Friday, 1 October 2010

Highs and Lows and Losing the Momentum, etc.

Morning all. Something which features quite a lot in my blog writing is my changing moods/attitudes.
On some days I am all fired up and willing to keep working on myself, on others I want to throw in the towel and find it all too much like hard work.

Oh those mood swings. I hasten to add they are all internal. I tend to be fairly laid back in my dealings with the world and other people. No mood swings in relationships as such...just these internal memos to myself which are sometimes negative. I just don't seem able to use the good results of watching what I eat and moving more to motivate myself to carry on. I read other blogs and I discern determination, fortitude, stamina, positivity, get-up-and-go and success.

Is it an age thing I wonder? Has my cynicism about the diet industry as a whole and how it messes with our heads wormed it's way into my own plans for losing weight and becoming healthier? I know deep down I don't want to be fat any more. That's a fact. I feel fat and I see myself as fat. I can make myself miserable because of it. (That's not self-loathing either...I just don't play 'positive at any cost' mind games with myself.)

OK, so feeling down about being fat and middle aged - what should I do? The educated woman in me says accept yourself as you are, and then you have a choice. You can moan about it and carry on not really liking your body much, or you can work towards finding a solution to this problem. The solution is to look after myself better, to care about myself and to practice self-love, and I do that by planning every single meal, and gearing myself up to get out of the house, simply to move.

Sounds like a simple plan and a sensible plan...and it sounds like the recipe for success. It would be IF I could keep myself charged up with enthusiasm for it! (Isn't this a common problem? I suspect it is.)

THAT is the problem. My enthusiasm wanes...and I know why it does too I think. My enthusiasm wanes because happenings in my life suck it out of me...deplete my 'enthusiasm' and mess with the internal drive to look after myself better. If I were a computer I'd be broken because a virus has wormed it's way in and it's preventing the machine from operating properly.

In the space of five days I have gone from feeling on top of the world to being the woman at the bottom of the mountain looking up. I have become the reluctant climber. My back-pack weighs heavy and the mountain I have to climb looks enormous. I can try to climb it or find the group of people messing about in base camp.

At the weekend I was carefree. I was surrounded by friends, adventures, activity, hustle and bustle and I fully engaged in all that was going on without even thinking about it. I felt some guilt because I didn't concentrate 100% on making healthy food choices, although I didn't go mad or consume a vast amount of food. On the days that followed I felt fired up to be outside, moving and doing and eating well. So where has that feeling gone?

Today all I want to do is laze anything I want to and have no pressure on me at all, no one wanting me or needing me to do anything. The house is a mess and I don't even want to clean it up. Niggling guilt is getting to me as well. I feel 'it's all too much' and my welfare is low on my list of priorities. Know what I mean?

For the last three days I have been nursemaid to one of my sons who has been very ill. He spent a night in hospital, has antibiotics and at home he has lost his appetite and need lots of painkillers. OK, so I can cope with that....I have done when it's happened in the last 23 years. It's nothing new. Both my boys have medical conditions which can be exacerbated when they become ill. That's life and I have to get on with it, but now I am older those sucker punches knock me out, deflate me..make me want to sit and dwell on all that is unfair. He's over the worst now. I haven't turned to food, but then again, I haven't planned meals or activity either. I have mooched about feeling fed up and thinking "Why bother?" Last night my daughter and my man were going to come to dinner and I cancelled it. I just didn't want to cook or entertain.

It's like I have to wind myself up time and time again before I can operate well. I wind down and (if we want yet another metaphor,) I am like a top which has stopped spinning and has toppled to it's side.
Writing about it has helped, so if you've read this far, thanks. I am not sure if life affects us all in this way, draining us when it becomes difficult (as it surely will.) conclusion I'd say when life is good and fun we get involved and enjoy ourselves.

When life becomes difficult most of us are able to keep going and work through it, but it saps our enthusiasm for self-care and for lots of things, no matter how 'strong' we are, how resilient we are. (I exclude clinical depression here. That's a different ball-game usually needing medical intervention, drugs and counselling etc.)

When life just 'is' - ie: normal, not good, not bad, just everyday, we get on with what we have to do and don't think about it too much. We trudge on, seeing to our duties and our routine is in place. We have a life plan regarding eating and exercise and we follow it, experiencing the occasional blip, but for the most part we stay on course because we can focus some of our attention on ourselves.

Life will always have highs and lows. That's how it works...Having written this, I appreciate that we all need to have resources of self-love that we can call on when times are difficult. It shouldn't mean an end to looking after ourselves, or a lack of effort on our behalf, or indeed the throwing in of the towel.

Bad times don't hang around forever. That's all I know. I have had lots and lots of them, probably more than my fair share, but so far, I have weathered the storms. That's what we have to do I conclude. We have to go with the flow, recognising the good and the bad and sit it out if necessary. We don't always have to be 100% on plan. It's natural to have OFF days. We won't always be able to operate at peak performance and that is OK. It doesn't mean that our plans for ourselves have been destroyed. It may take a while, a very long time before we bounce back, but that's fine too. The clouds lift eventually and we have to remember that. We matter.

Hmmm. Message to myself: Thank you Grump. You've just talked (written) yourself into a better mood because you've dredged up some understanding about how you, (and perhaps most bloggers here?) function when life isn't a barrel of laughs.

Who says blogging isn't theraputic? :)

Onwards folks. Onwards. It's a new day. x x x


  1. Heck, if it weren't for blogging I think I'd have retreated back into that uncaring state and made no progress last month. Good days, bad days, bad news, good news, we carry on. You're doing fine.

  2. Thank you. I had 3 bad food days last week resulting in a gain at weigh in. It wasn't a surprise but it was a disappointment. I blogged about feeling worthless and trying to encourage myself to feel of value in agreement with the opinions of those who love and support me. It is an ongoing effort. It is a worthwhile effort however long it takes. You reminded me today that I will have those good, bad and indifferent days and that makes me human and normal in many ways. I am glad I keep up with your posts. You grump!

  3. We are both going through the same thing!! Yeah I'm not alone...I'm not broken...I guess I'm just normal and so are you!!!

    I agree life gets us down...I go there too...I'm in it now!

    But we're going to pick ourselves back up and we're going to do this thing!!!

    Lets get back on that mountain top. We can do it!!


  4. Brilliantly written - darn right, my dear!

    Life does indeed seem to be a whole series of ups, downs and fairly 'normal' plateaus but the most important thing of all, as you say, is that "We matter!".

    As long as we can hang onto that one important concept, even if we go off base for a little while, we haven't given up and we WILL be successful in the end. We MUST care about and take care of ourselves though.

    Hang in there and things will turn a corner for you. I really hope your son will be better soon too. Big hugs from me.

  5. I think the first step to making life long changes is recognizing where are weaknesses are and working on that.. we have to understand where we came from accept that.. and then create a different way... it can be done.. and you are right blogging can be so therapeutic sometimes..

  6. Yes, you definitely did turn your negative self talk to positive and all in one post!!! Good for you!! That makes me believe that you can do this. Remember one step at a time. Put yourself first. Take care of yourself because if you do not...well have you seen this post from Polar's mom??

  7. glad to hear your son is doing better..It's good he has you to take care of him but remember you need to take care of yourself too so you will be there for him when he really needs you..
    Ups & Downs...we all have them..learning how to live with the "downs" is hard..if you figure it out let me know..

  8. A lot of wisdom there, Grumpy.

    The most critical thing, I think, is not to beat ourselves up when our eating back-slides. For me, that's how an ugly black spiral plummet can start. It has taken me years to learn this, but if I overeat, I let it go. No niggling guilt.

    No niggling zone. Think about it.