Friday, January 15, 2010

Miles to Go...

This morning, my husband reached over from his office chair to me in my office chair to hug me (as he so often does for which I am infinitely grateful). As he hugged me, I noticed that his arms went around me more easily and fully than before. I told him that even I could tell that it was getting easier for him to hug me because my girth had contracted.

Experiences like these are always very motivating. It's one of the reasons I make posts about incremental progress. Yesterday I also noticed that the upper ring of my flabby belly was wrinkling at the sides where it was starting to collapse and flatten out. No, it's not a pretty sight or a nice look, but it is an indication of progress. My body is such a mass of fat-related battle scarring that I don't expect to look beautiful naked and will just settle for looking normal clothed.

At any rate, one of the things that makes this so dispiriting at times is that these little milestones on the path to a healthy weight are so infrequent. The moment you notice is a joyous one, but then you don't see another progress marker for a month or longer. This is why people weigh themselves as a means of tracking their progress. That number is positive feedback when it goes down. That being said, I'm still not inclined to weigh myself as I read far too many accounts of people torturing themselves about the scales ups and downs.

At any rate, I still feel like I'm traveling down a long lonely, barren road to a destination I can hardly imagine (as I've never really been there). The little markers are pretty much all I have to offer hope that the journey will one day be actually completed and I will be at a healthy weight and be able to eat 100% of my daily required calories instead of 75%. I realize that I have miles to go before I can eat though.


dlamb said...

I think the markers are so much better than the scale, as I've said before. The numbers on the scale have derailed me more times than I can say.
At times I thought I was more addicted to the scale than I was to food. The odd thing was that it didn't really matter if I weighed more or less than I expected. BOTH led to my overeating, of course, the higher numbers resulting in major binges on many occasions.

In September, when I was out of control in every way, I had to break the addiction to the scale as well as to the binges. Even to this day, when I truly believe that I've conquered my binge behavior, I can still go off the deep end if the scale goes up when I believe I've done everything "right".

In so many ways, you've made the right choices for yourself, when you embarked on this spectacular, successful effort. From not allowing comments, to not weighing yourself and easing into the changes, to allowing yourself the kind of food you enjoy in order to stay with your plan.
I think it is key to know yourself and the potential pitfalls, your vulnerabilities, when making such great life changes. I also appreciate your wisdom in not selecting interventions you could not sustain. This mistake, I think, is the very reason most of us fail.

screaming fatgirl said...

I think I knew that I certainly had the propensity to let the scale sabotage me. This time, I was determined not to choose roads that could lead me to the wrong destination. Those same roads may have been good ones for other people, but that old scale was not going to help me get where I wanted to go.

Right now, I don't fear the scale, nor do I have a desire to jump on one. It just is a device with some limited utility. I haven't weighed myself for awhile, not because I'm afraid or whatever, but because I just don't care.

As you say, you really do have to know yourself, and only you can do that!

As always, thanks for commenting! I don't say that as much as I should in these replies.

dlamb said...

Yep, another one. Dear friend YOU DO say it, in the way in which you respond. I know I do not have a lot of experience with reading blogs but the little that I have indicates that you have such a generous way of responding to comments! Thank you!
I know I am going back and forth but in regard to one of your recent posts, I want to say that I particularly enjoy reading your blog because of the intellectual work that you share. I have an affinity for anyone who does the work (the emotional and the intellectual) and I admire and respect the fact that you have done everything of which you were aware, in order to protect yourself from influences that could derail you.
I know this is not always possible but you have made such a great effort in this regard. I was thinking, today, as I re-read the "readiness" blog, that you were right in saying that if you are ready, temptations will not make a difference and if you are not ready, regardless of what is in your environment, you will not succeed (i.e. use the excuse that you were tempted by external stimuli).

While I read this, I revisited one of my greatest frustrations: "Sneak attacks". I've always been pretty lucky with my husband, who never, ever sabotaged me. He always supported my efforts but basically he was never invested in what I did re. my eating, weight, etc. I was healthy, so if my wt. was up it was fine with him if it was fine with me and vice versa. He always behaved as I like: he appeared to be 100% blind to my weight.
Anyway, I live with other family members who, out of love and desire to bring me joy, would "ambush" me with some of my favorites. I begged for years and years for them not to do this. They promised repeatedly, but they always failed. I explained that anything that is in the house, that I KNOW about, will not be a problem for me but when I am struggling and suddenly one of my favorites appears on the counter, it just topples me. Such behavior was laden with emotions that went far beyond the innocence of the intention of the offering.
When I read your blog again, today, I thought ... you know, she is right. This time around, when I was READY, when I changed everything about my attitude, they could have left anything, anything at all on the counter and it made no difference. Ultimately, it was not really ALL about them. It was mostly about me. Interestingly, as I have changed, so did they. They no longer seem to do that.

screaming fatgirl said...

Thanks for sharing that experience. I think there is an interesting and gratifying symmetry to your changing resulting in their changing.

You may or may not have read a post I wrote about at one point about "sabotage". I don't believe that such a thing exists. I think people do what they know makes us happy and once they realize it doesn't make us happy, they stop. They give people who are trying to lose weight food because they know you loved it, not to tempt you into failure. It's hard for them to transition from their patterns of behavior, just as it is hard for us to transition from ours. I think people don't mean to harm us, even if their actions have that result.