Hey internet, I’m more open about my anxiety than I used to be. Maybe you noticed. This choice was painfully and exhaustively thought out. Someone will read my posts and will no longer know how to act around me; mental illness is frightening and I understand your hesitations, but I am still the person you knew before you knew I struggled. Someone will read my posts and identify me AS anxious; mental illness can cast a shadow over personality traits and I understand your confusion, but I practice managing my anxiety like a diabetic practices managing their blood sugar. Someone will read my posts and reach out to me because they, or someone they love has anxiety and they share. They share stories, questions, concerns, advice, fear, hope, laughter. Thank you. These exchanges have been some of the most meaningful reactions to my online footprint.
Walking like your quality of life depends on it is fun when a friend joins you!
“Just walk for ten minutes; Just get out of the house.” I’m using exercise to mitigate anxiety and depression; I’m pushing myself to do a MINIMUM of ten minutes of exercise everyday. Like my heath and happiness depended on it. I just needed to walk away from the house for five minutes and turn around. When I checked my watch and realized I was nearly ten minutes out, I turned around ecstatic, because I was on twenty minute walk!
Today wasn’t a good day. Nothing in particular, just not an easy day to navigate; not an easy day for my loved ones to witness. I don’t hide my anxiety and consequently, depression. I’m not ashamed that I manage my mental health with a toolbox of resources I’m always learning to use. Today I think I hit a low point, and I feel pretty sad. And hopeful; I supplemented big pharmaceuticals with a little fitness. The gym was going to close in less than an hour but I went over and swam my hardest for ten minutes. Now I feel less sad, and that is wonderful.
I could tell you how this past year was a huge failure because I didn’t reach the weight loss goal I set a year ago. But then I’d be lying, about the failure part, that bit about not reaching my wight loss goal is true. In fact, I even gained some weight back. A year ago I started Weight Watchers to lose weight, obviously, but more importantly to gain health. I lost nearly 10% of my starting weight (kind of a big deal) but then my commitment became distracted by daily responsibilities, a desire to live with wonton abandon and without consequences, and worst of all, stress eating. And I gained about 75% of that loss back. While I might look like Year One was a failure, in my brain it’s been a huge success!!!
My Two Year’s Resolutions (kind of like New Year’s Resolutions, but better):
1) Continue to check myself when my inner monologue says things like “I’ll be happy once I lose this weight” and replace it with things like “I am currently happy AND especially happy that I’ve decided to take better care of myself which includes losing unhealthy weight.”
2) Continue to pay attention to how I look at food so that I can change poor habits into good choices; honestly recognizing that eating with compulsion due to stress is NOT the same as eating with intention due to hunger and basic nutritional requirements.
3) Continue to respect food as something my body needs to maintain, repair, and think RATHER than a way to pacify emotions or respond to an emergency.
4) Continue to plan ahead because there are versions of myself that CANNOT be trusted, and hungry-me is one of them. When I allow myself to get blood-sugar-droppingly hungry, I tend believe to that the only two options in the world are a) to put all of that bread into my mouth right now, or b) die. No one wants to die hungry-me, so a lack of planning on my part should not constitute an emergency on yours!
5) Continue to balance my relationship between intake and outtake. It took me years to learn fiscal responsibility, and I still learn new things about living within my means, so I’ll keep practicing nutritional responsibility AND fitness.
6) Continue to remember that I deserve good food, good movement, and good rest. If I wouldn’t stand for a life-sentence of proteins replaced with sugars, movements restricted, and sleep interrupted, then I will NOT volunteer to live that way!
Happy Two Years!
For the last few months, I haven’t been holding myself completely accountable or taken full responsibility for my food choices, and as a result I’ve re-gained 11 of the pounds I’ve lost. While it isn’t the end of the world, it is a reminder that I’ve lost control of my choices. But often, I don’t feel like I have enough time to stay in control.
This week, I didn’t have enough time to track EVERY food choice or plan out EVERY meal, but I did remember that it’s not “all or nothing.” If I didn’t track this morning’s breakfast, that didn’t mean I shouldn’t track lunch. If I had cookies for lunch, that didn’t mean I should have cake for dinner. I wasn’t perfect this week, but I didn’t use my imperfections as an excuse to give up.
1) Life is actually happening right now; 2) I deserve to take care of myself; 3) I don’t have control of much in the universe, but I can control what I choose to eat; 4) Choosing a good first meal sets the tone of my day.
So it’s been 157 days since my last entry, since I’ve lost any real weight or gained any real health. I haven’t met my 20 pound loss goal. I haven’t pushed through a loss of 19.6 (back in April). I’ve maintained my health, but I remember that I’d like to gain more health.
I went to the doctor about a week and a half ago for my annual check up.
After a steady increase of weight (and loss of health) over the last
half-a-decade, I weighed significantly more healthier!
I started this blog with permission to document my choice to evaluate food, weight, exercise, and self esteem. I am re-starting this blog with permission to make mistakes, to not feel guilt, to let go of an “all or nothing” mentality, to stop trying to do this perfectly, and to use reflection as a tool for growth and change.
WWDay: 187 (07.25.2012)
Pounds: 189.2lbs (Weigh in 07.23.2012)
WWDay: 30 (02.20.2012)
Pounds: 194.4 (Weigh in 02.20.2012)
WWDay: 18 (02.08.2012)
Pounds: 198.2 (Weigh in 02.06.2012)
Thoughts: Today a friend asked me if I feel any better now that I’ve started this process. I almost surprised myself when I said yes. Not surprised that I feel better than 8.4 pounds ago, or even that I feel this much better. But surprised that not feeling this good had become so…so acceptable.
I’ve spent years, let’s say a dozen of them, slowly accepting a life that hasn’t lived up to my standards. I’ve slowly accepted a more sedentary life. I’ve slowly accepted more excuses to blame inertia. I’ve slowly accepted indulgent food choices. I’ve slowly ignored the nutritional needs I learned as far back as grade-school. I’ve slowly accepted a 5 to 10 pound gain a year. And I’ve slowly accepted that I should live without embracing high standards; movement; risk; balance; health; and adventure.
Don’t Forget To Chew: Confessions and accidental lessons from my adventure.
Wish you were here.
WWDay: 16 (02.06.2012)
Pounds: 198.2 (Weigh in 02.06.2012)
Thoughts: Well, I was a tad nervous about weighing in after super eating during the Super Bowl, but YAHOO! I really don’t have anything to say but that! If you had told me 16 days ago, that all I needed to do was commit to honestly tracking my food choices and dance a little with the Wii to start losing weight and finding my health again…I would have cynically called you a liar.
Wish you were here.