Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Once upon a time (also known as January 2008), I found the motivation to make a commitment to losing weight. I was 5' 3.5" tall and 172 pounds. I started a blog, and posted some pictures of myself at my starting point. Over the course of about a year and a half, I lost 42 pounds through exercise and restricting myself to about 1500 calories per day. I was very strict with what I would or wouldn't eat.
I finished graduate school, found a full-time job, and...well, the exercise level stayed pretty high, but the eating become a problem. There were all sorts of little goodies available, and my boss loved going out to eat. If I ate healthy, she would make a huge fuss over how "good" I was. If I decided to splurge, she conspiratorially talk about how much a surprise it was that I wasn't being good. It was very uncomfortable, and made my already weird relationship with food even worse. Over the next 2.5 years I regained 20 pounds. Half of it I gained while dealing with several oral surgeries. I think that right there says a lot about me: I GAINED weight when there was barely anything I could eat.
That's the main issue really, I panic about food. I don't know why I seem to think that there's only a limited supply and that if I don't eat all of something, I'll never get to eat it again, but I do. And added to that, I also eat when I'm: bored, don't feel good, feeling lazy, angry, sad, stressed, not hungry, and have a stomach ache. Over the course of my weight loss I was absolutely diligent, and I did keep the weight off for about a year. However, once I finally thought "maybe I don't have to count *every* calorie *every* day" I began eating with abandon. Cake? Sure! Pastries? 2 please! Cold leftover pizza from someone's meeting? I'll eat all of the remaining pieces and pretend it was someone else.
It's frustrating to realize that I managed to lose so much weight (and in a healthy manner for once) and still didn't actually get to the root of my problem: I lack self control and I'm a mindless eater. Well, not entirely mindless--I will think about how I shouldn't be doing it, but because it's forbidden and I'm panicked over the fact that I'm overeating I eat more. It's not that I feel that I've already goofed so I might as well continue, but I get into an utter panic. I don't even quite know how to describe the feeling.
I have recognized the bored eating and the eating-while-full problem, and even just being a little mindful of it has helped me lose a couple of pounds over the past couple of months. The thing is, I know what I need to do: count calories and really get back into my exercise (I'm still active, but I'm not the powerhouse I was for a couple of years). The thing is, that just sounds so exhausting. I spent almost all of my waking hours thinking about food, and I'm tired of that. I'm so sick of my life revolving around food, whether it's "don't eat that!" or "this has this many calories so I have X calories left for dinner tonight." It just feels so overwhelming to have to do it all again. So right now, I'm trying to just get the courage going to try again. Perhaps writing will help me find some strength, intelligence, and perhaps even some encouragement from others. I'm very private, but perhaps if I put myself back out there again (I deleted my weight loss blog when I realized I'd quit posting to it once the weight started creeping on and I was tired of recording my food) it might give me a bit of the something that I need. I'm only a little overweight right now, but my fitness is shot and I'm tired all of the time. I want to have energy again, and I want to make sure my body will last me for a lot of years. I'm only 31, I shouldn't have the energy level of my mother.