So the weight loss is slow, but it’s starting to come off. 5lbs since the New Year, better than 5 lbs ON. In looking at my weight, I’ve been forced to investigate underneath that Weight Watchers ‘layer’ and take a more holistic look at my lifestyle, to try and make the weight loss as easy as possible.
I’ll be honest – I’ve always known what the problem is. I’m not a stupid person. I have no issue with exercise, and never have had. My eating is the problem. Well, actually it’s not – overeating is the by-product of my behaviour, thoughts and what I deem to be ‘solutions’ to problems. I know that it’s actually anxiety and stress that trigger my eating behaviours, and that’s a very difficult thing to admit to yourself or anyone else. For some reason it’s easier to say ‘I’m a pig’ than ‘I eat as an emotional crutch’. I think the latter sounds more like a weak answer and possibly comes across that way to others, especially as to any logical person, eating does not solve problems (unless the problem is hunger). I take issue with it because it’s one trait I hate – being weak. I am NOT a weak person in any sense, and it’s something that doesn’t sit well with me.
As I’ve gone through the last 5 years or so of my life after my crisis, I’ve always tried to be the best person I can, and continually improve myself. Science has taught me that if we don’t evolve, learn and adapt, we get left behind and that generally leads to unhappiness and/or conflict with the rest of the world. Learning new things and exposing oneself to new experiences helps us to ‘grow’ as people, makes us more broad-minded and compassionate towards others. Plus, we get to know ourselves better. How do you know if you don’t like broccoli if you’ve never tried it?
As a person with a thirst for knowledge, I like pushing my boundaries and learning new things. But, if it isn’t on my terms, it causes me all sorts of issues. This is where the stress and anxiety comes in. If I have no control over a situation, it puts me into a state of very real panic. Sweating. Numbness in limbs. Raised heart rate and blood pressure. Upset stomach. In extreme cases, vomiting. (My partners first memory of me was throwing up before one of our finals at university – nice.) I like routines. I like to plan and know what’s happening. I’m happy to try new things if it’s planned. My automatic reaction to panic/no control situations is to have an outburst, and then go to ground and eat/drink myself into oblivion. That makes me sound like a nut.
Everyone has their own ‘triggers’ and mine are just a little bit more extreme than some, but the point is, we are all human and not perfect. It’s when you get to a breaking point (those holiday snaps from when you were 3 stone heavier?) that you usually realise that you need to do something to change.
I learned this when I had my breakdown, and it is why I’m always trying to bring out a better version of myself. I don’t need to change, and I actually quite like the person that I am most of the time, but I need to improve. In being able to identify that I have a few broken logic patterns, I took a step towards Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). I’ve done a lot of reading, and CBT is a tool often used alongside medication for depressed/stressed/insomniac patients. CBT basically invites you to break down your principle thoughts-to-action processes in situations that make you feel like crap in order to establish where you are going wrong, and how to make changes to positively adjust these processes and improve your general mental health and self-worth.
As I read through some of these texts, I was focusing on my anxiety issues. What surprised me was I could directly relate a lot of the examples to my eating behaviours. Nearly every, single time. that kinda shocked me a little, because I didn’t realise quite how closely tied the two things are. That revelation in itself made me feel a million times better about myself. So now I’m trying to implement a few of the things I have learned, slowly, in preparation for GemGem v.31.1.
I’m not suggesting that everybody runs out and starts taking sessions on CBT, but take a minute to think about what your triggers are, and why you think reacting in the way that you do is ‘helpful’. Having a think about this can help you to understand what’s wrong and a path to fixing it. If you want to be a better version of yourself, you’ve got to move forward.