Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Wonder What Would Happen If...

I wonder what would happen if we just *forced* ourselves to do what needs to be done to lose weight and get healthy. Well, I mean, obviously lots of us have *tried.* I have lost a lot of weight, and some of the time I was really pushing myself, but usually, I go within my comfort zone. If I am having a really rough time after a few weeks of losing, eh, maybe I will go off plan a bit. It's not always conscious, really... in fact, it usually feels like some unseen hand forcing me to eat crap. I feel *driven* and compelled and like *omg I cannot stop myself.* But what if I did stop myself? Always?

Sure, I stop myself a lot. I wouldn't be where I am today without a lot of work and struggle and effort. But what I mean is, sometimes I wonder about the whole being *forced* to do it right thing. Like rehab, as I blogged about last week. You take a druggie and lock them in a building with no drugs. You make them see a shrink and do group therapy and suffer through their withdrawals. They have lost their choice, in a way, as soon as they sign themselves in. Maybe Fat Camps are like that too. I dunno. Sometimes, I have wished I had someone with me 24/7 who would cook me the right foods in the right portions, feed me ONLY those things, make me exercise, and yank the crap foods out of my hands if I go near them. Wouldn't that kind of weight loss be easy?

Oh, I dunno. Maybe it would be harder, feeling out of control like that. When I look back over the past 3+ years of weight loss, I am pretty pleased with the work I've done. I've managed to avoid a lot of serious emotional pain as I've done this by doing it slowly and gently. I have certainly addressed a lot of issues... emotional, physical, spiritual, mental. You have to. It's part of the journey.

All the times I indulge myself do slow me down. The extra coffee, the extra fat serving, the bit more protein or extra condiments do add up. Those days I don't *quite* stay within the lines of my plan, well, they are like a kid on a grocery cart. You're just walkin' through the dairy aisle trying to get some yogurt but your five-year-old is hanging on the side of the cart as you push, making you veer to the side a bit, dragging her cute little sneakered foot ever so slightly along the floor as you go. She smiles, her eyes twinkle, but my gosh it is harder to push that cart and get to the darn yogurt with her hanging there like that! You still get it done, but more slowly. With a bit of (truly unnecessary) effort. All it takes it a little, "hey sweetie, I need you to walk over here beside me and help me pick out some bananas, okay?" And then your cart feels ever so much lighter and less difficult to push, and hey, it even goes in a straight line without too much effort.

I've done it my way, tweaking and stuff, not minding the slowness so much. I am pleased with the journey... until now. Now, I suddenly have the urge to get to the yogurt already. But even more, I am curious. What if I DID just force myself? What if I DO just make myself do it regardless of the level of discomfort? Would that be some kind of helpful breakthrough for me? Or would it backfire and end in a binge? I really do wonder, because honestly, I have this sort of 'discomfort threshold' I have been willing to go up to, but not exceed, to lose weight. I wonder what would happen if I pushed on past it? Hmmmm.

Experiment time. I am going to give this a try. I thought about doing it without saying anything, but that's just not how I blog. So here goes. Tomorrow... Monday... begins the Rehab experiment. I am going to attempt to *force myself* out of my comfort zone by sticking tenaciously to my scheduled eating, with NO extras, NO "oh I just feel like having this instead"s, no "outs" at all. I wonder... can I do that? I've done it before on this journey, but *only when I felt like it.* I think this will be interesting. I hope it will make me push through some issues I am sitting on. But if I screw up, maybe I will learn something anyway.

My intention, here, it to get outside my comfort zone and see how far I can push myself AND, maybe more importantly, to blog my feelings about it. I know in the past when I have gotten my focus OFF of food, a lot of other things bubbled to the surface for me to deal with. I think that's what needs to happen here, which is why I am continuing to use Medifast as my plan of choice. It helps me because it's like having someone decide *for me* what to eat, when to eat, and how much. All I have to do is grab a shake or a bar or whatever ever 2-3 hours, and the only real decision I have to make is what protein, veggies, and fat to have for dinner. I've done something similar in the past where I wrote out everything I was going to eat a day ahead of time and never varied from that plan. It takes the thinking out of the day's food choices.

Anyway, bottom line is, I think I am hiding some issues from myself with my eating behaviors, and this is my way of trying to root them out. Wish me luck!


*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products.*

19 comments:

Sunny said...

Sounds like a GREAT idea! Might even borrow it myself! :) Best of luck!

Brandi {1 of 2} said...

I need to get refocused and strict on myself too. I've had too many "legal" cheats and not enough exercise lately.
I also wanted to tell you that I gave you a Stylish Blogger award. I've been a dedicated reader since the 1st time I found your blog. Thanks for sharing your story!

pinkvision said...

Good luck with this, Lyn. What is good about this even though you say you are letting someone/thing else dictate your food intake is that you still have a certain amount of choice and autonomy, and your will, your spirit isn't being quenched by a different power/authority.

I felt very uncomfortable with your earlier idea of 'forced. I've been there, unwillingly, in a rehab situation, and it is the most soul-destroying place to be. It certainly taught me something - that free choice is ALWAYS the best choice, and the most sustainable choice, because something one does out of free will is something one will keep on doing voluntarily, when all restrictions are lifted.

I have great admiration of how you have lost weight - your constant questioning of yourself, reasonings, understanding of self. Yes, it may have been slow, but to me the greatest part is that you feel a much more 'whole' person as a result, and that is a much much more precious thing than any size 6 goal done boot-camp style in 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Lyn this sounds like a great idea! I am going to try it too this week! I have lost 20lbs in the last year because I have this threshold that I am not willing to cross with food. Keep us updated on your experiment.
Sarah L.

Diandra said...

I am not sure that is a clever thing to do... it's the difference between teaching a kid to swim or throwing it into the water to "force it" to swim.

No matter how hard things may seem, we should never have to fight our bodies. We should work with them. Most addictions are rooted in the mind, although there may be physical signs of withdrawal (e.g. with caffeine).

Stacie said...

I think pushing yourself with the exercise could be easier then trying to with the eating. Good luck to you with this. We will all be cheering you on! :))

www.lovemywaythin.blogspot.com

Carla said...

I appreciate your post. I was just lying here in bed with my morning coffee, trying to talk myself out of exercising. I am going to FORCE myself to go do it. I know I will feel much better afterwards, I always do. Thanks

Andra said...

If we don't push ourselves, how else are we to grow as people, become better, stronger, smarter?

Fit B said...

If we don't push ourselves and use self control then we will never reach our ultimate goal. No one claimed it was easy but it has to be done sometimes ;)
Great idea and I cannot wait to see how your experiment goes!

Hanlie said...

We do that in the beginning anyway, don't we? I will be following this experiment closely, Lyn. Good luck!

The Maker Family said...

Good luck!! You can do this! You are such an inspiration to me.. I read over your blogs when I am feeling like 'cheating' or going off plan or just to get the so needed boost we all need from time to time! I can't wait to hear how this has worked out for you.. I just may need to do the same for myself!

Ellie said...

Honestly I feel like the "weight loss rehab" sounds exactly like what they do on "The Biggest Loser" and you can see that they all do lose weight.

The biggest issue is once you are tossed back out into the real world where you have those same temptations and access to the things you OD on. You get right back into it and gain it all back.

The best thing to gain from those types of rehab is a mental change. To learn why you do it and why you can't do it to yourself anymore.

I hope by doing this experiment you are able to figure out just what you need to take yourself to the next level!

Vickie said...

You wrote:
Sometimes, I have wished I had someone with me 24/7 who would cook me the right foods in the right portions, feed me ONLY those things, make me exercise, and yank the crap foods out of my hands if I go near them. Wouldn't that kind of weight loss be easy?

I am commenting:
I am not knocking plans. I am not judging. Your post just made me remember. I have a real life girl friend who has lost ALL her weight (over half her body weight) THREE times with exactly that method. Someone else 'directing her'. First was a liquid thing monitored by a hospital, second was her sister cooking all her meals for her, third was a packaged food thing. So in a sense, a 'third party' taking responsibility for her each of the three times. And she power walked each of those three weight loss times. Her weight comes off steadily and she does get it ALL off. But each time, she immediately gains it ALL back when she takes back responsibility for her own food/choices. It is one of the saddest things I have ever seen. And I have seen it three times. . .she regains IT all, plus a lot of ITS friends join the regain each time.

Lyn said...

Vickie~

so very true. If we were really forced, we wouldn't learn anything at all. So this journey IS necessary, in all its slow, painful, annoying ways. The only way to keep it off is to learn.

Lynna said...

I love your approach to trying new things with your wonderful curiousity and insightful "paying attention". It will be fascinating to experience this vicariously through your blog and I hope to learn a thing or two, too! Thanks!

Lynna said...

I love your approach to trying new things with your wonderful curiousity and insightful "paying attention". It will be fascinating to experience this vicariously through your blog and I hope to learn a thing or two, too! Thanks!

Karin said...

well i'm on board right there with you...You know what will happen if? You'll succeed..you'll see progress.. you'll stop kicking yourself for not doing what you know you SHOULD do (this is me talking to me...not me talking to you...) Thank you for reminding me that a little bit of tough discipline isn't the end of the dang world... Something I have to tell myself in this battle of the bulge i'm in..."Quitting heroin is hard, beating cancer is hard, living in a 3rd world country is hard...eating healthy? NOT HARD!" The original quote is a bit different but that's what I made it to be for me...and boy, is it true. Talk about perspective.

beerab said...

Good luck Lyn!

Anonymous said...

You may not realize it but what you are doing is cognitive behavioral therapy. The books by Judith Beck "The Beck Diet Solution" -Train Yourself to Think Like A Thin Person- and "The Complete Beck Diet For Life" have amazing exercises to help with this very kind of process. Highly recommend for both losing and maintaining weight lose. She does not recommend a specific diet of any kind just specific exercises for behavioral changes, which is what you are going for. I read about her books on another blog and got them from my local library. Great stuff, No reason to re-invent the wheel.