The spectrum of reasons for disordered eating is a wide one, and I’m trying to work on developing a clearer sense of self so I can determine more or less where I personally fit within that spectrum. After all, it’s hard to fix a problem until you’ve identified it at the root, right?
My weight hasn’t really changed in about three weeks, which would indicate that I’m getting hung up somehow. But, instead of having a knee-jerk reaction and creating a list of extreme and impractical things I’m going to try and do to move the needle like I’ve done before, I want to take a more cognitive approach to the situation and try to learn from my past so I can make adjustments that will orient me to toward success.
Reflecting on the last three weeks, this is what I see about myself:
- I’m satisfied (happy, even) with my figure and with the way my clothes fit me in the 150s.
- That “satisfied” feeling gives me a false sense of security, and I become less careful about what/when I eat. So, for example, I might just graze from the snack table at a dance event or settle for a burger with friends after work instead of making the effort to seek out a healthier meal.
- I use the feeling of being content with the way I look in clothes as an excuse to not think about how I will feel in a bathing suit in a couple months. It’s sort of like just picking up around the house when what it really needs is a good, deep cleaning. It might look ok on the surface, but the job isn’t finished—there’s still grime that needs to be scrubbed away.
- I’m busy pretty much all day, every day.
- I allow this “busy-ness” to become an excuse for why I don’t have time to get in an intentional, meaningful workout.
- I don’t eat with any kind of consistency and with very little preparation.
- I sometimes don’t eat until very late (which probably affects my metabolism).
- I have come to rely heavily on the “hi-low” system.
- When I get on the scale and see 157, I give myself permission to not eat as carefully that day, whether I consciously mean to or not. When I get on the scale and see 160 or 161, I do the opposite. I eat less and avoid sodium as if it were a poison.
- I have commitment issues.
- Sometimes I change my plans for the evening two or three times before they’re final. My weekends rarely are set in stone, and if someone comes to me on a day when I actually have brought my lunch and asks if I’d like to go out… you guessed it, I’m going.
- When I feel like I’m not making good enough progress, I overcompensate by coming with a bunch of ideas to make it better; then I get overwhelmed and don’t follow through on any of them.
At work, we use the concept of creating SMART Goals to help set our course for the coming business year, and since I’m already in that frame of mind, I figured hey, why not apply it to my healthiness journey as well?
SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. I’m going to start with some short-term goals just to get used to the idea of adhering to them. Here’s what I’ve got:
- Complete five 30-60 minute workouts (dancing doesn’t count) by March 10.
- Prepare and bring a lunch to work every day, March 1-9.
- Reach 156 by March 10, with no weighing from now until then (the purpose of this goal is to break myself of the habit of “going easy” or “going hard” on myself based on the number I see in the morning. Ultimately, I want to make healthy choices regardless of what the scale says.)
What I’m learning now, and what so many of you already know, is that there is always, always room for improvement. I haven’t got this all figured out, but it is exciting to step back and realize that I’m never really “stuck.” I can always look back at my mistakes and find a way to be better moving forward.
I really do want to reach that 135 mark, and I hope that setting some SMART Goals will help me move in that direction.