Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The demons are still circling, stealing my sanity and making me want to give up. Or at the very least to take a break, to take some time off this journey, and to recover for a while. I'm trying not to, and I haven't so far, but I need to work this through, in my head, and in words on a screen. I've done so well so far, but the voices are shouting stop. Give up. Go back. And I don't want to listen to them.

The three pounds I lost at the weekend claim to have miraculously come back. I know, logically, that they're not fat. 60g or so of chocolate and a little cheese? That's not enough to make me put on 3lb of fat. Other than that I've been eating what I always eat. But the scale seems to be getting stubborn, and I don't like it. Every day it goes up a little. That's not good, and it gets me doubting. Doubting that I can lose, even doubting that I can maintain. Doubting that there is any point to this at all.

I slept a little longer last night after a nice bath, til 5.15am, but I'm still tired, and I'm still feeling like I'm going to run out of energy and stop doing this. I just sometimes wish I could click my fingers and be done with it. To be thin, and not to have to worry. But thinking like that is thinking like a dieter and not a lifestyle changer, and I'm trying not to do it. But reminding myself that I'll never be done with it doesn't make it any easier at the moment.

I tried yesterday's morale boosting skirt and top on again at home last night. My self loathing re-appears and tells me I look awful and lumpy in it. Even though it looked nice in the shop, I find myself arguing that it's a bit too small and that I won't fit in it, ever. Even though what I'm deliberately trying to do in the sales is buy clothes that are a little small rather than ones that are already a bit loose, in order to maximise the amount of wear I get out of them. And even though it's a far better fit than the size 20 trousers that are falling off me today used to be (I bought them in February 2003 by mail order. The first time I even fastened them was in late April 2005, at which point I wore them to work for a day and split a seam. They're now distinctly baggy). And even though I see people wandering around every day in clothes that fit worse than that.

I try to get support online, and my doubts tell me that it's no substitute for real, in the flesh, people who can come round, give me a hug and tell me that it's going to be OK. I've never really been lonely, and I choose to live my life like this, mainly alone, but it doesn't give me that reassurance that I sometimes need. Most of my family and friends have moved away, and I'm left here, generally happy, but sometimes wanting something more. Sometimes I think that going it alone is a recipe for failure, and that there will be no-one there to catch me when I fall.

I felt crappy at the gym this morning and didn't work out much. For some reason that meant that I'd never be fit, and would fail miserably in the 10k, even though I ran 10k on Sunday (after 5k on Saturday). I know it's not true, but I can't stop myself thinking it.

I know the arguments to counter every doubt I have, and I rehearse them in my mind. But it's easier to trot them out when you're not talking about yourself, and when they're not your own demons.

But there is one argument, the clincher, and the one that makes me think that everything is going to be OK. When contemplating some "time off", I was trying to think about what I would eat instead of what I'm eating at the moment, and what I would do in the mornings if I didn't get up to go to the gym. And the strange thing is, I realised that I would do very little differently, that I wanted to eat what I'm eating, and that I like doing exercise before work. I tried to think of something I could do tonight to make me feel better and to cheer me up. And it didn't involve a bottle of wine or a huge slab of chocolate. It involved buying a load of bath goodies from Lush and pampering myself.

So in the middle of all my doubts, I saw the silver lining in the cloud. No matter how bad I feel for a couple of days when I'm down, it's working. This is a lifestyle change, and it's happening. At the moment I don't need to consciously stop myself from becoming some lazy person who I'm not "allowed" to be or to stop myself eating things I'm not "allowed" to eat. I want to do this, and it's not that I can't stop because I shouldn't. It's that I can't stop because I'm not sure I know how to any more.

And maybe the answer is hidden in that somehow. Maybe I just need to beat the last addiction. To give up the things that are getting me down while keeping the majority of the new healthy lifestyle. The scale addiction has worked for me so far and it's been a great help. It's kept me motivated and it's kept me sticking to this on a daily basis. But maybe now that I've got the new lifestyle habit worked out maybe it's time to lose the scale, or at least such frequent weigh ins, and to take the pressure off a little. To trust myself to do the right things, to just be who I am, and to relax. Do I need the accountability to make sure I don't slip back into my old ways? Possibly, but then again, maybe it's worth a try. So maybe that's the way through this, and the way to get my sanity back.


Blogger Portuguese Washwoman said...

You're so right that it's easier to tell other folks all of the right things and yet listen to our own demons. I've been doing a lot of that myself, this week, and I did it a lot when I first decided I had to "break up" with my scale. At first it worked so well for me, and it fueled my motivation, but then when things inevitably slowed down (not stopped, but slowed) a few weeks ago I had to ignore the thing. That's still hard for me.

You're doing such a wonderful job. I hope your evening of Lush products and rest is restorative and harmonious.

7:39 PM  

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