Weighty Matters

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Never an Expert

I’m not an expert about eating disorders or weight loss surgery, nor do I ever want to portray one on this blog.  One of the things that I always liked about OA is that nobody portrays themselves as experts or gives advice.  (At least, nobody is supposed to.)  We share about our own experiences — good, bad, or down the middle.

I’ve joined a couple of closed groups on Facebook.  One is for Compulsive Overeaters.  It is not an OA group, but many of the regular posters are in program.  The other group is for people who are following the Always Hungry? plan.  Nearly every day, I see people come to the groups who are newcomers and hope to find answers.

I can see myself in those people.  When I first went to OA, even though I was familiar with 12 Step programs through my mom, part of me still held onto the hope that somebody would give me the magic answer that would solve all of my problems; the magic that would “cure” me.

No such magic exists because there is no cure for this eating disorder or any addictive disease.  We’re never recovered.   Instead, we are always seeking to be recovering.  If I answer a question or say anything at all about the struggle and what I do or have done, it’s never with the idea of, “This is how you do it”.  No, it’s definitely, “This is how I do it” or “This is what I’ve done” or “This is what I’ve discovered in myself”.

What happens with me might not happen to the next person.  Definitely, there are commonalities among many people, but we aren’t carbon copies of each other.  How my eating disorder manifests in me could be completely different than the person sitting next to me, so my recovery, what and how I need to do it, will be different.

It’s good for me to remember this as I participate more often in these online groups.  I can see where some people appear to relish a role of more prominence and voice their opinions of what someone else needs to do.  That kind of grates on me, particular when someone is talking to or answering me.

I might be an expert on myself, but never on anyone else.  I want to always respect other people and what they experience and live with.  If something that I share about resonates with somebody else, that’s one thing.  I know that over the years, I have learned a great deal from others who share openly and honestly about themselves.  That’s what works for me and, I hope, what works for others.

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31 Day Self-Challenge

Today is Day One of a challenge that I’ve designed for myself. I’m tapping into my competitive side to kick start my body and rev up my efforts. I’ve hit a summer lull. I feel sluggish in body and attitude. I’m maintaining but not losing weight and I’m getting a little lazy with my fitness. I talked about avoiding the diet mentality but I also recognize my current need to provide more structure for myself.

Hence, the 31 Day Motivational Challenge. I’m beginning with a 7 Day Cleanse using a product by a company called Arbonne. The nutritionist has checked out all of their products and likes their components. I checked them out too. I also have friends who use them and like them. As long as nobody tries to sign me up to sell them – I have no interest in network sales/multi-level marketing stuff – I’m good. Since I regularly drink protein shakes, I’m always interested in trying new products for taste variety. The ones offered by this company meet my guidelines for calories, carbs, protein, and sugar content. Interesting to me is that they’re vegan and use a pea protein instead of soy or dairy-whey. I made my first one this morning and it was one of the best tasting protein shakes I’ve had – and I’ve tried a lot. The consistency was also more filling than the ones I’ve been using.

For the next 31 days, I’m drinking two protein shakes a day for breakfast and lunch. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks will be either fruit, veggie with a bit of hummus or yogurt dip, or a little yogurt. Dinner will be lean protein, veggies, and the occasional brown rice or sweet potato.

Besides paying attention to fat, protein, carbs and calories, I want to eat as clean and unprocessed as possible.

To keep myself from going completely mental, I’m giving myself permission to have a square of quality dark chocolate when I really feel the need for a chocolate treat.

During these 31 days, I’ll maintain walking, bike riding and Tai Chi. I’m adding a little extra challenge effort from the Tai Chi. One of the foundation exercises is something called a donyu. To most people this looks like a squat, but there are some differences in the form. However, the exercise is similar to squats in that it’s great for leg strength and, I’m pretty sure it helps shape the back end too.

I looked at the popular 30 Day Squat Challenges and modified the numbers a little for the Donyu challenge. I started with 30 donyus today and will be up to 200 by Day 31. No, I will not do 200 at one time. I predict I will break them into four 50-donyu sets.

This morning I weighed myself and made a note of it. I’ve purchased what I need for the next few days and then can replenish mid-week so that I’m using fresh foods.

I’m excited about my challenge. I woke up this morning eager to start. I also took advantage of beautiful weather to take a 12 mile bike ride – before the donyus. I won’t bore you every day with recaps, but will update my progress at least once a week on this blog. Hopefully, I’ll have lots of positive progress to share but, no doubt, will also have some instances of minimal whining if I run into a difficult day.

To help my effort, I’m focusing positive energy and attitude. I need those to build the foundation for any success. To large extent, setting myself on a challenge like this is a mind game, but if it rejuvenates me and helps me reset my goals and efforts, I’ll count it as a good thing.

Stay tuned!

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