The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, and I was at a party watching them on TV.
Usually I have the good sense to use my preparation skills so that I can celebrate such events without going overboard with the food. After all, I do want to find my lowest maintainable weight and keep it for the rest of my life. The foods at the party were terrific; lots of healthy choices were available. And I was having a great time with the people. There was no excuse for me to overindulge. What I hadn't prepared for that night was that I would lose my mind over the win.
As Dr. Martin Binks said in a Daily Spark Blog I read yesterday, "Caloric damage comes mostly from emotional eating, not hunger." One of the emotional needs he mentioned was "seeking pleasure and a sense of camaraderie at an event like a Super Bowl party". ("Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life"--a favorite expression of mine, which means roughly "you understand me"). Dr. Binks has been reading my mail (another of my quirky expressions to denote that he knows what I think).
I have learned that it would be best not to tell myself that I'm entitled to make exceptions and go hawg wild because of a special event. Even though it's been 14 yrs since the Pack won a Super Bowl, I know there will always be other special events that tempt me to deviate too far from my food plan and interfere with my weight management goals (holidays, parties, luncheons, weddings, showers, receptions, and various other occasions). If I were to give myself permission to overeat at all of them, it would be hard to lose any more weight. So, I've learned that it would be wise to cool it.
I'm not sure what I told myself on Super Bowl night and for several days afterwards, all the way up until Wednesday morning of this week to be factual. Wednesday and today, I've settled down into my routine again, which feels much more comfy. What I did NOT tell myself was that I had blown it and might as well eat anything and everything. The sabotaging thoughts that I fall for are much more subtle than that one. They're hard to spot (I have a sneaky brain).
The most problematic thing to me was that I was finding it difficult to come back to earth after the big event of Sunday was over and done. I wouldn't weigh myself. I skipped some gym visits. I wouldn't track my food. I still wore my Bodybugg armband, since that requires no effort. I wasn't posting and talking to my Sparkie friends like I'm used to doing.
I may have been thinking that I needed the fun of eating without restriction, and yet where was the fun? I could not find the magic food to satisfy me. Nothing I ate seemed worth it.
Overall, I felt pretty good. I wasn't depressed. Life was pretty cool, except for the ice dams on the roof that caused rainfall " inside" my kitchen, until some dudes came and steamed off the ice today. I just didn't feel right because I WAS OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE.
Wowee! Zowie! I think this is one of those "Aha" moments.
" I just didn't feel right because I WAS OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE." Did I really say that?
My comfort zone was never, to my knowledge, about doing what I knew I needed to be doing in order to get this weight off. My comfort zone had lots of food in it. It was a place where I could let it all hang out and not worry about rules. Apparently, THAT was THEN, and THIS is NOW. I really have gotten to the place where I don't feel upset about restricting the amounts of foods that I eat. I no longer "undress cupcakes with my eyes". There are no momentary pleasures from any food item that can compare to the happiness I feel when I can stick with my plan and lose weight. The day after I have resisted an urge to overeat, I feel much better than if I had given in and eaten whatever it was.
I feel more of a sense of direction now, after spending some time Wednesday and today, staring into space, asking myself "Do you really need to eat or do you need a break from some of your activities? Do you need to relax more? Are you in a rut? Boredom? Can some of the things you do be dropped, to allow for more freedom? Would a better schedule help you fit in the things you love to do? Can you come to terms with situations that bother you and make firm plans to fix what you feel needs fixing? What are you avoiding? What triggered your emotional eating this week? "
I'm still working on the answers to those and other questions that appeared once the Q and A session began. I guess the operative word must be "working". I found the following comment from a Sparkie friend inspiring today:
And then its back to "chopping wood and carrying water." This is what I think of sometimes when I feel there will be some magical end to all this. There is a Zen proverb in which a wise monk answers a young monk who he asks, "What will I do when I become enlightened?" The wise monk tells him:
“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”
And so it goes.
So, to conclude my thoughts for today's blog, I am once again back in my new comfort zone (planning, tracking and taking daily action steps toward my goals). In other words, I am chopping wood and carrying water.
This is a motivational poster with a modern day twist on enlightenment.
Thanks to the Flylady's influence on me, I wake up to a clean sink each morning. I can barely express what a life-changing event that is.