Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Focus, Obsession and Balance

I look up, and the week has just zoomed by! It is almost Thursday and I haven't blogged since Sunday. Wow.

I remember when I posted every single day... sometimes twice a day. I guess I was so focused on weight loss that it sort of consumed me. And now, I forget. I go for days and, while I do check my email and comments daily, in between I sort of just... live.

In a way I want it to be different. Part of me is *so* used to being diet-obsessed that I wish for that old familiar comfort... like a layer of soft, cozy fat around the middle. Wait... nix the fat. I do not miss it. Or maybe part of me does. I have wondered sometimes if the fat was a security blanket of some kind. I think it was. And so was the dieting. It shielded me from life... from reality. Instead of feeling the pain of a lost loved one, I could obsess over calories and fat grams. The anxiety of having sick children faded to oblivion beneath the graphs and charts and numbers on the scale. Instead of worrying about my relationships, I could worry about my eating habits. Using my brain power to come up with new recipes and calculate nutrition information meant I didn't have to use it to deal with finances or organization. And if I was working out some awesome new weight loss plan in my head, then I had a great excuse not to keep up with the housework! Hey, my health is more important than mopping, right? Weight-centric life is easier.

This is harder. And it is harder not only because I am dealing with all the real-life *stuff* instead of the (mostly detached world of) diet/weight *stuff*, but also because I STILL HAVE WEIGHT TO LOSE. I guess I think it would be easier to just live and forget about all the weight issues if I was thin already (even though maintenance is a lifelong effort). But right now, I almost feel like I am neglecting *weight loss* so I can focus on *living.* But aren't the two intertwined? I think so.

I am still floundering around trying to find that balance. December is the hardest month for me. It's really a bad time to try and focus on ANYTHING. I have joyful days. I have tough stuff going on emotionally. I see myself making a lot of progress in my personal life, but I wonder if it is at the expense of my weight loss. And if so, is it worth it?

Maybe someday I will figure out how to do both. I think I have to. I don't want to focus on one aspect of my life and neglect the other. I want to find a way to lose weight without "giving it my all." Because my "all" belongs in other places. Does that make sense?

Let me get through this month and end up under 200 pounds. Let me have the joy of the season and family while coping with some stress and loss. I finally am understanding the reason so many people gear up for change in January. While I've always said "don't wait," and I still believe that, I, too, see January as a fresh new start. I feel an energy coming in the new year after this dreary winter begins to move towards spring and daylight once again starts to increase rather than decrease. January is a month with no big events. January is a clean slate for everyone. And while I am slowly chipping away towards my goals in December, I think and hope that I can use that January energy to help me find that balance that includes "healthy" AND "living."


Gavz said...

So true... Me too looking forward to that fresh start as well... :-)

Mrs. Chupchake said...

IMHO you hit the nail on the head with this post. This was one of my personal criticisms with dieters, life style changers, or whatever term is appropriate.

I fell into that trap myself.It is easier to "diet" than to confront the problems that caused me to overeat/overdrink.

Best wishes and postitive thoughts as you navigate this month and the personal issues you are thinking about.

Becca said...

Gosh, I really feel you on this post. I really struggle with the balance. On days when I focus on my weight loss, I seem to fall behind with my business and my personal household. When I strive in my business and home, I fall behind on my weight loss. I'm not sure how to balance it. So when you figure it out...please pass along the wisdom ;)

Karen said...

I wear a bracelet on my left wrist ( I have different ones) that reminds me to balance my work, health, home, family and this helps me slip away during the day for some time just for me.

Of course, not eating my trigger foods and staying food sober makes life a whole lot easier to balance- in all areas of life. The problems are still there, but nothing That we cannot overcome.

Good luck. Hug your kids and stay on plan.

Jerome said...

WOW, So true! I went from 493 pounds to today I weigh 201. I still want to lose another 20-30 pounds but that focus has "softened". It IS tough!

lisa~sunshine said...

This post sounds like you want to be done with dieting.. since you were doing a set diet plan of medifast which isn't a life long healthy way of eating.. I would say this is why.. I really think you will find a balance when you come up with your dieting way.. I think medifast has run it's coarse for you and you know have to move on.. During my dieting down I have been on a few different diets.. it wasn't until I started my Lisa Volumetrics diet that things began to work for me.. Yes it's counting calories.. but it was more importantly finding a plan that worked for me.. for the REST of my life.. something that was dieting but also something i could LIVE with FOREVER.. Even in maintenance you will have to have days when you hit a deficit to adjust for days when you over indulge.. I know you say you tried counting calories.. I did too back in 2009 and things didn't seem to work with it.. in 2010 I did a low carb plan.. now in 2011 I haven't lost a lot of weight but I've taken the year to increase my exercise.. and fine tune MY PLAN.. I am a firm believe that you have to find what works for you.. You can easily go off your macro splits and calories of what medifast was.. but honestly.. if your not sticking to medifast now.. what good will the transition period do you? You have already transitioned yourself off the plan and now can't get yourself to stick to the plan..

I think your continued success.. and most importantly HAPPINESS comes into play with what you said in this blog.. BALANCE.. You have to find your way.. all diet books show a way that worked for THAT person.. now it's time for you to find your plan for life.. Take December to really think about it.. I get that medifast seems easy to you.. I get that medifast worked before.. but it's also very obvious that it's no longer working and hasn't for a while.. and that you need to get back to figuring out what will..

Another thing.. it helped me to fix the whole food meals.. for my children to see that I don't eat differently than them.. that I am a role model..

I know others have commented about switching your plan.. I really hope you take some time to sit down.. or go for a walk with your dog.. and really think about what you want.. rethink your goals.. recommit to yourself and your health.. and workout a plan for you..

lisa~sunshine said...

Like Karen.. I also wear inspirational sayings on bracelets.. I have one that says believe.. and the other says.. Live the life you love on one side.. and Love the life you live..

It does give me a tangible thing to remind myself of what I want.. what my goals are.. and how I will get there

Lynn.. I know you can do this and you will find your way.. I'm also still rooting on your getting below 200 for January 1st.. and for me to reach 167lbs too.. we can do this..

Theresa said...

Part of the excitement of starting in January is that you honestly feel like you are not alone. In December there are nothing but parties and gatherings surrounded by food, baking and excess. January everyone takes a look and says STOP. It's good to feel like others share your journey. For me, that's why January is such a great fresh start and December is such a struggle. Here's to holding our own in December and digging in for the long haul

Kyle Gershman said...

Even though I'm no longer weighing my food, counting calories, I'm no less obsessed with dietary considerations and thoughts of exercise. Perhaps that is the balance that should be achieved, but my mind continues to obsess on it. I think its healthy...and it does keep me focused.

Anonymous said...

While realizing this is your private blog, although made public with the public venue that you choose to publish with, one thing I am often struck by while reading your posts:

There are those posts that are the "I will never eat a cupcake again, so glad food no longer is a problem for me" type of commentary. And then more than not we read the "I am having problems with my food again after proclaiming that I am all good and will never eat a cupcake again" type of posts. Now, this is not unusual for anyone battling these issue, but maybe just a small piece of advice that may keep people from feeling like flaming here, at times—when you write about being in a place where you will never mess up again, perhaps you might soften your rhetoric about the "never again" theory, as it just doesn't happen for you. Just my thoughts about possibly getting honest with posts that you say are just written for yourself, but posted in a public way for anyone to read.

SG said...

i really get it. so many times its either or. i for sure have not figured out how to do it in balance.

Anonymous said...

Now you're getting somewhere. A good life includes a healthy weight, but a healthy weight is not sum total of a good life.

I'd encourage you to examine your non-parent/child relationships. Often, it's what we who use "tools" like food or drugs or alcohol DON'T talk about that are the real issues.

Lyn said...


I do have times where I am not bothered by food, but I am pretty sure I've not said I would never mess up again or that I wouldn't struggle or eat junk ever again. I know it will always be an issue.

I am always honest about how I feel at the time I am blogging, whether I am feeling no temptation or having a tough time saying no to sugar or whatever. I feel differently on different days and share that, but I don't make blanket proclamations about never struggling again.

Anonymous said...

I am someone who lost 130 pounds and thought I'd be over obsessing about my weight and food. Even after the weight is lost, you can still find yourself struggling just to keep it off. In my opinion, for some of us, it's a never ending battle.