What happened to change things around from how I felt last week?
1) Healthier self-talk.
up the devil and allowing the angel some space. Doing my best to
practice what I preach, I allowed myself some time to pout and then it
was time to get real. I am not disgusting, I told myself. I’m good and
I’m strong. Weight is only a small part (ha, ha) of who I am and who I
am is pretty damn good.
2) Help from my friends.
Every single person who
responded to my cry for help was supportive and positive. One friend on
Facebook wrote: “Love yourself thin, Dr. Aletta.”
3) Trying something new.
I have a food addiction.
That makes being relaxed around food (if I’m trying to lose weight)
particularly challenging. It’s not like I can ‘just say no’ to food.
Neither can I totally trust my body to know when to eat and when to
stop. People with a healthy relationship with food can eat normally, I can’t. I’m powerless over it. I need help, but not a diet, anything but a diet.
As I was thinking about what I needed to manage my eating, a light bulb went off.
Before meeting my husband I had a similar problem managing money. I was
always over-drawing on my checking account. I couldn’t have a credit
card because I had no idea how the payments and interest thing worked.
Looking back I realize my sixteen year old son knows more about
financial management than I did at twenty-nine.
John taught me to budget, to keep track of money in and money out
therefore keeping in the black. Money management, which had been a
mysterious black hole most of my life, was revealed to be that simple.
By controlling it wisely I was liberated from it. This was exactly the
concept I needed to manage how I ate.
Calories in, calories out, staying in the black. So I started journaling what I eat again, only this time with a twist.
That food journaling not rule my life is important to me. I recently bought an iPod Touch to help me keep track of my calendar. I found an application for it called Lose It!
All it is is a calorie calculator, that’s all. Using Lose It! is just
enough responsibility to make me think about what I eat and not so much
that I feel like I’m in a straight jacket.
Since food journaling, I enjoy eating more because I feel safe. It’s
like horseback riding. If I don’t hold the reins at all, my horse feels
like no one’s taking care of her and she gets scared. If I hold them
too tightly, she feels caged, trapped, inducing anxiety as well. She is
happiest and best behaved if I have a gentle, sure tension on the
reins. As the great riding instructor Sally Swift said, “Hold the reins with the same grip you use to hold a child’s hand.” Sure, gentle, safe.
Weight loss experts, scientists and researchers have said all along that food journaling
is one consistent habit used by people who lose weight successfully.
That and exercise. You know how you learn things over and over as if it
Finally, I get it!