Wednesday, November 10, 2010


You know what's crazy?

Part of me wants to stay totally strict and on plan with my eating, and add in some more exercise to get this weight off ASAP. I cannot WAIT to be done with weight loss, dieting, being on this "plan" and to move on to a new stage: maintenance. I think to myself, "Holy cow. I only have, like 20 or maybe 30 pounds MAX left to lose here. That is insane!" I think about how when I weighed 278 pounds, I'd see people working "so hard" at losing some "small" amount of weight like 20 pounds, and I'd think, "whatever!!! If all I had to lose was 20 measly pounds, I'd do it in a snap!" I have the tools to do it. It's not that hard. It's not a giant struggle anymore.

But another part of me is all "La la la, oooh, I want a donut!" That part of me peeks out every so often and thinks "gee I am doing fine, I have it down, I KNOW I am going to get to my goal, what's a few days off plan?" I want to bake some cookies and eat a few, or maybe have a bowl of rich creamy soup. I don't *crave* those things. They don't call to me or occupy my mind against my will like they used to. But they pop up here and there, mostly when I am bored or trying to avoid doing something unpleasant. Old habits! I always used to bake or go shopping for food or make a fast food run when I knew I *should* be cleaning the house/paying the bills/working on some project but didn't feel like it. Food is an awesome distraction! You can't clean toilets when you're eating cheese and crackers, right? Or at least you shouldn't. So it was, "Oh, I will do that later, because now I am EATING." That habit still creeps up, and gives me a moment of pause as my two selves ponder.

What do I want MORE? To get through with the weight loss and reach my goal? Or to distract myself with going off plan? What is more important to me?

So far, weight loss is winning. I am *really* ready to be over and done with all this focus on weight loss. I am ready to have a nice bowl of steel cut oats for breakfast, or a banana for my snack. But somehow I have to finish up learning to deal with that distraction/boredom issue.

I've worked on this before. I've learned how to say no to distraction eating. But I haven't figured out how to get comfortable with the residual feelings. I feel inadequate and lazy when I don't do the things I *think* I need to do. I don't like those feelings. So I have two options:

1) Do the thing I think I should do. This is the no brainer. I often will force myself to do at least *part* of whatever I am avoiding. Then I feel better and the desire to eat passes. It might take some serious self-pushing, but with a heavy sigh I will often just get to work, get it done, then sit down and relax with a cup of tea.

2) Do something else. Food prep has become a *great* substitute for actual eating. I will go in the kitchen and chop veggies, brown meats, measure portions to freeze, or make a big pot of soup. It feels as good as the eating did to me, but with no calories. It's a way to be productive yet still avoid whatever I am trying to avoid! Or I can take a walk, or get some other thing done.

Of course, the best thing is to get over the avoidance and just do stuff instead of putting it off, but I think I am, by nature, a procrastinator. And actually, I am okay with that as long as it does not get to the point of affecting me negatively. I actually like the feeling of putting things off til the last minute and then getting it done with some sense of pressure. Hey, whatever works. I guess I will pick my battles.

That said, I am off to do a load of laundry. I've put it off long enough!


-J.Darling said...

Hi Lynn -
Instead of doing something food oriented when it comes to keeping yourself busy (though it's not a bad idea, just not something to do every time), how about a hobby you can take anywhere. How about reading? Grab a good book and read about something inspirational. Or join an online book club and follow their recommendations. :) It's cheap/free and will definately keep your mind busy!
I do a lot of reading (and I usually start by making a cup of tea). Even though I read all day at work, grabbing a fantasy book really helps me unwind.

clickmom said...

I too am a avoidance eater (among a plethora of other kinds of eater that I could call myself) and am interested in seeing you overcome this hurdle. It's a big one. Good Luck! Am anxiously awaiting your 110 pounds gone photos.

Julie Lost and Found said...

I also am a procrastinator and work well last minute under pressure. However, I don't like the pressure. I often wish I was always organized.

Today was a day where I had a list of things "to do" and instead, kept myself busy in the kitchen doing food prep..healthy food you described. But I still avoided other *non food* important things that needed to get done.

I do like to just go at the chores in spurts. I'll look at the clock or actually put the timer on and get as much done as possible in that timeframe..then will sit down with a book and coffee..or some computer time. Then another spurt of work. It helps me to focus a little and get things done rather than procrastination.

Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so impressed with your current photos. You are amazing. You're the only blog I read lately. You're my you will have that song in your head. Wishing you the best!

Rose B.

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the difficulty of the "last 30 pounds". Since you weigh less, you're burning fewer calories, so that the same food intake will result in a much slower weight loss. Also, your body may react more harshly to the deficit as there's less fat stores to burn off. I hope it goes as easily as you expect, but I suspect the game will change, so I hope you don't get complacent.

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Lyn, you're onto something big here.

Although I've known for a long time that I would eat to distract myself (and avoid stuff...sort of a rebellion), I've just recently realized that I have also DIETED to distract myself.

To me, it sounds like you don't want any more "have-to's" in your life with watching what you eat/exercising...doing everything "right". To have-to do MORE...the chores...well, then you want to have a break from doing everything so perfectly.

Cut yourself some slack. You could have a small portion of creamy tomato could bake some cookies and have one...a special treat. This is what maintenance will be anyway...

The words deprivation and rebellion are sticking in my head. Do you feel deprived of the freedom to eat what you want? Do you want to rebel from having to be so "in control" all the time?

I ask this because I have struggled (and struggled) with these very things, around the same point in my weight loss journey(s) (I am a yo-yo dieter!). I have REALLY struggled with it when I've hit my goal...and then gained it all back plus more. So I understand EXACTLY what you're talking about.

Maybe we can find the answers together!

Miz said...

pursue what you resist.
if by YOU you mean *I* which I do.

of to pursue...

Beth at Obesity Strike said...

I am looking forward to maintenance as well. I'm so sick of the "weight loss" mode. Yes, maintenance will be a life long task but it will be markedly different from weight loss.

I am the same in regards to procrastination. I have had to learn how to let myself tolerate "not doing enough" and instead just rest or whatever it is that I want to do instead of recreational eating. And I am exactly the same in that I find that food prep is a great way of channelling that energy and impulse. Chopping, dicing and organizing are all very therapeutic.

I found this article in the New Yorker to be fascinating in regards to the psychology of procrastinators: (Apologies in advance if the link doesn't work, I've never linked in a comment so may screw it up.)

Thanks, Lyn for an inspiring post.

Beth at Obesity Strike said...

Er, yeah, sorry for the double comments, the link I posted doesn't work. If anyone is interested, just google "New Yorker procrastination" and the article comes up.

Lanky said...

Wow, I can so relate to this one. Sounds like you have a good srategy, tho.

Ariel said...

lol! I totally get what you're saying. I let my house get really really messy... just so that when I'm stressed I will have lots of things to organize. I love organizing! No calories, no smells (usually), and the endorphins from the physical labor make me feel better.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for putting into words the exact thoughts and feelings that I have in my head. So many times I'll read your blog and feel a 'twilight zone' feeling. I realize the words I'm reading are exact thoughts that I've had. Thank you for helping me see that I'm not alone in this obesity battle. Thank you so much for sharing your journey for all to read. You give me hope every time that I read your blog - I CAN do this and I WILL do this.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly where ur coming from. Although, your really never done when u have struggled with weight lost. Its a never ending battle, that is why you should work small things in every now and then. Not to over do it, but every now and then.