Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Yesterday I went to my Weight Watchers meeting for the first time in two weeks.

I gained 4.6 pounds.

To be fair, I believe that I had actually gained quite a bit more and then started losing the last few days, but hey - gaining 4.6 pounds was pretty accurate. So now, I'm at 49.6 pounds down, which is very much in the wrong direction of where I want to be heading.

I do want to be thinner. I do. So why can't I do it? Why am I going back to choices that aren't good for me? Why am I eating out - and why am I deliberately ordering more (not quite a full on binge, but it's close) than what I usually do? What the heck is going on??

This actually was the topic for my meeting with my therapist last Thursday. I was befuddled - and it wasn't the first time. This is the trend my life and it literally confuses me! Is it self-sabotage? WHAT is it??

I explained it to her...I explained how I feel a lot of apathy surrounding my current condition. I explain that I'm not beating myself up about the food choices I'm making...I just wish that I was able to have the intestinal fortitude to actually follow through with my plans and with my goals.

If I continue to follow the trend, I'll give up on my weight loss efforts and gain the rest of the weight I've lost back...plus more. I'll throw up my hands, say that it's not worth the money I'm throwing into it and just GIVE UP.

But I don't want to do that. I don't. So what gives?

After an hour, I believe I have a piece of it figured out. It's that I want decadence in my life.

I'm surrounded by worry in my life right now. I'm surrounded by obligations and frustrations - both at work and at home.

I don't know what is going to happen. I feel out of control.

I'm running from errand to errand. I'm shuttling my dog around town to get her looked at by various vets. I'm so busy at lunch that I'm not running. I'm exhausted when I get home so I don't exercise then either. And cooking when I get home? Come on! That's the *last* thing I want to do.

I want to be pampered. I want to numb all of the obligations. Hell, I want to numb everything.

Because the thing is, after a week of me eating completely crazily (hello, two boxes of Thin Mints, I'm looking at you), I didn't *feel* any better. I felt sluggish. I felt frumpy. I was disappointed. And the food? It didn't allow me to check out as completely as I remembered being able to do so in the past.

My therapist described it as me living so completely aroused (not sexually, come on people!) by all of the events in my life that I'm trying to figure out ways to decrease the arousal. It's like I'm an ADD person looking for ways to relax and try to concentrate on just one thing.

So since I can't check out, I guess I'll decide to check in.

She gave me some pose ideas from yoga that help relax the brain (I'm happy to divulge them if you're interested).

The weather appears to be cooperating, so I'll be able to get the runs in that I so clearly need at this time in my life.

And, as much as I hate it, I'm having to remind myself that moderation is necessary. I *can* have the dessert I want, I just can't have all of it every day PLUS the gluttonous choices that I've been eating for the meal. And chances are, that's not really what I want anyway, not if I really tapped into what I want.

I put it into practice a bit this weekend. Friday night, after what felt like the longest week in history, I hung out with Joe. We walked around aimlessly downtown until he figured out where he wanted to eat (I didn't have a preference) and we eventually settled on a place. I had a sushi roll and a salad, because that's what I wanted.

At the end of the meal, Joe was still hungry (he usually is) and decided to order some dessert. On the menu was my favorite type of dessert - a brownie/cookie type thing that would be warm and chewy with ice cream and chocolate/caramel topping. He suggested splitting it - saying that he really wanted dessert.

I stopped.

I thought for a minute.

And then I said that I really just wanted a glass of wine. I wanted to unwind from the day - I wanted to sip a glass and really enjoy it.

He, in turn, decided that if he was going to have a dessert that he'd rather have something that he really liked. So we went to a restaurant that had his dessert choice and wine for me.

It was great. Moreover, it was healthier. As a bonus, it was me, honoring myself and my own wishes.

This week, of course I hope to lose weight. Of course, I hope to have my eating and exercise more back on track. But what I really hope is that I take the opportunity to listen to myself and eat when I'm hungry, relax when I need to relax, and take care of myself more better than I have been.

Because, in truth, my efforts to pamper myself by overeating rich and decadent foods has NOT taken care of myself. It isn't nearly as nurturing as I thought it had been. It's so nice to use a moment or two to think about what you actually want and then decide to have it...THAT feels nurturing.

In fact, THAT feels decadent.


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Fighting the urge to NOT numb yourself is the hardest thing.

I like how your therapist defined it as wanting to slow things down and deal with one thing at a time. Feeling overwhelmed is an enormous trigger for eating crap (for me, anyway!).

Do you like how you feel when you run? Even though it sounds counter-intuitive and the last thing you want to do is try to squeeze your runs in, it might be just the thing you need to add some balance. But only if you like how you feel after you do it...when I used to run all the time, I used to feel like anything could happen to me, but I wouldn't care. I felt good, so bring on the s**t.

Your workouts can be the new decadence!

Missa said...

Great post. "intestinal fortitude"(awesome BTW) is something learned and enforced and sadly not something anyone just has. Kudos to you for listening to yourself and choosing your indulgences wisely.
I Want Those YOGA POSES!


Misspudding said...

OMG, this is exactly how I've been feeling this week. Everything is so up in the air for us right now - I might have a new really cool job, I might not, and it would be in a totally different city that I don't love like this one - and I'm just so blah. I skipped last week's WW and the two before (one of which I was out of town) and I keep telling myself I need to go. I'm so overwhelmed and I totally binged last night. It's exactly what you're saying (and hello, damn THIN MINTS!!!).

I really hope this week goes a lot better for you (and me). Kudos for nurturing yourself.

Kellie said...

Man this post is made of win. Truly.

You know, I can relate to this. Because food is my numbing agent. Especially when things are going so fast around me. And I truly ENJOY eating. I love food. But still...

I love the fact that your therapist gave you some insight and some suggestions for controlling the triggers.

I just know you will turn your ship around and head into the right direction once again! :)



POD said...

Ditto. I have been going thru this all week. For the past couple of weeks. It was my bday on the 9th and I think I regressed back to about age 4, where "wanting to pamper myself" consisted of crawling back into a diaper and kicking and screaming (inside only) to have what I wanted which included about half a bday cake along with several other decadent choices. If we really want to be thinner, since when did pampering mean eating half a cake?

I think it actually does have a lot to do with childhood and how we handled stress back then and how, now when our buttons are pushed, we go right back to food and then, we call it wanting decadence. As a little kid, I didn't have those exact words, I just knew I wanted what I wanted. And as a 54 year old, I knew that too.
I wonder if it ever changes? Dr. Drew would say "You're in your disease." I'm on the cusp of attending OA.

TinaM said...

This was a great post. It sounds a LOT like what I have been feeling lately! (My words aren't as pretty... the name of yesterday's post was "WTF is Wrong with ME!" LOL.
Great job passing on that dessert and relaxing with a glass of wine. I think it helps a lot to actually STOP and THINK instead of automatically say yes... which is what I'm sure a lot of us are used to doing when it comes to food...

Amy Pousson said...

I so struggle with how to indulge with something other than food. But I love what you had to say about stopping, thinking a moment about what you really want (the glass of wine) and honoring that. I need to do that stop and think part.

Margie M. said...

Food was always my numbing agent from the age of about 25 to....well, now! When I was in my 30's I used food as my *drug* of choice. I didn't do other drugs, so the food drug did the trick. And it is legal. Cramming myself full of sweets (mainly) helped to block out all of the yucky stuff in my thoughts and life. But I didn't mind cramming myself full of burgers, fries, pancakes, chips, or tacos either.

You made a good decision with the wine over the dessert, plus as you wrote, it was what you really wanted.

This whole messy journey to a healthier lifestyle that we are all on is complicated. It seems like you got a handle on what you need (want) to do. Now, go out and do it! I'm rooting for you.

Margie M. writes at:

Stephanie said...

Good for you for figuring this out.

It is really important to find other ways to be decadent, too. Pedicures often work for me :)
9 weight loss

lindalou said...

Good for you for going back to weight watchers in the face of a gain. This was the time I would quit. So congratulations for facing the music and getting back on track!

Jenny Taylor said...

Wow, great post!! I really agree with the whole craving satisfaction from eating and yet, not feeling it at all once I have given into a binge. Like you said, I usually just feel horrible, frumpy, fat afterwards! Thanks for the reminder! Post-binge feelings are anything BUT what I desired to feel before I gave in to eating tons of unhealthy food! thanks so much for writing this post! :)