Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Glass IS Half Full....isn't it?

I am really trying to improve my outlook on life. I always thought of myself as an optimist, but somehow along the way my Pollyanna attitude has turned rather Grinchy. This was brought home to me by a rather embarrassing comment made by R: "Mom! Why do you always have to be so crabby about everything?!? I say, "Isn't that water a beautiful shade of green?" and you answer, "It's probably full of algae." I was really taken aback until I realized over the next few days that she was 100% correct. I have become one of those people who has something negative to say about everyone and everything! I am mortified and have resolved to change my attitude. Wowsa -- it's hard! Last evening when I looked at my zinnias growing so nicely, the first thing I thought was, "Hmmm...I thought the colors would be brighter."

I saw my therapist today and told her that my eating behavior over my vacation really disappointed me. I didn't binge, and I ate mindfully at many meals. However, I used the time as an excuse to eat ice cream a lot (okay, I know many people do that on vacation) and I ate with the group mentality quite a few times (you know...everyone else is eating chips/cookies/crackers so I'll join in too). I can't even say that it was due to any particular feeling -- I just used being on vacation as an excuse to eat. I told her that I'd been thinking about why I did it, and thought perhaps part of my psyche still believes that any day now my "willpower" will kick in and I will start starving myself for months. That has been the pattern of my life since I was 15, after all. She said, "But you're working on changing that pattern." I agreed, but confessed that part of me HOPED it would kick in because I'm unhappy with my weight. She suggested that maybe I was purposely trying to force my weight up so that I reach a tipping point and trigger my past behavior. Whoa. Ouch. I think she may be right.

I moaned about how I eat dessert whenever it's offered and just feel deprived if I turn it down. She told me I really need to find some more satisfaction in my life -- if not at work (where I am sooo bored at the moment), then at home or in other areas of my life. Deprivation and work combined with deprivation in other areas of life = food as my only reward. I know she's right. I have been doing better at treating myself well, but I'm still not really quite "there" yet. Part of the problem is my perfectionistic tendencies. I think that I can't possibly scrapbook or work on a craft project if my craft room isn't totally neat and organized. That never happens, so I never work on anything. As for work, she says that passion in all things has to be rekindled from time to time. It doesn't remain high by itself. Huh. I never thought about it that way. I guess it's another example of my Grinchy thinking!

She also suggested that I refocus my thinking. Rather than feeling deprived about not having dessert, I need to think about the reason I'm turning it down. I need to have a clear idea of why I don't want to eat the dessert. So, she wants me to make a list of the reasons I want to be healthy. She suggested that I focus on what I want my life to be like when I'm 50, 60, or 70. Do I want to be able to ride my bike? Stay off blood pressure medication? Walk without knee pain? Etc. I am having trouble coming up with much that isn't superficial (I want to fit into a smaller size!). I shall work on it, along with my attitude.

1 comment:

Emma said...

When I want dessert sometimes I have it consciously. But when I am being good I have the husband get desert and I take a bite or two. I get the pointy part of the pie, he gets the rest. This works especially well when you are sharing desserts around the table. You take a little they get a lot. I like the first bite best of all so for me sometimes this works.

You need the gratefulness list. You must maintain a list of everything you are grateful for. If you have to look for things to appreciate your mind won't have so much time to rain on your own parade.

I'm on medication for my mood. It really really helps me. You are moving into being a real woman with needs and desires of her own. I don't know how you get over perfectionism but you absolutely must. because you need to take the time to care for yourself.

I hate being in a foul temper. So I just ask Emma what she would say if I was outside of her and follow her advice. What would you say to me if I was cranky like that your advice to yourself is good.

I like hot baths for cranky. it helps me think. It's my meditation.