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...