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.

TGIF

Day 2 and it was nice to see the scale down a few pounds this morning. But it’s Friday, and by now I am usually in a panic. Weekends are always the worst for me to navigate while trying to watch what I eat. But now that I’ve decided just to eat healthier instead of deleting entire food groups, I’m not dreading the weekend the way I normally do – and it’s refreshing. I even have plans to go to the gym for the first time in about 10 years. That should be interesting.

Everyday is Day One…

Today is the first day of what I hope will be a rest of my life journey. And it’s not even a Monday – or the first of the month!! If I had to count how many times I’ve started a new diet, I’d be a billionaire – seriously. I’ve spent the better part of my life living in a prison of my own making. Every hour is spent obsessing about how fat I am, how ugly I am, that everyone is judging me. But every hour is also spent thinking about what I am going to eat next. I feel guilty about every single bite of food I put into my mouth and I don’t understand why I can’t just stop eating and lose the weight once and for all.

Because of my life-long yo-yo dieting, my metabolism is basically shot. I am pretty sure that I am insulin-resistant, I am deficient in iron and vitamin D, my hair is falling out, I’m sure I have some kind of thyroid issue, my joints are stiff and I can’t climb a single flight of stairs without getting winded. And yet I continue to put crap into my body, day in and day out. I continue to be miserable day in and day out. When I really sit and think about it, it is beyond depressing that I’ve spent 30 years of my life being miserable about my weight, hating my body, being self-conscious. It really has been like living in a prison. The cold hard truth is that I am a food addict but mostly I am a carb and sugar addict. And my body certainly does not need sugar to survive.

I need to realize that I can’t deny myself food. I can’t just not eat. I’ve tried that too haha! and it never works. I can’t starve myself, but I do have the choice of WHAT to eat. So my words of “wisdom” to myself today are these:

First and foremost, STOP EATING CRAP. Take a breath. You can do this. You can’t NOT do this. Your life depends on it. Enough is enough.