Weighty Matters

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Food Anxiety

on April 8, 2013

Before I get all of the way into the topic, here’s a recap.  The weekend was terrific.  I loved how I looked and felt in my little black dress.  I didn’t mind the panty hose at all, except that they were supposed to be sandal foot and weren’t which annoyed me.  I should have folded the toes of the hose under my foot and taped them there, but I ended up just saying f*&k it, it is what it is and went about enjoying the celebration.

I realized when I looked at the photo, I no longer automatically think, “You’re fat.”  I look at that photo I posted yesterday and others from the night and think, “Wow, I’m totally rocking that dress.”

Yesterday I did my planned shopping trip.  I bought a new  scale, under the brand of Weight Watchers.  It not only does my weight but claims to measure my body fat percentage, the number of pounds of my overall weight that are made up of fat, my hydration and bone weight.  The rest of those things are superfluous to me on a daily basis but they’re nice to know.  I guess if I keep stalling but see the number of fat pounds reduce, which means that my muscle weight is growing, it will be a good mental boost.  We’ll see.

Since I was “off the rock” and shopping, I ventured into Kohl’s.  This was a first time visit.  What a nice store.  Even the restrooms and dressing rooms are nicely decorated.  The Woman’s Department could have been a little bigger and I didn’t love a lot of the styles.  Many seemed to me to be more “plus sized for older women” rather than “plus sized for fashionable not-quite-as-old women”.  (If that makes any sense.)  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe in dressing age-appropriate.  I just don’t think that, at 55, I should wear clothes that someone even older might find appropriate.

Whatever the case, I found two pairs of size 18W shorts, which I badly need because my other shorts are bagging off of me and I wear shorts to work pretty much every day.  I added a pair of navy capri length pants which will go with so many things.  Then I picked up some stone cropped pants and a single top.  All on sale.  I’m now done.  Even with weight that I plan to lose in the next three weeks, I have enough variety between yesterday and a few weeks ago to get me through an upcoming conference.  I’ll be able to wear clothes that fit well and are stylish and I didn’t break the bank.  Plus, they’re freaking 18Ws!  This adds weight, pardon the pun, to my belief that even though my total weight is taking it’s own damn sweet time to go down, overall my body is, indeed, getting smaller in inches.  This helps keep me from getting discouraged.

Now on to the actual topic.  Food Anxiety.  I know I discussed this last summer when the hurricane was approaching, but that was in a different context.  Then, I talked about how I’d always want to horde food ahead of a storm because I always got anxious about being able to get to my binge foods during storm events, or about running out of food.

Right now, I’m experiencing a different kind of food anxiety.  Last week I decided to jump start my metabolism by taking in more of my nutrition in full liquid form for a couple of weeks.  I realize that some of my motivation for this is a flashback to whenever I’d need to go to the doctor’s appointment.  I would want to produce the best weight loss number possible to avoid getting scolded by the doctor.  It’s almost like I needed to produce a false positive.  Speaking of flashbacks, wow, I just had a big one!  Pardon me while I digress.  When I was 15 or 16 and working for my Dad’s medical practice, there were two good looking resident doctors training with him.  They decided that they were going to put me and the radiation tech on diets.

This was humiliating and painful, particularly because I had a huge teenage crush on one of the doctors.  I can’t remember how long the effort lasted before they gave up, but the weekly weigh-ins were agonizing.  One week, in a desperate attempt to produce a better number, I biked to my grandparents’ condo a day or two before the weigh-in and stole a water pill/diuretic from my grandmother’s prescription bottle.  Wow, again.  I haven’t thought about that in decades.

Back to the present.  I know that I want a good weight loss before I next see my surgeon on April 26th, and that’s part of this “full liquids” effort, but there’s more to my motivation.  I Just. Want. These. Last. 60ish. Pounds. Gone.  If taking my nutrition in more liquid form for a couple of weeks can help me knock off a bunch of pounds more quickly than I’ve been doing, then so what?  I’m monitoring my protein intake and deliberately not putting myself into “starving” mode.

Some of this is about reducing my choices by defining the boundaries of what I will take in.  For some reason, this is easier for me to do in this way.  Smoothies, protein drinks, and blended soups satisfy me without making me want to instinctively round out the meal with potato, rice, bread or pasta.  I do not expect to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, the way that I did when I went onto full liquids and only full liquids before the surgery.  I just want to lose as much as my body will reasonably, and healthfully tolerate.

But I’m anxious.  I’ve had some doubt creep in about my ability to see this through to the end.  I don’t know where it’s coming from and I don’t even think the fear and doubt are particularly valid.  They’re like false negatives, if that’s even a term.   However, every once in a while they show up and make me anxious.

Take today for instance.  I planned everything in advance.  Smoothie with protein powder for breakfast.  Small serving of classic tomato soup in late morning.  Protein drink mid-afternoon.  Some green tea a couple of times throughout the day.  An appropriate serving of flat iron steak with veggies for dinner.  Some grapefruit sections tonight.  For the record, I’ve been right on the money with the plan all day.

But I’ve stressed about it here and there.  Mostly, I worried as I sipped the soup that it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy me and then I would jump the gun and have the protein drink too early which would throw me off schedule.  Anxious, worrisome thoughts spinning in my brain like a hepped-up hamster.  I started wishing that I’d brought in my snack mix or a cheese stick, just something that would calm me down because I’d know that I had the food if I needed it — even if I never ate them.

Even when I wished those things I had to call bullshit on myself.  I know damn well that if I bring in snack mix, a cheese stick, a protein bar or anything else on a “just in case” basis, I will eat them “just because” they’re present.

I’m so grateful to have established this blog so I can come here and work out this process instead of giving into the anxiety and old food patterns.  Because I’m thinking and writing about the issue instead of eating off the plan, I believe that I will be stronger and calmer tomorrow.

Tonight I am turning over the anxiety to the Universe and my Higher Power and letting go.  I also firmly resolve that I will not take the anxiety back tomorrow. 🙂

I have my plan in place for tomorrow and will follow it for the day.  Whether I experience anxiety is irrelevant.  I can experience it throughout the day but not need to eat over it.

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5 responses to “Food Anxiety

  1. Hope says:

    How awful of those doctors to put you on that diet! I just want to go back in time and give you a hug. 😦

  2. Mama_Abbie says:

    Great comments. BTW, when I saw that picture of you in your “little black dress” last post, my first thought was, “Wow! She has great collar bones!”

  3. Susanne says:

    I’ve said this before, but I’m absolutely in awe of your honesty and how you work through your changes. Big cyber hug.

  4. Skye says:

    This post really speaks to me, because I carry a lot of anxiety around most of the time. And I agree with you that thinking and writing about it will help you tomorrow. I know that my blogging helps me. And I can see it in your blog posts, how you might start out feeling one way and then work and think your way through to another way by the end. Your self-awareness and belief in yourself are key to your success and you excel in both of them. It really is inspirational and helpful to read your blog, plus I love reading about your successes and your thrills and happinesses. Congrats on achieving the 18W! Keep on doing what you’re doing because it’s working!

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