Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in the confessional or coulda, woulda, shoulda

I feel kind of ridiculous this morning as I start out to write this post because yesterday in comments to my meanderings about getting a certain blog award, a few people noted it as "an acceptance speech" - in very kind terms mind you, but nonetheless, I feel a bit embarrassed.  While a blog award presumably created by another blogger is a nice gesture, it certainly isn't a Pulitzer or a Nobel.  My long-winded thoughts were more an apologetic (noun) where I got to muse about what I want my writing here to convey on a fairly regular basis.  I wasn't feeling expansive or inflated into a prideful balloon about a simple blog award, but it got me thinking about what the hell I'm doing here.  'Nuff said.

My first and only blog read this morning as yet was Karen's, and as usual it was excellent.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do so.  She talks about breaking down healthy things to do or unhealthy things to not do - in twenty minute segments (and nicely describes what led her mind to that idea).  For example, some days the thought of exercising for a planned hour can seem overwhelming, or just something you don't want to do that day.  But telling yourself you'll do 20 minutes can seem more doable, and very often will turn into more time if you just do the 20.  She says it much better.

What it put me in mind of was yesterday.  At the end of my post, I said I had a 4 mile walk planned after work.  All day that was the intention from my earliest waking moment.  Guess what?  After work, I felt blah and didn't want to do 4 miles.  Guess how far I went???  ZERO.  NADA.  I also ended up in an eating frenzy for a couple of hours later on that was definitely NOT on my planner.  I wasn't feeling binge-ish.  I wasn't fighting the obsessive mind at all.  But at some point I just decided to have some saltines and butter.  And off to the races went I.

All you 45+ age bloggers remember back in the day when we diagrammed sentences in grammar class? (Yeah, they actually taught grammar and usage back in the dark ages.)  I'm going to diagram the unfolding of yesterday afternoon:  1) Hubby wasn't going to be home until after 10 p.m. so I was on my own.  2) Last weekend we had company that turned out great but about which I had fretted.  3) Week leading up to company had been tons of physical work preparing the room for the guests while aforementioned fretting underway.  4) Immense relief along with joy at how fantastic weekend was after guests left. 5) Pretty clean eating and exercising over weekend and Monday.  6)  Weighed self Monday morning (normally done weekly on Fridays) and was surprised and disgruntled by an unexpected gain. 7)Tuesday afternoon first real relaxing and letting down after company with no need to prepare healthy meal for hubby.  8) Didn't exercise because didn't want to spend full hour on 4+ mile walk. 9) Food frenzy.  And to add to the scenario, waking up Wednesday morning with remorse, regret and self disgust at bingeing.

~*~ After writing this post and reflecting more, I added another stop above in the diagram path, the weighing on a non-weigh day~*~

What does that all have to do with the 20 minute topic?  Beginning with # 6, listen to self when self says, "this is not your day to weigh."  On # 8, rather than omitting all exercise, just tell myself  I'll do 20 minutes and then reassess about doing more.  (I will inevitably do more, because once I'm going, I feel better, clearer, and want to make it a great energy expenditure so as to get maximum re-energizing of my day.  (And I absolutely know I'm MUCH less likely to overeat when I've exercised.) Then #9 - when the thought of the saltines presented, decide to wait for 20 minutes and see if I still want to do what I know damn well will send me down the garden path to eating oblivion.  Put it off for a short period of time.  Not one day at a time - one minute at a time.  One minute at a time for 20 times.  Or 5.  Or whatever it takes for the thought to pass.  Rather than succumbing instantly. 

I can say yesterday afternoon resulted from a perfect storm of a binge set up, but at many points along the diagrammed path I knew that my crazy inner binge-er was going to demand some attention eventually.  (And getting real...*LIFE* is a binge set up for a food addict.)  I do know myself and many strategies to postpone a binge long enough for the desire to abate.  But in the final analysis, I wanted to binge more than I didn't.  I can say "it just came upon me", but that is utter bullsh*t.  The refrain "this'll be the last one ever" repeating as I continued my trips to the kitchen.  It can be, but only if I seek the help I need and know is available to stop it a day, 20 minutes or a moment at a time.


  1. When we look back, we can see why the binge happened, but it seems to come as a surprise at the time that it does occur, if that makes any sense at all.

    Twenty minutes. OK, I can do that.

    Don't be hard on yourself, Leslie. Dust it off and move forward in your great spirit of optimism.

  2. I am so glad to hear that it made sense to you too! (Sometimes things are clear as a bell in my mind but I am pretty sure they don't translate logically or make sense to anyone else!) Now I need to take my own darn advice!

    And, yes I remember sentence diagramming. And I loved your post yesterday:)

  3. Love your diagram! Made perfect sense to me.

    My issue is possibly justification once the overeating begins, rather than even trying to delay the onslaught. It seems easier somehow even though I feel crappier later.

    Hugs my dear. Here's to a brand new day.

  4. That inner binge-er's a bitch, isn't she? You know what the good news is? As Helen just is a brand new day my sweet friend. Enjoy your healthy choices today. :)

  5. I'm so glad I came across this today, as I just wrote about the same thing in my blog! If I had waited 20 min after my 1st snack last night, I could have definitely stopped the binge that followed. Glad to see I'm not the only one out there :)

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  7. In the dictionary, one of the meanings of Substance is:
    "the real or essential meaning".

    That is one reason I read your blog... you are not fake. You value what is real and true and get to the heart of the matter. You don't skim over the surface and pretend. Even when you wish it were better, you stick with the truth and what is most important.

    You definitely deserve the Substance award, Leslie. Nuthin to feel embarrassed about!


  8. I loved what you wrote in response to receiving the "Blog with Substance" Award! You may think it's silly, but that particular blog award DOES have additional meaning to it. Being told you have a blog of substance, should be meaningful, regardless of the form it takes..

    Sometimes we can get too grown up, I think, and cause ourselves to minimize our appreciation of the simple things. Your first instinct was too value the meaning--let's stick with that. :)


  9. Ah yes, the binge. Evil little thing isn't it. Makes you feel horrible. Just don't slide into the downward spiral, pick up and move on.

    I have to do sentence diagramming with the kids in homeschool! I am SO bad at it!

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  11. Twenty minutes really is easier to get up the guts for. I'm heading over to Karen's in a bit. I'm sorry you went off to the races. I hope that your reflection has helped you, and that you will be peaceful and calm tomorrow.

    I know I hope I am!

  12. I loved English but hated diagramming sentences...that felt like algebra to me, and I hate math! Like your analogy, though.

    On my 30 minute run the other day, I had to break that baby down into 10 minute segments. Whatever gets us to the goal, right?

  13. Aawhh Leslie - at least you are honest with yourself which is awesome.

    I read Karen's post too and just wanted to add that I agree with her 20 minute strategy too.

    Taking things step by step (even if they're small and slow steps) has always been my philosphy. It helped me lose weight,finish things I never thought I would etc..

    By the way, I think you're a great writer - really open and honest. Love it!