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Stop Effing Up!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

If you're wondering what "Effing" is, it's the first half of the name of a town in southern Illinois, Effingham. When our family would get off the expressway there on trips, my teen daughters were fond of asking one another "What do you want? Effingham? No, I think I'd rather have Effing beans and cornbread or an Effing burger." (car full of giggles)

This happened so often that, over time, the family joke has expanded to include our referring to food choices that we feel were mistakes as "Effing Up". Today, in my efforts to stop effing up, here's what I learned by participating in my Spark Teams.

FIRST, I posted the following in a "track my food" challenge:

I'm really effing this one up.

The mere act of tracking seems to set me off, and I eat more. It's a temper tantrum of some kind, I think.

Nonetheless, I'm going to CONTINUE TRACKING, just for information, not with any particular weight loss goal in mind. I need to figure out what's eating me.

Today, I have tracked my food and it's at 1,050 calories, thus far. I will commit to writing down what I eat for the rest of the day and any food-related thoughts, to see what I can learn. I think going into "Watcher" mode tonight could be helpful. That's where I watch the internal dialogue that takes place when facing an urge for some unplanned eating, trying to be neutral and just observing what I'm telling myself.

I already know I need a break of some kind. I've been at this weight loss thing for a long time. And yet, I know I have to pay attention to what I eat. I don't want to continue gaining weight. "Rock and a hard place"---my current motto.

Any observations are welcome.

THEN, I read some posts in one of my "step counting" challenges and hit what feels like pay dirt, in the post of a friend who had missed several days of entering her data, just as I had.

THIS is my posted response, after thinking about what she said:

COLUMBINE2 posted the following statement in relation to her "steps challenge" participation":


COLUMBINE has put into words one thought that was HEAVY on my mind. I have been feeling tempted to "throw out the baby with the bath water" and use the above thought as my justification to take a complete Spark Break. No tracking, no teams, no challenges, no nothing, just freedom from "paper work" (record-keeping).

Something wouldn't let me do it, though. When we know better, we can no longer play dumb. I kept thinking "How would that help? Would you lose weight if you did that? Hmmm"

My years of "all or nothing" behaviors and thoughts got me into trouble in the first place. What makes me think that "all or nothing" would be a satisfactory answer now? It appears that, among other things, my well-entrenched "all or nothing" thinking habit has been trying to regain power over me, like Voldemort coming back to life in Harry Potter stories.

Big smooches to COLUMBINE2, who helped me see this today.

This is most likely not my entire solution, but it's a start, and it has me feeling encouraged.

I DO need to spend more time moving my body, since I want more out of life than SKINNY FINGERS.

However, I know that tracking my food doesn't really take an excessive amount of time. I've done it with little interference in my daily life and found it very useful. Tracking is not a problem, during times when I'm willing to take responsibility for my food choices.

Blaming tracking and challenges for my extra eating is not the answer to whatever is bugging me. Staying away from SparkPeople is no help, either. I find comfort and insights from talking to my SparkFriends, who understand how I'm thinking, in the good times and the bad. I don't want to miss out on their objective comments and friendship. They know me and they know how consistently I have been working to change my habits.

I believe I can "Stop Effing Up" and keep doing the work that will strengthen my healthier habits, even on the days when it feels like I want to go back to the old lazy, hazy, crazy days of overeating and underthinking.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Geez this tracking thing just runs counter to all these years of doing anything BUT! Guess that's why it takes such a monumental effort...!

    3462 days ago
    Don't know anything I can add to this blog except that I am fascinated to read anything you write about your weight-loss journey.

    This is great, hits all kinds of nerves and makes me think. I couldn't ask for better.

    3480 days ago

    Long time since I have been on....I liked your blog boo.....I keep effing up as of late. I don't know why I self sabotage?!?!? but I refuse to give up b/c I will just get fatter! I still go to TOPS weight class....
    anyhoo thanks for sharing!
    3493 days ago
  • ACACIA21
    you are so effing funny, boo. Glad to see you are still sparkin. you have such a great attitude! emoticon
    3495 days ago
  • ANDREA409
    I couldn't agree more! All this tracking of my food makes me nuts. It does little more than cause my all-or-nothing, perfectionistic type personality to flare into overdrive. I'm trying to achieve BALANCE here. I'm sick of being so all-or-nothing. It's not fun.

    ps. I like the Effingham anecdote. It was cute and made me giggle too. emoticon
    3511 days ago
    The blog about impulse Interception was a true help to me! And pay the price! Both on slowest loser. Helped me today.
    3555 days ago
    Hang in there, Boo!!!
    If the issue is rebellion, what helps me is, I tell myself I'm allowed to eat anything I want, as long as I track it first. That usually stops me from Effing up (love that) and gets my butt right back in line.

    There's no better use of our time than taking care of our health.

    You can do it!!! emoticon
    3560 days ago
    Thnaks for thinking out loud, Boo. I am very weary at the moment, but want to have a chat somewhere here at spark with you. Probably somewhenre over at the seperation board. But, for now just sending love and gratitude as always.
    3565 days ago
    It's good to hear that you may have found an insight that will help you. Let's hear how things turned out.
    3567 days ago
    Boo! I just found an app for that (that being spending too much time calculating calories consumed leading to skinny fingers and burnout). I haven't tried it yet, but the reviews were encouraging. It's called Meal Snap. You take a picture of the plate of food that you do not want to spend time looking up info for (ending my sentence with a preposition, which is a bad word to end a sentence WITH emoticon ).

    I'll let you know how it works, but I'm hoping it's at least accurate enough when we just don't wanna do it anymore!

    3567 days ago
    Oh my, bells are going off big time in my head right now! Time to stop going through the motions and stop fooling myself. Actions speak louder than words and have better results too!
    3567 days ago
    Boo...I hear ya. I could have written what you have here. I have been frustrated by my yoyoing and fits and starts when it comes to losing weight. I know part of it is my age and my body not being able to do things like it used to but I was driving myself crazy. I took a little break from SP not by choice but because I was taking care of sick people and thought maybe I could at least maintain my weight without SP. Boy, was I wrong. Gained almost 10 pounds this winter while I was not paying attention. So I am back...not as regularly as I should be yet but at least I come and record my weight every week and check in almost evey day. The gaining has stopped and I have lost a pound. Lots of work to do but I am glad I came back. Just the input from others and the tracking of weight and food seems to be what I need. Good luck. Hang in there.
    BTW one of my daughters used to live in Carbondale IL and I am very familiar with Effingham, IL. Loved you story .All that Effing food doesn't do us much good, does it? Also doesn't Effingham have that giant cross beside the interstate that comes up over the horizon as you are driving in?
    3567 days ago
    I just took a break from tracking and I didn't lose or gain. Now mind you, I didn't use it as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted but it didn't help me get to my goal weight, either.

    One suggestion I have is something I read on spark here somewhere and that is when you are tracking your food you can track feelings, stress, moods etc. at the bottom of your food tracker to see if there are patterns of lonely, stress, frustration eating!

    Our brains are trying to trick us into going back to our old habits!!! And I don't know why because from a evolutionary stand point it seems like our bodies should want us to be as healthy as possible not trying to talk us into sitting on the couch eating ice cream!

    But let me ask a few of my standard questions you may or may not want to consider:
    Do you have your calories set too low to keep up your energy or feel satisfied? I need more than 1200 freakin' calories! That nonsense is for the birds!
    Are you exercising with enough intensity?
    Are you eating frequently enough to keep your metabolism going?
    Are you getting your water in?
    *Are you tracking your fiber intake? If you aren't this could be key to helping you feel fuller and have food pass through you without as much calories! You can add it to your tracker if you haven't already.
    Do you plan in foods you love? I do this! Some days I will sacrifice nutrition for what I really want to eat because if I don't I feel like I might just go the rest of the way CRAZY!!!

    Drop by my spark page if you want to discuss it further!!!

    Best Wishes,
    Paula (auntpaula2010)
    emoticon A slow loser
    3568 days ago
    Okay, lady, get out of my head! emoticon I do fine with the measuring, tracking, self-control, etc. during the day. But when I get home emoticon takes over and the wheels come off. After spending 10 hours in front of the computer at work, the last thing I want to do is track my food. So I "decide" I don't care and have some Ben & Jerry's and/or Sprecher's. Ugh. Not good. about we try to keep each other accountable and cheer each other on? Food tracking might be easier - I won't go as far as fun - if we have a buddy to do it with. Whadda you say? emoticon
    3568 days ago
    Yup, favorites and food groupings have definitely shaved time off tracking... altho' I'm finding a lot of my 'favorites' labels have changed since I first entered them from labels. For shame on the manufacturers! (Not just size/portions, but nutrients... some have more/less sodium, etc - kudos if it's less, but...)

    Stick with us... we couldn't stand to lose our Boo! emoticon
    3569 days ago
    In the beginning of my tracking I used to spend a lot of time and now it's really 2nd nature for me. I can get it done in very little time. It's like practicing anything. If you do it often enough, you get good at it. You can speed up the process by having the same or similar things to eat. Each morning, for example, I eat oatmeal with soy milk. I vary it by adding raisins and apples or a banana or mango or dates or figs. Then at lunch I track my lunch and decide right away on what to have for dinner based on what I need in terms of carbs, fats, protein, fiber, potassium...or don't need (read: sodium).
    It's true that it would be so much easier to just eat what I want, but that's what got me to be nearly 300lbs in the first place!
    This weight loss thing is really all about perseverance IMO. It's certainly a feat in this Land o' Plenty!
    3569 days ago
    I think you are on to something here Boo!
    3569 days ago
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