Trouble with a capital T

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Lately, I’ve been lamenting the fact that my weight loss has slowed. Wait, scratch that. I’ve been worried about my slow weight loss. No, wait, that’s not right either. I’ve been exasperated with how slow the weight has been coming off. No, No, NO, that’s not it either.

I think what is really bugging me is that I’m not as enthusiastic about losing weight as I once was, and that is frustrating, worrisome, and exasperating for me.

Yes, that’s what the matter is–I’ve lost focus.

It all started when I read some literature that suggested it’s not all about the scale. The article I read talked about how stepping on the scale every day is akin to bondage and that it displaces God in the weight loss process, suggesting my trust should be in a machine designed to measure physical mass and not in the One who designed not just my body, but my spirit, my mind, my emotions, and my ability to interact with others of my species successfully.

It all made sense to me at the time.

I felt like I really had made the scale into a god. It was my master and I had to check in with it each morning to get my marching orders for the day. It did seem that I had become unbalanced in my approach to CHANGE, that scary, but little one syllable word.  It did seem like I had put too much emphasis on physical recovery from food addiction, as opposed to the three-pronged approach I have been taught to be mindful of:  physical, spiritual, and emotional.  It was at that point that I made a decision not to weigh myself every day.  Instead, I would pray and trust, and believe that God would give me directions and I would follow them, and we would be fine without that scale.  The truth is that one day I might be able to quit the scale and quit the reporting, but this is not that day.  THIS is weight loss I’m trying to achieve, and in the same way that disciplines work in other areas of life, I need disciplines and guidelines to help me direct my weight loss efforts.  It’s not God’s fault that I need these things.  After years of abuse with food, I have killed my ability to eye ball it, go it alone, or slide into home base without assistance from the field.  I did that, not God. It’s not His fault.

So often, one bad choice leads to another.

Following a decision to no longer weigh myself on a daily basis, I decided I was bored with reporting my food, too.  Hey, at least you’ve got to give me credit for going full-bore in the wrong direction. No half measures for this gal.  I was going all the way with this trust thing.  I didn’t need any outside help.  All I needed was God and hope and time to make the miracle happen.  Again, where do I get these notions?  Isolation is a part of my obesity pattern.

So, here’s where I’m at today: 

I have decided that not weighing daily gives me permission to not pay attention to my physical recovery–not what my program teaches.  This concept is death to me.

I have decided that not reporting my food is not an option for me.  In fact, it is equally as dangerous as not weighing myself every day, because I have weasel tendencies where food is concerned and I need to be accountable for what I eat.

I have decided that if I can’t exercise the way I want to exercise–dang foot and back–I can make myself available to my friends and associates, to help them with the projects they have taken on and to get my calorie burn in that way.  All movement counts.

I have also decided that kayaking is good for my back. Go figure. I would not have thought so, but both times I have gone kayaking in August my back has felt much better afterward.  Maybe its the increased oxygen flow from paddling that has made it so, I dunno, but I’m glad for the change.

Beginning AGAIN, today, I will be weighing, reporting, and helping others in an attempt to help myself get back on track.  My weight is still stable, but I have more weight to lose and it is not coming off quickly enough.  I need to kick it into high gear this fall and get the scale moving down again.  Funny thing:  Although not weighing was supposed to free me up to trust more, I have discovered that while God is faithful, I am not.  I need accountability to keep me on track and moving forward.  I hope I have that lesson learned.  I’m excited to begin again!

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Changing the Number on the Scales

NUMBERS.  Today, I’m thinking about numbers, and all the things I could do to change the number on my bathroom scale.

I could put duct tape over the digital readout and use a Sharpie marker to write in my own numbers.  Duct tape is good for everything, isn’t it?

I could hit the thing with a hammer and break it at the number of my choice.

I could put away my digital scales and make a mock-up of a digital scale out of cardboard, and glue on digits I get at the hardware store to it to fill in the number I want to see when I look to that spot on the floor where my real scale now sits.

I could just quit using the scale, and replace it with a crystal ball, or tarot cards, or an other method for determining my weight, other than trusting this piece of machinery.  Probably not gonna do that one, or even think about it any more.

I COULD also…

…eat right, exercise, pay attention to how much fat and carbs I’m putting in my mouth, calculate how tight my pants feel today, and GET ON THAT SCALE to prove to myself that I am doing everything I can do to deal with my piece of America’s obesity problem.

Hmmmm, I think I’ll pick that last option.

Why?  Because it works!

Here’s the thing: for me, it’s about the scale, but not all about the number on the scale, or even moving that number down quickly. It is about eating right, healing my body through food, reducing the amount of fat I’m storing and carrying around every day, and seeing my blood sugar levels diminish and my diabetes go away.

For some people, looking at that number on the scale every day becomes a trigger for bad behavior. If the number goes down, they celebrate with food. Conversely, if the number goes up, they feel defeated and abandon their food plan and all exercise, before caving to the urge to coast through life, fat be damned.

I know. I was that girl.

That kinda plan might work if you don’t have a life-threatening disease, but when you do, its time to be real.

Scale or no scale, number or no number, my body knows when I eat right and when I eat wrong, or eat everything in sight, most of all sugar. It knows. I can’t fool my body. Nor can I fool my blood stream. If I put sugar in my mouth, sugar seeps into my blood, and my blood sugar levels rise.

Fact.

No question about it.

Scale totally unrelated. It is what it is.

That’s why I’m spending so much time these days following truth and being honest with myself about what I’m eating.

It’s hard.

I have my days…

…days when I’d like to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, in as large a quantity as I want.

Truth.

But what I want and what is good for me are two different things. Besides, life is not all about food, and health is not all about a number.

We are all different. We all have different needs. We all deal with different challenges. Some of us are triggered in our eating behaviors by the number that shows up on a cold, dead piece of steel that rests on the bathroom floor. Is that crazy? Maybe it is, but it is reality for many of us who have fallen into compulsive overeating patterns.

What can we do about it?

As you can see, there are options.

The better question, I think, is how can we care less about a number, and more about getting healthy and reducing the amount of fat we carry around and the medications we are forced to put into our body to help regulate things like blood sugar levels. I don’t want to dose myself everyday, so I’ve chosen to do battle with the crazy scales instead.

How do I do that?

I weigh myself every day, and when I’m done doing that I accept the number I’ve seen and I recommit myself to eating whole foods and less processed meals throughout that day. One day at a time.  This has brought me measurable success, for which I am most grateful!

Today, face those scales, but don’t be defeated by them.  Take yourself to task and make YOURSELF master of your health. It’s not that farfetched to think you can beat those scales. I believe it can happen for you…for me…as we concentrate on getting better, one day at a time!

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!!