Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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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Let’s Try This Again

funny-pictures-kitten-and-stuffed-animal-make-a-punLast night I wrote a blog post on being the fat one.  But once I had it out of my system, I saw how overly whiny it was, not to mention self-absorbed.  My friend Phyllis calls it navel gazing and she’s right.  I deleted the post this morning.

So let’s try this again.

I had an epiphany of sorts last night (though this is Advent, not Epiphany, so maybe it needs a different name).   I just agreed to chair the program committee for my national association’s annual conference in 2011.  It will be a ton of work but also a lot of fun.  I’ve served on the committee before as a member and certainly have attended most of the conferences since joining years ago, so feel pretty prepared as to content.

But I do have a previous experience chairing a national conference for a different organization.  When I finished that year and stood up in front of the gathering to talk about the program, I was at my highest weight in my life.    I had allowed the program committee work and stress to take over and I ate and ate to help me deal.  When I came down from the podium to my seat, I vowed that I did not want to feel as bloated and uncomfortable the following year when I chaired the entire conference.

That was my turning point.  I joined WW within two months and had lost 67 lbs by the following spring when I went to my meeting.  The motivation wasn’t to LOOK better, though certainly that was part of it.  But really it was about how I felt and dealt with stress.  Eating better and getting regular exercise (what a concept to pair those up!) made a difference.

So now I’m facing the same type of situation.  Because they are so similar, it’s easier for me to look back and say, hmmm, remember then?  remember what you felt and said and did?  Why not try it now, too?   My goal is to lose 10% of my current weight by July 2010 when I have my first “stand up in front of people to talk about program” activities, with the bulk of the stress coming after that point.  I want good but not obessive habits back in place and a realistic plan.  I think I found it.


Welcome to Today’s Self Improvement Tips

Today’s tips come courtesy of my former WW leader Arlene, who said in her weekly email:

Are you ready to lose this weight and keep it off????? It’s a mind game..your brain moves your hand to pick up the food and put it in your mouth.  Simple huh??? What’s getting in your way?  Talk to yourself…make it happen.

Welcome to Today’s Self Improvement Tips:

Talk to yourself and say I am capable of doing whatever I want to achieve. Repeat these affirmations to yourself while looking in the mirror.

  • I will give others responsibility for their lives today.
  • I will grow emotionally stronger each day.
  • I will smile more today.
  • I will feel less guilt each day.
  • I will take care of myself today.
  • I deserve to have my rights recognized.

“Dream as though you’ll live for ever; live as though you’ll die today.”
~ James Dean


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.


Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Uh, no.  Not really.  Words hurt a lot, and there are plenty of times I’d rather deal with physical pain from a broken bone than the internal pain and hurt that sometimes comes from words, no matter how well intentioned they are.  In fact, those can hurt more than ones that are obviously vicious.

It’s been suggested that I get counseling to help me with my weight situation.  One person phrased it as “have you considered seeing a counsellor to figure out why you can’t commit to losing weight?”  It wasn’t said to cause me hurt but I haven’t been able to shake the words off all week.  They did hurt, partly because there is truth to it but also because of the judgment that filled the words.

I know that the words were well intentioned, but I haven’t been able to shake them off.  They haven’t motivated, they just stung and burrowed deep.  And my reaction to hurt is not to go eat salad.


Weighing In After Christmas

Tessie with Empty BoxesThe bad news is that I gained 2.4 lbs this week. The good news is that I went to Weight Watchers and got on a scale knowing that it would probably be up 3 lbs. Considering how much I ate this week, it’s not a surprise. I am a stress eater and worrying about my mom has been majorly stressful, plus I’ve been sticking close to home because I wanted to stay near the phone. FYI, she’s doing better and we think she’ll be heading home this weekend.

But let’s get real — I haven’t exactly been hanging out at the gym even before Mom went to the hospital. And I haven’t walked much at work because the sidewalks have been covered with ice and snow because the good people of New Haven don’t shovel or plow particularly well. And I haven’t been to water aerobics in two months because the water was so cold. Well, that’s a pretty stupid reason and who’s to say that they didn’t warm it up when we started wearing coats?  Not in the pool, of course, but still.

I have, however, been faithfully going to my Weight Watchers meetings and collecting the new materials. Every year they reinvent the program slightly (sometimes hugely) and get ready for the swarming hordes who repent the pounds gained over the holidays and, armed with new year’s resolutions, set out to Lose The Weight.

We know how hard that is to do. But it IS doable. The hard part for me is not so much following the program I’ve chosen but in remembering my motivation. It’s easy to slip into “I’m fat anyway so what does it matter?” and then it’s easy to eat the extra cookies or skip the chance to walk an extra 15 minutes. To feel deprived and then entitled.

The Shrinking Knitter had a great post a few weeks ago on “living as if I was already where I wanted to be” that I haven’t been able to forget. Erin had another valuable post on Just Being the After. I recommend both to you heartily as food for thought about ways to approach new year’s resolutions and refocusing motivation.

This last week, if I was actually living as if I was already where I wanted to be, I would have eaten a little of everything I actually ate but in very moderate amounts, with more vegetables and fruits. Walked some and gone to the gym once or twice. Been more self confident in my own skin and happier in the clothes I put over that skin.

But I did and do and will love my family and my friends. I did and do and will enjoy selecting presents that speak to who they are and what they like. I did and do and will celebrate Christmas and love my cat and yak on the phone with people who matter, just because.

This week’s assignment is to reclaim my motivation for my physical self. I wrote down reasons for why I want to lose weight back in September and most still apply but I want to think about this and really get focused in a realistic way. Not only why but what I’m willing to do to accomplish it.

2007 is almost over and I’m in a very different place in so many ways than I was last year at this time. Another year older and wiser, with a new job and a new state and a new cat, and only 10 lbs heavier. It could be worse. It will be better.