Saturday, July 14, 2012
One of the challenges for the BLC#15 is to write about a setback or mental barrier and how we overcame it what we learned from it.
I am currently in the process of overcoming my compulsive overeating. I have discovered over the past few months that my brain was making a million excuses in order to allow myself to continue eating more calories than I needed.
This list is not all-inclusive, but I feel it's important to get this out there to remind myself next time I catch myself trying to use one of these excuses.
1. "I worked out hard today.. I need a few extra calories"
OK, maybe you do. But, do you need more fruits, veggies, and lean protein, or do you need that fast food drive thru???? Also, you said a FEW extra, not 700 extra!!! Good thing you tracked it and won't be doing that anymore, right? right.
2. "I can estimate how many calories are in that, no need to track"
Even after years of using the Nutrition Tracker, your best guesses often underestimate. You really. do. need. to use that tracker, no more excuses! Set yourself up for success by cooking the majority of your food at home so that you know -exactly- how many calories are in it.
3. "I am eating this because I am tired / it's that time of the month / I'm stressed out! I will do better later."
Really? You are going to procrastinate on your health? How has that worked for you so far? If you are tired, take a nap. If you cannot, you have a freezer full of healthy meals that you can whip up in a second. French fries might make you feel better mentally, but you will be kicking yourself tomorrow. Make choices today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow, and remember, exercise and sleep are much, much better tools to reduce your stress than eating junky foods.
4. "I will just use this as my cheat meal and not track it"
BAD IDEA. You know you set up the cheat meal once a week to reset your hunger hormones by letting yourself go over your calorie intake for the day by a few hundred... it is not a FREE FOR ALL. You STILL need to track it, and you need to be responsible for it. It's ok to indulge, but it is NOT ok to see how much food you can stuff in your stomach until it feels so full it hurts. That leads to overeating by more than a few hundred calories as you planned, and it stretches out your stomach so that you feel less full with your meals tommorrow. You know better than to engage in this behavior.
5. "I haven't lost any weight this week, so it doesn't matter if I overeat"
Yes it does. It certainly, absolutely, 100% does. Weight loss results from a net deficit over weeks and months and years, not days. And, just because your body (for whatever reason) is not losing weight NOW does not mean it is not coming. Except, now it won't come as quickly, because you just ate way. too. much. food. Next time, just give it more time, have faith, and if it doesn't happen in a few weeks, look for more ways to improve your nutrition and fitness instead of just giving in.
6. "I'm ugly/fat and don't deserve it/not worth it"
Yes, I have actually said these things to myself, as much as I don't want to admit it. But, the thing is, I am going to go ahead and admit that I am NOT ugly, and that "fat" is just a word. It may be a word that was once used to hurt me, but I will no longer allow it to hurt me. I have the power to not let words like this bug me. Beating myself up with insults like these is NOT making the process go any faster--in fact, it is slowing me down. From this moment on, I will treat myself with respect. I deserve that. I deserve to stop allowing others (or the memories of others) to hurt me. I deserve to be happy, and I will choose happiness. I will reach my goals because I want to, because believe I can, because I am taking steps towards them, and because I am not allowing myself to slide back into the negativity that took me away from them in the first place.
Things I have learned over the past few months:
A. I can live with much less food than previously thought, and that I used to "hoard" food by eating more so that I would not get hungry later.
B. I was not letting myself become truly hungry between meals (now I am).
C. I was using food as a security blanket, as a habit to drown out anxiety without even realizing it.
D. I need to find other things to replace the feelings of happiness and comfort that overeating used to provide. So far I am using exercise, guitar, singing, and yoga. I also get a ton of support from my bf and from Sparkfriends.
E. I was subconsciously perpetuating the bullying that I received throughout my childhood and young adulthood, and treating myself poorly because I felt inadequate. Bullies--be they peers or family members--are just (poorly) dealing with their own inadequacies when they bully others, and I forgive those people for their stupidity; I refuse to let it affect me for one more second. And you know what else? I forgive my parents for being too immature or too wrapped up in their own mental issues to know how to deal with it. I forgive them for ignoring me and losing themselves in their work, for making me feel less-than-human with their comments about my body or my weight, and I forgive them for not being there for me emotionally when I needed them. I no longer crave their approval. I deserve to feel good about myself--at any weight--for myself, and for no one else. And I am the only one who is going to make my life better.
I am working on it, one day at a time... and I am worth it.
Wow, I feel better now. Thanks for listening :)