Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In: 1/20/10 and Don't Look Back

First, the minor stuff. I'm at 143.00 today. Deja vu. I know that number. I think I met it at a pre-holiday party last month.

Been feeling blog-fatigued lately. Haven't read or commented much lately. Just zoning out here. Mostly due to an assload of work that has formed what will probably be a permanent "11" between my brows.

On the workout front, I'm back up to Level Three with Mistress Jillian. I have a few especially tasty, profane words in mind that would aptly describe the "traveling pushups" and the uber-painful circuit of mountain climbers immediately followed by bouncing sumo squats. Now, while the workout is difficult, I still don't feel I'm getting enough cardio in. So I hop on the bike for 30 minutes, which is a breeze compared to the aforementioned torture.

Last week, I met with a friend at my office, and we discussed the cognitive behavior therapy class she's taking. Apparently, this type of treatment--which concentrates on helping to mold effective, goal-oriented behavior rather than analyzing the past--is extremely successful in treating obesity and even drug and alcohol addiction. As she was describing this form of therapy, a spark went off in my head. I think I know now why this weight loss thing has been successful and relatively easy:


I'm no weight loss virgin. I have started and failed many times. Common with all those prior attempts was my tendency to think in terms of the past. This could be the immediate past or long-term life history. I dwelled on my bad family life growing up and the bad eating habits formed and reinforced decades before. I was fixated on my old life. For example, I would focus on the many types of crappy food I used to turn to for comfort. I even tied in what is arguably the worst childhood ever with my obesity. I was fixated on finding, analyzing and revisiting the how's and why's of my fat ass.

Did that help me? Uh, no. If anything, this type of thinking sabotaged my weight loss efforts because I (unintentionally) continued to identify my present self with my past self. This backwards thinking made me miserable and my attempts at weight loss impossible because I perceived attempts at "dieting" and exercise to be more difficult than they were or should have been. I would overreact to feelings of hunger or any desire, really, because I wanted immediate gratification. I was greedy and impulsive. When I fell off the wagon, it wasn't just a temporary thing--it turned into a long-term relapse. I made it unnecessarily difficult to get back on track because my response to a temporary fail was to panic, overanalyze what I did wrong and re-familiarize myself with the "old" me. Thinking about the old ways was all that I knew, it was familiar to me and certainly easier to deal with than making changes. If I screwed up once, it snowballed because, hey, why bother if the cat's already out of the bag? Doing new things, of course, is uncomfortable. It's hard to visualize, construct and nurture a goal when you're distracted by continuously looking backward.

This time around was different, though. I couldn't put it into words until after my friend session last week. But now I understand. I've been goal-oriented. I don't know if I hit my head in my sleep or what, but this time around I focused on what I wanted to happen. While the weight loss was slow, every week I lost a pound meant that I was no longer carrying that weight from my past. Once I accepted that this change is permanent, it became easier, over time, to think about where I am going as opposed to where I've been. I guess that's why I don't blog much about my former bad habits. I don't agonize about physical and emotional abuse in the family, or the painful losses. I don't describe in salacious detail the types of crappy food I used to put in my mouth. I don't want to talk about it anymore. When I get frisky with food (don't call it a relapse!) nowadays, I don't talk about or dwell on it either. What is the point?

I suppose this is why the Beck diet books are so popular. I avoided looking into that program because it seemed to "cultish" to me. I'm not a fan of "movements." While I'm not ready to drink the Beck kool-aid yet, this area is more than just a little intriguing.


Now hold up. I'm not a past-hatah. Actually, I've been finding renewed pleasure in old things lately, such as:

1. Vintage Clothing. What finally convinced me that current fashion designers are playing a joke on consumers is when I went shopping for sweaters and found that most of them were short-sleeved or sleeveless. Sleeveless sweaters? I had it, and returned to my roots: thrift stores! I scored some incredible finds, mostly from the 60's. Most of the vintage clothes are made of higher-quality fabric, and are tailored better to bring out a flattering shape. And the crown jewel was a woman's pimp blouse. Trust me, it works.

2. Peanut Butter and Jelly. My mother-in-law gave me organic, natural peanut butter and jelly for Christmas. I swear, it tastes better than what I remember. Even on carrots.

But there is an exception to the exception, as I discovered during my sickness:

Footloose is bad. Real bad. Especially the soundtrack. How did Loggins pull it off?


  1. Gasp! I LOVE Footloose! Insert big ass pout here.

  2. Amen to your revelation! NOT staying in the past is huge - yes, we all have crap that we had to deal with but it's over. You are so right - moving forward makes all the difference.

    You must be pretty hardcore to think that 30 minutes on the bike is easy...I fear Jillian, so much so that I've never even looked at her Shred DVD!

    I think I liked Footloose back in the day - now I need to watch it again to see if it's really that bad.

  3. I got to hear Kenny Loggins perform Footloose LIVE...along with the theme song to Caddy Shack and Highway To The Danger Zone. I just though you should know that in case you questioned my coolness level.

  4. Footloose is bad. But it's like watching a train wreck bad. You just can't take your eyes off of it. Kind of like Urban Cowboy or Roadhouse. You just have to watch.

  5. I actually saw Footloose for the first time last year, although my sister had the soundtrack when we were kids and played it incessantly. I thought the movie was hysterically funny in a lot of parts. Especially when Bacon is emotionally distraught and goes on a dancing spree in an abandoned warehouse my head about fell off. However, Footloose does remind me of my own hometown, which while it didn't ban dancing, it did ban MTV for many years.

  6. makes you wonder how Kevin Bacon actually moved on to become a successful actor, free of the shackles of footloose....accckkkk...

    and I gotta ask, what is a woman's pimp blouse???

  7. The instant gratification diet - everyone's tried that one. It worked for me the winter I was laid off and mugged within a 2 week time period. I survived on coffee and cigarettes and never looked so good. The problem, however, was how I felt: crappy.

    I've spent too much time looking back and ruminating on my own mess of a childhood too but it got me nowhere. I'm mostly able to keep those people out of my life now. Boundaries are good.

    Glad you and the dark mistress Jillian are back on track.