Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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I Don’t Blog My Whole Life

Dear Staci,

Thanks for the “thoughtful” comments on my last blog post. For those who missed them, you said:

Mmm… nothing says “mature, self-directed and dermined woman” like cutting words out of magazines and making a collage. Then photographing it. Then posting the photo online. Then discussing it..

and

I still don’t get it. In all the time you ladies have spent cutting images out of magazines and making collages, you could have spent taking *real* steps towards losing weight like driving to a gym, taking a tour of the facilities, signing up and doing a workout. Or making up a food plan and shopping list, then buying the food. Or maybe you like making collages so you won’t have to think about actually exercising or dieting?

Let me explain something to you.  I don’t have to, but I’m annoyed and want to set the record straight.  I don’t post on this blog every day.  I have a real life and spending a lot of time blogging about everything just isn’t what I do these days.  When I do blog, I do it for myself and not anyone else.  I’m not trying to be an example, just to put some words to what’s going on.  I found over the last three years that blogging every day, and talking about food all the time, was not helping me stick to a foodplan and actually lose weight.  So I don’t do it now.

Collages are useful for me and for others to help sort out thoughts.  Hey, it’s not for everyone.  Criticizing us for doing it doesn’t help us though it may make you feel a lot better and more superior.  If I sat around and make collages every day, I’d agree that it was a pointless thing FOR ME to do.  As it is, I made one collage in three years.  How is this a problem?  It isn’t.  For me, anyway, though it seems to be for you.

You wanted to know why we didn’t get off our butts and DO something.  How do you know that we didn’t? That I didn’t?  In fact, I rejoined Weight Watchers last Saturday and have been carefully following the food plan all week – for the first time in a long time.  I’ve been cooking and eating careful meals with measured portions of healthy things.  I already belong to a gym and yeah, I could have gone this week but didn’t.  I’m walking at lunchtime instead for now.  Not your idea of a workout?  It is for me, who haven’t moved much for the last two years.

I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not.  I’m also living my life, not blogging it.

Sincerely,

Anne


2 Comments

Is Blogging Helping or Not?

I Love BloggingAlicia had a good post today about blogging and how it has helped her find support and helped keep her from regaining weight when she was in a bad place. Others of Us have said the same thing over the last few months, and I know it’s true for me as well.

But. But.

There is support here online and there is value for me in putting the words together. Sometimes I need a lot of words to figure out what’s going on inside or to reflect on the world around me. Other times, though, the words end up twisting me into a place that obsesses about food and diet and exercise instead of just marking my journey.

When I rejoined WW in 2002, I focused hard on working the food plan which seemed simpler in part because I wasn’t obsessing over it. It was what it was, I talked about it in my weekly WW meeting, and then I just did it. I wrote to my supportive guy friend every week and then eventually into several times a week, just to check in briefly. And that turned into what was essentially a private blog, though I didn’t call it that.

I just reread the whole thing and was surprised at how little I really talked about weight and food on a minutia level. The entries were quite short and more general and about living my life, with food and weight and body image as sidebar stories. It was more balanced than I feel as though I’ve been lately.

I think I’m going to revert back to more of that style. We’ll see how it goes.


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Energy and Self-Management

Red Swirl CircleIn a problem solving workshop this week, the presenter talked about systems analysis of energy and self-management. The principles apply whether you’re talking about energy for work or energy in our personal lives. There was a nifty little diagram that I can’t reproduce here because I scribbled all over my copy so you’ll have to bear with my words instead.

Basically it works like this: we are being pulled in opposite directions, with energy builders on one side and energy depleters on the other side. The stronger the builders are, the more energy we have. Similarly, the stronger the depleters are, the less energy we have. And if we can convert a depleter into a builder by working on it, we boost the energy by leaps and bounds.

On the Energy Builder side we have:

  • Shower / be clean
  • Perceptive focus
  • Energy awareness
  • Associate with energetic others
  • Listening skills
  • Act energetically (fake it ’til you make it)
  • Flexibility
  • Nutrition/exercise
  • Humor and fun
  • Positive self talk

On the Energy Depleters side we have:

  • Inhibited
  • Non-challenging work
  • Taking hits
  • Procrastination
  • Stress and burnout
  • Inability to handle change
  • Worry

Of all of these, the most important is positive self talk. Negative talk reinforces negative beliefs, so we need to actively do self coaching to document and reinforce the things we do well.

As soon as I heard this bit, my brain sidetracked to thinking about what we do to ourselves on our merry whirl of weight loss and blogging. When I listen to others, to myself, and read blogs, I find litanies of all things negative. We ate badly, we didn’t journal, we didn’t exercise, we are fat, we are ugly, we snacked too much, we didn’t need that piece of cake, our clothes don’t fit, etc. etc. etc.

Sound familiar?

When we’re in that kind of a funk, those energy depleters are pulling hard. We procrastinate on getting back on track. We find ourselves unable to handle change so we resort to the familiar and caloric. We worry about our choices, our appearance, our health, our out of control lives. We get stressed and burn ourselves out. And binge.

What if, instead of focusing on the negative, we really try to remember and reinforce the things we actually ARE doing? I didn’t snack this afternoon. I walked at lunch. I did 20 min. on the treadmill. I tried a new food. I had good hair today. I look good in this color. I went to my meeting and participated. I planned my food. I got 7 hours of sleep. I journaled. I tried today.

It’s so easy in the blogs to be down ourselves but to be honest, reading enough of it – and writing it myself – just makes me tired and drained. Focusing on the positive doesn’t mean giving up on making changes or pretending that we don’t make mistakes. Because obviously we do.

But I’m going to try, especially going into the stressful holiday time, to concentrate on building my energy and not depleting it. How about you?


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Trying a Different Approach

EnlightenmintsI gained 2 lbs this week which isn’t particularly surprising. I’ve been snacky these last few days and choosing to snack on salty things, which usually shows up on the scale. Plus I’ve been the Evil Princess of Exercise (aka, not doing much). So I wasn’t surprised or upset or even disappointed. There are consequences for the things I did, and not losing is one of them.

On the way home I thought about what I’d been doing or not doing. I know this food plan cold so it was pretty easy to spot behaviors that had slipped and that I want to change.  Journaling in advance works much better for me than doing it after the fact, since it gives me a plan for my day. Those basic food groups should be more than just a suggestion – I should actually be eating them. I need more water and am somewhat bemused that this has slacked off because it used to be really easy for me. Of course, I used to have a bubbler right outside of my office and suspect there is a connection.  But water comes from other places, too.

Tomorrow is another day and another WW week. I’m going to try a different approach this time. I’m not going to belabor what I do, just concentrate on making positive changes. But I’m also not going to blog about it every day. I want to just live with them and not shine a magnifying lens on everything I do.

When I joined WW in 2002, I went to meetings, followed the food plan, and went to the gym. Blogs weren’t part of my life, although I did send regular emails to my long-distance “coach” and talked via IM with a friend who joined WW the same week that I did. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and writing and staying in touch with so many people who are doing this thing that we do.

But sometimes I get pretty self-absorbed and develop tunnel vision and I don’t like how that feels. So don’t be surprised to turn here and find me talking about something other than food and diets now and then. I want to keep this all in perspective and just live my life. We’ll see how it goes.


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I’ve been tagged as a Thinking Blogger

Thinking Blogger AwardJen tagged me as a Thinking Blogger! Apparently this is a chance to share blogs we like and that make us think (hence the name). I have a feeling that if you follow all of the threads from one blog to another, you’ll find duplication since we know and like many of the same resources. I do read other non-food things but somehow didn’t feel quite right about posting them here.

Anyway, here’s the deal:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

My 5 tagged thinking blogs are:

The Veggie Paparazzi

Pasta Queen

Shrinking Knitter

Jack Sprat

Pinch My Salt (Nicole’s blog is recipes but described with love and knowledge of food. Her photos are amazing.)