Monday, 20 June 2011

Time To Face It, I'm In A Mess

I'm afraid this post could be very long and rambly, not sure, but I somehow need to get these thoughts out of my head and onto the screen.
The last few months, since hitting my weight loss goal really, I've not been happy. We've had lots of things go wrong at home which have put us under lots of stress, and caused us financial worries, and I've kept telling myself I've been feeling anxious, angry, irritable, upset and depressed because of that and that once these things got sorted I'd start to feel better. It hasn't happened....
Losing the weight now I look back seemed really easy, I exercised hard, ate healthily and if I wanted something off plan per say I just told myself no and it worked.
However since I hit goal I can't seem to find a balance at all. I needed to start eating more to stop me losing more weight, but that's where the problems started. I think my brain is a mess because whenever I eat something which would formerly be off plan it's as if a switch is flicked and this voice says oh well, you've been bad now, you might as well keep eating, all those things you wanted and didn't have much while losing, get them all and eat them quick because you need to go back on plan tomorrow. And so those small extras have been turning into huge binges. Up to 4 days in a row on one occasion... I then tried eating a little more during the week, a small extra snack on a night, in the hope that not feeling as deprived mid week would stop me ending up binging on a weekend, but that hasn't worked either, it's just meant I've eaten even more overall...
My lowest weight was 130.2lbs but I haven't seen that number in weeks now. The number on the scale shoots up over the weekend when I'm binging, then I work desparately hard during the week to get it back down again, but I'm still not able to get it back that low before the next binge hits. If I'm honest I'd say I'm averaging about 135lbs now so up about 5lbs. I know a lot would say that 5lbs is nothing to stress over, but I am stressed over it. I don't feel like I'm in control anymore, like I can't fight the binges long enough to make any headway in losing those extra pounds. I feel like I'll never see that low weight again and it's just a matter of time before all the 140+ pounds I lost will be back on...
I realised this morning that I feel like my slim body (albeit with lots of sagging skin which really upsets me and cannot be rectified without surgery, which we can't afford) is actually just a disguise and I'm putting on an act, and it's still the same me hiding inside, sad, depressed, lonely etc, and it's only a matter of time before the weight goes back on and everyone realises what a fraud I am... I made so many new friends while losing the weight, at the gym etc, and deep down I feel like if I gain the weight back they will no longer want be my friends, like the instructors who were so encouraging will be disgusted with me, like the people who have said I'm an inspiration will be disappointed in me, and those people who didn't think I'd do it will rub their hands together and laugh at me behind my back and say they knew I couldn't keep it off.
So I feel under such huge pressure to keep the weight off and so maintain this disguise. During the week I have to keep up the facade because I'm at the gym, seeing all these people each day, then on a weekend when it's usually just DH, DD and I, and the pressure is off I feel like I can't keep up the front anymore and the binge takes hold. I lost this weight for me and me alone, so why do I now feel such a huge responsibility to keep it off because I'm so terrified of what other people will think? Why can't I be proud and happy with what I achieved and enjoy where I am? Why can't I get the me inside to be at peace with the me outside?
This last week has been the worst week mood wise and I hit rock bottom last night while watching tv with DH when I suddenly had some very vivid suicidal thoughts. I haven't had suicidal thoughts in about 3 years, so this shocked me to the core. I made an excuse to go to bed and just broke down when I got upstairs. I haven't cried like that in as long as I can remember, and when DH came to bed even though I'd dried my face etc he knew something was very wrong and I ended up blurting everything out. He did listen and try to help, but he really doesn't understand my depression or my weight issues. I explained that I desparately don't want to go back on anti-depression medication as while they have worked short term in the past, in the end they've just made me numb to everything, and I've had one hell of a time getting off them afterwards. Cognitive behaviour therapy worked well for me for other issues so I agreed I would ring my old therapist today and see if I could arrange to go and see him again.
There is no answer on the number I have for him this morning and a search of the internet hasn't brought anything up either so I'm now assuming he is no longer there, although I am going to keep trying. I'm that desparate that I've rung my doctor and have made an appointment for next Monday to see him. I could see someone else sooner but I don't trust anyone else like I do him and he helped me so much in the past. I just don't know if I can actually get through the next week, and even then I can only see him giving me medication which I really don't want, so what's the alternative?
The only saving grace today is that DD is off school sick with a high temp, headache and iffy tummy, so I'm having to hold it together for her sake. Left to my own devices today I know there would be lots more tears and black thoughts....

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Before & After Pics

I've been feeling so down this last month or so, I'm really struggling to just get through the day and I know I'm in the grip of depression again because I don't want to do any of the things I usually love doing, like going to the gym, socialising and stitching etc.
I'm now on Day 18 of no binging but it's not getting any easier and to be honest the last couple of days have been harder than ever. I've forced myself to go to the gym each day this week and worked out hard because I know it makes me feel better to release some of the stress, but it seems as soon as I come home and back to reality I sink straight back down to rock bottom. The nights are the worse for the binge urges, and weekends when DH and DD are both home, but right now I'm just trying to take it hour by hour as I can't even think of managing a full day.
I feel very sorry for my DH and DD as they are having to deal with me being so down and not interested in anything, plus I'm very irritable and tearful and they're getting the brunt of it. I do have the odd spell each day when I feel a bit brighter just for a few minutes, and I'm working on trying to extend those spells somehow. I've also been making myself sit down and do my cross stitch on a night, even if only for half an hour, as it helps me relax and takes my mind off things a bit.
I know that the events over the last 4/6 weeks have contributed massively to how I'm feeling, and so I keep putting off going to the doctors because I really don't want medication. I'm not saying I'm against it, I've been treated for depression several times since my teens following events in my childhood which will stick with me for the rest of my life, and when I've had medication it has helped for a while, but I always seem to end up with different problems than what I started with, which isn't really my aim. The counselling I had a couple of years ago was the most helpful, but I'd have to go on a waiting list again I think. Anyway, for now I'm working on the assumption that if I can get through the next couple of weeks and get things turned around at home with all the problems we're having then hopefully my mood might start to improve and the need for a visit to the doctor might lessen.
SO, as a way of trying to reiterate to myself how far I've come in the last almost 2 years and how much better off I am really even with my current problems, I went looking for before and after photos!
The before photos are all from around 2/3 years ago when I was at my heaviest.

And here are some after photos from the last few months! The first is me inside one leg of the jogging pants that I used to live in and were tight back then. That is the only outfit I have kept from my heaviest, it took me a long time to part with my big clothes but I knew it needed to be done. This one outfit though is to always remind me of where I came from...

I'm also desparately in need of a haircut, I always HATED going to the hairdressers because I hated having to look at myself in the mirror the whole time and couldn't stop focusing on my double chins. Even now I'm still nervous of going, but I've been thinking more and more lately about having a complete restyle in the hope that that will help give me a boost. So DD and I are booked in with my hairdresser next Wednesday and I'm going to speak to him then and see what he thinks might work. So watch this space!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I'm Back

Well, I didn't really go anywhere, just not posted for ages.
I sort of felt like I've been talking to myself mostly the whole time I've had this blog, and kept thinking why am I posting if no-one is interested. Then when I got to goal I sort of felt like I didn't have anything to write about in maintenance.
BUT, I've learnt since hitting goal in January that maintenance is just another part of the journey, and if I'm going to be successful at keeping the weight off long term I still have a LOT of work to do and demons to deal with.
So I'm back and even though some posts may be very short, some long, the plan is to start posting regularly about how I'm dealing with maintenance and overcoming my binge eating disorder... There, I said it, I have binge eating disorder.... I've had it since some traumatic events in my teens and since then have dealt with my depression and anxiety by binge eating to numb the pain. While losing over 140lbs I thought I'd got it completely under control, like I was cured and would never binge again. But this last few months the binge monster is back with a vengeance. I'm managing to maintain my weight because the binges are counteracted by eating healthy and exercising a lot at other times, but I know I can't go on like this because they leave me so sad and disgusted with myself afterwards.
So a week last Monday I began with Day 1 of no binging and so far we're good to go. Onto Day 9 today and although the events of the last few weeks could quite easily have sent me into a complete tailspin (we've had lots of unexpected expenses, money we don't have, we had to put our cat to sleep last Wed and DD and I are grieving terribly, and then we were in a car accident on Saturday which although not our fault is causing lots of stress arranging hire cars and repairs etc), I've used them as a way to challenge myself and prove to myself I can deal with high stress and anxiety without binging, I CAN get through it.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

If Only I Could Realise That Everytime

This week has been hard. The first couple of days after my huge binge last Sunday were ok, Monday I really didn't want to eat I felt so sick and bloated, but come Wednesday the cravings were back. Thankfully I managed to just tell myself NO and kept going. The Binge Free Lent I've put myself on I think has actually helped me so far because I've just been concentrating on one day at a time and seeing that as a mini victory. I told myself on a weekend I can eat more and have some treats, but I CANNOT let it turn into a binge. Eating more than usual doesn't tip me over the edge emotionally, but binging does, and all the old hate and disgust comes flooding back, so I really really want to try to make binging a thing of the past again, like I did during my weight loss.
Friday DH brought home takeaway for dinner. It was planned and I did eat a fair bit, including dessert, but I made sure to enjoy it all, eat slowly, and once it was finished that was it, I stopped eating and didn't allow myself to think about eating anything else.
Yesterday was fairly easy during the day although I did have thoughts of binging, but I ignored them. Come last night though it got tough. DH made us a dessert after DD had gone to bed. It was quite an indulgent one but even as I ate it, it just wasn't giving me the hit I needed. I savoured each mouthful but it just didn't seem sweet, chocolatey, rich, cold, crunchy, smooth, you name it, ENOUGH.... I was already thinking of what I could eat next that would satisfy the craving. I was actually getting really anxious thinking about it, what would do it, which food would calm that anxiety? Then I suddenly thought, nothing is going to do it... If this dessert hadn't satisfied me, nothing would. It had had several different flavours, textures etc, if none of those had worked, no others were likely to. I could spend the rest of the night try to fill the void inside me with different things, hoping to find "the one", but I suddenly knew that it would be in vain. I just knew I wouldn't be able to fill that void and if I kept trying, I'd instead end up feeling sick, bloated and disgusted with myself like I did last weekend.... And so I stopped at that dessert, Day 4 of being binge free successful. If only I could realise this everytime I can feel the urge to binge coming on...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Binge Free For Lent

I've been thinking the last few days since my horrendous binge of maybe trying to give up chocolate for Lent, in the hope that if I could go cold turkey with it the cravings would stop and so would the binges. But I quickly remembered that if I say to myself that I can't have a certain item of food at all that just makes me want it more, so ruled that idea out.
BUT, I just had an idea that maybe rather than cut a certain thing out, I could try to be binge free for Lent? 46 days without a binge? I've done much longer than that during my weight loss journey, so I know it's possible, and maybe it would give me the motivation I need to be able to stop this binging cycle that's got a hold of me again....

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Huge Binge Weekend

This weekend has been awful....
Thursday was DH's Birthday which started off the overeating. Friday wasn't too bad, just overate a little again, but come yesterday the huge binge began and it's now 9pm Sunday night and I've just hit the point where I know I can't eat anymore and it's finally over... At first I tried to talk myself out of it, but if I'm honest I really didn't want to, I just wanted to stuff my face constantly. I've avoided reading weight loss blogs all weekend because I didn't want to think about it, I just wanted to eat and forget...
I feel like my stomach is going to burst and sicker than I remember being in such a long time.
Why did I do this? I really don't know, was feeling so good before the weekend, weight had actually hit a new low, if only slightly, and I felt so strong. Had a fab day Thursday out shopping for new clothes, had my nails and eyebrows done, felt amazing, so what happened? I really have no idea... The only thing I can think is that I binged badly this time last month, so maybe it's got something to do with my cycle, maybe not.
I just know I've got to get back on plan straight away, deal with the withdrawal symptoms I know are going to make my life hell for the next few days, and try to figure out a way to stop this happening over and over again like it currently is.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Another Successful Day!

Although the sweet cravings hit last night I managed not to cave in. The day had gone fairly well, although the class at the gym I went to was taken by a different instructor and I didn't break a sweat so felt like it had been a waste of time apart from toning. I would have been better making use of the time to do one of my exercise dvd's at home. But never mind, these things are sent to try us. Mid afternoon I was really hungry like I usually am, so I decided to try something new. I made myself a cup of herbal tea and had that and an apple, and it seemed to do the trick, so that I wasn't completely ravenous by dinnertime and last night. I have to admit to being a bit freaked because this little voice kept saying to me, ooh, you've eaten more than normal today, that's bad. But I'm really wanting to try to experiment to see if I can find ways to be less hungry mid morning and afternoon, and see if that helps with the cravings and binges on a weekend.
Today I'm not really sure what to expect. It's my mum's birthday and DD and I are going to spend the day with her and my step-dad, and she is going to colour my hair while we are there (my greys desparately need covering!). She has mentioned that we may go out for lunch, or she will make lunch there. The thing is, although she went on at me for years to lose the weight, now I have she doesn't seem too happy either... She does say I look nice and compliments me, but has said several times I've lost too much, and is always trying to get me to eat now when we are there, which causes me a lot of anxiety. And as it's her birthday I'm aware there could be cake lol. So I've had one of my healthiest breakfasts to get me off to a good start and have a very healthy dinner planned. During the day I'm going to have to play it by ear as I don't know what food I'm going to have to deal with, but I really want to try to stay as on plan as possible. Watch this space...

Sunday, 20 February 2011

I Made It Through The Weekend!!!

It's now 7.30pm on Sunday evening and we're back from my Mum's Birthday meal, and I made it through!!!
I offered to drive as I said I would, so only drank Diet Coke. The first little while we were there I felt so anxious, looking at the huge selection of food that was available on the buffet, I could feel myself getting really jittery and could see in my mind my finger ready to flick that switch to binge mode. But I took a deep breath and in my head told myself to relax and that I could get through it.
I checked out everything that was available, decided on the items I really wanted, the items I could live without, and those that didn't appeal at all, and then chose SMALL portions of only the items I really wanted. I made sure to try and eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful, and I even left some of my main course on my plate which is unknown for me, just because I challenged myself to do it! I felt no guilt for thoroughly enjoying my dessert because I had planned for it all week and not given into the sweet cravings other days because I knew I'd be able to satisfy them today.
Now I'm sat here, full but not stuffed, and certain that I won't be eating anything else tonight. If I was weighing daily the scale would more than likely be up tomorrow, but I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and I am just so ecstatic to be able to say that I met all the challenges I set myself this weekend and most importantly I DIDN'T BINGE!!!
I'm wondering if this is the key to maintenance for me, at least in part, by making a plan and setting myself goals for dealing with each day. I know the binging runs a lot deeper, but I'm going to give it a try, taking it one day at a time for now. DD is on school half term holidays this next week so it's going to be challenging having her home all the time and my usual exercise routine being messed up, but I'm going to do the best that I can. So for Monday I'm challenging myself to stay totally on plan with no giving into any sweet cravings that may hit, and to make it to one out of two of my usual Monday classes at the gym whilst DD is attending playscheme for a couple of hours.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Today Has Been HARD

I've struggled so much today to stay on plan, but I've almost made it.
This morning was easy, on plan breakfast then straight to the gym for Step class, home, then out again to collect DD from my mum's. We didn't get back til lunchtime so that was the morning taken care of. Had my on plan lunch and got to mid afternoon ok, but then the sweet cravings started setting in. I was so relieved when it got to dinnertime!
During this weight loss journey my taste in food has changed a lot, although I still have my sweet tooth and am sure I always will. Two things I've hated for years are celery and green pickle. DH loves them and always puts them in his salad. Today I decided to try a piece of each again to see if I still hated them as much. I am a convert to both, go figure! So at least that's two new salad veggies to help bulk out my salads in future.
This evening has been SO tough though, the cravings are just horrendous. I am due to get my period early next week, so maybe that is why it's so bad, but doesn't make it any easier to handle.
DH and DD had some chocolate earlier and offered me a piece, but I refused even though I desparately wanted to say yes. I then fought with myself for an hour over whether to have a low-cal chocolate drink or a WW Choc Mousse, but I kept remembering my post from yesterday and my challenge to myself. I even had one of the mousse out of the fridge and stared at it for a minute lol, but I put it back, and am now sat here chewing a piece of sugar free gum!
I know the drink or mousse would only have upped my calories by 40 or 60 respectively, but it's more the fact that they weren't planned for today and I needed to prove to myself that I could follow through with my plan.
So two days of huge challenges down, one to go. All I can say is I'm glad it's bedtime soon!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Challenging Myself

Weigh in day for me today and I'm another 1lb up... I did expect it really, after the binging last weekend I've felt bloated all week so it wasn't a huge surprise, although I am disappointed.
I have now moved over to using my new scales permanently so my goal weight of 137lbs on my old scales is actually 136lbs on the new ones. I've been weighing on both scales for several weeks but it seems silly doing that now, so am just going to use the new ones and as long as I stay at 136lbs or lower I'll be happy. If I go over that then it's back into weight loss mode til it's down again. Last week I was 133.8 and today I'm 134.8 so still under goal which I'll take. Ideally I'd like to get to and stay around the 131lb mark, but first of all I have to get these binges under control.
Which leads me onto this coming weekend. I've managed to get mostly back on track this last few days and am feeling better for it, but in my head I've been dreading the weekend coming around again because I'm scared of what might happen. We have two meals with family and friends planned this weekend, a friend is coming round tonight and bringing an indian meal and on Sunday we're going out for a cantonese buffet to celebrate my mum's Birthday which is on Tuesday. There is also a possibility we'll be going out for lunch on my mum's birthday as well. Now this past few weekends I've taken the cue and let myself loose on a Friday evening and not stopped eating til Sunday night, and as a result I've felt so disgusted with myself. For my sanity I know that this weekend is going to be a huge challenge for me, but one I really need to face, I have to get through the weekend without a binge...
Yesterday I met my mum for coffee in town and she got a pack of two biscuits, one of which she offered me and I ate. At the time I REALLY wanted it, I'd been feeling a bit off all morning and it actually helped settle my stomach, but afterwards I was frustrated with myself because I hadn't planned it. For me the worst bit of binging is that I can feel so strong one second and can refuse anything, then it's like a switch flicks in my brain and I can't seem to physically stop myself from eating, it's like a compulsion. Eating that biscuit on the spur of the moment is how it goes, but on a weekend I can't then seem to stop. So I've really been thinking things through and decided that I'm going to take it one step at a time, it might even have to be one hour at a time, and try to get through the weekend without losing control.
On a Friday morning DD has a family assembly at school, after which there is coffee and biscuits. I usually have a biscuit and today I really wanted one, but I told myself no because I'd had one yesterday, and it seemed to work. Right now I feel pretty strong, but come this evening I'm scared that switch is going to flick and when I start eating the indian food I won't be able to stop. So my goals for the weekend are:-

1. If friends bring wine tonight, have three glasses max then onto water, if not and they and DH are drinking beer then don't open a bottle just for myself, drink water. Put my portion of indian food on my plate and then eat it slowly and savour every mouthful. Do NOT go back for more. Don't eat anything else off plan today.
2. Go to Step class and eat totally on plan Saturday.
3. On Sunday go for the cantonese buffet, but again, fill my plate with small amounts of my choices for each course, eat slowly and savour every mouthful and do NOT go back for more. Offer to drive so that I will only have one glass of wine, if any. Don't eat anything else off plan on Sunday.

If I can get through the weekend without binging and follow through with these goals I will feel so much better because I'll have proved to myself after a few rocky weekends that I can still have my treats, but it doesn't have to turn into a binge.
I'm not going to think as far ahead as Tuesday just now, in fact really I'm just going to start from now and take it one hour at a time and try to get through the weekend, then I'll see how I've done. I know in view of the meals that it's unlikely I will be able to lose any weight this next week, but I'd really love to be able to maintain.
So my goals for the week are to be binge free, and to maintain my weight at 134.8lbs.

ETA: Friday night update. Friends have been and gone, no wine was brought so I stuck with water, and I followed the rules I'd set myself! I had a small portion of each dish and tried to remember to eat slowly. After I'd cleared my plate I was VERY tempted to go back for more and had to have an internal argument with myself, but I didn't let that switch flick over or the binge compulsion takeover, and pushed my plate away. I am now craving something sweet and it would be so easy to say, oh, just have something small, but I've got over the worst hurdle this evening so I'm NOT going to ruin it now. I'm so proud of myself, one huge test for the weekend down, a million more to go!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Feel Like I'm Adrift In The Ocean

It's been a long while since my last post so it's going to be a LONG post I'm afraid. So much has been going on and I really just can't seem to get my head around any of it. I guess I should update with the main points of what has happened each week since, and take it from there:-

1. The week following my last post my head was in a really bad place. I knew I'd become totally obsessed with the number on the scale and it was affecting everything else. I felt so tired and just seemed to have no energy. On 14th Jan I went for my weekly PT session and I had nothing to give. My PT seemed to sense something was going on so we ended up talking through about half the session, with me confessing how I was feeling and him sort of counselling me lol. However I came out of the session with my head feeling a lot cleared and like a weight had been lifted off me (excuse the pun). During that session I decided that at 137lbs, which I had been that morning, and that number being the magic number I'd dreamed about throughout this journey, I was going to call it goal, and make 140lbs my red line. So on 14th Jan I guess I began maintenance.
2. That first weekend was actually my Birthday and I ended up doing a lot of celebrating, which whilst great fun, made me scared to step on the scales, but I got straight back on plan on the Monday and so it was actually the perfect opportunity to stop the daily weighing. I went a whole week without weighing and although it was hard, with each day it felt more doable. Come 21st Jan I had actually lost another lb taking me to 136lbs and it scared me to think I could eat as I had the previous weekend and still lose weight.
3. The following week I donated blood on the Thur and know from past experience that my weight for a few days afterwards is always falsely low, so when I weighed in at 134lbs on the 28th I didn't really take much notice.
4. The weekend of the 28th was my DD's Birthday and we had another weekend of celebrating, so come my 4th Feb weigh in, seeing 133lbs on the scale was a huge shock. I really couldn't believe that I was still losing weight when in all honesty I'd being having mini binges on a weekend since calling goal. I wasn't sure what to do, should I keep pushing my luck and see if the weight carried on down or I started gaining again, or try to get a grip on myself and the mini binges....
5. That weekend however brought a visit from MIL. Let's just say our relationship is strained at best, and although I try to stay calm and not let her get to me, her visits bring me lots of anxiety. She had been supposed to just come for one night which I was sure I could handle, but ended up informing us of her change of plans and coming a day early.... This sent me into a tailspin and I spent those two days having mini binges again. The worst thing I did was on the Sunday night, after my anxiety level reaching the roof, I told DH and MIL I was tired and was going to bed. I actually went and got two choc bars and some sweets and went to bed and read while stuffing down my anxiety with the food.... The quantity wasn't what broke me, it was the fact I'd deliberately hidden to binge in secret like I used to before I started this journey....
6. On the Monday however I again got straight back on plan. I did give myself a really hard time and told myself I had to be perfect all week to repair the damage, and the secret eating had to stop immediately. I spoke with one of the girls at the gym who told me what I'd done wasn't bad and she'd done it herself often, and lots of people do, but it still didn't make me feel any better. Last Friday when I got weighed I saw 134.5lbs, so up 1.5lbs from the week before, but still 2.5lbs under goal. In a way I was upset to see a gain, but the losses the previous two weeks had confused me, so I really didn't know if it was a gain from the eating the previous weekend, or if the earlier losses had been false. I just figured I needed to stay more on plan for the weekend, make sure the binges weren't allowed to return, and I'd see what happened.
7. Then came my worst weekend yet.... Friday night we were going out with friends to a yearly Beer Festival. I ate sensibly all day, and drank steadily all night, but when the nibbles came out I dived head first into them, and then DH and I even got a pizza on the way home and ate the whole thing between the two of us, which never usually happens. Saturday I was slightly hungover so ended up comfort eating to make myself feel better, however I told DH that Sunday I needed to get back on plan for sure. Sunday came and I ate my healthy breakfast and got to lunchtime, and I just couldn't do it. I sent DH out to get lunch for us, and then continued to eat non-stop for the rest of the day and night, and if I thought the secret eating of the previously Sunday was bad, this was HUGE. I found myself in the kitchen every little while or so sneaking biscuits and sweets while DH and DD were in the lounge, as well as eating all the same stuff that they were. At one point I ate a biscuit and realised straight after that I'd eaten it in three bites and hadn't even tasted it.... But it didn't stop me carrying on binging.... It was like a compulsion, as soon as I'd eaten one thing I had to find the next, I knew I had to get back on plan on the Monday without fail, and this voice inside me was saying "you need to eat all the things you won't be able to have for the next few days NOW, don't waste a minute, get eating". I went to bed in the end feeling huge, bloated, sick to my stomach, and very very angry and sad at what I'd allowed to happen.....

So come Monday morning this week, I was in a mess. Thankfully I was able to get myself back on plan again. I went to the gym and did my workout, talked again to my friend who said she'd eaten in secret herself the day before, but I didn't tell her the extent of what I'd eaten, I was too ashamed. It was like going cold turkey, I had a horrendous sugar withdrawal headache from about lunchtime, my stomach was still huge and bloated but I was starving, and I wanted to cry and scream all day because I was so angry with myself and so scared of what I'd let happen.
Yesterday morning I felt a bit better because I knew I'd got a day of healthy eating back under my belt, and the bloating wasn't quite as bad, but I decided to sit down and use some of the things I'd learnt when I did my Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to try to work out what was going on. I made several notes which I'm going to copy and paste below:-

a) As bad as I think the binges I've had are, I realised I've been eating things because they’re there and available, in the house, the aftermath of christmas chocs etc. Am I struggling with binges right now because of all the stuff in the house and unconsciously thinking if I eat them all quickly and they’re gone then the temptation to binge will be gone? I haven’t been planning binges and going to buy loads of food to eat them like I used to which I guess is a positive.

b) Emotionally rooted - If I’m feeling anxious, afraid, down, not good enough, I eat to block out those feelings because I don’t want to have to deal with them. Avoidance!? I look forward to the weekend, but when it arrives unless we have specific plans for things to do I tend to feel stressed, anxious or just plain bored, and I don't know how to change that. Am I scared that I can’t maintain this goal weight and so because I’m scared, ie emotional, I want to binge to stop myself feeling scared?

c) Maybe these binges are the result of restrictions I’m placing on myself ie exercising so hard all week and being so strictly on plan Mon-Thur - going overboard then on a weekend because I know I’ve got to get back to being PERFECT on Mon and want to stuff as much food down me before then as possible...
Or am I actually doing it because I think I can get away with it by being super strict during the week and so this way I can binge like I used to on some level and not gain all the weight back?

I know some people would maybe say that if I can maintain my weight by binging on a weekend then being super strict during the week then what's the problem, but I really can't do this anymore. I can't handle the feelings of disgust and guilt every Sunday night/Monday, so I have to find another way. So these thoughts then came into my head:-

a) Should I go to one DAY off a week instead or would that mean I’d just binge a whole lot more on that day?

b) Should I stop the weekend off thing and maybe just have a little more each day of the week, so say a couple chocs on a night, or coffee and a biscuit etc, so I’m spreading the food out throughout the week rather than it being a binge and leaving me feeling guilty and fat and bloated every Sunday night/Monday? Or would that make me feel like I’m losing my grip and not in control and guilty everyday for not being perfectly on plan or would I end up eating more over the full week than just the weekend? If I was a little easier on myself eating and exercise wise during the week, would I not feel such desparation to binge on a weekend to reward myself/get the release I need???

c) This one is really scaring me... Although the binges before I lost the weight meant I was in physical and mental pain and hated myself, I loved the binges themselves, all the lovely food, eating alone in front of the tv, going into my own little world, making myself numb. I miss that and although I love my new life and body when it comes down to it I'm still the same me and I still have lots of problems and issues, and I’m really sad that I will never be able to go back to eating the way I used to, so are the weekend binges my way of being able to go back, but stay where I am by the strictness during the week?

So you see why I feel adrift? I don't have any answers, all these thoughts and feelings are just rushing around in my head and I can't make any sense of them. I don't know what to do to make this better, I just know that I CAN'T gain this weight back and I have to stop the binges somehow.
This weekend is going to be another hard weekend. We have friends coming on Friday night and bringing an indian takeaway, Saturday SHOULD be ok, but then Sunday we are out for a meal to celebrate my mum's Birthday next week, and it's a cantonese all you can eat buffet. Need I say more? I really don't know what to do. I'm scared that the scale is going to be up again come Friday and I don't know how I'm going to handle it if it is. Will it send me into a tailspin and head first into the takeaway and binging all weekend? Can I just enjoy sensible portions of those two meals this weekend and say NO to anything else, prove to myself I can go a weekend without binging? Part of me keeps saying, this is life, this is what I've wanted for so long, a social life and the confidence to actually embrace it rather than refusing every invitation like I used to. But when it comes down to it, I've fought too hard to get this weight off and put the daily binges of old behind me, and I am NOT going back. I spent about 15 years gaining the weight, 18months losing it, and now I have to learn how to maintain it, WITHOUT binging. If only I could figure it out...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Time For An Attitude Adjustment

I've been struggling since before Christmas really. Daily weighing is no longer working for me now that I'm nearing goal. I just can't handle the daily fluctuations and my mood is up or down dependant on the number I see each morning. It's driving me mad and I really can't carry on like this.
Years ago when I considered myself slim I weighed in the 140-150 range, and when I started this journey I never imagined for a moment I could ever get to weigh less than that. When I first saw the 130's before Christmas something clicked and I've been desparate to get as far away from the number 140 as possible since then to give me room to maneouvre during maintenance, as I decided that 140 would be my red line. But realistically I know that losing another few lbs isn't going to make a big difference to my body shape or size, it's in my head where the problem is.
So I've decided that somehow I need to stop the daily weighing and go back to weekly, rather than desparately trying to find a pattern to my fluctuations to make them bearable. And instead I need to keep doing what I've been doing very successfully for the last 18 months (eating healthy 95% of the time and exercising hard 5/6 days a week for a minimum 45mins) and trust my body to decide where it wants to end up in the number stakes. Ideally I would love to get to 132lbs, but as long as I stay below 140lbs then I will be satisfied. I have to admit I'm really scared of going back to weekly weighing, facing the unknown for the other 6 days each week and worrying in case I'm gaining without knowing about it, but I know for my sanity I really have to.
I'm not sure how I'm going to stop the daily weighing, planned not to weigh this morning but couldn't, but I know it needs doing so watch this space....

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Not Good Enough

I've been feeling anxious, upset, tearful and angry for a couple of weeks now and really couldn't work out what was wrong with me.
Earlier I finally broke down in tears and had to take myself away from DH and DD to go cry in the bathroom. Whilst in there I kept asking myself what was wrong, and you know what, the answer came back that I'm just not good enough. This whole weight thing right now is getting to me so much, I know I'm obsessed but I don't know how to stop it. I'm fine when the weight is coming off, but when it stops or I gain I totally freak out, and that affects every other aspect of my life. Because it's not going perfectly to plan, I feel out of control and, useless, a failure. I've known for a lot of years I'm a perfectionist, and although I've tried and tried to change that I can't. If I can't do something perfectly, I either don't do it at all, or I beat myself up over it the whole time.
My housekeeping is far from perfect so I'm a bad housewife and end up sitting in front of the pc when I should be doing stuff because, what's the point, it will never be perfect. DD brought some homework home today which was what finally tipped me over the edge. She's 7 years old and I really had no clue how to help her with it so I told her she'd have to ask her dad to help and then went and broke down. Admittedly he said it was totally unsuitable homework for her age and he struggled to help her as well although we are by no means unintelligent people, but in my head it just proves again that I'm a useless mum.
When the weight is coming off I'm fine, but when it's stuck, like now, I feel useless, like a failure, so why should I keep trying. This weight loss journey is the first really hard thing in my life I've stuck with for this long apart from my marriage and being a mum, and sometimes if I could run away from those as well I would.
I just feel that I'm not good enough and I don't know how to change that. How can I give myself a break and move forward instead of being paralysed whenever this perfectionism rears it's ugly head. Because that's how I feel, paralysed. I have so many emotions that seem to be trapped inside me lately and I don't know how to handle them. I used to bury them with food and now I can no longer do that I don't know what else to do...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

What Am I Playing At?!

On Xmas Eve I was at my lowest weight of 137.5lbs. Over Xmas I was pretty good, but ended up on New Year's Eve at 138.5lbs. Then New Year's Eve all hell let loose....
I'd been saying no to so many things I wanted for the week previously and I'd just had enough. So that night (I was on plan all day) I ate all the things I wanted, and by midnight I felt thoroughly stuffed...
Come 1st Jan, I weighed 140lbs, but I was actually ok with that as I knew most would be water and the food from the day before and I was really ready to get back on plan for the New Year and break into new territory.
So why can't I do it? 2nd Jan saw me down to 139lbs but now I'm stuck. I've been really upset and angry that the scales aren't co-operating, but then I really thought about it and I'm not surprised. My usual exercise routine hasn't been happening because of the gym not being open usual hours and my usual classes being cancelled for the holiday, and then I thought about my lunches... DH has been home most of the holiday and we've had different lunches to normal, and then I realised, much higher calorie lunches to normal. I normally just have a sandwich for lunch, but we've had (hides head in shame) Burger King, rich soup with bread & spread, cheese on toast, you get the picture. So why am I blaming the stupid scale? Because it's easier than blaming myself... I've even been mad at DH for being home and "making" me eat these things!
So this morning I told him, no more, as of today I'm going back to my normal lunches, DH and DD can have what they want, but I can't carry on like this. I'm freaking out that the scale won't drop back down again to it's low, but how can I expect it to when I'm eating more calories than I was? I'm also going to the gym in an hour to try a new class Bodycombat. My personal trainer thinks I'll enjoy it as I like the boxing we do, and I used to love Tae Bo years ago, so I thought I'd give it a try. I need to get back to my usual routine as well as mixing things up a bit. I can't be frustrated at those scales for not showing a number I want if I don't do what I know I should do.
Let's hope this works...