Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How do you stop the cycle?

The last couple of weeks have been rather interesting. I can feel my will power, my strength, my conviction, my....OOMPH...slipping away. And I don't want to lose that. I've come so far in such a short time and I think it's like my brain sits there in all it's greyness and says "well, that's me done then". It's crap! WHY would I turn around and UNdo everything I've managed in the last 9 weeks? WHY??!

Last week I made some rather disappointing choices. I didn't exercise anywhere near as much as I should have and I ate more than I should have. I think, if you were to average it out over the week, I still came in under my points total for the WEEK. But the key is stick to the DAILY total. Otherwise, I'm just sabotaging myself. I didn't do as much walking as I normally do. On Tuesday last week, I had bought myself a new pair of walking shoes and thought it would be smart to wear them out. Break them in. You know the drill. So I did. I walked 8kms. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes. And at the end, I was sporting some rather attractive blisters.

However, that walk saved me at weigh in last week for that 300 gram loss.

This week, I made slightly better choices as far as food in concerned, but other than a couple of small workouts on the Wii, I've not done much. But I lost 1 kg at weigh in this week. Imagine what I could have lost if I'd actually done something!

It got me to thinking over the last couple of weeks though. The choices we make have a cascade effect don't they? Just think about it. Heather, my WW leader, asked us last night "Why do we eat?". The list that we all came up with included:

been drinking
everyone else is

There was more, but those are a few. Now, I long ago identified myself as an emotional eater and a boredom eater, so I'm going to go with those ones.

When I'm "bored" (Oh how I'm beginning to loathe that word), I look for something to do with my hands and in the past, more often than not, I would end up with food. Pick up food, bring hand to mouth, pick up more kept my hands busy. It was for that exact reason that I got my lovely friend Allie to teach me to knit. In the first few weeks of me knitting, I lost 18 lbs!! Of course, I put it all back on not long after when I temporarily lost interest in knitting, but you get the point.

So. I ate when I was "bored". Which would put on the weight. Which would in turn make me emotional. Which would mean I went to the kitchen to find something in which to drown my emotions. Which would put on more weight, which would mean I didn't go many places (for a multitude of reasons), which meant I was at home...."bored"...and eating. Round and round and round we go...where we stop, nobody knows.

I remember hearing Oprah once say that while other people were addicted to cigarettes, booze and drugs, she was addicted to food. I thought she was full of crap. I really did. But then I thought about it. There is usually an underlying reason for people's addictions to things, or why they use those things. I've seen so many people in stressful situations saying "I need a smoke". Or drinking to escape the realities of their lives. Isn't that what many of us have done with food? Oh I'm sad, therefore I'm going to eat a gallon of ice cream. Woot, happy day! Let's have some cake. My boyfriend is such an ass, I'm so mad, I'm going to eat this burger.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we, like the addicts that we look down our noses at, not find a different way to deal with these things? Imagine how much healthier and thinner we would be if we went for a walk to burn off the stress instead of stuffing our faces. Heck, take up kick boxing and pretend it's the ex boyfriend's face on the punching bag. Stress relief and exercise all rolled into one right?

We need to stop the cascade. We need to stop the cycle. We need to stop being a slave to food.

Even now, doing Weight Watchers, I still feel like a slave to food...just in a slightly better way. I still feel that way because I'm having to track everything that I eat. I have to account for every single morsel that makes its way to my mouth. So I still feel like food is ruling my life. And it is very likely that I will feel that way for the rest of my life. I hope not, but it's possible.

So what are YOU doing to stop the cycle? How do you deal with stress so that you don't eat? How do you gather the motivation to exercise on those days when all you want to do is curl up and go to sleep?


You can also find me over at Mind of a Mad Woman..doing my normal "Lose It Bitch" update for the week. And the post below that will make you feel like you tripped and fell into a time machine.

Come back in a couple days for "How you know you're losing".


  1. I wish I knew how to break the cycle! For starters, I am ignoring the spouses whining when I say I am going to exercise...he just has to deal with it becuz I have put my guilt aside.

  2. You want to stick to the daily total of your allotted points -- you mean you never use the 'flex' points?

    I'm still new to Weight Watchers, so I'm curious about how other people approach the program. I've met people who eat all their allotted, flex, and activity points while others never touch anything but their allotment. I'm curious.

  3. I found this interesting:

    Keep going mate, it's bloody worth it in the end

  4. I have had a lot of success over the past few months but for several years prior to that I could not lose a kg to save my life.
    I got myself some counselling and started to learn how to calm down and stop being so hard on myself - I am (or was) the type of person that if it looked like I was going to fail then I would bail (mainly on the weight front). The other thing I am learning to do is stop the negative thoughts and the tug a war that was going on in my head – I now think nice things about myself (most of the time) and immediately put a stop to the rest of crap as soon as it tries to sneak in – I have now lost 19.7kg and feeling great.

  5. Oh Meg, this is a great post in that it's so damn right on! I am an emotional eater as well. What I TRY to do is have snacks on hand that are good for me and retrain myself to reach for a cheese stick and not make that package of brownies I want to (and that I'll eat half the dough, because that's my favorite part). But it is a constant struggle. sometimes I do well and sometimes not so much.
    And then I get up and try to start again.
    I also try to make myself aware of what I am doing....which is hard and painful. Like most often I can ignore hubby eating his piles and piles of sugared cereal as a nighttime snack. The other night? Not so much. But I forced myself to acknowledge what I was doing when I was doing I could make a choice. It was hard!

  6. I recognise this, but I have to tell you there is a way out. I was the same with food and boredom, and then somehow at some point I twigged.

    I still have my bad habits when I'm bored or emotional, but they are different now: I go online, drink litres of water (seriously - sparkling water), exercise (only when I'm feeling up to it), watch TV. Not all of these are all that healthy, but at least I'm not addicted to food any more. And it doesn't rule my life any more. Now I just wish I could tell you what made me "twig." I think it was consciously limiting my food intake (I had a plan for a few weeks - all put down in advance, wouldn't even buy other stuff) and learning to do other things in case of stress. Oh, and the counselling and mindfulness of course.

    Good luck with it!

  7. I don't know the key either. I've never managed to stay motivated long enough to lose all the weight before I gain it back. I do think I eat from boredom, too. There are days when I'm cleaning the house or out running errands all day and I just forget to eat. I suppose that's the key. But I also just get cravings for stuff. After I've been dieting consistently for a few weeks, I just NEED something sweet, and I fall apart.

  8. How do I deal with the stress so I don't eat? I sleep. Most of my emotional eating is done at night after the kids are in bed. Instead of a glass of wine, I reach for the ice cream. If the stress piles on during the day, I drink decaf green tea to turn off the food craving. I loathe formal exercise, so there's no motivation there to lose. *sigh* We're all in some sort of cycle, aren't we? Here's to you kicking yourself out of yours. Keep up the good work - you can do it, my friend!

  9. It has been so hard lately!! I hope next week will be better!!