A Confession of Infidelity

 

I have been hanging on to this blog by my fingernails of late.

It started out as a rationale:  I re-started a new fitness/weight loss/get healthy challenge a few weeks back, and I swore I would not bother the blogosphere with this nonsense again.  I barely want to hear it myself, how could anyone else?

On the other hand, I have come to a point in my blogging where I write twice a week:  one that wraps up the wisdom I glean from the weekly meeting I run, and the other where I release whatever is running around inside of my brain.  If I am involved in a diet and exercise challenge, then guess what is the only thing running around my brain?

And then another thought occurred to me:  many of the recovery bloggers I read credit their sobriety to immersing themselves in the recovery blogging world.  It was not my path, but it has always intrigued me.  Perhaps I can employ that same mindset and immerse myself in the diet and fitness blogs of the world.

So that’s where I’ve been.  Instead staying on top of my WordPress reader, I have been branching out to MyFitnessPal forums, and the top rated diet and fitness blogs of recent years.  It has been an interesting experience, but I’ve got to say it:  not the same, not the same at all.  There is something very unique, and very special, about our community.  I certainly did not find it in the diet and fitness world, that’s for sure!

So that’s where I’ve been.  And here’s why I’m back, and it has to do with a valuable lesson I learned from all the mini-challenges I did this year:  consistency.

I have been working on improving my fitness for about 14 months, working on losing weight for about 7 months, and working on my overall health for 6 months.  For a large majority of that time, I was looking at the glass half empty.  No matter what I did, my focus was one what I hadn’t done, or what I still needed to do, or how much better I could have done it.  It all came to a head for me a few weeks ago.  I had started this challenge on September 12 (2 months before my birthday), and I had just had my first very successful weigh-in.  My husband was congratulating me, and I could not see it.  You see, that weight I lost that week I have been losing and gaining all year, give or take a few pounds.  So while the number sounded good (I honestly can’t remember what it was, something close to 10 pounds I think), all I could see was the number I should be at, since I had already lost those 10 pounds 2 or 3 other times this year.  And the more I tried to explain my thought process to my husband, the more he looked at me like I was speaking another language.  I wound up in hysterical tears by the end of it; not because he wasn’t understanding my point, but that I was not understanding his.

This is a nod to my recovery tools:  I can see now when I’m thinking like “Old School Josie” by watching the reactions of others.  I may not be able to stop Old School Josie Thinking entirely, but I can at least recognize it and correct it.

So my mini-meltdown was the start of a slow new understanding:  this is a process, not an event with a start and end point.  Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  But when you’re in the thick of it, it’s anything but.

Next lightning bolt:  each failed attempt, and that is probably not even an apt description, but let’s roll with it…  each failed attempt was some kind of lesson learned that helped me the next go-around.  Every subsequent challenge I have undertaken (I would say there have been four in all) has shown me greater and greater results.  The most concrete example I can give:  this most recent one had me going strong for three weeks, and I got to the lowest number on the scale that I have seen in my adult life, when I hit the all too familiar roadblock:  a celebration of some sort.  This time, it was my wedding anniversary, which turned into a 4 day free-for-all in terms of eating.  It has been slow going this week, but I am slowly getting myself back on track.  So here’s the progress:

1.  I am back on track, normally a celebration derails me for weeks

2.  My high number on the scale since resuming is the previous challenge’s low number

Even Old School Josie Thinking can’t argue that this is progress!

Last valuable lesson learned, and now I will finally tie this all back to blogging:  Consistency is key.  It is true in my sobriety, it is true for my diet and fitness, and it is true for blogging.  If I don’t keep myself to a schedule, then I will fade away into the blogging sunset.  I know it.  Just in the few weeks I took off, the monkey mind was getting louder and louder:  enough is enough, you are getting too repetitive, who gives a crap about what’s going on in your life?  On and on.

Here’s my response back:  nothing but great things have happened with respect to the blog.  So I guess I’ll keep writing!

 

Today’s Miracle:

Through the orthodontic process, we discovered an abnormality in my son’s mouth, and we have been anxiously awaiting results of the oral surgery he had as a result of that discovery.  Results are in, and it was the best possible news.  So the miracle is:  the good health of my children is now something for which I am consciously grateful each and every day!

Second miracle:  surgeons who take their job seriously, and go the extra mile to ensure the best possible results.  I’m telling you, there’s no feeling like knowing you can trust your child’s medical professional!

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Posted on October 9, 2014, in Recovery, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Josie girl,
    You are so hard on yourself! As a dietitian, I loved seeing your progress and mindset around diet and fitness. As a friend, I so appreciated the process you worked through right before my eyes. And, your words are so poignant beyond diet and fitness. You’re a daily blessing to me, Josie. I have NO doubt you’ll reach your goals…ALL of them.
    May I add one thing? Thank you–I think I will! The piece about consistency and keeping a schedule is important, BUT…don’t beat yourself up if you can’t maintain that perfectly. Life happens (orthodontist!) and sometimes breaking from the schedule trumps. You already have the tools and inner courage to start right back up again.
    Hugs!

    Like

    • Hmmm… a dietician? I will be filing that very important piece of information away 🙂

      Thanks for the validation, AND the feedback. It is so good to hear from an objective source, because it’s true… I can be a bit harsh with myself if I don’t meet my predetermined objective for the day (number of steps, number of calories, etc.). So if a DIETICIAN is telling me that it’s okay to have an off day, well then 🙂

      This is a comment I will be coming back to time and again when I’m feeling low, thanks Michelle!

      Like

      • Hi Josie,
        File away and feel free to call with any nutrition questions you have. I practice much more broadly (disease management), but I keep my dietetics license and try to stay up with the field.
        BUT, I am sticking by the mantra of being kind to yourself even on the days it doesn’t quite go right. And, if you are feeing low…drop me an e-mail…I’ll remind you how fabulous you are 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Michelle – stop beating yourself up. I say that because I am very good at doing the same with my own self, so it’s not an empty sentiment. I do weigh in often (not good for me), and I am up and down all the time. It’s just what it is for me. It’s on the downslope overall, and that’s fine, but as long as I am feeling healthy and doing what makes me fitter, then so be it. Results come slowly, but they come. And as they say, just like one meal doesn’t make you slimmer, one doesn’t necessarily makes you heavier. It’s not a one or two or even four day thing. It’s a lifestyle change. When I make those kinds of shifts, mentally and physcially, then I see the results.

    Breathe.

    Paul

    Like

    • I know you understand, Paul, and you probably feel like it’s Groundhog Day with this post… sigh. I just needed to hear you say it again, so thank you.

      On a completely separate note… funny story: my son came down with a snazzy hairdo and I said, “I’m really chuffed about your hairstyle!” Then went on to explain that my blogging friend from Canada taught the expression to me. His eyes lit up, and he said, “Let’s send him something from America and ask him to send something from Canada!” I said, “That sounds fun, like we send a quarter and ask him to send a Canadian coin?” He said, “No, like a hockey stick.”

      I said, “Ummm, no.”

      But we will continue to work on ideas, get ready for the exchange request 🙂

      Like

  3. I think goal setting with health and fitness (perhaps with anything?) is such a two-edged sword… yes, it’s great to have goals to aim at, or how else do we improve, but when we’re constantly measuring ourselves against some random number expectation, it is inevitable here will be some that we miss and then we start beating ourselves up. It starts becoming all about the numbers, the targets, and not about the values and the way of life that we are pursuing. It sounds like you’ve made some incredible progress – with the quitting smoking, healthier eating & exercise – and I’m glad you’re taking some time to notice the progress and honour the positives you have achieved! Good on you 🙂 xx

    Like

    • Two-edged sword is a wonderful analogy, and I’m going to remember it the next time I get all crazy in the head with pounds, inches, steps and calories!

      Yes, I have made progress, I’m so grateful for it, and I appreciate your saying so (plus I love the expression Good on you, I’m so using that today!)

      Thanks so much for the encouragement 🙂

      Like

  4. If your post is what passes for a confession, I suppose I can only wonder what I did to deserve this sort of treatment. 😉

    Seriously, I believe there comes a time in our recovery when we all begin to stretch our necks, raise our heads from the nest, and gaze around in curiosity at what the world might hold in store for us that doesn’t rhyme with “recovery.” And that’s okay. Really.

    Like

  5. I think you might be right, Greg, and I appreciate the comment!

    Like

  6. We care about you, and you know I identify with the cyclic nature of our struggles. I’m currently trying to straighten out my food AGAIN, and I have had the same thoughts of “no one wants to hear it.” But you just helped me by sharing, so…

    Like

    • I do know that, but I appreciate hearing it anyway. And you know what? I’m reading your comment and immediately thinking: oh, PLEASE write about it! So there you have it, I just need to write what’s on my mind and in my heart, and stop second guessing the opinions of others.

      I look forward to your upcoming post, Tertia 🙂

      Like

  7. You have come so far and learned so much about yourself. Like sobriety, fitness, health and diet are all life-time lifestyle changes. There are no quick fixes.

    I think it’s natural and normal to put your blog on the back burner from time to time. There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes we have to prioritize. If focusing on fitness and health is where you need to be right now, it’s okay! I don’t blog as often because I have several things pulling my time away, but that’s okay. Blogging is not a job or obligation, it’s just fun. No confessions or mea culpas needed at all!

    Keep up all the great work. Check in from time to time. We’ll be here. 🙂

    Like

  8. I think you will find the diet and fitness blogging world is centred around comparison and creating a feeling of inadequacy and fear.
    It’s a scary place.

    Nutrition and exercise need to be parts of your life. Things you enjoy and do effortlessly. Small changes do create results. And you saw progress! That’s great.

    And in the end, self acceptance of yourself during the journey is the key to happiness today.

    Like

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