Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brainstorming and soft reflections

Thank you for all your support and bloggy love yesterday. I needed every bit of it. And in addition to the above, I also got some great wisdom and good laughs. I kept reading stuff to my husband, saying "See? These are smart kind people who can put words together and say great things"! He nodded feebly in puzzled agreement. That's a primary response from him after 28 years married to moi.

I feel beaucoup better today, which didn't take much given that I was lower than an earthworm's abdomen yesterday. I had a 100% clean day with food. If there is such a thing as perfect in the realm of eating, this was it. Not one morsel other than planned meals and snacks. I drank plenty of water and subsequently spent a lot of time getting rid of it. So much so that my weight was down 3 pounds this morning, to 206.4 (okay, 2.9 lbs down). I feel I'm still somewhat water-logged and am avoiding salt like the smallpox germ. The jettisoning off of a few boggy pounds definitely has lightened my outlook, but it also is cautionary for this food addict.

I've been reflecting a lot on how and why I've backslid in the last few months. Not the obvious reasons of the stress of aching knees, surgeries, lack of exercise...but deeper issues that seem to surface every time I get into the low 190s. I honestly can't identify anything specific, but clearly something gets stirred up. This is the most recent in a lengthy series of weight loss efforts that have ultimately been sabotaged by yours truly. On the surface it makes no sense. Even below the surface, it's hard to comprehend how I can be moving along with excellent momentum, positive attitude, and genuine behavior changes, only to gradually slide off the wagon.

And it's always gradual. I'm clicking down the scale, eating and doing the right things to achieve my goals, and then. I succumb to a dessert, or a candy bar, or baked goods at a shower... weigh the next morning to survey the damage. If there is none, it's a relief. But it also can become carte blanche to begin adding in more stuff, always with a close watch on the scale. Then my eating starts to be dictated by what the scale says...up a couple lbs = clean eating for a day or 2 to get them off. If the scale is the same, then more of the same behavior of nipping at foods that aren't on plan. The scale becomes the Great Determiner of my eating behavior. Until I have a real binge and am afraid to get on the scale for a day or 2, during which the eating either cleans up or plummets, and then what happens is what has happened since early December '09. I can clearly see the pattern. The various little steps, or slip ups (done in relative AWARENESS) that ultimately result in big weight gain and giving up the weight loss effort all together have played out many times. In order to get at the deeper issues, I have to be able to continue on rather than stuffing those issues (if they really are there) back down into the oblivion of fatness and cellulite.

I'm thinking about story boarding right now. The pinnacle knowledge source, Wikipedia, defines story boarding as:

"graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence." I've seen this technique used for more than graphic depictions. Coming up with ideas for anything, or assessing strategies...the applications are endless.

What is occurring to me regarding story boarding is the idea of listing a series of predictable events (given past history) "for the purpose of pre-visualizing" an already demonstrated pattern of behavior that has up to now effectively halted every single long term weight loss effort I've undertaken. To have a visible visual representation of old patterns that serves as a possible stop gap? Maybe.

I'm thinking on my feet here while listening to Counting Crows, but somehow this idea seems reasonable. A concrete tool, displayed prominently in my little world, to remind me of where I am on the continuum between sanity and insanity when it comes to food and eating behaviors. Stay tuned - I think I may give this a shot - keep it simple but do it. It sure can't hurt, and maybe I can get out my beloved colored pencils and markers and let my inner child have some fun in the process.

Bottom line (I think I say "bottom line" in every post) is that I am good to go for today with staying clean in the food realm. I feel physically better than I did during the days where I was a non-stop carb input machine. The weight is still bad, but better, so that is motivation. But get me down 5-8 more pounds and I can literally feel my palms sweat at the thought of the binge-monster re-awakening and tormenting me. Telling me I'm not so fat - what's wrong with size 14s and 16s? It's hellish trying to continually stave off intense binge thoughts when they start. I guess it's like a crack addict needing a fix. In AA, they say "one drink is too many and a thousand aren't enough". One wrong move for me in the sugar and carb realm feeds the obsession. Makes it stronger. Maybe it won't always be that way, but it's that way now. Putting that on paper as a visual way may help me head myself off at the pass, even if just for a day. I only have to live in this day. Tomorrow will take care of itself.


  1. My husband nods in puzzles agreement too (18 years this month..).

    I know how you feel. I'll be riding along just fine on the weight loss wagon, then all the sudden my wagon it flipped over. It takes forever for me to climb back on.

    Glad things are going better in the eating dept. Keep it up :)

    Oh...and yes...those pics on my side bar are new. I thought I would let it all hang out :) Every blubbery bit!!

  2. My usual blunt little self:

    I think that the story boarding or writing or analyzing is GREAT as long as you are not spending so much time on it that your food slides because of it.

    Like - no time to prep whole foods - because I am busy trying to figure out why I over eat or eat the wrong things. (insert smiley face here)

    I guess I am saying be careful not to let this become an excuse.


    My therapist tells me all the time that most of us think there is one big AHA moment/thing in our past. We think there is a 'seed' down in there, somewhere deep (you can think of plantar wart if you like) that if we can just get it out - all will be different.

    And she cautions that it is not usually the case.

    Usually it is a series of things that sent us down one path and then another. Often not even dramatic or earth shattering things.

    I totally agree that we have to DEAL and not STUFF - but we also have to mind the reality of this day, this moment.

    If you have to detox your house and then only eat from home and carry food to any outings - SO BE IT.

    You figure out the reality of what you can and can't handle. You figure out your line in the sand - real deal. and then you apply it.

    It is very easy to play scale games (as you describe).

    the scale becomes very important when sodium and processed foods are involved. And when the food is too much volume.

    the scale becomes less and less important when the food is eaten at meal time, in the right proportions/balanced (fat, carbs, protein), and in the right quantities.

    the scale is a tool. a very helpful tool. but it is not helpful if we are 'playing' it.

    You have had a rough winter.

    Time to move on and do yourself a favor. and your poor knees need all the help they can get - quality nutrition and weight OFF and a good/slow/careful recovery.

  3. Great comment Vickie. With making a list (the storyboard notion) of the events in the downward spiral, I'm really just talking about it being a list - maybe with pretty colored pictures! - to serve as yet another STOP possibility before I travel all the way down the garden path. I promise no Cecil B DeMille production. Just a reminder to really think the next move through,

  4. Well Leslie sounds like our parallel lives are on the same (but different) path again. Looks like we might have found our strength again - which is a great thing. Only difference for me is that you were away last week and I will be away next week.

    Send me strength - I need to follow you now to both head to success together.

  5. Being a visual thinker, the storyboard idea really appeals to me. If I read it right, you are thinking of making one to reveal the downward spiraling behaviors, as a tool to recognize it and stop it before it gets ahold of you again.

    May I make a suggestion?? After Storyboard One (the downward spiral one), make Storyboard Two... the UPward spiral one, that shows the types of behaviors that will lead you to your healthy future. What we see, visually, has a powerful affect on our brain. So seeing a healthy, positive storyboard will help lead your thinking in that direction.

    Here is a great article talking about that, titled "Seeing is Achieving", from Sparkpeople:


  6. "One wrong move for me in the sugar and carb realm feeds the obsession. Makes it stronger."

    I so understand this statement!

  7. The storyboarding is a FANTASTIC idea...and I hardly think you'll use it as an excuse to not deal with the eating (eyeroll), lol. Sorry...I held my tongue yesterday after reading all of your comments...just couldn't do it today. :) Love ya girl. :)

  8. I totally understand scale games. Visualizing is a powerful tool. When I really use it, it can help me.

    Powerful post.

  9. Hi! So glad that you're feeling better and that some of the comments showed you how much you are loved.

    Regarding having trouble when you hit the low '90s. I just made a comment on a post about that very thing. (My stuck number is 190, tool)

    I don't know if you read Diz's blog, but the url is below. Her post is about being stuck and then my comment is on there. You may find the read interesting.


  10. I'm sorry I missed your post yesterday... I'm glad you're feeling a little better now and a few of those dratted pounds have disappeared.

    I've not heard of story boarding and I'll be interested to see yours (if you feel you can share photos of it - you might want to keep it very private). I can't see how it cannot help, even if it gives you a moment to reflect on urges and impulses that otherwise you might have instantly given in to.

    I need to get a better printer - that photo of me I have stuck on my kitchen cupboard door is really poor and I'm sure it would encourage me more if it was a better quality pic! lol

  11. Hi again Leslie.

    I'm tapping you on the shoulder to take part in 'photo tag'! :o)

  12. If your going to start taking supplements for weight loss first get a free sample of it to make sure it works for you everyones body is different and some supplements will work for some people and not work for others thats why you should order a free sample at before buying a over priced bottle i found a business that gives away free trial samples of any supplement all you have to do is pay for shipping from $0.99-$6.95 and you will get a free trial sample of the product.