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!!!!!