Thursday, November 19, 2009

A BIT OF SELF ANALYSIS

Well there is no doubt that this week has been one of some challenging mind games. As I reflect back over it all I put the pieces of the puzzle together and realise that it stems from my under-eating at the beginning of the week.

Eating mindfully or intuitively is tricky. No point asking myself at lunch time what do I feel like eating? Lunch is made the night before, packed and brought to work with me. If I didn’t do this I’d spend a small fortune buying something every day from city food outlets. No thank you. I’d rather spend my money on more worthwhile things. And I find that I genuinely don’t get properly hungry at those previous 3 hourly intervals. I thought I was doing great and feeling fine eating a bit less. My body thought otherwise and then sent some crazy signals to my brain like “ warning warning starvation alert” (well not exactly but you get the gist).

This set the old diet/binge mentality back into action, hence the struggles I’ve had this week coupled with the feeling of incredible tiredness. Yep this was my life when I was on the diet merry-go-round earlier this year. It was a pretty miserable existence as I constantly binged, beat myself up over it and punished myself with more and more restrictive dieting. Breaking free from this cycle around the middle of the year was life changing for me.

But I realise that moving on from that behaviour to my current lifestyle is not as simple as closing one door behind me and then living happily ever after in my “new place”. Many years ago I read a statement written by Dr Phil in his weight loss/management book (sorry I forgot the title of it but it was very good as it focussed as much on the psychology of it all rather than just eat this / don’t eat that and move more). Dr Phil’s statement was along the lines of “overweight is never cured. Its managed” and I believe its totally correct.

If you have been overweight and lived on the diet merry-go-round you’ll know that losing weight and keeping it off is something that you must work at constantly. There is never a day where you can say, “I’m not at any risk of regaining the weight I’ve lost” or “No matter what I do today or over the next three months my weight will remain stable”. Deep in our subconscious we engage the strategies we use to manage our weight at a level we find acceptable. Those strategies may be physical ones like dieting and/or training a certain way or they may be mental strategies we use to manage our eating through internal mindful processes rather than external control.

So this week has seen me peeking back through that door I thought was closed behind me. It’s ajar and I’ve poked my nose back into that room only to be reminded of what a painful place that was. Its also driven home the point that I can’t take my new place for granted. There are things I must do on an ongoing basis to remain happy in this place.

I have chosen to step off the diet merry-go-round and with this comes a new set of responsibilities and actions to ensure that I don’t end up looking like the Michelin Man. I’ve explored what feels right for me. I’ve tested it over a few months. I take responsibility for my decisions and I maintain control over what I do. Mind games may come to tease me every so often but if I stay true to me those challenges can be faced and conquered.

Magda

6 comments:

rene said...

Wow Magda! This post has summed up pretty much exactly how I feel at the moment too. It could have come directly from my mind! It really is a lifelong battle isn't it? I too thought I was "cured" until recently while I have been dealing with some hard personal issues, renovations a non-sleeping toddler and various work dramas, and bad habits started creeping back in.
I feel better just knowing someone else in the same place :)

Kristy said...

This week I am going through something similar... Feeling slightly scared as I have been eating offplan as such for afternoon teas this week and eating when not really hungry. The reason I am scared is what you described as thinking you are cured, but it slowly is creeping back in... I don't want to gain the weight I have lost so somehow I need to not stress and realise I will be fine... As hilds would say I need to believe in myself!

Pip said...

Hmmm, I'm off to do a post right now. So hearing you on everything to do with this subject and I must say you, Kristy and many others are doing so well!

Never ending battle but a challenge to keep lids on habits you don't want creeping back but I'm confident you won't see any major slides this time...........you have it sussed I think!

Pip :-)

Kerry W said...

A very insightful post Magda. And succinctly put...managing, rather than curing, is a practical and more workable way to look at 'overweight'. I think it's definitely something each and everyone of us struggles with at times, and we must always be vigilant, lest old habits and processes return.

Charlotte Orr said...

Great post Magda. Agree with you about having to having to work at it constantly. I tend to get overconfident (that it won't come back), let a few things slide and find myself back where I started, or worse. So am trying to find strategies to avoid that happening.

Magda said...

Hey guys,

I'm glad my post has helped some and struck a chord with others. Its always tough going public about the tough stuff when things are not rosey but I believe in blogging honestly and openly so you'll get my warts and all.

Cheers

Magda