Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Operation: Get Well

Thought it was time for another update. Things are... Well... About the same, more or less. I try, as I always do, to take things one day at a time. And each day is different. The past few in particular have seen me keeping up with exercise, eating healthy/mindfully for a bit, then binging.

That mix of behavior has left me feeling in limbo (and unable to wear certain clothes, ack!). One moment I feel strong and determined, the next, I feel weak, guilty and completely worthless. And then there are the moments when I'm binging and I feel nothing at all. I am completely numb until I reach that point of physical discomfort (resulting from waaaay too much food in my stomach).

I feel as though I've made some progress this morning though. It dawned on me today that I've been approaching this problem from a pretty superficial point of view. I've mostly been looking at food and exercise and how much I get of each, whether it's too much or too little.

I need to dig a little deeper and point out specific things that I really need to at least acknowledge if I expect to make any progress at all. I need to be honest and point out patterns as I recognize them, no matter how serious or frivolous.

-Guilt. My inability to not feel guilty after eating is one of the reasons (if not THE reason) this whole stupid cycle keeps repeating itself. It's gotten out of control (I always seem to feel guilty to some degree, no matter what I eat or how much) and I really need to work on breaking down the "good" and "bad" labels when it comes to food. Sure, I still need to differentiate between healthy and clearly unhealthy, but while I was losing weight, I was always quick to point out what I thought were "bad" or "evil" foods and therefore had a hard time forgiving myself if I ever ate them.

-Self-image. Blaaah. I don't have much insight on this particular area yet, but I'll be forever working on it. I have my good days and not-so-good days. But overall, I know it's something that I need to acknowledge as an area that needs improvement. If I'm constantly finding ridiculous flaws in my appearance (and selling myself short as an intelligent, funny individual), I'll never be able to fully enjoy my life.

-Trigger foods. Yes, I know I just mentioned above that there shouldn't be "good" or "bad" foods, but for the time being, I need to be flat-out honest about common foods that have been putting me in binge territory: cocoa-roasted almonds, peanut butter and dark chocolate. It seems so ridiculous to me that I've allowed those same three foods to set me off, but they have. Will I banish them from my diet forever? Of course not. Should I avoid them for at least a few days as a precautionary measure? Absolutely. There are plenty of other healthy foods that I can enjoy in their place. And I need that; I need to become reacquainted with some of my forgotten favorite healthy bites. There was a time not so long ago when I craved pumpkin and strawberries and zucchini. I miss those cravings. One of the main goals of Operation: Get Well is to be able to enjoy all foods in moderation, but achieving that goal requires baby steps (for me, anyway). And right now, I'm just not at a point where I can have a bit of chocolate and call it a day. I realize that such an ability is simply a matter of choice, but clearly I'm struggling to make the right choices, so I need to be more patient with myself.

-Gym. Even though I have what I need to get good workouts at home, going to the gym just makes a difference for me. First off, it gets me out of the house. We're homebodies for the most part, and while that's not a bad thing, I feel better when I can at least go somewhere else besides home and work for a part of my day and better my health. Plus, there's just something about being around other health/fitness-minded people for an hour or so that reinforces those positive associations with exercise and improving my quality of life. Granted, they're all complete strangers that I almost never talk to, but if you're a regular gym-goer, then you can probably relate to what I'm trying to say. Making it to the gym a few days a week makes me feel like I can be reliable in other areas of my life, including my diet. I did make it this past Saturday, but prior to that, I hadn't been in at least 2 weeks or more. I love my gym (cheap membership, nice facility, good equipment, friendly staff), so there's no reason for me to avoid it.

Those are the main points for today. I am, once again, trying to be optimistic, but I cannot deny how incredibly vulnerable I've been feeling underneath lately. I suppose feeling that way is part of the process, so I need to embrace and work through that feeling instead of punishing myself or denying the feeling all together. Ha- kids, the key word for the day is "feeling," apparently. Geez.

Lastly, I received some very nice comments on my last post and just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. It means a lot.


Chris said...

"sellling myself short as an intelligent, funny individual" resonates the loudest with me. The flaws will always be there, so long as we look for them. Focus on the positive, it's there in abundance.

Tamara said...

So true. I should probably take a break from listening to Morrissey as well, haha.

Thanks Chris.

Kate said...

Hi Tamara. I just saw that you have begun to follow my blog, and I wanted to thank you for that, and for your very honest blog, as well. I'm sorry for the pain that you've been experiencing lately. And while I know, personally, the difficulty that exists in believing it when someone else says it, I'll say it anyway: you are innately valuable. You are worth loving, by others and by yourself. Take care of you, Tamara. I'll be checking in, as I hope you'll be doing with me.

Tamara said...

Thank you very much, Kate. I've only had a chance to read a few of your recent posts, but greatly enjoyed and appreciated the things you've had to say, based on your experience. I look forward to reading more and genuinely appreciate your support!