Well, hello there. Quick warning- this post may not be the most uplifting, so if you're looking for motivation/inspiration, you might just want to check out now.
I'm also going to attempt the be as honest and blunt as possible. I've been keeping a lot of things to myself lately and it's only been making things worse, so bear with me.
Basically, I've been in a pretty dark place the past 2-3 weeks. I've been binging off and on ever since the onset of Thanksgiving, but the past few weeks have seen me taking it to more extreme levels (driving to the grocery store specifically to buy junk food, binging on said junk food when no one else is around, using laxatives, feeling guilty and overexercising/restricting in an attempt to get rid of said guilt).
Typical page out of an eating disorder book, unfortunately.
My obese days saw me compulsively overeating, but I must admit, my recent behavior has just flat out scared me. It doesn't even feel like a relapse because the feelings of fullness and guilt were much worse than they were 5, 10 years ago. New territory, if you will.
There's a lot going on inside my head, too much to list here, but primarily, I, even after having lost over 90 pounds through healthy diet and exercise, still lack a sense of self-worth and appreciation. When I look to eating disorder support, the main thing everybody wants me to do is love myself. And because I was in a "must lose weight!" mindset for over 2 years, I assumed that loving myself would mean being comfortable with myself and being comfortable with myself would lead to weight gain. And weight gain does not equal happiness.
I KNOW I should be proud of myself. I KNOW I have a good life with people who love and support me, no matter what (or, more specifically, what size I wear), so why can't I just get over it? I guess after spending a good chunk of my life (well over 15 years, I'd say) picking myself apart, hating my body and constantly reminding myself of my flaws, it's difficult to flip on that "I'm awesome!" switch and really, truly feel it.
So I'm gonna be taking some time to back-track, re-learn some basics and just try to get centered because I've reached a point of exhaustion. I don't have a full plan laid out quite yet, but here are some things I'm gonna at least try over the next few weeks:
*Abstaining from tracking food. Yes, this probably sounds counter-productive, but right now, counting calories and WW points has just been making me really anxious and triggering binges whether I see I'm under my daily allowance, over or close to going over. I'll probably at least write down what I eat as a means of weaning myself down a bit and maintaining some control, but numbers aren't my friends right now.
*Ditching the heart rate monitor to see how many calories I burn during exercise. Again, it's a numbers thing. I've been getting back into running this week and if I focus on anything, I'd rather it be miles instead of calories. Seeing the distance just makes me feel stronger and more accomplished whereas seeing the number of calories burned just sends me into a frenzy where I start thinking "Ok, I burned off food A, B and C. If I keep going for X minutes, I might be able to burn off food D, etc." I haven't done distance running in a while and I miss it. And I don't want the purpose of running to be based solely on calorie burn. Where's the fun in that?
*Yoga. Yoga always makes me feel better and more centered, as hippy-ish as that sounds. I was starting to do it regularly months ago, but when I got distracted with weight training and HIIT routines, it fell off my radar completely. Makes sense that that's when my eating started to falter as well.
*Doing away with the "Three meals plus 2 snacks!" schedule. I forced myself to stick with this schedule because I read that that was the only way to a healthy eating lifestyle, more or less. I need to focus on eating only when I'm hungry. I need to re-acquaint myself with the feeling of hunger. Between scheduled snacks, boredom eating and binging, I've only known what it feels like to be overly full lately and I hate it. Still going to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, of course, but snacks will be optional and mealtimes will be whenever my body tells me, not the clock.
Those are the basic changes for now. And of course I won't be stepping on the scale much. My clothes are fitting better, and that's the main form of measurement I want to go by for now. I stepped on the scale this morning and am going to try and hold off until at least the end of next week, or longer.
Baby steps. And utilizing support/resources more instead of assuming I can solve everything on my own. I can't. And I shouldn't.
This was intended to be a weight-loss/weight maintenance blog, with all of the fun and happy tips, recipes and moments of success. And if you go back far enough, I suppose it still is. But too much planning, lack of honesty and not enough self-forgiveness has backfired. I'm not going to turn this into an eating disorder recovery blog, but still wanted to share an important, albeit unfortunate, part of this journey because it's all linked together in some way or another.
For the first time in my life, I truly feel sorry for the utter and complete disrespect I've been showing my body lately. I've caused it so much physical and emotional stress that I'm surprised it hasn't crapped out on me yet. And though I hate to admit it, I think that's part of what kept the cycle going; the act of testing my body to see how much abuse it could take and for how long. Well, I no longer want to know.