*Note to readers: I have taken the easy way out today, by copying and pasting this from an already existing note on Facebook. If you are one of my faced friends in my virtual address book, and you’ve already read the note, there’s no need to read this. Unless you are bored senseless. In that case, read wantonly.
**Also, please note, there is no rhyme or reason to the formatting, at this juncture.
“Circling the Drain: Health Redux,Take 21”
When last I wrote about my weight, I believe I was doing pretty grandly. Ah, the heady joy of 95 lbs dropped. Hip hip hoorah! I am still proud of my accomplishment, and I wouldn’t turn-about and say, “Boy, did you have your head screwed on sideways! Sure you lost the weight, but you got lucky that you were in the “right” frame of mind to do it.”
No, I wouldn’t say that. I would say that gaining back in the neighborhood of 35-40lbs has been a very humbling experience; it seems I am bound to be human and not “Robo Leanna” and that if I am not vigilant, I too, will fall prey summarily to old vices.
You see, I was a chubby lady for much longer than I was a thin, reasonably fit one. And given the chance, apparently, I was willing to let myself return to the precise weight range that I have been in the vast majority of my adult life…the high end obesity was not my norm, but being overweight really has been.
I don’t really know what my mindset was when I started or finished my big weight loss journey. I remember, but I don’t quite recollect, if you get my gist. Much like a number of periods in my life, there is this odd detachment to the person I was living at that time. I’ve had a number of extreme circumstances occur in my life, and dramatic weight loss is only one of them and really, it wasn’t that long ago but somehow things are different enough that the motivations, the reasons I had then just don’t spur me on today. Not enough for me to give up my defensive wall of fat behind which I can attempt to hide; and it has worked quite “well”, in terms of this, “You can’t see me to hurt me,” kind of thing..which, of course, is false.
I have been in a strange state of duress over the last couple of years, with a very limited amount of stability anywhere. I have lost 2 jobs (through work shortage), many friends have left the country, tried too hard to make new ones and have had that primarily fall flat, I’ve moved houses twice (yes, lifted them and tossed them about..I am mighty), and some even more significant stuff that I don’t really (oddly enough, for me) feel like getting into right now. Suffice to say, it was yuck.
The end result is the same. Food started singing again the way it once did. And by food, I mean garbage. And even the good food kind of turned on me…you know, portion size. Sure, spelt pasta is good, but not by the potful.
“So, what of exercise then?” you may query. I am what one may call, a very hot/cold person. When I’m on, I’m on…I do love the great outdoors, dancing, yoga, running, etc very much. And when I’m out there, when I kick myself out the door to bop about in nature, and on the hardwood, I do enjoy it. The problem is, I don’t let myself really feel joy about it, because I’m always comparing myself to someone else. Vancouver is a great place to be fit in, but it is not a terrific place to be kind of or totally out of shape. This may seem rather contradictory. Vancouver has so much to offer; from hiking and climbing, to kayaking, to an endless sea of yoga and pilates studios. There’s martial arts, dance fitness classes, boarding, cross-country skiing and enough gear behind the Gortex curtain to set you up for life. What, then, is the problem?
Self-consciousness. I am very, very aware when I am the worst at something. I know I am not likely going to be the best, but when I am in a kind of squishy, icky place, I cannot stop noticing that hard bodied rock climber chick who probably knows how to Samba, travels the world 16 times a year, can pull both of her feet over her head and tie them in a knot…and, she’s flirting with the man I have had my eye on. Damn it…mutter mutter. Fixation on the external is a grand excuse to do nothing for oneself. Because no matter what I do, there will always be someone prettier, better, faster, cooler, more in the know than I, and they are the only ones I see. I never sit about thinking of how much nicer I am than a serial killer or how my life is way more ethical than Steven Harper’s. I don’t consider the chain smoking, KFC binge eater as a means of comparison, because, well, I just don’t. It gives me no comfort or sense of strength realizing this. This kind of side by side doesn’t feel instructive, and yet, it’s polar opposite does? That isn’t the least bit useful either. Just like Billie-Jean on her porch with a shot gun, Bethney Jules is not my means to a progressive me. I learn nothing and have never learned anything constructive from putting myself down. Other than putting myself down doesn’t get my juices going.
Earlier this week I had lunch with a dear friend of mine, and we chitted the chat about our foodie struggles and reminisced about the irksome twit who said to her, “Just do it. You know you should go to the gym, so what’s your problem?” The principle is simple; and we make it hard for ourselves, but I maintain that this is a one-size-fits-all mentality. That might work for this dude, but it doesn’t work for me. What do I do then? Toss it in and shrug and eat 2 cinammon buns? I could. I have. Sabotage is my hidden middle name. I need to get that legally changed. And I will. I also insist on finding my own way, with as much compassion for myself as I would for a friend in need of it; so barking, “Do it! Get off your lazy ass!” is not the approach that works for me, nor would it work for most of my friends.
But I am getting sick of being this way…again. Really, genuinely tired. However, I knew I would have to take a different tact, because I don’t really feel Weight Watcher’s calling me back. I know I need support, but I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to get that. How will I hold myself accountable?
I had a flash this morning. Bam, poof! Why not take pictures of what I eat every day for the next 21 days (the habit changing number) and post them somewhere? My mind kind of blipped and “HUH?” popped in there, like this was the dumbest thing ever. For 2 seconds, I was not convinced, but then I knew, this was something to try. It’s new. It holds me accountable, and it’s a visual reminder. Of everything.
Sure, this is day one, and there is always the possibility of cheating. NO one would be the wiser. Except me. But who else is there for, after all?
Instead of just writing it all down, I decided to take a piece of advice I got this week from Kaan Williams on pictures to go with my blog blurbs to attract attention. And so that idea stuck, and I flipped it around, and realized, I could attract my own attention with visuals too…the attractiveness of healthy food, the mindful action of taking the pictures, and the no longer mindless permission to leave without a good snack to tide me over and then give in to a peanut butter toffee bar at the coffee shop. So, here they are. My Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. And me. Together at last.
Day 2: Can I just say, my body is not really happy. It’s pitching a fit at my detox, but I shall prevail. I didn’t get to actually attend Zumba class today, as there was a location SNAFU..much to my non delight, after more than an hour of commuting to get there. Such is life. Onward and upward and tally ho and all of that.
Day 3: Angry body is still angry. STILL pitching a fit, and not woo, toward these prettier to look at, but not as initially addictive foods. The toxins are wrenching my guts about on their way out. It is not a true detox because everything I’m eating is not fresh and raw, as in the veg burger and the coffee, the almond milk, the yogurt. However, these are my concessions, because I have deprived myself of my “hits” such as cafe mochas and bakery treats.
Those have been my big problem areas. I haven’t returned whole heartedly to what led me to obesity. I am a more conscious shopper than I was, to be certain. I don’t buy doughnuts, fudge, chocalate bars, chips, etc etc anymore. I would say, at that period of my life, I was absolutely a junk food junkie. The only thing that saved me from total demise was my avoidance of certain really atrocious food that involved meat, keeping me out of places like McDonald’s. There’s still plenty of ways to be a fat vegetarian, as I have enjoyed proving, but nevertheless, I am grateful for my ever increasing desire to shop ethically and my awareness of what this means.
Part of this equation is really understanding that treating mother earth well requires me to do the same for myself. It is all a cycle and I can’t really continue being abusive to my body and mind in the way I have been without there being consequences to the earth, to people, to other creatures. As hard as habits are to break, to really make headway, I have to remind myself, again and again and again, that I need to let love into my life in every possible facet, including on the fork, in the spoon, through the forest, in the dirt. There really is no other way. No matter how many years of stubborn, dictatorial marching orders I have intoned, in the end, it all falls down. And it will always do so, because fear is leading the way down my garden path into the ditch.
I have had these revelations, and written posts like these on and off through the years, and it’s like, well, when am I ever going to get IT? That’s the key. I am getting IT a little more each time. Yes, leaps, risks are absolutely crucial, but what a leap looks like to you, will not be mine, and if I keep using your measuring stick, I am going to mess up the distance. I can learn from others, but I am too other reliant. I need to be in the dark and, to tell you the truth, to a certain extent, I want to be in it and let it be, because all of my panicked attempts to get out, to eat my way out, for example, have not worked.
So, I am off on a tangent..quelle surprise, but believe me, it all comes back to food. It is the ultimate security blanket, and without it, I feel like a giant crying baby. Which is what I am. A newborn. Again. And what a great chance it is to start fresh; me, my veggies and fruit, my water, my photos. Speaking of which, I shall add today’s pics later:) Thanks friends, LDG