Okay, so I haven't tracked, walked, or really been disciplined in a couple weeks plus.
Actually, I have only mentally tracked for months.
So, as an exercise in discipline for today--since what I need is to get that BACK, the discipline--I started tracking again. Today. With Breakfast: 480 cals. 27 carbs.
It was a weird feeling entering each item I ate and seeing the data add up. I spent over a year faithfully tracking, until it became burdensome, and I dropped it. Now, it feels nostalgic. I remember the 268 pound me really facing the long journey and deciding, okay, this is one tool. One.
I remember how much I learned using it, though it was a pain in the kiester, as a lot of things requiring faithfulness and discipline are.
I haven't weighed in days. I haven't even mentally tallied calories in days. I have felt such apathy and sadness. But today, I begin small. I track.
Ya know, I feel a little better. Just doing this little old "diet discipline" thing made me remember. It was so much harder and sadder being morbidly obese. But I remember the drive and fear and hopefulness of my furiously intense tracking days. That was a good thing to remember. How much I wanted to be...here.
I apologize if I offended anyone with yesterday's post.
It wasn't meant to say we cannot gripe or whine on our blogs, which of course, that's one of the reasons for HAVING a blog, to be able to be ourselves. It's not meant to say our diet journeys don't matter. Health matters. It's meant to say we matter more than the diet, and other things matter more in perspective, so not to let our weights be the determinant of our being, our feelings, our outlook. That makes us slaves, in a way.
My feelings as blogged yesterday came from my observations of a certain distortion that can happen with diet bloggers: How a pound up can make folks feel worthless and like failures and the self-hate that follows. How that pound takes on a meaning beyond what it should have. The lack of perspective.
A needed vent, whine is therapeutic.
Speaking of some negative things: necessary.
When the whines go on and one, chronically, and the scale is master and lord, one's perspective surely can become screwed up. Badly screwed up. (Been there.)
My tracker, my scale, calculations of BMI, and so forth--these are tools. And they should never rule or define me. EVER. I told myself this in 2010, and I still tell myself this.
Morbidly obese me had as much value as not morbidly obese me.
But morbidly obese me couldn't move or feel as good or have the renewed dreams not obese me can, simply cause I have better ability to FUNCTION in my day to day. And the growth in self-worth isn't cosmetic. It's because I achieved something I wanted to. I wanted to NOT be obese. I wanted to become master of my food, not let food master me.
The previous post, partly born of depression, partly of frustration at the self-hating from the blogging sphere over failures, was meant to say, "Keep perspective." Hating ourselves (and in some cases out there hating OTHERS) for failing to meet slimming goals is counter-productive and, yes, adds to the negative power in the world. We need to cut that crap out.
Even as we learn to discipline ourselves, we need to forgive ourselves when we fail. Not for self-indulgence's sake--cause if there's anything we overeaters don't need is an excuse to self-indulge-- but for the sake of being humane in our journey. It's easy to lose that perspective.
And when that number can ruin our day and alter our sense of self, we've lost perspective. It's time for a corrective at that point.
(It goes both ways. If a pound lost can make the radical sunshine reaction change in your day, like the pound gained can put a huge black cloud over it, there's some calibration issues with one's emotions. It's like the scale-mediated bipolar syndrome or something.)
So far, I haven't had a number ruin my day in a long while, though I may not like the number. Though it may not be my goal number. I look at the feedback and try to do better, but I refuse to be self-hating anymore about weight. I spent too many years--decades!--doing that. What did it get me? Diddly squat other than low self-esteem.
While I disagree with the Heath-At-Any-Size folks on some particulars--sorry, me at 300 and 400 and 500 pounds could hardly be called healthy, and I'm not buying that line--I do believe we ought to be loved, respected, and valued AT ANY SIZE. Even by ourselves. And that's really hard to do, but I believe it should be part of the program as we work on HEALTH and getting to different size.
Maybe we should ask about the motivations and the outcomes:
Is my whine/vent about a frustration? Is it about self-hate? Is it ongoing and fruitless? Is it therapeutic, a release?
These are questions I will ask myself. And maybe you should ask, too.
If whining is persistent and goes nowhere in terms of progress, internally and externally, then that whining is a mental rut or self-indulgence, the latter of which makes it a lack of virtue or, if really chronic, a character flaw , not a release or a vent.
For Christians, it would qualify as a sin, perhaps, at that point. Just take a tour of what Scripture has to say on whining, complaining, murmuring. It may apply. It may not. This requires self-examination.
With a caution: Just because a thing is "permissible", doesn't mean it's beneficial. That which makes you FEEL better for the moment may actually be keeping you from being built up into what you want to be.
I've been there; I know that where my mind and spirit abided, in times past--and I'm talking pre-2010-- were BAD places of much complaint and some despair and a whole lotta self-loathing. If it gets to that point, we who were told that no matter the situation"in everything, give thanks" need to cut that out. It's a command.
It's a simple fact to say, "I chose to eat X and it was off plan. I feel sad about that. I feel frustrated and wanna SCREAM. I'm considering why I made these decisions, in these situations, so maybe I can have strategies to better fit those temptations. Here's where maybe I went wrong and can do better, yadda X and yadda Y... And though I feel sad, I know I can learn from this. I can do better. I won't let this cut me up and get to me. I will fix this somehow."
That's not whining. That's assessing. That's confessing. That's learning. That's keeping hope. That's something that can lead to self-work that is productive, I think.
Whining--the whining I refer to, not the occasional vent--is when there's this sort of persistent sense of "woe is me" going on and on on a blog, a repetitive thing, a habitual thing:
...this thing happened and that thing happened and another thing happened and it's not my fault I overate cause I was stressed and then I got tempted by birthday cake and I couldn't resist and then my sister made this and I ate that and why do they tempt me and how come people don't support me and help me stay on my plan and then I went to get donuts cause my neighbor was mean to me again and really I'm just so lazy that I can't bring myself to walk which isn't my fault cause it's hot and there are mosquitoes and I get itchy, but I should go to the gym, but I didn't, cause the gym people stare and were smirking at me last time, and it's the worst, and I hate that I'm like this and I hate myself, and when I hate myself, I just wanna eat more...
I don't see how that helps much, other than the venting aspect, if for some that helps. And it may.
BUT, is it a pattern? Vent and vent and whine and whine and...then what? It can become another sort of addiction, maybe. Addicted to the vent-whine and the pats on the back that can follow. The sympathy addiction.
Which helps precisely how?
I'm seriously asking that. If it helps, then do it. I can't say don't do something that is leading you down the right road, helping you make progress.
I just wonder at the follow-up: And then what. Does it help? Does it really lead to progress? Or is it just about FEELING the moment. And then..no fruit. A dead tree.
If it bears fruit and helps: do it.
If it has not helped and you're still stuck and whining: Please, find another way. It's a dead tree that can't nourish you. Why keep watering it?
So, if what I wrote yesterday hurt your feelings in any way, or sounded too bossy or critical, I'm sorry. It was not meant to do that. It really was not.
(And I hope you were brave enough to read the story.)
Today, I'm still fighting for joy and self-control and to be well...
You, keep fighting, too, and find joy, and be well, too.