Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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There’s Been an Attitude Adjustment

Light SwitchIt’s like a switch was thrown inside of me.  Instead of treading water in an endless spiral of griping about being fat and eating food I didn’t really want or need, I’m going somewhere – and for the first time in a long time, it’s not backwards.

I rejoined Weight Watchers, yes.  But I already knew all the WW drill, as well as every other diet and foodplan option on the planet.  Okay, maybe I missed one or two.  Knowing the information, the reasons,  the medical complications, and consequences of failure aren’t enough until you actually want to do something to change.

I don’t have a timeframe or even a real weight goal.  Right now it’s about getting comfortable with making changes and then following through on them long enough for them to become new habits.  Little things and big things that you know as well as I do — journal, eat less, healthy food groups, moving more.

But it’s also about being balanced and not feeling deprived.  I don’t deal well with that and don’t have to go there; there are plenty of options that let me feel satisfied and happy as long as I take the time to explore them.  One thing that’s critical for me is the balance between what I eat for lunch and what’s for dinner.  Lunch is my most social time, when I go out with friends and colleagues, and I want to be able to have choices at a variety of places we’re likely to visit.  Voila!  I do.  In exchange for eating a larger lunch, I eat a lighter evening meal.  Planning the night before lets me do both.

Obsessing over food never was healthy for me and it feels paradoxically as though I’m being more aware and careful while also not thinking about it every waking minute.  The weight will come off in due time – but first the attitude had to change.  It has.  And it feels good.

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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


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Making a Thought Collage

Thought collage

Thought collage

I’ve been in a stuck place for quite a while now where my weight and body are concerned.  I know what to do, and I wanted to want to do it, but I just didn’t.  I finally got tired of it and decided to get my act together and take a step.  The one I chose was to go back to Weight Watchers, which I did last weekend.  I’m not particularly concerned about time frame or goals; I just want to refocus and take one step at a time to get healthier.

One part of that was sitting down and creating a new thought collage.  I used to make these every 6-12 months, or to mark a particular point in my journey.  Some were happy, others full of rage and pain.  Although I’d cut out things a year or more ago, I never got around to finishing the collage, which is the final part of owning the thoughts and feelings.

I collected some magazines and cut stuff out yesterday, adding in some that I found in the envelope of previously snipped pieces.  Most I couldn’t use because I’m simply not in the same place anymore.  This is a much healthier place  to be.

Since I’m busy posting motivational things today, go take a look at the lessons from the road in Do You Suffer from Diet Rage? over at Sparkpeople.com.


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Do the Things Left Undone

angelIF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER – by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed  less while watching television and more while watching  life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance  in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me  impetuously, I would never have said, ‘Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.’ There would have been more ‘I love you’s.’ More ‘I’m sorry’s.’

But  mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look  at it and really see it……. live it and never give it back.  STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don’t worry about who doesn’t like  you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish  the relationships we have with those who do love us!


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I feel like a slug

Mixed reactions to watching the Olympics — mystified over beach volleyball, happy watching gymnastics, getting tired of Michael Phelps, annoyed at the broadcasters.

I’m not an athlete so I can’t really relate to the almost miraculous speed, flexibility and power that the Olympic athletes demonstrate with every move.  Even the ones who are too insignificant to rate NBC profile status are exceptional.  They’ve worked long and hard to get here, to represent their countries, to do their best under the scruitiny of the world.

And it strikes me how much of a slug I am.  Physically I don’t do much; even though pushing harder would cause knee pain, actually moving the muscles and joints is the way to ensure that they don’t stiffen up and lose flexibility and range of motion.  I will never do tumbling runs on a balance beam or strip down to a bathing suit for a rousing game of beach volleyball – but I can do more.  I can walk 2-3 times a week to start; although doing it daily is the best plan, I have to start somewhere.  I just ordered a bathing suit in a larger size so I can go to the pool to do some water aerobic exercise in the safety of water.  Not to mention using the whirlpool on those knotted muscles.

I can certainly do better on food.  Yesterday and today have been pretty much out of control and I’m ashamed of my inability … no, that’s not right … my disinterest in working hard at managing my food.  Notice I didn’t say working hard at losing weight.  I’m not going there; it sets me up for failure.  But managing my food in a more healthy, balanced way – that’s something manageable that I can do.

Olympic athletes look amazing now but it took long hard years of practice, failure, and picking themselves up to start over.  And over and over.  They are winners in my book whether they medal or not. And I’m not satisfied with how my efforts reflect on my commitment.  It’s a step.


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Feeling Good about My Week

I tried the innovative step of staying on my food plan for the last seven days and lost a pound.  But really, I didn’t care what the scale said.  What mattered to me is that I just did it this week, follwing the plan without obsessing about food (seeing, tasting, eating, smelling, tracking, or regretting it).

I’ve been trying hard to not navel-gaze, as my friend Phyllis calls it.  It’s hard for me to do because I’ve spent most of my life worrying about food things and my frustration with my body and my eating habits.  And of course the result of what the eating actually does, which just gets me into an unhealthy spiral.  Yeah, I know all about the need to understand why I’m doing what I do so I can put new habits in place to change.

But honestly, what do I not know about my eating?   Not much.  My problem isn’t the not knowing, it’s having the self confidence and sense of commitment to myself to actually do something.  It’s a lifetime problem and it won’t be resolved overnight.  Which is fine.

What matters is that I remember each day why this is important, for my health, comfort and appearance.  I am a work in progress; today is just another step along the way.  I feel really good about how the week went and didn’t care all that much what the scale said.  I pretty much ate what I wanted, including a pad thai lunch and meals out with friends.  I read labels and made the choice to not eat some snacks and meals because I knew they weren’t worth the short-term taste.  I never felt deprived or overly hungry.

I feel good about myself today.


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So How’s it Going?

“Okay, we like reading about these snippets of your life, but really, how’s the food going? What about your body? Why aren’t you posting recipes and talking about exercise and dieting the way you used to? That’s what we want to read about.” How do I know this? From my blog stats. When I post about things dealing with food, exercise, body, and diet, the numbers go up. When I write about life things, it’s pretty flat.

I’m trying to decide what I think about that. I don’t want to write about food/body stuff right now, at least not much, but I miss having people read my words and comment and make me feel part of a community. Of course, I’m not so good about reading other people’s blogs much because I’m not choosing to use my time for much of it. I started to say I wasn’t managing the time well, but that’s not true. I’m managing it just fine, I just am not using it that way.

I’m still eating, of course, though not recording faithfully on Sparkpeople or anywhere else. I’m pretty aware that some of the time I’m eating junk but in relatively moderate amounts. I even threw away half of a candy bar today because I was full and didn’t really want the rest of it. That’s pretty amazing. I have Edy’s Slow Churned in the freezer and have some every day because I want to, but so far haven’t felt compelled to eat 1/2 of the container at one sitting.

I”m making brownies every week. I know, it’s weird. I promised this guy I’ll be seeing next weekend in St Louis that I would bring him brownies with walnuts, and I’ve been experimenting with different box brands because of course I want them to be yummy so he thinks I’m wonderful. In the meantime, I’m eating the test batches – but they’re lasting 5-6 days, which is remarkable. One batch that I didn’t like at all I just dumped. And they were chocolate!

Exercise isn’t happening much but I’m adding in what I can in little ways. Yesterday I spent my lunch hour walking in the cemetery across the street from the law school. It’s on the register of national historic places and is laid out with little lanes and beautiful trees, and has stones dating back to the early 1700’s. It was restful and quiet and the walking, even slowly, felt good after mostly being chained to my desk.

I just finished reading Mistress of the Art of Death, which I highly recommend, and have some new books waiting for me:

I’m into mystical things in both fiction and non-fiction these days, and books with magick catch my attention and hook something inside. No wonder I didn’t read many of the books on the LibraryThing list.