Writing as therapy
This is going to be one of those posts that I whine about my failures. Particularly my bloody weight issues. It takes up so much of my headspace that this blog would be a lie if I didn't write about it here. And anyway, when I asked Shrink for his advice on how to get back on the diet bandwagon he said "blog about it".
The self saboteur has come again
Chocolate is my drug of choice these days and I am in full blown active addiction. Again.
I've gained back all 5kg I lost last year and I'm not liking it at all. Yet my self saboteur grabs another Malteaser and shoves it in my gob, the smooth chocolate coating combined with the perfectly crunchy centre soothes me, if only for a second.
Chocolate, cake, ice cream, lollies and lots of them. I'm even drinking more Diet Coke than I usually allow myself because my self saboteur says I can. She plays with the fact that I have absolutely no self control of my addictions especially when I've been rejected, criticised, blamed or judged poorly.
Last year when I quit sugar and did Droptober I felt so determined and full of motivation to lose weight and get healthy. I felt light, my moods were more stable, my headaches were gone, I slept better and woke up better. I felt clean and I even felt like I actually loved my body. It was such a sweet lovely feeling. And my self saboteur was nowhere to be seen!
That's all gone now. I feel heavy and toxic. My headaches are back and my joints ache. I'm back in my fat clothes and I certainly do not heart my body. I feel old. My self saboteur is back and she encourages me to consume yet another bowl of ice cream and chocolate sauce. It will make you feel better, she says. Who cares if you get fat, she insists, this tastes too good to give a shit. You've suffered and you deserve a reward. My self saboteur is very convincing.
I've put it out on my Facebook feed, and on this blog, so many times that I'm back on the wagon, this time will be it, blah, blah, blah. Then I get a little set back and she's back! She can smell my fears and sensitivities from a mile away!
Last night I put this tweet out there...
Has anyone tried hypnosis to stop eating chocolate? I'm desperate. Chocoholics Anonymous where are you?
— Vanessa Beattie (@BabblingBandit) April 25, 2013
...and got this response
@babblingbandit stopping buying it is quite effective? ;-)
— Plain Jane (@Janey_uk) April 25, 2013
I wish it were that easy!
I hate myself when my self saboteur shows up but I feel completely powerless by her control over me. I am simply unable to sacrifice "short term gratification for the sake of long term goals" to quote my schema therapy book (which I highly recommend but should note I've also had extensive experience with group and one on one schema therapy). This is especially the case when I'm not feeling great about something.
You see I have the insufficient self control/self discipline schema (or as I call it my self saboteur). This is a basic summary:
This schema refers to the inability to tolerate any frustration in reaching one’s goals, as well as an inability to restrain expression of one’s impulses or feelings. When lack of self-control is extreme, criminal or addictive behavior rule your life. Parents who did not model self-control, or who did not adequately discipline their children, may predispose them to have this schema as adults."
I don't have tantrums any more (although I did up until about four years ago) but I'm impulsive. I always have been. I do things without thinking about the consequences, much like a toddler does. Although I know the consequences, I just choose to block them out during that moment of frustration or upset. Couple insufficient self control with my defectiveness schema and I'm the perfect candidate for addiction because I use the vice (in the past drugs and alcohol and now sugar) to overcome or avoid those feelings of defectiveness. It is a self defeating prophecy because by constantly failing to stem the impulsivity, and tell that bitch the self saboteur to fuck off, I'm just fueling the defectiveness. It is a vicious circle I've been playing in all my life.
This schema refers to the belief that one is internally flawed, and that, if others get close, they will realize this and withdraw from the relationship. This feeling of being flawed and inadequate often leads to a strong sense of shame. Generally parents were very critical of their children and made them feel as if they were not worthy of being loved."
I want to find that golden moment again where I make the decision to tell my self saboteur to go to hell, and flick that magic switch in my brain that turns me back into the person I love: Motivated, pumped, committed. I want to hold onto that chick forever but I never do.
I told you all a little while ago that I was seeing a guy that I really liked. I put the hard word on him and I waited for a response. And I waited. The prick kept me waiting, giving me little life lines along the way but never having the balls to come straight out and say what he needed to say. When it became clear that it was over I just ate more chocolate. My self saboteur sniffed rejection and said fuck it, what is the point in being slim if a man doesn't want you, you might as well alone and fat forever.
I've come to the realisation that my diet is related to whether or not I'm dating. I lose weight, feel good, start dating, meet someone, get complacent because the relationship isn't right, put on weight, the relationship is over, mourn with chocolate, want to start dating again, lose weight...
|Yes, I am a geek that keeps a record of my weight in an Excel spreadsheet and have done so for 10 years!|
My whole sense of self worth must be centred around whether or not a man could love me. My defective self thinks I am unlovable if I am overweight so my self saboteur swoops in to provide evidence of that fact. Are you with me?
It has been a month since I sent him that text asking him where our three months of dating was heading. I've gained 2.5kg in the last four weeks and 2kg in the month before (which I can attribute to my attempt to return to office work).
I don't want to blame that dick-face for my weight gain. Or my anxiety about work and my subsequent mood slide. I need to take responsibility for my own health. I just hate that when I feel like shit (defectiveness schema) I do my utmost to make myself feel shittier in the guise of trying to make myself feel better (insufficient self control schema).
I guess it is lucky I have a psych appointment this week to work this shit through.
If you made it this far through this "writing as therapy" session, thank you.
What are your coping mechanisms? Go for a nice long walk? Meditate? Or shove your gob full of chocolate cake like me?