He just had a kidney transplant in May, and in a little over nine months from now, he’ll be running a marathon.
And I just spent several minutes browsing food on pinterest. Perspective.
This is good, because I eat less healthy things when I’m around him, but now that he’s eating like an athlete, I suppose I will as well. I don’t have to cook “normal” food for him! (Do you get like that? You eat super healthy, but when you try to cook health food for friends, it just doesn’t go over well…so you sacrifice your kitchen for them? Yeah.)
My last post, several months ago, was about how it’s okay to mess up once in a while, gain weight, not try for a day or so, which is all well and good. Except not so much.
Seeing as that was the last thing I wrote here for like, a quarter of a year, it’s apparent I used that attitude to give myself a break. Yes it’s okay to make mistakes from time to time, but it’s not okay, I think, to not hold yourself accountable.
In October, I weighed 168. Now I’m 178. Actually, I was 178 by the end of September, and I’ve been maintaining that (by the grace of God, really) since then.
I’ve lost my warrior sparkle, a little bit. I’m still motivated, but I don’t go for it like I should. I liked changing for the better every week. I liked people telling me how skinny I was almost every day. Now what I’m lacking in exercise, I make up for in ridiculous food choices. I need to start moving again.
It’s not just that I stopped caring—I do care, very much. It’s the busyness that killed me. Between school, homework, work, interning, boyfriend, etc, I hardly had time to get to our gym, or to cook for myself at all.
My initial goal was a healthy BMI by my 22nd birthday. That’s 35 days away, and I’ve got 20lbs to lose. That rate is a little unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean I get to give up. Love always perseveres.
- when you “accidentally” eat something unhealthy
- when you gain weight
- when you don’t have time
- when you need to take a day off
- when conversations fall flat
- when plans don’t go as expected
- when questions you want to answer are never asked,
- when you don’t have the answers
- when you make mistakes
- when people make mistakes
- when people don’t seem to care as much as you hoped they would
- when you forget
- when people disagree
Things happen, it’s okay.
So I’ve been thinking lately—what with my busy schedule, last year of undergrad, health goals, boyfriend, so on, so forth—about prioritizing my life better. I was having lunch on Friday with my boyfriend’s mentor, and I realized why he has that mentor status after one hour of talking.
He asked questions like, what stops you from being who you want to be? What do you classify as urgent vs. actually important? How are those things getting you toward your goals? What are your goals? I realized I lack direction. Sure I have general goals, but very few goals are actually very specific, with details and dates and everything. Because of that, I end up wasting a LOT of time doing things that I like doing, but aren’t getting me any closer to where I want to be. Or that may even be getting me farther away.
Focusing on budgeting time out, just like with finances, makes a lot of sense. I know the things I have to do at certain times of day that remain constant (school, work, internship, volunteering). Those are the things he called “urgent.” They need to be done at a certain time, no matter what, but they may or may not be related to goals. Then there are other commitments that I need to fit in that are specifically designed to make me the person I want to be tomorrow, next week, next month, and so on (Fitness classes, healthy food prep, classwork, GRE studying, spiritual development, etc.). Those are the things he meant as “important.” Just because I’m not paid or paying to do them doesn’t limit their need to be done. These things accelerate me toward my long-term goals. Once I budget these things, I’ll see when I’ll have extra time, in which I can do the things that are simply enjoyable (hours of crocheting, leisure reading, Christmas decorating, etc.). And these things also serve the purpose of giving me rest in my busy week, which becomes a very valid reason to give these things importance on the time budget.
So what do you prioritize in your life? What are your urgents and importants?
I was originally going to write, “You’re killing me, Guilt-Free,” but my love for Arrested Development is just too enchanting and powerful.
But anyway, that’s just to say, I’ve realized as I’m sitting here with a bag of delicious, guilt-free chocolate granola that these “guilt-free” snacks make me feel THE. MOST. GUILTY. out of anything I eat. Because the more delicious and guilt-free it is, the more I tend to overeat, and subsequently, the more guilt-laden it becomes.
So I haven’t weighed myself in several days. Last week I had been gaining a little weight, and instead of being discouraged about how I was doing, I accepted the fact that this is a chapter in my life where I will naturally have less time to commit to periods of exercise, less time to thoughtfully prepare complete meals…so I’m just going to do the best I can with the time I have, and as long as I know I’m doing my best, I won’t let myself become discouraged.
That does mean I’m probably going to put away the granola right about now…
On one hand, it’s because of willpower.
On the other hand, it’s because I had only 20 minutes to get across campus, find parking, and get to class for a midterm, and there were like, a dozen people in line, so it seemed like an inopportune time for a latte.
But moreover, willpower.
I’ve complained before about how I’m always entirely busy, and how my schedule never seems to run dry. That’s overwhelming. But! Besides four hours of work (6-10am), Mondays are sort of my days off…and I thought that was sufficient.
This week and last week, I requested those four-hour shifts off, and LET ME TELL YOU what a difference that makes. People, take my suggestion: there is so much to gain from a day-entirely-off. A day free of obligations.
And it’s not like I’m just doing nothing today…I’m just protecting my time by choosing my activities wisely. I look at it like this: relaxed Mondays give me an opportunity to enjoy the things God blesses me with in the silence.
- Instead of waking up at 5am to go to work, stress myself out, become frustrated with people…I slept until 9am—God gives me rest.
- Instead of stressing about how busy I am and how busy my boyfriend is, and how we’ve been apart all weekend, and how I feel like such a small part of his life or like I’m in any way insufficient…we met up for a nice lunch before his 1-8pm workday—when I don’t feel satisfied, God gives me enough.
- Instead of being inside all day, I’m going back to the apple orchard in a few hours with my closest friends—God, this is a biggie, gives me such a beautiful, fresh earth, with fields to wander, trees to eat from, and a sun to paint the sky as it sets.
Taking four hours off of work each week will lose me about $30, and that’s nothing in comparison to gaining a day with God.
(Also, to be basic, these days cut down my stress levels like crazy, and less stress means more weight loss!)
So funny story: you know how after Phase 1 of South Beach, you’re supposed to gradually ease into eating habits of Phase 2? Gradually. Well, as you may have read, I re-did phase 1 last week…but I completely forgot about the “gradually ease into” part.
Also I just finished a seven-day-long period. Seven. Are you kidding me?? So there’s that.
This is just to say, I may have gained a little weight this week. BUT HERE’S SOMETHING!! I’ve been considering this, and here’s what I’ve decided: now that I’ve lost 100 lbs, I’m going to liberate myself from doing weekly weigh-ins. I’ve always known that I’m obsessive about numbers, but it never occurred to me to do anything about that obsession. And I’ve lost so much, there’s no reason to fret if something goes wrong from here on out.
So maybe I’ll do every other week, maybe I’ll do less structured than that…maybe I’ll just say “here’s what I weigh” from time to time, whenever I feel good about myself. Because this whole thing is really just all about feeling good about myself, after all. I think people who are in the process of losing weight beat themselves up too much. I mean come on, you’re in the process of beating obesity. There’s absolutely nothing to be down about. Absolutely nothing.
Is it possible for an addict to fully recover from addiction? Or just shift from one medium to another? For example, recovering drug addicts might replace their committed devotion to substance abuse with a committed devotion to…I don’t know, anything else. Albeit less dangerous, just as addictive. Instead of smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day, a quitting smoker might chew a pack and a half of gum every day. Where the latter lacks in lethality, there is comparable excessiveness of action.
In my case, the starting point is a food addiction. My “pack-a-day” was potato chips by the bag. No amount of chips are healthy, a small amount would be enough to at least satisfy hunger, an entire bag is needlessly excessive. Fortunately, I’ve quit this habit. I’m no longer addicted…to that food. I thought I was in the clear when it comes to addictions, but lately I realize I’m not as free as I thought.
The bag of Lays had been my life-support, for whatever emotional deficiency I had. If cutting it off was to happen, it must be replaced with something else—it’s a life support tool. I realized last night that my replacement comes about through my relationships with other people. I realized last night that I live and die by the attention I glean from the people around me. I’m terrified of being alone. In a relationship, I need words of affirmation from my counterparts—I need to know my personal connotation to them is positive. To be realistic, I do know these things (I know what my boyfriend thinks about me, for example) but there’s something about the vocal physicalization, or the quantity of quality time together that I’m simply addicted to. I can’t thrive without it, so I feel.
And I know that what I’m getting is sufficient. In the example of my relationship now, I know I see my boyfriend or speak with him as often as we can. We’re both terribly busy, so it’s unfortunate that our time will never go unthreatened, but I know we spend a reasonable amount of time together, for who we are. And as far as the words of affirmation, I know he thinks I’m pretty, I know I’m the one he chose and will continue to choose day after day…but when every single other person in my life tells me I’m pretty more often than he does, whether or not I know what his opinion actually is, it kills me. The withdrawal symptoms kick in.
I’m terrified of being left alone, physically or emotionally. My food addiction called for a quick fix—$3 later I’d have another bag of chips. My relational addictions don’t leave room for a quick fix, due to the compound reciprocality of a two-person relationship. Three dollars later, he won’t have a day off of work to spend only with me. Three dollars later, I won’t have an endless, constant fountain of his honest affirmation. And those things aren’t even realistic in any relationship—it’s not just specific to ours because we’re busy, or he chooses his words thoughtfully and conservatively.
I want to be independent of my addictions. I know how I should be fulfilling myself and my spirit…which is maybe what this comes down to. I know how not to feel alone. Maybe I can solve my own problem…but I’m always so terrified this will unearth itself somewhere again, if not by chips, if not by attention, where?