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":
"RECORDING ONE MORE THING EVERY DAY JUST PUT ME OVER THE EDGE. I NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME MOVING MY BODY INSTEAD OF JUST MY FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD." (capitalization, mine, not hers)
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.