Boy, oh, boy blogworld… have I got a revelation for you.
I am bored to tears with my “diet”. I’m content enoughwith –and often even excited about–the workouts/training plan, but the diet and calorie counting and tracking is boring me to salty-freakin’-mascara-running tears.
I don’t know what it is. Is it because I’ve been doing this since January 2007? Is it some sense of entitlement that is making me quite frustrated when I see people smaller than me eating more than me and exercising as much as me lose way more weight? I’m getting kinda bitter. I don’t watch The Biggest Loser anymore because I don’t find it inspirational and I want to slap all of them silly for thinking that a few months with Jillian and Bob will cure them of their obesity and the personal issues that got them to that point. People tell me I look like I’ve lost more weight and the response on the tip of my barely contained tongue is “I’ve actually chubbed out 5lbs in the past 3 months, yo! Get a new eyeglasses prescription.”
What’s particularly yucky-feeling about these well-meaning compliments is that when I was in my 10 year phase of getting constantly fatter, my grandmother would often tell me “Oh! You look like you’re losing weight!”–and often it was after I had just spent another $40 on a larger size of Lane Bryant jeans.
I’m feeling bitter about this gain too. In some ways, I’m stronger physically than I was this time last year. I’m running! For miles at a clip. Why isn’t the weight coming off?
It’s because mentally I’m not on my game. I’m eyeballing lunch & dinner portions, not logging snacks (or even meals for that matter), I’m estimating calories, and I’m assuming I’ve got it down. I don’t. I’m still using caffeine. And, yes, I mean it when I say “using.” Like a junkie. Every morning (almost).
I’m so OVER this regimen. I’m feeling entitled & as if I want to be “normal.” Normal to me means being able to eat intuitively without gaining weight. It means not having to overanalyze what I’m eating and whether it’s too many carbs, not enough protein or too high in sugars (whether they’re natural or not). Cognitively, I understand that most people who desire weight loss can’t do this. But I fear that even when I get to maintenance phase–IF I get to maintenance–I’ll still need to have a critical eye and organized log when it comes to food consumption.
I love organization and I’m all for buying a new, pretty notebook or updating my Sharpie pen collection, but even an office supply whore like myself needs a break sometime.
I absolutely hate PCOS/metabolic syndrome/my body for doing this to me. I have the same frustration with this disease that I had back in March when I was going back and forth for bloodwork and to the endocrinologist to see if I had a thyroid or cortisol problem.
There were two little “a-ha” moments for me in the past 24 hours. One was this comment by a new reader, Miss A. She wrote about her relationship with the scale and encouraged me to stay the hell off it except on weigh in day.
Here’s my take on the scale–you may have read my posts on other blogs about this:
It is a measurement tool not unlike a thermometer. It provides a measurement, but not a diagnosis. My self-worth is NOT measured by the scale (thank you Operation Beautiful), but my weight and my progress towards a healthy weight is.
What’s not healthy is that lately, I’ve looking at the scale as my sole measurement. I’ve been lazy and not looking at other measurements, like food logging and tracking thanks to my ennui and resentment towards the need to maintain those habits.
I don’t know that it’s a fair comparison, but I think I can start to understand the feelings of those who need to rely on medicine to treat mental illness. You want to feel as if you’re “normal”–whether it’s that you can maintain a stable mood/emotional state without medication or maintain a stable weight without dieting or consistently tracking food intake and exercise output. You start to resent your dependance on that which keeps you healthy.
It plain old sucks.
Going back to the thermometer analogy, if I had a fever, I wouldn’t automatically diagnose myself. I’d look at other signs. Sore throat? Swollen glands? Stuffy nose? Cough? Body aches? Perhaps I’d get bloodwork done to assess other measurements of health.
What I’m missing out on this diet are those other measurements. What am I eating in terms of quality and quantity? How do I feel after I eat a meal? Or at the end of the day? Am I sleeping well?
The other A-ha moment was Brittany’s Women’s Day Slim Down post in which she talked about binge-ing. (Is she not so freakin’ brave for that video blog? And, on a superficial note, isn’t her hair totally awesome!? I love that girl–every time we talk she makes me think and reassess my own behavior. And she’s convinced me to read Geneen Roth’s “Women, Food & God” after Thanksgiving.)
I’ve binged in the past, and I don’t think I’m doing that now–in fact, I HATE that feeling of being slightly too full, which I can get from eating normal serving sizes of heavier foods, like a 1/2 cup (measured dry) serving of oatmeal or a 2oz (measured dry) serving of pasta. But I do sneak snacks. I’ll eat a couple pretzels as I’m prepping dinner or have a few Trader Joe’s Ginger Cats with my tea in the evening. I don’t track them. I don’t even calculate them in my mental daily food log. As a result, I’m most likely in a calorie range that results in maintenance or gains.
So, it’s time to pull on my big girl panties and stop the pout. (Besides, being down 13 pounds in 2010 is better than maintaining or gaining.) Going into the holidays with this kind of entitlement is NOT going to do me any favors. I already told Evan we aren’t baking until after Thanksgiving. And what we bake will be gifted to others, minus the occasional single-serving quality control test we may have to do in-house. I’m avoiding the dessert section at the dining hall again and will stick to fruit if I need to calm my sweet tooth. I’ve started bringing back Jello as a sweet treat at home. And the logging returns. TODAY. Admittedly, all of these promises are half-hearted and done with a bit of resignation. I’m hoping the motto “fake it til you make it” works in this instance.
The biggest challenge is that I can change my behavior but I can’t figure out WHY this is happening? WHY am I bored? WHY am I consistently needing to drug myself once a week in order to sleep through the night? A colleague asked me what’s eating me–is it work? personal stuff? still mourning my grandfather? I don’t know and I don’t know how to figure it out. I’ll take suggestions though.
Anyone want to be my Lucy?
Please issue spankings if I don’t regularly start reporting my food intake and how well I stuck to plan each day. And tell me what you do when you find yourself bored to death by “dieting.”