Thursday, June 25, 2009


I wrote this as a hopefully helpful post on another board, but it turned out to be really helpful writing it for ME, so it's a keeper!

"As you know, I've had a pretty bad year as regards my weight loss/fitness JOURNEE. I don't know whether it was a delayed reaction to all that went on last year, or I was just going through a phase, but gradually over a few months from basically March or so till just recently, the wheels have gradually been falling off to the point that lately all I've pretty much been doing besides work is going out of my way to eat really, really crappy food, not tracking calories, hardly ever going to the gym and basically sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself, watching TV with my butt stapled to my (admittedly lovely and comfy) new Ikea chaise couch. This saw me put on somewhere between 7 and 10kg (we'll see what the "somewhere" is on the 1st :$ ). Now, I have no idea how long that could have gone on. To be honest, I was starting to really scare myself. :sad3: I was starting to think I was going to go back up over 160kg and way, way beyond it this time, and there would be no going back at all, ever. (I'm such a positive person, aren't I? *rueful grin* )

Anyway, this is the important bit - there are two significant things I've done lately that's helped me start to really get things back on track. Firstly, I've been seeing a psychologist for a few months now, all paid for by Medicare. You can get up to 18 appointments in a year paid for if you have a demonstrable history of depression/anxiety (as I do). I honestly can't recommend it highly enough. Anyway, I was telling her the other day about how I'd been feeling dreadfully out of control and scared I was on the verge of giving it all up and getting so big I'll end up having to be removed from my house with a forklift, and how I needed some kind of visual reminder, when I'm right in the heat of the binge decision, of what I'm really choosing. Yes, on the surface you are just choosing to eat or not eat a food, but in reality you are choosing much more. If you choose to eat crap or too much, too often, basically you are choosing to make the things that you hate about being fat continue to affect you forever. You are choosing to risk your health and continued mobility. And that's just for starters. So the idea I had was to make something like those old school projects. You know when you used to get big pieces of cardboard and stick pictures and letters, etc, all over them? Well, that's what I've done (it was my idea, but the psychologist suggested it very strongly as homework). One piece of card is bright yellow and it has pics of healthy (not skinny) bodies, appetising healthy food, nice, white teeth (this is to help me break my Diet Coke, and then it has pics of some of my future career aspirations that I'd like to explore and also a pic of a couple in lurve (yes, eventually I want that again too, once my poor heart has healed!). It also has bright flower stickers all over it. It's very pretty. :) The other card is black and has a picture of a table full of revolting junk food, a really scary teeth mouth, pics that represent sadness, isolation, etc, and other stuff meaningful to me. Now, when I feel like I want to binge, I have these cards right next to my desk. I am going to look at them and remind myself what I'm REALLY choosing. It should make it a no-brainer.

Wow, this is a novel and a half, and I'm not quite finished. To tie all this in, the other day I went out shopping and had one of those epiphany experiences we do every so often. It's really dumb what caused it, but I'm glad it happened. I was walking near Woolies and a bunch of three very stupid teenage tattooed girls were walking towards me, laughing at the top of their lungs at nothing. One veered away from the other two and headed towards me, butshe wasn't looking where she was going. Anyway, she almost ran into me before she saw me, and I swear to God, she SCREAMED with fright, like she'd just seen the Incredible Hulk or something. Now, in all likelihood she was just screaming because she got a shock, like you would if you nearly ran into a post or something. She may have been screaming because she's just an idiot. But on the day it happened, my confidence was so low and I was so down on myself that I got all paranoid about it and decided she'd done it because I'm so big and fat and frightening and I don't blend in any more like I was beginning to 10kg ago, etc, etc. I almost started to panic on the spot. I wanted to run out of the shops. I went and took a seat in front of Woolies and breathe, breathe, breathed until I got the feeling out of my head. Then a couple of hours later, when I was home again, I thought about what happened and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. A HUGE thing I'm risking by not eating healthily or exercising is my self-confidence and self-esteem. Now I'm not saying it's imposssible to have those when you weigh 160kg but, I've gotta tell you, I find it very hard to believe people who say they are totally happy at that weight are not somehow in denial. There are a lot more fat people around these days, it's true, but if you're really big you still stand out like a sore thumb and for all the wrong reasons. You have to be strong enough to stand up to a mountain of societal and social pressure if you're going to go down that road. And me? I'm not. I admit it. And the other day proves it. Now, I know that before this big stumble occurred, my confidence in myself was really starting to increase. I could go out and walk around shops and I was starting NOT to feel people staring at me and it felt good! And when I'm in control of my food and exercise, I can't explain it but it gives me confidence because I don't feel helpless, hopeless. I feel like I'm in the driver's seat and I have the power to make good choices. Without that extra confidence, I'll never find the courage to go make a new career for myself. I'll never be able to handle dating because you NEED to be confident enough to accept rejection. I'll never make any new friends because I'll always talk myself out of going out."

Oh, I do love a good epiphany! Ciao!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reach for the stars

Hello again, blog of mine. My, you've been neglected lately. I cannot believe I haven't posted since May 25th - eek! Anyway, it's about time I checked in again.

And what's there to report? Well, sadly, there hasn't been a great deal of good news. Still have been throwing down the junk food like there's no tomorrow a lot of the time. Most of my clothes don't fit me and I'm a bit afraid to get on the scales. *blush* However, there is value in peeling back the layers and seeing what is really happening underneath the surface to make me want to do this, to write off all my hard work over the last few years and put myself back in a seemingly ever-deeper hole of misery from which, one day, I fear I will lose the ability to emergy. So thank God I have Dr B the psychologist, and I saw her again on Tuesday. It was a really useful chat this time. Basically, it's now time to stop talking about the past and focus on what I can do to make my present more enjoyable so I don't think bingeing on crap food is the only thing I can do to make me feel OK.

Number one problem - I hate my job and want to do something different, but don't know quite what. Dr B gave me some useful websites to look up re this, plus I'm going to go to a Gold Coast TAFE careers night thingy which is specifically for workforce newbs or those who are wanting to do something completely different. Right now, the options that really appeal are, of all things, vet nursing (or something else involving working with animals) or music therapy. One is a lot easier to achieve than the other and involves less study, but maybe there's something else I might like to do which hasn't even occurred to me yet. Looking forward to doing something different, anyway. I already feel a bit excited even having made that little a step towards my new future. :)

Number two problem - though I don't bear T any ill will and I don't want to expunge him from my life forever, he STILL has stuff in my and J's flat after 12 months and it really has to go. Now I've given him a deadline by which, if he hasn't organised himself to collect it, it's going into storage that he will be paying for. And the reason I'm able to pay for it is because his uni pay is STILL going into my bank account, as it has been all this semester, meaning I have to see him every fortnight to give it to him. Not any more. Either he gives me a bank account to transfer it into or he doesn't get it at all. There are reasons why he wants to keep our "system", but they are reasons which no longer concern or worry me. They are his problem to sort out and none of my affair. It's hard for me to take stands like this, and yet as soon as I decided I would do it, I started to feel just a little bit of that inner warrior I know is still there start to emerge just a little bit. I felt a tiny bit of my inner strength starting to stir.

Which brings me to my eating/food. *SIGH* There isn't much I haven't tried in the last six months re this, but the result clearly shows none of it has been working - I'm about 10kg heavier than I was most of last year, have burst out of most of my clothes and I do not feel good for it. But because, at the moment, I'm still not quite mentally strong enough to get really tough and stern on myself (because up until now, that's the only way I have been able to keep myself remotely on track), I've compromised. Right now, I have only one goal - not bingeing. Tonight I was out shopping and I bought a card of star stickers, you know, like the ones you put on kids' homework or star charts. The system is pretty simple - every day I get through without going out and buying junk food specifically to binge on in my house, out of sight of everyone, I put a star on my calendar. That way, when the urge is really strong and my brain is telling me all that crap about what terrible things might befall me if I don't give in to the urge, I can look at the calendar, see all those starred days and realise that if I got through those without bingeing, I can get through any day without bingeing. Nothing will happen to me except that I will break this extremely unhelpful habit I've developed lately. I'm not even trying to calorie count or anything serious - I'm just not bingeing. And seeing as some of my binges lately would have been easily 1,000 cals or more at a time, I figure it's got to be a good improvement to start with.

Anyway, that is all I have to say for now, but I'm feeling a little bit optimistic at the moment, something I haven't felt for a little while. I am going to try hard to make it stick!

Till next time... xx

Monday, May 25, 2009

There is nothing to fear but fear itself

So said Franklin D. Roosevelt once, and truer words were never spoken. I don't know how many times I've seen it demonstrated in my own life alone. The variation that rang truest for me today was that things so often never turn out as badly as we fear they might. Case in point - today I went to the gym. Might sound unremarkable for a reformed gym rat like me, right? Wrong! I haven't been near the place in five weeks, I don't think! Admittedly, yes, I have had an injury which is now healed, but that wasn't what was keeping me away. No, I wasn't going because of fear. I feared the reactions of others because I've gone from being a star pupil to a "failure" (in my own eyes, anyway). I feared people thinking stuff like, "Hmm, she's stacked on a bit of weight. She can't keep up with us any more." Now, two problems with that. Well, three, actually. A) One thing I know for sure is I have no more control over what others think than I have over the weather! B) I've never been very good at predicting what others will think or do anyway, because I always assume they'll be as hard on me as I am on myself. And C) Anybody who would judge me harshly for being human and falling down in my quest, well, that's not a person to whom I want to give any time or credence. So why on earth did I let that fear stop me? And then there was the other fear - that my fitness has gone backwards so far that I will actually be right back to square one, when I first started with HBC and started going to Jeff's gym. Now, this is also really ridiculous because for a start, I weighed at least 20kg more than I do now, so I couldn't possibly BE right back to square one. And the other thing is, as I now realise, I must have retained SOME fitness because today's class was tough, but I think I coped really well for the most part. So why the hell did I waste all that time worrying about it? *slaps forehead*

I'm really pleased this happened today and I've been able to sit right down and blog about it, because this is another milestone moment for me which is going to help me start to turn around these negative thought processes that keep me imprisoned in my messy spaghetti mind. I know if somebody else had come to me with this problem, I would have advised them to do exactly what I myself DIDN'T do, i.e. realise that all is not lost, people won't judge you, and if they do they're not worth bothering about, that you might surprise yourself how well you do, etc etc. I think in future I'm going to have to imagine my problems are somebody else's and advise myself accordingly!

Till next time.... xoxox

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Alive and kicking...just!

Wow, it's been a while again, hasn't it? I guess I haven't had much to say because Life 2.0 has been morphing back into Life 1.0 lately and that's not a good thing. Today is Monday and it's the start of a new week. This weekend just gone has seen some atrocious eating, even by my recent standards. :( I've been feeling terrible, huge, like a big blob. I haven't put on THAT much weight (by my admittedly low standards, anyway), but because what I've put on means most of my clothes don't fit me, it's terribly demoralising. I'm certainly not proud of where I'm at at the moment, that's for sure, and yet at times I've felt powerless to change things. I know I'm not powerless, that I have the right stuff within me to beat these demons. I just have to make the choice to stop being a victim of my own bad programming and fight harder. Because that's what it is - a fight. I wish it wasn't so, but it IS so. My "factory settings", to use another computer analogy, all revolve around eating crap, having my butt stapled to the couch most of the time and thinking nothing but negative, unhelpful thoughts that only make me feel so much worse about myself and my situation that all there is to do, really, is eat, because (ha!) it "makes me feel better". Very, very temporarily. Every time I think to myself that I am going to take away my food crutch, I feel sick to my stomach with fear as to how I will cope on my bad days, and yet I know I have no other option if I don't want to end up back where I was, or worse. And believe me, I DON'T want to. If my self-image is bad now, I can only imagine how awful it would be if I weighed over 160kg again. Oh, God, it doesn't bear thinking about. It's not happening - it's just not. Failure on that scale is just not an option. It's one thing to have put on 5kg or so. It's quite another to undo all that hard work and slog that it took to get even to this point!

So, this week is all about small negotiations. If I don't feel able to go at this thing full tilt, 100%, what CAN I commit to? And I've decided I can commit to doing some exercise on five or six days, even if it's only going to the little gym in my apartment complex and walking on the treadie/riding the bike. And this is to help me not feel so yuck inside that I want to eat crap to cheer myself up - the exercise endorphins are going to do that. I'm also going to do other stuff related to appearance - get a facial, get my eyebrows done, etc. When I'm in this headspace, feeling I look terrible as well as being too heavy doesn't do my confidence a lot of good. And I'm going to eat as well as I can and make better choices. That's about it, really. Oh, and I'm going to give up Diet Coke again for now. I need to drink more water and I know that stuff is so very bad for me and my teeth and everything. Today and tomorrow are going to be yuck and headachey, but that's OK - I'll be all right. I can cope with that for a couple of days.

Wish me luck! xoxox

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Hello again, dear blog. Well, it's been after a week since my last horrified entry announcing that I'd managed to somehow get up to 123.5kg...EEEEK! I join you this week missing 3.5 of those kilos, which I'm very happy about, but I'm also dropping by to report I still have some work to do on my triggers, which are still tending to put me off track a bit.

1. Lack of routine. I had an absolutely fantastic week last week, but I've realised one of the main reasons was I had a huge amount of control over my routine and natural structure in my life because I was absolutely flat chat with work, so really all I was doing was sleeping, eating and working. I didn't really manage to fit in any proper exercise, something I need to fix EXERCISE FOR MENTAL HEALTH is a strong mantra of mine these days. But anyway, on Sunday I met up with Mum and we went to Ikea to go sofa shopping (and I'm now the proud owner of a cute PINK chaise - it looks like this, but PINK!). Anyway, long story short, we were there a long time, lunchtime came around, and we sort of had to eat there cos I hadn't brought enough in the way of snacks, plus I wanted to shout her lunch as it was Mother's Day. I think I made a reasonably healthy choice, but I suspect it was more calorific than I'd have liked. Anyway, then in the afternoon we were talking about Annette Sym, and I made a slice out of one of the Sym books for Mum, and of course I just had to have a couple of pieces. And while they're a lot better than "normal" desserty type things, I still would have been better off with fruit or nuts or something. Then Mum was there the next day, and still the out of routine eating followed when the previous week I'd been following my own menu plan fairly carefully, hence the weight loss. So, I need to really be on my guard that a lack of routine in my life doesn't lead to an idea that I can eat whatever and whenever I like. I need to plan better.

2. Anxiety. Hmm, this is a biggie for me. I've lived with IT, the anxiety IT for about nine years now and it's so familiar in my life, it's part of my mental furniture. However, through seeing Dr B the psychologist, I've come to realise I've been in denial about how bad my anxiety can be at times. For instance, the amount of social avoidance I do is verging on what is called social anxiety. And I'm just generally a really stressed out, wired up person who finds relaxation almost impossible. And when I'm most anxious I ALWAYS want to eat because to me it makes me feel "normal", or what has been MY normal for most of my life. Obviously this is not ideal. So, in conjunction with learning new strategies for coping with my worst days (for most days I would say I am generally OK with it), I need to realise that anxiety is an eating trigger (well, let's be truthful - more of a bingeing trigger) and be aware of when I'm in that frame of mind.

3. Bad stuff happening. I read an article about this the other day (I think it was Craig Harper) and it's so true. What happens to you in life isn't what creates your reality - it's how you process it. And I process things REALLY, really badly. Take today, for instance. Now, I've recently started seeing a guy in a really low-key way (because I'm terrified of getting too serious too soon, of history repeating itself). Now, today I was wearing my other "career" hat as mystery shopper (a market research thing), and I asked Mr X to go along with me as it was a "couple" thing and I needed to have someone with me. The mystery shop was at a theme park. The shop started well, except it was near a certain part of the park where there are live shows with loud music, etc. Oh, and GUNS. We started talking to the bloke about the mystery shop thing and suddenly someone started firing an admittedly fake gun. But I HATE guns. In fact, I hate all sudden loud noises, including thunder and fireworks. :( So I made a complete git of myself by nearly jumping out of my skin every time the gun fired, cos it was so close, and then having to say to the mystery shop dude, "Look, I'm sorry, but I can't do this now - can I come back when the show is over?" And I was nearly in tears, shaking, etc, and very stressed out by this stage, so Mr X made what he thought was a very helpful suggestion - forget all my stresses by going on a ROLLER-COASTER. And guess what? Yep, I'm scared of them too. Bloody hell!

The point of all this is to tell you that all I've wanted to do since I came home was eat and eat and eat, so I did. But it's OK, because now I'm writing this down and I can see where I've gone wrong. I've processed it all wrong. I've been thinking what an idiot I was for being scared of a fake gun, for being too much of a wuss to go on a roller-coaster. I've been thinking that not only will Mr X think I'm a complete nutter, but so will every other man in the universe because essentially I am just too weird to be with and too much trouble. I've had a racing mind full of thoughts so anxious I couldn't even pin them down. So bad thoughts = anxiety = desire to binge-eat. It's all so clear - my thoughts are what makes me feel so bad about myself that I want to sabotage all my good work and almost make myself sick with food.

Now, if I were to process this event differently, it'd go like this. So I don't like loud noises and guns. Well, we are all frightened of something. I can get up and speak in public no worries at all. I can sing in front of a room of strangers. Those things don't scare me, and yet I know people who'd nearly pass out at the thought. It just is what it is. If I feel this fear is really affecting my life negatively, I will seek treatment for it. And so what if I'm scared of roller-coasters? Not everybody is a thrillseeker. I come from a family of timid stick-in-the-muds and it's probably genetic. :) And most importantly of all, anybody who would judge me for what I am - would I really want to seriously date them? Of course not. So, what's the problem?

The secret is to get to this thought process BEFORE I follow the other one right to the bitter end. And I know I'm going to learn how to do it! I just have to keep working on it.

Tomorrow will be a better day, I know it.


Sunday, May 3, 2009


123.5!!! Eeek! I knew things had not been going well weight wise for me lately, but that's worse than I expected. Still, the thing is, beating myself to a pulp over this is not going to achieve anything. I need to be positive, and I can be because I KNOW I can do this. OK, I gained some weight back. It's not great, but it's entirely fixable and I feel much better for having owned up to everybody about it but, more importantly, having owned up to myself. The psychologist has been really helpful to me in this last week. I keep reminding myself to think of situations like this as a "challenge", not a "problem". A challenge sounds like something you can really get into and take on, while the word "problem" immediately starts you thinking negative and self-defeating thoughts.

So this week is a brand-new week, a brand-new start. I have a fridge full of healthy food. I've planned out my daily menu. I know I've said a lot recently how I hate calorie counting and I don't want to have to do it forever, but I'm beginning to accept that for now, at least, this is my reality and if this is what it takes, this is what I'll do. I must say, knowing I have all the food I need and recipes, etc picked out removes a lot of the pressure. I just have to follow my very own plan and I can't really go wrong because the calorie counting is already done! I've just had a really yummy, healthy breakfast of rolled oats soaked in apple juice and natural Greek yoghurt overnight, then mixed with dried cranberries and a grated apple. Yummo! Really enjoyed it and I know it's a very healthy start to my day. I was definitely bored with all my old staple weight loss foods and I feel this menu plan is really going to help me a lot this week because I'm going to be learning how to cook new things as well, something I need to do as I'm not the best cook in the world!

Bring it ON!!!!!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Taking the road less travelled

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.

I'm not at all a religious person these days, though I was brought up to be one to an extent, but I have always felt that the above saying, cliched though it might be through overuse, is an extremely wise one. And after I saw Dr Nutcase today, it popped into my head, so it obviously had quite some associations for me in view of what we talked about. And I've only just got home now (I caught the bus and did over 7km of extra walking), but I feel it's really important to blog this out now.

I had a feeling she was going to tell me what she did tell me today, so it wasn't entirely unexpected. Well, more accurately, she only told me what I knew myself to be true. It's no secret to anybody that I've been feeling absolutely over it with regards to my weight loss and health. I'm as far off the track as I've been in absolutely ages. Not only have I fallen off the proverbial wagon, it's run over me several times and flattened me. And I've been asking myself why this is happening to me, of all people. Haven't I always said it was good my weight loss had taken a long time because it's enabled me to learn better habits, to start to undo around 40 years of bad thinking and a poor relationship with food? And yet lately, the last couple of months, it's been as though I know nothing about this stuff, like all the good I've done has been for nothing because I just haven't really, really learned a thing. This has been causing me great distress because I have felt so out of control again and I absolutely hate it, but I've equally been feeling quite powerless to stop it, like it's not me doing it.

And this is where the Serenity Prayer comes in - I need to learn acceptance. All this stuff I've been saying lately about not being the slightest bit interested in counting calories or weighing food, etc, lately? It's really a bit of a smokescreen. Truth is, I've just been really unhappy about lots of stuff in my life and have consquently rebelled against all forms of discipline in my life, and eating was the first one to go, really, because even though I'm not exercising quite as much, I still AM exercising. The shrink put it really well. In our mind there are sort of thought tracks. There are some that are like a huge, big freeway, perfectly surfaced, easy to drive on, easy to find. In my case, this is the destructive eating thought track (and probably used to be the gambling thought track). Then there's tracks that are like a dirt track up a mountainous road, full of rocks and not at all easy to find or drive on. In my case, this is pretty much any thought track that involves being kind to myself, being disciplined, being moderate and not extreme, etc. The thing is, I know the "easy" though track totally sucks. I know it does. Yet still, at times of stress it's where my brain always seems to want to go. And I have to acknowledge just how stressful the last nine months have been, and I think I'm only just starting to realise it now. It's almost like a delayed shock set in sometime after Christmas and all this has been the result of it. As she put it, though, the only way to make the goat track into a well-worn pathway is to use it more often until it gradually becomes wider and less impassable. And, yes, this is going to need work. I'm going to have to try. And I'm going to have to accept above all else, no matter how much I've been saying I hate the calorie-counting, discipline bit lately and I don't want to do it, that I want to be normal with food, the fact is that my relationship with food is a challenge - note, not a problem, but a challenge - and for this reason I need to apply the same discipline that has gotten me this far. Wishing I could have, overnight, a good, functional relationship with food is like wishing I had been born with raven black, wavy hair or that I was 6'1" tall. I just don't, and I'm not going to after nearly 40 years of fighting with it and obsessing about it. It just is. It's how things are with me. And I need to be OK with that, because in acceptance is peace. One thing is for sure - the "payoffs" from wholesale eating whatever crap I like whenever I feel like it are pretty bloody poor. I may get a smidgin of comfort or good feeling out of it that lasts 30 minutes, but really, it's not worth the overwhelming feeling of dread, despair and self-hatred that inevitably follows. It really isn't.

So here I am, dear blog, reporting that I'm ready to commit to disciplined, mindful eating. That's as much as I'm promising, because I refuse to put pressure on myself. I'm also committing to trying harder to distract myself away from binge behaviour using all the strategies I know (having a bath, calling a friend, painting my toenails, etc). I can do this. I CAN. I know I can.

And to finish, more words from a mind far wiser than mine - Robert Frost.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.