Three years into owning this new, slimmer body, it seems things have only gotten worse.
I’ve put on a couple from my lightest, and now I feel like a normal-sized woman who has put on a few, instead of a heavier woman who proudly dropped three sizes. My self-worth seems tied to a number on the scale, versus how I feel.
I find I am far more critical of myself than one ought to be. Instead of admiring my leaner, stronger legs, I’m obsessed with the number on the scale which has gone up the past year. I’m bemoaning the fact that my clothes still fit, but don’t fall as nicely. I’m staring at my midsection in the mirror, poking at “fat” that wasn’t there at my leanest.
(The irony is, when I was heavy, I never noticed fat on my hips…and since I lost several inches from them… clearly I wasn’t preoccupied with them before).
I think about food all too often: what I’ve eaten, what I will eat, if I’m hungry or bored, where we’ll have dinner on Friday, how many calories I’ve eaten today or how many I have left in the bank.
And when I’m not thinking about food, I’m thinking of my workouts. Did I burn enough calories today? If I lift, will I have time for cardio? Did I eat enough to get in a good workout? Or did I just eat back my workout? .
I have used the analogy with friends that I was an A student (at goal) and now that I’ve gained, I’m a B student. And it’s my attitude of not being ok with getting a B that is probably standing in the way of a lifetime of joy for me…and a lifetime of unnecessary obsession.
I share my story today because this is my goal for this year…to change these destructive thought and behavior patterns and hopefully raise awareness about this very real condition that privately plagues so many women.
I want to overcome disordered eating before it ruins my life. It’s not a healthy way to live, and to overcome this I need to be happy with my body as it is now…not as it was at my leanest. Only then will I be able to tackle my demons.
As they say, awareness is half the battle. The other half is making the change.
The first step in my action plan is coming clean, today. Putting this down on paper makes it real; I can’t hide behind this curtain of shame anymore. Talking about it in a group format or therapy are two notions I am toying with at the moment, as well—both were recommended in the SELF survey following my alarmingly high score.
Secondly, I am going to start journaling my feelings associated with food and exercise. More often than not, my eating is emotional and not always physical. So to get to the root of why I am eating when I am not hungry, for example, I will include notes. Did I overeat at dinner because I was in a social setting? Or did I eat ice cream I didn’t need before bed because I was upset about work? Pin-pointing the “why” will help me as I go forward.
Finally, I have created my own blog to guide me, and other women who can relate, along this journey to physical and mental well-being. Writing has always been therapeutic and I hope it will continue to be. The advice in Beck’s Diet Solution has also been a great help to me as I cope with emotional eating issues. I plan to incorporate some of those messages into my writing—and my actions.
I am ashamed of the “me” I’ve become, but I am not discouraged. All hope is not lost. I have faith in myself that with the commitment and energy I invested to lose weight, I can use it to find gain some of “me” back.