Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You Can Run...but You Can't Hide

You know when you sorta suspect something but you just don't want to deal with it? Yeah...that was what I had been doing with my weight. As in the actual number. I knew I was up a little, I knew some clothes were a little tighter, but I had no clue what the number was.

This past weekend when my friend was in town I got clobbered by being sick. We ended up at urgent care on Saturday. Everyone's NY hotspot. They weighed me. I saw. I weigh approximately 17-22 pounds more then I thought. I was shocked. I have two alert numbers. I am past both. I am higher then I have probably been in at least a year and a half if not two. The good news is part of how the denial happened is my body hasn't not changed that much because my exercise regime has stayed rigorous. How annoying though. If I actually gave my 100% I might have been pleasantly surprised by the number instead of wanting to burst into tears.

I know it does not define me and it's not really the number that bothers me. What bothers me is the shock I felt was VERY similar to when a friend talked me into going to Weight Watchers with him pre-nutritionist, and I weighed 20 pounds more then I thought and it was over 300 pounds. My worst fear is to blink and be back there. What it stirred for me is that fear. If I don't stay vigilant I will slip back but living vigilant isn't really living. I am tired of feeling punished. I am tired of constantly having to do more. I am tired of feeling like I will never get there wherever that is.

While there is a lot I could do differently I work pretty hard at being healthy. I work out a minimum of 5 days a week doing cardio on my own, I work with my trainer 3 days, I make it to yoga 1 day a week, I prepare my lunches that are under 500 calories, I pack my snacks often fruit or veggie based,  I make healthy dinners and yet it's not enough. I eat out 1-2 times a week, I drink alcohol 1-2 times a week, and I eat dark chocolate or some sort of sweet either at lunch or dinner but not both meals. I hardly feel like how I live, eat, and behave should have resulted in a 20 pound weight gain. It feels so unfair and frustrating. I however look at small things and do not look at the overall picture. An extra glass of wine here, a workout cut by 15 minutes here, a few cookies there, it all adds up. Every day you have to be aware of your choices. Every day.

I refuse to live my life on a diet. Refuse. It messes with my head and leaves me unhappy. How do you pursue weight loss goals, but lose diet mentality and not feel ruled by calories, portions and choices? How do you find balance? I have no idea. My therapist told me to think of now in order to move forward as temporary. Is it really? I really struggle to accept that I won't live the rest of my life hyper vigilant or exhausted by that vigilance. That there is some in between.

I'm bummed about the number but not hugely surprised. I also feel better knowing what it is. Knowing it, I can address it. It forced me out of denial. It forced me to look at some of my patterns and behaviors that have been warning signs, that I ignored. It also made me get real about some other stuff. I'm not really dating and I don't really want to. I don't feel good about myself right now and I dabble in some things to try to distract from that. I deactivated my profiles and it felt good. A big relief, like knowing the number in some ways. I was no longer hiding.

I also have to clean up some other areas of my life. I have hung on to some relationships that I don't think I really need anymore. I get worried, much like I do about moving forward about what will happen. If I dare to just not be nice anymore. Not saying I would be actively mean, but continuing to put energy into relationships that your heart and interest are not in anymore seems a lot more mean then letting them fade out. In other ones, I have a big ole question of how does this serve me? or what do I get out of this? One of them, not a damn thing and I have to walk away. It's rough, but this person is reckless and makes me feel bad about myself. I struggle enough to keep my head above low self esteem water I don't need help falling under.

All of this swirling makes me think May will be a month I try, best I can to focus on self improvement. Not from a place of who and what I am now not being good enough, but where and what do I want to do. It's really easy to get distracted from yourself, your goals, and wants. I actively allow it and I am not sure why. I guess I want to keep chipping at that reason I get so consistently in my own way.


  1. In Feb/March I gave up on dieting and gained 15 pounds. I was in denial too! Over the last year I have put back 25 pounds. I didn't notice at first because I still went to the gym a lot and I am active at work as well. I wish I had the answer to your question?? It's been bothering me for a while, Where is the balance to having a healthy life and not obsessing about food all the time.. It's very tricky. I totally understand about friendships that are toxic. After 25 year friends I had to take a step back because I realized she was super selfish and honestly didn't give a shit about me unless it suited her. It's still hurts but slowly I have been able to let go. Good luck! May is going to be a good month I can just feel it!

    1. Intellectually I know that "normal" and being "healthy" is caring about your body and what you put in it and monitoring that. I guess it's like we have to be hyper normal until goals are achieved? I have LOTS of questions for my nutritionist this week. If she sheds any light on our questions I'll definitely share.

      Toxic friendships...I'm really happy for you that you recognized that it wasn't working for you and took a step back. It has hard to let go and I think one of the tricky things is realizing even though these people don't have a place in your life anymore it does come with emotional fallout. In the past I just walked away without a second glance usually in anger and didn't actually process anything. Actually saying I love and feel a sense of loyalty to this person but have to choose myself in this instance is a lot harder.

  2. How do you pursue weight loss goals, but lose diet mentality and not feel ruled by calories, portions and choices? How do you find balance? I have no idea.

    I also have no idea. I fear that one may have to tip one way or the other. I tip towards "lose diet mentality." But that's me.

    I do think that the emotional and psychological work is crucial. And I also know that for me personally, lifting heavy (thereby putting on a little bit of muscle) and eating more dietary fat (with a corresponding reduction in carb intake) have been really important behavioral changes that have made me feel much more sane around food. Whatever it is that these things do inside me—balance my blood sugar, boost my metabolism, promote satiety, alleviate my psychological compulsion towards restriction, whatever—they combine to make me feel more secure about food. It's hard to describe exactly what I mean, but I bet you know—I feel less fixated on what I'm eating and not eating, less convinced that stopping my eating is a necessary feat of strength, etc. And it does not like hurt my feelings or anything that my weight loss accelerated when I started doing those things. I outweigh you by a big chunk, though, so I cannot say really what works to keep a body much, much smaller than it has previously been—but I do want to extend sympathy for the tough spot you're in.

    1. I agree with you. I strength train for several reasons. It helps me feel better and more connected to my body in a way that is outside it's appearance and weight, and the extra muscle helps boost my metabolism. Everyone wins. I agree with you also on the fat. When I started cooking with a little oil, eating the 2% greek yogurt instead of 0% fat, and a few other things, I had an increased sense of satiation, and enjoyment.

      I doubt you outweigh me by a good chunk and I think regardless of that it's always the same. Whether you weigh 120 pounds or 320 pounds if you want to remain that weight, or change it you have to stay connected to what you're eating and doing. Le sigh.

      I think I still struggle to accept that. I want 2 modes. I want weight loss and maintenance to be two very distinct and black and white places. They aren't and it surprises me I still think this way. Both have their own set of behaviors and needs that are not all that different. The simple fact remains if you want to be healthy, you have to worry about what is going into your body, going on with it, and how you're treating it.

  3. I guess I have a slightly different feeling about "worrying about it." My whole goal is to stop worrying about it. Not to stop doing stuff that is healthy. Just to stop giving myself hell about it all the time, and feeling like if I relax my vigilance, everything will go all to hell. It's my feeling that if a relaxation of intense conscious control results in a major shift in the behavior, the behavior isn't stable enough to be productive. So for me, the goal is ultimately to get my head out of this. And that means trying to reawaken the instincts and communicative pathways I've steadily squashed and shut down with twenty-five years of disordered eating/dieting and self-hatred, so that they can take over for my brain. Right now, my brain is still in charge, and I'm trying to use it to provide input that will let it step away to do other stuff, like a therapist working herself out of a job.

    So right now I am putting way more energy than I want to into food and weight and size and feelings about all of the above. But the goal of that investment, for me, is to free up that brain space and instead wear in a groove that I can just rumble along in, only needing to pay attention when I somehow pop out of it.

    I do think there's a really tricky fine line between the kind of checking out I want to do and the kind of checking out that will scuttle the whole operation—the kind of checking out that is denial and self-destruction. I will always have to be some amount conscious—"stay connected," as you say. But I hope that that connection will be in the form of an alarm that rings when things look shaky rather than in the form of a surveillance system needing constant attention, you know?

    (This post on Your Eatopia seems relevant to me: http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2013/4/23/escapades-in-eating-confusion-mindful-vs-mindfulness.html)

    1. Man oh man, you really beautifully articulated a lot of what I think. It's difficult to explain or highlight the difference and subtleties between the mindsets. You are exactly right my goal is to stop worrying about it in the sense that if I relax and don't constantly torture myself it will all be shot to shit.