Well, I did it.
Yesterday I woke up and thought, “today, today is the day I am going to conquer my current trigger (my weight)” and I did. Just like that. Snap of the fingers, ya know? Super duper easy. Or easy peasy as my seven year old would say.
Ha! As if!
The day started at 4:30 as littlest man is getting his two-year molars and the poor thing was howling like a wolf and completely inconsolable. My go-to coping method for exhaustion? Eating and eating and eating some more. I guess I think that if I keep my arm and mouth moving it will literally keep me awake?! But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to eat and eat when I was tired but not hungry.
Come round 2:00 pm I wanted to crash my head into my kitchen counter. You see next to eating and eating my go-to method for exhaustion is drinking lots of Diet Coke, like lots of it. The problem with this plan? It most definitely makes me want to eat more and more and it most definitely makes me crave the “bad stuff.” But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to have more than one.
Then 7:00 hit like a ton of bricks. All four kiddos were tucked snug in their beds and it was time to work out. It was time to actually do what I told myself I would do tonight no matter what. It was time to remember that working out is important to me, that it does make me feel good physically and emotionally, that I do have time for it. But oh, oh I wanted to just plop on the couch, grab a glass of wine and do nothing. But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to not exercise.
Nope, the only desire I gave into all day was my desire to achieve my personal goal. Again, it was super duper easy, easy peasy. Ha! As if!
Even though I plopped into bed last night giddy and proud and pumping with adrenaline that I finally “did it,” that I finally got back on track and found the energy and determination I needed to focus on eating healthier and being healthier, I plopped into bed UBER exhausted, perhaps more exhausted than I started the day. And not just because I had just exercised and been awake since 4:30, but also because I had mentally spent all day talking to myself. Looking back at yesterday, It wasn’t just “some reason” that I didn’t give into my desires that would steer me off track; it was this reason. It was these conversations with myself.
“Orange Rhino, you don’t want to eat the kids pancakes, you aren’t hungry.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. You are right. I don’t want to. I can do this.”
“Orange Rhino, I know you think you need another Diet Coke but you don’t, you need some water and a walk or a dance party.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. Water will make me feel way better. I can do this. I can do this.”
The most dominant and recurring conversation though, the one that felt like I was in ground-hog day? That would be this one.
“Orange Rhino, stop it right now. Right now. Stop telling yourself that working out for 20 minutes instead of 30 doesn’t count. Stop looking at your achievements from today as small and pathetic; instead look at your achievements as a step in the right direction, a step better than yesterday, a step better than nothing.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. I know, I know. Baby steps are big steps. Stay focused on the good. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.”
Or wait, would it be this conversation?
“Orange Rhino, stop it right now. Right now. Stop worrying about how you are going to get through the day. Stop worrying about how you will lose all the weight you want. Focus on now. Go one moment at a time. All the moments add up and will lead you to your goal.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. I know. I can do this. I can do this.”
Oh yes, I spent much of yesterday reminding myself to stay in the moment and celebrate what I was doing right instead of thinking of all that I was doing wrong. And oh yes, was it exhausting but worth it! All the constant chatter with myself helped me to stay on track, to get through each tough moment. Each successful moment gave me confidence and my confidence just grew and grew over the day and carried me well into today, just as I knew it would, or rather, as I hoped it would. So tonight as I sit here writing, I am celebrating two days of feeling back on track, feeling good about myself and I credit it mostly to talking to myself.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I have had a lot of experiences in my life where I lacked enough confidence to get over a hurdle. As a result, I just stayed in limbo, wallowing in self-pity really that I couldn’t just “snap out of it” and find the courage to jump the hurdle. Whether it be as small as having the guts to finally accept my first kiss (I was shy, okay a prude), trying a new food as a young adult at a business meeting (I don’t like new tastes, at all), sharing a contradictory opinion (I greatly fear offending people), going down a really high slide with my boys at an amusement park (I fear heights, big time) or as big as not yelling at my kids (this one is self-explanatory) I have so greatly struggled to often times just do it. I have let fear and lack of confidence stop me. But every time I finally “just did it” by telling myself “I can do this.”
Okay, that is a partial lie. I did it by telling myself “I can do this, I just a small win to believe in myself, I just need to go one small step at a time.” Just go for a peck on the lips. Just take a small bite. Just share part of your opinion. Just get to the top of the slide. Just go one moment not yelling. And then two, then three hours, then six hours, then a day.
Yes, telling myself “I can do this one moment at a time” has always helped me finally find the courage, energy and determination to get on track towards meeting a goal or overcoming a challenge. While it might not be easy-peasy to remember to say this to myself, it certainly makes it a heck of a lot easier to accomplish something than telling myself I can’t.
(P.S. The other thing that helped me have two really good days? You all. Just sharing my struggle helped it be more real, it helped me realize how important it is to me. And you all sharing your support gave me the strength to wake up and get going. Thank you. Now it is my turn to return the favor. You can do this “yelling less, loving more” thing. You can! I know you can. Just go one moment at a time…..)
I am addicted to Diet Coke! And Coffee! 🙂 One day at a time for me. My goal is to get a couple bottles of water down before the day is over. My five year old loves to share about 20 oz’s of milk at night too. With all of that I think I forget I have not had much to eat. At 41 yrs. old it is a little harder to shed the “baby” weight. I told my husband I miss working out. I remember in my 20’s how much fun it was. I think he laughed. UGH! He doesn’t remember his 20’s, maybe that’s the problem. I love your posts. I love how real you are. This morning I put my head down on my steering wheel and told my 12 yr. old, “Please be nice to your sister”, UGH! (The truck was parked!) Motrin is my friend today!
you are the BEST… i felt so overwhelmed today..just couldn’t put my finger on why…then your blog “running on empty” described it perfectly…please don’t stop writing…we depend on you fro clarity. thank you…have a wonderful labor day weekend….
Thank you for opening up about this. My weight depresses me too. And I want to do something about it but it’s so overwhelming, and then my lack of doing anything about it gets me even more down because I feel powerless and weak. And then when I’m feeling badly I take it out on my family.
A friend recently lost a lot of weight. I asked her how she did it and she said “Half a cup at a time”, which speaks to the one moment at a time.
I wanted to share something else with you that I thought you might find interesting: http://goodjobandotherthings.com/good-job-blog/
I found it through http://www.echoparenting.org/resources/for-parents. You might find the whole site interesting.
I’ve been on your site for only a few months and you’ve already helped me immensely. Thank you, and hang in there!
You are amazing!! Look at all those tiny small wins! They all add up and give you a huge edge!!
This is a very timely topic for me too, as usual. I eat when I am angry, tired, bored, frustrated, to keep my mouth full (so I can’t yell), and because food is delicious. Reading your blog today kept me from grabbing a just baked chocolate chip-peanut butter cookie. Then when I walked past the kitchen again I grabbed an apple instead.
I struggle with this one so much. If I only ate when I was hungry I would be fine but I am ENDLESSLY fixing, cooking, feeding and cleaning food because the boys eat all the time. I need to not eat but it so fullfilling.
Thanks for putting it into words.
Please see and know you are an angel. A messenger. A teacher of imperfect, yet perfect, LOVE. I have been following you for months. Your blogs ALWAYS moves me and speaks directly to my life. I get goose bumps every time I read your posts. My toe nails are painted orange. My kids know the phrase “orange rhino.” I am a teacher, a mother of three boys 11, 9, 5, and, more than I like to admit, a yeller. Ah, yelling. One of my many vices… YOU are a strong, effective, and beautiful writer, mother, and soul. I give thanks to you and God for your work! Thank and bless you and your family! xoxo
KEEP IT COMING, Orange Rhino!! You have inspired me to think more about eating healthy and possibly exercising (!)? I first started following you because I hate yelling – hate it, hate it, hate it and I loved your thoughts and honesty. NOW, you set another goal! 🙂 Keep it up – you’re doing great and anything you do is better than nothing or better than what you know doesn’t work – no matter how small, a move in the positive IS a move in the POSITIVE! Charge on…..and thank you for sharing.
Oh, OR, I just love this post. I had coffee YESTERDAY with a wonderful 67 year old grandmother who is also an incredible counselor. She told me she came up with the idea to talk to herself as a grandmother would as an antidote to the critical self talk! I LOVE it. I asked her if I could share it with the world and she agreed! Your post is a beautiful reminder to take that wisdom that was so graciously and freely handed to me and run with it today!
You rock girlfriend and I can totally relate to eating as a form of staying awake. Not sure where we picked up that one. =) Yesterday my go to was chocolate chip cookies. =)
Thank you for sharing and congrats! Huge “way to go” for all those wins!! I had a terrible day yesterday on all fronts; temper, eating, accomplishing anything on my to-do list, exercising, etc. but today – I am going to start over and talk to myself all day!! Thanks for the support!!!
so very well done – many congrats.
yup – it’s moment by moment as well as having encouraging conversations with yourself.
I’ve had a hard few weeks and am deeply proud of myself for getting out of bed and just getting things done – step by step – moment by moment.
I told myself that a trickle of activity can become a stream then a river and eventually an ocean.
And worry can be so exhausting.
It can feel like dragging a 10 ton truck behind you and have another one on your shoulders.
I let myself have a duvet day [or 2] without giving myself a hard time.
I then did a few small activities and told myself ‘well done you’ and didn’t give myself a hard time.
Yesterday I felt a lot more energised and was able to do heaps of stuff that made me feel like progress was being made – and didn’t give myself a hard time.
I talked to my mum and a dear friend and that helped.
It really is moment by moment stuff and not being hard on yourself.
Funny I read this, today I start a 30 minutes/ 30 days challenge. I too say that 20 minutes is ok and then complain when I do not see results. Little steps, slow progress still is progress.
Thanks OR for the support.
Thank you for your post, and congratulations for SUCCESSFUL BABY STEPS WELL-TAKEN!
While you were having your victory, I was having 2 binge days back to back.
My victory was NOT beating myself up over it.
I really like your message of take it one moment at a time. Really fits in with any of what life throws at us 🙂 Best of luck in your journey. Know that you are not a lone.