Hi there guys
We can all do this. We are not on the four letter word 'diet'.
We are changing our way of living for the rest of our lives - one day at a time.
We are not in a race - there are no winners and losers.
We are all doing great - no matter what little or big hiccups occur.
We are here, we are alive. There is hope - and it is FREE in Spark People.
We are posting and telling it like it is.
We are never giving up.
We are picking up the pieces and starting again.
Today is always brand new, and any second in it can be the start of a brand new day.
We do not have to wait till tomorrow to get back on track.
We are looking for a way of eating and living that we can live with one day at a time
for the rest of our lives.
We are looking to get healthier rather than skinnier - skinny is purely a by-product.
Being thin never made me happy.
I repeat this to myself because I have been skinny many times and still not happy.
It is one of the biggest truths about my life.
I choose the words skinny and thin always, because to me the word 'slim' has associations that instantly make me think of model, beauty, gorgeous, loveable and perfect... not to mention young.
I am now 74. These things make me think unattainable. Skinny and thin are just words and looking at them like this allows me to love me no matter what size I am.
My size or weight never changed how I felt about me, or how I felt about other people, or about my life. I always felt fat - even when my son asked me if I was anorexic - I still felt fat.
If I do not love and care about myself at the size I am now - losing weight will not change that feeling of inner pain and worthlessness and being unlovable.
Blaming myself for what I eat, or don't eat is the very thing that makes me want to eat it again.
Guilt, fear, hopelessness, anger, low self esteem, remorse - these are some of the things that make me personally want to eat. Also as it turns out when I get really good news.
Being aware of my triggers is helpful. I can be prepared with food at the very front of the fridge that I can grab and eat while I deal with the uproar inside my body.
Recognizing and dealing with the cause of my eating is what helps me to eat in a way that is good and enjoyable for me. In my case - I choose a way that does not leave me feeling hungry half the day. I could never live with that for ever. Sometimes here and there perhaps, but not frequently. I always end up eating something - and usually something that is not so good for me or my desire to be as healthy as I can be.
I have tried many different plans, even since joining Spark 4 years ago.
We each have our own specific eating needs, either for health reasons or because of addiction or intolerance to some substance. I have a problem with several food items, including a form of addiction to some as well as others that make me swell up like a balloon and an intolerance to chemicals.
Over my years in Spark, I have learned to be kind to myself above all.
I am not a machine - I am a living entity with a whole lot of baggage and over the years food has been one of the things I have used to cope with life. This does not change overnight just because I decide to stop eating for comfort.
My little inner child is not going to let go of that coping mechanism until I can give her something else that comforts her and makes her feel safe and loved. I am re-parenting her.
Being a sober alcoholic for 44 years and having an addictive personality I needed to find something that is non addictive to help me live my life - change what I can change and accept what I cannot.
I am the one who benefits from doing this.
I am far from perfect including my eating, but I have found a way of life that I can live with.
I no longer need to feel guilt or remorse over what I eat because my plan is not so restrictive. I can live with it on a daily basis.
During my life I have been on so many diets and they all worked - but... there is no way I ever
considered living the rest of my life on them. As soon as I stopped the weight went right back on. Most of us know how this goes.
What I discovered in Spark People is a way of living with food, that I can actually enjoy.
I no longer need to look at what others eat and go pea green with envy, or try and change everyone to eat the same way I do - just because it is good for me, or suits me.
Have you ever tried getting a smoker to quit smoking???? Well it is just as useless to try and get someone to change the way they eat if they do not want to. All it does is to put up barriers and stop them from perhaps wanting to change. Once they notice the way you look and admire you when they ask how you did it - telling them it is a secret, will make them far more likely to want to find out and perhaps join you.
In my age group this does not happen very often...
We tend to get set in our ways. However when eating lunch with friends I always have the same thing and it is a thing that I really love. Double strength decaf latte with skim milk in a big, big bowl with sweetner.
I also get a jug of hot water with this and it lasts for as long as we chat.... and we do chat.
Costs $5 and keeps me happy as a sandfly no matter what they eat and it is so filling.
I can maintain the weight I have lost, or I can choose to lose some more (unless on a plateau)
and have several different ways of eating that allow me to eat a variety of foods without adverse consequences and the spells of maintenance are good. Sure they slow me down a bit, but this is a life time journey.
Doc is delighted. Could not believe my weight loss - when I was in losing mode. It seems very few people actually do this, they opt for the pills. He is happy with my maintenance weight (surprisingly enough). Guess this is because of my age and also I do not need diabetes or BP pills any longer.
I do not have to focus my life around what I can or cannot eat.
Do plan my food on a daily basis however and do record it.
Without doing that I would not stay on this path.
But once I know what I am going to eat for the day I do not have to think of it again.
I do plan a week ahead for shopping and make sure I have what I need.
I often change the days about though before I write my food down - and sometime I will substitute one thing for another even after it is written.
But the writing seems to commit me to my plan.
I also record it on one team or another so that I am accountable - at least in my own mind.
I have also discovered it does not matter when I start my 24 hours.
This is something I did not know.
No idea if it will work for everyone.
But I do not need to start my day in the morning.
My food plan for 24 hours can start at any time as long as it is consistent.
This suits me very well because of the time I eat my meals.
All these things are amazing to me - and as it turns out Spark People is the catalyst that started me on my 'freedom from the tyranny of food'.
I am almost afraid to post this, lest it sound like bragging and that I think I am better than you - when that is so far from the truth. It is because I have been addicted to food since a child that I am wanting to share that there is a way out of the addictive eating pattern.
Some of us may appear stronger, but then no one knows the problems those of us who are seemingly weaker may be facing on a daily basis. There are so many wonderful people in Spark who I admire enormously for the problems they deal with . I have no idea how they cope but they do and I am honoured to share their lives.
The kindest thing I can do is not to judge anyone for the way they eat. I have no idea of what they may be facing on a daily basis. Tomorrow this could be me.
If we choose not to eat to kill the pain or find the feelings of love that we need to survive, then we have to find something else that will satisfy that inner need. Many of us have grown up without love and for whatever reason - food is what filled that basic need of life.
Just thought I had better make it clear that I am not offering any special way of eating. I have tried out many different systems and parts of systems and continue to do so. I don't have any magic plan for us all - just the one that suits me at my time of life.
Know that we can all do this, no matter how long it takes, if it is something that we really want. If anyone is mean or hurtful - please remember it is only because they do not understand. It says nothing at all about you - only about them because they have not walked in your shoes. If they had they would understand.