She: You look wonderful! How did you loose that weight?
Me: Thank you! I did weight watchers.
She: That's wonderful. I've tried that one before. You know, folks like us, we're going to struggle with our weight for the rest of our lives.
Me: (probably with a forkful of cake in my mouth) Oohhh. OK. Yeah. Thanks....
Right around when I started the 'ole WW. And when I won fantasy football that year.
It's interesting that I was reminded of this story the evening before I got on the scale for my weekly weigh, only to find that it had kept up, yet again.
Ugh! me thinks. WTF? I mean I know that last night Brandon and I discussed the election results while I ate canoli ice cream with a fork and I know that I had that horrible cold on Monday that could only be made better by shrimp lo mien and I know that I had crystal grill on Sunday night and I know that Saturday night I had that weird anxiety spell and ate cheeze its and easy mac and I know that Friday night Brandon and I went to Websters and I had potato skins but seriously...WTF??
Whoa. Gets intense when you lay it out like that.
A few weeks ago, I thought about saying what you want (it was eight pounds, now its, um, 10 pounds). This week, it's about action.
The alcoholics had it right when they said:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Overeating, just like drinking or using drugs or gambling or sex addiction, is just another maladaptive coping skill. It's something that you (me) might do when you don't quite know what else to do or when something feels weird and you don't know what to do about it.
You're probably wondering if I hide in my closet and eat french fries, rocking back and forth when I'm having feelings. Well, no. But you know I love french fries. But I have come to understand that the best healthy eating / exercise program isn't going to do any long term good until you (I) get some insight into yourself (myself) and the relationship you (I) have with food. Or whatever it is that you struggle with.
Anyone feel like their at fat camp?
I quit smoking (sorry mom I lied those few times but aren't you proud of me now!!??) because it was time. I was doing it, it was done, and it's stayed done. I've never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, although adding up being raised in the delta + a few other factors, that's kind of shocking. But that eating. That's what's tough for me.
However, in sticking with the addiction treatment model is where we might find some answers. A bare with me, I'm writing this on the fly with bits and pieces of combined information that I've run across over the years.
One theory of addiction is that it is rooted in continued delusional thoughts and maladaptive behaviors. Not delusional thoughts like the president told me to order those french fries but delusional thoughts like I'm sick! Only shrimp lo mein will help.
Let's break this down. Is there any medical evidence that shrimp lo mien possesses healing powers? No. Am I frustrated that I'm sick? Yes. So is there a chance that I want the shrimp lo mien because I'm frustrated? Yes. Ah. Is there a chance that I think that since I'm sick I deserve shrimp lo mien. Well of course I deserve shrimp lo mein! I don't feel good!
That's a good, solid example of some delusional thoughts.
And here's another one. That happened like 20 minutes ago!
OK so I gained weight again but this is vegan day. I'll have a PB and J for lunch with a side of salt and vinegar potato chips! Yay! They are vegan and so delicious! This weight will be gone in no time!
Looks insane when you write it out. But again, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
Here's an example of a maladaptive behavior:
I'm driving down the road, freaking commuting. I'm bored, I'm ready to be home. I'm over my music. MPB is on my last nerve. Wait! I've got that Kind bar in my purse. It's oh so healthy and claims that you will lose weight if you eat one between meals! Score. I'll eat that. That'll give me something to do for, well, 24 seconds....
I know how to be healthy. I know that maybe turning off the radio and doing some praying or some breathing or some meditating would have helped. I know that calling someone would have made me less bored. I know that salt and vinegar chips are never a healthy choice. I know that shrimp lo mien isn't something that is deserved. I know all of this. In fact, I spend most of my day, five days a week, discussing what is (emotionally) healthy and unhealthy with semi large groups of people. Seriously. The processing rarely stops.
While the processing and the talking and the awareness is important, the doing is just as important. I can recognize these thoughts and behaviors all day long but until I actually start doing something different, the insanity will continue. For me, that means that the weight will continue to creep up and creep up and the next time I see that woman at a wedding she's going to shake her head, tisk, and say I told you so.
Here's to stopping the insanity, my friends.
PS: I kind of feel naked on Howard Street after writing this.