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