Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting uncomfortable

If I've learnt one thing in the last week, it's that the thing I need to be prepared to do to grow and flourish as a human being, getting uncomfortable - I don't like it. Not one bit. :(

Having made the decision to forge ahead with linen parties, I had to bite the bullet and ask friends/rellies/whoever to help me in the first month by holding eight parties for me (which is seven, cos one can be my own). So far I have six, and I have tied myself up into so many knots of stress worrying about asking people to have parties for me that, of course, the inevitable happened and I binged. Two days running, in fact. :(

Now, this doesn't have to be an A+B=C outcome. I'm sure it is possible to intervene in the process so that binge-eating is not the go-to strategy. I don't enjoy how I feel after I binge. I mean, who would? If the mental anguish isn't bad enough, you just feel physically ill too. Right now, I feel revolting, with a distended, churning belly. I don't say that to garner sympathy because I don't deserve any. I made my bed and now I'm lying in it. But I can see now what I need to do is get over that uncomfortable feeling I have which always precedes a binge. It's not nice and I hate it, but surely it must be able to be dealt with some other way. Having been an anxiety/panic attack sufferer for 10 years or so, if I had to put it into words, it feels as uncomfortable as you do before you are about to have a panic attack. Your mind races around, briefly alighting on various tortured thoughts in your mind like a demented trapped moth. You feel as if something awful is going to happen if you don't do something to quell this awful feeling (even though rationally, you know it won't). And to be honest, I guess the reason I keep bingeing is because on some level, it works to calm the anxious thoughts and feelings. It's a very poor, very non-constructive coping strategy, but it seems to be all I really have. And that has got to change.

In my last post I said I thought I didn't understand what would make someone desperate enough to consider major surgery such as a lapband or lap sleeve or duodenal bypass. Well, as I write this, I realise I was wrong - I do understand. Still doesn't mean I'd do it, but I understand. I guess people just get tired of fighting and feeling like they never win the battle. That's sort of how I feel at the moment - I know I can get back up off the canvas and fight again, but every time I fall over these days, it seems to take a little more fight out of me.

I have to get my head right again. Peace and love. xoxox

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The sledgehammer of destiny

I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. You know how when God/the Great Spirit/Ra/Buddha/Krisha/the universe shows you something so very...almost forcibly that it's very clear you need to learn a lesson, and a big one? Well, that's how I'm feeling today.

Let me start by admitting something - I have, for a long time, had a bit of an "issue" with lapband/lap sleeve surgery. I'm not proud of this fact and I know I shouldn't have a problem with it - I'm not even sure why I do? I have a feeling it might stem back to the fact that my mother used to badger me to get it done (sooner or later, everything seems to come back to Mum), but regardless of how it started, it is still very much there. And I'll go a little further and also admit that, yes, I have sometimes been quite judgmental about others who have decided to take this step, thinking they had just given up because they didn't want to do the hard yards, etc and wanted an easier route to weight loss. Again, I'm not proud of those thoughts, but I'm owning them now by getting them out into the blogosphere.

Well, you know that sledgehammer I was talking about? In the last few days, it has been whacking me over the head with great force. Two days ago, I found out a really dear friend of mine was having a lap sleeve operation, which she had yesterday. The day before that, I had received a shock email out of the blue from a guy who was also a dear friend many years ago (he was my boss for eight years when I used to work at Roy Morgan Research), and it turns out HE had gastric banding done two years ago. And my mum rang to tell me that a lady we used to live next door to when I was a teenager, well, SHE'S had one done late last year.

So the upshot of this is, it used to be that I had dealings with lapband/lap sleeve people, but nobody close to me had had it done, so I could afford, I guess, to be a bit on my high horse about it. But now it's happened to close friends, I feel very strongly that I need to totally reassess my strong feelings about it all. And what are they? Well, first and foremost, it is not a choice that I personally would make. While there's even a slight suspicion that I can do it myself without that "help" (and to be honest, the thought of that "help" including vomiting regularly is extremely unappealing), I want to try. I want to beat this weight demon into submission once and for all, and when I've done it, I never want anyone to be able to say, "Oh, it's all very well, but she had help, you know." But that's the point - it's only me who thinks this about myself and my own situation. I am not in my friends' minds, in their bodies. I don't know what's led them to make such a major and potentially risky decision. If I was, I might do just exactly what they have all chosen to do - go ahead with the surgery. And so what gives me the right to judge them for their choice? Nothing. I have no right.

So what is the lesson for me? To learn to accept that there are lots of ways of getting there, and if the end result is healthier, happier friends who will be around much longer so I can enjoy the special gift of their friendship, then of course I have to be OK with it. The loving thing to do is to accept and not judge. Would I like to be judged like I have, in the past, judged these people? No, would not, and when it's happened to me, I haven't.

From now on, it will be my mission to love and accept and respect people wherever they are at. To close, a quote...

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. Wayne Dyer

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reflections on hunger

Last week there was an episode of Biggest Loser where a doctor spoke to the contestants about hunger. His theory was along the lines that in this day and age, for some reason we have learned to be almost frightened of hunger, to see it as a very bad thing. Now, this really got me thinking.

When you're fat, it's truly amazing just how many people will offer you advice (90% unsolicited) about what you should be doing to lose weight. And as a long-term fat person, as you can imagine, that well-intentioned (but sometimes very annoying and patronising - HELLO, I know I'm fat, but thanks for pointing out the bleeding obvious!) advice does rather start to stack up! Anyway, this episode of BL got me thinking about the times people have suggested to me that I take something that will suppress my appetite, because then I won't feel like eating and the kilos will just fall off me like garments in a nudist colony. And what do I tell these people? "Yes, that's a great idea - except I don't eat when I'm hungry. In fact, I don't remember the last time I WAS hungry." I don't think I'm Robinson Crusoe on this one, either. Because when I'm not being careful and watching what I do, I eat for all sorts of other reasons, but hunger, if there was a list, would be pretty damn low on it. And on the odd occasion when a miracle happens and for some reason I forget to eat for a while, in the old days this would almost engender a sense of panic, as in, "I'm so hungry - I have to eat something NOW!" And of course this is illogical because, let's face it, with the amount of "resources" on my body I could not eat for six months and I'd be just fine. :) So where does this irrational belief come from, I wonder? I wish I knew! Any feedback on this one would be welcome!

I guess the other reason I've been thinking about hunger is that I've BEEN so hungry this week. It's only to be expected after cutting down my cals so drastically after quite a long time of free-for-all eating as and when and what I pleased, but there have been a couple of times it's been a bit confronting and hard to deal with, such as when I go to bed hungry and it almost seems to be keeping me awake. However, feeling these hunger pangs has also been very educational. The other night I went to a boxing class. These classes go for 90 minutes and they're quite hard work with few rests from doing something. Even when just catching punches, you are still working to a degree. Before I went, I was what I could call "starving". My stomach was making loud growling noises and I felt like I wanted something then and there, that I HAD to have something, but I don't like eating too close to a workout so I didn't eat. Anyway, I went off and did the 90-minute class, and something very surprising happened. After it...I wasn't hungry at all! I'd done 90 minutes of exercise on a pretty empty stomach, so I started off ravenous and then burned a stack of calories in that state, yet when it was over the hunger pangs stopped! This really blew my mind. I had a smallish dinner after the class and that was plenty for me.

It has really brought home to me that clearly my hunger signalling mechanism is really out of whack and I need to reeducate it somehow. And since I obviously cannot rely on my feelings of hunger to tell me when to eat, that's exactly why I simply must count calories. It's so obvious!

So I'm more determined than ever now to keep going with it, because now I know exactly why I have to.

Peace out. xx

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day one done and dusted

OK, well, that's day one of calorie counting done and dusted. Considering that today I probably at least halved my caloric intake (and that's being generous - ahem!), it's quite remarkable how un-hungry I am right now. And I'm quite enjoying the feeling, actually. It makes a nice change from feeling like Moby Dick, or this lovely lady...

I am right within my cal budget for the day. I have, however, kept 100 spare up my sleeve in case at bedtime I am so hungry I find it hard to sleep (and don't worry - this has been known to happen in the past on some of my crazier "diets"!). However, if I keep drinking lots of water tonight, I am confident I won't need to have them. I think I'm going to be quite amazed (all over again) how little I really need to eat to live on. After all, creating an energy deficit in a body this size,well, it shouldn't be too hard to do, really!

I was lucky enough to meet with Sharif Deen last week and do a training session with him. Sharif was a finalist in last year's Biggest Loser show and is a living, breathing example that life-long fat people like me CAN leave that behind them and never go back. But the main take-home message I got from him was something he said the Commando told him - 1 hour of training cannot make up for 23 hours of bad eating. And that's my new motto. Don't get me wrong, I want to train, but I've been reminded very strongly that if I'm not eating right, it might make me a bit fitter, but no way is it going to get any weight off me.

And in general, there's to be much less of this...

..and much more of this!

Tomorrow is a fresh new day of counted calories and accountablity. Bring it on!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I don't wannnna... But I have to!

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. (M Scott Peck)

I was looking for quotes before along the lines of what CH is always saying about being prepared to get uncomfortable, and I thought this one was really apt to my current situation and how my life has been in the last year or more. You see, I'm just starting to face up to a reality I know sooner or later I was always going to have to face. If I ever want to lose more weight, like it or not, I am going to have to actually start filling out my food diary again.

The fact I am only now coming to this conclusion is pretty amazing, really, since at heart I always knew this to be the case. Truth is, I have put it off for such a long time. And why have I, you might ask? Well, because I know what sort of a commitment it entails. I know, once I commit to doing it, it's actually going to mean I can't just continue on as I have been and eating pretty much what I want to, when I feel like it. I've just been being, quite frankly, a real spoilt princessy brat about it, stamping my foot rebelliously and saying, "But I don't WANNNNA do it! WAAAAH! It's too HARRRRRD! I'm BOOOOORED with it!!!" All of that is true, too - my inner princess does not like one bit the idea of so much imposed discipline. It really CAN be a pain in the arse to do it. And there is a part of me that really, really wishes that I had a normal relationship with food, that it wasn't going to be lifelong struggle for me to work out what I should eat, when I should eat, how I should eat, where I should eat, yada yada ad infinitum. But let's get real here - right now, I DON'T have a normal relationship with food. And honestly, I'm not likely to have any time soon, if ever. I've eaten dysfunctionally too long, used food for completely the wrong reasons for too long. And that really means I have to face up to the cold truth that counting calories seems to be, for me, the only way I can truly know what is going into my body and how much energy it is. I mean, it's how I got rid of 45kg in the first place (well, it was 45kg before I put some back on *blush* ). I have to think back to how happy I was when I first found CK, how I really sensed it was going to be a really useful tool for me. And so it proved to be until I got sick of doing it, just like I seem to get sick of everything to do with weight loss sooner or later.

But you know what? So what if I don't "enjoy" it? I don't have to! Whether I like it or not, it's just something I damn well have to do for now. And it's time I got used to the idea, because my weight is not going anywhere while I continue to be a baby about it.