Posts Tagged ‘disordered eating’

Today is officially my last day of summer vacation (school starts tomorrow), so I figured it was time to get on the scale and really weigh in.  This is the last of my Successful Summer Weigh-Ins.

The post that I wrote on Friday was a bit of a BS recap.  I mean, I meant everything I wrote, but it was the easy way out of getting on the scale and admitting that I’d gained weight.  I knew I’d gained weight without even getting on the scale because I’d been to the doctor and saw the number there.  And even if their scale is higher than mine is, it wasn’t that much different.  The reason I avoided the scale on Friday morning was because I didn’t want to come on this blog and admit that I had fallen into old habits.  I didn’t want to admit that I’d eaten myself into the equivalent of a wasted summer.  And I didn’t want to face judgement.

But then I realized that this blog was never about putting on a happy face or avoiding the truth.  This blog is about the down and dirty of my weight loss journey.  A journey that has been a struggle for me, every step of the way.  It’s important for me to document the reality of what I’m doing, for myself.  So that I can see the patterns (which I know that all of you have seen for a long time, but when you’re the one at the center of it, it takes longer to recognize it) and make better choices.

I’ve been feeling nervous about the beginning of school and my more restricted time and a more structured schedule.  I got depressed about my high blood pressure readings.  And my reaction to all of that was to binge eat.  I know that makes no sense to those of you who don’t have a disordered relationship with food.  You would think that I’d take advantage of my last week or so of vacation and make healthy choices, both in food and exercise, which would naturally help with the BP results.  But I didn’t.  I got overwhelmed and shut down, which is my tendency.  I turned to food to numb everything. I showed no willpower and I let base cravings get the better of me.  I sat for hours on the couch and had “marathons,” but really they were just an excuse not to workout, because I know that when I workout I naturally eat better.  Again, those of you who don’t struggle this way will not understand it.  But this post isn’t for you, it’s for me. 

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 307.0, which means I set myself back to week one of the summer.  I have 26 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal.

There it is in black and white. I fucked myself over this past week, and now I have to deal with it.  Period. It’s not insurmountable by any means.  But I can’t keep losing weight and then gaining it again in moments of stress and fear.  Otherwise I’m going to get kicked out of the Bariatric program.  And there is no way that I’m going to let that happen.

I know I have a lot of work to do mentally.  I’ve already begun taking steps to put myself in a better mindset and break this cycle that I’ve been on for years.  Therapy and self help books are in the works.  I’ve decided that I’m not going to blog about this portion of the journey, because I’ve been uncovering deeply personal things, and I want to keep them private.  I’m sharing them with the therapist and a few people in my life, and that will suffice.

But I don’t want this post to be completely harsh or negative.  I’ve had an amazing summer, overall.  One week of terrible choices doesn’t negate all the fun I’ve had.  I spent most of the summer participating in a bunch of activities that I loved – walking Sofi, Zumba, Bikram yoga, swimming, Hot Hula, belly dancing, and bike riding.  I’ve made beautifully well-balanced, healthy meals for myself that all incorporated my love of fresh fruits and veggies.  I’ve documented all of this on MyFitnessPal, keeping track of my food and my workouts every single day for 9 weeks, which is no small task.  No readout on the scale can take these things away from me.

And I’m still going into the new school year weighing less than I did when I left in June, so that’s something.

Until next week, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

I disabled comments for this post because I wrote it for me.  I appreciate everyone’s support. I apologize to those who have read this again and again on this blog, and are really over it (me).  I understand your frustration, believe me, I’m living it. But I also know that I am way too determined to let anything stand in my way, so I WILL get there eventually. All of this struggle and strife is just part of my journey, I guess.  


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This morning I took a huge step toward making sure that this statement is true for me.  I made a therapy appointment.

This is big news for me for a few reasons.  First because for the longest time I viewed therapy as something that helped other people but just “wasn’t for me.”  And then I took the groundbreaking step of meeting  with a therapist late last summer and got a few insights into my disordered eating.  But I didn’t keep up the appointments because I really didn’t like the therapist that much after I met with him a couple of times.  He seemed to focus more on the way he thought I should eat (he didn’t like the 1200 calorie Kaiser diet), rather than the reasons why I overate.  Plus, he related everything to himself, which seemed more than slightly narcissistic, but what do I know.

And since that time, I’ve been struggling quite a bit with disordered eating.  I’d hold it together during the day and then come home in the afternoon and eat way too much.  Or I’d leave work on a Friday afternoon and hit the grocery store like an addict hits the corner looking for her drug of choice.  It’s been anything but healthy, even if the food I am eating during these binges is.  For every pound or two I’d lose, I’d gain another 4 in one weekend, then work those off, only to gain them back again.  It’s been an ugly cycle for a while now, and if I hope to make my Birthday Goals, I need it to stop.

Even this week I’ve been off, when I’ve had all the time in the world to workout, has left me feeling really blah and lazy.  I’ve worked out a bit, but nothing compared to what I could or should be.  And while I haven’t had any really bad episodes, I have found myself eating out of boredom several times.

When I went to that Healthy Eating class the other week at Kaiser, they had us fill out a self-evaluation to determine which of their many weight-related resources would be best suited for us.  And my results said that I should take the Food for Thought class (all about binge eating) before attempting to lose weight.  Which really hit home for me.

After all, I’ve been trying to meet the surgeon’s weight requirement for the WLS since August 2010 a goal (45 lbs) that I should have easily reached by now.  I know how to eat right, I know how to keep exercise fun so that I do it on a regular basis.  But the fact that I am an emotional eater pushes that goal further out of reach each time.  Which is frustrating, and the endless cycle drags me down and makes me feel lousy.

So, it’s time to delve into those scary recesses of my mind to figure out other ways of coping with stress, boredom and whatever else causes me to eat my troubles away.  Taking such an inward journey is never easy, but if I can learn how to stop disordered eating, it will be well worth it.  Because the WLS is a tool to help me with portions of food that I eat, but it’s not a surgery that will work on my mind.  Only I can do that.

It’s a relief to begin this work, and I’m so grateful that they had an opening for me tomorrow afternoon.  Because turning to food when I feel out of control and stressed is just a symptom of a greater problem that I am going to need help figuring out.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m living two lives.  Like I’m keeping up some sort of facade.  I feel ashamed of myself too often, and I’m worth more than the way that I’ve been treating myself.  I’m really ready and open to work with a new therapist.  I know I want to meet with her one-on-one, but maybe taking the Food For Thought group session/class would be worthwhile, as well.  I’ll definitely make sure to update you with what we decide.

Writing this post was really difficult for me, because it’s admitting a major weakness.  But I finally realized that in order to get stronger, to become whole, I have to admit to these behaviors and seek help to correct them. It’s the next step.  For now, I’d appreciate your positive thoughts that I’m able to get a grip on this so that I can reach my full potential in all areas of my life.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 3: Learn
What lesson did you learn in 2011 from “The School of Life” rather than a classroom?  Contributed by Julie Jordan Scott.


This was a hard one for me because I feel like I learn a lot of little lessons about life on a daily basis, but if I had to choose one thing that really sticks out to me, I’d say that the biggest lesson I learned was why I turn to food for comfort.

I don’t want to get into all of the details, because those are really personal, even for this blog, where it seems that nothing is off limits.  Suffice it to say that after some very emotional situations in my mid-20s, I started to turn to food to soothe myself.  I ate to feel better, to numb the emotional pain.  I ate when I was bored because I didn’t have anything to do or anyone to do it with.  I ate because it became a  habit.  I ate when I was upset, stressed, happy.  I ate because I was “starting over again tomorrow.”  I ate because I’d just blown my diet anyway.  I ate and ate and ate.

And when you start out your life as an overweight child who comes from an Italian family who sees food as one of the great joys of life, using food as comfort only compounds the problem.  I started out overweight, but became obese because I had an unhealthy relationship with food.  And once I realized the WHY behind the unhealthy and disordered eating, I could finally control/stop it.

Digging deep enough into my past to finally get to the Ah-Ha moment wasn’t easy, but it was essential.  It’s what finally freed me from those demons of feeling so bad about my behavior after a night of overeating.  It’s what helped me recognize the signs so that I could turn the behavior around before it ever began.

I still get the urge to overeat from time to time, but I try to do something instead – write a blog post, check in on Facebook, call a friend, drink a bunch of water, or go and take a walk.  After I spend 15-20 minutes doing something else, the feeling subsides and I can move on.  Or, I get the emotion out and I can move on.  Either way, I don’t turn to food to comfort me. Or at least, not as much.  And if I do eat something, I am choosing healthy options rather than junk.  Huge progress.

Learning this lesson has been (is!!) essential to taking control of my weight loss and finally getting into some downward momentum on the scale, rather than just spinning my wheels as I’ve done for years.  I’m still working on my goals, but they’re getting easier to accomplish, step by step.


If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

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Today is the beginning of my 30-ish day journey on HCG.  The goal?  Lose 25 pounds (or more!) and reach the goal weight set up by Kaiser.  I did see quite a jump on the scale this morning compared to my last weigh in, but I know that’s just the “loading days” weight and it will quickly come off.

I have the feeling that I’m going to be writing several short blog posts in that time period.  First, to keep a record of how it’s going.  And then just to “keep busy” so that I’m doing things I enjoy rather than thinking about food.

That’s one of the things I hope to get out of this diet – less reliance on my love of food.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m ever going to stop enjoying food because it’s part of who I am.  Culturally, food is an important part of life, and that’s not going to change (nor would I want it to).  But what I can try to change is my dependence on food and the disordered eating I engage in.

Scale Warfare wrote a very poignant post yesterday that you should read if you have time.  In it she discuss her concerns about the Lap Band surgery, but also about her own view on food in general.  She used the term disordered eating, and that was so clear to me; it was as if I had written the post myself.  I’ve had a distorted view of food and its role in my life since middle school.  I’ve been a disordered eater since that time, which by no coincidence is when I started to have more independence regarding my access to food that my mom didn’t prepare for me (it was much easier to use some of my Christmas money to buy chips at 7-11 when I was able to walk or ride my bike there myself).  Since then my problem has ebbed and flowed, but the fact remains that no diet or surgery is going to “cure” me of disordered eating or a distorted view of food.

What HCG can help me with is putting food in a less important place in my life.  The protocol not only takes away physical hunger, but because of the major restriction in what types of foods I’m able to eat, it also limits the amount of time that I need to spend thinking about food.  Which is so freeing.  Because up to this point, even on Medifast, I am the type of person who is always thinking about my next meal.  Part of that is because I want to make sure I have a plan in place in order to stay on track with my weight loss, but the negative side of so much planning is that food is on my mind at all times while I’m awake.  I’m really hoping to break that cycle over the next 30 days, and I’m confident I can do it, because I know that it’s time to.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m going to enjoy cooking and eating food any less once I have Lap Band surgery and I’m in my “new life.”  It just means that I’ll be able to have a healthier relationship with food by then.  At least I’m hoping to.

But back to the diet.  So far this morning (it’s 11:04am) I haven’t had one single thing to eat and I’m not hungry at all.  Which means these drops are working!  Here’s what my day looks like:

Morningonly black coffee, sweetened with Stevia.  This is different for me, because usually I have sugar free hazelnut Coffeemate in my coffee.  Breaking my dependence on that chemically-laden non-dairy creamer is going to be a huge side benefit of this HCG protocol.

Lunch – spinach with 100 grams (3.5 oz) of steamed chicken breast, 2 melba snacks, and an apple.    I am so happy that I know about the Ziploc Zip ‘n’ Steam bags, because cooking the chicken breasts was so simple and easy last night.  I just popped it in the bag and 3 minutes later I had lunch.  I was surprised by how little 100 grams of meat really is.  It’s less than half of a chicken breast fillet (which is already smaller than a normal chicken breast).  Since spices and vinegar are “free,” my dressing for the salad will be pure red wine vinegar along with  garlic powder and fresh-ground pepper. Not very exciting, but not terrible.

Dinner100 grams of grilled tri-tip steak, a “handful” of strawberries, 2 melba round snacks, and collard greens. The protocol directions stress that it’s important to vary the protein, veg, and fruit so that you’re not eating the same thing for both meals of the day.  

Throughout the day I’ll be drinking tons of water to help stave off hunger (and stay hydrated).  Since I’m not able to use Crystal Light (too many chemicals) and plain water can get boring, I decided to add two Tazo tea bags to my water container last night.  I filled it with ice cubes and water and then added 2 stevia packets.  I just tasted it and it is delicious!  Another “discovery” that will help me curb my use of artificial products.

The drops themselves are taken 3 times a day, with nothing to eat/drink 20 min. prior to taking drops, and nothing to eat/drink 20 min. after taking the drops.  You take the drops sublingually (under the tongue) and are supposed to keep them there for about 30 seconds before swallowing.  They’re tasteless, which is good.  I’m very thankful that they’re not bitter or otherwise bad-tasting.  The main thing is, they’re working.

I just realized that the portions that I’ll be consuming on HCG will be more in line with the way I’ll be eating after surgery (although I think post- surgery calories are around 1000-1200).  Knowing that makes me feel that this really is meant to be because it will fit right in line with my new life.

I’m not sure that I’ll be writing daily posts, but when I do, I will include my food log.  Not because I want to emphasize the food (because I just wrote 800 words all about how I don’t want food to be the center of my life anymore), but just so that I can have a public record of it.

So far, so good on VLCD 1.  This might just work.

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