Monday, September 06, 2010

The next right action

Last week's virtual meeting idea was a bust. It didn't give me the feeling of support that I sometimes found in Weight Watchers meetings. Thinking back, the best meetings for me were the At Work meetings, where I actually had some relationship with the people who were there with me. When I didn't know anyone at the meeting and didn't really feel I had anything in common with them, they just made me feel frustrated.

Lately I have been feeling more panicked than frustrated. My weight seems to have reached a new plateau in the high 170s/low 180s. I am toward the low end in the middle of the week, and back up in the high end at the end of the week. Besides not really feeling happy with the way my body feels and looks, I am afraid the trend will be to increase and increase.

I don't feel much relationship to the person I was when my weight seemed like an easy thing to manage. I don't even remember how I did it.  I have been casting around for something that will work -- which to me means easily get me back to the weight I used to be without a struggle.  I am pretty sure that nothing like this exists. I have toyed with the idea of going back to Weight Watchers, but I was never really able to do it right. When I got to goal, I was treating it like a diet. I managed to stick fairly strictly to the program until I hit my goal weight, and then I stopped. Most of the time that I did follow the program, I was hungry and cranky.  I have been doing calorie counting, but not with much consistency. I have been exercising, but it hasn't made a difference this time.  I thought getting my thyroid meds at the right level would help -- but my doctor says everything is normal and I'm still stuck. The idea of mindful eating and mindfulness in general sounds nice, but then I sit down to eat without distractions and feel like I'm going to go crazy.

This morning as I was waking up I was turning this problem over in my head and a phrase I've heard before, "The next right action" popped into my mind. I made Toasted Peanut Butter Oats for breakfast. I plan to go for a bike ride today. Maybe if I stop panicking about what might happen in the future or regretting what I did or didn't do in the past, I can get through this rough patch.


  1. I liked the idea of a virtual meeting in theory, but you're reality it's tough when you don't have a stronger personal connection.

    You're in a tough place right now :( I recognize it and have of course been there. I dipped back down there in July/Aug but have been feeling a little more upbeat in the last week or two. To be honest, I didn't get out of my rut (the one I was in for oh, 3 or 4 years, until I went back on antidepressants. I didn't realize how much I had normalized unhappiness.

    Not saying medication is the answer for you. But for me, it was a mental health thing, and once I started feeling better/happier, I wanted to do things that made my body feel better/happier.

  2. When do you identify being at a weight that was easy to manage? I met you when you were still working on the dissertation and so much has changed in your life in that short time. Maybe recalling when things felt better and more balanced would help you remember what you did then that's different than now?

    All we can do is take one step at a time. The next step, the next right action. Sometimes we have to go on faith but it's so hard when the panic and frustration set in (as we all know).

    You have to stop the increases, no matter what. Draw your line in the sand and take the steps you already know to not gain more. Losing is another focused direction but you are clear that you don't want to go up. Yayyy you for that!

    I'm curious what your old blog posts would say about your thoughts at the time when you felt in a good place with all this.

  3. I agree with drawing the line in the sand. I think at some point it's important to tell ourselves that no matter what it takes, we will not go past a certain point.

    I'd like to think there is a diet, maintenance, or regular eating plan that will be easy, perfect, and make me feel at ease all the time. But the reality is that "easy" makes me gain weight and got me fat. No matter how much I dislike each of the million "new ideas" I come up with, the bottom line is that when I am at my goal weight whatever it was that got me there was worth the "pain and suffering".

    I think too many of the "how to do it" articles are written by people who have never lived in the body of someone who really does have out-of-control eating habits. Anyone who lost weight once and kept it off easily can't understand the plight of those of us who really do spend our lives in battle with ourselves over eating.

    Good luck on your quest. If you come up with a good idea, I'll jump on it too. In the meantime, the only thing that seems to save me is having to weigh in every month at Weight Watchers. Obviously I don't have any control over myself unless I know I have to stand before someone else. Weird, but it is what it is, so I work with it.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07