Sunday, June 05, 2011

Facing the Facts

This morning, I had planned on writing about food addictions.  Before I started writing, I read the new blog posts from my blogger friends...just like I always do...and I came across a piece of blogging gold from my friend, Colleen, at Goodbye, Fat Girl.  Go read the post - it's so powerful...and pretty much exactly covering what I was going to write about this morning.

Her responses to the information in her post hit me...hard.  I could have said that I wrote them myself - that's how much they relate to my current dilemma...and what I've been dealing with.

So, instead of writing about food addictions in general - which was the current plan - I will ask that you go and read Colleen's post and I will write about my specific issues here.

The very first post I ever made on this blog - in March, 2009 - started out with "Hello, my name is Joanna and I'm addicted to food".  Now, two years later, I could write another post starting the exact same way.

When I wrote my first blog post here, I was still lost - I was still trying fad diets, and I ended up falling off the wagon shortly after starting. A year later, I picked up the pieces and started over again...and that's what I've been doing ever since.

I am still addicted to food.  It's hard to admit, especially after committing to a journey of weight loss - and being on that journey pretty consistently for the past 16 months.

For the first year of my journey, I accomplished amazing things.  I lost 70lbs, I worked out consistently, I planned my meals with perfection, I drank water by the gallons.  I was committed - make that obsessed - with losing weight.  The dedication I had to losing the weight overpowered my addiction to food....temporarily.  I didn't look at facing my food addiction - I looked at trying to "cure" it. 

Now, as I reflect on this year, I've noticed that my behavioral patterns have changed.  I no longer have the obsession I had last year with losing weight - and what's happened since?  My food addiction is getting stronger again. 

Two years ago, I was a hardcore emotional eater.  There was always a food associated with an emotion: Happy, sad, frustrated, excited, angry, or overwhelmed.  I knew I could find some form of food to help me in dealing with the emotions. 

I fought, hard, in finding replacements to emotional eating.  I managed to get my eating in check - and even though I still enjoyed food...I found comfort in healthier options, finding fun activities, and staying busy.  I no longer looked for food.

So, what's different this year?  Well, I couldn't really answer that - until I read Colleen's blog this morning.  As I look at my life this year compared to last year - I can see what's causing this on surge of emotional eating.  Last year, I was the "happy go lucky" college student.  I was busy all of the time - stressed - but not more than I was used to being.  I loved being in school, working, juggling a family and still finding time to work-out and reach my goals.  I had a mission.  I had a purpose. 

This year, things have been very different.  Since Christmas there has been only two things on my mind - graduating and finding a job.  Those were stresses that were new to me - kind of.  When I look at my past - anytime I entered "uncertain" territory, I turned to food.  Being in an abusive relationship - turn to food.  Leaving the abusive relationship - turn to food.  Moving to a different state, where I knew no one - turned to food.  Coming home from that state having no idea what I was going to do - turned to food.  There's a pattern here. 

I've now come to a point of my life where I'm uncertain what the future holds.  I'm done with the comforts of studying, going to class, going to work, juggling the family - the lifestyle I knew and embraced.  Now, I'm finished with school.  I'm unemployed.  Student loans looming over my head.  It's all put me back into "food addict" mode. 

The past two months have been the worst.  I've binged.  I've overeaten.  I've threw away my meal plans.  I've practically given up on any exercise.  Today, I am only 10lbs lighter than what I was in January...and the sad part is, I've actually lost 20lbs since January...but 10lbs of it comes and goes in waves.

Every time I've lit my fire to get back on track - I get news of another job let down.  That immediately puts me back into depressive, emotional eating mode.

I'm ready for it all to stop.

There is only one way that I can overcome this situation - by taking one day at a time.  That's exactly what I plan on doing.  If I make a mistake, I get back up the next day and start over.  I keep my mind focused on getting healthy.  I originally started this journey because I didn't want to be a "fat teacher"... I have to use that, now.  I now have to look at my not finding a job as extra time to get myself prepared for being a teacher - a thin, healthy, strong, and fit teacher.

Yesterday, I started "Fat Woman Bootcamp".  I said I would post my achievements each day.  Yesterday, I...
  • Ran/walked 2 miles
  • Drank 64ozs of water
  • Made my meal plan for the week
  • Went shopping and stuck to my list - filled with healthy, fresh, wholesome items
  • Kept my calories in range with my target
It wasn't all perfect.  I did partake in some alcoholic beverages last night - but that was planned.  I put a limit on how much I would drink - and I stuck to it.

Today, I'm going to a birthday party.  I'm ready.  I'm prepared.  My mind is starting to filter the negative, and slowly let in the girl I knew last year.  I've missed her so much - and hopefully, she's coming back for good.

Till next time. ;)
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  1. I love the idea of posting your achievements rather than your goals. It just makes the process a little more positive instead of negative when we don't achieve our daily goals. Good luck...we can do it!

  2. Where can I find more information about the Fat Woman Boot Camp?

    Thanks so much for reading my post. It was extremely difficult to write and once I hit "publish" I felt a bit like I was walking down a busy street naked. But it's something I needed to do and I'm so glad I did. You can't imagine the number of emails / twitter DM's & tweets that I've gotten saying thank you for posting it. That in and of itself is reward for my fear of publishing it in the first place.

    Don't be afraid to reach out your hand when you need a little pulling, because chances are I'm going to need a little pushing now and again.



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