So, I know this is a bit delayed, but I’ve had lots going on. In any case, here we are, 11 weeks into this, and I have hit a wall. Things have been so good and I really and truly believed that I was not going to struggle with eating disorder issues anymore. But then I had a couple of not great weeks. I still lost 1 lb over those two weeks, but I definitely wasn’t eating what I should have been eating. And that’s when things began to get hard emotionally. I had some pretty high expectations for last week. I was ready to recommit. That was the plan.
The thing is, when planning, sometimes I think only about what I want and not what is realistic. Realistically, losing weight last week would have been extremely difficult. I was going to be traveling, I had two other dinners planned with friends on top of the trip. And once things started to go downhill, I just lost all control, which is a weird form of control in and of itself. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I get to this place (and it’s been a while, which is why this week was so hard for me) where I basically say “eff you” to my body and my lame-o metabolism. I think, “Fine, if you’re not going to cooperate, I’m not going to cooperate.”
Since my food intake and exercise levels are totally within my control, whereas my metabolism, body shape, etc. are not (not totally, anyway), I have two ways of taking control. One is to not eat and exercise obsessively. The other is to eat everything in sight and stop exercising. Both are unhealthy. Both end with me being miserable, either because I can’t maintain the one and end up gaining back anything I lose, or because I gain weight and feel horrible about how lazy I am.
Well, I was out of control in D.C. I won’t go into the gory details, but the worst part was at the airport on the way home. I had two hours to sit there, and all kinds of food options. I wish I could describe to those of you who have never struggled with this what it feels like to think about food constantly; to think about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t it, what you already ate, what you are going to eat. It is miserable. And the worst part is, I am aware of what’s going on. I am aware that it’s not healthy. I am aware that I am not really hungry. I am aware that I am going to be really angry at myself after I make certain choices. I know all of this, and yet, when I get to a certain point, I just can’t stop.
So, there was some serious binge eating going on. Thankfully, there was no purging, laxatives or otherwise, but I still felt miserable. I got home and thought, “Okay, tomorrow will be better.” But I hadn’t forgiven myself. I was still so mad that I had lost control. So while it’s nice to think, “tomorrow will be better”, if you can’t let go of yesterday or today, you can’t really get to tomorrow. Tomorrow was not better. And then it was Wednesday morning.
I was not in a good place. My week had been so busy that I had yet to run even once, which only adds to the depressed feelings. While I don’t necessarily love to run (and sometimes I really and truly hate it), I definitely like the endorphins. I woke up Wednesday morning (after choosing to snooze my alarm and not run, once again) and decided that, since I couldn’t handle going to my meeting having not lost any weight, I needed to just starve myself Wednesday and Thursday.
Thankfully, I am healthy enough now (emotionally) that I let that thought sit for about a minute before deciding that I did not really want to do that. And that is when I decided that, if going to my meeting was going to cause me this much stress, that I did not need to go. And that is how I ended up not going to my meeting.
I weighed myself, so I know where I’m at (on my scale) and I gained about 3 lbs. While I’m not fine with that, I have been working on forgiving myself so that I can move on and so far (you know, yesterday), this week has been better.
I have figured a few things out. I realized that I really do have to calculate everything I eat into points and do it realistically and then write it down. Part of what I was doing was overestimating point values. I know that sounds weird. Most people underestimate. However, when I don’t know a point value, I just guestimate and I want to be safe, so I overshoot. Well, then I know that I’ve overshot, so I allow myself to fudge a little here and there. And, apparently, the “here and there” add up to more than the overestimations. Seriously, don’t try and understand why my head works the way it does. I’ve lived with myself for 29 years and still don’t get it. But, at least I’ve learned how it works, so I can manage it.
I am feeling pretty good. It was a good reminder that, really, eating disorders never do leave you. I think, after 8 weeks, I was lulled into this sense of security. The truth is, I will probably be fighting this battle the rest of my life. And I’m okay with that. It’s better than lots of other things lots of other people have to deal with. I just need to remember that such is the case. It’s in the moments when I feel so strong that I am the most vulnerable, because it is in those moments that I forget how hard I have had to work to get to where I am.
So, as for weight loss, it didn’t happen this week, but I am choosing to not make that official, because I can do that.
I am a runner, too, and while some days I can just be a runner, I’m very aware that there are other mornings when I’m out there shuffling along the trails or pavement as puishment to myself for not eating “well” (which, to me, means “for eating too much”). Your post is inspiration to me to work on forgiveness. Thank you for sharing this, even with those of us who don’t know you, but were lucky enough to stumble across your blog.
Your honesty and well-thought out expose is spot on. I do the same thing, think the same thing, and struggle with the same thing. I hope your next week is better and more calm so that you can focus when you need to.
Thanks for sharing that. It helps me understand the thought process behind the disorder. I have a friend struggling, and so I’ve been trying to research it. What a hard thing.
I linked to your blog from Amy M’s, and wow, am I so glad I did. I have stuggled with the same issues for years. You are so brave to share. I want to weight watchers after my son was born, I lost 40 pounds, and thought I was “cured” of my eating disorder and eating problems – not so. (A year and a half later, I need to lose those 40 pounds again)Thank you so much for sharing!
I like that one of your labels is confessions- not a lot of us could put it out there like this. I get the thinking about food constantly and you described it oh so well. How you tell yourself you don’t want it and you are going to be angry about it and then you do it anyway. Always thinking, thinking, thinking. I loved how you put “It’s in the moments when I feel so strong that I am the most vulnerable”- so well put. I have done the 12 week BFL program and it is always around week 8 that I start to get comfortable and have to really watch myself and recommit and tell myself that feeling good is something worth fighting for.You can do this! Look how hot you looked in that business suit. You are a runner- I want to be a runner. You inspire. Your honesty in this struggle is inspiring.
I can understand much of what you were dealing with last week. I am a stress/mood eater and can find myself stuck in eating poorly and then feeling miserable and angry too.Good for you for realizing your strong points and points to work on and deciding to start fresh.You will get through this difficult phase!! Hang in there!
You’ve done a great job thinking through this. You know your weaknesses (like that over estimating points thing; which, by the way, I do too!) and your strengths and you’re still trying. You are right about this being something life long. I can attest to this! I actually reached my goal, but you know it hasn’t ended. I still struggle. I have good weeks and bad weeks. Sigh.You can do it Chloe!
There definitely is a sense of control in totally losing control. I think there are a lot of reasons for that.Good job on not swinging to the other extreme in response. That really is impressive.Oh, and I forgot to mention on the comment for the previous post- the new suit for the presentation was totally hot.
I love you Chloe. Aren’t you so glad that you have come to know yourself so well? Although we are in different boats, I think I do the same thing. I’m not hungry and yet all I think about is food sometimes. It’s hard to struggle with yourself- just remember not to be too hard on yourself and just keep plugging along, as they say it’s the journey right?!