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Lessons: Updates and Plans

February 1, 2011

So January happened, and Jennifer Hudson sang at me from the TV screen like, every 15 seconds, to join Weight Watchers, and so I did. And…it’s working. Really well. Since Jan. 15 I have lost more than 11 pounds, but my official third weigh in is not until Thursday so I can give you an exact number then. But. Still. Yippie!

In any case, the lessons I worked on last month were:

How to Break a Sugar Addiction and How to Cook Healthy Food So My Family Prefers It Over Fast Food.

Or something along those lines.

We’ll start with the sugar addiction one, because it is just as easy and as hard as “Stop eating sugar.”

Sugar is one of those things, for me, from which there is no weaning. If I have a little, I want a lot. If I have a lot, I want more. If I have none, well, eventually I am ok with that. It’s all mental for me, and I had to get my head right. And what it took was a little congnitive dissonance work with myself and with Dr. Therapist. Who, seriously, is a saint.

Basically what I have done, when I found myself craving some sugar or, worse, mindlessly heading toward the sugar, or worse, heading towards the sugar to “fix” something entirely unrelated to sugar is have the following conversation with myself:

OK, you say you want to be healthy, but there is a cookie in your hand. How’s that cookie going to help you reach your goal?

You have been working really hard at WW but you are ransacking the freezer and eyeing old popsicles. How is that helping you with WW?

You had a car accident. You are looking suspiciously like you are about to put a cookie in your mouth. Why, exactly, are you going to allow a car accident to influence your eating  Car accident = deal with after effects, get car fixed, etc. Nowhere in there is a cookie required. What are you doing?

And each time, I have put the cookie/popsicle/cookie down. And I have intentionally remembered all of those incidents so that when I go see the sintly therapist I can tell him – IT WORKS. But it works because, for whatever reason, I am ready for it to work. I have been working for several months now on conquering my depression and anxiety, and I have resisted taking medications because I felt like, for me, I needed to see if I could deal with the root cause and learn some tools to manage these things before I tried meds. And if I had needed them, or if I need them sometime in the future, I’m ok with that. But for now, being intentional about how I talk to myself and recongnizing the Spiral of Anxiety before it gets going too good are helping. Are working, I might even dare to say.

So that is my answer for beating a sugar addiction – 4 months of therapy and just Not. Eating. Sugar.

Now, on to the second Lesson I worked on this month:

How to Cook Healthy Food So My Family Prefers It Over Fast Food

The first thing I did was remove fast food from the list of options.

“Girls, we are going to do an experiment. Mom is joining WW and I need YOUR help to stay on plan and eat as healthy as I can. Are you in?”

Yes, mom. We’re in.

“OK. Here is what eating healthier means to me: no fast food, more fruits and veggies, and trying some new things too.”

Ummm, no chicken nuggets say what?

“Let’s…get to that. First I want to know what eating healthier means to you.”

Less soda. More fruits and vegetables. Less sweets. (Pretty good for 6 and 9)

So we kind of went through this whole negotiation thing and landed at less soda, more water, nothing fried, no fast food, and they get homemade chicken nuggets and baked fries when I have a fish meal each week.

So far, so good. And since they think it mostly came from them, they were invested from the beginning. Even on the soda thing.

In addition, we did start learning about and playing around with some new flavors – Thai, Indian, Mexican beyond what Old El Paso has at the grocery store. It has been fun, and they have found several things they really like and requested I add to “the good list…” (Apparently I should be keeping a list of things they like somewhere and consulting it on a regular basis). My hope is that one day they will try more new things – baby bok choy, sweet potatoes, grilled fish…but until then, I am ok with making them a different vegetable or letting them split a white potato while I have a sweet potato. Eventually, I know they will get there. I’m satisfied

So my plan for February is to find something that relaxes me. I will be practicing several types of meditation. I’m getting a massage. I’ve been playing with an idea involving combining visual art and written words. I plan to go thrifting for items for my inspiration wall. And I ordered myself some spectacular smelling bubble bath.

Any additional suggestions for possible relaxation techniques gratefully accepted in the comments section!

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