Armed and Less Dangerous

This is a stock photo. I was too bummed to take a photo of my spill.
A strange thing happened when I tipped a glass of wine on my laptop Thursday night. I didn’t get mad. I didn’t panic. And although it wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done, I didn’t scream and yell and call myself an idiot. I simply assessed the situation with a quiet, “Crap,” wiped up the wine with some paper towels, and went to bed.
The next morning, I called Hewlett Packard (thank goodness for accidental damage warranties), and had a 45-minute conversation with a call center representative located somewhere in Asia. I jumped through a bunch of hoops (yes, I know to plug in the power supply to a working outlet) until the representative decided that my computer wasn’t going to power on and said HP would send me a box in which to return my computer for service or replacement.
While I had predicted the outcome and would rather have spent those 45 minutes doing something more productive, I didn’t stress, at least not in that, “Oh my god, I have to solve this NOW!” kind of way. The coolest part of this not-so-stressed state was that I was able to notice how, during that 45-minute conversation, my mind drifted into thinking it would be a good idea to eat my way through the groceries I’d bought the day before – the hummus and the cottage cheese, the plums and popcorn. I also thought about my last AIM post on what’s different this time, and more of my maintenance story unfolded.
When I started this journey in 2005, I had a one-track mind. I was going to DO it! No matter what! Then I got to maintenance and I was going to DO it! No matter what! But “no matter what” became a divorce and grandchildren and school and additional arthritis issues, and my one-track mind turned into a cornucopia of coping mechanisms.
But what’s different this time is that I was able to identify many of those coping mechanisms and sit with them and not completely fold in on myself. I gained some pounds, but I stopped them from multiplying. Why? Because I finally “get” that I have a “weighted” past and that I have a propensity to gain weight just by looking in a bakery window. I don’t like it, I wish it wasn’t true, but I can wish and not like all I want, but the truth is, I have to pay attention.
AND…and this is most important…I have to care enough about myself to not call myself an idiot when I screw up. Because the reality is: I will screw up and I will respond. But that response doesn’t have to include eating my way through my refrigerator or speaking cruelly to myself. A simple acknowledgment of the screw up will suffice, along with a thoughtful plan on how to improve or solve the situation.
I’m not looking forward to loading all that software back on to my new or refurbished computer, or recreating bookmarks and bookmark folders in Firefox, but I’m arming myself with self-kindness for the task. Self-kindness that involves working out before and probably after, and allowing myself to eat things I’ve identified, for me, as healthy comfort food. Things like hummus and veggies, sardines, edamame (in the shell…finger food!), smoked almonds, Jarlsburg lite, Honeycrisp apples, and roasted asparagus.
And now that I know laptops don’t like chardonnay, I will separate the glass from the computer from now on. Yes, that’s probably obvious to the savvy among you reading, and I’m sure this won’t be my last time around the self-evident block. But I’ll be armed and less dangerous next time.

13 thoughts on “Armed and Less Dangerous

  1. This takes me back about 30 years (aging myself…)I was typing a college paper on a TYPEWRITER and the carriage hit a glass of milk… disaster in 1982!!! It spilled all over the typewriter and the 10 or so pages I had already typed! I pulled the paper out of the typewriter and tried to wipe up the milk in order to continue using the typewriter. No luck. I took all the soaked pages and my notes to the local library and did the best I could. No tech support at that point. I think I got n A on the paper fyi. Is there an analogy to life or weight loss? Maybe – keep trying, the game isn't over til it's over.

  2. Kudos to you for not caving in to the magical fix-it powers of the pantry! It's not always easy. Or so I've been told. 🙂

    I respond to stress in different ways. If it's a “realistic” stress (family crisis, tornado sirens, etc.), I tend to zoom in on something I CAN control. I might not be strong enough to stop a tornado, but I can, by golly, eat a healthy snack while I sit in a central holiday with a flashlight. (And yes, if you're wondering, I did risk life and limb dashing to the kitchen for some almonds during the last storm. For all I knew, I could've been trapped in the rubble for days with only carpet lint to keep me alive.)

    I've noticed over the past few years that “instigated stresses”, usually brought on by my fertile imagination trying to answer 'what if' questions will drive me to the pantry or fridge for some mindless snacking. I'm learning to recognize it for what it is and go back to a question I used during my early weight loss phase: How does this help? If I can think of a reason (and believe me, I do try), then snacking is fine. Otherwise, I go for another distraction, such as writing long and rambling blog comments. 🙂

  3. So good Lynn. I had some “no matter what” ideas when I started. (I was going to go to WW for the rest of my life, every week, no matter what, if that was what I needed to do to make it) and then life happens. Its what we continue to learn as life happens that I think will make for long term success.

    Sorry about your laptop. I have taken to perching my morning coffee precariously near to my keyboard…”its just a keyboard…”

  4. Oh dear.

    I have a very expensive custom shoe insert, I put somewhere for safe keeping, that we have not been able to find in 9 mos of looking. Ditto with pair of beloved sterling earrings that have been safely tucked away for many years now. . .

    I have dropped cell phones in toilets and once a pool. My middle child dropped hers in melting glacier water in Alaska and went in barefoot after it.

    If the picture is accurate, I wonder about switching to a very short, squat glass with no stem.

  5. I love the “no matter what” analogy because I think it happens to all of us in some form or fashion. It may serve us well during the losing phase, but as you so aptly describe, not so much once the excitement and attention surrounding reaching goal arrives and the tedium of maintenance becomes reality. “No matter what” has to evolve into something unique to each of our personalities and I love have you've identified what that means for you. I'm working on it for me!! So sorry about your computer.

  6. Hi Lynn, I've been a reader for a few months but have never commented. I'm liking this post–especially when you talk about how you wish it were different but “the truth is I have to pay attention!” I get in trouble when I let it all and don't pay attention! It's just a reality–that I too need to realize. Thanks for the post!:)

  7. Love this. I wonder if I finally can figure out how to calm my “voice” if I can then calm my food. I am not sure why I think it is okay to speak cruelly to me as I don't speak ill of others. Yep, still journeying!!!

  8. I used to do the same thing, reaching out to food to sooth after some event that did not turn out as I expected.

    So good to use responses other than food. Key aspect to maintaining loss.

    I once put an index card in my snack shelf that stated “The answer is not in here”. 😉

    I live in fear of my coffee cup and my key board getting too close. Especially with a kid and 2 cats. running around.

    Good luck with the computer.

  9. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I usually eat my breakfast at the keyboard. It's become a habit–not sure if good or bad. In any case, it is rather risky.

    I have also had those conversations with people in far off places regarding a computer problem or two. It takes forever, and patience truly is a virtue in such cases. I would say that you did very well indeed!

  10. I truly like the thought process you went through, and I like how you overcame bad or destructive thoughts. Positivity is key. But I could see where I might have trouble avoiding putting my wine glass by the computer. :)z

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