An Unpleasant Surprise from the Bathroom Scales (⊙_⊙)
I've known for a while, mainly due to my struggles on the climbing wall, that I'm pretty overweight.
I've dealt with it before, but on a very surface level - white-knuckling my way through diets and obsessing over the number on the scale so much that I made some very unhealthy choices.
I felt that it's time to at least face the reality again. My CPTSD recovery is going well (last time I tried to lose weight I didn't even know I had an issue with CPTSD - I was merrily oblivious to the unconscious sabotage going on in my life).
So I bought some scales.
I know that weight isn't really the important number, so I went for an analyser scale that also measures body fat. I can't imagine it's incredibly accurate, but we're looking for relative progress, not necessarily absolute numbers right?
I also have an interesting relationship with goal-setting; that's a story for another day... I've found myself over time pretty much falling out with any idea of goal-setting.
But needs must.
My health is suffering - not noticeably at the moment (I guess I am lucky), but the very obvious sign is that my climbing is failing to progress.
So I am rekindling an old goal I made many, many years ago and have never really followed through on...
Get my weight to 85kg (~187lb).
I tend to hang around the high 90s (~213lb)... but I was surprised this morning when I discovered I'm now at 102.4kg (225lb) with 43.7% body fat.
I read a fascinating blog here on Bear about someone's path to weight loss (and then strength training) and it inspired me to look at what's really going on... I've identified the following:
I poured a bowl of cereal yesterday and the box was finished on the third portion. I read the side of the box: "This box contains approximately 12 portions". Ok.
I think I need to calibrate what a 'normal' portion is.
I know that junk food leads to bingeing... the body continues to crave food until its nutritional needs are met, and if you just throw it fat, sugar, salt and complex carbs it will continue taking input until its need for fibre and vitamins is satisfied.
Out with the sugar. In with healthier whole foods. It's about How much nutrition I can get on my plate, not how many calories.
Here's where the CPTSD comes in. I suffered from emotional abuse and abandonment as a child. Apparently, abandonment trauma feels very much like hunger (except that eating doesn't resolve it).
It's time to really get to know the signals my body sends to me - something I have typically repressed because feeling my feelings has been so uncomfortable.
Michael Brown's The Presence Process has helped a lot with feeling feelings. Now it's time to put it all into practice.
Target Fixation and Perfectionism
What I have to not do is fixate on the number on the scales. I have done this before and got down to the mid 70s in kilograms (~165lb). But at what cost? It's possible to brute-force your way to weight loss simply by not eating anything - or by bingeing and purging. This is not healthy. It is known as an eating disorder.
If one is vulnerable to eating disorders, one must be extremely careful about how they approach a healthy weight goal.
The plan this time is to set the intent to eat more healthily and listen to my body, and the numbers on the scale should take care of themselves. If they are not going in the right direction I simply have to ask myself "what could I do differently?"
I know when I've lacked sleep I crave carbs. The simple solution is to get enough sleep - not always the easiest when the emotional flashbacks are strong.
I think those considerations should set me up for success. I've learnt that it's those small daily habits that have the greatest impact on my life, not the grand gestures.