Saturday, September 19, 2009


What kind of motivation does it take to make a big change?

I had wanted to quit smoking for a long time before I actually did it, but I had a number of reasons I believed would cause me to fail (yet again.) Allen Carr's book convinced me, in an afternoon, that I actually could succeed, and for that I am forever grateful.

I realized very soon after I quit smoking that one of the times I really missed smoking was when I was on the verge of losing my temper, or otherwise losing control. For twenty-five years, I had managed my emotions by walking away from a situation, smoking a cigarette, cooling off, and coming back. I thought I knew all the reasons that made me a smoker, but I didn't know I used it for the physical management of emotions - and I couldn't do that any more.

I began to learn to manage my temper in a more positive way. I joined an on-line political discussion group so that I could learn to present a reasonable and solid argument. But that was only a partial solution. Slowly I began to lean on food for far too many things - celebration and consolation, relief of boredom, a brake on frustration.

That behavior, plus the side effect of my medications, brought me where I am today - 5'9" and 220 pounds.

I have another problem with losing weight, and that's a societal one. I think I became a feminist at 13, the day Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs -a long time ago. I am well aware of the fashion, beauty, and weight loss industry's reliance on making women feel less than acceptable. Not being the cute cheerleader at the front of the room, I learned early on that if I didn't learn to value myself for who (rather than what) I was, I would never be happy. (This would have made for a very healthy woman had not depression intervened to convince me that I was ntohing at all.)

So I have a real problem with diet plans and programs; I think they are almost all, at heart, exploitive of women, and I don't trust them any further than I can throw them. I was in an on-line Weight Watcher's group for a while, but it tends to have a large number of somewhat more traditional women, and I just didn't mesh well with the group. Not their problem at all,  mine - but a problem.

In a way, this diabetes scare was the best thing that could happen to me. It gives me the motivation I've been lacking: first-hand knowledge of a diagnosis I want to postpone as long as possible. I have a measurement - blood glucose - that doesn't buy into all the the cultural garbage about women looking ":wrong."

And I have a collection of books with information about the problem I'm trying to deal with, and I'm going to use every one of them.

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