Zero Sum Bad-Assery

hand made card, collage artI 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.

bowling ballThe 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.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Penny
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:12:05

    Long live, Libra!! Great post, my friend!!! Love you!!


  2. Michelle at The Green Study
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 11:16:28

    So right about focusing on one compulsion to have all the others go gangbusters! I struggle with this, too. Left to my own devices, I’d be eating, smoking, drinking and gambling nonstop. Ah, I miss those days. But it is better now. I just keep telling myself that!


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 13:34:23

      Any tips on taming the beast(s)? I’m running out of ideas.


      • Michelle at The Green Study
        Mar 26, 2013 @ 13:45:25

        I have so many bad habits that need to be tackled, but I think the biggest key is to make minor changes. If you’re having trouble following a self-imposed rule, modify it. If you can’t commit fully, just do something, no matter how small. It’s tough, but mindfulness, taking even a moment before doing something, is an opportunity to make a better choice (not perfect, just better). Now I will fall drunkenly off my soapbox into a banana cream pie and go back to watching more episodes of Bones. Hang in there and don’t beat up on yourself.

      • Sandy Sue
        Mar 26, 2013 @ 19:36:11

        No, flagellation never helps. That maxim about moving toward what you want instead of fighting what you don’t want seems to help—one small choice at a time.

  3. pegoleg
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 16:55:50

    My eating compulsions are also back in full force and I’m struggling mightily. I’m trying to convince myself that I need to go to the Y tonight instead of picking up ice cream for dinner. Good for you for taking the binging bull by the horns! Yeah, yeah, yeah!


  4. LindaNoel
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 20:25:36

    The Bourne Legacy about 3 times, kickin’ ass, my thoughtful-and-physical proxy he is, and especially the ending where Jeremy Renner’s manly forearms and hands spread the map, then his real face spreads with an open grin responding to Rachel’s “I was kinda hopin’ we were lost”…..
    And then Argo with kickass brainy creativity courage, then ZeroDarkThirty, and, if you haven’t heard of her, Gina Carano, beautiful, strong, smart and Muay Thai martial arts baddassery… and a really cool movie she’s the competent physically badass agent in HAYWIRE.
    Food Journaling ( and Spending journaling ( are good tools, when I use them, and I too feel such self-esteem when choosing NOT to spend piddle-away my small resources.
    Applying for Medicare stuff is pressing pressing down on me, but has to be over by April 1 so I WILL face it. . . and my pulled knee ligament still hurts and I should be using the YMCA pool for healing. . .
    Anyway, SandySue, I relate, as usual, and do so very much appreciate your writing.


  5. Moss Piglet
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 03:19:18

    Ooh! Who is that man in the white suit?
    Having rapidly lost a delicious stone, 14 lbs, during my recent downward spiral, and then gobbled my pal’s Full Irish Breakfasts once the new meds. gave me a return to tremendous appetite, and cream with frequent puddings…I think wearing a STAR TREK SUIT might be as powerful as writing a food diary…”Och ae’ the noo Scotty, a braw wee idea fur wur big bodies, ye ken? ”
    Oh to fit in to that cut away number…30 years too late.


  6. Littlesundog
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 13:30:32

    I wish you were here to help me with some bad-ass woodland cleanup, whipping the woods into shape!! The exercise would do us both good, and burning the wood pile is quite soothing. Darned it that we’re so far apart!


  7. Karen Roessler
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 21:24:17

    Congratulations, O’ Master of Ninja Tightwaddery.
    Revel in your triumphs, my friend.


  8. Bec
    Jun 06, 2021 @ 04:16:00

    Hmm I’m a Libra and bipolar and I think it actually makes sense, libras strive for balance but can’t make decisions because always see both sides… much like the ups and downs of being bipolar…


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