Two Steps Forward; One Step Back

Morning everyone 🙂

Week 37 weigh-in completed and a +1 to bring me back down to earth.  The only surprise about this really was that the gain wasn’t greater – it has not been a good week, and I’m not sure how the gain has managed to stay so low.

There are some extenuating circumstances I guess – I’ve spent 8 of the last 14 days living in cheap hotels for one.  That brings a combination of limited food choices and a lack of gym/pool to work with for most of that time, which certainly doesn’t help, but it’s not the whole story.  Those things really just set the scene upon which I managed to eat relatively poorly every day this week, going over my points on every day, making poor choices where I had the opportunity to do better and generally sabotaging my progress.

I’ve not written about self-sabotage for a while, but this week has been a great example of that.  It’s an odd thing that happens on an irregular basis, but there does seem to be a pattern of sorts – whenever I’ve had a consistent period of weight-loss, particularly after a very good couple of weeks, this attitude of self-sabotage kicks in.  It leads to a period of me actively doing the wrong things and consciously making the wrong choices.

It’s the fact that it’s conscious that makes it difficult to grasp.  This isn’t something where I realise afterwards what I’ve been doing.  I’m fully aware of what I’m doing while I’m doing it; in fact I’m fully aware of it before I do it, which is probably even worse.  The awareness really ought to be enough to nip it in the bud, but it isn’t – it feels like I’m just watching it from the outside, and feeling completely powerless to do anything about it.

It’s not the end of the world of course – it’s not going to stop me from getting where I want to be, even if it does slow me down a little bit.  It might even be a necessary part of the process – some sort of mental correction going on that keeps me going in the right general direction.  The worrying thing for me is that it’s precisely that self-sabotage that kept me smoking for so many years after I’d decided that I wanted to stop.  In these moments, the ‘just one cigarette’ would pull me back in (am I the only one reading those words back in an Al Pacino voice?) and all my progress would be gone.

Actually that’s a really positive thing!  I’ve always struggled with the fact that I could stop smoking and drinking completely, but couldn’t manage to kick the over-eating thing.  The different scenarios around self-sabotage show that they really aren’t the same thing at all.  One cigarette used to pull me back into being a smoker, and whatever progress I’d made previously had gone.  This isn’t like that.  Not at all.  One bad choice doesn’t negate anything that I’ve achieved so far.  Nor does a week of them.  I can just pick myself up, dust myself down a bit, and then get on with heading to thinsville just the same.  I might be a pound heavier than this time last week, but I’m 50 pounds lighter than this time last year and that’s the important figure.

Let me tell you what the worst thing that comes from my periods of self-sabotage is.  Can you guess?  Tesco’s sales of value Midget Gems go up (three bags by Tuesday this week 🙂 ).  That’s about it.  I’ve had this uncomfortable worry about my tendency to self-sabotage lurking in the back of my mind for a long time.  I know it’s there, and I’ve always had this fear that it would be my undoing.  You know what?  In the last few paragraphs, I think I’ve started to process of putting that to bed for good.

Psychologically speaking, it would be great to understand a bit more about what’s going on with me when I self-sabotage, but it’s not as important as I’ve been thinking it is.  It’s a strange process, but in the wider scheme of things, it’s not actually going to stop me getting where I want to go.  I’ve often wondered if I’ve got some strange sort of food addiction going on, but for the very first time I can see that isn’t the case.  I’d love to know what the medical possibilities are of being addicted to Midget Gems, as if there’s a support group for that, I’m signing up today, but other than that, there’s no addiction going on here.  Just some really mucked up thought processes and habits that have built up over the years that are taking a while to unravel.  But they ARE unravelling, and with each little moment of self-discovery comes greater awareness of what’s been happening, and greater confidence that it will be OK in the end.

I’m not sure whether any of that will make sense to anyone else, but to me that’s a couple of pretty huge mental breakthroughs that have happened right there before my very eyes.  I’ve got a sneaking feeling that I make all of my mental breakthroughs in weeks where I gain weight too, which is an interesting concept too.

I’m not addicted to food or overeating (just possibly midget-gems).  And my self-sabotage can’t hurt me.

Bring on week 38.  I’m ready.

The Shrinking Man

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