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Post-Mortems, Skinny B*tches & Lies!! Why?!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Those of us who have experience with “thinking habits” that encourage seeking comfort and “who knows what else” by abusing food (we beat the crap out of it) seem to always want to know “WHY?”. “Why do I overeat? Why? Why? Why?” We delve into our psyche, rack our brain (painful), read books, and seek the counsel of others in a HUMONGOUS quest to find the answer to “WHY?”

While that “soap opera” drama is rattling around in our heads, we talk about our OTHER goals differently. We make big plans to change the world, to make it a better place, one person at a time. We want to advance in careers and other endeavors. We want to connect with others for peace and love. And we pledge to leave no stone unturned. We will humbly proclaim that we are a forward-thinking people of action who aren’t afraid to ask ourselves “Why NOT?” instead of “Why?”

If asking “Why NOT?” works for those high pursuits, could it not also logically assist us closer to home, as we battle habitual thinking errors? I’m told it’s our thoughts that make us fat. They enable emotional eating and resistance against the daily planning and awareness required to stick to our food and exercise plans. To reconcile the gap between knowing better and doing better, asking “Why not?” could possibly be an effective tool to help us invent unique solutions for our personal “bumps in the road”. Limitations in our lives require ingenuity.

People cope daily with significant life problems, without turning to food for comfort. People also accomplish seemingly UNATTAINABLE goals. How do they do it? Could we ever hope to rise above our situations? How?

First of all, those heroes of ours had to start where they WERE and take the first step. Do we not often hear, “Getting started is the HARD part” ? That’s true enough. It is hard. However, keeping our goals in the front of our minds when life throws roadblocks in our way, isn’t easy, either. That doesn’t mean we can’t do it or that it’s hard every hour of every day.

Stuff does happen, though. Events and people that are beyond our control cue us to think about disappearing into the night, telling ourselves “I can’t do “THIS” and LIFE, too. I’m out of here.” Consider the possibilities if we were to ask ourselves, “But what if I COULD do ALL of it? What if I COULD find a way? ”

As I do an end-of-year POST MORTEM of my 2010 weight loss efforts, I would have to say that changing the way I think remains my biggest challenge, despite being the area where I made the most progress this year.

My reactions to events and people ARE my own choice, even though I can tell myself things that make it seem otherwise. Habitual “thinking errors” can conveniently yield excuses for inaction or wrong action. They’re just tiny untruths that sound plausible at the time, all part of the scenario I’ve been used to, where I would entrap myself and feel pity for the poor little me who was once again the victim of evildoers or circumstances.

Does any of the following sound familiar to you?
“I hadn’t planned to eat this, but I’m hungry and I need to eat right now.”
“It’s OK to eat this. Everyone else is. It’s free. It’s on my plate. I’m eating it. I’m celebrating. I never have any fun. I’m upset. I don’t care. It won’t matter.”
“I’m not getting on the scale. I know I’ve gained weight. I’ll watch what I eat for a day or two. Then, I’ll weigh myself.”
“Now that I’ve lost so much weight, I can stop being so careful.”
“I’m so much better off, healthwise, than I was. I will eventually lose the rest of this weight, so what’s the big rush about reaching my goal weight? It’s just a number.”
“After all this time, I KNOW what I’m supposed to do. Why do I need to fill out all these charts?”
“How unfair that some skinny little things can eat so much and not get fat.”

The list could get longer. However, the point is that I do better as I stop telling myself the “not quite lies” like the one about hating those skinny b*tches, if I ever have hope of becoming a skinny b*tch myself. And, I DO. We all know they aren’t really b*tches, just because they’re not fat. They don’t deserve hatred for being the size we might want to be. It’s just “lame” humor that we were taught would get a laugh, which just goes to show ya, “thinking” mistakes can make a person seem too big for her britches, even if her “Biggie Small” pants ARE loose.

The TRUTH IS that losing weight is important to me. It does take effort, and it’s not grueling ALL the time. On January 1, I am guessing I’ll be down between 35 and 40 lbs for the year and I’m nicely below the 150-ville hurdle, having started some years ago at a known weight of 238., trying to get into “onederland”.

Here are the things that went the best in 2010

1. Planning meals and snacks so that I always have healthy choices available.

2. Keeping track gives me peace of mind and teaches me the skill of staying aware, so that I’m not in denial about how much I eat or whether I’m exercising enough..

3. weighing myself ONCE DAILY as part of my early morning routine (brushing teeth, showering, getting ready for my day), entering the number in an “app” on my Ipod Touch, like in a scientific experiment, with no judgments about good or bad, just the facts. (The “app” makes an instant graph that shows me whether the weight loss trend is up, down, or straight across. I think about that trend, and it influences my choices during the day. I used to really freak out over the scale; this has demystified it for me.)

4. Hanging with my Sparkie friends, who understand me and love me, no matter what I do. They believe in me, which helps me believe in myself. (That “belief” comment struck an emotional nerve of some kind because a tear is running down my cheek and my throat feels tight. Apparently, connecting with YINZ, you-all, you-uns, or plural “you” means more to me than I even thought).

5. Reading and working to train my brain to “think” its way out of a paper bag. (It continues to excite me , since research is now showing that behavior and thinking patterns are habits that can be replaced. As I get better at spotting my sabotaging thoughts, it becomes easier to respond without repeating previous behaviors.)

6. An evening “eating curfew” I did this year, consuming nothing but tea or water after 9 pm. (To get those “every few minute” thoughts and urges about finding something to eat to FINALLY stop, I would take my mind off food by IMMEDIATELY reaching for other things that I enjoy, like books, puzzles, piano practice, steamy baths, candle-burning, and dancing. I just refused to feed the urges long enough and consistently enough that they went away. I feared they never would.)

7. I am wearing clothes that fit me, which has an interesting effect on my motivation. I see that I look better and that reminds me all day long that losing weight is worth the trouble.

8. Enriching my life with my second year of piano lessons is big. For many years, I had put off taking the lessons I had wished for as a child. Now, I play music and “walk cool”, like a pianist friend of mine suggested. It’s wonderful. (The lessons are hard.)

Here’s something I read that I dare hope and believe to be true. “THE RICHER MY LIFE, THE LESS I’LL FOCUS ON MY WEIGHT.” If you are interested in thinking LESS about weight and food because you have SOMETHING MORE EXCITING ON YOUR MIND, why not think about starting some of the things NOW that you have “on hold” for later, when you’re a “skinny b*tch” or a “muscle-bound dude”, and your life magically becomes perfection (hate to break it to you, no one’s ever does)? Job changes, new skills, clubs, new people, hobbies, and travel are intriguing areas to explore, RIGHT NOW!. Why NOT???

And watch out for thoughts like the following:
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“What if I don’t like it?”
“What will people think?”
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD128363
    Wow, you are a great writer! I deal with all of the issues that you touched on. I am going to make a sign that says "Why Not?" right now and put it in my bathroom! Also I like the eating curfew idea, I may use that one too. Thanks for this wonderful piece! You rock! emoticon
    3667 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2011 1:18:08 PM
  • BIGGIRL2082010
    Loving your post-mortem! Long may those discarded pounds rest in peace. :)

    Gotta get some thinks on, meself! :)

    Cheers,
    Maya
    3674 days ago
  • GARIHOOD
    Very nice insights. Thanks for sharing thoughts that make us think too.
    3676 days ago
  • HDHAWK
    Wow, it feels like you wrote this blog for me. I can relate to so many things you said. Thank you!
    3677 days ago
  • TRIPLE_EMME
    emoticon

    You are doing GREAT!!!

    I think I may have to enforce an eating curfew on myself.

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2011!
    3677 days ago
  • GOLIGHTLY344
    You are amazing! emoticon emoticon
    3677 days ago
  • *SUNSHINEDAYZ*
    Thanks for sharing :o)
    3677 days ago
  • A-NEW-PAULA
    Yes, I went to go see "Wicked" the musical last night instead of going out for a big meal with DH. I would never have remembered the meal later but I will have memories of this musical for years to come! It is so true the richer my life is the less I will focus on food!
    3678 days ago
  • DDOORN
    Whew! Have you hit the nail on the head in SO many CRUCIAL ways!

    Most especially I love your point: "THE RICHER MY LIFE, THE LESS I’LL FOCUS ON MY WEIGHT."

    Too many gems in this...going to snag a copy to refer back to over and over!

    Big MAJOR HUGE Thank You!!!!

    Don
    3678 days ago
  • NEVERMIND2010
    I like this, and I'm going to try to come back and formulate a coherent response later when I'm awake and have more time.

    Keep adding to the positives, my friend.
    3678 days ago
  • DIZZYK
    Miss boo, your post hit several nerves. I used to be a regular part of SP. I hung out with fellow sparkers, I could see my goals and was very near to attaining them.
    And then.
    And then I lost my way home. I got caught up in many of those "not quite lies". I allowed myself to feel "not a part of anything" and alone. I lost (or I should say gained) most of what I'd accomplished, but still couldn't find my way back. I stopped. Stopped trying, stopped living.
    It has taken me a long time to find my way home. I'm still trying to undo the damage to my psyche that I caused to myself, but I am here, and I am no longer standing still or sliding backward. I am creeping forward. Just like you, I need my spark family more than I thought I did. It was actually one of your sparkmails that showed me the way home.
    I want to thank you for that.
    emoticon
    3678 days ago
  • RAINBOW1237
    Eating curfew. I like that. Actually I have to do that now for a tummy med I am taking so it will make it easy.
    Reconnecting here on Sparks with you'ins DEFINITELY helped me already. I am logging in my food and joining challenges. I brought some old Skewbies back with me. The 'old gang".
    Support is a MUST. I don't care what yah say.
    For the record my exercise did not wait until New Years. maya got a dance video for her Wii. Lots of dancing and sweating!! FUN!!!!! Double bonus, I have a workout buddy in the house!!
    You are an inspiration BSUE69!! emoticon
    3678 days ago
  • HEALTHY_CAROLYN
    There's a lot to process here because I definitely see myself in many of the comments. I will be keeping this in mind as I make my plan for the new year. As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3678 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2010 8:45:15 PM
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