Friday, May 3, 2013

Random thoughts...

Yesterday turned out a LOT different than how I thought it was originally going to go.

Before I get started, I guess I've got a confession to make:
I'm not really sure how I feel about this, but I am currently on a binge bender.  I'm trying my hardest not to act/feel so guilty about this because I'm NOT on a diet.  Feelings of guilt and shame about eating something is something that I've associated with the behavior of a dieter.  This is why I was under the impressions that diets don't work.  Because they put you on such a straight and narrow that deviating from that gives way to feelings of guilt that usually end up discouraging a person and causing them to quit or feel as if they've failed.

I have not failed and I am not a failure.  I still believe in my decision to live our a healthy lifestyle and I am still following it.  What is currently happening though is that I have fallen into a short-lived habit of making poor choices.
Yep. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it but I also didn't want to gloss over it.  I have currently been struggling I guess I shouldn't call it struggling because compared to others' struggles, this isn't really much of one. 

I'm going to stop myself and try to gather my thoughts a little bit more so I sound more cohesive as opposed to jumping all over the place. 

I guess now it's been very noticeable and apparent to people that I've made some changes in my life and it's translated into a slimmer looking me.  With that, a lot of people at work have been asking me how I went about it.  More specifically, I'm pretty sure 99% of the people who have stopped me to chat have said these same words exactly: "What's your secret?!"  I don't want to use the word irritate, but the thing that gets to me about this is that I feel like it implies that there has GOT to be something.  Like, a THING I have discovered and have utilized because it couldn't have possibly been me just buckling down and quitting the fast-food life and actually working hard.

I understand that I'm probably projecting more of my own feelings and thoughts into my reaction, because maybe people aren't implying it that way, but as I've mentioned before, I'm usually the first to look at or blame myself or think negatively of myself in certain situations - probably to the point where I overthink everything - as clearly noted here.

After I get over my initial reaction that no they are not asking my secret because they believe I must have done something else other than worked hard and ate right, I've always been a little stumped on how to answer.

I think everyone (myself included - which is probably why I always feel people are thinking that when they ask ME) gets a little bit annoyed at the "eat right and work hard" answer.  Maybe because it seems so easy and cliché. It sounds easy, but I guess if it was, then everyone would be doing it.  Or maybe it really IS that easy, unfortunately, McDonald's just tastes more delicious. 

I think if someone asks me again, I'm going to skip over the "eat right and work hard" answer.  Nobody really wants to hear that.  I know because I never wanted to hear it when I used to ask someone who had lost weight how they did it.  I think from now on, I'd like my first response to be "that I told myself it was going to take time."  Because I think what it all boils down to with these "what's your secret" questions is that people are REALLY asking "what can I do to get results quickly?"  And I know now there really isn't such a thing.  Not when you're making a change to live a better life. 

I think it's understanding that there is no end point.  No point in time where you're going to stop and look at yourself or your life and go - "Okay then.  Well that's that.  I'm done."  The idea is that it's a neverending journey.  To always be looking for ways to improve and learn and grow - in every aspect.  I think that's why I was so hesitant to actually put out a goal weight.  A goal weight implies that once you reach your goal, the moment is over.  Maybe it's all about word play.  Should people refer to it as ideal?  Does that change things?

Anyway, my thoughts have run away with me again and this post has completely evolved into something else entirely from what I was originally going to talk about, but there it is anyway.

There's a lot of time to think thoughts when you take up running and these are just one of the few things that have been bouncing around in my head. 

I hope you don't get upset or offended with my initial reaction to the "what's your secret" question - especially if you know you've asked it yourself.  I say it BECAUSE I have asked it myself and the reasoning behind my question was always how can I get the same results with as little work or effort as possible all while choosing to eat the same crap things I've always eaten.  I'm not gonna lie, I was always the one to try to do the least amount for any results.  But I guess I've learned it doesn't work that way but what I need to tell myself is that just because I thought that, doesn't mean that's what other people are implying.

All of these thoughts, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I've been making some very poor food choices as of late.

I think I'm more upset with myself not JUST of the poor choices, but because as far as I felt like I've come, I'm recognizing that I have so much more ways to go.  Again, I should take my own "'advice" and not forget that there is not a time where I will stop and say, okay, well, I've learned all there is to know. 

I think I got into the notion that because more people are noticing how my lifestyle change has affected my weight, I got a little bit cocky...for lack of a better word.  Whatever you would use to describe an addict.  Where they have that moment where they've quit, and they tell themselves that now that they've quit, they can do whatever it is that they've quit from, but moderately.   Because they know how to stop.

I'm going to go ahead and say that I was addicted to bad food.  There's no denying that.  I can't have continuously chosen to eat fast food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and more snacks and in-between and second and third dinners if I wasn't addicted to those types of food.  Because I was experiencing a positive upswing to my lifestyle change, it was easy to forget how difficult it was to pull myself away from those types of foods and it was easy to convince myself that I could go back to those foods and then pull away again whenever I wanted.  I was trying to tell myself that I didn't want to go the rest of my life being afraid of food.  Or of freaking out when I had limited options regarding food (ie. going out with family, at parties, etc.)  I want a healthy relationship with food that is not just dependent on living to eat, but also not all about eating to live. 

I'm probably making this out to be more dramatic than it actually is and in retrospect, I still have managed to eat some healthy meals and of the poor foods I've chosen, they haven't been as BAD as what the old Catherine would have chosen, but at this point...I think if I feel concerned enough to voice out about the food choices I've made, I should recognize that I need to do something about it.  Without making any excuses. 

I feel like I'm one big contradiction.  Eat healthy.  But it doesn't have to be all the time.  You can indulge, but don't over indulge.  You're not on a diet.  But you're on a healthy lifestyle change.  Don't be afraid of food, but don't be a slave to food.  Count your calories, but don't be a victim to calorie counting.  It's just like everything political and religious, you can always find some anecdote, quote, fact, etc. to support whatever it is that you WANT.  And I think that's what I've been doing.  I wanted to choose something unhealthy to eat, so I used the "well, I can't be so strict all the time or I'd quit" approach...but I also recognize that believing in that too much or allowing myself that will lead me back to where I started. 

So ultimately, where does this leave me? 

I'd like to think of it as a reminder of humbleness.  Now that I'm seeing results and getting positive feedback from the changes I've made, it was easy to forget where I used to be.  To gloss over how hard things were at times and to get preachy when I see other people making the same mistakes or same food choices I myself used to make. 

This "fall from food grace" or lesson in humility reminds me that I'm not an expert.  I'm just another person fumbling along the road of life.  Probably making more poor choices than good, but hopefully learning from them.  I have to remember that before I hit my "this can't be all to my life" moment, there was NOTHING anybody could have ever said to me to cause me to have an "Hallelujah! I need to change my life moment!"  Just because I reached a certain point, doesn't mean that everyone's there, or that everyone needs my kind of "saving" because I'm going to have my own shortcomings more often than not.

It means that I don't really have any concrete answers to anything.  And that I just have to keep trying to know more about myself, continue to learn and allow myself to make mistakes so long as I pick myself up, pull myself together and keep going.  Lifestyle change doesn't have set dates.  I just have to keep going.

P.S. That all got very deep and intense...I think perhaps I was trying to distract myself and you from the fact that I ate chicken wings and frozen yogurt sundaes more times in a week than really should have been wise. 

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