Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My head is getting in the way

I've been pretty busy this past week with schoolwork and have put me on the back burner.  No bueno.  It's past midnight right now and I have a huge Spanish exam in the morning, but I just needed a break from studying for just a few moments to catch up on what's been going on with me.

Things have been going well with eating a (mostly) gluten free, dairy free food plan in conjunction with Weight Watchers.  However, there are those moments when I haven't been perfect with my food.  It's not even just not following the food plan, but it might be excess food because emotions are getting the better of me and then, before I know it, I've screwed up with my food and feel like I've blown my day.  Then, when I get in that space, it seems to take over me because I think that's license to eat more because I already messed up.  It's also license to eat foods that will make my blood sugar go up because, after all, I already "failed".  Then I get into the mode of comparisons.  That is an absolutely awful thing to do to myself.  I compare my body against other people, I even compare my body today to the one I had at my lowest weight when I was doing Optifast last year.  The size in my closet is different, way different, and so I get down on myself.  It's a horrible cycle where I go in a circle ... mess up with the food, compare, be critical and then repeat.  Couple that with the frustration I have been trying to deal with in regards to the pain I'm always in and the fact that things hurt more when I exercise.  And if I'm not exercising, that seems to be a reason to rationalize that I've messed up and, lo and behold, the food calls to me more. 

Bleh.  I'm sure there are other people that are reading this that have done that or are doing it now.  It's this idea that I must be perfect and, when I'm not, then the emotions get the better of me.  So I confessed this all to my therapist when I saw her today.  It was the first time since I started seeing her that I have not cried during the session.  I just told her everything that I'm going through with this.  In our conversation, she took me back to the time when I was doing Optifast.  When I was on the shakes, I was one hundred percent compliant.  I didn't cheat, not once.  In fact, I remember asking the counselor if I could have permission to take communion at church once a month.  I was that dedicated.  So my therapist asked me today why I think it was that I was in that space of not deviating from the program whatsoever when I had every opportunity to do so, just as other people did. I told her that I even surprised myself because I have never been able to do anything like that.  Every time I have gone on a diet, within a few days, I was already cheating.  Yet, I was doing the shakes for ten months and I still remained compliant the whole time.  She reminded me that my efforts in being healthier and losing weight, even though I'm not on Optifast now, is absolutely doable.  She reminded me how strong I am and to reflect on all the things I have been through.  So she gave me some things to work on in regards to changing those negative tapes in my head that go from 0 to 60 in three seconds flat.  The world is not just black and white ... there are so many lovely colors in between.  If I'm in pain while I'm exercising, I can be less intense.  If I make a mistake with my food, I can remind myself that I'm not perfect and just keep moving forward.

It's so important for me to own all of this.  It's very easy to not say anything to anybody and feel like I'm failing and feeling ashamed quietly.  But I share this because it makes these things far less powerful.  I have such a wonderful support system.  Sara always reminds me that I'm not where I used to be.  Other people remind me to be kind and gentle towards myself and that I have no business comparing myself to anyone, including my smaller self.  When I began my blog and wondered what I would call it, I decided on "Now is Finally the Time" because I was done with being unhealthy and feeling bad.  And I know this is completely a process.  I felt that way all the time before, but now it's fleeting moments and doesn't consume everything any longer.  I am completely determined to staying on this journey of good health and self-discovery.  Oh my gosh, this is not easy.  Sometimes it's emotionally and physically painful, sometimes I have terrific days.  While I may sometimes feel that I am taking three steps forward and two steps back, the point is that I'm continuing to walk forward, imperfect as I may be. 


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