20 May 2008


I had been avoiding my bathroom scale. Tossing dirty clothes and towels on top of it to cover it up, so I'd forget it was there. Except that didn't work; whenever I got up to use the potty in the middle of the night, the glass disc where you stand would be glinting out from under all the dirty clothes in the light of the night-light. "I'm still heeeeeeerreee!" it would whisper to me at 2 AM. "I know you're avoiding meeee!"

For good reason, too. I have gotten out of the habit of daily gym, run on the treadmill, stretch, do crunches, do push-ups (getting rid of that flabby upper arm was priority #1, and push-ups are the only way I know to do it), do some yoga, and then move on with my day. Out of that habit for a handful of reasons, absolutely not one of them a 'good' reason, they're all excuses.

In the dark part of the winter, when the snow and the cold and the dark began to seriously wear on me, there just wasn't much point to my depressed mind, in getting out of bed. Then starting the Lexapro in addition to the Wellbutrin, in an effort to pull me out of one of the darkest periods of my life *ever,* the Lex made me tired. Really, really, really tired. I took the Lex for two months, during which time it seems to have managed to completely change my internal clock/diurnal rhythms to no longer an early morning person.

No, I did not consult with my doc or the shrink about discontinuing the Lex. The simple fact is that it was too expensive to add to my med regimen, and since it was making me sleep more and be even more reluctant to get out of bed, it seemed to me the better part of wisdom to give it up. I'm doing all right without it. I think that's mostly because the days are longer and the weather is better, not because I no longer need it. I'd be trying to fool both you and myself should I claim otherwise.

So not a single one of those is a good reason for being out of the habit of working out. Let's call a spade a spade, then, and call it what it really is: laziness, and my usual self-defeatist principals working against something good happening. The fact that I can recognize this for what it is, though, shows that therapy = progress.

When I did finally bite the bullet, and step on the scale (first thing in the morning, after using the restroom, not a single bite to eat beforehand, and not wearing a stitch of clothing) I thought I was prepared for it to show a higher number. The clothes that had been loose are fitting fine or in some cases are snug, so I knew I'd gained some weight. 5-6 pounds, I thought, no big.


The number on the scale was nearly 10 pounds more than what it had been. Eeep. Eeeeeeeeeeppppp!!!!

Then I was angry. I've worked too damn hard to get healthy and thin, and I refuse to gain all of that weight back. I've come too far, and I am NOT going backwards. Hell, I refuse to gain an ounce of it back, so obviously, the scale is wrong. Uh-huh. What was that we used to say in the early 90s? Not!!!

I've allowed some of my old eating habits to creep back, too. A conversation with my mother reminded me that we share an addiction that can be as lethal, as deadly, as any narcotic: food. I have replaced my processed sugar addiction with more natural sweeteners, which are fine in moderation, but there are other temptations. There is no longer granular (white) sugar in my house. When I'm craving a bad 'sweet' fix, I take a swig of apple cider, or make a cup of herbal tea with a generous spoonful of a spectacular find: Really Raw Honey. (yum! I could write a whole post about that stuff, but I shall admirably restrain myself. Buy some, do!)

But there are other food addictions in that bunch: carbs, carbs, carbs, bread rice and pasta are all large weaknesses of mine. We've been eating out more than is smart, and I've allowed myself to mostly eat exactly what I want at restaurants, instead of being a pain in the ass to wait staff and specifying exactly how something should be prepared for me. That started on our vacation in Florida, where I allowed myself to eat a whole lot of a south Florida/Caribbean regional specialty: conch fritters. Deep fried conch fritters. Plus the temptation of trying all sorts of things unavailable here in Oh-hi-ia: Caffe Cubano (an espresso-esque coffee with PURE CANE SUGAR, the liquid from a stalk of sugarcane, added served hot and super-sweet, woooo what a a caffeine fix!) and all sorts of other Cuban foods, along with booze, booze, booze! We were on vacation, why not?

Well, because then your clothes don't fit, dumbass!

Getting back into the habit of the gym has been tough. I managed to make it two times last week. Today being Tuesday and all, I wish I could say I'd been there two times THIS week, but I made it this morning, so that's one. My work schedule has been interfering with my Pilates classes, which is very annoying. I made it to a Pilates class a week or so ago, and OUCH! I've lost a whole lot of strength and muscle tone that I had from Pilates. I won't make it to both classes this week either, which is frustrating.

I wish I could pinpoint when exactly I quit the daily gym routine, because then I'd be able to figure out how much weight I'd gained each month. Which is a silly thing to obsess about, anyway....I didn't put on 10 pounds in one month, there is nothing seriously wrong with me that could contribute to the weight gain, this is laziness and sloppiness and nothing else.

But remind me of that tomorrow morning at 5, will you, please? Because I still can't figure out a way to be dragging my ass out of bed at a normal time. (Yeah, 5 AM was normal for me, until very recently.) I find that unless I get to the gym when I first get out of bed, and preferably when they open their doors, I'm unlikely to go at all. The place is so darned busy any other time of the day that it irritates the hell out of me. I pay them almost $600 a year for a membership; I don't think they should allow so many people to join that there are no parking spaces available. Ugh, that's a rant for another day. And another excuse: I don't want to go because it is too busy, whaaaaa.

Multiple alarms haven't worked; having coffee brewed and waiting when I would get out of bed has also not worked; my clothes fitting tighter hasn't been motivation either. And yes, I have tried heading to bed earlier, too. I'm sleeping (knock on wood) with no sleeping pills right now, not over the counter, not prescription, nothing, so curtailing the sleepy pills isn't a suggestion either. I'm not sleeping well, waking at least once every hour, but I'm hoping that evens out and that I only need to use the Ambien when my anxiety levels are particularly high. Sleeping, for the moment, isn't the problem; waking is.

Questions, comments, suggestions?


Dawna said...

I can't wake in the morning to save my life. The most sad thing I can tell you that may help you wake up:


Seriously, there's nothing else that has ever made me get out of bed.

And the 10lbs... don't worry about it. We all fall off the horse, wagon, [insert other motivational cliche here] once and a while. Remember- you ARE human after all. You should allow yourself to have a treat more often so it is much easier to avoid 'em when your will is particularly weak. Myself, I have one 2,000+ calorie day a week. Chocolate cake and butter croissants here I come!

It is much easier to say "no" to a poutine or anything else deep fried any other day.

Lucy Arin said...

have I mentioned before how unprepared I am to be a mother, and what a bad idea that is at this particular moment in my life? I think I have.

I was super-strict about everything I ate for nearly a year. And then when I did fall of the wagon, I fell off the wagon, y'see?