Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve struggled with food and weight for a long time. To be honest, I don’t have memories of being younger and not thinking I was fat even before I was actually fat.
Puberty sucks for all young girls and I was no exception.
At 12 years old I was 5 foot tall and 150 pounds.
I grew up with 2 older sisters who both weighed at most 110 through their teen years. And my mother was never more then 115.
Now this isn’t a sob story about how I got screwed and it’s all about genetics.
Obviously it’s not.
I ate like crazy! I loved ice cream and fast food (of course I’ll super size). I’d have 2 sandwiches for a snack and the only exercise I got was riding my bike to the store so I could buy some king size candy bars.
I was sad. I was going through puberty. We had moved away from ALL my friends (all 3 of them), and I coped with food.
At 14 or 15 I decided I had enough crying in the mirror while eating a ho-ho and wondering why I didn’t look like the rest of my family. This happened because my mom sat me down one evening and said, “You’re just as beautiful as your sisters, it’s just hidden under all this sadness”. My mom never mentioned my weight while I was binge eating. And this statement was in no way hurtful or wrong. It was my turning point. I realized that I looked just like them under all the chunk! I started telling myself I was beautiful every day and along with my new found confidence I started eating less, walking more and before I knew it, I was 115!!!
I’ll be honest though, I did not feel skinny then either.
I never looked in the mirror and said, “There. Now I’m thin and look good.”
I didn’t see pictures of myself and think, “Wow! I’m thin and gorgeous!”
I only saw flaws, flaws, and more flaws!
I spent a couple years between 115-120 and then I started gaining again, and losing, and gaining.
Then I quit smoking. The losing stopped and the gaining continued.
I started 2014 at 158 pounds; the most I’ve ever weighed. I decided I would start exercising and eating healthy (damn New Year’s resolutions).
I did not want to stand on the scale and see 160. I lost 16 pounds in a little over a month. I was taking yoga classes, using the stationary bike, planking, push-ups, etc. Then I hurt my wrist, which of course meant I couldn’t do anything! I couldn’t even continue to eat healthy.
I fell out of my routine and couldn’t find my way back.
The next big decision was to quit drinking. I haven’t had a drink in 45 days.
There were a lot of reasons I wanted to quit but one of them was to stop drinking so many calories. Wishful thinking. Giving up alcohol made me start craving sugar! I haven’t eaten so many cookies, candy bars, M&M’s, and ice cream since I was that 12-year-old fat kid.
And now all the sudden I’m back to 158 pounds.
I’ve been going back and forth in my head about what to do.
How do I make this a lifestyle change instead of a diet?
How do I lose weight and keep it off?
How do I stop myself from getting to my goal, going back to binge eating and having to start all over? Basically, how do I change?
I think I found the answer. I enjoy studying the mind and how it works. Since I’ve quit drinking I’ve actually had a great time noticing changes in my behavior. I recognize that when I crave a drink it’s because something else is going on that I don’t want to deal with. I’ve had to start addressing issues I didn’t know I had, because I was drinking them away. And just like when I quit smoking, I stepped outside of myself and realized the cravings and desires are just addiction; just some voice in my head trying to sabotage my life. It sounds dramatic but that’s what it’s doing.
“You NEED a drink!”
“It will make you feel better!”
It says all sorts of nonsense that isn’t correct. My recent epiphany was realizing that it’s the same voice telling me that I love food and hate exercising.
“You should eat a cookie. I know you’re not hungry, but they taste so good.”
“You can’t just have one. Come on. You need at least 3, or maybe even 4.”
“It’s okay if you go through Wendy’s. It will take too long to find something healthy.”
“Healthy food doesn’t taste as good as unhealthy food.”
And on and on it goes. That last one is kind of true but guess what? Sparkling grape juice doesn’t taste as good as champagne, but I don’t wake up with a headache, heartburn, and feeling like crap if I drink a bottle of sparkling grape juice. So, the moral of the story? I’m done with the sabotaging voice. I’m done with addiction.
I will make the change to a healthy lifestyle the same way I quit smoking and the same way I’ve gone 45 days without a drink. I will stop listening to it because it’s a liar, and frankly it’s an asshole. Who takes advice from a liar anyway? I’m on to a new chapter of life! And I’m going to share it the way I’ve shared everything else because it keeps me on track and keeps me honest.
Could I fall off the healthy wagon the same way I’ve fallen off and had a puff of a cigarette, or smoked a black and mild? Sure. But I’ll do the same thing I’ve done with quitting smoking; I’ve had the puff, had the black and mild, regretted it and went back to not smoking at all. I didn’t listen to the voice that said, “Oh, you failed so you should probably just go back to smoking.” And I won’t listen to it if I eat a cookie and it says, “Oh you failed, you won’t ever be skinny, you should just eat them all!”
I will not fail, the sabotaging voice will.
As I was finishing up this post the UPS guy came in with a box from Mrs. Fields for the Cookies of the Month that were a gift to the company. The sabotaging voice started skipping and doing cartwheels. That bitch is going to fall and break her neck because she’s not getting a damn cookie.