Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Still Here...

Sorry to be AWOL for so long! And thank you so much for checking in with me and leaving comments... it means so much.

I teach a one unit class at a Junior College- it's shorter than the semester-length courses so usually there are a variety of "start dates" for each section. My schedule this semester looked normal enough, until I realized that from October to middle of November I would be teaching three sections at once! It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you. I haven't had much mental energy for anything other than prep work, lectures and grading, grading grading. The house is a wreck, but I somehow managed to get through my youngest boy's birthday and Halloween with all the attendant baking, school parties, etc. I've even managed to keep up my workout schedule... almost! I missed a couple of days here and there, but I'm very happy to report that it was only a couple of days.

Which leads me to one of the intriguing questions of the GAG challenge for this week: "What makes this weight loss effort different than any previous attempts?" What a great question! Perhaps I like it because this effort is different. Since January, I've lost around 33 pounds. It's been a very slow process-- averaging about a pound a week, with several long periods of seemingly endless plateaus. (Hence the blog name.) I'm not crash dieting, I'm not on "a program," I'm not on any kind of medication... what I'm doing now is the simplest thing in the world: eating mindfully and exercising So why haven't I done it before? I wish I knew. I think this go 'round is successful because of my state of mind. Since I'm not dieting, I can't fail. Since I can't fail, I can't give up and go back to bingeing- if I want to binge I go right ahead, but it's then clear to me that something's amiss, which I'll need to figure out because bingeing is such a ridiculous way to sort out my problems. I still sometimes do it, but in kind of a "mini" way... for example...

Last week I had an overwhelming urge to make some nachos. I threw some Trader Joe's blue corn chips on a plate and grated some light Havarti cheese on the top, then microwaved it, all the while thinking "I wonder what's wrong?" It came to me that I was stressed about my workload and the impossibility of everything getting done by my Thursday night class. I decided to give myself an extra week to grade and concentrate on updating my lecture for the week (it was a week where my students had an assignment that they didn't need back right away). That calmed me down a bit, but I still craved nachos. I made another half-plate. I was getting close to being uncomfortably full, but I felt satisfied. I decided not to eat again until I was hungry. And I didn't. And then I felt fine. I remember reading on someone's blog a Weight Watchers maxim: "You're only one meal away from being on plan." This really resonated with me. In my thirty... oh, man, almost forty years of dieting... I always thought that once I'd binged, all bets were off. I would then "go off" my diet for days, weeks or months- it was almost a relief to binge and go crazy! Then the awful pattern would begin again. So, now the binges are tiny. I try to figure out why I'm feeling binge-y, then I stop when I can. Maybe one day I'll progress to the point where I can skip the binge completely.

The exercise bit is also new. It wasn't until I was a grown-up that I realized I actually liked to exercise, and it's a major part of my life now. I've accepted that this is a long journey... although I would love to be at my goal tomorrow, it's just not going to happen that way. I crash dieted for decades, really, and it took me that long to figure out that it doesn't work. A slow learner, indeed.


  1. Hey jean. You made some fantastic points in this post! I, too, could take a binge and turn it into a reason to hide from my plan for months. But one of the reasons this journey has been different for me is quite like you said with the WW quote - one bad meal doesn't mean I have to break up with my whole effort.

    So. Thanks for the post. And good luck keeping your head above water during this busy season.

  2. Great post! I think that is pretty much my plan too... I don't really plan on this being a diet... diets don't work. It has to be a lifestyle change which is what I AM working toward. I've got a way to go and lots to learn but I will succeed in the end!