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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just dumped my best friend...

Back in 2003 when I quit smoking I went through a terrible time with withdrawl symptoms. I would get cold, shake, and then cry uncontrollably at the smallest little thing. After 4 weeks, when a person supposedly "successfully kicks a habit" I was shocked and disappointed that I was still suffering. I even made an appointment with my doctor in hopes that I could get some medication for my terrible bout with the blues. I clearly remember sitting in his office, perfectly composed and suddenly busting into tears when I uttered the words "I don't know what's wrong...I just feel so saaaaad!" Waaaah! You should have seen the doctor's look of shock as I turned into an emotional trainwreck right before his eyes. He ended up writing me a prescription for Wellbutrin. All I will say about Wellbutrin is that one of the side effects the doctor shared with me was that it could "significantly enhance feelings of depression and sadness" in about 10% of people. Consider me that 10%.

Since I had already gone 4-5 weeks without a cigarette or nicotine of any kind, I decided to kick the drugs and keep going at it cold turkey. This required a concious look at my belief systems as well as my perspective. One day I had a bit of an "ah ha!" moment while in the middle of a withdrawl episode. I thought to myself "There are two ways of looking at this horrible feeling - one way is that having a cigarette right now would immediately calm me down and make me quit shaking. The other way to think about it is that THIS is what these cigarettes have done to me." In other words, the thing I had been reaching for for 12 years to calm my nerves and help me relax had completely destroyed not only my lungs - but my ability to effectively deal with stress and emotions. Now here I was trying to get away from cigarettes and I was a shaking, twisting, fidgeting, sweating, crybaby, shell of a person. Some best friend I had! The past 12 years I'd been turning to a scam artist to help me relax. That simple realization was a complete paradigm shift in the way I thought about smoking. Suddenly the tug of cigarettes became a lot less powerful for me. I'm happy to say that on November 17th will be 9 years since the day I had my last cigarette.

As I reflect on that, I think the same can be true about food. How many of us turn to food when we're stressed, sad, bored, scared - or simply out of mindless habit? I've started thinking about the way I feel when I eat - am I really hungry?  Not only that - how long do I beat myself up for one small little mistake? That's the kicker - that's the one thing that will make me turn back to food on a vicious cycle - the beat up session after I've made a mistake. So I've decided that much like cigarettes, I'm going to turn to something else when I think I'm about to eat to soothe myself. Food is not an enemy like nicotine, but it's definitely not my best friend and confidant either. To a degree it has also messed up my ability to effectively deal with stress and emotions as well as the size of my spreading hips and thighs! So instead of beating myself when I fall off the wagon (and I'm sure I will sooner or later), I've typed up a list of positive affirmations and accomplishments to remind me of all of the good things I've done so I don't sit and dwell upon miniscule setbacks. Then I'll get up, get over it and keep on keeping on....

Until next time...
H

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gimme 5 - the first 5 pounds that is!

Make that 5.6 pounds to be exact! Having the skinny clothes hidden safely under the bed definitely did help a bit. But what I noticed helped the most was my thought process. I've been paying attention to what happens when I throw it all out the window and binge after 3 or 4 days of being "good" on my program.

What I noticed is that even though I wake up at 5:30a.m. every day to make it to the gym, and then eat perfectly all day long - when I get home there's an invisible switch that I must be flipping that sends me into auto-pilot. The problem with my auto-pilot is that he cruises at an altitude of 2,000 calorie dinners and 500 calorie desserts. After dinner I end up barrel rolling straight into the butterfinger ice cream while I sit and watch Auction Hunters and the newest episode of Pickers - not even thinking about all of the hard work I had put into the day.

So, as lame as this may sound I came up with a solution, that for now seems to be working. When I find myself struggling, I just list my accomplishments. Not only do I list them - but I go into detail in my mind about how great those accomplishments made me feel. When I get an emotional connection to achievement I find my mindset suddenly changes to what else I can accomplish - and suddenly the tug of war with the doughnut or cupcake just seems to be a whole lot easier to let go of.

As Loreal put it, "I'm worth it". 

Until next time,
H

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I put a gag order on my closet...

So lately I've been realizing that of the thousands of dollars worth of clothes in my closet, I've been gravitating to the same two pairs of pants, two dresses and 4 shirts every week. Depressing. Even more depressing that the other clothes - the clothes that I LOVE - don't fit. And every time I walk into my closet I can hear them taunting me..."your thighs are to fat to squeeze into me, try the black pair to the left, fatty!" and my favorite dress sneering, "haha...do you have any idea what your hips are going to look like when I'm draped over you? I wouldn't wear me if I were you!" Ugh. It's like standing on stage at the apollo and being heckled by my own clothes. Each week I talk myself up with "I'm going to hang that size 6 skirt right where I can see it and it will inspire me to stay on track this week..." instead it's like that size 6 skirt stares me right in the face and let's out a good ole belly laugh.

So I've decided I've had enough of my clothes having a good laugh at my expense. It's time to rise above this and stifle the feelings of defeat. Instead I've decided to remove the rowdy hecklers from my closet and replace them. I'm not getting rid of the clothes that I know I'll be fitting back into in 6 months or so...I'm just going to box them upn and slide them under the bed. Instead I'll choose from the larger size clothes and revel in the fact that they'll feel loose and too big in a month or so. And besides, I'd rather hear my size twelve tell me, "You look good sister!"

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Last Start

It's been years now that I've been hearing I should start a blog. I laughed the first time I heard that - "What in the world would I blog about?" When the same topics kept coming back at me - Blog about how you lost weight - quit smoking - made it through a job loss - how you remain motivated. Really? Motivated? I definitely don't consider myself an expert on any of these topics, but the idea of writing about my experiences has always intrigued me a bit - so today I take the leap. I guess I'll just start by sharing my latest struggle - how am I ever going to make it back to my goal weight ? I know, I know - it's not really the most moving topic. But for me, weightloss and fitness have always been more about a personal journey that encompasses all other aspects of my life. About 8 years ago I embarked on the journey of losing 75 pounds. In the past year and a half I've managed to pack 30 of those pounds back on. And finding the motivation to remain consistent in getting it back off, seems at times, to be impossible! So, perhaps by logging my experiences here I will figure a few things out about myself. And if it helps anyone else out there in cyberspace even better!

I seem to be the queen of self defeating behavior at times. I know I shouldn't eat that cupcake at 9:45p.m. as I head up the stairs for bed. I know! I know! But what drives that little demon in my head to convince me that its no big deal? I'll admit I've been through some pretty big challenges in the last year and a half. Some of the stress from losing my job - watching my house go into foreclosure - going on endless job interviews -then moving in with my boyfriend and his 6-year old son could have something to do with why I gained 30 pounds. But the reality of that is that I know better. I know what it takes to lose weight and keep it off. I know my body. I also know my laundry list of excuses and justifications for not doing the right things. The fact of the matter is that LIFE HAPPENS and in order to meet and reach our goals we need to be accountable for the steps we take to reach them. Consider this step #1 for me in accountability. From here on I'll blog every once in a while when something comes accross my path of goal accomplishment and share how I managed it. And if I happen upon any fitness tips and tricks or exciting recipes, I'll post them here as well. Hopefully this will put that little self defeat demon of mine to bed, once and for all! This will be my "Last Start"! The last time I have to "start" a healthly lifestyle - it's just the beginning of doing things right!

until next time...
H