Weighty Matters

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Extended Funk

Man, oh man, when I get into a funk about my eating disorder, I really get into a funk.  I stopped wallowing in self-pity but could not shake a number of other negative emotions and behavior.  I went from depressed to disgusted with myself.  That’s where I’ve been, saying all kinds of mean things to myself about myself.

I would never be so mean to someone else.  If I was, I’d consider the someone else totally within their rights to bitch slap me.

So, because I’ve been calling myself names and castigating myself for being a weak-willed, lying, denying, fat slob idiot, I’ve been doing my level best to manifest those traits with my eating.  Nothing like negatively reinforcing bad self-directed behavior.

This all began to, naturally, effect my self-esteem and confidence.  It’s the same old vicious cycle.  I began to doubt my physical abilities.  I also instantly started viewing my image in the mirror with “fat eyes” in which I no longer see my real body but an inflated, swelled, fatter one.

Today my emotions began to shift back to reality.  I can’t claim that a switch got flipped or anything so automatic, but a combination of things came together and I began to change back to a healthier mindset.

I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I know a couple of the factors that I think have helped turn the tide.

I’ve gotten on top of the heel pain so every step I take no longer causes me to flinch and wince.  I am much more inclined to be active.

A couple of things that were stressing me out at work were resolved and I was able to get more caught up.

I got a truly terrific share of organic produce.  I ordered a larger share than I normally do just because doing so meant I received celery root.  I love steaming and mashing celery root but my local supermarket rarely carries this particular veggie delight.  So, I got excited about cooking and consuming something healthy that I love to eat.

A friend and I planned a paddle boarding adventure.  I’ve been wanting to try the activity again so we finally scheduled it for Saturday afternoon.  I had a bunch of trepidation at first because we weren’t climbing onto the boards from the shore.  Instead we were in a private area at her condo and would have to clamber up and down a dock ladder to get on and off of the boards.  Remember, that in my mind’s eye, I’ve been a cow the last few weeks so I experienced a return of the “you’re too fat to do this” false fear for everything from handling the ladder to staying on the board, etc.

It was a huge boost for me to handle the activity and provide ample evidence that I’m not “too fat”.   We practiced for about an hour and that was enough.  Once I’m on the board, I’m sort of nervous about moving my feet and throwing off my balance.  Unfortunately, this resulted in my feet cramping up and beginning to hurt.  So, even though I was successful with the whole adventure, I’m not sure it’s something that I want to frequently do or try for extended periods of time.  All in all, I prefer kayaking.  However, the important thing is that I challenged myself and succeeded.  It was a booyah moment.

Oh, and earlier in the day I’d gotten out on my bike for a nice 10 miles ride which also contributed evidence to my still-existing physical fitness.

Friends and I were hoping to go out on my boat on Sunday, but a persistent high wind deep-sixed that plan.  Instead, I invited them to come over and hang out on the porch and by the pool.  With that plan in place, my thoughts returned to the produce I still had from the organics share.  I Googled eggplant-zuccini salad and found several yummy-sounding recipes.

Oh, the scrumptiousness!  I roasted eggplant, zuccini, red onion, and baby sweet colorful peppers, tossed in a little bit of olive oil and herbs from my garden.  When they were done and cool, I mixed them with drained chick peas, crunchy raw celery, feta cheese and sherry vinegar.  The resulting dish was absolutely delicious!

I derived a lot of happiness from making something healthy and delish for myself and my friends.  Seriously, I felt my mood elevate.  We had a really nice, relaxing afternoon.

There might be other things, but these are the key mood-shapers that came together.  My spirit has been much lighter today.  I even dared to go to the local clothing store to see if there were a couple of nice tops/blouses that I could buy to rev up my wardrobe.  I have a trip to see family and go to my high school reunion in a couple of weeks, followed immediately by a conference that I love to attend every year.

I had been dreading trying on current clothes, positive that I’d blown up in size and nothing would fit.  Obviously, finding out that my clothes fit fine helped me counter the F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal.  I did find a couple of new garments that I know I will enjoy wearing.  I came home and further gave myself a boost by making some more progress with the ongoing decluttering project.  Then I made a tasty, and healthy dinner for myself with grilled chicken, some of that roasted veggie salad, and a skewer of grilled pineapple and watermelon.

I’m waiting for the sun to go down a little more and then Nat, Pyxi and I are going for a walk.  A little last exercise for the day will only serve to help maintain the upswing.

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Face Everything And Recover

I’ve made it more than 36 hours without weighing myself.  Funny how that seems so hard when I’ve made the conscious choice not to get on a scale, as compared to being away for a week and not even thinking about getting weighed.  This is turning into a great lesson.  It came to me expressed so clearly when I was riding my bike after work.  I need to keep repeating this to myself and reinforcing it in my mindset so that it truly sinks in.

It’s not about what I weigh; it’s about how I’m eating.  Recovery comes from not compulsively overeating.

I’ve had two days of compliance with my food program.  Keeping my focus on eating according to my plan and not grabbing things impulsively is so powerful. Just two days of abstinence lightens my spirit, mood and how I think.  I treat myself better emotionally when I’m clean and clear of diseased eating behavior.  I’m looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow — one day at a time.

Moving on with a different topic focus, I have a fear that I need to face.  Something’s come up at work where more of us from a variety of departments are needed to help with some observations  Some of these observations are done from the vantage point of a temporary tower and one has to climb a ladder to get up into the tower.

The structure is sturdy.  Really sturdy.  It was built with every attention to detail, strength, stability and safety.

I am afraid to climb the ladder and go into the tower.  It’s not that I don’t have the arm and leg strength for the climb.  I’m not so fearful of heights that being in the tower itself scares me.  Heck there’s another taller, bigger tower that I go up to on a regular basis.  Oh really, I’ve zip lined!  I want to go up in a hot air balloon.  So this fear really isn’t about the height of the structure.

It’s the darned ladder and my mind throwing back to when I was so heavy that I could have broken one of those ladder rungs.  Logically, I know this is not going to happen now.  Heavier people than I go up and down that ladder without incident.  This fear thing is best summed up as False Evidence Appearing Real.  The old reality is lurking in my mind like a child’s “monster in the closet”.

I need to confront my diseased mindset; open the door to the closet, let in the light and expose that the monster isn’t real.  In short, I need to go up that ladder into the tower and demonstrate to myself that I am not too fat.  I won’t break the rungs.  The structure will not crack and crumble under my weight.

It’s a little surprising that I’m experiencing this fear.  I think it’s a continuation of me having lost a little confidence in myself because I’ve been sort of stalled and focused on the wrong aspects of my recovery.  I’ve let the doubts and fears crowd out the “can do” rekindled spirit of adventure that I’ve been enjoying — the one that led me to do that zip line adventure and the dozens of other activities I’ve explored in the last few years.

It’s time to look the issue in the eye, then face everything and recover.

I won’t have the opportunity to tackle this tomorrow.  I’m aiming for Thursday.  Wish me luck.  I’ll report back for sure!

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