Last night at dinner Brent and I were discussing my latest venture in to Weight Watchers. Understand we were discussing this over a pasta dinner at Olive Garden. Anyway as I was convincing myself that using the majority of my bonus points at the beginning of the week on a meal I had been craving for a month was perfectly acceptable Brent pointed out that I had already lost 4 of the 10 pounds I wanted to and I was only 2 weeks in. I then said, "Well I might go for 15" and he replied, "You are such an ant!" And yes...yes he is right...
A few weeks ago I went to a seminar on the brain and habits and will power. One of the stories that the speaker used to illustrate how addictive personalities work was the old ant and the grasshopper story. You all remember this one from your childhood right? The ant worked all summer storing away food for the winter while the grasshopper played and ate and enjoyed the sun. Then winter came and the grasshopper had to beg the ant for some food because he had wasted the entire summer frolicking instead of planning. Or at least that is generally the message of the story. That the ant is the virtuous one. Well this guy had a different take on it.
See the ants of the world can't do anything in moderation. The grasshoppers of the world are much better at seeing that life is happening all around them and changing rapidly and they can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that and enjoy without over indulging. Now you can be an ant about some things and a grasshopper about others as well. Me? I am an ant about a lot of things but masquerading in a grasshopper existence. But moderation is a trick for me that I have a hard time mastering.
Last week I was talking with a friend of mine about a particularly rough day they had had that week. It was the sort of day that nobody would blame you for going out and getting blind drunk at the end of it. Instead they chose to drink iced tea when they went out. The reason was they really felt like they needed the drink so they didn't have it. I laughed and said, "You sound like me!" and they made a horrible face and said, "Trust me, that wasn't lost on me." Ha! It's funny because it's true... See the day that I feel like I need a drink the most is the day I am least likely to have one. I don't like anything to ever dictate what I do. Alcohol is one of those things. When I was younger I drank a little too much. I don't consider myself an alcoholic because I can still drink in moderation when I choose to, but I don't choose to very often. Generally I just don't drink at all. I will go for literally years between drinks. And then it's a rare time that you will see me have more than two. It's just not in my comfort zone. I am an ant. I don't do moderation. It's all or nothing.
Food is another piece. I am back on Weight Watchers because I gained back more weight than I am comfortable with after my last round of weight loss where I lost way too much weight. Now why did I lose too much weight last time? Because I am an ant. I was very strict with my diet. Followed my allowed points to the letter, rarely tapped my bonus points and never counted my activity points. So the weight just fell off. I was a super success story for the brand. But the problem was I hit what my original goal was and kept on going. Every week in the meetings I was listening to nothing but "lose, lose lose!" messages and since I could keep losing, I did. I am an ant. Trying to get back to moderation wasn't working for me. Then I finally saw a picture of me and really got how skinny I had become. Not slim, not healthful looking, but skinny. So I added back on the weight. And then added back on some more. Then the warning bells hit and I realized I was on the slide to putting it all back on so I needed to put on the brakes. Back on Weight Watchers but this time THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT! That's what I told myself. I wouldn't be as strict, I would use my bonus points, I would use my activity points, I would take off just 10 pounds and then stop and re-evaluate. I would do it online so I wasn't listening to the lose message at meetings. And then the first week weigh in came and I had lost 3 pounds. Okay, it's a first week and that sometimes happens, it doesn't mean I was too strict, and the second week I won't lose anything and that will be okay. So I allowed myself a few more treats the second week and I lost just over a half pound.
And then the big test, dinner out last night. Like I said, I had been craving it for a month. I went in knowing I was going to use a big chunk of my bonus points for the week. I was ready. It was very good. All of it tasted wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. Until I got home and figured out just how many points I had used. Forty four points. On one meal. I get 26 for an entire day. My ant brain went in to melt down. I already know my basic workout schedule for the week and how many activity points I will get from that, but I found myself adding in the points for two a day workouts...I could fit in one round in the morning like normal then add in another in the afternoon. As I told a friend online, I started to freak the fuck out.
I had already been planning this blog in my head. The whole ant concept just struck home (a lot of things in this seminar were amazing, if you ever have a chance to go to a presentation by the Institute for Brain Potential I highly recommend them) so the blog had been writing and rewriting in my head for a week. But now I was in full blown ant mode and I needed to take a step back. So I started to calm down a little. Rethinking what I was doing. Go back to repeating to myself that that is what bonus points are for. That I hadn't blown anything. I was fine. I had a week until my next weigh in anyway and most likely by that time I wouldn't even notice the blip. Okay. things are fine again...
Then the unthinkable happened. My computer died. Tried to do a BIOS update that Toshiba said was needed and it bricked my computer. Brent tried to fix it, no luck. I looked online and discovered with my model laptop it is a widely reported and known issue and the only fix is to send your laptop back to Toshiba and have them fix it and return it. Two or three weeks without my computer. Now for most people this is a moment of well hell..for me it was a moment of SHIT! And since I had been in full blown ant mode already about my diet I was apparently coming unraveled at the seams. I say apparently because Brent kept making calm down noises in my direction and I didn't really think I was being uncalm yet...but apparently I was.
So my ant brain is racing. I need to write. I have a blog already formed in my head waiting to be born, I have two more short stories working that are ready to hit the folder. I have a photo challenge I am in the middle of that I don't want to abandon. I have...I have...I have... So I took a deep breath and left the office. Went out and started reading a magazine on the couch. So I won't have my computer for a few weeks, no big deal. Brent set me up as a user on his system so I can blog (obviously) and write and post pictures and do the things that sooth my ant brain. But it's not my setup. It's not as comfortable. It's not as familiar. So I won't be online as much as I normally am. Which is good for expanding my grasshopper tendencies. Time to do a few more things in a day than chores, computer time, work or work out. Who knows what I will discover.
Then obsess about.
I am such an ant....