The weight of it. More weight.

So I was off to a good start, and I backslid.  Back to the beginning.

This is sometimes how it goes with weight loss for me, especially when there are such weighty emotional issues behind every pound.

Confronting your weight is like confronting a thousand little failures, and eating disorders are composed of that perspective of failure.  Whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, overeating, or self-soothing, the mental hardships behind every visible pound lost or gained is the real struggle.

So I try to remind myself not to be judgmental.  Not to view the extra weight as a failure, not to view even the day’s food choices as a failure.  They’re just indications of other needs.  It means I need to put more attention on what I actually need.

For me, my struggle right now is with compulsive eating.  It’s painful, to feel like my eating is occasionally out of my hands.  I’ve been reading a bit about eating disorders, a book my counselor sent to me.  Now, I don’t experience extreme attacks of compulsive eating, but I definitely find myself eating things I don’t actually want to be eating, or in quantities I don’t want to be consuming.  I find myself unable to stop.

That is the terrible and shameful secret behind my particular manifestation of disordered eating: this lack of control.  The struggle, then the “failure.”

The solution, for me, as I’ve accomplished this in the past, is to allow myself no opportunity to make impulsive eating choices.  I have to create this imbalance to create weight loss.  I plan out my consumption a week in advance, and I eat only those things.  I take an extreme and hard line on not accepting food from others, and I tend to prefer to eat alone.  It takes a LOT of effort.

THAT behaviour, according to this book, is itself disordered eating.

Fuck you, book.

It’s very frustrating at times.  The book says to eat mindfully.  To simply stop when you’re full.  To resist extreme measures of control on your habits… but I think that approach is more useful for those coming at this from the anorexic end of the spectrum.  I didn’t become uncomfortably large in my body by exerting *too much* control over my eating habits.  Over eating is an imbalance, and I’m honestly struggling to regain the balance, the control.

I cried about food today!  A friend tried to give me food the other day, and I thanked her but didn’t accept it, because I didn’t *want* to eat it, and I knew if I accepted it I *would* eat it.  So the next day she, supportively, brought me “healthy snacks”.  I again rejected her food offering and really confused the fuck out of her.

I cried, and then I realized that the pain here was in the secret – the struggle I was experiencing that I wasn’t telling her.  So I brought her in on my experience, that I’m having difficulty controlling my food consumption, so I have to only eat things that I have decided myself, in advance, that I would eat.

She very helpfully asked me about my physical activity.

Anyone who’s been through this before knows how this question makes you feel:  like you want to smack your head against the wall and strangle her at the same time.  Yes, I do go to the gym regularly, however for me the food consumption is the issue.  The first time Sweetie asked me about this I burst into tears then, too.  It’s no fault of my friend, that’s for sure.   Burning 300 – 400 calories is great but I can easily consume twice that for a bedtime snack if I’m not careful.

For people who don’t have this struggle, it’s very difficult for them to relate to me when I try to explain why I can’t eat that thing, or why your offer of a salad makes me cry.

After our talk though, my friend only wanted to be supportive, even if she didn’t really understand why this whole thing was making me cry so hard.  We agreed that when she wanted to be supportive she could offer me hugs, and I would always accept them.

I really do have great friends.

Anyway, I don’t want you guys to worry about me.  This emotional shit:  this is all part of the process.  That’s why I’m writing about it.  I’ve always been real on the blog.

It feels familiar, actually, this crying about food.  I remember the last time I had this much weight to lose, I had a massive crying jag in the office of my nurse nutritionist.

It is fuckin’ hard, y’all.   But I’ll get there, I’ll get through it.  And I know that because no matter how long I have to try, I will always keep trying.  I’ll do my best not to look at this through the lens of “failure” and instead focus on my success.  Such as:  I DO go to the gym.  I am actually in better cardiovascular health than I’ve ever been in my life (thanks to my two years of biking and my gym habit maintenance).  That’s actually really important, because I have a heart murmur, so my ticker needs to tick a little harder and faster to do the same job as a normal heart.

So yeah, it’s an uphill process.  But I’ll keep encouraged.  I may need to start food blogging on instagram a bit.

Besides, I have something super-happy to tell you guys about.  Tomorrow.

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12 thoughts on “The weight of it. More weight.

  1. As always, thank you so much for your candor and honesty, Kate. I can relate to your situation. I used to weigh 220lbs, due to compulsive/emotional eating. It can be difficult renegotiating one’s relationship to food and its effect on one’s body. However, as indicated in your post, you have a wonderful host of resources to help you through this struggle (i.e., counselor, nurse nutritionist, friends, Sweetie, and a determination to persevere). I know that you don’t want your readers to worry. However, I wanted to let you know that I have faith that you’ll get through this, am sending positive thoughts/prayers your way, and am here if you need any extra support.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can completely relate to all of this, Kate.
    I just read the latest Channeling Erik post—Eric discusses breatharians, who are humans that survive happily without food and water. Erik suggests that food and water are merely training wheels, and that someday we will all be ingesting energy from the ethers…In the meantime, I seem to be shoving sugar and fat into my mouth to soothe myself. What a relief it would be to feel comfortable in my own skin, absorbing life-affirming energy rather than ice cream. I wonder if this is an issue for other empathic people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The thing with eating and food, is that it’s sooooo personal. Two people with seemingly identical patterns of eating can have very different feelings about it, and psychological/spiritual reasons. I struggled so much when I was a teenager/young adult with binge eating because I was so lonely. I read the book “When Food is Love” by Geneen Roth and it hit home for me. But just knowing that didn’t help much. I then swung widely the other way when I was experiencing a lot of discord at home and started really restricting my eating and exercising obsessively. I became very thin, but I had the lowest self-esteem ever and hated myself. The problems I thought would be fixed by losing weight didn’t get fixed at all.

    As I grew older, I realized that it really has to do with self-love and doing what you want to do, rather than “should.” When you’re feeling really good and healthy and aligned with self, you’re more likely to want to eat healthy than choose something that’s not good for you (aligning yourself with the vibrational frequency of your food). I’m an emotional eater, so I know that if I’m struggling emotionally, it makes sense for me to comfort myself with food.

    Yet others may restrict food during stressful times, or stress doesn’t affect the way they eat but it affects sleep, or whatever. Everyone is different.

    Further, it depends on your intention and soul history I guess as well. For example, if an individual’s soul purpose in this lifetime is one of learning moderation, then one might struggle more with overeating or restricting. If there aren’t any moderation concerns, then food/substances etc won’t be as much as an issue.

    And then there’s just the sensory pleasure of eating. Some don’t need it as much, but others really enjoy it. I keep saying to myself, “God created chocolate and eating it brings me pleasure, so dammit, I’m not cutting it out entirely. But maybe I can have it as a special treat instead of indulging every day.” Eating is one of the pleasures of having a physical body so it’s hard to deny oneself that pleasure.

    So try not to be too hard on yourself Kate! If your body needs food, your body needs it. Maybe it’s for energetic reasons too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When food is love… There is a big connection there I only recently realized. Treats is a big way love is expressed in my family, (not the only way, but one way, like a lot of folks.)

      I remember losing my mind a bit when I heard my Mom wanted to be buried in her jewelry box. I kept seeing her take Cadbury Easter eggs out of that box to give to me, and my brain kind of crashed trying to reconcile the box containing this treat / love and my mother’s remains.

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  4. Kate, I can totally relate. It’s been a lifelong issue for me personally. I noticed that I started another detox/diet change right around the same time as you did. I have been pretty quiet about it since it is personal and very consuming. It’s going well but verrrryyyy slowwwlllly and pretty much stopped in spite of all my best efforts. SO tough when *everyone* has an opinion on what you’re doing “wrong” and easy to feel like a failure. But I am not giving up. Here is one difference in conclusion that I have come to in this particular round: as many diets as I have tried in my life…not any one of them was a failure. They have all taught me something about myself, my perseverance, and helped me discover possible issues to look into. Spiritually I have done some massive cleansing in the last three years and I know you have as well for longer even. The first real detox I did in 2013 where I pretty much gave up everything after a three day fast was overkill. But it helped me to switch to a healthier habit of just drinking water. One small step. Even though I gained back 30 pounds, I was still only drinking water but sugars and too many carbs are the target now. I struggle with learning how to nourish myself, and I’ve asked for help spiritually to stop the cravings. You may already have done everything on the list and then some and you probably have. Just keep on keepin’ on, and take it day by day. I have lost the 30 pounds and I am exercising every day, but the scale stays the same. My body feels better though and the scale is staying put so I know it’s just a matter of time. With dieting, those of us who truly know the long term struggle, we get into an all-or-nothing mentality. I want/need to lose at least 30-40 more pounds or maybe more. I wonder sometimes why I think it’s a fight to be won, the battle of the bulge, so to speak, but maybe I need to let that go and stop fighting. I get the frustration though. Oh, trust me on that – I do. And it is often a lonely, confusing, and frustrating journey. But I feel better now than I have in years. Take care…hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you :). I am beginning to realize that I could benefit from reprogramming my body in the same way I set goals for my life – writing them down somewhere special and ask for help.

      I’ve also learned that change doesn’t happen overnight. I need to have the foundation in place for a while before o start to see the effects.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kate, i really appreciate how brave you are to share all this with us. so many of us can relate to having a complicated, emotional relationship with food and the weight we carry. sometimes that hardest part about a struggle is that we don’t feel safe enough to tell anyone what we’re dealing with, so we bottle it up and pretend we can go at it alone. opening up to your friend is MAJ….and sharing all of it with us is also incredible courageous. you’re honest enough to share your experience and knowing enough to ask for what you really need – a hug!!
    ((((GIANT HUG))))

    Liked by 1 person

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