I happen to be a Libra. And bipolar. The irony of this tickles me no end. While the Libra part of me strives for balance and harmony, the bipolar part makes sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a conundrum, really, this constant, internal tug-of-war. I feel like a mother with two teenage girls who share a bedroom. Please just give it a rest, kids.
But, I think it’s the Libra part of me that keeps the bipolar part from overthrowing the entire Sandy government. Take my current Zero Money Initiative. In my quest to save money for a new car on a Disability income, and to practice some deep Work with my compulsive spending, I’ve tallied 31 days of success. I’ve put money in the bank and not used my credit card once in that time. Huge success. Huge. The only problem is I’m eating everything in sight.
I get the psychology of this—concentrate on one compulsive behavior and the others will flare—and I’ve tried to be gentle with myself about it. Take away too many coping mechanisms and the stress could trigger a total meltdown (I can hear Scotty now—”Cap’n, she’s gunna blow!”). I figured I was doing well to be cooking all my meals at home when, for so long, cooking created enormous anxiety for me. No take-out, no restaurants—I was saving big money. I also continued my vegan diet—quadruple portions, but vegan portions.
The sorry fact is that I’ve gained back 17 pounds. That’s the weight of an average bowling ball. Pick up a bowling ball sometime and carry it around all day. Granted, I’m still carrying the whole tournament, but one less ball makes a big difference. On the joints, on self-esteem, on buttons and zippers.
I really don’t want to continue this slow creep back to 300 pounds. I’ve worked too hard to whittle that down, and still dream of the day when I can claim to be simply “obese” instead of “morbidly obese.”
So, it’s time pull out the old tools that have worked in the past. I dusted off my Food Journal yesterday. And my calorie guide. And my food scale. Even if I continue to compulsively eat, at least I’ll document accurate information about what I’m consuming. I can’t change something I can’t see.
I’ll go back to eating my meals at the table instead of in front of the TV. I may have cancelled my cable, but I can still watch movies on the DVD player. And once I start eating in front of the TV, the grazing can go on for hours.
As always, it’s a matter of attention. I’ve focused so much on Ninja Tightwaddery that I didn’t think I had any left for Sane Eating. But, I have to try. It’s the Libra in me that won’t let the chaos go on forever. It’s the Libra that wants to pull both compulsions onto her scale and find what will balance them. The bipolar part will play merry hell with Her, but that’s to be expected. Let them scream at each other—I’ve got Work to do.