -- at least for me -- being hard on myself when I did not make [what often were unrealistic or super-perfectionist] goals happen, that would drive me to the food. I am being gentle on myself and forgiving with myself, because then I am sane enough to realize what poison compulsive overeating is to my soul and sometimes even body.

So -- there's where I am. On the one hand I'm not making much progress if you believe the scale. I weigh about the same as I did last week. But on the other hand, I'm making mental progress. And, to me, that is where the REAL battle of compulsive overeating is won. The fat and the food is just a symptom of being sad and feeling broken.

*Note -- but this is for everyone to decide for him/herself and it's between you and your higher power. That having been said, I know that there is no way I could have something like Nutella in my house anytime in the forseeable future. NO. FREAKING. WAY. That thing would be gone so fast.....

1 comment:

  1. I can see so much of myself in your writing. Thank you for articulating all this so well.


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