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I am a fraud

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Confessions are hard...

Recently I stopped blogging because I feel like a fraud and had nothing good to say.

I am so full of willpower in the morning. I eat a great breakfast, I exercise, I drink, I east sensible snacks and lunch. Then by late afternoon, I lose it. I cannot say no to junk food. Something takes over and I can't stop. So, when dinner comes, I overeat. I tell myself the same old thing, "you blew it again, so why try now?" But it doesn't matter what I tell myself, even on good days if dinner is something I like, I just can't stop myself from having a huge portion or even going back for seconds. It is so discouraging! I gain and lose, gain and lose the same 5 pounds over and over again. The scariest part is that I have no control. Many, many addictions are in my family. My twin sister is a recovering alcoholic and narcotic user. My parents are still alcoholics after 40 years of drinking. My brother and other sister can't get through a day without smoking pot, and my other sister just had gastric bypass surgery and is on the road to better health. She weighed over 300 pounds. All of us continue to fight obesity.

Some people tell me not to have the junk in the house. But, I have to tell you, I am very creative. All I need is a jar of peanut butter and some saltines. Albeit, even if they are the "low fat" brands, if you eat a whole sleeve of crackers and a half a jar of peanut butter then it's no longer low fat. I take the "good for you" food and eat so much that it is no longer good for you. So, the "don't have it in your house" does not apply in my case. I can do this with most anything in the house. The other day, I dipped some healthy wheat crackers in real Vermont maple syrup. Believe it or not, its delicious!

Why can't I take the willpower I have for my exercise and apply it to my eating? Nothing stops me from exercising. I can run a half marathon, lift weights until I am begging for mercy, do squats until I can't walk up the stairs. But, it feels like it is all for nothing if I can't change my eating habits.

I feel like a fraud for giving advice on SparkPeople because I really have no clue as to how to change my eating habits. Yes, I have gotten down to my goal weight, but I have to admit that was starving myself for a few days, and then eating way above my range for a few days. I would lose like a pound by doing that, but the next week I am a maniac and stuffing the junk down my throat again. Then the following week I get semi-control and start the pattern over again. I always exercise, sometime to obsession, especially after a binge. So, it look me over 2 years to lose 50 pounds. Yes, I am happy I lost it, but know deep down inside that I didn't do it the right way.

I am discourage because my whole objective when I joined SparkPeople is to stop the Yo-Yoing. And I have not been successful. I read and read all the suggestions I could possibly read. I tape motivational quotes about emotional eating to my fridge.

I just feel like it is hopeless.

I continue to stay active on SparkPeople, but just don't have the spirit anymore because nothing has changed. It is especially horrible during the holidays.

I love the friendships I have made on SparkPeople and the support I have received, but again, I feel like a hypocrite and fraud. I read stories about people beating this and rather than feel inspired anymore, I feel dejected and ask myself over and over why I can't do it.

So that's where I am right now. Lost.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Dear Lisa,

    I have a magnet on my fridge of a hand holding a baby bird. It says "We give comfort and receive comfort, sometimes at the same time." The act of blogging here is an act of kindness to yourself and to those who read your words and nod their head in knowing agreement. Even when you're admitting the worst, it is an act of kindness to expose yourself and your truth to the world.

    You are not a fraud because you have a hard time with your own advice. Encouraging others, even when you cannot encourage yourself, is the act of GOOD and KIND and CARING person, not a fraud. You're human.

    I'm very good at giving advice, but go read my blog. I'm lost too. When we turn inward and try to figure our own Selves out, sometimes logic and reason and compassion fails us. That's why we're here. To give and to receive comfort, sometimes at the same time.

    So please continue Sparking. Please blog. Please talk. Please encourage. Silence will only drag you down. You have been remarkably inspiring to me NOT because you lose weight, but because you care...and even when you may NOT care, you still WANT to care. Do you know what I mean? You remind me that there are good people in the world, and this inspires me to keep going.

    I also have a hard time with overeating healthy food. Almonds! Yogurt! Clementines! A binge is a binge because of the headspace you're in as you eat, not because of the quantity you eat. You can binge eat a mouthful of lettuce if you're doing it to escape.

    I highly, highly recommend the book "Overcoming Binge Eating." I also highly recommend keeping track of your emotions when you "fall apart." What do you really need in those moments? Love? To talk? A nap?

    Easier said than done. I'm struggling with this very thing right now. What I really need lately is to say how angry I am. I eat because it feels good and I want something to feel good. I'm exploring other ways to get what I need now. But I've only been doing it for about two hours...

    Please put that butterfly picture back up.

    2175 days ago
    You are NOT a fraud. We all have some issue with food or we wouldn't be here. Besides, you are acknowledging your weaknesses and working to fix them, so that is great. I totally feel your pain though - all I have managed to do since starting WW/Spark years ago is gain weight. Who pays money (WW) to gain weight? You have been such a great support to me and I hope I can be one to you. I totally understand about the bingeing. I used to try to exercise to make a binge "ok" and even flirted with purging (thankfully I'm not good at it). Now I "just" binge and don't compensate - I'm not sure which is worse. Maybe you aren't eating enough during the day so that you are starving later on? I find I don't eat enough for lunch and then I want to eat everything in sight . But if I have a better lunch I (sometimes) can fight the urge better. Definitely do't give up - you have come so far. Remember, the journey doesn't end when you lose the weight. It is a continual process. Keep your chin up - you'll get there!

    2176 days ago
    Lisa, you are SO not a fraud!!! I can relate to a lot of the struggles you are talking about in this blog entry. My eating habits can waver a lot, and there are certain foods that are just dangerous for me to be around because I know what will happen. And when you mention being "creative," I have soooo been there. I think many of us on SP struggle in our own ways, even if at face value, it seems like we have it all together, and that is ok - we are all human, and if we were perfect, we would be something other than human. You shouldn't feel like you have to be the "model" sparker in order to give support, advice, etc. You are awesome, and I know I (and many others) really look up to you!

    2177 days ago
    Fraud? No no no no. Anything but! emoticon
    2177 days ago
    You are not a fraud at all. There are so many things you have been successful at, and sharing your experiences and advice with others is so helpful. I have learned so much from you about running! Sharing our struggles can be just as helpful, even if they are stubborn and not giving over to change as we would like.
    2177 days ago
    You are not alone on this. Been there, done that, still do in fact. However, you have REALIZED what you do. That's the important part. So I don't see you as a fraud. Being aware of your habits and actually telling us about them in a big step. It's tough to admit things like that.
    2177 days ago
  • LIS193
    I can relate... peanut butter and crackers LOL that was my first down fall after getting to goal, then came the cookies...
    We know what we have to do but knowing and doing are totally unrelated sometimes. Why is after 2pm so hard??? I've tried everything from chewing gum to drinking water to knitting!
    2177 days ago
    I can relate to your post so sounds like me on MANY days! Don't feel like a fraud for giving advice even though you don't always have your act perfectly together. I think most of us know what to do even when we don't always do it. And it's always easier to give non-biased objective advice to another than it is to apply it to yourself! So that is exactly what I am going to do, even though I do NOT have my own act together all the time.

    - Is it possible that you are simply not eating enough on the days that you are being "good"? Because you exercise a lot. What if you upped your calorie range by 100 and tried to eat those extra calories at lunch or early afternoon...maybe you wouldn't be as hungry in the evening? Now I realize it probably it partly "head hunger" as opposed to "stomach hunger". Part of getting away from that yo-yoing is to find a realistic limit, somewhere in the middle of your strict-dieting days and your binge days. Do you track everything, even the binges? If so, you can probably figure out what your true calorie average is. And since you are at goal weight and are staying within + or - of it, that calorie average is probably a pretty good daily goal for you.

    - Have you tried making the Weight Watchers veggie soup and having it as a side dish with dinner? It is VERY filling. I can send you the recipe if you need it.

    Well, that's all I've got for now...I see others have lots of good advice, too. Don't give up, you are NOT a fraud.
    2177 days ago
    I certainly understand the feeling of battling something bigger than you; something beyond your control...I've got an eating disorder (or two) and have battled it for my whole life since I was about 16....And now, I'm stuck again...gaining and losing the same few pounds...for MONTHS. It does feel like you're up against a wall. ..but really you aren't...Try to find ways -even small ones --to empower yourself against the sense of hopelessness...because THAT is your biggest enemy; not your appetite. Maybe also spend some real time searching for and experimenting with some new recipes...Things that taste GOOD but which are both good for you and not high in calories. That way you CAN have a little bigger portion without doing that much damage. (And at NO time, is Peanut Butter a low fat snack! And saltines are just empty yeah, try to rid your house of all of that. ) But you are right. a person can overeat any type of food...but it's really kind of hard to overeat a plate of veggies....Ask yourself, "who is really in control, me or my desire for food? Who is Bigger and more powerful?" and the truth is that YOU are...Don't allow yourself to believe the cop out that you are not in control....because once you believe that excuse, you can justify eating anything in any amount.

    Good luck to you sweetie. I know ---it is not an easy struggle, but if it helps you: we are all in it together...fighting the same battle and are all pulling for you. emoticon
    2177 days ago
    Oh Lisa... I hear - and feel - your pain. I agree with 'mo'. I think a lot of us who are maintaining struggle in some way or another. You do have to just keep picking yourself up again and again, and reminding yourself that it's a journey.

    Today is a new day... and you are worth the effort.
    emoticon Cindy emoticon
    2177 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/18/2010 9:51:30 AM
    2177 days ago
    I think you probably keep up with the exercise because, on some level, you enjoy doing it! The dieting probably isn't falling into place because it ISN'T something you enjoy doing... and it sounds like the over eating isn't making you feel so hot, either. All of those things are just behaviors, though.

    If you try to change the behavior and not the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind it, you're going on will power alone. Will power isn't infinite. I did almost the EXACT same thing a few years ago... I'd overeat and then fast and exercise, or wait until midnight and eat a whole day's worth of calories in about 2 hours. I reached my goal weight, but couldn't maintain that way of living for long. I had an encyclopedic knowledge of diet wisdom, knew every low fat/calorie/carb recipe trick in the book. It all meant nothing, because I was miserable. I lived to eat. Even if it was stuff that I hated, the so called "good for you" food. I felt like a bottomless pit.

    I think it is possible to lose weight or maintain and to ENJOY doing it, even more than you enjoy the binges. Not because it's just the right thing to do, or it's good for your health, or for any other external reason, but because it just flat out feels better on every level.
    You might want to try listening to a podcast called "Inside Out Weight Loss," or go by the sparkteam for it. It has been really, immensely helpful in my own struggles. It has a lot of good exercises you can go through to identify why you are eating like this, and how to begin changing the root of that behavior. It's provided me with the tools to stop bingeing because I wanted to, and doesn't rely on you just white knuckling it until some magical day where the compulsion disappears. Give it a shot! It doesn't have to be this hard. emoticon
    2178 days ago
    I don't think you are a fraud. I think you are struggling with an addiction to food, just like many here on SparkPeople. I don't have any answers for you either, except to keep on trying, and stop beating yourself up because you aren't perfect. I am not really a big fan of counseling, but I wonder if a few sessions might be beneficial to you in that it might help you understand what causes the behaviors you see in yourself- and maybe a good counselor could help you find a way to break the cycle. Congrats on losing the weight and keeping it off, no matter how you did it- at least you did it!
    2178 days ago
    Lisa, thank you for your honesty. This lifestyle stuff is so not easy. I have many addictions in my family as well. In fact in a spirit of disclosure I have been sober for almost 20 years. I have battled every addiction you can think of. I think what has worked for me and I hope I am not being too forward is relying heavily on my spirituality to handle the issues I cant handle myself. What that means to me is admitting that I am powerless over food, gambling, drugs, alcohol, smoking and other issues.

    The smoking thing for example I was so fearful of success that I never even tried to quit. That is seriously twisted thinking. Instead of being afraid of failure I was afraid to win. I guess on some level succeeding meant that I had one less defense against intimacy with others. Okay I know TMI. But you have inspired my honesty. Being honest with ourselves is the hardest battle. I don't have the answer(s)for you. But I totally relate and can absolutely identify with you in this struggle.

    Hang in there Lisa.

    2178 days ago
    I really believe all of us maintainers have some version of this same problem. It's just picking yourself up again and never, never, never giving up. AND doing all of the things you know to do.

    I've branched out and found other sites where people are working on this together. On one of the sites there was a link to this very informative youtube video that was helpful for me.
    FqXCYKc . If that works. I really don't know how to put in a link. Other than that there are a couple of sites, Refuse to Regain and Debra's Maintaining. All good reading. I find that reading, blogging, etc. every day is helpful.

    Remember to love yourself. You are wonderful.

    2178 days ago
    I can relate to the mindless eating. The putting food in your mouth, even when not hungry. And, just be happy that you've stayed in a 5 lb area.

    If all your eating is in the evenings, is there anything you can do in the evenings to stay away from the food. And, as you say you are a bit obsessive about exercising, something that has nothing to do with burning calories? Drawing, reading, writing, snuggles with your hubby, artistic pursuits, volunteering?

    Also, have you tried journaling? It sounds like your whole family has issues with food. Explore these. Food in my family has always been a way to show love. So, I still reach for certain foods when I need to feel love... I need to start reaching for my kids instead.... (even if they may not want hugs at that time)

    Many hugs. This is the hardest part of losing weight. The head space.
    2178 days ago
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