My life has settled down a little bit more. I am more fully moved in, I joined a gym I can walk to (I LOVE CHICAGO!), and I am more in control of what I’m eating again. I just feel like I need to really learn from my mistakes here.
I find myself wanting to fill empty moments with snacking. I fight a battle with restlessness every day. It’s like I have all of this built up tension that needs to be released somehow in between activities of the day, and snacking calms it down. This is not a good habit. I also exercise and this does release some of that tension that I feel, which is good. However, I feel like I engage in what I would call “anticipatory snacking.” Like I need go run xyz errand and before I go do it, my mind is like “well make sure you have a snack first.” Or if I’m unsure about how to start a project or begin a task I’ll find myself reaching for pretzels or something else to get myself going. What is this about? I make sure to eat three meals. Are my meals not filling me up enough? Or do I just need to do something else to help soothe me in those moments?
I also don’t have a bedtime routine. This is something I really need to work on creating for myself. I have a great morning routine and that really helps me get my life together. I need a routine to help me wind down. I think once I start teaching again my life will have more structure, which will be helpful.
I worry though, that I will fall back on excuses like “I’m too busy for a routine!” Clearly, I have a lot of mental work to do. It was really easy to lose that weight in isolation. I was living in a city far from my family and I made some friends there, but not many. I spent most of my days this summer packing to move here and writing this blog. It was a lovely time, but not really reflective of my current reality. So my challenge is now to pick apart what made me successful then and transfer it to my current situation.
All or nothing thinking is counterproductive
I need to be more flexible. I need to avoid engaging in “all or nothing” thinking. All or nothing thinking is a big way that I sabotage myself. For example, the other night my friend and I went shopping and we went to a restaurant for a late lunch before hand. I let myself eat a little bit of bread with my salad. I then felt guilty for indulging, and later caved to other temptations thinking that “well, I already fell off the wagon, so I guess I can do whatever I want now.” If I could just convince myself that it is okay to have some bread or whatever else I want to eat, but then to be wise about the rest of the choices I make. Being reasonable is much easier said than done for me.
Just be reasonable? Okay….I’ll try
It is this skill of being reasonable and exercising moderation that I am so desperately lacking. How can I ever be successful with a healthy lifestyle if I can’t be reasonable with myself about my food choices? I think this is my most glaring area of weakness. I guess I just need to start practicing it as soon as I can.
My challenge will be this weekend: I am going to a birthday party and there will be a lot of drinking and staying out late. What I need to realize is that no one is going to be upset with me for making healthy choices for myself. I can go to this party and just enjoy being with my friends (many of whom I have not seen since college!) and leave at a reasonable time. Maybe I won’t be joining them at the bars? Maybe I’ll go to the bar and save money by not drinking. I don’t want to stay up super late. I also don’t want to be hung over.