Coffee with a Friend, Take 2

February 21, 2008 at 1:52 am Leave a comment

Another Starbucks, another girlfriend… same issue.

This past weekend, I met another girlfriend at Starbucks. She’s getting married this weekend. I’m doing a reading at her wedding, and she had a gift for me as a thank-you. Starbucks seemed as good a place as any for her to give it to me and for us to catch up. Although the point of the meeting was not to discuss my lifestyle change, it still came up.

It’s taken me a while to blog about it because I needed time to think it over. Her observations were similar to those of my other girlfriend. She noted that, at some point, I would need to stop losing weight. She also said I needed to be happy with myself. She’s been reading my blog and has concluded that I’m not happy.

To give you some history, she’s one of the friends I started Weight Watchers with back in the fall of 2002. She had some success on the program, went off it, and has gone back on it and off it two or three times since then. She told me that if achieving what I achieved meant she’d agonize the way I do, she wasn’t going to do it. I told her I could understand that. I shared that I have had times when I’ve longed for the “good old days” early on with my ex-husband when we ate freely and joyfully knowing we had each other, and it didn’t matter if our waistlines expanded geometrically.

What made me cry, though, was when she said I wasn’t the same girl she’d known five years ago. She said all my communication is peppered with comments about weight or food or exercise. That hit me hard. It reminded me of a comment my ex-husband made shortly before we split up. He told me that I was fanatical about diet and exercise.

At the time, I lamented that description to my dad, and he advised me that a successful, lasting lifestyle change requires a degree of fanaticism. He was right then, and he’s right now. When my girlfriend and I started Weight Watchers, our conversations revolved around points and food finds and recipes. Since she’s no longer doing it, there’s no need to talk about it. For me, part of the reason it’s never changed is that I’ve never stopped doing it.

So, I’m not as upset about the fact that I talk so frequently about food and exercise and losing weight and my struggles to stay on track. My lifestyle change is a huge part of my day every day, so yeah, I talk about it.

What she’s right about – and what bothers my other friends – is my response to bad days. When I don’t achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, I’m horrendously disappointed. I struggle to shrug it off, and it definitely affects my mood. When I “cheat” and eat something I shouldn’t, I don’t enjoy it. I feel so guilty that I’m unable to relish my indulgence.

So where do I go from here? I found a line on Get Fit Slowly that is particularly apropos. It’s OK not to worry about eating, but you still have to think about eating.”  My objective is to stop worrying about eating, knowing that I’ll never stop thinking about it. I need to trust myself, relax and enjoy every now and then. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it.

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Entry filed under: about me, coping strategies, friends, self image, Starbucks. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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