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.