One is the Loneliest Number…When You’re Dieting

20 Mar

I’ve been working from home for just over a year and a half now and it seems like the adjustment period from cubicle office life to home office life just won’t end, although it is getting better. I’ve known for years that my job as a writer/editor keeps me glued to my computer and chair for too many hours in the day, so I’ve always tried to counter that with some movement. In the office, I would take the stairs several flights throughout the day, walk during lunch, take mini-breaks to walk across the office to visit a coworker, etc. But working from home, I didn’t have stairs to take or coworkers to walk to lunch with. I struggled to find ways to keep a routine. I found myself not even leaving the house for two days in a row sometimes. I was becoming depressed from feeling isolated without even realizing it…and eating a lot in the process. This problem with adjusting to my new environment manifested itself in the form of about 20 pounds that still encircles my hips.

Then, one day…

…Vita and I were chatting outside for a minute and I didn’t want the conversation to end so I invited her in. We talked for a long time and I felt a kinship with her style and attitude. She is a kind, warm-hearted, witty woman and how lucky for me that she lives 20 feet from my door. Since that day many, many months ago, we have become close friends (even closer now that she is also working from home) and I noticed that my overall mood and energy level was steadily increasing the more I socialized during the week (weekends just aren’t enough human contact for some personality types, like mine). [Side note: I am not in any way discounting how wonderful my daily life in my marriage is. But with my husband at work all day, bless his heart, I wasn’t doing enough to supplement that social interaction.]

As Vita and I have spent more time together, I have been more energetic, more willing to exercise, less depressed, more optimistic, and more inclined to see other friends and be spontaneous. As wonderful as Vita is, it’s not just that it’s her specifically, but it’s the interaction that I’m emphasizing. Being around a friend and personality like hers

Michelle and Vita caricatures.

These are little caricatures that Vita drew of the two of us when we were first discussing ideas for Diet Drop. They make me smile.

helped me realize what a rut I’d gotten myself into, and, more importantly, helped me see how much I wanted out of that funk. Loneliness is a strange emotion, which I equate with something like a fog. It’s a subtle strain on our emotional health that should not be ignored because such isolation can leave you outnumbered against the negative voices in your own head that discourage you. The lonelier I got, the more I stayed in, continuing to eat and feel hesitant to get out. But the more I got out, the less uncomfortable I was in general about pretty much everything. I rearranged the furniture and positioned my desk by a brighter window. I was happier more often. I started experimenting more with recipes and going to local businesses. It’s a funny phenomenon: when there are more people to share with, it seems like there is more to share, literally and figuratively.

A few days ago, Vita and I went running errands together and stopped at Subway for a sandwich. If I’d been alone and bummed out, I probably would have loaded it up with everything and ate the whole footlong. But I felt light and happy that we were out and about. I got a turkey sandwich with a bunch of veggies–no bacon, extra light mayo–and I only ate half (my husband loved that the other half was waiting for him as a snack later). It’s little changes like this (which are the result of the bigger changes I’ve been describing) that are adding up to actual physical results. I’m not just happier, I am starting to see a slight difference in the heavier parts of my body. I can see that I’m starting to lose weight in my face and arms (why is it always the heaviest part, my hips, which lose the weight last? argh!). It’s progress that makes me feel even more optimistic.

Vita and I drove home from Subway talking about this blog. It’s our proximity to each other and our growing friendship that makes doing this blog such a unique support system. We are telling this story with both our voices because, as I’ve described in this post, our friendship really is helping us lose weight and feel more positive and stronger about accomplishing our goals and being more active. I’ve never felt this good about the process of losing weight before. I hope you have or find a friend to buddy up with so that you can enjoy the same results!

Best always,

Michelle

PS: Stay tuned for a post about our latest trip to the grocery store together. :)

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2 Responses to “One is the Loneliest Number…When You’re Dieting”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Single Serving at a Holiday Feast « Diet Drop - April 9, 2012

    […] diet plans and supporting each other through friendship. I’ve described in previous posts (like this one) how our friendship has helped me immensely. Now, I feel like I’ve taken another baby-step […]

  2. Lift Your Spirit to Lose Weight « Diet Drop - April 25, 2012

    […] wouldn’t be a chore but would be something they could stick with. This is something that is working for me and Vita. I have become much more committed to staying accountable to making healthy choices because I know […]

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