Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fat Days

Warning: Another fat girl post.

In January, I took what I considered a brave step and quit WW and dieting. I was giddy but scared because I really don't trust myself around food or food choices. And unlike many other posts I read (oh I quit dieting and I weigh the same as I did then six months later), I weigh much more than when I quit dieting. Okay I don't know if I weigh more because I refuse to step on the scales but I have outgrown all my clothes and have had to do several emergency shopping trips to buy bigger clothes.

I'd like to say that through this all I've been calm as I munched my way through entire packages of no bake cookies or half of the birthday cake left over from Camille's party. I'd like to say I enjoyed every bite of whole servings of queso dip from our fav. Mexican restaurant. But I haven't. And it's not much that I was wracked by guilt but more that I was just moving my mouth and not even enjoying what went into it. The eating that started as a way to relieve thesis anxiety continued once that anxiety passed. And my huge, pregnant looking belly is evidence of that...and I can't say I've really enjoyed the preparation that went into that belly. And exercise just fell by the wayside I might add. When I'm not eating healthy I tend to not move my body.

The last month has been very very hard for my self-esteem. I feel gross. Not just in how I look but in how I feel. I'm sluggish, tired, and kind of depressed. There are some days better than others but lately it feels like all days have turned into fat days. I wake up feeling huge, cumbersome, and just nasty. I dress without looking in the mirror, and sometimes burst into tears when yet another item of clothing that no longer fits. I struggle to remember to not beat myself up, to love my body because I know I am struggling with an addiction.

Then I got my hair cut. Now normally this is something that would have made me feel great about myself. I love getting my hair done, and when my hair looks good, I feel great no matter my weight. I knew this could be an opportunity for me to pick myself back up. But no, I ended up with a hair cut that I hated. I just wanted something, anything that I could hold onto to make myself feel pretty. It was like a blow to be honest, and it laid me low for a few days.

Add to this the realization I had the other night. My whole problem with being disappointed with weight loss is that even thin I don't look the way I want. I want to look like this girl Rachel I went to college with. She had that perfect, thin, curvy shape...hourglass, big ass, etc. And she had red hair with prefect creamy white skin. Basically being thin did not make me feel beautiful, because thin did not turn me into the woman I wanted to look like. Thin was just me but smaller.

Disgusted and unhappy, I decided to diet. H was semi on board as he's gained weight right along with me. I felt guilty about turning to dieting, and even more guilty when my mom decided to join me (she's been not dieting as well). I wasn't sure I really wanted to diet but I didn't know what else to do. Eating whatever I wanted was not doing much for me to be honest. I felt of out of control like I do when I start smoking. If there was something junkie or sweet in the house, I'd consume it in a sitting. But the thought of dieting filled me with dread.

Day one: I didn't eat anything processed all day and the only sugar I had was in my coffee (OK I ate one piece of the kids' community Hershey bar). I felt good, not hungry. Not much in the energy department but I did walk for almost an hour and did Yoga in the morning. I did vow with my mom that I would eat if I was hungry. I promised myself a long time ago (even before WW) that I'd never go hungry.

Day two: I was starving! But I did eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I also said "Fuck this diet." I just can't do it anymore. But I also can't fully do the whole "intuitive eating" thing. Here's why: First, I don't fully believe that we can really know biological hunger. I just don't think we can separate all our cultural garbage from biological need. Second, I realized that if I treat myself as I would my children I'd not let them eat a whole package of cookies (which trust me they'll do). I try to teach them to make healthy food choices, and I make sure how house as more of them than it does sugary, processed foods. My children don't just naturally eat healthy food. Trust me they'll choose the cookie over the grapes. But if we limit how many cookies are in the house, they gravitate towards healthy foods. This means, that in some ways I have to see myself as training my body to gravitate towards better choices. But this doesn't mean, it's a diet or that I'm depriving myself. I do the same thing that I do when I quit smoking: "If you really want a cake, you can totally have that cake." Just knowing that I could have it if I want it usually makes me not want it.

Day Three: Today. Well I do feel better. I feel way more in control of things. The exercise feels good. Eating healthy food feels good. Still not in love with the old body but am not sinking deeper into depression either. Maybe feeling like I have some control over my compulsive eating will clear up some space to deal with body image...now if only my hair would miraculously grow back!

4 comments:

Lolabola* said...

the warning at the beginning made laugh and then wonder what I would put instead of fat if I had to give a warning at the beginning of a post about something I feel guilty writing about. 'warning: Another *sshole post' came to mind but that is only because *sshole is my default word for everything about myself that I can't be bothered to think about.

I think it's so great that you write about this and in such detail. We all have our "fat" issues. by that I mean, we do things to comfort, avoid, etc. because we feel "fat", or whatever other self-deprecating thing, even though doing them makes us feel more so. and then there's the guilt (damn you guilt!) but beyond that is the self-awareness and it's so cool that you are there AND are writing about it.

I find myself often in the avoiding the fact that I'm avoiding stage.....

John B-R said...

Lolabola's right. There's a lot about you that's amazing.

Erica said...

I'm another compulsive eater and also have a fat problem. Most of my clothes don't fit me now. I need to lose weight but don't want to diet either.

I've been trying to have more healthy choices at home, but when I buy cookies or nutella jars, I can't stop eating them.

I really need to do something about it. But don't know what. The only time I lost weight was -as I think I mentioned before- when I was on a restricted diet that I made for myself because if I didn't follow it I felt I was poisoning my daughter who was nursing.

Now, I have tried to think that I'm poisoning my body when I eat junk/processed food, but it doesn't work.

Maybe I should write about it, or keep a dairy of what i eat, or have a menu ready for a whole week and follow it...

I don't know. But I need to do something soon.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Erica,
I am not one that really promotes self help books (love them myself) but I'm reading a book about overcoming compulisve eating that is doing wonders for me. It's really helping to a, accept my bodyl, and b, learn the underlining reasons why I eat like this anyway!