Thursday, May 15, 2014

Week 20 Weigh-In: "Red Flag" Behavior and Deciding to Stop It

193 lbs

This has been a very stressful week for me, and I've really been faced with my demons.  We have been dealing with an unbelievable number of fires in my community, and even as I type this, my house is on the edge of an evacuation zone and we have the car packed in case we need to leave fast.  All week the weather has been hot, dry and windy -- the worst possible scenario for fires.  This isn't my first experience with fire (they are common here), but last time there was a major fire event, we lost our home.  So I was faced with a range of emotions -- the rational side of me didn't want to freak out or over-react as I'm trying to stay calm for my kids.  However inside, I feel extremely anxious, churned up and hyper vigilant.  Yesterday, when 9 fires broke out across the city, I did something that was instantly recognizable as a "red flag" behavior (bad pun, I know).  I walked to the fridge and opened it.  Simple as that.  I was instantly aware that I was doing this because in that moment I was feeling anxious, helpless and overwhelmed.  I surprised myself when a stronger feeling of dedication to my weight loss prevailed.  I talked myself out of eating in that moment.  I knew this was a destructive behavior that, unless curtailed, would get in the way of weight loss, future weight maintenance, and the life that I want to lead with a leaner body.

In addition to these fires, I'm also experiencing stress at work.  My departure coincided with a reorganization, and this is causing some stress among my staff.  I know that I didn't cause it - they would have reorganized if I had stayed, but because I'm on my way out it makes me feel sad that I can't advocate for them.  Power playing is taking place, and some micro-managing and controlling personalities have moved in during this transition.  I wasn't involved or consulted in the decision making -- in fact they stepped in with the new supervisory measures today while I was home with my kids, who had school cancellations.  I feel sad for my staff, and all I could do during texts and phone calls today was to be as encouraging as possible.

As I write this, I think I'm seeing a pattern.  In the face of personal stress and emotion, I have stifled my feelings in order to help others feel better.  I'm not sure that's a bad thing all the time (cooler heads must prevail sometimes), but this time I'm getting my feelings out by writing about them in this blog and acknowledging them.

Life happens, no doubt about it.  I'm going to have struggles with my family, random natural disasters, loss, hormone spikes (haha), and stress.  Whatever.  I just need to keep swimming and be aware of my feelings.  If my core desire is to be healthy, I'm going to try very very hard to recall that vision for myself in those moments that I want to feed my feelings instead of getting them out. Maybe all those times I was looking to feed them, all I really needed to do was to bring them out and pay attention to them.   I may not succeed 100% of the time with this.  The real test will be to see how I manage to get back on the right path immediately following the unhealthy behavior.

I'll take this recent test as a good first step toward self-awareness.


Kathy said...

I'm so sorry you lost your house during the last wild fires. The can feel the stress of potential evacuations again. I pray they are able to control these fires soon. Just breathing, even indoors, is labored. I am so happy for you that you can move forward with the challenges you're going through with strength instead of food. It's a difficult thing to do, but you're definitely a source of great inspiration!

happyinca said...

Thanks Kathy. I know that you're a great exerciser so this must be a tough time.