Sunday, May 1, 2011

mind yourself month

This is the month where I make rules and then……..

dun dun dun………..

I follow them!

I am terrible at this. Positively abysmal, I tell you. And I think, not totally sure, but pretty flippin’ positive, that this may be one of my two biggest downfalls when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

No one tells Catherine NO. Not even Catherine. It’s a problem.

I make rules all the time. They’re great and they always make perfect sense. They sound something like this:

“After this cookie/brownie/cupcake I will never eat another cookie/brownie/cupcake ever again.”
“I will have popcorn at the movies tonight but not again until I lose 50 pounds. I swear it. Cross my heart.”
“I’ll be good. Starting Monday.”
“I’m on holidays so I should eat what I want. I’ll diet when I get back.”
“I’ll only eat one treat a week. On a Sunday. Because Sundays are hard and I’m tired and so why shouldn’t I have a treat?” Turns out almost every day is hard, especially when I want a treat!

Rules are great. I believe in rules. I don’t speed because it’s against the law. And laws are very important rules. I don’t steal because it’s a rule. I don’t hit my kids because when I was growing up my parents told me it was wrong to hit your kids. I don’t smoke pot or cigarettes and I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs of any sort. Are Advil Liqugels a drug? Because I do those.

I only swear when I have PMS. I was taught that that's okay. No I wasn’t.

And I only lie when necessary.

I digress.

Back to the rules. Apparently I follow the rules just fine when I deem the rule makers to have absolute authority. When I make rules it’s a different story. Unless I make them for someone else, then I have absolute authority and must be obeyed. I tend to make unreasonable rules either in the ‘moment’ or when I am feeling totally rational and in control. And it’s in that ‘moment’ that I am feeling satisfied. I am not feeling as though I need anything or even want anything, in that ‘moment’. As soon as I need or want it I break the rules. This is how I roll. I have a sick sense of entitlement. I’d love to know where I got that from. No I don’t. I do not want to know.

There is always a perfectly good reason that a particular rule needed to be broken as well. For example, cookies/brownies/cupcakes need to be eaten. But where is it written that they all need to be eaten by me?

Date night should always include a treat and since popcorn or ice cream or chocolate is soooo good……..

Weekends are for over eating. Mondays are for fresh starts. No?? Says who?

And holidays? Well, that goes without saying.

I also suffer from an “all or nothing” mentality. My second biggest downfall to healthy weight maintenance. It goes something like this:

“I’m on a diet and I’ve already screwed up my program today so I may as well screw the whole day and eat everything I have been depriving myself of for what feels like an eternity and get it all out of my system and start fresh tomorrow. Or Monday, since it’s already Friday and the weekend is here”

Or like this:

“I want to work out but I only have 30 minutes because I actually am busy today but since I should work out for a whole entire hour I won’t bother with the 30 minutes I have as that would be a waste of time and energy.”

I believe this mentality has grown over years of dieting. Praising myself when goals have been met and accomplished and punishing myself when I have failed. For whatever reason though, the consequence for pooching a diet on any particular day is over eating. More food. Tell me this doesn’t have eating disorder written all over it.

For the month of May I will strive to rid myself of these two mindsets. Or, at least, begin the journey. Turning the first from, “it’s okay to break my own rules when I feel like it” into “rules do get broken but there is no need to go crazy”. Normal people aren’t crazy. And now, since I am a normal person I can have a treat every now and then, just not all the treats.

And two, “all or nothing is my normal” into “a little exercise is better than no exercise. Some is better than none.” I know this to be true but my dysfunctional self has overruled my rational self far too long and I fear my rational self has been brain washed.

Time to undo the damage. I know it will take longer than 30 days since it took 19 years to get here. I just hope it doesn’t take 19 years to get out.

Dieting or over eating. Some exercise or no exercise. All or nothing. Where is the middle ground? The place where one cookie is okay but 16 isn’t? The place where a 20 minute walk doesn’t feel like a waste of time? It’s there, I know it is, I see women living in it all the time. I see them following their own rules. I see that it works.

So for the month of May I am making some rules. And for the month of May I will be following them. I do believe this will be the hardest month yet.

I am calling them the Other Ten Commandments. I won’t replace the original ten but since I’m not too worried about murdering anyone this month or worshipping any false images, I feel okay about adding a few more to the pot.

Some are geared specifically to weight loss. Some are geared to making me just plain uncomfortable. Some are easier than others and some are very needed. Most of them overlap. Here it goes:
1. I shall not eat ANYTHING after 7 pm. Hard one. See #7 and #8.
2. I shall not eat sugar. Easy
3. I shall not make or eat sugar free baked goods and I shall not ingest sugar free chocolate. Super dooper hard, see #2!
4. I shall sweat 6 days a week. Regardless of how long I work out I will break a sweat 6 days a week. And, since it only takes me 38 seconds the start the sweat portion of a workout this goal is totally accomplishable. Breaking mindsets, baby.
5. I shall not shop at Safeway. That store is a giant rip off and because I hate grocery shopping and I prefer to go daily to grab a couple of things and Safeway is down the street I am going broke. Super walmart or Superstore only this month! It will take mental willpower and serious organization.
6. I shall have a green smoothie 3 times a week. I love them but am too lazy to make them.
7. I shall not eat in front of the tv. Ever. See #8
8. I shall not eat popcorn. Here, there or anywhere. See #7 and #1
9. I shall not eat fast food. This should be easy but we'll see when PMS hits and I want to take a bath in french fries.
10. I shall read a good book. Or three. Come on! One should be easy, if not fun. No?

Now, I know that it seems not allowing myself any sort of treat goes against trying to break the all or nothing mentality but since I am trying to undo some damage already done by overeating I will have none of it for this month because, in a strange way, it does ease my mind when I don't have to worry about portion control of a dangerous substance. Like Cinnamon Cake. Sugar free cinnamon cake is really really good. Having one piece may actually be harder than having none. So in a strange backward sort of way, having none is easier than having a little bit. Make sense? No? Well it does in my brain. This month is about following my own rules. These are the ones I've chosen.

Here, here to the month of May!


  1. I love your rules! I may have to follow them this month as well.

  2. I enjoy your monthly goals. Very entertaining and enlightening.

  3. I am an all-or-nothing girl as well. Your inner conversations sound just like mine and it's a little spooky! For me, no sweets is easier to do in the long run than a few sweets. I tried...but I've decided I'm just not capable of it while I'm pregnant. However, in about six months, my baby is going to be getting sugar-free milk (I hope).