Thursday, February 11, 2010

Traveling, Tech Troubles and Feeling Fat, Triple Whammy of Weight Loss Challenges

I'm visiting my mom right now. Visiting is technically accurate, but really only partially true. She had surgery on Monday and I wanted to be here to help her through it. I am glad I came and really appreciate that I have the ability to!

Traveling in general can be rough on our health and fitness goals...for me, visiting family is a bigger challenge than a business trip or simply going on vacation. They all have their challenges but being in my mom's home sets off lots of triggers for me. I love my mom, but there are tons of memories that come up and the stresses of being under someone else's roof that just does a number on my head and emotions. Top that off with the fact that she is aging and I'm having to face her increasingly fleeting memory and her dwindling is just a bit scary and I don't want to have to face it. Tempting to bury myself in a few gallons of ice cream. Doesn't really make it go away, but I can forget about it for a while...maybe...not really. It doesn't work any better now than it did when I was a kid...or any of the hundred + pounds in between!

Ironically, I have had major technology issues during this trip. Ironic because I am in San Jose, California...the Silicon Valley...home of so much of this fantastic technology. Fortunately my brother, much more of a tech-head than I, was able to get things sorted out...but I was left with little ability to be online for several days. That left me with fewer things to keep my hands busy...not a good thing to have when ice cream calls from the freezer!

To top all this off, I am feeling is an interesting concept, that of self-image. I look in the mirror and see this huge person, yet I put on my clothes and they only feel a little tighter than normal. Have I really put on weight in just a few days? Lord knows it is possible for me to do...but haven't I learned all about emotional eating and how to avoid it? I mean, after all, didn't I just write a book about it???

So, I decided to take a closer look and I noticed a couple things. First I noticed that my fingers are pudgier...hmmm...that does not happen from a few days of stress eating...then I noticed my legs...where my socks stop there is a marked indentation that normally isn't there. Ah ha, Dr. Watson, I have figured it out! I am bloated! OK, makes sense...flying...drinking less water than normal...stress...hurray! I'm not fat--it is just water!

What a great relief that was...I don't have to hide my head in shame...the weight loss without dieting expert has not somehow magically gained 100 pounds in a week...and fortunately I took the time to really look at my hands...they were for me the big give away.

The truth is, I have eaten more ice cream than normal this week. And I have also NOT eaten ice cream on numerous occasions when I felt like it...because I took a moment to interrupt the urge and recognize it was the siren call of emotional eating, not physical or even pleasurable eating...or even eating just because it was there.

I'm proud of myself for all the successes I've had this week...and I may (or may not) go home weighing a pound or two more than when I arrived...but I am reassured any weight gain I do experience will be minimal and temporary. I have reconnected with support folks who help me when I am stressed...I have my walking shoes ready to roll...all is good.

Why is all this important to you? Because if I can do it, then you can too! Learning to be gentle with ourselves and not always expect perfection is a very important factor for those of us who suffer from "good girl syndrome"....we must learn to allow ourselves to have flaws and weaknesses...ironically, by allowing for these weaknesses we actually suffer from them less!

If you are feeling fat, take a minute and check out your fingers, your legs...or whatever will help you to identify if this is real or just bloat...if you are having tech troubles, or some other challenge that is causing you some stress and making you want to eat, who can you call on to help you through it...and if you are traveling, then drink your water, walk, and cut yourself a little slack!

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