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Targets and weird head stuff (Long Post)

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Old 09-24-2005, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Targets and weird head stuff (Long Post)

First I want to thank you all. You people posting here have helped me far more than any of you know, or I could have imagined.

Most recently, it was Sandi's awesome post following her weekend away, together with comments from activeadventurer, Jillegal, Pookie, and a lurker that set me examining my most recent self-destructive thoughts and behaviour. And, of course, my dear hubby who helped me talk it through. I decided to be kinder to myself with a change of user name (thanks again) from the miserable TooFatFish to the more positive DishyFishy. It might not seem much, but really, it makes a difference to me.

What follows is mainly for my own benefit; something I can come back and read the next time my head's in the shed.

My OCD usually isn't too tough to live with. At 39 years old, I've had plenty of time to to get used to it, and it's nowhere near as severe as some people deal with. Sometimes though, it spirals out of control and even with support, I have a difficult time reigning it in. I need to keep up a constant dialogue with myself, and really put the effort in to fight the obsessional thoughts that run amok, and the compulsive behaviour that follows. My current short-term goal started out as the End of Summer challenge. It became a case of "If I succeed at the challenge, then X won't happen, and if I fail, it will.". X represents something dire (totally unrelated to my health and weight) that for some crazy reason I believe I have influence over. When the "bad thing" happens, it's my fault for not meeting my objective. That's a very over-simplified explanation, but it'll do, I guess.

I've had a fair bit of anxiety in my life lately which has kicked my obsessive-compulsive behaviour into overdrive. Illogical though it is, it's my way of dealing with stressful situations and preventing a total shutdown. OCD is extreme irrationality, yet paradoxically, in most situations I'm a very rational person. (That would be the mathematician in me. ) It's when I have to deal with myself (specifically, anything positive) that all common sense flies out the window, and I recognise that what I've been doing recently is punishing myself for failing to meet the weight target I set, and blaming myself for something over which I have no influence whatsoever.

I had never intended to have 199 lbs as a short-term goal, yet somehow I found myself choosing it for the End of Summer challenge. Apart from not fitting the pattern I'd decided upon, I also knew it was a little ambitious. I thought that would spur me on, but as it turned out not meeting it within the allotted time has had the opposite effect--instead of congratulating myself for dropping 22 lbs within that period, I've been berating myself for failing to lose the extra 4. My head has been playing tricks on me, and because I've been struggling with other areas in my life recently, I haven't been able to stop it. As a result, my eating has been less than healthy, and structured exercise has gone by the wayside. I've always been an all-or-nothing person--if I can't excel at something, I tend to not even try. If I don't try, I can't fail, and if I don't fail, I won't have this mad notion that something bad will happen as a result. It's a crazy way of thinking, and one that I'm trying hard to change. I guess old habits die hard. I'm much more comfortable playing down my positives and exaggerating my negatives even though doing that makes me feel worse.

I'm still going to keep my mini targets because I need to see that my weight is heading in the right direction. I'm definitely NOT going to set myself time-constrained challenges again because I clearly can't handle not meeting them. I thought I could, but I guess I wasn't being honest with myself.

Since I decided I was worth looking after, I've dropped an average of 2 lbs a week. This surpasses anything I expected, and I'm very happy with my progress. I'm eating far better than I've ever done, and I've been more active in the last few months than in the last twenty years. Who would have thought that working out would actually increase my energy rather than wearing me out? This isn't a "diet", heck, it doesn't even feel like one, so I've got to stop behaving as though it is. I deserve to have me as a friend, not an enemy.

Now I just need to print out that last paragraph and read it every time I'm being overly critical of myself.
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:01 PM   #2
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My OCD tendencies are just that -- tendencies, little quirks at worst. Still, I would decribe myself as a compulsive overeater and I do understand a lot of the OCD mindset. I will tell you that the VERY FIRST thing I decided when I started this most recent (final!) weight-loss-and-management project was to have ABSOLUTELY no time tables or deadlines. In fact, I was so determined not to let scale-watching derail me that I didn't even view my weight for the first six weeks on my program, and only checked on it once a month or less for the first six months. Watching the numbers was a distraction, and (in the past) no matter how much I lost in a given week it was either never enough, or set me up to expect that much the next week, which of course never happened.

I will participate in challenges that have to do with BEHAVIORS but never any that have to do with amount of weight lost or other body metrics. I found that by dropping those expectations and hopes of meeting deadlines with body metrics, I freed myself to concentrate on what really mattered, which was my relationship with food and activity.

Have you read the book The Thin Books? It was VERY helpful in helping me identify and deal with, among other things, those all-or-nothing, perfectionistic thinking patterns. I highly recommend it for anyone who deals with these issues, and I would say that includes most seriously overweight folks.

Good luck, and good for you for identifying an issue and understanding how to deal with it. That's such progress!
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:52 PM   #3
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fishy honey - congratulations! i am sooo impressed with you! and thank you for changing your name. there are so many members around here with names that suggest a less-than-supportive view of themselves that it makes me sad.

changing behaviors is the absolute key, i think, and it ends up in changing attitudes as well. it's been a long haul - heck it STILL is [i had a wee meltdown this afternoon but was saved by a manicure], but it does work

rewiring our reactions/brains/emotions, etc. takes time. people often say that 'we didn't gain weight overnight,' but i'm beginning to think that 'we didn't develop these habits overnight.'

a slightly different perspective...

best of luck to you!!!!
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Old 09-25-2005, 12:38 AM   #4
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DishyFishy,

I really like your action plan to print out the last paragraph and read it when you become overly critical of yourself. I found a post here about the 40 biggest weight loss mistakes. Every one that I identified with had something to do with attitude or perception. My own personal Waterloo. I think I may follow your example and write a paragraph for myself to read. I always really enjoy your posts. Thanks Denise
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:41 AM   #5
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Good for you Dishy Fishy! Still not used to the new name, I thought you were a new chick when I clicked on your post! But I think the name change is much more appropriate. I'm with Jiffy on this one, I cringe when I see such negative, derogatory names because that kind of thinking can defeat the purpose. Which is exactly the point you've realized as well. The "head stuff" can get you every time, if you let it. Believe me, I know, BTDT. Sometimes the procedures we impose on ourselves to control our environments are the very sources that work to destroy us. Sounds to me like you've had an "ah-ha" moment, that could be just the ticket you need to kick this thing into gear, and possibly lesson some of you OCD tendencies?

Quote:
I deserve to have me as a friend, not an enemy.
That, right there, says it all. Congratulations Dishy, you're one smart fish!

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Old 09-25-2005, 02:14 PM   #6
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That's great news. I just know your going to be a success story. You already are, just look at the changes you have gone through. Keep up the good work. I like the new name.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
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Way to go DishyFishy - love the new name!!! Keep it up.

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Old 09-26-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
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DishyFishy, your post definately echoes my feelings on learning to love and forgive yourself. I remember going to a Weight Watcher meeting a few years ago where the subject was called the "Silver Bullet". The "Silver Bullet" was the idea that there is a quick cure all to lose weight (which of course there isn't), and when you find the silver bullet, everything will be okay. I do believe there is a "Silver Bullet" out there for weight loss, but it is found through self discovery, learning to love yourself and finding the lifestyle that suits you! There is no quick solution, but once you find the bullet, everything else comes together.

Congratulations on finding your "Silver Bullet"!
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:26 AM   #9
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I think the name change was a good idea also. I know this is a weight loss forum but I think we should help each other be more positive too! I'm really starting to believe that succeeding is based on loving who we are now and realizing we are NOT just some number on a scale and we're not less of a person just because we're overweight. We have to love who we are now so that when we DO reach our goals we aren't disappointed that it wasn't a cure all.
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:34 PM   #10
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Love the cute, upbeat new name and love how you've made great personal progress in examining and figuring out what makes you tick and how to work it to your advantage! Its great to have a friend who's always there for you (especially when its yourself)
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:49 PM   #11
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Fishy, I loved your post! I can't relate to the OCD part of it, but your paragraph about taking care of yourself spoke to me!

I love the last quote in Jillegal's signature:
"Let's love every bit of who we are. Hating yourself does not speed up your weight loss." Goddess Jessica

So true...so true!!
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Old 09-26-2005, 04:38 PM   #12
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great post. sounds like you are on the right track.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:40 PM   #13
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I appreciate this isn't a board for personality disorders, but mind and body are intertwined, and you've all been so supportive and understanding I'm glad I wrote about mine here. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

I feel a bit silly admitting how much better I feel with the name change. Like jiffypop and boiaby, I've seen user names here with negative connotations, and felt sad. I was too dozy to recognise that mine was one of them! Well, it does make a difference!

Thanks for the book recommendation, funniegrrl. I'll see if I can get my hands on a copy. And I'm off to find that post you mentioned, activeadventurer.

I love your take on the "Silver Bullet" idea, Carol. My being overweight is not a stand alone problem; rather it's a symptom of my disordered mind, and a result of many years of self-loathing. I thought that knowing I should love myself was enough. It's a lot tougher to follow that through than I imagined so thank you, everyone for the encouragement to keep working on my mordant self-perception.

And to Dee: Look at you! Congratulations on getting into the 100s!
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Regained 83 lbs
Interim goals
  • Previous High Weight of 247 (Oct 2005)
  • No longer morbidly obese at 232
  • Quit-Smoking Weight of 224 (Jan 2008)
  • Return to Onederland
  • Previous Low Weight of 177 (April 2006)
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:48 PM   #14
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Love your new name!! You can now answer the question, "What's in a name?"
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