I thought the bow was a nice touch for this month's installment of Move More Eat Less. No, I don't typically workout with hair accessories, still… they work great for bathroom mirror self portraits.
So where are we this month? Good question. I'd like to jump right into this month's layout because I think it captures what I wanted to say pretty well. Shall we?
JOURNALING READS: You might think this installment would be one giant pity party. Up again in both weight and all measurements for yet another month, why not take a dip into the Pool of Pity and wallow in what seems to be a slow and steady decline of chub reduction? Well for starters, I turned 45 last month and I made a critical and conscious decision in my life: it’s time to stop hating my body. I have spent years thinking the only valid me is a thinner me, and as much as being a permanent size 8 woman appeals to me, it says absolutely nothing about who I really am.
I had some serious binge episodes in March. Multiple bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios chased down by Blue Raspberry ICEEs, and Hershey’s Kisses. In the moment, I thought, “I don’t care.” In hindsight, that was incredibly true: I didn’t offer any care to me. Instead of trying to figure out why I was bored, sad or otherwise agitated, I copped out and ate shit until there was no tomorrow. This method doesn’t work with my new approach, which is to try and live in both truth and reality, two places I haven’t always spent most of my vacation dollars. I’m even questioning the side-by- side photos. Is this exploitation or motivation? If I ended up matching the image on the left, would that be the final nail in the coffin of my self image? Or would it simply be a reflection of a physical reality, showing absolutely nothing of what lives inside the flesh and bone package? I am Moving More and most of the time Eating Less crap. I’m working towards a peaceful compromise with the framework from which I’m operating. It’s a work in progress for sure.
As you recall, I decided to stop beating myself up last week. You know, the whole woe is me attitude which is generally followed by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, then settling in for four more bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios, followed by a fresh serving of self-loathing. Mmmm, tasty.
Not going there anymore. At least not as often as I can resist, because as many of us know, it is SO tempting to throw the Party of Pity thereby giving us free reign to just keep on mistreating our bodies.
Blog reader Yolanda sent me a link to a blog post about bingeing and it has stuck with me for the past week. In fact, this woman's entire blog is one ah-ha moment after another. She has a way with nailing food and emotion-related issues. If you're interested, I encourage you to check it out. It's certainly been eye-opening to me. (Thank you, Yolanda!)
It's a journey, to be sure. But with my life now potentially half over, I've wasted too much time already.
Here's to truth and reality and health and vitality, in the forms that work for you and for me.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a three-mile run to peg.
Want to learn more about Move More Eat Less 2011? Click here to learn more about the concept.
I've also started a flickr group for Move More Eat Less. Feel free to start sharing your pages. You will find the group by clicking here.
katie squires says
HOORAY!!!!!!! HOORAY!!! That rocked! You just kicked your ‘inner demon’s’ ass to the curb!
Kendra B says
Thanks for the link! Only read latest post, but definitely will go back!!
Glad you are sparing yourself the ‘pity-party'(pity-parties, despite the words, are often sharp and spikey). Kind and nurturing feel better! The more we focus on something, then the less of everything else we get to see; so attention on food and weight means lots of other life-enhancing stuff just passes us by. Hoping for wide fields of vision and Spring energy for you!
Lorraine Reynolds says
Yay Cathy! I’m so glad you’ve relaxed on yourself a bit, and sent the Poor Little Old Me attitude to the curb. This attitude is going to help lift you so much. Yay girl go out and live life, and look after yourself in every way.
Now I must go and look up that link – so need a crash course in emotional eating myself right now. Have had a super rough and crazy month with my ASD son at school – my heart is breaking every day. And then I eat because I feel so helpless to help him.
Lorraine Reynolds says
That is your new attitude will help you.
And the crash course I need, is obviously how to stop emotional (stress) eating.
Maybe for one month’s MMEL page, instead of the comparison photo, you could just include a photo of you doing something … moving. (Getting ready to run, or just playing a game with your family, even it’s cards while sitting at the table! That’s moving, in another sense.) Don’t set yourself up to criticize yourself. I think evaluating is different from criticizing, and your post today is more evaluating. A much better choice.
And life is all about choices, right?
I love how honest you are with your journey, especially when mine seems to go the same way – I don’t feel so alone! Still trying to figure out the emotions and heading over to read the blog post too… thank you!
Way to go Cathy, I love your post today. The idea Dar above had about different pictures is good and her comment on evlauating rather then criticizing is good too.
wide fields of vision indeed!
Indeed! Ive thought about doing different photos. Might have to do that next month!
Yep. I dont have it all figured out. This whole new approach is just that: NEW! Im not used to passing on the pity party, but Im really trying to live in reality and just deal with what life has to offer. : )
working on it, little by little, every single day.
Cynthia Friese-Hassanein says
Go you with telling that inner body critique to shut the heck up and leave you alone:) You might be indulging at times, but you are still working out! just living and enjoying your life:) Nothing wrong with that!!!!
Couldn’t let an awesome post like this go by without giving you a thumbs-up. <3
Personally, I never visited your blog because I thought, “Oh, Cathy’s so thin and beautiful. I must see what she’s up to today.” I visit because you are a creative inspiration, a breath of fresh air, and because you tell it like it is. You will still be all of those things, no matter your size, and I’ll still love you! Thanks, Cathy, for just being you.
I was able to start appreciating my body for what it was, instead of what I thought it should be, a few years ago. It’s not a magic bullet, but it does give your mind some freedom. And you should have that freedom in your 40s — you’ve earned it.
I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you this year, Cathy. I feel like you’re on the cusp of a big discovery…
Thanks, Sandy. : ) I appreciate that.
Good Morning Cathy – After you great strides of exercise and eating better in 2010, I think your body is just saying, “this is what my body needs now.” You’re still working out like a demon and eating mostly right, so let it go. You look spectacular.
I exercise and eat a mediocre diet – buttered popcorn rocks! My body, bleh, but I’m 57! I would like the body and weight I had at 25, but that’s just not going to happen – just sayin’ Keep up the good work. You rock!
Things to celebrate: your waist size is where it should be for health (so says Dr. Oz) — wish I could say the same! You are running and swimming and whew! Awesome job. You are not kicking the emotional/psychological aspects of this journey under the rug — you’re thinking about them, talking about them. Go, Cathy! 🙂
Nicole C. says
You always manage to keep it very real and I am grateful that is what scrapping can do for us. I was once a multiple bowl of cereal woman too, and I must commend you for your continued strength to push them away.
Hat’s off to your journey and how many of us you’re taking with you on your way. I’ve been doing much better with the cereal moderation but I can’t get my rear in gear with the exercise.
And where are your goals? Are you there and maintaining? Because I think you look FABULOUS!
Cathy…I love you. I don’t even know you but I love you. Because you call it like it is. The root of stuff is so much trickier than the surface cause. Not to get all deep on you 🙂 I’m pretty sure with enough runs, you’ll sort it all out (sounds strange but with every step on the pavement/dirt/gravel/cement I’m pretty sure it seems to get sorted out for me in ways I don’t understand — at all, but I swear it does). Keep pounding! And I say ditch the mirror photos (if they are acting as exploitation vs motivation for sure) and have Dan or Aiden or Cole take some snaps of you running by 🙂 You’re a machine. Dressed in cuteness 😉 lol
And it seems to me as a long-time reader you’ve not just made leaps and bounds but turned completely different corners on totally new paths in the past few years. Don’t let the same scenery in your real life let you be fooled (or lulled) into you hanging on to being the same. You’re not. You’re taking on the world woman! With the deeper valleys come higher peaks!! Everest here you come 😉 The way I see it, the way back is no less hilly or easy than the way forward. ONWARD! 🙂 Have a great week.
I just had to comment on your post because I am always excited to read about your journey the first of every month:)
I have followed you for years and can just identify with so many things that you are going through and dare I say it, triumphing over?
In all honesty I have wondered about those side-by-side pictures since you started documenting your journey. I know what you see and what others see is not always the same but that cute girl on the left in the layout is just as awesome as the one on the right:) You are no more worthy of love, respect, and kindness because you weigh less. Just sayin’.
Of course I am thrilled to see you taking great care of your body because that means the odds are that you’ll be around a lot longer to provide us with great ideas and big laughs. Seriously girl, you have made me choke on coffee more times than I can count:)
Debbie S. says
I’m really happy for you…the whole thing is super hard. In the beginning, you have to be all about the details of what you ate and points and how much you exercised. There’s got to be a way to get back to life without having to pay so much attention to it. It gets tiring, eh?
Accepting yourself is huge, but you know what? You look fantastic… And by the way, I think the reading you do on food is a great idea…
Congrats!!! (And also btw, I LOVE your blog and work…love it love it love it.)
Wow. Now THAT is a comment. SO much inspiration just in your words! It makes me want to head out and just run down the street in a victory lap. : )
Thanks. Getting a little weepy on this end. Appreciate the comment.
Thank you for your post. You got me back running again a year ago after too long of a hiatus. Now by posting your and Yolanda’s blog posts you have me thinking about things yet again. You’re making a difference in my and other people’s lives simply by being who you are and writing so well, so keep on the path you’re on. P.S. Rainy Monday or not, I’m headed out for a run today too. Thanks, Cathy!
Thanks so much for your continuing inspiration by telling it like it is! I have read month by month hoping that I would have that moment of inspiration that gets me on a healthier track but that hasn’t happened yet. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight and ended up being too thin (with associated health consequences). Eventually the dam broke and I regained much of what I’d lost, and since then I’ve been of a mindset that I’d rather be happy where I am and maintain a steady weight (albeit overweight) than to be on the end of that yo-yo. I’m a huge fan of your move-more-eat-less outlook and want to adopt that theory. When I reached that steady weight, I made a promise to myself that any future get-healthier endeavors wouldn’t be based on a “plan” or counting/combining anything, so MMEL seems like just the ticket. I just need to get my mental “house” in order (much like the gal in the link Yolanda provided) so that I’m moving toward the positive and not beating back the negative.
Thanks so much for these updates, Cathy!
Judy Webb says
You are doing so good. Gives me encouragement.
Have you read the book….Women Food & God??? I’m reading it now & have gained quite a bit of insight into why I overeat.
Meredith N says
Cathy, Thanks for being real and sharing this…
I just want to say you are doing great and you look great! I hope it helps to remember that the MOVING MORE is the most important thing and you are doing that. I bet if could do a blood sample analysis of your insulin levels, etc etc, they would show you just how much the MOVING MORE is keeping you as beautiful on the inside as you are on the out if not MORE! (For all you know that number on the scale that is upsetting you is probably representative of the additional muscles you have created:-) Truly from a medical and longevity perspective all that exercise you’re doing is so good for you. Keep the faith! You look great! And you are doing great work by inspiring so many people to move more too!!!
Wonderful, inspiring words. I am posting this on my motivation board. Thanks!
Pilbara Pink says
I went read the link Yolanda posted too and was blown away by Sophia’s honesty and response to her binge behaviour. I feel you Cathy and Sophia are rare in that you are so honest and bring into the light that which most of us are ashamed of and do not want to examine – sure as s**t not in public anyway! That particular horror is reserved for quiet time away from others so self-loathing can be poured out in generous dollops without distraction. Well, maybe that too can change. Maybe if we just put out there what we are really doing (binging) and examine why then collectively we can become healthy – mentally as well as physically. Maybe we will see ourselves as whole beings not just thighs/hips/ waists and numbers on the scale or tape. I am not suggesting those things are not important. Being overweight and lying on the couch eating crap is not healthy but nor is starving yourself and then binging (note to self!)or whatever disfunctional behaviour we indulge in to fit into those size four jeans. Maybe we could just start with being kind to ourselves. Would we treat someone we love the way we treat ourselves? Many people take more care over their pet’s diet and exercise than their own! Would you feed your children as you do yourself sometimes? Why not? Then why do we do it to ourselves? As ever Cathy, thanks to your MMEL postings so much more to think about than just the numbers. Thank you.
I have, and I am thinking about re-reading it from a new perspective.
thanks for sharing so much with us, cathy! and for the link to sophia’s blog, too – i can’t stop reading it.
Cathy, you rock girl! I rejoined WW after following your posts? (OK the “@work program helped too) I have now lost 41.6 pounds and counting every ounce. But, the one thing I’ve learned from your insight is this is a JOURNEY, we aren’t going to make it in one day, but by each choice in every meal we stuff into our mouths. I love documenting the progress too, I starting using your template back in September when I started and I encourage everyone in our group to do the same. Our success is measured in all of the little things we do – even those reminders through measurements and pictures, size changes and so on.
Thanks for sharing your journey and encouraging everyone one else to MMEL.
Thanks Cathy. I’ve been having one of the “i don’t give a shit” moments for about 6 weeks now and i’m not sure how to get of the crazy merry-go-round. i’m pretty sure it has something to do with my quickly approaching 43rd birthday, my crazy peri-menopausal (menopausal?) period and my ever expanding collection of gray hair. i dunno. it’s a vicious cycle of trying to lose weight, succeeding, but then failing, eating because you decide you don’t care then hating yourself for it so you can eat a little more and tell yourself you don’t care. anyhow, thanks for the link to the binge eating thing and good luck with that accepting your body thing! i give it a go every so often and it seems to help.
btw, i think you look great for what it’s worth. if you stopped where you are now you’d be just fine.
You look fabulous, you’re doing great, and you’re inspiring women all over the place…me, included. Thank you, thank you, thank you…and congrats!
Tracy L says
Okay – I joined WW thanks to reading all of your blog posts -so first off thanks for the inspiration Cathy! Now really, looking at both pics above, I see a trim, fit, hot mama! Don’t get discouraged now girl! And the fact that you are running? Amazing!
Oh Cathy. I am overcome right now. Seriously overcome. And grateful for the divine magic that brought me Sophia’s post and yours on the same day. I have been transformed by witnessing your journey. You will never know how much I’ve been affected by your story. I am deeply moved that somehow, I have managed to give something back. Thank YOU.
Alison Richardson says
You are so BRAVE to share your inner demons with us, and you inpire me to MMEL. Some days I win, many says I lose. At 46, I’m learning to be gentler with myself. Thank you for your courage. You look awesome!
wow. great progress Tamera! and an attitude too!
Seriously, thank YOU! : )
I feel you, Kate. Im in this same physical space in my life. The perimenopause thing. Messes with your body and your head. Hang in there.
Cathy – I hope you did! 🙂 Heidi
PS I may be laughing because I can just see my husband or I just heading out the front door and booking it down the street in a victory lap. We’re a bit CRAZY like that 🙂
I know that this is a yucky comment rather than an inspiring one, but here goes. I heard my (thin and knowedgeable) running coach mention a while back (I think it was right before Thanksgiving) that if you do eat a giant meal, your body cannot absorb a whole lot of extra calories and mostly what happens is that you feel really full and yucky but then your body gets rid of all the food (meaning, you just end up pooping it out). I’ve read that you can even schedule one binge a week — if it helps you emotionallly — and you won’t do any damage to your weight loss. The key is not to beat yourself up over the occasional binge, so that you can get back on track the rest of the time. I’ve found this information useful and true — for example, I love to bake, so every once in a while I bake cookies and, yes, I’ll eat one or two or — who am I kidding — nine of them as they come out of the oven, but then I’ll pack the rest up and give them away. For me, that’s satisfying. I’ll think about it the next time I go running, as it’s motivation to do my whole workout, but without any regret, and I don’t think it’s done any damage once 24 hours have passed. Maybe you could try scheduling a once-a-week binge and see how that works for you?
E Haye says
Please everyone.. read “Health at any Size” it will help you better understand how your body regulates and WHY it regulates weight (and why it seems to come back no matter what we do!)… GOOD LUCK! and Cathy good for you and you looked great before and after!
Hmmm. Interesting stuff. I mean, I have heard its good to shake up your low cal diet by eating one big chunk every now and then, you know? Food for thought. Literally!
Edit this paragraph brand strength
gypsy chaos says
Brava! Your words are ringing in my ears. Thank you, Heidi.
messy gypsie says
Cathy and anyone else who reads this,
You are obviously loved for more than your body…I didnt have time to read all the posts but Im sure you have heard this before but in case you missed it, here goes: If you feel good – you are doing it perfect, if you feel sluggish – get off the couch, if you are beating yourself up – treat yourself to something that makes you feel fabulous and enjoy every second of it (yes even if it is chocolate),if you are tired – rest, if you are are sad – laugh, if you feel love, joy or any other delicious feeling – share it, if you are hungry – eat but make it something worth eating, live your life fully every moment and you wont have any regrets. My two cents but you are worth even more.
thanks so much. these are really good words to read.
Thanks for the link to the post on binge eating: binging is hurting myself with food. Wow! I remember when I was nearly at my goal and the thought popped up, I am losing myself . . . I, the real me, is disappearing. That was a revelation. I had no idea I had so deeply identified with the fat girl. How much hurt has that fat girl dumped on me???? Why is it so hard to identify with the thin girl? The healthy girl? The HAPPY girl?
Yeah, interesting stuff, isnt it? Good luck!