Tuesday, June 16, 2009

sleeping with my ex

I feel like I'm surrounded by babies (or babies-to-be), at least with my internet friends, and it kind of makes me want one again. Except I think what I really want to do is temporarily abscond with everyone else's babies, snuzzle them mercilessly, then give them back. There's a whole host of reasons why I should not be having a baby right now (and possibly ever again). My husband is happy with two. I don't like being pregnant (I just like the babies!). Our house is too small. Our house is too messy and cramming another person PLUS their stuff won't help that. It would totally mess up our financial plan. I vowed I would never have another baby unless I could leave work not just after the baby is born, but also for the pregnancy. I worked like a dog during the first two and if I do it again I want an entirely different experience this time. My health, which is also linked to my weight.

Speaking of my weight, I found out at TOPS last night that not only have I NOT lost weight as I'd suspected...I actually gained. Four pounds. In the last month. I'm very close to my highest weight ever again. This was...disheartening, to say the least.

When we went to Cedar Point last week, one of my biggest fears was that I would be a 'guest of exceptional size' and not be able to ride any of the rides I wanted to get on. They don't have strict guidelines as to what constitutes a 'guest of exceptional size', since everyone's body types are different, but they suggest that women over size 18 may have trouble on some of the rides. That's me, folks. At least in my gut. The rest of my body is probably around a size 18 but my gut is HUGE (and embarrassing).
I was able to get on everything I wanted, even the children's rides that required adult chaperones, but it was uncomfortable. And humiliating. Especially on the Jr. Gemini when the attendant had to help me buckle the seatbelt because I was too fat to do it. Bless her soul, she tried to blame my fanny pack (to which I replied "thank you, but I think it's my FANNY"), and I was about to give up but she was very insistent that we could DO it, and I heaved my fat out of the way as best I could and she pulled with all her might until that little belt clicked into place. It certainly was not one of my prouder moments in life.

There is no great mystery involved in weight loss, at least not for the majority of folks. Eat less, move more. It's a pretty simple formula. Yet for so many people, myself included, it's a huge struggle. The formula may be easy but when you try to apply it to individuals with emotions and patterns and preferences and desires and opinions, individuals fighting hormonal responses and addicitons and emotional triggers and years of conditioned response, individuals with varying levels of intention and willpower...well, it becomes a very different, very personal story for each of us. I've been trying to pay attention over the past year or so, and I don't seem to have a huge emotional trigger to food. I don't necessarily want to eat when I'm stressed, or upset, or angry. I do, however, often eat out of boredom. And habit. I eat for entertainment...and who doesn't like to be entertained? Over the course of my life, I seem to have linked food to all of the pleasureable activities in my life. I eat while I read. I eat while I watch TV. I eat while I play video games. I eat while I socialize with friends. I ENJOY eating while I do these things. And it has become very hard to NOT eat while doing these things. Eating has become linked to my enjoyment of these activities; separately, I enjoy each of them very much, but with food I now achieve MAXIMUM enjoyment.

I read a lot on a regular basis, but I have been reading a TON lately. Every night, often for a couple hours. (This could also be why the house is falling into disrepair again.) So I've been eating a lot more at night lately as a result.

The trouble here is that I'm not eating with any sort of intention. I'm just grazing, and when one food stops tasting so great, I just move on to the next one. I'm not really ENJOYING the food, I'm just eating to eat. I'm not writing down any of these foods and I'm not limiting myself in any way either. I'm not saying "OK, I want some potato chips, so I'll just have one serving." I'm sitting down with the whole bag.

So what happens? A weight gain of four pounds, that's what happens. Frustration. Misery. And oh yeah, I don't feel so good most days either.

What am I going to do about this? I don't know. I'm frustrated. It's a pattern that has asserted itself time and again in my life. I have trouble setting limits on myself, I have trouble controlling certain behaviors. I have been trying to track my calories and food intake for a year and I keep resisting. I know it's an important tool for weight loss, but for some reason I just refuse to make it a habit. I want to do it...but somewhere in me I must not REALLY want to do it, or I'd be doing it already, right?

It's times like these when I am closest to admitting that I might need professional help with this problem. But for some reason, even though I don't have a problem with therapy and have gone for other troubles I've had...I am hugely resistant to going for this. HUGELY. I'm not sure why. Even writing about it now, I can feel the stress building in my body, my arms and legs tightening in refusal, as if someone is going to come along and try to physically MAKE me go to therapy and I'm gearing up to resist and fight them. It's freaking bizarre and I have no idea why, exactly, I am so dead set against going to therapy for this, but I am.

I'm hesitant to put this out there in public because it is such a personal issue, and when I fail again and again, it's embarrassing. Sometimes it's embarrassing just to live my life and still be fat, because I've struggled with this for so long and it's not like it's a problem I can hide. When I go out, everyone can see that I'm still fat, or fatter. My repeated failures sit on my body in giant lumps. Sometimes I don't want to go places, or see certain people, just because of the way I look. So putting this all out here in public is sort of like opening a wound. But I vowed to myself that this blog would be a record of my goals and the paths to them; this is a huge issue in my life that I've wanted to get past for years, and I do believe it is holding me back from accomplishing so many other things in my life. It's the elephant in the room; I can't just ignore it. And maybe my struggles (and future triumphs, I hope) will help someone else.

And maybe there's someone out there who will help me too.


  1. I know meds are often a last resort but it really helped be to have some assistance. I was able to be more intentional about my eating because I could see the weight dropping quickly. I tried for years to do it on my own and couldn't. I went on Metformin for a totally different reason and I lost 25lb in two months. Its only FDA approved for diabetes but its used in the UK for weightloss and PCOS. I hope this is a little helpful.

  2. Unfortunately, I'm actually on metformin already because I am diabetic. I take Janumet, which is a combination of Januvia and Metformin. Both are supposed to help me lose weight but neither have really done that for me. I will lose a little, then gain it right back. Sadly, I think my biggest issue lies in limiting myself and making better choices...and those are two things that I haven't managed to master yet, at least where food is concerned. :(

  3. have you considered OA? if you're eating compulsively and not even enjoying it, there's a problem, honey. 12 steps, 12 traditions, 1 day at a time, that kind of thing... but most of all, support from people who are going through the same thing you are... and it's much cheaper than therapy.

    i've gained some weight back myself, which has been discouraging but i know that it's because when i get into these moods (like i'm in now) i just need to eat... and all the weight loss incentive in the world can't stop me. "if i just do it today, and stop again tomorrow, it'll be fine, right? no harm!" yeah, and when tomorrow never comes, when it's *always* today... what then?

    i understand hormonal, emotional eating. i do. i understand unconscious eating, like when reading next to a bag of chips!

    if you need help, i'm here. i'll even go to a meeting with you, if you'd like. it certainly couldn't hurt to try it out.


  4. test message - this never works for me!

  5. Ok maybe I'm just wordy.

    I think OA is a really good option to consider. You don't have to say anything there, just listen.

    Your post struck a cord with me bc I deal with some of the same issues. But for me, for instance, I do not graze. I don't compulsively overeat. My problem is that I don't eat, not really. When I was with David last year, when we spend whole weekends together or went on trips, he would comment on what a "petite eater" I am. I love to bake, will make 2 dozen cookies, eat 2 and be done. I might have 2 the next day and maybe 1-2 the next day and then I don't want any more. I give them away or even throw it out.

    So if you look at me and how fat I am you could say what in the world is going on!?!? People assume "fat" means constantly stuffing food in your mouth. I have the opposite issue. I don't eat often enough or enough in general, so then I get really hungry and I will eat one big meal a day. Ot I'll eat twice a day, 12 hours apart, but each time it is a lot of calories, mainly bc I don't want ot have to eat AGAIN.

    Then I end up slowing down my metabolism and throwing off my electrolytes and it just gets worse and worse. I weigh 50 lbs more than I did at my heaviest before.

  6. I noticed some things in your post. I don't have any scientific studies here, but a lot of my acquaintance that is very fat are big readers. I always thought reading was GOOD, right? I see you like to watch TV and play video games. The people I know who are more "normal" sized don't read much, and if they do it's not whole books, for fun. They might watch one show now and again on TV but mainly don't. They do use a computer but not for entertainment. They just don't.

    My oldest friend is not slim but she is an average size woman. I have never seen her read a book, and even when she sits down to watch TV, it's "Family Night", they watch together, and I have never seen her sit for the whole 2 hrs of a movie. Her husband gets mad bc she is constantly jumping up to do something. We'll all be into some movie, and she'll be asking the dog if it wants to go out, or finding some excuse to go in the kitchen for a minute.



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