Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes Lightbulb Moments Reveal Cockroaches in the Bathroom

As I have approximately 4,932 times on, I once again encouraged at least one person today to look not at the big, overwhelming picture, but to concentrate on one choice at a time.

I said it because I know it works, and it does....

But I also read a couple of buddies' blogs in which they posted some very simple, concrete goals and how they were doing at achieving them.

And then the grumpy lightbulb lit up.

The lightbulb moment isn't always fun. While usually bringing light to the darkness is awesome and liberating... sometimes it lets you know that you have cockroaches lurking in your bathroom at night.

I do not actually have cockroaches in my bathroom. At least I don't think I do... Oh great, now I'm paranoid that there are bugs doing all sorts of weird things in my house when I'm not home, and being a child of the 80's/90's, I of course get immediate images of Joe's Apartment and have mixed feelings because they might be HILARIOUS cockroaches, but even in that case are still gross cockroaches.

I don't think I set out to write about bugs... where was I?

Here is what the lightbulb moment revealed to me today (but that I have probably known for quite some time and just wanted to ignore)

1) Taking life one choice at a time so that the big picture isn't overwhelming is awesome, and something I should stick to, but that doesn't mean I should lose sight of the big picture ALTOGETHER.
"Oh good for me, we ate out but I ordered a really healthy option" doesn't really properly put into perspective that we ate out about 6 times last week. Even if I'm ordering the best option every time, and the options are actually good, they are not great, and I am wasting money.

2) Goals are awesome, but vague goals aren't particularly helpful.

Wanting to fit into the very last pair of "someday they'll fit again" pants left in the drawer is a good goal. Do what makes me feel good about myself instead of just "good" in the moment is an awesome goal...
But how exactly do you track your progress on those? In the meantime my water intake is dropping off, my freggies are inconsistent, I'm not sleeping enough, I'm not planning ANYTHING ahead of time when it comes to food... The seat of my pants is a pretty dependable flying mechanism lately, after so much practice (and new, smaller pants), but certainly not as safe as a PLAN.

3) There is something going on in my brain that I'm avoiding thinking about. So even though now that I'm making myself face and think about it I don't really have any explanation for it, I'm going to write it out:

I think I am afraid of ONEderland.

There, I said it.

I do not know why I am afraid. It's a HUGE goal for me, one that I'm literally ONE TENTH OF A POUND from, and have been for nearly 2 weeks.
So why that tortilla instead of making myself a burrito bowl?
Why grab a diet soda when I know I need to be drinking more water?
Why choose an easy workout on Friday when I have the time and energy for a better one?
I'm not binging, or skipping workouts entirely (well, I had to miss 2 last week due to a car accident, but I complained about it a lot and got back in the gym the second I was cleared for exercise)...
I'm just... not putting in that final push to break through this milestone, even though I'm perfectly capable of it.

So what the heck is going on with my brain?!?!

Here is my very non-professional theory on the craziness happening inside me, no matter how much I ignore it:

The last time I lost weight with SP I made it into ONEderland... barely. I remember replacing too many meals with slimfast, doing weird, crazy, but inconsistent workouts. I remember getting hyperfocused on that goal, and super excited when I achieved it.

I also remember that I pretty much stopped trying after hitting it. I was happy with my clothing sizes, we were about to go on vacation.... I lost several more pounds, but in retrospect it was all muscle. I started shopping for vacation clothes instead of going to my swim class. I stopped working out entirely. I ate more and more junk. I got down to the 180's BRIEFLY.

And then I gained all the weight back.
It wasn't instant, and I'd try to recommit myself and lose 5-10lb now and then, I think even 15 or 20 once... but my heart wasn't in it.
So then I gained another 20lb than where I started from, and despite being back on SP regularly, and wanting it so bad, and trying pretty hard more of the time than I wasn't, I stayed the same or gained some of those 20lb, and it all seemed hopeless.

But then the happy ending, right? It clicked in my brain when I wrote that blog way back around this time last year about making choices that make me feel good about myself instead of the ones that make me feel "good". I honestly feel like it was that moment that started my real break with emotional eating. Things are going awesome. I'm in the best shape I've been in since highschool, I'm thinner than I've been since 2005 (even if I'm technically heavier), I feel like there are real changes going on in my head and my life instead of just my body...

But I'm stuck. And I'm not stuck like "everybody plateaus" stuck, I'm stuck like I'm caught on some obstruction in the path and am just ignoring it and spinning my wheels down into a rut instead of figuring out how to get unstuck.

I'm pretty sure I'm stuck because I'm afraid.
I'm not really afraid of ONEderland.
I'm afraid of what happened to me the last time I got there.
And spiders.
And heights.

So I'm confessing it here, semi-publicly. I can't pretend these feelings aren't going on if I took the time to write them down where other people can see it!! Well, I could try, but that's pretty silly even for me.

Friends, and readers who are yet to become friends, I'm scared.
I've made mistakes in the past when reaching the same milestone that had devastatingly major consequences.
I know exactly how capable I am of messing everything up, and it's making it really hard to focus on how equally capable I am of making everything awesome.

BUT, this isn't a woe-is-me blog. This is a lightbulb blog, remember?
It just happens to be the cockroach kind instead of "oh, that's where I put my keys".

Luckily, now that I wrote it out, I'm pretty sure I see my keys over there under the cockroaches. It's really going to suck to stick my hand through those creepy crawlies and get my keys out of there, but I can do it.

The ONLY thing in my way is me, and oh how lucky, that's also the only thing I have the power to change.

Attitude change and positive action commence!


  1. Nothing but admiration here from someone who is still stuck at "how do I get started?" Was remembering my first "I must lose weight" foray with WW about five years ago, hitting a goal, gaining it all back, and then some. Ouch. So, what exactly is SP?

  2. is a GREAT totally FREE website that I use all the time! It's where I got started on weightloss and even where I originally started this blog! It's super easy and fun and supportive and very adaptable to each individual user. My username on there is SHRINKINGLULU, if you decide to join!