The fact that the picture above is my stomach only three years ago makes me cringe. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you know I’ve committed to writing a daily post every day in November and of course, I’ll be completely honest. To follow in that vain, honestly, my weight has gotten really out of control. I’ve talked a ton on here about being an alcoholic and addict in recovery, but I haven’t spoken much about changing addictions and how if I’m not taking care of myself physically, spiritually and emotionally, my addictive self comes out in other behaviors. For me, overeating is a huge one of these behaviors. Huge being the operative word.
Here are a few facts about myself. First, I’ve always struggled with my weight. I can remember in junior high and high school, forcing myself to restrain from eating for long periods of time and throwing up, even to the point of anorexia and bulimia, to be able to fit into my favorite pair of jeans. Second, I come from a family that doesn’t struggle much with weight. My father has always been extremely healthy, even working out well into his early 70’s, and my mother ate rather healthy and walked daily. Also, I am an emotional eater. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I only overeat when I am sad or depressed, it also means I eat when celebrating or when I’m happy. The last year has been one of the happiest and most fulfilling of my entire life and I am at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I am also a grazer and if I have food around the house, I will eat it until it is gone or I have thrown it away. And if I’m being completely honest, although this part is really difficult for me, I’ve even pulled out bags of potato chips and candy from the trash to eat. I know it’s absolutely disgusting, but I’m trying to be absolutely honest. One of my favorite things in the entire world is sitting in front of the television and gorging myself while I watch some of my favorite shows. This particularly has become a problem as of late. I have also hidden food, lied about my eating to friends and my husband and declared time and time again, “I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow!”. All of this is the cry of a food addict.
The consequences are huge. First and foremost, I hate my body. I work daily encouraging people to love their bodies when I can hardly even look at myself in the mirror. I hate what I see and even more, I hate my husband looking at me too. It has greatly affected our relationship in ways I never imagined because I am just not comfortable with myself. It has affected our intimacy and I just don’t like to go out and do social things. He likes to go out to bars and clubs, and I refuse to go because I don’t have anything to wear and I don’t want people looking at me as a fatass, especially in a gay bar, where lookism and ageism is at an all time high. I have about three outfits that I rotate regularly, doing wash on an almost daily basis. I don’t want to buy any new clothes at a larger size because then I will become comfortable and gain more weight. I also have a difficult time breathing because of my weight and probably am on the verge of having some rather serious health problems. The idea of working out and exercise terrifies me because at the weight I am now, the largest I have ever been in my entire life, to walk into a gym or to get on a treadmill exhausts me. I have paid for a gym membership for over two years and haven’t been once. I have also distanced myself from friends who knew me thin because I’m so embarrassed about how I look. Everyone is always very nice and encouraging, but it is my own self loathing that tears me up the most. Although I believe you should love yourself no matter what you look like, how much do I really love myself if I’m willing to risk depression, diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, morbid obesity an fifty other health concerns if I’m not taking care of myself. That is not love, that is resistance to change.
The worst consequence of all is the mental nagging and sadness that goes along with being fat. I’m not going to even be nice about it; the appropriate word is fat. I literally think about food all day long, wondering when I’ll eat next and what my next meal will be. The cravings are very similar to the cravings I had when I drank and used drugs. I literally think about certain foods to the extreme until I have to have them. Sometimes I’ll wait until my husband goes to bed so that I can eat and watch television by myself and I won’t feel myself being judged. I’ve asked him to encourage my eating healthy, but when he does, I feel judged and criticized. My weight has become such an issue that I have been driven to tears on a regular basis. It is uncomfortable and depressing to be fat. Period. I hate it and a part of me hates myself for being fat; a huge part.
There is only one reality. Accept that this is who I am and get comfortable with being fat, which will never happen, or change the way that I am living and get healthy. That is the truth. I have tried every diet known to man and the only “diet” that has worked for me is Weight Watchers, but I think that was because it was more of a structured game, and I do very well with both structure and games. I also lost quite a bit of weight one time eating only two Lean Cuisine meals a day, equally approximately 500 calories a day, which is totally unhealthy, but the weight came off quickly. Juicing is for the devil and fad diets don’t work. I’ve put on every ounce as soon as I quit the diet. And everyone is an expert and wants to give me advice, telling em exactly what will work and telling me the secret to weight loss. One person used to tell me on a regular basis “eat less and move more”. What a brilliant concept.
The truth is that I know what works; completely changing my lifestyle. In my late twenties I exercised daily, running five miles a day and lifting several days a week. I ate healthy but was never hungry and if I wanted to break my “healthy diet” from time to time, I did. I felt great, slept great, had great sex and was much happier. I rarely thought about food and could fit into anything I wanted. I may not have eaten what everyone else thought was healthy, filling my meals with raw tuna and chicken breasts, salads, nuts and juices, but it worked for me. Making the commitment and sticking to it is the key for me.
A year ago I watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“. The film totally resonated with me and I went full throttle into juicing, declaring that I was going to do it for six weeks. I made it one week, lost about 20 pounds and thought I was going to pass out every single minute. I’m not willing to risk my health to lose weight but I’m not willing to stay fat either and risk my weight.
My closest friend has drastically changed her diet and has been working out with a personal trainer. She looks amazing and has lost weight, but to her, the weight loss is not the important part because she feels better. I have friends who are married and do marathons together and eat healthy and train together. I have another friend that changed her entire lifestyle and gave herself three years to lose thirty pounds. That was over fifteen years and she has kept it off and looks great. I have another friend who is a few years older than me and is a complete raw foods enthusiast and her body literally looks like she’s sixteen, no lie, but she is very committed to eating and living healthy. All of these people are extremely inspiring to me, yet I continue to roll through McDonald’s at three in the morning and order a plethora of food off of their overnight menu.
But those days are changing now. If you’ve really read this far to find out the trick to losing fifty pounds in a month, I hope you realize that there is no trick. If you really want to lose that much weight do the cabbage soup diet or that juicing deal, but consult a doctor first because you will most likely pass out and hurt your body. As for me, I’m committed to getting back in shape, eating healthy, exercising and positively falling in love with myself again. Life’s short and as my mother used to say, we’re on borrowed time as it is. I have a ridiculous walk in closet with clothes filled to the brim, many with tags that I have never been able to wear or haven’t worn in years. A few years ago I started buying expensive jeans and called them my “motivation jeans” to try and lose weight, but I still haven’t worn them. And all of this has happened gradually in just over three years.
How disgusting. How sad that I’ve become such a slave to food and food craving that I’m not able to see the bigger picture. My health, relationship, body image, mental stability, happiness and clothes are all at risk of being tossed out quickly if I don’t get this together.
Today is the day! It is a new day with a new outlook.
I plan on posting regular posts to keep myself accountable, let you know what’s working for me and sharing stories, but please don’t offer advice. I can handle constructive criticism or helpful hints and even encouragement, but no advice, especially if you’re skinny. The worst thing fat people hate is when skinny people give you advice on how to lose weight. Quite frankly, I appreciate you wisdom, but keep it to yourself. I know I can do this. I believe in myself enough to know that someday I’ll fit into those motivation jeans and stroll past the mirror naked, empowered and proud of myself.
Join the journey with me if you’re so inclined. I would love to have you along for the ride!
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