Earlier today I talked about all the stuff that makes me feel like I’m failing at life… Thanks to my many most wonderful and supportive friends (and my most most MOST amazing sister), I decided to look at what I CAN do. Perhaps being a size 3 isn’t in the cards for me right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do other things to make myself feel better.
Thing I can do #1. I can tell people who love me how I feel and then let them talk some sense into me. I can let them explain from their own point of view and own experiences what it means to keep trying. I can be so glad that my friends are honest and I can certainly stop referring to myself (even if it’s in a round about way) as a dog!
Thing I can do #2. I can continue to appreciate my body and keep drinking a lot of water, stop drinking coffee (except on the weekends… give a girl a break!), not eat sodium filled junk (which I didn’t do anyway!) and make myself lunches and breakfasts and dinners. I LIKE making my breakfast and lunch. I feel accomplished when I make my breakfast and eat it at my desk.
Thing I can do #3. I can take vitamins and mineral supplements in order to feel more vibrant. I can recognize that part of why I feel so fucking tired all the time is because I gave up meat… I’m a chronic anemia sufferer! Holyhowstupidareyou! I bought and have taken now my liquid iron which I KNOW from experience will make me feel better. I also bought Florasil, even tho it’s expensive because it makes my hair and nails nice!
Thing I can do #4. I can keep my house clean because I like it clean. Not because someone expects it from me and I don’t need to resent cleaning because I resented it in the past.
Thing I can do #5. I can quit griping about cold sheets and bust out my oh so beloved hot water bottle in it’s very own wooly custom cover. I’ve been moaning about not being able to use it all summer… This will make me happy to go to bed earlier… which will help feeling tired all the effing time!
Thing I can do #6. Sometimes majority rules. No one else seems to think I’m an epic life failure… I can go with the majority and presume that I”m being a bit harder on myself than I need to be. It’s not all about weightloss (the blog post before this)… I’m good at a lot of things and I’m successful at a lot of things. Perhaps I will start concentrating on those!
Thing I can do #7. Actually take one piece of this advice below and use it… Shanny… I think the WW thing is a good idea and I’m clearly getting no where with the Zone… now that WW has more of what I like about the Zone, perhaps it’s worth a try…
And now, because I think these deserve to be read again and again, the comments from my friends and sister. (which I edited for grammar and punctuation 😉 )
I just want to day before I get to the comments that at every other time in my life… EVERY. OTHER. TIME. in my life, it has been me giving the advice. It has been me that people have seen as strong and bulletproof. Me that isn’t crying when the person on the other end of the phone is. IT. IS. HARD to move to the other side. I take care of everything. I don’t need anything from other people. Disappointments are used to strengthen and the parts that don’t strengthen are discarded. This somewhat whiney, irrational, low self esteem person that you see on here sometimes… wandering aimlessly and looking for help… that isn’t a person I recognize… that makes everything much. much harder.
You know when you get a sunburn and you think you’re fine… it hurts a bit but nothing too drastic… and then you wake up the next morning in excrutiating pain? And the next morning barfing your guts out because not only did you have a sunburn but you also got sunstroke?
THAT is what coming out of this chapter of my life feels like. I thought I escaped unscathed. Then I felt scathed. Then I felt a bit better and lo and behold, there’s more hurt and more pain and more damaged things that I didn’t even know were there to be damaged in the first place. It haunts me, it taunts me and it makes me feel terrible! It’s affected every corner and crevice of my life… like a poison. I guess thing I can do #6 is right… perhaps I should cut myself a bit of slack… it’s not like I got back from a vacation in Hawaii… I rescued myself from an abusive relationship… Huh!
My friend Tara:
I will guarantee you that Shannon and Tara and Sharon ALL had setbacks. (If any of us say we didn’t, then we’re lying.)
Each one of us, through our journey to make change, have all hit a spot much like the one you’re at right now where you’re not feeling like a rockstar and you want to curl up in bed and give up.
It sucks ass.
Personally, I think it’s ok to wallow in it a bit. But only a bit. Let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling – because that’s valid. But while you’re feeling it, try to be aware of how it came about and how it feels. Then, pull your shit up and get back on track. Maybe the same track, maybe a slightly different one, maybe a totally different one altogether.
Just keep going.
I happen to know that you are a smart, determined, vibrant woman who WILL be successful.
You’ve been through something really big and getting past it is going to be equally big
My friend Jo from the UK:
‘Does this make me a failure?’
Pretty sure it makes you human, sweetie.
The good times were real. Doesn’t mean what you’re feeling now is any less real, just means you can be fairly safe in the knowledge that what you are feeling now is not going to last forever. You’ve had a hardcore kinda year and it’s going to be tough to deal with all the time. Taking a few steps back is not the end of the world when you think about the leaps forward you have already made. Think about the things that managed to pull you out of this last time (relying on friends, keeping busy, starting a new hobby etc etc) and see if you can recreate some of them to see if it helps. But don’t punish yourself if you don’t feel up for it just yet or it doesn’t work immediately.
As for knowing when you’re ready? You won’t. Something will just click. I’ve been battling with my weight for a long time – when I’m happy I eat and get fat, when I’m not happy I starve myself and get thin – it’s not healthy. Somewhere a few weeks ago, something just clicked and I’m eating, but healthily and I’m loosing weight and it’s not hard right now. Is it going to last? I don’t know. Will I punish myself if it doesn’t. In all honesty, probably, because I’m human. But I’ll survive it. And you will too and people will be amazed by how you’ve done.
My friend PJ from Cali!
I have a serious problem with the phrase ‘Don’t reward yourself with food. You are not a dog’. Humans, in every culture, for thousands of years, have celebrated with, for, and because of food. When we first started out, the reward WAS the food that was tracked and hunted over the period of days. Not only is it trying to override a basic human instinct (hey, animal instinct), but it is subconsciously removing the joy from food, by not allowing yourself to celebrate with it. When are you supposed to have food? Only when you’re sad, upset, lonely, bored? That’s far more dangerous.
There is NOTHING wrong with saying “I’m really proud of how hard I worked on that project, I will stop by my favorite bakery after work.” Just like anything else, all good things in moderation. Rewarding yourself by eating 13 cupcakes? Not good. Thinking you deserve a reward every time you do the most menial task? Slow down. Telling yourself “no, I’m not a dog”, what a sad, pitiful way of looking at your self. You deserve better.
My sister who I love more than anything!
Dude, woah down. You are not a failure. You’re still living life and getting up every day and making a mark in the world. Maybe it’s not the mark you wish to be making right now but that doesn’t make you a failure! You’re not failing at life…you’re living life…and no one, not one time, not ever, said that it was going to be easy.
Furthermore, in the worst year of my life, I did not keep going. I sat. And snacked and cried and then got up and went outside. I walked the dog and cleaned the house and did all the things that you do every day (minus the dog, of course). When the skies cleared a little I took the opportunity to push like crazy to gain a little back. And then I crashed again (literally this time, hit the dirt) and everything came to a halt again.
It’s what happens. Tara can probably say exactly the same thing. The nuts and bolts of it are that my year kicked the living shit out of me….but what choice did I have but to keep going. It didn’t feel good every day, some days felt like death. Just. Like. Yours.
You just keep going and make the best of the situation and treat yourself right as often as you can.
If it’s weight loss you’re most concerned about, if that’s how you wish to reshape your life right now….perhaps it’s time to shelve the Zone and try something else, something that works with you instead of you trying to work it. If you want my WW membership (the online app) on your phone, I will keep paying for it on my credit card and you can pay me back.
Like Tara said…feel whatever you feel, recognize it and validate it….but since you are a strong successful woman surrounded by the same, you then pull your shit up and get going. It is NOT going to be any easier tomorrow.
PS. This comment you make here: “What if you stick to the one thing and go on and on, trying to FORCE it to work for you? Is that better than giving it up?”
That is the definition of crazy. Why would you stick to something that isn’t working and try to FORCE it to work for you? Why would you keep doing the same thing over and over when all signs point to the fact that it is no longer effective for you?
Find something new! CREATE something new. Don’t try to force what worked in the past to work for you again, it’s possible that that door is closed. Find a new door.
It is not reasonable or conceivable that you are destined for complete life failure. As in, will never succeed, doomed forever, can never have what you want.
I guess if you quit trying that’s what you get. But you take a break, catch your breath and then PUSH. Don’t break for too long, just long enough to muster the energy for another push.
To use a spinning reference….you crank up the resistance until you almost can’t push the pedals. It’s heavy and it’s hard and it seems impossible. And then you take a deep breath, dig deep and give it a burst of power and pedal faster…..and you know what? It gets easier. Momentum, darling. Big breath, burst of power, pedal faster. Break and breath, repeat. Same with life.
ummmm…. I have one word to say (to start anyway, lol)on this.
change and struggle are about grief.
Your summer elation? real. the dumpy dumps you feel now? real.
as we move through experiences and arrive at the other side, we immediately try to re-orient to the new reality. We create unrealistic expectations and hold our selves to impossible standards and we forge the first rule of self: compassion.
if you make a decision (i.e. A Zone Diet or Bust), and it turns out to not be the right decision…. bingo bammo, you can make a different decision.
You are the expert on you. You know all your dirty tricks, you know what makes you smile inside with joy and pride (yes pride, NOT a dirty word btw).
Seek the places you are most creative and DO YOUR ART. whatever that is (knitting, blogging, you get the picture) and EMBRACE it.
the mere act of CREATING, will propel you forward in the direction you are meant to be traveling.
Back to the grief thingy. its kinda like the saying “where ever you go, there you are”. the only way through is…. through. I know, who made up that dumb rule eh?
Even if the dramatic change you went through was a positive one (yes, oh yes it was!) you will still grief its loss. Know each tear you shed (in whole foods or your pillow) is one less you are keeping inside to roil and rage against your keen spirit of courage.
sorry if I sound crazy. I had my flu shot today. Probably mercury poisoning.
I rue cat sand! I rue sleeping in a bed that has a sand box full of sand ground into my sheets. It’s gritty and disgusting and as much as I love the kitty, I rue cat sand!!
I rue the smell of curry! I rue that I love love love eating curry but the smell of it mere moments after the last bite makes me gag!!
I rue cold sheets… I rue that I love to (and am required) sleep with the window open but that makes the sheets freezing. I rue the feeling of forcing yourself to flop down on the cold pillow, knowing it will make you tense and cranky when that’s. It the way you should feel going to bed!
I rue gauge swatches and my own stupid inability to get my head around making them! I rue that knitting an entire gigantico mitten took more time than a teeny little swatch!
I rue typing on a tiny screen. Even tho I rue it, im not going back to check for mistakes so good luck!
I rue now having to go to bed in my freezing cold, curry scented, cat sand infested bed and I don’t even have a mitten to keep me warm because it’s big enough to fit my gritty freezing cold THIGH!
Take 365 index cards, one interesting box and 12 of anything that is important to you… post cards, scrap book papers, old greeting cards, photographs… And voila!
Well, not voila, but it’s really almost that easy. Stamp (or write) the date (no year!) on each card. Takes a while but it’s really the most time consuming part. After that, you just put them in order, use your 12 important things to divide up the months, and then write one sentence per day, every day. Make sure you start every sentence with the year and then in a few years, you’ll have a keepsake to look back on and see what was going on. Don’t worry too much about what sentence you write. When it comes time to re-read years from now… each of those sentences will be the most important thing on that day. Funny how that works.
I was kidding about how much cards meant to me…. let me show you how I wasn’t kidding:
I’ve never EVER thrown out a card… there’s piles more in storage… this stack is from the last few years… I’d love to have a stack of cards as tall as me… They mean more to me than you’ll ever really know.
Guess what I’m doing tonight~!