Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It's easy to lose weight...

...when you're in love.

Seriously, I care next to nothing about eating, let alone overeating.

So that's my weight loss recommendation.  Get in the early stages of love where you don't want to think about anything else except for the person that makes you so happy.  So easy to do, right?

In related news, I received a insider tip from someone in my company that said that we're not doing great.  I will likely need to change jobs before the year is up.  I'm not worried at all - I was looking for a job when I found this one.  I'm confident in my skills and abilities as a leader and individual contributor and I feel confident that I will be able to find something that will fit.

It may involve a move to the bigger city near me (the one I just moved from).  Good news - that's closer to the boyfriend and larger pool of employers. Bad news - I'd have to figure out where to live AGAIN and worry about day cares and school ratings.

BUT I don't need to make that decision now as these changes aren't necessarily imminent so I'm choosing to not clutter up my brain with thoughts of what if and trying to plan out mitigation strategies for the various possibilities.

I'm letting that shit go for now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Foxes and birds

For those that have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that during a lot of 2009-2011, I went to a therapist where I tried to get a handle on my weight loss, my poor relationship choices, and some childhood trauma. Turns out, they were all pretty linked. When you feel so dirty and awful about yourself, you tend to find comfort in the only ways that work for you. For me, that looked like food consumption and repeating the same dynamics in past relationships - one that made me feel less than good enough. 

The great thing about therapy is that while it's pure hell going through it, on the other side is a slice of heaven you've only dreamed of. I finished my therapy journey and found that my relationship with Joe was filled with me chasing him and basically begging him to love me. Once I realized how messed up that was, I decided to end it and pursue other potential relationships.

There is really only person that I deeply regretted not being with. We only went on a few dates in 2009, but he was so incredibly sweet to me that I got incredibly freaked out. It's one thing to beg someone to love you...that I could do. It's an entirely different thing to start out on a pedestal and because you knew they would eventually see all your flaws, they would leave you because you weren't good enough. For someone that liked to play it safe, it was too risky to take a chance with him. After I finished therapy and ended my relationship, I immediately looked him up. But while I was with Joe, he got engaged and was married with kids on the way.

So I moved on.

But recently, he sent me a friend request.

I debated ignoring it.

But ultimately, I decided that I wanted to live my life authentically. I gave zero fox(es?) about whether he would think I was pathetic or not. I told him the truth. I wrote him that I would love to accept his friend request but that I couldn't because seeing pictures of him and his happy family would suck. I told him that I still had strong feelings about him and basically that he was the one who got away.

Annnndd....guess what? He's no longer with her.

We've started dating and to say it feels "right" would be a vast understatement. What took the place of anxious and tumultuous feelings is peace and calm. And ironically, sometimes, that makes me feel uneasy. Does it mean that there isn't enough of a connection? Am I attached to the idea of him, of everything that he has stood for in my mind for the last 7 years, or is it truly this wonderfully special?

But every time I'm with him, it just feels like this is where we're meant to be.

So ANYWAY, why is this on my weight loss blog and not my other one?

Because last week? I gained. A lot. Why? Well, because I ate. A lot.

He had his kids for most of the week. They're young, like mine, and between the nap schedules, early bedtimes, sick kids, and LIFE, we weren't able to connect much. Stuff at work has increased my stress level dramatically too. We're going to have to start laying off people. Working for a small company means I'm the one who decides who goes, does the laying off, and may be at risk for a reduction of my position.

I'm not proud of this, but my old habits started to creep back up. I started freaking out a bit about how I could possibly make something like this work. What if he didn't think I was a good mom? What if he doesn't grow to love my daughter? What if we have different parenting styles? What if his ex is a raging bitch and we all won't be able to co-parent? What if my particular brand of crazy is too much for him? What if I lose my job? Where will we live? Should I try to look for different jobs now?

And I ate. I didn't binge. But I did eat almost anything I felt like eating.

I didn't count points. I didn't measure. I didn't take inventory of how full I was. I just ate whatever I wanted to.

I thought of my weight day, Friday, edging closer and closer and I KNEW that what I should do would be to stop the overeating right then and there. I knew that if I stopped eating that way, I could maybe have a 0 gain for the week.

But I didn't. I realized that at that time, I was facing a lot of uncomfortable things that I had no control over. And food was providing a serious comfort to me. I think, lingering in the back of my head, was still that feeling that I had to be perfect - in weight loss, in trusting him, in planning ahead.
But the thing with that is that way of thinking is that it means there is a right and a wrong way to do things. I'm no longer sure that's true.

So I challenged myself to think of this as a human week where I returned to my old habits. I am at the beginning of this journey (weight, being , relationship) and I don't have to do it all perfectly right now. I don't have to have all the answers. I can just be curious of what the choices I'm making. I can take inventory of how I'm feeling. And I can proceed anyway.

I went to the meeting on Friday and proudly realized I gave no fox about what that scale said. This is a journey. My value isn't based upon how I reacted in one week, but over the course of many weeks. Even that thought is a bit scary - I find myself listening to a voice in the back of my head warning me against that thinking; warning me that this could be a dangerous precedent to set.

So I stopped, was curious about my choice to not care, took inventory of why I was feeling that way. And realized that part of working towards progress, not perfection, is just letting it go.

Folks, two weeks ago I ate a lot and I gained almost 3 pounds.

The end.

It doesn't have to be more than that. I don't need to waste time re-thinking and re-evaluating. I can weigh in, clock the gain, and then let it go. I can not care about the past and focus on the future.
And that's what I have done.

It feels really good and really freeing. And this week, I've kept the thoughts at bay, for the most part. I've tried to come into the situation at hand remembering that this was a situation I was not expecting...so I need to have no expectations of how it can be done the "right" way. The way I'm feeling is not good or bad. It's just a feeling. I need give all my thoughts permission to be thought of without judgement and let them move on.

A friend shared a great visual with me. She said thoughts are like birds. It's perfectly normal for them to fly around above your head. You don't need to encourage them to make a nest in your hair.

I like that idea. It feels much more freeing, much less judgmental, and much healthier.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Weight Watchers journey, revisited


I'm not even sure if people read this anymore, but I felt like I had a few a-ha moments this week and I love writing them down in this place.

I've joined Weight Watchers again.  I actually joined two weeks ago and the whole reason for joining was because their literature indicated that they've changed their approach.  Beyond The Scale is their marketing campaign...and truth be told, I think that was a lot of the challenge that I had with it before.  If I focused solely on weight loss, I felt like I wasn't addressing the bigger issue.  The tagline of "I'm more than just a number" is cheesy...but true.

Today's topic was about whether we treat or reward ourselves with food.  What does that look like?  Why do we do it?  Does it sabotage our journey?

Here's what I LOVE about what was discussed...there were the typical people saying things like "oh!  I pick non-food related rewards and treats because if you don't, you'll gain the weight back!" And yes.  That's probably a correct answer...kind of like when a pastor asks kids during a kid's sermon any question, you're probably safe to answer "Jesus."

But one woman said something along the lines of how there isn't anything wrong with making a reward or a treat food related...it just depends on what your relationship with food looks like.  To say you can never have a reward that is food indicates that food somehow falls into a good or bad category.


That is exactly the kind of stuff that I would bring up in my old meeting and people would look at me like I had two heads.

To be clear, I rejoined WW not because I had mindful eating down pat and because I had not only kept my weight off but had continued to lose more.  I rejoined WW because I had gained EVERY POUND back (and more).  So I don't have the best relationship with food.  And it's in my head.

It very much surrounds the ideas of food being good or bad or of the concept of me "deserving" food because I was tired, my daughter was up all night, because she was throwing a temper tantrum, because work is stressful, because I was adulting and I didn't want to adult.

I don't have the answers.  I don't even have a stance yet on her questions.

But I love that it got me thinking about things.  I love that while I'm getting smaller I can be changing my brain to be more flexible about several different ideas surrounding food, weight loss, being thin, and anything else in between.

So the other thing that I at least wanted to write down is that the last two weeks, I have had an interesting thing happen during my attempt to lose weight.

Each of the last two weeks (and yes, that even means the DAY I joined WW again), I have blown WAY past my points targets on Friday.  Like both days, I went past the daily target and eaten all of my weekly points.  And more.  No really.  The first week I did all that completely on Friday.  I told myself that it was because I was still trying to get all the high calorie/fat food out of my house.  But last week, that overeating of high point foods lasted until Tuesday morning.

I was so upset with myself on Monday morning.  I was up three pounds since my weigh in on Friday morning and I had almost gained back everything I had lost my first week.

The reasons I overate are still not 100% clear to me...but I did recognize I was trying to feed something in myself.

So I woke up, ate some higher point items and realized I didn't want to be responsible.  I dropped Ellie off at day care and called in sick.  I went back home, watched a few episodes of Parenthood and then took a 5 hour nap.  I went to the doctor and got a prescription for the sinus infection that I had been fighting for the last few weeks.  And then I decided that even though I felt like eating more junk, I would go ahead and get back on plan anyway. I did.  I turned the cart around and was able to lose all the weight I had gained.

The fact that I've struggled so much in the first two weeks of this plan kind of gets me down.  It's easy for me to think that I won't be successful if I keep blowing it in the first few days of each week.  I said as much to the leader during my weigh in.

She invited me to think about things a bit differently.  She said something like "you can't be perfect all the time.  No one can."  At first I wanted to pooh-pooh her statement like "of course, I'm not saying THAT." But I stopped and thought.  That is exactly what I'm saying.

The phrase "progress, not perfection" has been bandied about in many WW meetings I've been to.

I've heard those words, nodded gravely in agreement, but inside my head have thought "sure...for YOU.  But I am capable of better.  I can do it perfectly...so I should."

I think I'm starting to get it.

Ironically I think it's my daughter who was taught me this lesson (or is at least showing me this).

When I decided I wanted to be a mom, I just did it.  I had been thinking about it for years, but I just knew I could.  When I told people and they looked at me like I was crazy and told me how hard it would be, I thought a similar thing as what I wrote before.  Maybe it's hard for YOU.  But I'm made of tougher stuff.  I can do it.

Know what I found out the first few months of being a mom?  It's not hard.  It's damn near impossible.  WHAT WAS I THINKING? was probably my most prominent thoughts during that time.

So some nights because she would scream and cry every hour, I just put her in the baby swing and slept next to her on the couch.  Was that perfect? No.  Was it what my mom had warned me to never do?  Yes.  Was it like what movies or pictures or books say you should do? No.  But did I get sleep?  Yes.

Sometimes you have to do what works in the moment.  Sometimes you just have to do the best you can and let everything else go.

I couldn't live up to being the perfect mom I thought I'd be.  I couldn't even come close.  I had to lower my bar.  And as I did that, I realized that I didn't miss the judgement of myself as a mom, of other moms or other single people.

I have not been the mom I thought I'd be.  And yet, my daughter is a happy, loving, confident, and willful kid.  So I must be doing something right. In fact, having her see me get ruffled in situations or even times where I've cried right along with her for MY mom, I hope I've shown her it's okay to not have your shit together all the time.

I'm not the mom I thought I'd be.  I'm a different person.  I'm a better person.

So if I apply that same logic, perhaps I don't have to be the perfect member.  I don't need a perfect linear chart that shows steady losses.  I don't need to be the perfect weight loss blogger where I have something that has any sort of point each time I write.

I just need to do what I can, when I can and let the rest go.

Epiphanies for you?  Probably not.  But I wanted to write down these thoughts and feelings so that I can remember that "progress, not perfection" isn't a loser's battle cry.  It's just real life.  Real people.  Setting real expectations/standards.