Happy Thanksgiving there folks. I hope you’re all sleeping like babies after stuffing yourselves like turkeys yesterday…
Besides blogging, there was plenty for me to be thankful for yesterday:
- an awesome Strongman Sunday workout (felt more like playing) at West London CrossFit
- plenty of tasty schanx
- instagram opps galore at the Brigden Fair
- quality time with the family
- chilly enough weather to bust out the fall clothes
- a meal fit for a king
- wrapping it all up with some relaxation when I got back to London
The not so thanks part is the way I felt after eating like a piggie. I’m proud of myself for not bingeing, but today I’m taking that perspective from yesterday and getting real. I got up this morning, had a quick breakfast, and started writing. I should admit there’s another step in there: I got up this morning, weighed myself (WTF Cheryl), had a quick breakfast, cried, and started writing.
During my 30 day challenge, I think I did a really good job of checking in with myself. But the last few months have been a whirlwind for me–a mostly awesome whirlwind–and I’m just checking in on a bigger scale for the first time in a while. What I see is a lot of progress (like I mentioned yesterday), but still some frustrations that really aren’t going to solve themselves.
What I’ve realized is this: even if you know exactly what the perfect _________ (diet, training program, budget, relationship, whatever) looks like, that doesn’t mean you know how to make it happen for you.
Let’s get specific. Eating By Design, doing CrossFit, and all of the other things I blog about all the live long day (choosing behaviours and not focusing on outcomes, working on self esteem) are “the answer”…kind of. Those steps are more like the steps to the answer, which is believing that you can be and even further, are meant to be, amazing.
The kind of amazing person I want to be doesn’t do some of the things I do. She doesn’t pound a pack of gum a day. She doesn’t drink 4 coffees in an afternoon (4 x $2.50=$10/d x 365d/year=$3,650<–EXTREME!). She doesn’t eat 5 chocolate bars in two weeks (I have this habit of breaking them up–see photo above–and then “sampling” them before actually just eating my chunk). She doesn’t continually throw out perfectly good jars of expensive nut butter (cashew butter costs over $10/jar) only to go out and buy it again, overeat it for feeling deprived, and then repeat the cycle. It’s not that gum, coffee, nut butter, or chocolate are wrong. It’s not that at all.
It is that using food–whatever food–for anything other than just plain old eating, isn’t my kind of awesome. Bingeing on nuts is not better than bingeing on brownies. Eating your bodyweight in bacon might be laughable in the paleo world, but when you get down to it, using food for reasons other than fueling yourself is silly. Silly but common. I don’t think I’m the only one who turns to food to cope. I don’t think it matters whether you’re skinny or fat or somewhere in between–if you use food to soothe yourself, it sucks. Whether or not you’re willing to admit it, emotional eating is unhealthy and holds you back. When you use food as a coping mechanism, you’re reinforcing something sad: the idea that you can’t take care of yourself otherwise. A huge part of my recovery was realizing that I am entirely capable of taking care of myself–and learning how to do it. So when I see myself using food to cope, I get rightly frustrated. When I stuff my face with candy corn because I’m mad at my mom, it pisses me off. When I drive home and eat a chocolate bar–but eat it standing up without owning the fact that I’m eating it and thus continue eating another one–I get angry.
Angry isn’t a place to make change from. That’s why I’m not throwing away the chocolate or the nut butter. That’s why I’m not vowing to lose x number of pounds by Christmas. How many times have I tried that? And how many times has it worked?
This is the “no thanks” part of the equation. This is me admitting that this stuff is up–and by admitting it (because I think it’s worse to kid yourself–pretend like an issue doesn’t exist is a total contradiction, and contradictions blow), I’m bringing it into consciousness. It exists. First step. Next step: address it.