Brace yourself…this is going to be a long one. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything down and there’s a lot on my mind. Let me pause so you can get a cup of coffee or tea or diet coke before you sit down to read this….
I realized today that I had been holding a lot in. When I began writing about my journey I said I would be honest and not hold back. I wanted to open people’s eyes up to the ups, downs, bumps and bruises that all come with the journey to lose weight, change your lifestyle, and deal with everything in between.
So let’s start with the STRUGGLES…
My struggles should be affectionately titled, ‘The Diary of a Binge Eater’. I’ve struggled with binge eating disorder for a long time, even through my weight loss, but more recently it has come on strong. The quick and dirty on binge eating disorder is that (for me) you will eat and eat and eat (a lot of times the same food) until you are full and then even more full and then until you feel like you want to burst and then you will eat some more. Binge eaters restrict until we can’t restrict anymore, then binge on food after the restrictions we have put on ourselves is too much. We eat to numb, to deal with the emotions we don’t really want to deal with, or fill a void.
With the winter months and my depression and anxiety mounting, the binges have come steadily and with the binges so have weight gains. And for someone who focused 2 years of their life losing weight, weight gains are DEVASTATING. Yes, I’m a chronic weigher (is that a word?). While I know I shouldn’t, I weigh myself almost every day. Yes, I know (I’m trying to be better). And while I know weight fluctuates, with the binges, I have seen more gains than losses or maintenance and it freaks me the F out.
I was reading something from a fellow binge eater the other day and it was like a light went off in my head. For two years my goal was to lose weight. I didn’t know how long it was going to be to get to my goals, but that was my goal. When I went into maintenance, I no longer had that goal. I didn’t have my positive reinforcement. Sure, I made goals that were related to fitness, like finishing a program or lifting heavier, but honestly there is something satisfying about seeing that number on the scale drop.
My other revelation in dealing with my binge eating is that I still have a lot to work on when it comes to my relationship with food. Tracking calories got me to my goal of losing 140lbs, but it has also caused me to lose my sanity in the process when it comes to thinking about food in a normal way. I think in calories and I’ve lost a sense of satiety when eating food. I am having to re-learn how to eat – when I’m hungry, when I’m full and not on a calorie and time table that gets me to a goal of weight loss.
But through these struggles, I am being reminded of the STRENGTH I have gained and to not forget where I started. I’m reminded by myself, but more importantly from my family and friends. Like, Mike reminding me (multiple times) that I can fit into one pant leg of a pair of pants I used to wear. That I pushed myself and overcame so many things I never thought I could do to make myself into a new, healthier person. I have to hold on to that knowledge that I have that strength to continue to move forward in my journey that will always be changing. To set new goals for myself, non-weight related, like building that strength to overcome my binge eating and develop a healthier relationship with food.
And despite the recent gains, I’ve come a long way. I looked up my from my desk today and saw a picture of Sam and I from when we went to Disney World right before I started my journey. So much has changed since then. Our recent family vacation to Disney World was a whole new experience for me. Rides were easy, walking all day didn’t hurt, my eating choices (while not perfect) were so much better than vacations past. The knowledge of the journey is what will also propel me forward.
And finally there is TRUST. I’ve talked about it before, but making the journey to lose weight and continue on with a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of trust. Trust in myself. Some days I have that trust or faith or whatever you want to call it; that I can make the right decisions, overcome my struggles, and use that strength to push past them, but other days, I lose it completely. I lost weight for 2 years, I should trust and KNOW that I know what to do, but sometimes it waivers. I’m working on trusting myself. Believing in myself.
So, there you have it. Life is messy. Living a healthy lifestyle is not 100%. No one is perfect and everyone has struggles. BUT, we have to reflect on the strength that we have inside to push through the walls. Push through the barriers that we have put up in our minds and trust that we will carry that strength with us to face the next challenge head on whether we fail or succeed.
Here’s the rest of that pic above from Disney with the family. It was an amazing vacation!