Keep Calm And Carry On

I’m hardly going to help diffuse this blog’s alleged reputation for frank language when I say I’ve had stinky bastard of a week. But things are somewhat challenging at the moment and I’ve been stalking through the days all tense and angsty. Nothing major, but you know those moments when you temporarily forget your usual optimism and just let things completely overwhelm you?

Thankfully I’ve not sought solace in a tub of mashed potatoes. My declaration of Listen To Your Guts week turned out to be timely. A simple equation kept popping into my simple mind:

Stress = Eat!

During one moment of frustration I found myself walking to the kitchen like a zombie. A dull chant rang in my ears, food food food!

But I remembered just in time that I was supposed to be remembering to listen to my guts. I had an apple instead. Green. Granny Smith. Crunchy!

There was a great post on Angry Fat Girlz yesterday that asked, what do we substitute for food? The diet gurus have helpful suggestions like, "Take a bubble bath!". Aye right. It takes our bath half an hour to fill. Do you think I am going to just stand there patiently saying, "Dude, just you wait til I jump into you. I shall be A BEACON OF CALM!". Besides, we’re in a drought and I don’t want to waste water. I do realise the drought is in Australia and I am actually in Scotland now, but still.

They also suggest to write down your feelings in a journal or blog. I don’t mind doing this after I’ve simmered down a bit, but I’m talking about what to do in the actual moment, you know when your hand is poised over the bread bag. If I wrote en blog in the midst of an angstypants session, I’d have no visitors left or at the very least The Mothership would disown me for foul language.

So this week my substitutions for mindless eating were: ranting phone call to sister, ranting to Gareth and kicking a door frame.

For a more long-term tactic I have just hung up this inspirational poster! I’ve always hated fluffy motivational items with cheesy poems and proverbs and daffodils and kittens, but via Ed I found this bloody brilliant reproduction of a World War II poster. Elegant simplicity in a glorious shade of resilient red. Just one look at that noble font and soothing words makes me sit up straighter and say "Chin up old chap!" in my worst English accent.

Calm

So carry on then, chums! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

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42 thoughts on “Keep Calm And Carry On

  1. When I had a job at the Devon Police (data entry OH THE HORROR!) I stole a poster which had on it…

    ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

    …with one of those circles with a line through it to signify NO.

    Whenever I am about to melt down, I stop, look at it and think “could this be deemed inappropriate behaviour? ‘Cause that shit’s BANNED”

  2. Hey DG, have been reading this blog since you outed yourself on WNP? and I think it’s great. I just wanted to say this entry was extra awesome, it’s amazing how strong the desire to EAT can be. But it was the bit about not wanting to waste water in Scotland even though the drought’s in Australia that had me giggling out loud. I am sure I would be the same! Here in BrisVegas the dams are at 25%, and besides I don’t have a bath, so poopy to that bit of Diet Guru advice!
    Good luck with the Calm.

  3. Don’t think your poster will do it for me, I like to chant “shit happens, get over it” when I’m stressed! Works for me! I usually eat out of boredom…. think I’ve found the answer to that this week, I joined a 2nd gym, which has heaps of group classes..lots of motivation and companionship, just what I need. I hope you didn’t damage the door frame! or your foot.

  4. Love that poster, must have the poster…as soon as I figure out a way to put it on my credit card without my partner noticing.

    I hope the door frame survived. The one here on the bathroom has a dirty great split up the middle from a recent tanty.

  5. Kicking the door frame is good…. but it may be far better for your tootsies if you get yourself a punching bag and some gloves.

    There’s NOTHING as satisfying as punching the shit out of something when you’re angry. And as a bonus? You get a workout too.

    😀

  6. Timely entry for me DG! I’ve been really concentrating on the emotion-food connection lately because that is where my problem is. Yesterday I started a food journal that I’m going to keep for awhile so that I can see what is happening. It’s very basic: what time is it, how hungry am I and what did I eat. So far in one day I have learned that a) I am almost never truly hungry. b) that I turn to food (or tea breaks) just to take a break from reality or to avoid doing other things. Knowing that I’m trying to replace the food habit with other pleasures – which we still have to figure out because you can only take so many bubble baths in a day. I don’t know if this will help me (or you) in the end, but the awareness is really the first step.

  7. Just stopped by to visit for the First Time, and enjoyed reading your BLOG.
    I am 5’0″, and for the past year have maintained my weight at between 110 & 115 lbs, down from a high–14 years ago–of 271 lbs, & from a high–2 1/2 years ago–of 195 lbs. How? The past several years, doing things similiar to what you do. Low-cal, small portions, balanced-diet, exercise & added activity.

  8. DG – love the poster! Now I want one for myself – ’cause I’m a lemming, like that.
    Cranky Bee – I love that you STOLE an anti-social behaviour poster….from the police. The best I can do are pens from work.

  9. I think it’s a wonderful poster. Your propaganda is so much better than our propaganda. 🙂

    I hate diet gurus who have never been fat. The bubble bath thing had to be invented by one of those. I’m angry because I’m fat, so let me get NAKED and look at my WET FAT in a bath. How calming.

    I haven’t found a satisfying substitute… sometimes taking a walk helps — not in an exercis-y way but as a way to get away from whatever is bugging me for a while.

  10. I’ve got the same poster up in my room, and in a recent Guardian Review I noticed that so does novelist Sarah Waters. We’re in good angsty company!

  11. Wow-this hits the nail on the head as usual! What the hell do you replace food with?

    The way I know I’m eating out of boredom/loneliness/upset is when I don’t know what I want, but I want lots of it! I will eat one thing and then another and then another, until I feel grossly full, and then I realize that I wasn’t actually even hungry in the first place. What foolishness eh?

    Regardless, the only thing that will stop me in these instances is to call someone on the phone and get caught up in their stuff rather than my own. This is not always convenient (as sometimes these feelings occur at hours when you can’t call people) and there have been times I’ve called half a dozen people, none of whom are home! Then I’m frustrated in addition to lonely and bored, and guess what that leads to? More eating!!!

    Oy vey! I sound insane on this post. I think I will adopt dietgirl’s technique of kicking doorframes instead… Also, I concur about the bubble bath. I’ve never been a bath person, why in heaven’s name would I start now? So I can sit in the bath and think about what I want to eat when I get out?

  12. ahh, you people! you make my day with your brilliant comments. i busted a gut laughing at jens, “I’m angry because I’m fat, so let me get NAKED and look at my WET FAT in a bath. How calming.”

    heeeeeeeeee hehehhehehehe.

  13. Oh can someone please tell me where to get that poster??? It is brilliance on a wall.
    Yes, there’s something so much worse about at looking at your wet fat… nakedness is rarely my friend so I’m not going to eagerly dive into a scenario that involves me sitting in a bath where I am forced to look at nothing except my wet fat for half an hour!

  14. Dearest DG you must be psychic – you have just absolutely hit the old nail on the head! This has been the first weekend since New Years when I’ve slipped from my motivation and felt that old dark angry depressed frustration that just makes me want to PUNCH something! And what do I do instead (since if I kicked the door frames in my old Queenslander it would fall down)- I eat! Thankfully it wasn’t anything very much – but that’s probably just because there wasn’t anything very much there! It’s wonderful to go to your blog, and then read all the great comments as well. Thanks! And that poster is a gem – I think you will have started a run on them! Cheers from another BrisVegas fan.

  15. Lovin this post… you hit the nail right on the head! :o) I don’t have any answers either but I do like Kathryn’s ‘kicking things’ suggestion… heh heh.

    xoxo

  16. jolly good poster what? i say to replace food cravings with sex – it works seriously! and it burns calories. I am now a size 4 and 6 months pregnant! no – just joking! i have no idea! that is my weakest area too – but i normally eat and THEN think what else i could have done –

  17. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Remember those blow up toys that you can punch down and then the bounce back up? That could be a goer.

  18. But Jen! If you put enough bubbles in the bath you can’t even see yourself from the neck down… and if you make it really, really hot, you’re too relaxed by the end to be stressed about anything.

    Mostly what I do to de-stress is read, but I’m the sort of person who always has a book on her.

    How funny about the poster! The original WWII version (with slightly different colourway) is on the wall of the office I work in, and I’ve been thinking of getting a copy made…

  19. But Jen! If you put enough bubbles in the bath you can’t even see yourself from the neck down… and if you make it really, really hot, you’re too relaxed by the end to be stressed about anything.

    Mostly what I do to de-stress is read, but I’m the sort of person who always has a book on her.

    How funny about the poster! The original WWII version (with slightly different colourway) is on the wall of the office I work in, and I’ve been thinking of getting a copy made…

  20. But Jen! If you put enough bubbles in the bath you can’t even see yourself from the neck down… and if you make it really, really hot, you’re too relaxed by the end to be stressed about anything.

    Mostly what I do to de-stress is read, but I’m the sort of person who always has a book on her.

    How funny about the poster! The original WWII version (with slightly different colourway) is on the wall of the office I work in, and I’ve been thinking of getting a copy made…

  21. I find boxing gloves and a willing sparring partner, or failing that a bag, or failing that a wall (if you have those big puffy gloves that don’t hurt when you punch something solid!).

    I usually just end up pacing though. Pace to the kitchen, pace to the sofa, pace back to the kitchen, pace to the bedroom, pace to the kitchen. SLAM kitchen door and go huff somewhere!

  22. “I do realise the drought is in Australia and I am actually in Scotland now, but still.”

    That is hilarious!! I snorted tea up my nose when I read it. Oh the quirkly thought patterns of the ex-pat. I love it.

    Love the poster too.

  23. “I do realise the drought is in Australia and I am actually in Scotland now, but still.”

    That is hilarious!! I snorted tea up my nose when I read it. Oh the quirkly thought patterns of the ex-pat. I love it.

    Love the poster too.

  24. So how do I keep from snacking? I punish myself, lol. If I really really want a snack I can have it.. but I have to do five minutes on the treadmill before I can eat it. Since I hate that treadmill (glare glare) rarely can I find anything that I want to eat badly enough to work for it! 🙂

    And as for a bath? I’ve learned long ago that until I own a home with a huge bathtub it’s never going to work for me. I’m 5’9″ so I can’t lay down in the bath without scrunching my knees and the water doesn’t get deep enough to submerge so parts of me always get cold and I try with a book and candles but can’t get comfortable and get the book all wet and by the time I’m done I’m more irritated than when I got in! I’d rather just snuggle up in bed with a good book and a down comforter with some Chris Isaak (drool) going on the iPod. 🙂

  25. I always think of the comforting words on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ‘Don’t Panic!’ or if that doesn’t work there is another tried and true method, an extra glass of wine after work.(a nice white shiraz or chardy)

  26. Sounds like you’ve been bit with cabin fever! I’ve been feeling that way for a bit and just can’t wait for winter to be over… no amount of face-stuffing will help so I’m trying to remind myself of that.

    Ciao!

  27. Hey, it’s home-from-holidays-back-on-the-lard-busting-wagon week here too! And it is officially Portion Control week here too, I’ve written it on the splashback over the stove in whiteboard marker to remind the spousal unit not to give me the same amount of food as he eats!. BTW that drough remark made tea come out my nose too, eewww what a visual, sorry…anyway mate I am orf to order several copies of that poster for every room in my house. Cheerio!

  28. I just finished watching a 20/20 program about stress and fear. I always thought that if we program ourselves into believing we are thin we could realize our dream. This program totally threw me as the therapist had this girl verbalizing her worst fears “the plane is going to crash” and it actually calmed her down. Now I am totally bewildered. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  29. Loved this post!

    It’s always hard to not feel stressed and overwhelmed when there’s a lot on the plate.