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The Monkey On Your Back

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013



Have you ever heard the phrase "I've got a monkey on my back"? It refers to a problem or addiction that you are really struggling with. The monkey on MY back was binge eating. A little over a year ago, I really fought against it. I was at the highest weight of my life, 286 lbs. Every morning, I would wake up and promise myself that I would get that monkey off my back. I swore that I would not binge eat. Sometimes I would be able to keep that promise all day long, only to give in at night. Other times, I wouldn't even make it until breakfast before I'd binge.

I wanted to change so badly! I knew I had to do SOMETHING in order to lose all the weight, or else I'd be dead in a few years. I've said this before but I'll say it again...I really was killing myself with the extra weight, the sedentary lifestyle, and all the junk food I was stuffing myself with. It was fear of an early grave that finally got me to start taking care of my health, and trying to get that monkey off my back.



It was on March 1, 2012 that I finally got myself on track, and since then I've lost a lot of weight (71 lbs so far) and I've gained health, strength, endurance and flexibility. I've also gained confidence and self esteem. I am my own hero, because I am saving myself from myself.

But one thing I've learned is this;

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.”
-Anne Lamott

What does that mean? Well, to me it means that although I have fought a good fight, there are times when I lose a round. I have not been perfect on my journey, and I know I never will be. Sometimes I go completely off track. Yesterday was one of those days. I'm stressing over things, and yesterday it just totally got to me. I ended up having a pretty huge binge. Afterwards, I was so disappointed in myself. But you know what? That binge wasn't a failure. It was a lesson. It was an occurrence. It happened, but just because it happened doesn't mean that I have to keep on letting it happen. Today is a new day and even though the circus will always be in town, I don't have to let that monkey hop on my back and take up permanent residence. I can (and I will) fight against it.



I will keep going, and as long as I have more good days than bad ones, I know I will make progress!






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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GABIBEAR
    Great for you!!!!!! That is awesome!!! Keep up the good work!!! Sounds like you have more control over that monkey than you give yourself credit for!!!!
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    Gabi
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    1499 days ago
  • FLEMIDG
    Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your weight loss. You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Keep up the great work. We're rooting for you.

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    1499 days ago
  • GARDENCHRIS
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    1499 days ago
  • GUITARPLAYER7
    Congratulations! I started around 300 lb. 3 years ago. In a year I lost 115 lb. I Plataead at 185 for over a year then gained back 35 lb. This Jan. I started to get back on track but struggled with that binge eating in the eve. for 3 more months before I finally was able to stop. I changed my schedule. I started getting up at 6 a.m. and going to daily Mass. That meant I started going to bed at 8:30 or 9 p.m. That helped me stop binging in the eve as I had been staying up until 11 p.m. eating all eve. So now since Jan. I have lost 40 lbs and am planning on staying with the program this time for the long haul. One day at a time. Like you said, there are those days I fall back but each day is a new day. I also increased my walking from an hour a day to 2 hours a day. That has given me more energy. Keep on keeping on.
    1499 days ago
  • ANDREAG89
    Thank you very much for sharing. I LOVE the monkey/circus quote. How true! I'm watching a show about Steve Jobs right now, and he said something like "the first step in a thousand mile journey is daunting if you think about how far you have to go, but it's very important to take that step." Exactly what you are saying - it's a journey with a windy road and lots of learning experiences along the way!
    1499 days ago
  • SASSYTHING52
    ready good blog. seems i got a whole jungle monkeys on my back tormenting me
    1499 days ago
  • SUCCESSHEL
    The best analogy I've heard is "if you got a flat would you get out and puncture the other 3 tires?
    Nobody gets good at anything having a perfect, easy day everyday.
    You're doing great.
    Thanks for this post.

    1499 days ago
  • JERICHO1991
    Loved this blog. Thank you.
    1499 days ago
  • KHALIA2
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  • MISSENG
    emoticon Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • BLKLILY
    Thank you.
    1499 days ago
  • MCFITZ2
    Pixie Great wisdom. emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • JAMER123
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    You write such a good blog, Pixie!! So glad you can share with us and keep on inspiring us!! Good job!!
    1499 days ago
  • PIGGYS1
    your doing great emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    another great blog, but for me its night time eating. late evenings, i start out the morning doing wonderfully, and thru the day as well, but somewhere around 8pm or later, i just have urges to eat, not so much binge, but graze, snack.
    i did really well with it for a long time, and then it creeped right back in.
    its still such a struggle.
    but great friends and great blogs remind me to just work harder to find what works.
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    1499 days ago
  • JSEATTLE
    Good days and bad days are still days pursuing your goal!! Keep on going!
    1499 days ago
  • TIHAITIEN
    That's great. emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • TOKIEMOON
    I admire your honesty and unwavering determination. Thanks for sharing! emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • CORNERKICK
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  • ALIKISHOPS
    What triggers binging? When I was in high school, and actually pretty skinny, I would occasionally get in a blah sort of depressed mood after school where I just wanted to eat. I would eat after school until it hurt, wait a while then fill up at dinner, then eat more in the evening. There used to be diet candies called Ayds, which were like caramels made out of fiber. Once when the binge mood came on I ate five of them (a whole whopping 125 calories total) instead of the one or two suggested, washed down with a cup of tea. That was enough to cause major pain. Not only was the binge interrupted, but I don't think I ever felt the binge compulsion again. (Not that I'm claiming to be a disciplined eater--I have plenty of other vices.) In my case, I was not aware of any triggers. I guess I am lucky that I inflicted enough pain on myself at a young age to stop the compulsion to binge.
    1499 days ago
  • JUDYD207
    Thanks Pixie, You are a great inspiration to many people.

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  • TINKLYBINK
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us- best wishes in the "circus".
    1499 days ago
  • ZJAMEZ
    I know what you are going thru! I have battled this same monkey. It is so persistent! It never goes away. I understand totally. I have heard it said this way also, this is like a lion, you need to take it out of the cage to feed it several times a day. The problem is that it is sometimes, not always or everytime, difficult to get it back in the cage!
    Yes, I too have learned that I will always have this challenge. But, because we are not perfect does not mean that we fail.
    Thank you for sharing! It was very helpful!
    1499 days ago
  • SWEETTEA1231
    I'm glad you're defeating the ubiquitous "monkey" now. The big challenge may be down the road when you find a new way to defeat the binge eating by taking on a new habit. Many of us go through dozens of addictive behaviors over the decades of our lives, just hoping some day to be 'normal'.

    Just be aware that you will always be vulnerable to replacement behavioral obsessions, and make sure any you choose are not self-destructive.

    Been there...
    1499 days ago
  • SUMMIOZ
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  • PATRICIAANN46
    Hi Pixie.........
    If I am in need of inspiration, I have only to read your blogs.......... emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • SCHOPPEK
    Great job! You are doing this! We all slip up now and then and you've done an excellent job on your journey! I struggle with this issue myself. Be very proud of the work you've done, you're a winner!

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    1499 days ago
  • CAROL494
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  • HAPPYMENOW58
    Keep up the good fight!! SOOOOOOO true!! emoticon emoticon

    You are doing great!!
    1499 days ago
  • MOTORCYCLERN
    Thank you for sharing and helping me not give in to my monkey. As my WW leader says "quitting is not an option"
    1499 days ago
  • ANGELALOUISE3
    This really hits home with me. I struggle with the same monkey, and I really agree with everything you're saying. I'm so glad you're shoving the monkey to the side, and you've inspired me to continue to fight so I can do the same. I hope the circus doesn't visit too often... my goal is for it to never visit again. Thanks for sharing this, and the inspiration! :)
    1499 days ago
  • YMI0625
    Good point about the circus never leaving town and dodging the monkeys :) lol
    Thanks!
    1499 days ago
  • PAPASNAPDRAGON
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  • KAYLSLYNN
    THE MONKEY BROKE MY LEG FEMOR BONE BIGGEST BONE IN MY BODY . MY MONKEY WAS A PAIR OF PLASTIC SHOES AND A PUDDLE OF WATER AND A CONCRETE PAD. THE SAME MONKEY WAS IN TOWN HAS NEVER LEFT WHEN I SLIPPED DOWN THE STAIRS TRYING TO GET TO WORK CALLED IN EARLY LONG HOURS NOT ON DUTY . LONG STORY SHORT . I HAD COMPLETE KNEE REPLACEMENT 7 YEARS. FAMILY RUNNING AROUND TRYING TO GET ME HELP . THEY WILL SOON KNOW IT WAS THE MONKEY. MY HUSBAND JUST GOT A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. THE KIDS THINK SOME ONE IS HURTING MOMMY . HUSBAND READ YOUR BLOG. HE KNOWS. IT IS THE MONKEY. SO WILL THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BECAUSE ONE WOMEN TOLD HER STORY. IT IS JUST THE MONKEY. I AM 68 YEARS OLD HE IS 69 YEARS OLD. THE KIDS WILL LEARN IT IS JUST THE MONKEY THANKS TO YOU. THANKS HERE GOES YOU THANKS emoticon emoticon M emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon TIME TO GO SPARK emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • ARTJAC
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  • SVELTEWARRIOR
    Well Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!
    1499 days ago
  • SUSIEMT
    Well done! Keep up the good work!
    1499 days ago
  • GOOSIEMOON
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  • SANSIMEONGIRL
    As we say in my 12 step group.. "Progress, not perfection!!"
    1499 days ago
  • APITTS214
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  • LAINYC
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  • FOXFIRENDTS
    Thank you for sharing, this was great. Just yesterday me and my co-workers were talking about "monkeys on our back" and for 1 how great she has been doing since she got rid of that monkey. I have a few monkeys I need to get rid of, as I am trying to fight the fight. I will provail.

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    1499 days ago
  • MOMO7YROLD
    I liked this. emoticon emoticon emoticon .
    Theresa emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • BRENDABUNNY
    Absolutely wonderful reminder for us to keep at it...I like the part where you said "as long as you keep having more good days then bad ones you will make progress"
    That speaks to me about my own struggles and reassures me one bad day is no reason to be so hard on myself emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • FAWNMEADOW
    I know that Monkey Well and I think you've done an amazing job! emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • CHERYLSBUTT
    Oh I know this monkey
    I fight him too!!!!
    He kicks in the door when I am stressed or bored.
    Keep fighting, I do:-)
    1499 days ago
  • J2740LOU
    No one is perfect, we just try to do our best.....and when we fail, we just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start over again. I know you can do it. You never fail unless you just quit trying anyway. Keep focused and trod on one step at a time in that direction. emoticon emoticon
    1499 days ago
  • 2TIGRE
    You're not alone, so many of us deal with binge eating. Like you, my binge triggers are stress. Unfortunately, stress is just a part of life and its so important that we find healthy coping mechanisms. While I still struggle with it from time to time, I have also learned some healthy ways to deal with my stress and I just try and practice those as much as I can and thats the best I can do. Its all good - keep up the good work.

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    1499 days ago
  • SHOAPIE
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  • ELIZACG9
    emoticon Don't deprive yourself but, don't over do it either.. emoticon
    1499 days ago
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