What is it about stress that causes us to give up on our plan? Do we think our plan is stress and we can’t add “one more thing”. Is it really less stressful to dive in to the cake or chips or fast food? I’m not here to actually answer the question. I’m one of the people that “they” can study, in fact. I’m not a therapist who has to figure out the “why” in things. Nor, do I feel that if I know “why” I’ll be better off. Sometimes I’ll just have a name to a disorder giving me the excuse to do it. “I’m an emotional eater so when I’m emotional I just eat.” Identity. No. Not happening. What I do isn’t who I am.
We’re headed in to the Bermuda Triangle of weight loss. We have Halloween coming up, followed by Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas and Hanukah. We will be having family traditional treats and family-induced stress simultaneously. We will have shopping and scents and triggers everywhere we look.
I’ve been at my goal weight for over 8 years. In that time I’ve split this Bermuda Triangle evenly. Sometimes I rock it – I stay on plan and track and minimize the treats (I *never* give them up!) I’ve weighed in January perfectly within my 2 pounds. But just as often as I’ve rocked it, I’ve failed it. I used the holidays as an excuse with the same mindset I’ve had for years – it’s too hard now, I’ll focus with everyone in January. This makes me human . I forgive myself quickly. (Maybe too easily!)
But I don’t have to struggle – nor do I have to think that these next few months will be hard. Have I been under enormous stress? Yes. Still am. And unlike a work deadline (which I just NAILED, by the way – go me!) I don’t have an end date for the stress. So as this has been turning in my head, I need to make myself STRONGER to deal with it. And a bag of Chocolate Riesens does not make me stronger. (If you’ve never tried these, please don’t. Trust me.) It actually makes me shake and have a hard time sleeping, but that’s another story. By opening a bag and putting them in another room and going back to the other room for one or two or a handful until they’re gone, it makes me feel weak – not strong, and very disappointed in myself. What a wasted (although very real) emotion – that disappointment.
All week we discussed sugar in the Weight Watcher meeting rooms. And for half that week, I was eating it uncontrollably. My members discussed that they’re the same – we get uncontrollable around it. They called it addictive and although I don’t believe it is – I find that whether it is or not doesn’t make it any less or more of a problem. I must work on how I deal with it – how do I make this work….especially with all of the sugar that will be in my environment throughout these next few months? This Bermuda Triangle.
Well, I need to change my thinking. I’ve told my members for years that if you want to change your body from the neck down, you need to change it from the neck up. It’s in our head. We ALL have the ability to redirect our thoughts to a more positive, less damaging direction.
Our thoughts and feelings are intertwined sometimes, but we – if we pay attention – can redirect them which might lead to a positive outcome. My lack of control over what’s going on might still lead me to frustration, but it does NOT have to lead me to the Riesens. It might lead me to calling a friend to vent or to cry. It might lead me to taking a hot bath with candles to escape some of that frustration in a positive way.
We have powers, friends. We have unbelievable powers. But I hear you right now. I hear you say, “But I’m just too tired to use them.” Wait – is that you or me? Ooops. Probably me. I’ve said to myself, “I know you know how to do this. But I’m just too tired. I’ll do it later. I’ll do it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.” Well, I’m done. It’s ridiculous talk, you know. It makes it seem that “doing it” is stressful and hard and too much. It’s not. Not if we don’t make it hard and stressful and too much.
That’s why we remind ourselves of baby steps. No – really – baby steps. Think about that term and then think of the literal thing. Babies crawl, then they work themselves up and take a step and then they fall. They don’t get up the first time and walk. They don’t stop trying. Baby steps. One little step today. Knowing that one little step will lead to a few in a row.
Today, this wonderful day ahead of me, I will make some roasted vegetables. I’m going to feel so wonderful picking them out and drizzling some olive oil and salt and pepper and spreading them out on the pan. I’m going to relish in the colors of them and think that all those colors represent nutrients that my body needs TODAY. And I’m going to smile. I don’t have to plan an entire menu. I don’t have to be perfect and track if I don’t want to. I just have to start today with one thing – and for me it’s the veggies. Just one thing. Tomorrow I may actually prep a few meals or drink my water or take a walk. But that’s tomorrow. Today, is important. I have control of today. I will do this one thing and be happy. Will I be stressed, too? Yes. Because that’s my life right now. But who says I can’t be stressed and happy at the same time? I have to find my moments and in those little moments, I’ll take my baby steps until those moments stretch out longer and longer.
Who’s with me? Who will take even the smallest baby step today? I can honestly say that most of the time when life hands me lemons, I make lemonade. But sometimes I make brownies. Today, though….I’m making veggies!