So in an on-going, never-ending cycle of up’s and down’s, I am upping and downing.
I have eaten my feelings for a few days. Over-eaten. Binge-eaten. It has not been pretty. I purchased Twinkies (plural) ON PURPOSE and brought them INTO MY HOME and placed them IN MY PANTRY for CONSUMPTION. This is absurd, for so many reasons. One, Twinkies are not food, they are not good, and I do not like them. But I saw them, I was feeling vulnerable, and I bought them. THEN I ATE ONE. And you know what? Reason two for absurdity: It was foul. It was so sweet it was gross, and I knew at the first bite that I was not enjoying it. It did not stop me from eating it, and a second Twinkie, for good measure. Three: SABOTAGE! I cannot have food like that in my home. I just can’t. I’ve been trying to tell myself that I’ve been doing really well in my weight loss goals and I can afford a small, planned treat now and again. That’s true—if we’re talking like a Friday slice of pizza or a few chocolate squares after a nice walk. But this? This is not that. This is a descent into ED bingeing and emotional eating.
I’ll spare you the humiliating details, but rest assured that through a number of poor choices, too little water, and WAAAAAY too much food, I have gained about 5 lbs. The good and bad of that: Good—5 lbs on me isn’t too much to carve back off in a few days of good choices. Bad—it means a few more days I could have been making progress instead of just doing damage control have been wasted. I am bloated and puffy and I FEEL bad. Emotionally less so than physically. But I physically feel pretty awful. I’m salt-achey and generally yuck.
But I’m disappointed. If you’ve been following my progress, you may notice a trend. I am noticing a trend. I do well for a few days and I’m introspective and thoughtful about my food and goals. Then I get a little cockey and I slip a little—just a little. But I think, that’s ok! You have to have balance! Then I slip a little more, and a little more, until I’m in full-on terrible choice mode. Then I shake it off, pull up my socks, find my head again. Repeat.
But each time I slip a little further, and I don’t pull up my socks quite as far as I should. So I’m regressing.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, SELF???
Okay, look. I started out with food as my main area of change. After a little while getting acclimated to that I worked in exercise—not too much at first. I worked up. I was still being a CHAMPION at food. Nutritious, tasty, filling, low-cal. And you know what? My results were SO GOOD! I lost about 20 pounds in a month.
I’ve slowly slipped a little more and a little more. I started working out longer to account for the poor choice I had ALREADY decided to have at dinner—and I’m not talking like one night a week. I found I was thinking things like “Well, I don’t really feel like going to the gym today, but if I do I will burn a thousand calories so I can eat more at dinner. OKAY!” SO instead of working on my portions—which are a big part of my downfall—I was finding a way to out-exercise my portions… kinda. Except that if I didn’t work out, I still ate the bigger portion I had previously trained myself out of “needing” (emotionally), and defeated the hard work of the week. I didn’t gain for a while. I didn’t lose either. I mean, sure, a little here and there, but not like I was when I was really putting in the effort. Funny how that works.
So now, here I am. Looking hard in the mirror. I can’t rely on exercise to lose weight. I have to get a handle on food. Fully, completely, lastingly. I’m still working on vitamins and nutrition to help the physical cravings—I think it is working and having a positive impact. BUT. It’s the emotional part that I have to fight now. And forever. I guess that’s the part that makes me sad, when thinking about dieting makes me sad. (It doesn’t, lots of the time… but sometimes…) You’ve all thought it. The sinking feeling when you have to admit that, for this to work, it means forever. It means this battle will go on FOREVER. I will never lead a life where I can sit down and enjoy a piece of birthday cake without analyzing how I will feel later, how I will work it off, and whether it’s safe for me to do so without it triggering me into a binge-spiral of self-loathing or days of non-stop eating. It’s so fast—the regression. It’s such a real thing, addiction. I get it. I mean, it feel stupid to even say “I’m addicted to food”, but really? I get it. When I can recognize that I am SO FULL and I SHOULD NOT eat, and I am NOT hungry while I am preparing another plate of food—when I can recognize the guilt BEFORE it’s even happened, and I still eat, I still do it, I still consume the thing I know I shouldn’t—I get it. It’s a problem. It isn’t enough to say willpower. It isn’t enough to drink-water-it-away, or to choose an apple. It isn’t a diet-pill and weight-watcher’s meeting solution. I’m going to start looking into behavioural health options as an additional branch of my diet regimen.
But for now—for the What I Can DO For Me Today portion of my after-school special—I am resetting.
I guess that’s part of the deal, too. Constantly resetting, constantly re-motivating, constant vigilance.
I’m going a little drastic for a day or two. Protein shakes, raw veggies, lean protein, apples, water. And green tea because a life without caffeine is not worth living and you don’t want me in that world either.
It’s noon and I’m fine.
Because I can do this, and so can you.