Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Frustrated…

Posted on: September 5, 2012


…Not with the program I’m on, but with my own body.

As some of you know, I have a couple of physical  issues.  This happens as one gets older.  However, two of these issues (and I won’t go into specifics here) can cause me to hold onto weight, or to show a gain even when I have been following my program to the absolute letter.

For the last few months, I have been in a medical trial for one of those two issues, and I must have been on the real medicine, because the problem was virtually eliminated.  The medicine part of that study ended a week ago (the study participation ended yesterday), and since then I have been dealing with a return of the issue.

What this means in terms of my weight loss is that it’s very likely that instead of the relatively large loss most folks experience their first week of program, I am likely to post a gain.

I know it’s not the end of the world.  I have dealt with, and gotten past this very issue (gaining weight when I am doing all the stuff to make myself lose it) over and over again the last time I lost weight.  I know that it’s a problem I just have to accept and deal with, and I will.  But it’s frustrating in the short term, and right now it just feels like it’s not fair that my own body does not function in a way that supports what I’m trying to do.

I do have coping strategies in order.  First, I know that if a gain occurs this week it will be a temporary thing, and that likely I will have a better loss the following week.  This has been what has happened again and again when the issue has risen before, so it’s likely it will continue to be the pattern for this issue.  Second, I can write out my frustration, both here and privately, and own the feelings, even as I take actions that will support my long term goal.  Third, I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and doing my program, no matter what the weigh-in number is, since this is a long-term program, not a short term miracle.  Four, I can remember that, while the scale numbers are what they are, they are only guideposts to where I am, not the goal in and of itself, and that there are all sorts of other things I can use to mark my progress.

Yesterday, for example, after my study appointment, I was able to walk a full block to a restaurant, have lunch, walk across the avenue, go to a store, and walk back to a car service without huffing and puffing.  A few weeks ago, I could barely make it from the study office to the car service (about half a block away).  That’s progress.  Real progress.

Anyway, here are the reasons I want to lose weight for the last two days:

4-Sept:

  • Get off or lower blood pressure, asthma, and cholesterol medications
  • Be able to walk for fun again
  • Improve general health
  • Become a Weight Watchers leader
  • Get back into the great clothes I got when I last lost weight
  • Feel better about myself

5-Sept:

  • Feel better about myself
  • Get off or lower medications
  • walk more, and without a cane
  • Stop further nerve damage from the weight
  • Become a Weight Watchers leader
  • Have a more professional image
  • Have my exterior properly represent who I am

So, my questions for today, raised with the hope of finding new tools for my own toolbox, are:  What are your best strategies for coping with frustration?  For keeping your eye on your goal even in the midst of what seem to be insurmountable obstacles?

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12 Responses to "Frustrated…"

My best coping mechanisms are people. I have a good support network of friends online and offline who care and who listen. They get me through a lot. 🙂

Hi turtle! People are one of the best support systems around. 🙂 I have a lot of friends who are willing to support me, when I remember to ask for their help.

Never let anything frustrate you into failure. Always keep your eye on the target and let noting get in your way, even minor setbacks that are out of your control. Dismiss anything or anyone that tries to send you into a negative head spin as insignificant and either jealous or not wanting to see you become successful. I know you can do anything you set your mind to so YOU GO GIRL!!!! NO EXCUSES!! XOXOXO

Hey Paula! Didn’t know you were reading this. Thanks for the support. You know it’s no longer a matter of vanity for me, but a matter of health and well-being. Having you in my corner is like having a whirlwind at my back pushing me forward! Love you, sis!

Is it possible to have them record your weight at the weigh-ins but NOT tell you? So you’d only know where you were by the changing points-allowance? That way you wouldn’t need to worry about weekly numbers, just overall progress.

Hi, Jenna! Very good thought!

It is indeed possible to not look at one’s numbers. Weighers are not supposed to tell you or comment on the weight. They just print out the tag and put it in your card. You can just close the card without looking, and many people do so.

The thing is, for me it isn’t the number that is the issue, but the fact that my own body sometimes works against me on my journey. The hard part isn’t remembering that it’s just a number, especially if I’m far enough along in the program that I’m down several clothing sizes. It just happens that I’m at the beginning of this round of the journey — the week when almost everyone who starts drops a large number of pounds due to adjusting to the new way of eating — so it feels frustrating.

And I know it’s a small frustration. I have friends for whom one’s body sabotaging them is serious. Got one friend (out West) who is allergic to almost every drug she needs…my worries seem petty when compared with something like that. On the other hand, this journal is about the journey, and that means I don’t get to post only when things are going well. It means I get to be honest about the problems, and about when my head and heart aren’t listening to each other, and to note when I am struggling with an issue.

Anyway, thanks for the thought! I really hope to hear a lot of things that I haven’t thought of, or have forgotten, since I will get more tools for my toolkit that way!

I got a wonderful comment by email from folkmew, along with permission to post it on her behalf:

Hey, Well – I have a screen saver that is all images of strong beautiful inspiring women usually doing stuff like yoga or pilates or dance or martial arts – things that I enjoy doing and losing weight would make a bit easier and also they would help me lose weight! Win Win!

I have quotes I refer back to.

I wear a necklace with my 25 pound washer – I made myself take the 50 pound one off until I re-lose the weight (sigh) but still – and I added over it another ”washer like bead” I found that says ”focus” on one side and on the other the same type but it says ”strength”.

I go to meetings because I really *can’t* not go. Plus our leader is FAB!! If you want to join the facebook group it’s ”The Lite Side with Elaine” I think. And it’s not just people from our meetings – just mostly.

I also find Emmenation to be a great source of inspiration at times. She’s really pretty remarkable and she helps me remember that it is definitely NOT only about losing weight!

Hang in there!!

Hi Folkmew!

Thanks. You are ever and always one of my inspirations! Your bead sounds wonderful, I now have an ides for a charm for when I hit my next milestone!

I will definitely check out the facebook group you refer to. Themore tools I have to get me over the rough patches, the better!

Hi, Deb:
The best way that I know to cope with frustration is to vent to a friend and then try to let it go as much as you can. I describe myself as a thunderstorm – I get upset easily, but after the thunder and lightning, I’m all settled again. The husband is a volcano – slow to erupt, but once he does it takes a while to settle down. So my system works for me, but if you aren’t a thunderstorm, it won’t work very well.

I guess you have to figure out what kind of person you are – thunderstorm or volcano.
~~Joanne

Hi, Joanne!

Great to see you here! Yes, venting is a wonderful thing, although I try not to drive my friends too crazy. I like your “contrast and compare” of thunderstorm vs. volcano, although I suspect I have elements of both. I think this would make something for me to think and write about! Also, you reminded me of one of my favorite songs: Pet & Maura Kennedy’s “Life is Large,” which contains the lyric:

“How do you want to be remembered
A raging fire or a dying ember”

You have given me some real food for thought! Thanks!

It’s a process, it takes time, it has ups and downs. True for people who want to walk more comfortably, true for people pursuing a better time in the half marathon, and true still for people seriously pursuing the Olympic games. The workouts are diifferent, the numbers are different, but there really is similarity.

Hi Michael! Yes, indeed, it is a process. And you are absolutely right that the process is the same whatever the goal one is pursuing. Thanks for the reminder that I am very much not alone!

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