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Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunshine Patriots/6.4 ounces?

Monday and up and at 'em. Got a head full of steam with a bunch I want to accomplish today and this week. One thing - I'm wearing my pedometer again and it's a goal that at least one day this week, I'll hit the 10,000 step mark again. The knee isn't perfect but, thanks to giving up wheat, the inflammation is gone. Now I need to reclaim the gains I made before it blew out on me. 

Friday was terrible. Went to the piano bar early to secure a seat at the piano (they get snatched up). I'd already had a stupid day - forgot to check my calendar and accidentally blew off a lunch meeting with a client who called me from the restaurant we were supposed to meet!!! And the day before backed into a Volvo that was parked in the alley so I had to deal with that and chase down the owner so we could exchange insurance info. Things got worse...Bob did his "ignore Sarah" thing - I only sang a few songs in the first set and then he put me in singer limbo. It wasn't a federal holiday so I just sipped Pellegrino and ate a dry salmon salad while everyone around me sopped up olive oil with fabulous crusty Italian bread and ordered over-sized bowls of every kind of pasta imaginable. And, as the evening progressed, the chasm grew between me and the people I was rubbing shoulders with. When you're not drinking and everyone around you is pounding down drink after drink, soon communication becomes impossible - you're just not seeing things with the same lens. From my sober vantage point, everyone disgusted me. Finally I just threw in the towel. If I wasn't going to sing, drink, overeat - had no one sober to talk with, better that I just leave which is what I did. Slipped away and no one even noticed. Felt very invisible (and sad). Saturday had plans with Josh which he  blew off cuz he snagged an Internet date at the last minute, so I was again - shudder - home alone Saturday night, playing too much Scrabble with my newly made, random-opponent friends on my IPad. Sunday was better: breakfast with Lucas (Liza), a movie and dinner with friends Carla and Allan.

A thought has been inhabitating my brain over the weekend ever since I weighed in on Saturday morning at Weight Watchers and only lost .4 pounds. So hard! I worked at the weight loss all week long, tracking every  single thing I ate, making wise choices, weighing and measuring everything, didn't screw up once. To lose only .4 pounds which is a mere 6.4 ounces, when you've worked your ass off and have over fifty pounds you're trying to take off, is absolutely demoralizing and demotivating. Been here before - maybe you remember. I've tried, in the past, not to get discouraged when the weight refuses to come off despite my compliant efforts. I've even tried the tactic of celebrating .4 pounds as being wonderful, something to crow about. Carla tried to help me spin it. "Sarah, that's almost two sticks of butter!"  "Carla, it's a 6.4 ounce result for a ton (2,000 pounds) of effort! - it sucks!"

So the thought. What separates the mice from the men? How do other people get through stuff like this when they have a problem that refuses to yield despite their best efforts? How do they keep from becoming discouraged? And what do they do to affect a different outcome when faced with the same problem over and over again? Thinking of my spiritual father, Abraham Lincoln and how frustrated he must have been. He was doing everything right - focus, commitment, greater numbers of troops, more firepower and yet he was still getting trounced. The South was bolder and Lincoln's generals overcautious. He replaced his celebrated general and still he lost. So he replaced that celebrated general and still he lost. He ended up replacing five generals, losing political ground and support for the war, until he ended up with Grant who won the war for him.

Also thinking of Burt Bacharach. In preparation for my show, I've been listening, over and over again (mostly in the car) to every song that was ever recorded (he wrote hundreds of tunes). I'm trying to get a real sense of who he was as a composer - studying him from every angle. What I'm struck by is how many awful songs there are. He worked really hard for the hits he had! It wasn't magic! For each tune that hit the charts - the songs that now seem effortlessly birthed, there were a bunch of stillborns in between. Thinking the guy just showed up every day, applied the effort, looked for inspiration where he could find it, stumbled off the path once in a while but found his way back and just kept the forward momentum. And now? What a body of work! Didn't come easy though.

And I remember a recurring theme in my therapy with Kaveh, working the same issue over and over and over again until there was a breakthrough. This is how it went. Kaveh would touch a wound (deliberately). I would become incensed and hurt. There would be a blowout between us where I would invariably write him a caustic, insulting e-mail (things like, "You need to reconsider your choice of career", or "Didn't you learn anything in Psych 101 - you are a terrible therapist!") I would fire him and ask for a final bill. He would call me and ask for an exit session. I would ignore him. He would call again. I would begrudgingly agree to a final discussion. He would explain and I would listen. I would cry. We resumed the work.  This same scenario played itself out at least a dozen times, always the same, like Groundhog Day. Finally (duh!) I recognized the futile pattern and when the same hurt flared within me, instead of following an old script, I said, "This is where I get upset and fire you and then we talk it through and make up, right? Maybe we should just fast forward to the talking part and get through this faster."

So, this is where I give up the weight loss battle. Been here so many times. A new effort. A great loss (four weeks ago was down 3.8 pounds), The following week, down 1 pound, the next week, down .8 and then Saturday, down .4 - each week a diminishing return despite the exact same effort. This is where I give up, get mad, say "Fuck it, if I'm not going to lose, I might as well enjoy myself," and hit the bread basket.  Thinking I need to take a page from therapy and recognize the script....need to find the fast forward button and try something different this time. I'll stay the course for another week and let's see what happens next Saturday. I will channel the indefatigable efforts of Abe and Burt this week.

Eugene, if you're reading this blog, please appreciate just how hard losing weight is!!!!  It's not for the faint of heart - not for summer soldiers and sunshine patriots (in keeping with my war analogy)!


1 comment:

  1. Weight loss Arithmetic: You lost nearly 6 lbs in three weeks, or nearly 2 lbs a week, which is the average benchmark most docs and programs shoot for. I am guessing that in week 4 you will lose 2 lbs so the avg remains 2 lbs a week. Even at an avg of one lb a week, you will reach your goal in a year.