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Basically I’m Asking You To Do This Stuff With Me. PUHLEASE?

If at first you don’t succeed?

Have you ever set out to reach a goal for the millionth time and just thought: What is the point? I keep failing! Why do I keep trying again? Here are some examples:

  • I’m not going to yell at my kids anymore.
  • I’m going to run a 5K.
  • I’m going to quit drinking Diet Coke
  • I’m going to lose weight.
  • I’m going to organize my life.
  • I’m going to volunteer more at my kid’s school.
  • I’m going to shower every day.

I swear…I’ve tried all of those at least a million times. Except the “organize my life” one. My life is pretty organized…THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But the rest? Oh, man. Over and Over and Over and OVER AGAIN. WHY DO I KEEP TRYING?

Have I ever talked about emotional eating before? I can’t remember.

Well…Here’s another one…I would REALLY like to spend this summer breaking my emotional addiction to food. You know – the tendency to cope with all emotions: happiness, sadness, anxiety, exhaustion – by eating all of the food in all of the land. I would REALLY like to try to take a stab at that habit this summer.

You know, because I’ve never tried to break that habit before.

There have been books and diet plans and nutrition challenges and apps and blah blah blah. I’ve tried everything at this point, haven’t I? And there is a huge part of me that just wants to GIVE UP ALREADY.

But here’s the thing…a habit like emotional eating? Is a BAD one. If I didn’t run so much, I’d be 100lbs heavier. And this summer, I won’t be running so much because summer is Donnie’s season. He is training for an Ironman. I’ll do what I can around his schedule, but there will be no 30-mile weekends this summer. So I need to REALLY try to focus on breaking that habit before I gain the 100lbs.

But then, like a movie I’ve already seen, I look in the future and see myself eating 14 peanut butter and honey sandwiches one night when I’m stressed. Or maybe 12 bowls of cereal. That’s how it always starts. Binging on something relatively healthy. Because I don’t keep junk food around. And then…BAM! I’m back to where I am right now. Again. AGAIN. Why bother? I have failed the 200 times before, what makes me think I’ll be successful now?

I have no idea. Honestly. I’m more stressed than I’ve ever been with a husband training for an Ironman, looking for a job, and going to school. This is going to be E’s last summer at home as he’s getting an apartment in the Fall. I have to figure out how I’m going to keep my sanity working from home this summer with the kids underfoot. We have get our house ready to sell.

I AM STRESSED. Which means the urge to eat all of the foods in all of the land is going to be right under the surface every day.

Which is why I feel like I’m already seeing the failure before it starts.

[insert long dramatic sigh here]

If you set 14 million goals, surely you reach one, right?

I had so much fun with that month challenge Subtraction Project in April, that I decided to try something similar in May. It worked out VERY well that the subtraction project is focusing on the BODY this month. Less Loathing – Way More Love. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s like a subtitle written from my brain. Because I really feel like if I loved my body more, I’d treat it better. Or at least treat it horribly LESS OFTEN.

And then..the other challenge I’m doing? I blame entirely on Linda. Because – THIS challenge? Has SCARY MUSCLE LADY on the front of it and there is nothing that makes me avoid something more than anyone with THAT little body fat and THAT much muscle definition. I DO NOT WANT THAT BODY. That body doesn’t enjoy beer or donuts in the quantities I like. Why would I want a life without beer or donuts?

I DO NOT WANT THAT LIFE.

BUT! I trust Linda. And she did the Betty Rocker Bodyweight challenge and really enjoyed it. And Linda’s fitness journey was instrumental in inspiriting my own – with her marathon training and her triathlon…so why shouldn’t I trust her now? Even with a scary muscle lady leading the charge. I do want to get stronger and faster this summer to prepare for all of the racing that starts in the Fall. I do prefer bodyweight strength training over everything else. I don’t have to leave my house, which means childcare isn’t an issue.

SO! Two challenges in May (Less Loathing – Way More Love and Betty Rocker Bodyweight Challenge) aimed at focusing on my body. And then…you know…to add a few more things on the list of SHIT I WON’T STICK TO THIS MONTH:

  • I’m going to either do a tempo run or hill repeats once a week. (This is to help me work on speed.)
  • I’m going to save my beer drinking for ONE night a week. Either Saturday or Sunday. NOT BOTH. And NO drinking during the week.
  • I’m going to try Yoga. AGAIN.
  • I’m going to drink more water. Or maybe I should say: SOME water. I only drink water in preparation for races. I’m going to try to drink water every day!
  • I’m going to get my Diet Coke drinking back down to one 16oz (or 20oz) bottle a day.

In theory, it may seem like I’m setting too many challenges. But I’ve decided to take the shotgun approach to May. Surely I’ll hit SOMETHING, right? I mean, if you set one challenge and you fail, then your month is shot. But if you set 432 challenges and fail, you still have 431 left to succeed at! BAM! LOGIC!

There are TWO things I’m certain of:

1. I’d be more successful if we did it together.
We’ve bonded a lot about these body issues we all have. It’s not about losing weight. That’s a goal, of course. But it’s about look at food differently. Not as an emotional crutch. And also look at our body differently. Loving it so that we don’t want to eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. We’ve all talked about this before, so maybe you all could look to May as the month you try to work on these things too? And we can chat about it? Hold each other accountable? If you have a blog I would love to read what you’re writing about it. If you have an instagram or twitter, maybe we can bond over it there? Maybe we should hashtag things? Like #GettingMyShitTogetherForRealThisTime? That’s probably too long, isn’t it? Either way…if you set some of your own body image type challenges in May, I’d love to commiserate with you about it. Somehow. I haven’t thought that part through yet, obviously.

SMOKE SIGNALS!

2. Today I will be eating all of the food and drinking all of the beer in all of the land.
I mean, seriously. I’m setting all of these goals staring on THURSDAY. Today is WEDNESDAY. In true “I have a bad relationship with my body and food” fashion, I will be binge eating today. Getting it all out of my system, obviously. Because that’s how someone like me rolls.

Stupidly.

SO! Do you want to set some goals in May that help you look at your body and food differently? So that exercise and eating well don’t become chores but they become something we maybe want to do? And maybe find different outlets for our stress besides abusing these bodies that we hope will keep us going until we’re at least 80? How should we communicate with each other? Are you on Twitter? Instagram? Do you know morse code?

BUT SERIOUSLY. I’m sick of failing. And I’m sick of one bad day ruining an entire month. I’m sick of eating a pizza on day 5 and looking at that as an excuse to eat 4 more on day 6. I’m sick of hating my body. I’m sick of coping with stress in the kitchen. I’m sick of it all. Life is not going to get any easier this summer. I need to form new habits and kill the bad ones NOW, before I’m writing an entry about The Summer I Gained 60lbs.

Are you in?

44 thoughts on “Basically I’m Asking You To Do This Stuff With Me. PUHLEASE?”

  1. I start and stop things all the time!!! Mine is I am going to quit eating out so much and then I will buy groceries to cook and plan out a weeks worth of meals and bam… we eat out every night! I work out often, and hard but defeat EVERY. SINGLE. Workout by overeating, binging and drinking too much alcohol. So, I am in!!!!

  2. YES. We only eat out once a week but MEAL PLANNING. Definitely. I need to REALLY plan ahead and not just walk into my kitchen and go…”hmmmm…” at every meal. Especially since I work from home so the kitchen is RIGHT THERE.

  3. I am in, but I am afraid, very afraid. My emotional eating is all kinds of messed up and I a struggling with a bunch of other issues which are making my life feel so complicated. Plus I think I broke my foot on the weekend and I have a lingering cold which makes me cough al night and feel miserable. But maybe May is the month, I think I am going to try the same kind of throw it all at the wall technique and something might stick, I might run more frequently, not drink during the week, go for a few days without obsessing about food, stop eating things that make me feel sick. I will be over in Instagram as @supersarahwhite and might even drag the blog out of retirement if I can face the fear!

  4. Also, I did a 10 day clean eating boot camp, and I got a ton of good recipes that were quick, easy and tasty! I can share some with you if you’re interested!

  5. BAH. My allergies/cold/respiratory virus or WHATEVER I HAVE is making me horribly unhappy. I’m not sleeping well and I just feel like ass. And yes…the making me feel sick thing…I hate 2lbs of chicken tenders yesterday and wanted to DIE.

  6. I wouldn’t mind seeing them but I have a lot of issues with most foods on those lists. My stomach is sensitive to certain fibers so I have to overcook all vegetables and some I have to avoid all together. *sigh* I’m so high maintenance.

  7. I’m in. I signed up for the Betty Rocker challenge because of Linda as well. I want to run my first marathon in September but I’ve been struggling with depression and weight gain since this terrible winter. I’m on twitter as @cabeikirch but I rarely post. I’ll have to start!

  8. I am SOOOOooooooooooooooo in.. This graduate degree/moving away from everyone I know/known anxiety issues/failed attempt at a fun Biggest loser contest (fun! fun should not spiral into 40+ lbs) means I am so in. Just let me know where on the vast web, so I can dust the oreo crumbs off my shirt before I show up.

  9. I had not heard about the Subtraction Project, but I am in. I struggle so much with food, and it messes with my emotional health so much. I have a lot of trouble even identifying my emotions, beyond the “Yikes, something intense is going on here” feeling, and when that gets overwhelming, food is usually my pop-off valve. But I also cannot handle big rules, like dieting rules, because it send my Crazy into overdrive. I have been working on this in therapy for over two years and still have a long way to go, but I do think that they key is replacing self-loathing with self-acceptance and body hatred with body love, no matter what our size.

    Anyway, I am in. I need to work on eating without allowing myself to be distracted, drinking water (I drink a lot of Crystal Lite, but I would like to replace some of that with water), eating fruits and veggies, and getting enough protein. I also need to concentrate on allowing myself to indulge in a treat without allowing one treat to be my jumping off point into a huge vat of ice cream.

  10. I’m in. A co-worker and I had already decided to do another Whole30 in May just to get our food habits back in line. I’m not an emotional eater as much as I have a sugar addiction and my food habits (it’s 2 PM, I could use a little treat to get through the afternoon, is a frequent example) don’t slow the sugar addiction down very much. I figure examining both unhealthy food habits or emotional eating is pretty similar, so our goals are the same in the end.

  11. I signed up last week for the Betty Rocker challenge. I’m training for an Ironman and need to add some strength work and lose some weight. Hopefully, this will work well for me! Good luck, Kim!

  12. I can’t handle the big dieting rules. No “Paleo” or “Whole Food” or “Vegan” or anything that forces me to avoid certain foods because the SECOND I “can’t” have it? It is ALL I WANT. And the ONE treat without the jumping off point? I have NO idea how to do that. AT ALL.

  13. I just signed up for the Betty Rocker Challenge minutes before reading this! I have had a hard winter and the weight I have put on makes a lot of exercise uncomfortable and not fun. But that is an excuse, and does not get me towards the goal of having a body that can enjoy working out again.

    After reading this, I’ve also signed up for the Less Loathing – Way More Love Challenge as well. Good luck to everyone!

  14. I have signed up for the bodyweight thing. Forty years old is shaking my waistline and I want it to stop.

  15. Hi Kim, I’m a new reader, found you while hunting for bullet journaling inspiration : ) Anyway, I had to respond to this post because I so identify with your food struggles because I have been through them… I spent years of my life struggling with eating disorders and then working hard to overcome them. I was a compulsive eater and bulimic. I know what this feels like and I also know what it feels like to overcome this… It was a whole lot of work but I am proof that it’s possible to be a slave to your “hunger” and hate your body and become the person who no longer uses food for comfort and loves her body (mostly ; )! And while therapy was part of my healing process, I don’t think I could have come so far without the work of a particular author, so I want to share her with you. Her name is Geneen Roth and she’s written many books on the topic of compulsive eating. One in particular was a bit of a lifesaver for me and I read it many times – it’s called “Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating”. Her other books are great and you may want to read them all – I sure did! The great thing about her books is that she has been there. She’s not a therapist. She was down the hole too and she figured out how to get out and then went on to teaching others what she learned. Her writing is casual, funny and real. And so full of wonderful wisdom.

  16. Oops! Hit post prematurely… Anyway, as someone who has been there, exactly where you are, judging from your words, I have to share what has worked a “miracle” in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, this “miracle” has taken lots of hard work to achieve! And I still have my “fat days” just like everybody else, but I have come SO FAR. I truly hope you can find some peace of your own.
    All the best, Marta

  17. I’m doing Cozumel. Eeek! A girlfriend is doing Chattanooga. I’m so excited for her, and Donnie and everyone doing the event! An inaugural event is always so exciting!

  18. I’m totally in on beer drinking and yoga. I’m still in the process of moving into my place, but starting Sunday, I’m on board. 1 night for beer and 1 day for yoga.

  19. I’m in! My new secret to drinking more water: I bought a Camelbak and I’m kind of obsessed with the little straw. IT’S THE BEST LITTLE STRAW, KIM. I’m really good at filling up a cup of water and then never touching it again, but I am killing at least three 750ml Camelbaks while at my desk. The sad discovery here is that I am obviously too damn lazy to pick up a cup, but whatever! Little straw!

  20. HA! I just put up my Camelbak for the season! I swear by it while I trail run, never thought to use it day-to-day, maybe I should?!

  21. I have a Camelbak in my rotation too! I am drinking out of it right now! I have a Thing for water bottles. I like the Camelbak, and I also like wide-mouthed Nalgene bottles. I also have a new bkr glass bottle that I am really loving right now.

  22. I am in, just signed up for the Subtraction Project. This post came at the right time for me, I was just thinking this morning how not great I have been treating my body lately [stopped going to the gym, emotional eating, etc…] and reading this gave me the kick in the pants to start changing all of that!

  23. I’m in for the Betty Rocker bodyweight challenge. I may be cursing you later, if you see a blue cloud of f-bombs drifting your way, they are from me. Are you still running while doing the challenge?

  24. Okay I did it! It looks pretty cool. Depending on how it’s formatted, I may do it in addition to what I’m already doing now. Will you be participating in the Google group?

  25. ok, I’m in. I have gained weight since having a baby, and now that she is finally sleeping through the night at a year old, I have all this energy to stay up at night, so I eat and drink! Sigh. I’ve signed up for the subtraction project and the Betty Rocker. It is time I took care of myself instead of just everyone else.

  26. I signed up for Betty rocker because of Linda too! I’m private on Twitter, but if you request to follow, I will commiserate! @sarahbeanne
    I am a recovering emotional eater as well – working to add in good stuff (veggies, water, etc) shifts the focus from the restraint you may feel when trying NOT to eat. Tonight: I watched jimmy Fallon lip sync videos w my son instead of eating allllll the pizza. Also, there was a really amazing peoples pharmacy podcast about stress eating that helped me a ton. The guest was Kelly mc gonigal. It aired in dec 2013 & is chock full of useful info. HIGHLY reccomend – and for 45 min of listening, lots of bang for your buck.

  27. I’m in… I think? I’ve signed up for the two challenges, but i rather do the 5 k and stop yelling at my kids, so i make those my priority.

  28. I don’t think so, I think I’ll just commiserate with people I know in other ways that are doing it, because she has 12,000 people doing the challenge and that STRESSES ME OUT. 🙂

  29. I had signed up for the January Betty Rocker Challenge and then got bronchitis and gave up. I’m in for this one though.
    I’m also going to be doing the subtraction project, as well as a p90x3 challenge.
    Something has to change. And if I try all 3, one of them will stick, right?

  30. I know what you mean – I went on there yesterday and there are So Many People. I’m finding I get anxious in virtual crowds as much as I do in IRL crowds. blah.

  31. I did about 3 weeks of the January BR challenge and it was tough but pretty great. I’m in again.
    I also had a really hard winter and haven’t been this heavy since I was pregnant. Feeling terrible. Glad to join in for some support!

  32. Hi, I don’t comment very much but do read your blog all the time (for the past decade! I love it!). Just want to say that it feels to me like your food consumption and subsequent weight gain are a symptom of something deeper (emotion management) and you keep trying to address this in the exact same way over and over again i.e by dieting. It’s like trying to bring a fever down with a damp cloth, without treating the infection with antibiotics -it will just come back after a while. What if this time around you stopped focusing on the symptom (food consumption/diet) and tried to address your emotional management in a different way? (Therapy, self help books, journal, forums, behavioural change, gratitude lists (as with diets you might have to try different approaches to see what works for you)) Sorry if I’m being harsh and I’m more than happy for you to delete this comment, I just feel that as a person outside the problem (and having faced a similar problem myself) I have a different perspective on your issues. I too struggle with out-of-control binges when I’m overly stressed and have found that as I’ve learned to deal with the stress by changing my behaviors and reactions to it, the binge urges have decreased significantly. The more I feel in control of my emotions, the more I am in control of food and the easier it is to keep the weight down. This has been hard though, not saying it’s an easy ride, it’s just a different way to approach the problem.

  33. maybe we could share cognitive behavioral techniques for dealing with stress. I have learned some through therapy on my own, but I know I’d like to learn more from others who have maybe learned different things along the way.

  34. First – I’d never delete a helpful comment! Never fear. But I think you have misinterpreted my history. I have tried plenty of things. That’s what I meant when I said, “There have been books and diet plans and nutrition challenges and apps and blah blah blah.” I have read books, done journaling etc. I didn’t even mention dieting 🙂 I gave up dieting a long time ago. I’m trying to lose weight, yes, but not by dieting. I know if I just broke my emotional eating habits I’d lose the weight. That’s why I mentioned Yoga and joining a group promoting body love. Never mentioned dieting! I talk about my over consumption of food b/c that’s how it manifests so obviously that’s the talking point, but I don’t look at “dieting” as the solution by any means.

    Please ! Share away from what you’ve learned! I’d love to hear it all. I just want to make sure you understand my stance and history. I’m not dieting, I promise! I’m only discussing the consumption of food as a manifestation. I’ve mentioned books and challenges I’ve done here in the past (obviously not successfully) to try to battle this beast, it’s not just about dieting! I promise!

  35. I’m just seeing this right now…is it too late for me to jump on board? Because if so, I’m completely in the I’llJustCallThisMonthAWashAndShootForNextMonth category of self destruction. Suffice it to say that it hasn’t worked out well for the past 18 months….

  36. Dude. I started this month and I still am thinking about your method. HOWEVER, since this is “TransforMAYtion” – the point is to just try to improve EVERYTHING…shotgun approach! So if one day you fail at eating, maybe you didn’t fail at being a better Mom, or Wife, or Employee, or Manager etc. So far, I’ve done better at SOMETHING every day 🙂 So, I guess I’m still successful? JUMP ON BOARD!

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