Weighty Matters

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The Uh Oh Moment

on November 11, 2012

I’ve been thinking even more about my mind set and reaction after Friday’s doctor appointment.  Thank you for your comments.  They helped me with the process.

This morning I realized that underneath the upset/concern/disappointment of not losing weight faster the last month or so, lurks fear.  It isn’t the weight loss rate that’s really bothering me.  I’m really still terrified that, ultimately, I’m going to screw up the whole process and eat my way back to super obesity.

For all of the hard work and great progress I’ve made with my diseased thinking, compulsive eating disorder, and messy emotions, the fear doesn’t really disappear.  It goes away for awhile or lies dormant, but eventually returns.   It’s like Haley’s Comet, periodical cicadas and the chicken pox virus that later manifests as shingles.

My fear that at some point I will lose my battle against my disorder, stop eating healthy and according to plan, stretch out my stomach sleeve and eventually gain back all that I lost is not inconceivable.  I’ve been a yo-yo dieter all of my life.  Over the years since I was a young girl, I’ve probably lost more than 300 pounds — not counting the current weight loss of almost 125 pounds.  50 pounds here, 60 pound there, 100 pounds in the early 80s . . . I dieted off big chunks at a time, only to eventually gain them all back with extra for good measure.    There’s precedence.

That’s what the slow down signalled to me.  Instead of an “Ah Ha”, I had the big “Uh-Oh” moment.  Worry and fear seized me in their suffocating grip and refused to let logic and reasonableness breathe.  Immediately after, this triggered an almost overwhelming desire to gorge on carbohydrates — the very food items that I’d just been told I needed to scrupulously restrict.

Honest to goodness, this process sometimes makes me want to act in the most unreasonably destructive ways.

Thankfully, amid the moderate freak out, I remembered that I always have the power of choice.  I can want to do any number of unhelpful things, but “wanting to” and “acting on” are vastly different.  I can want to overeat and choose not to.  I can want carbs and eat protein.  I can want to lie around like a hybernating bear and still choose to tie on my fitness shoes and move.

Yesterday I woke up still feeling emotionally rocky.  I knew a workout would help so I went to Zumba class.  I already had some wonderful spa services scheduled for later in the day.  The timing could not have been better.  I came home after Zumba to shower and ate some Greek yogurt before heading to the salon.  Once there I gave myself over to the complete pampering of a manicure, reflexology treatment, facial and pedicure.  What was great for the body was incredibly great for my mind too.  I came home relaxed and more at ease in my emotions.

I took it easy for the rest of the day, ate reasonably, and went to bed early.  Today I had my fear realization even before I got out of bed but I was able to ponder it without freaking out even more.  I got up and dressed and took the dogs for a morning bridge walk.  (Today for the first time we made it a full two miles.  Nat and Pyxi are now, pardon the pun, dog tired.)

All in all, I feel much better.  I’m not going to give into the fear to the point where I sabotage myself.  I’m going to be loving but honest with myself in my food plan.  I want weight loss more than I want extra carbs.  The most important thing for me to remember is that I am not at the destructive mercy of my eating disorder.  I have the power to stay healthy and never go back to the super obese person I used to be.

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4 responses to “The Uh Oh Moment

  1. Hope says:

    Go you! And congrats on the two miles! 😀

  2. Pink Pelican says:

    I have the same fear, about doing all this hard work and loving the results, but then falling off the wagon & gaining it back, and THEN what do I do? Not like they can take out more of my stomach.

    I’ve been very up & down myself; I got ill in October (nothing major, just a cold/URI kind of thing), but over 2 weeks I dropped about 12 pounds. Which was a nice side effect, but the lingering effects in my lungs made it difficult to exercise, which allowed “Lazy” to bleed in even as I got better.

    And then there was halloween, with left over candy at the house and in the office. And my taste for sweets, which was dampened over the past year, has been slowly flowering again. And you know, you can graze on fun size candy all day long if you aren’t paying attention …

    I’ve actually gained some weight back over the last two weeks. It’s only about 3 or 4 pounds, but still … part of that might be bounce back from the weight loss during illness, but a good sized chunk of it is bad food choices & reduced exercise. I’m wondering if there will be more weight “gain” once I get back on the wagon of better food choices & increased exercise — because some of the weight loss during illness might have been reduced muscle mass.

    So the last couple of weeks have fed a little into the fear of failing in the long term. The statistics for “failure” for bariatric patients can be frightening. How can I possibly hope to be one of the exceptions?

    I love the way I look and feel. But I also love carbs & sweets, and that doesn’t all go magically away. Life long habits are hard to deal with … we took a road trip this weekend & it was so hard to stop thinking about “road food”. All the snacking you do when you travel to help with the boredom of long drives. Stopping for meals that are bad for you (because we didn’t plan ahead enough). And that bled over to a run to the store for a jacket last night – when I got done at Old Navy & got back in the car, the immediate first thought was “I want to stop for a quick treat — french fries or ice cream or some such”. It was such an automatic thing.

    Like you, I’m reminding myself I have the power of choice. During the road trip, I finally smacked myself upside the head & hauled out the embroidery project I brought with me so I could have something to occupy my hands & divert my thoughts from food (and then FINALLY the football games started & we could listen to them on the radio & that was a good distraction too).

    This morning after checking the scale, I reported the results on my facebook page (which is one of the ways I try to keep myself accountable — all of my friends have been cheering me on with huge support & love, & I owe it to them as much as to myself to keep trying to be successful, but that means being honest with them even when I’m failing, and that is hard and something I don’t want to have to do on a regular basis).

    And I packed my gym bag to help me focus on getting my exercise in tonight.

    And I’m going to work on a good food plan for the week & clearing out some of the things that have crept in that I don’t need.

    Next week is Thanksgiving, & the real test starts — the holiday food fest.

    Last year it was so easy. I was only 5 months out from surgery. I had truly little to no interest in food, & even the treats, I could only eat a tiny amount of. This year, I know I am susceptible to grazing & it will hurt me. I know I need to start making plans NOW. I know I’m too weak not to graze, so I know I need to research healthy grazables that I will enjoy, stock up on fruit & protein options, and be diligent about the exercise.

    I love it that I found your blog. I read your entries, and I get so much from them. It’s so nice to follow a fellow traveler on the same road and see your insights, your battles and how you won them (or how you stumbled & then figured out a good solution to help yourself get back up on your feet & begin again). I love it that you look for the positive, that you look forward & actively find solutions. We all get discouraged, but it’s oh so easy to get mired in that discouragement & fall even farther. I admire you for dealing with your disappointments by fighting past them & moving forward. That’s the way I want to be, too.

    I’m not going to wallow in self-pity over my failings. I’m going to look at them with honesty, accept that I’m human, and then make choices to do better. And follow through.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. It is making a real difference. And good on you for continuing to fight past the disappointments and persevere. You are awesome!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Pink, first of all, big hugs to you, baby. You’re an inspiration and you’ve been my pelican in the pathway. By sharing your insights and experiences, I’ve been prepared for what to expect up ahead. I think as we face these challenges on our journey, our best weapon is our self-awareness. I believe I need to explore this further in a blog post. Hang in there. You can stay on track no matter what the day, experience or holiday!

  3. Skye says:

    Yay you! And yay for epiphanies! I’m so proud of your for all your good work mentally, emotionally, physically, and behaviorally! You do have the power to overcome your fear and you have the power of choice. Good going!

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