What a week! Let’s get real.
Following this post, where I wrote about feeling burnt out, wanting to be normal (whatever that is), and just generally needing a break, I had one of the worst binge eating episodes that I can remember. It was rough on me emotionally and rough on me physically.
What I should have done the next day is go back to normal (for me) eating. Instead, I freaked out and went on a 2-day juice fast. Again, rough emotionally and rough physically.
Then on Saturday morning I took a really hot shower (can you see where this is going?) and – after an intense sugar binge and then two days of nothing but veggie juice, water and tea – I nearly passed out. My vision started to fade, hearing gone – I prayed to stay conscious long enough to make it out of the shower and onto my bed where thankfully I recuperated although my head buzzed for about 15 minutes.
It was a wake up call.
I haven’t been doing this the right way. This has happened to me before, where I start cutting my calories too low, but this is the most extreme it’s been.
I’m committed to losing weight in a way that I make peace with my body and food along the way. I’d rather never lose another pound than lose them by starving.
The only smart thing I’ve done in the last week has been to push my scale under my dresser.
I’m feeling raw, broken, and desperately needing self-care.
But this post has a happy ending.
The experience brought me back to a point of working to appreciate my body. As you can see, I’m really hard on it, yet it continues to be resilient.
I’m doing nice things for myself – long walks, reading books, painting my nails – self care is important and I need a lot of it.
Also, I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s without a plan. For two years I’ve planned out every shopping trip and meal in detail. This, a food shopping experience guided by my cravings, was freeing.
So here’s where I’m at:
I’m still counting calories, because I tried not doing it for a few days, and the lack of knowledge made me crazy. All I thought about was food, and I was adding up the calories in my head anyway. Overall, I truly believe calorie counting has been a positive thing in my life. For the most part, it’s helped me to avoid binge eating. Also, to instantly take it away is a bit like pulling out the rug from under me. If I do decide in the future to not count, it would have to be a gradual move away, one meal at a time.
I’m going from daily weighing to once weekly. From past experiences, I know this will have the biggest impact on how I feel. When I weigh in daily for too long a stretch, I start to eat based on my weight and not my needs, which is exactly what happened. I’m eating more, which I know will HELP me to lose weight in the long run, not hurt me, although I know I’ll gain a few pounds initially. And I’m finally feeling ok about that. I’m also ok with not losing for a while, too.
I’m going to work on building a peaceful relationship with food using the guide from Christine Inge, which you can get for free if you sign up for her newsletter. There are tons of ways to do this, but I like Christine’s approach because she comes from a point of creating a peaceful relationship with food believing in eating real, nourishing foods, rather than a “eat what you want” mentality. I still believe that sugar is the devil, and a highly manipulative force that can quickly cloud what your true needs are. For a quick summary, check out her post “The 3 Reasons I Don’t Tell My Clients to ‘Eat Whatever They Want‘.”
I’m remembering over and over and over that fat is not the worst thing you can be. I think this whole experience was brought on by a lot of fear. Fear of regaining weight, fear of always having to be hungry to lose/maintain weight, fear of never just being able to enjoy food, fear of how my life has changed since losing weight and how it will continue to change. That’s a lot of fear! I know that those fears need to be addressed in my journal, and not the kitchen.
I’m also removing all goals and timelines related to weight loss. For me, they are counter-intuitive. I know my weight loss has been a product, and not the driving force, of the changes I’ve made in my life. There is no reason for me to fear going back to my old life (i.e. fear of regaining) because I’ve created a life I love with habits that are nourishing to my body. My desire is to be accepting of my body every step of the way as it changes. I can’t do that if I’m constantly striving to lose the next five pounds. I’m putting my faith and trust back in myself, believing that I will continue to make decisions that are guided by love and happiness. That’s all I need.
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell