Shaking things up

Saturday, November 17, 2012 Permalink

It’s a vicious circle: feeling crappy about yourself; relying on comfort food to make yourself feel better; then feeling even fatter and porkier and crappier about yourself. And then, you know… rinse, repeat.

Someone once said that death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us  while we live.Of course occasionally the self-loathing spikes enough to create a crescendo, coupled with promises of everything ranging from ‘clean’ eating, to extreme dieting and increased exercise and so forth. And if you’re like me, the obsessive crash diet is preceded by a ‘Last Supper’ – a binge before you have to start being ‘good’. Of course if the ‘goodness’ never comes, life just becomes one Last Supper after another.

Now… I’m not in a REALLY bad place at the moment, but I don’t feel great about myself. Two months of no exercise coupled with a month of unhealthy eating has me worried about the result. I threw away my bathroom scale when I was moving, so I have no idea what I weigh, but some of my clothes feel tight.

I’m making a huge effort to refocus my attention on my gluten-free diet, so I know my pregnant-looking stomach cannot be from allergy-related dietary problems; obviously just the ‘other’ kind of dietary problem – the ‘unhealthy choices’ kind.

Like I said, I’m not really panicking yet. I’m not signing over my firstborn* to some dark force in exchange for the disappearance of some kilograms… but, I’m just not feeling like I’m the person I want to be. I deserve better than that!

I’m (very) slowly getting back into exercise, but struggling with the nutritional side of things.

I continue to debate (internally) the dieting vs not-dieting approach. But, I pull myself up when I notice my black/white thinking getting out of control. And… I remind myself that I’m still an okay person and can accept who I am although I have 20-30kg to lose to be at my ideal weight.

BelieveYou’ll be rolling your eyes because we’ve been through this a million times. But… things are a bit different this time around as I’m in the midst of making massive life changes.

Until recently I spent more than half of my 44 years traipsing off to work each day, feeling stifled, stymied and trapped in the life I was living.

I’ve eaten my sadness, my apathy and my anger – all of which I’m hoping will be alleviated now that I’m pursuing a life of my choosing. I’m trying to become the ‘me’ I want to be. I’m following my heart and my passion.

I had hoped that with increased contentedness there’d be less reliance on food to fill the gaping and gnawing hole inside of me.

So far… that hasn’t happened. (And yes, I know my sea change is only two and a half weeks old!) But even as I write this my mind is preoccupied with the notion of chocolate. Bags of it. I think about how ‘happy’ and ‘contented’ lots of chocolate would make me. How ‘good’ it would make me feel.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.Obviously I know better. Well I should. I’ve talked many times about the instant gratification versus long-term happiness dilemma which I can’t seem to get my head around. Yes, I know better, but… I’m grappling with the voice that’s suggesting I go and buy a heap of crap and start being ‘good’ tomorrow. Or Monday.

I’ve mentioned that I’m ‘forcing’ some changes – as basic as changing the colour schemes in my new apartment; or exercising in the pool. I’m attempting to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Earlier today I felt a bit unsettled. “What can I do?” I wondered and looked about for inspiration. I saw a couple of unread novels. Immediately my mind jumped to, “No, you read at night in the bath with a glass of wine, not in the morning.”


I told myself that I would – instead – head to the bathtub with my book and some vanilla diet coke. Before lunch. Now I know that change in habit is hardly earth-shattering, but it’s a start (perhaps tomorrow I’ll try reading in bed!**).

I’m hoping that by continuing to change small things, I’ll push myself into bigger changes.

Am I insane? Delaying the inevitable?
Or, do you have some suggestions?

* The fact that I’m childless is (most definitely) beside the point!
** I find I can no longer read sitting up. (And yes, I know that’s strange!) 

  • Char
    November 17, 2012

    I want to give you a hug. I’ve definitely had times during my life where I’ve felt like this – yes, I know I have a husband and kids but that doesn’t automatically fill you with happiness and joy. I’ve battled with feelings of worthlessness – the
    nobody likes me, every body hates me, eat worms’ type of thinking. And I know I’m always best when I’ve got stuff to do. If I have a big old empty day ahead of me the hours to fill seem never-ending. I’ve learnt to manage myself (and my emotions) by giving myself a routine. I go to the shops every day to get out of the house and have a coffee. I have my sewing work (except for when it’s quiet) and I bake. I get a lot of external validation from my dog (not my family) and from a few really good friends. And I’ve set up certain unchangeable girly-dates – a permanent Tuesday breakfast and a Saturday evening coffee and chat. Getting out and being with people is my best weapon in fighting the demons in my head.

    I don’t know if any of this is really relevant to you. I may have totally missed the point.

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2012

      Thanks Char and it does help. Not-working is new to me and I’m grappling with the ‘how to fill my day’ thing. I like your suggestions – regular dates and so forth. Because I’ve normally been into group exercise I thought I’d be able to rely on that for an outing each day… although now I do have my regular Zumba class and am actually going to go for coffee with them tomorrow. I find I do need an outing of some sort each day – which is weird as when I did work all I wanted to do on a day off or holidays was stay at home and do nothing. I always assumed I’d cope well with not-working, but it’s different than I expected.

      And of course – I put so much emphasis on this move for getting my head and my weightloss mindset sorted out. I think I assumed things would fall into place… but that hasn’t been the case yet. I know it’s early days but I worry that rather than finding that happiness and contentment was available to me all along (as per my Emerald City post); my discontentment was so ingrained that it’d come along for the rid as well!


  • Satu
    November 18, 2012

    Well, I almost always read in bed. 🙂 I don’t do bathtub reading though, I’ve been meaning to ask you how you can do that without wetting the books.

    Well, you could binge if you wanted, but the satisfaction you get out of it is very short- lived. What about writing a advantages/disadvantages list about bingeing and seeing if it changes how you feel?

    It will take time to create new routines for your new life.

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2012

      Hi Satu and thanks for the reminder about the time it’s going to take. I guess I thought it would be immediate. Sudden happiness and contentment!

      Re the bathtub reading… I do occasionally get the pages a bit wet, though I’m careful if I’m reading a library book! I have a towel next to the bath so keep drying my hands if I need to. Historically my books have been more in danger of getting champagne, wine or diet coke spilt on them than bathwater!!!

      I don’t know what it is about reading in the bath – the comfort of the water around me or something…

  • Marion
    November 19, 2012

    Hi Deb! If you look at the middle of any process toward a very big goal, it is always messy and a bit discouraging. All I can think is to “know thyself” and really listen to your gut instinct. We all have too much information, which viewed all together, directly contradicts itself. Choose your own path and then really believe in it. Keep the faith when days don’t go right. Sunny days are ahead.

    🙂 Marion

    • Debbish
      November 20, 2012

      Thanks Marion. Yes… like the know thyself comment (which you also mentioned in your blog recently). Keeping the faith or hanging in there seems overwhelmingly challenging, but I know it’s what I need to do.


I'd love to hear your thoughts