A Cringe-Worthy Lack of Effort

Weight Loss Endeavors No. 2

I struggle with multi-faceted addictions; and though I have managed to beat some of the worst ones into submission, there are a few evil lil’ hamsters still prancing around the confines of my mind celebrating their own harmful choices and actions… particularly, the chubby lil’ furball who enjoys binge-eating.

The night before last was a rough one for me. I didn’t sleep well. I tossed and turned, waxed in and waned out of flop-sweat-inducing hot flashes (thank you menopause), and grew grumpier as the night wore on.

Aware of the fact that this particular situation rarely gets better before it gets worse, my ever-patient husband remained on the couch throughout the night and got very little sleep himself. So when I woke up — cranky, in a low mood, and kind’a angry — I let Mitch know that he could take possession of the bed, and sleep for as long as he’d like.

When he woke in the early afternoon, I was sullen and disconnected. He asked if I’d like to go the gym, and I said, “Nope.” Discouraged and frustrated with my apathy, I sought a false sense of solace through food; and when I went slightly over my weight-loss calorie count, I thought, “F*ck it. I’m over anyway, might as well continue with a full-fledged evening of binging.”

And that’s exactly what I did. I even stopped logging the calories I consumed. “Already set the house on fire, might as well let the damn thing burn down,” was my way of thinking at that point. (Definitely, a trait of addiction.)

So this morning, I woke up with feelings associated with shame and failure.

Why Do I Do This To Myself?!

Why do we embrace our negative traits, thoughts and actions (often to our own detriment)?

I’ve never really had an answer to this damnable question; but this morning, when I logged on to my computer, I read a beautiful post by my friend Ms. Simone at Wordy Spirit about “Labelling”; and she had written an answer for me:

“Because there is no going anywhere with talk like that. For it doesn’t require any amount of effort, sweat, and toil. We give ourselves an easy way out by labeling our behaviors, our personalities, and our very selves.”
– Simone E, “Wordy Spirit”

I’ll be damned, if the girl ain’t right!

It was far easier to just throw my hands up and stuff my gob. Just as it’s far easier to pick up a drink than it is to deal with my emotions… but I’ve managed to get a handle on that (for the most part — dealing with emotions is still not one of my strong suits); so I imagine that if I really want to (and I do), I can also get a handle on my terrible eating habits.

It Takes Time, Dummy

…and for me, instant gratification has never been fast enough.

If I spend a day at the gym, and keep within my 24-hour calorie limit, I want to see that result — literally see it — in the mirror that very evening; and unfortunately, that’s just not how weight loss works.

In fact, I remember reading in one my psychology textbooks (and I apologize for not knowing which one it was; and therefore, not properly citing here) that the body will do it’s best to maintain its equilibrium. If it’s overweight, it has an intrinsic desire to stay a bit fluffy.

In other words, my body is used to consuming thousands of calories per day… and as I try to change that, it will fight me every step of the way. That chubby lil’ hamster in my head will stomp her feet, throw a tantrum, and try to convince me that I’m starving to death… when really, I’m dealing with medication side-effects (i.e. increased appetite) and a desire to self-soothe through food.

So… What Now?

Well, the first thing I have to do is stop dwelling on my failure. The sun has already set on yesterday; and I cannot change the poor decisions I made… but they don’t have to affect the choices I make today.

I can choose not to think of myself as a “binge-eater”; and instead, recognize that I am a woman taking action against this discouraging label.

Yes, I screwed up a bit… but the two days prior to that screw-up were successes — I went to the gym and I stayed within my calorie intake goals. And if I did it once, I can do it again.

It’s simply a matter of not getting mired in the negative muck being flung around by my temper-tantrum throwing chubby lil’ hamster.

Much to her chagrin, when my husband rises from his slumber, I will be lacing up my brand new workout shoes and hitting the gym. I will ride the recumbent bike for 15 minutes, listen and adhere to my husband’s weight training instructions, and then stomp around on the treadmill for 35 minutes. I will make smarter food choices today… and will not wake-up feeling ashamed tomorrow.

And the next time I feel like throwing up my hands and stuffing myself with ice cream and rice Krispy treats, I will turn on my laptop and read the wise words of my lovely friend, Ms. Simone.

Besides, I’ve never learned anything the easy way… so I might as well take the harder path. 🤣