A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Red flags . . .

on December 10, 2015

In my goals for the month, I mentioned taking a little more time to myself because I’d noticed some red flags creeping up. In the week since I got back from Portland, I’ve already lost track of that “be nice to me” mojo and boy can I tell. Last night, not only did I eat my own free pie at Village Inn (a rarity as taking a bite of O’s usually suffices to fill my pie craving), I ate a third of O’s pie that he left behind. That in itself might just be a poor decision, but what is concerning is that it wasn’t actually a decision. I just did it mindlessly and then when I got home, I didn’t want to own it in my tracking. I actually didn’t track that piece of pie until this morning because once I was faced with writing it down, I didn’t want to look at it. That’s a problem.

It was hard to own that negative.

It was hard to own that negative.

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in the last few years is how to recognize my own red flags – those early warning signs that tell me I’m entering dangerous territory. If I go too long without dealing with whatever is stressing me out, I’ll end up bingeing and now thanks to the wonders of lupus, I’ll also end up an achy, swollen, rashy mess. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Red flags I’ve noticed in the last week:

– Not wanting to track that piece of pie and throwing away the wrappers from the two granola bars I ate on the way home Tuesday night in the garage garbage cans rather than inside the house where someone might see them. Hiding food, even from myself, is a definite early warning sign of impending binges for me.

– I’m having trouble focusing on anything because there’s so much EVERYTHING right now.

– My hands, wrists and feet are aching like they did when the lupus symptoms started this summer.

– I’m exhausted but having trouble shutting down to sleep.

– Several times this week I’ve thought I was coming down with a stomach bug because I felt so queasy in the evening. And a small part of my brain was relieved because if I’m busy being sick, I can’t be responsible for anything else.

Clearly, I’ve got to take a break. This is not setting me up to make good decisions at the holiday parties I have tonight and tomorrow – both social networking and buffet appetizer set ups that always cause me problems on even the best days because of the food choices and my introverted stress. Eating my feelings just feels so good in the moment, unfortunately. The way I feel now, I’m likely to dive head first into the inevitable spinach artichoke dip that’s going to be up there.

Why is this happening? There’s a big rush to get lots of meetings and work done before everyone scatters for the holidays. I have been sick so I haven’t taken the time to get a really good workout done in weeks (although I have been doing at least a little something every day). Today I have an exam to recertify in a part of my job I don’t even practice anymore, but for some reason feel like I need to keep certification in? For pride? I’m really regretting this decision to keep this certification, but confess I’ll be mortified if I can’t pass this!

I am at least wearing my lucky earrings for my exam.

I am at least wearing my lucky earrings for my exam.

I need to take a day off just for me.

This giant stack of books I haven't had time to read makes me so sad.

This giant stack of books I haven’t had time to read makes me so sad.

I need to take some time to figure out a better way to manage the stress related to my job. It’s only going to escalate because that’s the nature of career advancement. I love my work and it is important, but I need to feel like I’m a little more in control of it all than I have felt lately.

I need to make workouts a priority again because that really helps my mental monkeys. I haven’t been on a training plan or running a lot in a month and I really think that’s a huge part of why I feel so on edge lately.

I need to give myself credit for the things I’m doing well. I recognized these red flags and am making a plan to deal with it. I’m writing out these thoughts here (so helpful for me! Thanks for listening guys!) and adding the things I know will help, like workouts and breathing exercises, to my to do list along with all of the other “must dos.” I’ve actually added breathing exercises as an alarm on my phone twice a day.

I’ll be okay because I can see this coming and am not hiding it from myself anymore. Do you know what your red flags are? Do you have a plan for saving yourself when you feel yourself sliding?

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12 responses to “Red flags . . .

  1. Jill Walker says:

    Recognition is a process, I think. I’ve always sucked at it, but I’m learning to recognize them, too. Right now, I’m finally emerging from a really bad two months that were nothing but a battle, but I’m strong enough now in my journey to know it for what it was, and be able to stick to my plan, even if it’s not perfect…TOMORROW is a clean slate, not ‘Monday’. I think you’re doing an awesome job!

  2. All I’ve got are hugs, I totally know. I feel like I”m just enduring December, which makes me sad. At least we can white knuckle it together?

  3. Aww hang in there. December is always so stressful even without all the additional food and things. Hope your symptoms ease soon. A mental heath day sounds like a wonderful plan if you can swing it.

  4. Meg B says:

    Man, December has been a rough one for some people. Recognzing the signs are key. And having an awesome support group will hopefully help you!

  5. Wow–great job recognizing your red flags and making a plan to set yourself up for success. I’ve actually never even thought of what my red flags, but I think I’d benefit from doing that. So, the first red flag that comes to mind for me is, for now at least, not tracking. I’d like to eventually get to the point that I don’t have to track every thing I eat, but at least for this month with the holidays, I need to do it.

  6. Anna says:

    Thank you for writing this. It reminds me that we don’t just fall off…there are signs and we have the ability to see them and make course corrections. I have a party tonight and I feel the same way…I have to go, but it makes me anxious.

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