Yesterday I submitted a last-minute leave request to take next week off – which is both a good thing and a bad thing.
It’s a good thing because (as regular readers may know) I’ve been feeling a bit stressed of late and probably need to stop and process a few things, including the (not) selling-of-my-house debacle; and not getting a job I’d hoped to get.
I’ve said before that I like to think I’m good at dealing with stress and that I thrive on pressure. I think I am, and I do… for a time – but I always crash and burn at the least practical time so (in keeping with the action theme) I’m taking a pre-emptive strike.
The other good thing about it is that my boss is away at the moment so it’s pretty quiet for me. And I’m not good with quiet. I WAS planning to take time off next week to pack up my house and move (until the contract fell through), so all in all, it seems timely.
But… on the other hand, the next round of my weight loss program is starting on Monday. So – HELLO! Danger danger Wil Robinson! Picture this: me at home ALL DAY with nothing to do, in holiday-mode and shops and cafes only a short drive (or walk) away.
Of course, however, the need for a break won the internal tussle and holidaying I will be!
Other than the blogged-about breakdown (binge-fest) last Friday and some over-indulgences in wine over the past three weekends, I’ve remained pretty good since finishing the first round of my weight-loss program BUT, even I can tell that my motivation has waned a little. However, I hope (like in the first round) it reappears once the program kicks off next Monday because I’m continuing to struggle with my need for INSTANT GRATIFICATION. It’s an oldie but a goodie for me: a battle I have long fought. And I must admit, my success over the recent 12-week program had led me to believe that I had ‘evolved’ enough that (like any grown-up) I could actually step back and consider the consequences of what I was about to do. But now… and with holidays approaching, I’m a bit concerned!
In many ways I feel like I’m back at square one. Someone on Twitter was saying something similar this morning and commenting that a type of selective memory comes into play when thinking about the repercussions of what they are about to do when choosing to eat chocolate or chips or the like.
I do it all of the time. I TRY to remind myself that hours (okay, rarely hours), minutes or seconds of pleasure (as I indulge or imbibe) will be negated by the guilt that later engulfs me.
Another blogger I follow, Karen from Waisting Time came across an approach in a novel which takes this further. In order to make a decision, the (presumably) fictional character in question imagines beaming herself into a future situation resulting from her decision. She imagines how she will feel in that situation. If it isn’t pleasant, she’ll then beam herself there a second time with the decision reversed; to see how she feels in the alternative situation.
I left a comment on Karen’s blog saying that I’m not good at thinking ahead. When stressed about something I try the ‘will this matter in a week / month / year?’ approach, but it doesn’t often work. The stressed and insane part of my brain tells me that ‘Of course I will care in 20 years if I submitted a briefing note 20 minutes late!’ Naturally even hours after the fact I wonder WTF I was thinking because it no longer matters even then!
I currently try to think about the consequences of my unhealthy eating habits. I try to remind myself that I will be hungover the next morning if I over-indulge in wine; I try to remind myself of the guilt I will feel when I eat something I shouldn’t; and I try to remind myself that I will experience a niggling sensation of failure if I don’t exercise as planned. And yet… in the moment it rarely matters. It seems I’m unable to even beam myself forward a few minutes, let alone into a future scenario. But I wish I could. I wish – in my moments of weakness – I could remember how good it feels to have everyone comment on your weight loss or how you are looking. I wish I could remember how good it feels each time the reading on the scales drop – even a bit. I wish I could remember the high you get when you have finished your exercise session. And I wish I could remember the sense of accomplishment each time I can fit into something that had once been too tight.
Many a time have I fantasised about being slimmer (or less fat) and having a partner; or how I would dress; or act. And yet… here I am. I would think (given how disappointed I often am in my life) that the consequences of my behaviour are more than obvious to me. And yet… here I am.
But finally I know what the problem is. It isn’t my motivation or commitment. Or even my need for instant gratification to the detriment of my long term happiness. It is obvious, that can’t beam myself forward because I’m not a BELIEVER!‘You can do anything in this world if you are prepares to take the consequences.’ W. Somerset Maugham
September 7, 2011
Deb, I’ll tell you a secret – I think only now am I starting to develop the ability to beam myself forward. A couple of weeks ago, I let some processed crap creep in – told myself I “deserved” it and I ended up feeling so gross and remembered what it was like when I wasn’t eating it and it really helped turn me back around again. But it’s taken a long time to get to this point.
September 8, 2011
Liz – I read your blog and the comments on your blog and it’s obvioius you are such an inspiration to people – particularly given that you’ve ‘BEEN THERE’ and know what it’s like. I’m relieved to know that it is possible to change though!
September 7, 2011
Thanks for the mention; I love when something I right strikes someone, whether they agree or not:) One thing that I found interesting in reading this is that we had very different takes on using the beaming. You are struggling to look far ahead and see something positive… my mind immediately went to only the day after a binge and focused on the negative. I don’t think I do much self-reflection. I wonder why it is that you don’t believe in yourself. Is it tied to weight? Or something else. I have seen many other bloggers really focus their efforts on self-acceptance and find that leads to weight loss, rather than the other way around.
September 8, 2011
Karen – I find I’m really ‘clicking’ with some of your thoughts and you are SO right – about the not believing in myself and it being tied to my weight. The self-acceptance thing is important to me, but I am assuming I’ll like myself better when I lose weight (or more importantly, when I feel I have some control over my life and my habits because I won’t think of myself as weak!) which may not be the case, cos I’ll still be ‘me’.
PS. No worries re the mention. If I could think of a topic related to the Cereal Killer post I would cos I LOVE that name – and concept!
September 7, 2011
You are on the right track when you focus on trying to remember how GOOD you feel instead of the negative consequences related to bingeing/slacking off/etc. Esp. b/c you find yourself tending toward the negative side of things, forcing yourself to be positive might affect the other areas of your life, too.
One thing that the Fat 2 Fit Radio guys always say is “Fake it till you Make it.” If you force yourself to be good, even though you don’t want to, you’ll get results, you’ll be happy and then you’ll end up being good because you want to be good. I don’t really like saying “good” as far as food and diet are concerned because then that means there is a “bad,” but for simplicity’s sake, the word works.
I bet your holiday is going to be awesome. I can’t wait to hear about it : )
September 8, 2011
Hey Julia thanks. I haven’t heard of the Fat 2 Fit Radio guys before… but am familiar with the Fake it til you Make it concept and I think I have been doing an okay job of the faking-it side of things. You are right though and I do know I need to focus on the positives. For example, yesterday I weighed myself officially to start the next round of my weight loss program. And then last night (I perhaps ‘might’ have liked a bit more wine than the 2 glasses of diet champagne I consumed but a friend visited and stayed WAY longer than I thought) I exercised and had a healthy night and today the scales were lower than yesterday – breaking through the 109 point somethings kilograms into the 108 point somethings. So, yay! That is seriously the best motivation!