I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks.
~ Totie Fields
(this could take awhile--it's a huge book!)
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GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES AGAIN
24 June 2004
I was going through my list of journals this morning and followed one link which led to another link which led to another link which led back to a journal I used to read religiously a long time ago.
I stopped reading this particular journal because I had a weird sort of run-in with the writer, whom I finally decided was not someone that I really liked after all, and so I stopped reading.
But at the time when I read this particular journal, the writer was going through great angst over life problems, job problems, and other problems. At one point there seemed to be concern on the part of some readers that the writer might be somewhat suicidal.
A hiatus was taken from writing the journal and the writer eventually returned with the same angst, but seemed to have a better handle on things.
It's probably been 3 years since I last read this writer and yet here was the journal, in new format. Same problems, same angst, same complaints about work, same confusion about where to go with life. (Not unlike tuning in on a soap opera you'd stopped watching 6 months ago to discover everybody was still dealing with the same problems.)
At the same time, as I link my "2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003" entries each day, it's rather depressing to follow my passage through two different attempts at dieting, with varying degrees of success. (See today's link to the 2003 entry, for example!)
As I sit here, having put back most of the weight I took off 2 years ago, I'm wondering if any of us (other than Marn, of course) ever makes any substantial, long-lasting life changes. Or do our journals merely reflect circles that we keep going round and round and round, always returning to where we started, and never quite moving forward.
I was so certain that I had gone on The Last Diet. That I had made life changes that were going to last a lifetime. That I had overcome addiction to my trigger foods and had developed a true liking for healthy foods. That I'd added exercise to my daily routine and, because I knew I felt so much better as a result of it, that I would never go back to the old fat me again.
Well, guess I fooled me.
It's not the fault of the accident. I could have continued the lifestyle in spite of being hampered physically. But I guess that the healthy lifestyle just was not as firmly engrained as I thought it was in the first place and, sitting at home with nothing else to do, I started making those bad choices again. That's a slippery slope, my friends. Also, the results of the injury went on much longer than I thought it would and the more I sat here unable to do much, the less I wanted to do.
What happened was that I resorted to my old comfort, the patterns of a lifetime: respond to stress, anger, frustration, boredom, etc. ("fears, anxiety and frustration," as Father Joe used to say) by eating.
I had actually reached a point in my lifestyle change where I could identify that my desire to reach for food was caused by something other than actual hunger and I had actually gotten to the point where I would get on the bike and go for a ride when I wanted to eat.
But, dammit, I've lost all of that.
I've done this dieting yo-yo business long enough that I know that it takes about 5 days to cleanse my system of all the trigger foods. Sticking to those 5 days is the hardest part of any lifestyle change for me.
First you have to want to, then you have to actually do it. I am, unfortunately, not at the want to stage any more. So I'm very far away from the actual do it stage. Again.
I am slightly better off than I was a year ago. At least I know that I am capable of being active. I am not afraid of a health club any more, and with Joan nipping at my heels (and Walt paying the bills), I'm likely to be using that crutch regularly again. That's at least something.
I also have this four-legged ball of fire who needs to get exercise and there is only me to give it to her (if you have a fast connection, be sure to check out the link to the brief movie at the left...I just love watching her jump through the tall grass in the morning!). She gets me outside at night throwing a ball for her (which is good exercise for my shoulder). She gets me out walking each morning, whether I want to or not (it will be interesting to see how this is affected when the summer begins to wane and it's cold and dark at 6 a.m.!).
But my lifelong struggle with food continues. At the moment, food is winning. I just don't care any more.
Peggy sent this great photo of Keno.