Monday, March 08, 2010

A new week, a better week

I've found myself in a bit of self destructive mode since knowing that I've made a psychologist appointment to talk about my feelings/food issues. “Self-destructive” may be a bit of a harsh or exaggerated word and I’m not trying to use it for its dramatic effect (insert very dramatic music) but what I’ve been doing is surely not constructive in the least. Over-eating. Eating sweets. Eating out of boredom. Eating because once I “start” then I won’t be able to have ____ or ____ or ______ ever again for the rest of my life.

Now isn’t that ridiculous? Especially since I know that saying “you can’t have ___ or ____ or _____” makes me eventually binge on ____ and ____ and ____ with a huge side order of ____ to top it off. Oh and heavy on the guilt please.

It’s a familiar pattern for me though, this self destructive mode, and I’ve blogged about it before here. And while searching for that post I went ahead and re-read what I wrote oh, almost three years ago to the day, I see that I am still doing exactly what I tried to stop doing before. The mental game of self sabotage. Those last few paragraphs of that post really hit home for me. Here I am three years later still unable to win at that mental game of weight loss. I even battled it out this morning in the canteen while picking out my breakfast.

Me: don’t get the sausage roll, lord knows that’s not good for me.

Me: why not? You know you’re not going to be able to control yourself this week anyway. Just look at what you ate all weekend. Why start improving now?

Me: okay, let’s have some yogurt instead.

Me: that muffin looks good

Me: muffin = cake for breakfast

Me: what about a banana

Me: you’ll be starving by lunch if you only have a coffee and banana, get the muffin

Me: what about ontbijtkoek, you can have breakfast, the Dutch way.

Me: the second ingredient in that it sugar, you know that, you’ve looked at it before. It literally translates to "breakfast COOKIE".

Me: have the sausage roll

Me: would it kill them to have more @##%@$ choices here?

And on and on and on the conversation went. Notice there is only one character in that dialogue although there are two very distinct voices heard. One is “sensible Sarah”, the other is “the Sarah you’ve been all of your life, don’t change now, oh please, oh please, oh please”. After all these years, she’s still strong and kicking although I did manage to suppress her for a while.

This lackluster revelation of “I’m still doing it…STILL” three years later from that post (which was talking about situations of self sabotage that had happened even years before THAT), this dimmed light bulb moment that I’m still sabotaging myself from being a successful weight loser, just cements the fact, in my mind, that seeing this psychologist is exactly what this girl needs. Exactly.what.I.need.

I am clearly unable to get past these dueling banjos of “eat it – don’t eat it” that are picking away in my brain, even with the resources I have tapped into (Dr. P, I still love everything about that book!) but it’s just not enough to really help me kick the mental habits. Yeah, I shoved those habits around a bit, for a little while, and probably bruised their shins but I never finished them off, never really kicking their butts, fully.

I am the one that can make good food choices, exercise, drink water, stop well before I’m full the list goes on. The PHYSICAL side of this I am 100% responsible for and able to do. I’ve done it before and, not to toot my own horn, but I kicked some banjo-playin butt back in the day (TOOT! TOOT!) .

It’s that mental part, which is HUGE in weight loss, it’s THAT part that I can’t get right 100% of the time. Hell I’m lucky to get it right 30% of the time. And honestly, standing in the cafeteria grabbing this item, setting it back down, walking to the cooler, walking back to the baked goods, glancing at the toasted cheese sandwiches, fondling the fruit, all while the girl at the counter stands, patiently, waiting for me to make my choice... those moments can be a bit embarrassing for me (especially since the entire time that's going on I'm having a total mental battle, silently (I HOPE!) in my head) and what I don't need right now is another 'thing' that is going to make me feel less than fantastic, and a little bit nutty.

So I’m ready. I’m going to stop this square dance, mid-step. I’m going to take that second banjo picker, bust that dueling banjo over “the Sarah you’ve been all of your life, don’t change now, oh please oh please oh please” head and start listening to sensible Sarah more often. I’m ready for the change.

(and I chose a cheese and cracker thing for breakfast which was, terrible to eat, but a decent amount of calories, nothing too flashy and will hold me over until lunch. I need to come to work better prepared!)


Cat R said...

Dear Sarah,
this is my first time commenting on your blog. :)
I can't help but notice your desire to be seemingly "perfect" when it comes to making healthy eating choices. You ask why you can't "get it right 100%" of the time. I honestly think that would be unrealistic for the majority of the population. You are miserable because what you are attempting to do would mean such deprivation. Don't forget that even though there are/may be emotional and psychological issues at play, you also love food. I love food too! And that is so normal. It CAN provide comfort and stress-relief in a healthy way.
Two things that help me mentally:
-"Just because I decide not to eat this today, doesn't mean I can't ever have it again."
-"Out of all the unhealthy foods I crave today, I can choose one and leave it at that." (That way I am not completely depriving myself)

You say you get it right about 30% of the time. Why not shoot for 40% next week? Make small changes instead of going up 100% right away. You probably know all of this already...I just couldn't help but notice how badly you just want to be a perfect eater who won't even feel tempted. Ever. But it is a lifelong struggle. It won't ever be easy. Even if you resolve the issue of playing mental games with yourself and engaging in self-sabotage, there will still be "off" days but hopefully you will be more in control of them. Instead of "slipping up" it will be a "cheat day." Although I am not too fond of that expression either because what exactly is it that we are cheating on.
Again, I believe that food (all kinds of food) should have positive connotations at all times, it's just that some foods we should eat more of (bigger portions, more frequently) than others.
One last thing. I went and read your old post and this stood out to me:
"If I don't really try then I can't really fail".
To me (and I may be wrong) it seems as though you are now considering the "not trying" a failure?
I wish you the best of luck and hope that the psychologist can help you figure out some things. But please don't strive to make "perfect" eating choices all the time, that would drive anyone crazy. :-/

Anonymous said...

Cat - thank you so much for taking the time to write such a well thought out comment and I am totally buying what you are selling sister! I do not intend to be perfect and actually, one of my recent mantra's have been "I'm not trying to be perfect today, just a little bit better than I was yesterday."

I see you're setting up house for your own blog, will it also be weight loss related?