All or Nothing

So how did I get here? How did my weight problem get so off the rails? To put it in perspective, I am about 50 lbs. overweight right now. That’s a lot. It basically puts me in the BMI category of obese.

Since childhood I have always been about 20-30 pounds over my ideal weight so my mother started putting me on diets when I was around 9 or 10. She herself grew up as an overweight girl and I’m sure her own mother was unkind to her about it as her mother was always a slim woman herself. My mom didn’t want the same thing for me – I get it. But at the same time, it was very damaging to my self-esteem. I’m pretty sure that was the beginning of my life-long struggles with my body image and self-esteem. It’s hard to love yourself and hard to have a good body image when your own mother doesn’t think you’re fine just the way you are. It was pretty damaging. When we were having supper and I would reach for a second helping, she would say “do you really think you need that?” Basically the things experts tell parents these days not to say to their overweight children. It hurt immensely.

I was teased in elementary school because of my weight. Not often, but just enough to erode my low self-esteem even more. I was always an ugly duckling. Slightly overweight, short hair, bad teeth (and then braces). I always felt ugly and awkward. I was depressed and tried committing suicide twice in my teens.

After high school I gained more weight and got more depressed. At age 20, I got pregnant unexpectedly with my first daughter and used it as a free pass to eat whatever I wanted. I gained 50 lbs. during my pregnancy and lost almost nothing after she was born. But when my daughter’s father left me for another woman 3 years later, I lost most of my pregnancy weight from depression and trying to get back into the dating world. The Divorce Diet totally worked for me!

But through my struggles, I have learned that I have a very addictive personality. Food, cigarettes, alcohol. Thankfully I never got addicted to drugs but had I tried them, I probably would have been addicted to those too. I was an alcoholic by my mid-thirties. Fortunately I am now a recovering alcoholic and I haven’t had a drink in 8 years. I quit smoking a few years after that. But food has always been that one habit I just can’t seem to break.

But fast forward to 15 years later and 3 more kids, I have yo-yo’d my way through 40+ pounds. It honestly feels like I have been on a diet my entire life – but obviously that can’t be true or I’d be at my ideal weight right? For me, it has always been all or nothing. If I’m not completely restricting myself, I am eating it all. There’s no in between. And therein lies the problem…

As with quitting drinking, I need to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time. When I start looking toward the future and start thinking about things I won’t be able to eat at this restaurant or for this special occasion, I get overwhelmed and discouraged. I’m really just trying to live in the moment right now. I am trying to eat things are that are good for my body and good for my mind. Starving myself doesn’t work and it never has. All I’m trying to do right now is to eat healthy, STOP EATING CRAP, try to exercise as much as I can and treat this weight loss thing like a marathon instead of a sprint.