I Am That Girl Now

Monday, August 01, 2005

Thank God that July is over

Don't ask me why, but it looks like July sucked all over, for everyone. Personally, I blame the heat. Or rather, I blame the fact that our overevolved brains (which I first typed as "branes", proof positive that I've been thinking about zombies too much lately) seem to tell us that we're fine, that the weather doesn't affect us at all, thank you... which of course sets us up to fall flat on our faces and wonder what in the hell is going on.

At any rate, I seem to have been far from alone in my mid-summer malaise. As I check around my blog roll, more people than not have gotten spotty with their posts, or reported trouble walking the line (and yes, I have been listening to Johnny Cash lately, why haven't you?), or both. Some folks have completely disappeared. From the looks of it, like I said, July sucked all over. Hard.

And now it is August. Clean slate.

Currently, I'm tired. I know, I know, I've said it before, but I seriously need to admit at some point that I am no longer seventeen and can't bounce back from these late nights on the weekend. Giving up the late nights means giving up that decadent feeling of having the chance to be bad when I've been so good all week, in spite of the band of headache clamping around my skull and the woozy feeling and the dry eyes and the brain lapses. In short, it's the same problem that I have with binge eating: I know it's not good for me, I know it makes me feel lousy, but...

Actually, that's not quite true. I like the way it lines up and everything, sure, but the thing I'm getting from staying up late isn't what I get from binges. Any time I climb back on the wagon I have to spend some quality time figuring out what the hell I was trying to use the food for. (And it's always the food, too. The exercise always stays constant. I think it's the fact that I get it out of the way first thing in the morning-- when I'm still strong in my resolve, and before I've encountered the outside world, and when my Hub is still around and I'm held accountable by his presence.) Last time the thing I noticed the most was the fear clenched in my chest; this time, I noticed the tension clamped around my head, pushing at my temples.

I use this shit for so many reasons, I swear. Distraction from anxiety, activity to combat boredom, unrestrained overindulgence in answer to being boxed in and controlled by others (and, sometimes, by myself). In this case, I was using it to relax. I'd forgotten about the "learn to relax" thing on my goal sheet, and how very important it was. Every time I try to distract myself from food, I keep trying to use mindful tasks, not realizing that the very reason I wanted to eat an entire bag of chocolate-covered pretzels (FOILED, to my luck and/or deep frustration, by the fact that I could find them nowhere in the nearby stores) was because I wanted to drench my brain in mindless activity, to let go of that clamp around my head.

I need more relaxing activities. Things I don't have to think about or work at. It may be time for another quilt; I have the supplies, I just don't have the pattern traced out. It's a thought. I've noticed that I do well on outside walks or window shopping; I wander, my brain disconnects, tension evaporates, it's all good. It can't be an intert "activity"; soaking in a bathtub mostly makes me anxious about getting the book wet (because seriously, bathing without reading material would bore me to tears), sitting in front of the TV makes me jumpy and itchy. It can't be a brain-intensive activity, because then it really doesn't take the pressure off, so there's no relaxation, merely distraction.

I need dull, repetetive movement, changes in scenery and things I can browse through and look at, all that jazz. That's what relaxes me. Either that, or I need to learn how to relax my brain while I'm doing other activities... and that sort of adjustment is harder than finding a new activity. Gah.

In the meantime, I've crawled back up another step and am faithfully tracking my food once again. There we go. That, in and of itself, tends to make me more mindful of my eating... and there's that phrase again. Perhaps that's where the trouble is: I've traditionally used food as an escape hatch for my brain, and now it's just one more thing that means I have to think. Lord. I definitely need a harmless mindless activity.


  • I'm right there with you! Aside from "going to the movies" I have no non-food related "safe" hobbies. I've been meaning to learn to quilt for ages...have all the supplies. Maybe now's the time!

    Thanks for the post!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 PM  

  • I wasn't around for July, so I can't really commiserate. Just beware of August, though--at least in the northeast it's even more brutal weather-wise than July.

    Ooh, good, look at me all gloom and doom. I just mean maybe don't set yourself up for another heat-related fall. Take what you learned in July and apply it to the hell that is August.

    Oh, and Hi!

    By Blogger Noames, at 10:48 AM  

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