Let's call this a belated June monthly checkin, even thought it's nearly half July.
I keep forgetting that I want to lose weight. You may roll your eyes and say that is the stupidest thing ever written, but let me explain how this can happen.
Firstly, I'm a happy lady. I'm lucky to know a lot of nice people, I've found fulfilling work and my salad leaves are growing despite all the rain. I don't hate myself or my body anymore. I'm rolling with the ups and downs of life.
Secondly, I'm easily distracted. For example, I've been getting lost in work, perving at Euro 2012 footballers, bellowing at Andy Murray on the telly and belatedly discovering Charlotte Brontë. Ooh look over there, new Tweets. I haven't refreshed Instagram in 27 seconds. Ooh look a random story about Katie Holmes. I'll be back in a minute…
Thirdly, I lull myself into a false sense of progress coz the extremes are gone. The binging has stopped and I'm so mindful with the big events these days. Example, another Cake Ladies meetup the other day: I chose a couple of favourites, stopped when the body said whoa there and did not feel bereft at the cake left behind.
So I kinda float along through my days feeling quite content… until, POW!
… I browse a sales rack at a favourite clothing shop and realise nothing will fit
… my dodgy knee decides to reassert itself
… I spy an old dress in my wardrobe and realise I still can't get into it
… I eat a handful of "Gareth's" choc-chip cookies with a cup of tea and it's not until I notice the crumbs on my t-shirt that I say…
OH CRAP, HANG ON… remember you wanted to bust some lard here?
I'm still rubbish at keeping my mind and body connected. I'm always drifting away into la la land, losing sight of what I want and where I want to go.
I may not have binged for ages now, but the day-to-day eating is still rather sloppy and random. The proof is on the scales – I've been the same weight for six weeks now. It's not a weight that I want to maintain.
But how to light a fire under my butt, in a kind and caring way? I don't feel the same urgency as I did at 350lb, when I hated myself so much I wanted to hack off my excess flesh with a chainsaw. And I'm not consumed by the fear of disappointing strangers like I was with the book thing. It's nice to not be full of fear, shame and loathing anymore but, dang, they were some powerful motivators.
I reckon the best tactic is to keep reminding myself of all the positive reasons WHY. It's worked well to get my exercise back on track. So I've distilled my reasons into a handy song to mutter to myself when making choices. You know that kids' tune "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes"? My version is "Head Shoulders Knees and Clothes".
- head – good food = mental clarity; keeps Black Dawg in kennel
- shoulders – I want to feel strong and foxy, both now and in old age
- knees – they hurt and they need me to lighten the load, seriously
- and clothes – I just want more options, dammit!
It's cheese, but it's concise cheese.
In addition to keeping my brain in the here and now, here's what else I'm working on:
Automating brekkie and lunch
I'm getting back in the habit of tasty yogurt/fruit/seeds for brekkie and mega salads for lunch, prepared in advance so no matter how busy I get, I can make two delicious and mindless-in-a good-way choices per day.
Put my food on a plate and sit down to eat it
I've been sloppy on this one. No spear fishing in front of the fridge! And remember that I am not training for an endurance event, I don't need as much on my plate as Gareth, for crying out loud.
My favourite principle from the Beyond Chocolate book. Today I've started an experiment with the DietSnaps app that dear Jen posted about. I want to get back in the habit of pausing and tuning into hunger signals/feelings before I eat. Taking a photo of my meal (just a quick snap; no choreography or fancy napkins) could be a nice way to get me to slow down, think about what's on the plate, sing that little song and remember what I want and why.
Ahh… it's an adventure that never ends. I'll report back next week!