Posts tagged ‘stress’

Coffee with a Friend, Take 2

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.

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

Coffee with a Friend

Today I met one of my girlfriends for coffee at Starbucks.  We do that every couple of weeks to catch up.  This time there was more than usual to catch up on.  She has started a new job, reunited with her boyfriend and is in the process of buying a house.  All very exciting stuff.

My stuff wasn’t quite as exciting.  Having started my new job in mid-October and moved into my new place at the end of November, my news is old news for the most part, although, Saturday, I did host my first brunch ever, which was pretty nifty.

In the course of conversation, I shared the “ordeal” I suffered earlier in the week with the Mexican food and then pizza that my BF ordered.  I mentioned that we were planning to go to Mexico in April for a motorcycle trip and how nervous I was about being in my bathing suit with the hot women that seem to always accompany men and bikes.  She shook her head.  She told me that many of our group of friends commented on how good I looked in my swimsuit in July when we all celebrated the 4th by the pool.  She said, “You know, I’m a little worried about you.  You just don’t see it.”

She went on to tell me that I look great and that she hopes that I will get to the point where I can eat a cookie or a few slices of pizza without fretting about it.  She said she didn’t want to upset me, and that she didn’t think it was a problem now, but that she was concerned I would never feel like I could stop, that I would never feel like I could just maintain.  After I shared the pizza-and-breadstick story, she laughed and said, “The next time we’re out, I’m going to hold you down and shove a breadstick in your mouth.”

I appreciated her concern and recognized that it took some guts for her to talk to me about it.  It’s not easy to be candid with friends about these kinds of things.  I sometimes worry, too.  I cannot slip up without feeling really, really bad.  It’s nearly impossible for me to have any emotional perspective on it, even though intellectually I know that it’s natural and I will recover from it.  I get very anxious and depressed when I “let myself down” by not eating low-calorie enough.  It’s a struggle not to let the emotions show.  I try not to say too much to my BF because that kind of obsessiveness is draining on those who love you.  They can’t validate you every second of the day, and they want to be around someone who’s cheerful and upbeat about life… which, thankfully, I generally am. 

Part of the problem is that, when I look in the mirror, I see Round Girl.  I don’t see Fat Girl, but I definitely see Round Girl who is pleasingly plump, except that it’s not so pleasing to me.  I can’t help but think if I could just work harder, lose a little bit more, I would be a better person.  Again, I know it’s not rational, but it’s there. 

How much more do I want to lose?  Can I stop now at 114 pounds gone?  My immediate answer is “no”.  I don’t feel finished.  I don’t look great naked, so I feel I must continue.  For now, that’s not a problem.  My weight is fine; I am by no means too thin.  My BMI is in the high end of the normal range.  But, the risk is there for taking it too far, which is partly what my girlfriend was getting at.

She was also getting at enjoyment of life.  Stressing over eating a little too much just isn’t worth it.  “Eat it and enjoy it” was the crux of her message.  If I was talking to someone else, I’d say the same thing to them… and I’d mean it.  Problem is, I can’t seem to say it – and mean it – to myself. 

February 4, 2008 at 3:16 am 1 comment

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