Weighty Matters

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Assisting My Own Efforts

on July 28, 2012

I’m still musing over developing a new system or definition of reward now that I’m not using food to reward myself.  I went to the jeweler to pick up my repaired neck chain.  While there I browsed the earrings, but no pair stood out and made me say, “Oooooh.  Pretty.  Please let me see those.”  Next to the jeweler is a florist.  Happy to say that their weekly $5 special was a pretty mixture of pale yellow Asian lilies and deep yellow roses edged in red.  I bought the bouquet and brought it home.

Still, I wasn’t satisfied.  Difficult of me, some would say.  I might agree with those some.

I did another Zumba class on Thursday and today I had Tai Chi practice.  Both of these activities involve a lot of pivots and turns.  I usually do Tai Chi in a pair of Isotoner suede-bottomed slippers and I’ve been doing Zumba in the Nike walking shoes I bought a few weeks ago.  I noticed that the traction on the Nikes does not permit me to easily swivel and pivot on the wood floor.  The Isotoners don’t give me any arch support.  I decided that I was entitled to research other options.

Loving the Internet, I came home and googled Zumba shoes.  Zumba.com has numerous shoe styles for women in cute colors.  Unfortunately, my extra-wide feet will not fit into those cute female shoes.  I looked at the men’s selection.  One pair.  In black with phosphorescent lime-lemon accents.  Lime-lemon is not in my color palette.

I looked at the soles and saw what make these styles good for Zumbaing.  Armed with the knowledge I started googling dance shoes for men, dance trainers, wide-width dance shoes, etc. etc. blah blah blah.  I found some sites that suggested certain makes and styles and then took all that knowledge with me to Zappos.  I now have two possibilities winging their way to me.  Please keep your fingers crossed that one of these pairs of shoes will fit my wide feet with their fallen arches.  If this happens, then I will consider myself duly rewarded.  For now anyway.

More importantly, I realized that in the process I’m doing something more important than rewarding milestones.  I’m outfitting myself with the tools that I need for progress every day.  I’m on a journey toward better health.  Getting better shoes for my exercise is not just a reward.   These shoes will not only improve my efforts in class, but they’ll also help me keep from hurting my joints.   Now that I’m on a roll and willingly exercising, it would totally suck to get injured.

This is one more way to assist my own efforts and optimize my success.  Other ways are for me to keep the right foods in the house, pack my lunches for work, take a cooler with appropriate snacks on road trips, etc., etc.  Writing this blog and being scrupulously honest about everything is part of it too.

When you live with an eating disorder, it’s incredibly easy to sabotage yourself.  Doesn’t take any more time than randomly grabbing a handful of off-plan food or an extra portion and shoving it into your mouth.   I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I consciously said, “I want to screw up today and here’s how I’ll do it.”  Often I’d already eaten the food before my thought process kicked in and I realized what I was doing.  At my absolutely worst times, I went through periods where I would wake up in the middle of the night and semi sleep-walk to the kitchen and eat.  I’d wake up amid wrappers and not remember getting out of bed.  Scary shit, let me tell you.  I always feared one day dying like Mama Cass Elliot, choking to death on something.

It is more difficult to stay clean and to do the work that keeps me moving forward healthily, free from compulsive eating, and staying on plan.  I refuse to be lazy about my recovery.   I had a crappy night’s sleep and was super tired when my alarm went off this morning.  I made myself get out of bed rather than opting to skip Tai Chi practice this morning.   I promised myself that sometime today I’ll try out the new gizmo I bought that’s intended to let me swim in place in my pool.  (My pool’s not big enough to do laps and the installer never quite got the concept that I wanted jets installed.)  I’m determined that when I finish this post I’m going to tackle the household chores I set for myself today and then I’m going into the pool with that gizmo.  If I choose to take a nap later, that’s okay, but I’m not giving into the comfortable, familiar tendency toward being sedentary.

For today, I’m going to look at the different ways that I’m assisting myself.  I’m going to acknowledge and celebrate these things and not take them for granted.

English clergyman/poet George Herbet said that living well is the best revenge.  I’m going to borrow that for today and change it to something more fitting and positive.  Living well is the best reward.

Reward yourselves this weekend.  However you define it, go out and live well!

***************************** Edited to Add Photos *******************************

I promised some pictures and today figured out how to work the self-timer on my camera.   I hope you know that it takes a lot for me to put up less than flattering photos of myself, but I promised.  I say they’re unflattering because I’m sort of frozen there waiting for the timer to go off.  I’m also wearing a t-shirt and the new workout shorts I bought.  My hair’s mussed, etc. etc.    Okay, here goes.

The photo of me in the light blue shirt is from June 19th, a little more than a month ago.  The other photo is from today.  The changes are subtle.  Less roll in the spare tire around my waist and a bit smaller overall in the midsection.  If I’d shown my arms in the June photo you’d see that they’re thinner now.  My face and neck are thinner.  Not bad.  Although, good Lord, I look like I’m grimacing in today’s shot.  I also look a lot taller.  I do think I’ve gotten back some of my height since my spine is less compressed, but I have to double-check.  Mostly I look taller in this photo because the camera is sitting on a window sill so it’s perspective is a little skewed.

I don’t think I’m going to do another comparison photo until I lose another 50 pounds.  I like seeing drastic differences, like this:

At or close to my highest weight.             

I used my phone to show the side detail of my new glasses.  Cute dolphins!

8 responses to “Assisting My Own Efforts

  1. Susanne says:

    I think you are standing taller — I’d attribute that to the exercise.

    Looking good 🙂

    And I hear you on the shoes — I have long feet and it makes it difficult to find shoes. Now that there are specialty shoe stores I’m okay, but when I was a kid I always had to wear sling-backs and open toe shoes.

    You are changing habits and I’m very, very impressed.


  2. londonmabel says:

    (a) You look fabulous, great progress!
    (b) Do you live in, like, Paradise? Right by the water!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments.

      Mabel, yes. We who live in the Keys consider them paradise. I’m fortunate enough to live in a small (perfect for me) home on the water.

  3. Gorgeous girl! And I love the dolphin glasses very sassy. And zappos rules.

  4. hoperoth says:

    These days, I reward myself with naps. :p

  5. Mary says:

    Living well is the best reward. Great motto!

    Holy moly, Mary. You’ve made a lot of progress. I can see the weight loss, but I think the effects of exercise are showing too. You look more toned. I’m so happy for you that you are doing well.

    Cute glasses. I’ve never seen anything like them. I like the toe ring too. 🙂

    You may be comforted to know that Mama Cass did not choke to death (see Snopes).


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