Keep going

Thought of the day!

keep going

The only thing standing between you and success is you. Failure is only where we choose to stop, if we keep going, even slowly, we will meet our goals. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what “should” be stop you from what can be. All any success takes is time and not giving up.

Expectations

I’ve been thinking about expectations lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about how expectations can be a problem, and wondering if it is possible to not have expectations.

In one way of looking at it, everything we do has an underlying expectation. When you go to sleep at night, you expect to wake up in the morning. When you get dressed, you have an expectation of what the weather will be like, probably based on a weather report or a knowledge of how the weather normally is in your area at that time of year. As you get into your car to go to work, you expect to drive to work with little to no aggravation or problems. Even the things that we don’t actively think about, we do with some kind of expectation – I am wracking my brain to think of anything that happens in life where we don’t have some kind of expectations, even if it is unconscious or benign.

What about when things don’t go as expected? Certainly our expectation(s) play a part in our disappointment, surprise, or pleasure. If we have an expectation that an event will be boring, we are likely pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be fun. Expectations seem to cause the most problems, at least in my life and relationships, on when I expect someone to do something or I have an idea of what something like a date might be like and it turns out to be something different. No one wants to disappoint or be disappointed, but it can happen when we have expectations about another person or something involving them. Maybe you love Valentine’s day and your partner doesn’t really put much stock into the “hallmark holidays” that’s one situation that could certainly lead to disappointment due to expectations.

I suppose what I can’t figure out is if there’s a way to stop having expectations, or at least to be less affected by them. I know they’ve definitely caused me problems in relationships in the past, but I wonder if there’s ever a way to not have expectations, whatever they may be, whatever the outcome. What do you think? Comment and let me know, this is something I’m still struggling with so I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it yet.

zoltar machine outside house of blues in NOLA from my instagram feed @ladylamia

Postscript to Abusing my body with food

I wanted to make one more point that I didn’t make on my original post “Abusing My Body With Food”. I think it’s also important that when we do choose to indulge, we choose high quality foods made with fresh ingredients to indulge in. For example, instead of eating the fifty cent, couple days old cake that I bought from Kroger, I could have chosen to buy a freshly made slice of cake at Campbells, a local bakery that I love. That would’ve been a much better choice for a less than healthy “treat”.

So if you do indulge, choose something that’s good quality – don’t get the frozen pizza (even the “diet” one) instead make it yourself or buy it from a local place that uses fresh ingredients. Don’t drive-through McDonalds for a burger, go to a restaurant that uses good quality beef and will cook it to order, etc etc etc.

oysters by visualnewbie

Abusing my body with food

Last night, as I sat on my couch watching Criminal Minds season four and eating “Oops, we baked too much!” fifty cent sale Italian cream cake from Kroger, I thought about something that @missionfitchick had said on instagram. I recently started following her, I like her positive attitude, frankness about herself, and photos of healthy meals & snacks. The photos show up in my instagram feed between photos of people’s rescue dogs and giant hoagies, massive desserts and scrumptious-looking asian food from @visualnewbie, @foodchasers, and @paulie702, my favorite “foodie” accounts. It is a little bit odd to have decadent images of calorie-laden foods in between posts about getting healthy and losing weight. There’s where I’m at though – I’m a foodie: Top Chef is one of my favorite shows; my new year’s resolution for 2013 was to eat in at least one James Beard Award Winning chef’s restaurant; I geeked out the time I ate at Chef Chris DeBarr’s restaurant Green Goddess and he came by the table. I love food in a weird and dysfunctional way and I always have. Back when I restricted food, over a decade ago, I was pretty much the same. I would walk through supermarkets, breathing it all in, looking at everything there was on the shelves, even though I wouldn’t let myself eat much of it at all and when I did eat it was organized with obsessive rituals and rules. When I started getting over my eating disorder related behaviors, I didn’t really get “healthy” I just started eating again.

deep dish pizza by foodchasers

As I sat there last evening, eating this gigantic slice of cake directly from the container, the phrase “abusing my body with food” popped into my head. I’ve spent 2013 trying to get back into my healthy habits. In 2010 I lost about 40 pounds when I started running, and that was the only time in my life I have had a non-adversarial relationship with food. My thinking really started to change, I saw food as fuel for my body – not something to fear, indulge in, hide in, or vilify. Fitness was my focus, not food, and I think that’s why it worked so well for me. As I began to really enjoy running, I was able to really enjoy eating healthy, “clean” food to make my body even better at what I was achieving. I stopped indulging in the occasional bottle of wine because it affected my performance too much the next day. The first time I ran a mile without stopping was the first time in my life that I had not only done something that I believed I could not do, but I had achieved it on my own, doing it for only me and not to prove anyone wrong or to prove to anyone else that I was good enough. And then I stopped running.

It happened gradually at first. I started working instead of being just a full-time student, so it was harder to fit in exercise since I hate mornings. I started dating the alcoholic and I didn’t take my running shoes on my ten day trip to New Mexico. I’d planned to, but she’d thrown a fit, “Why would you want to do something without me!??!” That statement is ridiculously emotionally unhealthy, but I still left my running shoes at home. Little by little the healthy eating started falling by the wayside too. I’d been off diet frozen dinners but I started bringing them to work as quick, easy lunches again. I started eating fast food that wasn’t subway. Then I fell into a depression during the 2011 holidays and started eating sweets. I had never been that interested in sweets, but all of a sudden I really wanted them. I ate dessert every night when I was in New Orleans, LA with my family and then when Michelle (the alcoholic) and I officially broke up, I started going to Dairy Queen and Sonic for Blizzards once or twice a week. Before I knew it, it was December 2012 and I had gained back 30-35 pounds of the 40 I had lost. It’s been really difficult to get back into healthy exercise habits – I spent most of February and this month losing 2 pounds and then gaining them back and then losing them again. Something really has to change, but I’m tired in the evenings and work stress has made it seem impossible to get out of bed early enough to work out.

I realized that whether I was restricting or over-indulging, I have always been abusing my body with food. Whether I wanted it to help me feel better about a bad relationship and that breakup, or wanted the exquisite control of a body screaming for food and telling it that I was too strong for that – I have always been abusing my body, except for that wonderful nine month period in 2010 when I finally somehow got healthy. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why anorexia & food restriction is body-abuse, but some people might scoff, especially the “fat acceptance” crowd, and say “why can’t you like yourself how you are? why can’t you eat a piece of cake and be ok with not being waif thin?” I don’t feel good right now. I’m all for accepting yourself as you are, loving yourself, accepting limitations, and I do that as best I can and have struggled for years. However, I feel like there are people out there who just get belligerent about treating themselves like crap, no differently than the people are insist that there’s nothing wrong with them smoking because it’s their body their choice. It is your body and your choice, just like it is mine and everyone else’s – but an unfortunate side effect I have noticed to “fat acceptance” has been to attack people who are trying to get healthier, and that’s not ok either.

healthy snack prep by missionfitchick

I don’t sleep as well as when I worked out and ate healthily, I don’t have as much energy, my depression is worse, I just don’t feel very good physically. When I think about all the crap I’ve started putting into my body again, it’s no wonder I don’t. Fried foods, refined sugars and carbohydrates, they taste amazing but they don’t do much good for your insides. I realized that my eating has become an extension of some of my self-hatred that really frustratingly still resides in me after 18 or so years of working really hard to get rid of it. I hope that phrase sticks with me; I think it will because it really resonates. It’s not saying I can’t have a piece of cake from time to time, because I can and I will, but saying that maybe when I reach for that fourth piece of bread at dinner that there’s something beyond hunger that’s driving me.

I posted a postscript to this, which you can view here.