Sunday, January 07, 2007

You got me so I don't know what I'm doin'

Happy New Year! I've been feeling sort of bleh lately and haven't been motivated to post. I've been frustrated by my lack of progress losing weight. Some of you might have noticed I stopped posting on my other blog.

I'm still in the Sound Health Solutions program, but to be honest, I am not doing a very good job taking advantage of it. I'm having a hard time accepting that I won't lose weight just by working out a couple of times a week with my trainer, plus some haphazard cardio, and sort of vaguely watching what I eat. That may have worked in my early 20s, but now I've got a slower metabolism and in general, a more sedentary lifestyle.

And I've been grumpy about it. Which is dumb. My inner monologue has gone all whiny on me - "why can't I eat grilled cheese and french fries 3x a week for dinner? is that one donut really going to make a difference? do i have to work out today? i'm so tired. but it's new year's/kwanzaa/Peanut's birthday, so I can eat what I want, right?"

And all I want to do is wear one of my many pairs of sweats and play online poker. (Which is fun, by the way. I've been playing on MSN for free.) And of course, that doesn't really help matters. I'm sick of it. I know I was happier with myself for the 5 minutes in 1999 when I was actually a healthy weight.

But just wishing for something doesn't make it happen. I should know that, having busted my ass at Caltech, then at Deloitte and now at Microsoft. It's so weird that weight loss is the one thing that stumps me. It's not rocket science. But it does require sustained good choices, and lots of hard work for a long time, with a payoff far in the future. And not surprisingly that's hard for me (Ms. Instant Gratification) to deal with.

A few weeks ago, I had one of the counseling sessions that comes with the Sound Health program. I went in rather closeminded about it. After all, I don't eat emotionally and have really had an easy (and happy) life. So what could a shrink really do for me?

But the weird thing was, Dr. Steve made an impression on me. He did most of the talking, so it was more of a learning opportunity for me, which made me more comfortable. He talked about Tibetan Buddhist sand paintings. Some Buddhist monks place each grain of sand individually (I don't know if this is really true) but they have to make a decision - use this grain in the painting, or toss it behind into a trash pile. If too much goes into the trash pile, then there isn't enough for the painting and the painting won't be as elaborate (or finished).

This is a simple metaphor for the everyday choices I have with food and exercise. Each one contributes a tiny bit to losing weight, not enough to make a huge difference, but a lot of bad choices (or choosing not to do the right thing) are going to end up affecting the end goal. Somehow that was an effective metaphor for me. Especially because a lot of the choices I make are when I'm too hungry or too tired to really focus and make the right choice.

So here's to 2007 filled with many more good choices than bad ones!


  1. I am a mood eater - i eat for every depressing moment of life - and for every happy moment - It is a cycle I have yet to break.
    I too realize that my body has changed from its 20-28 year old form and that loosing weight now at 37 is a harder than cutting down a tree.
    I wish you luck and high spirits on obtaining your weight loss and finding it within yourself to be able to take it day by day - I know that "why cant it happen tomorrow" mentality is craziness but yet dog on it! Why not!!?
    Good Luck in '07'
    By the way the power outage sucked. I am in Tacoma so all though mine was not out as long...thank god... I felt frustrations...

  2. I hate(d) exercise so I totally empathize. I had a hard time exercising when it involved going to the gym and doing cardio. It was just so boring, even if I brought stuff to read.

    BUT I think if you find some activities that you really like (might be a combo of more than one type) then it WILL start coming to you. I am confident that you will at some point find some things that really interest you, and then you won't be able to stop doing them. It might not take place in a gym. It might also serve some other purpose than being exercise, which is the best scenario of all.

    For example, I got into Yoga Booty Ballet (which is fun, low impact, and conveniently on a DVD). For me it started as a daily hour of escape from thesis writing, then it became my reliable source of alone-time and a general stress reliever. (I also like the Live series of YBB and am anxious to try the Hip Hop and Cabaret workouts.)

    Now I'm also into Taekwondo because it's a higher-impact stress reliever on top of being a good way to work through my anger at a scumbag recent ex. You get to yell a lot in Taekwondo, and it's what I need now.

    But a year and a half ago I didn't exercise at all. I tried running... boring. Tried cardio stuff at the gym... also boring. It's just not me. I need dancing, funky moves, and now, I need some yelling.

    (You strike me as not a particularly angry person, but I'm sure that you will find something else that you can get out of exercise.)

    Maybe you can find things you already like to do (dancing?) and see if there is an exercise-version (what about bellydancing or hip hop dancing workouts? It doesn't look like it, but both burn a lot of calories and look fun). I wouldn't worry if I were you about it being "high impact" to start with... after a while you may start to crave more intensity and seek it naturally. Also you'll probably be surprised how effective a low-impact workout is if you like it enough to do it all the time.

    Okay, sorry to be preachy, But you're someone with a lot of interests (as I remember) and probably, like me, prone to get bored with something monotonous. So
    (1) you'll probably be able to find something you like and
    (2) you're more likely to stick with it if it's funkier.

    So here's to you finding that funky exercise thing that will make you addicted to it and want to do it all the time!

  3. Thanks Suz! You are so right. (and so nice of you to write such a long encouraging comment!)

    I actually love walking outdoors so I might be able to stick with that for a while. I bought a new jacket this weekend that's down-filled so it'll get me through the winter. (Yes, I know we don't get real winters in Seattle.)

    I am torn between being easily bored, but also being horribly uncoordinated when I try new things. I get impatient when I'm not good at it quickly, so it makes me less likely to try new things. But I looooove hip hop dance. I wish I could find ppl to go dancing with here - I really miss that.


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