Sunday, September 15, 2013
OMG, OMG, OMG! I was just over reading a new spark friend's blog entries and right there in black and white was an answer. . .THE answer. . . I have long been searching for!
For years - like 40 of them give or take a few - I have dieted, dieted, dieted. I have tried Weight Watchers, Nutri-System, Slim4Life, Atkins, South Beach, The Grapefruit Diet, SlimFast, The LA Weight Loss Diet, The Biggest Loser diet, Susan Powter's "Stop the Insanity" program, Richard Simmons' "Dancing to the Oldies" program, a Vegetarian program, Sensa, organic only eating, hypnosis, diet pills and on and on an on. Did I miss anything? If so, it's for lack of memory cause I'm just certain that I've tried them all! At least once in my life! I have done everything from all meat to no meat to no food at all. I consulted with a doctor to undergo lap-band surgery, I investigated some hormone injection program where you eat a measly 500 calories a day while shooting yourself up with some liquidy substance of God only knows what! I've purchased at least 6 gym memberships, a treadmill, a gazelle, a machine that promised to crunch my abs into a beautiful 6 pack in just minutes a day, a shaker thing-a-ma-bob, a hoop that you squeeze to tone all your muscles, hand weights and dumb bells and hula hoops and stability balls and DVDs and yoga mats and props and stationary bikes as well as bikes you ride out on the road, and diet books full of programs that promised to make you thin through visualization, meditation, eating more, eating less, or - and this was the best rip off ever! - breathing! Oh, and I bought all the latest, greatest exercise attire too, which frankly looked ridiculous on me! But still, I bought it just in case. . .because just maybe. . . that ridiculous clothing that made me look more like a whale then an athlete might just be the magic needed to get me to goal. Ha! I bought into all of it. Anytime I heard the words "weight" "loss" used together in a sentence, I'd whip out the checkbook or credit card and ask. . . "where do I send my money and how fast can you get it to me?" An extra $99.99 for overnight shipping? Oh, sure, no problem! If I pay an extra $299.99 can you get it to me within the hour?
And guess what?
None of this stuff made me thin. It all made my wallet much, much lighter, but it didn't do a damn thing for my abs, hips, legs, arms, hopes or dreams.
Oh, sure, I was able to do some of these diets and use some of the weight-loss equipment for periods of time. I'd lose 10 lbs, gain 20, lose 5 pounds, gain 6, lose 110 pounds, gain 74. Why? That was the thing I could never figure out. Why couldn't I lose weight - be happy - and maintain? Why couldn't I stay the course? Why?
I didn't know. For all these many years, I simply did not know. The other thing I didn't know was why after dieting for a minute and losing a little weight would I always fall off the wagon and return to my former eating habits? Like now? I started SP 103 days ago. I was already doing Atkins (again) and had experienced an impressive initial weight loss in just a matter of weeks. I think I lost 12 lbs the first week on Atkins. 12! Now if that doesn't give one motivation, what the heck will? Right? Can I get an Amen? Thank you!
So today I'm over perusing another SP's blog and found this: "Is emotional eating ok to do if I can do it in balance and maintain my weight loss?" Ok, maybe that's not an exact quote, but it's close enough. She had lost an enormous amount of weight and was right next door to her goal. Recently, she had started allowing herself to eat a small piece of chocolate every day right after lunch (for emotional reasons). The candy was all of about 50 calories - so she was still eating "in range". She was just wondering about whether it was ever ok to eat for emotional reasons. GREAT QUESTION!
Without much thought, I said, "no! no! no!" Of course, my brain was answering the question for me, not her. I mean come on - really? I don't know this person at all. So maybe she can feed her emotions that teeny, tiny 50 calories a day and be just fine with it. But my brain lit up like a Christmas tree and started hollering about how that is never, ever ok! I wrote some stream-of-consciousness something about how food is for me like drugs and alcohol are for an addict - the only difference is my body "needs" food for survival. But, I can never have just one of anything I truly love. Because one piece of chocolate, one donut, one scoop of ice cream, one slice of cake - sparks emotion - strong emotion - and then 1 quickly becomes 1000. I can pretty successfully eat for health and balance, but what I cannot do is eat for or from emotion.
And then came my big aha moment. Ready? Here it is. . . when I diet, I eliminate the foods I really love. Junk is more like it. The stuff I'm talking about isn't "real" food, it's garbage that has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Crap like cookies and chips and candy and brownies and pie and cake and donuts. Anyway, so long as I eliminate all that crap, I lose weight. After awhile (sometimes it's a matter of days and sometimes it's months and months), my brain starts fanaticising - romanticising - longing to have it. . . just one more time. . . and soon I become convinced that it's ok to have just one. Just one of anything I love. Once I've worked it out in my mind - rationalized and convinced myself that it will be ok to have "just one" - my mouth starts watering, my stomach starts growling and my body becomes convinced that it absolutely must have that one food item. Nothing else will do! Nothing else will fill me. The inner me. The emotional me.
So then. . .
I do it.
I have just one.
Never is it enough.
One becomes two becomes five, becomes 10 becomes 100 and before I know what's happened, my emotions are all over the map screaming at me to eat more, more, more.
And I do.
And then. . .
I'm completely off my diet. Always well intentioned. . . "I'll start again tomorrow". But! Tomorrow doesn't come . . . for days or weeks or months or years.
Getting back on track is incredibly difficult. The other day I blogged about being stuck. I just felt stuck - unable to take even one step forward. Today, I know why.
I'm struck because getting unstuck requires me to return to deprivation. I am not a "balanced" eater. I'm just not. That's my truth. I can't ever have even just one piece of candy. I can't. It doesn't work like that for me. Like an alcoholic can't have even one drink, I can't have even one _______ (anything I love). And knowing that? Keeps me from starting. Keeps me stuck. I'm incapable or unable to take a step forward cause I just don't want to live my truth. I don't want to live in deprivation. . . forever. Damn that's a very long time!
Today, I'm grateful for this knowledge. Somehow I believe this could just be the missing link. Now I know - diets don't fail me, rather, I fail them. Now I know why I'm struggling to get back on the diet bandwagon. "I just don't want to live in deprivation", she says while kicking her legs and stomping her feet and pouting like a 2 year old! But I know that I must. If ever I am to weigh 150 lbs - my ultimate goal - then I absolutely must quit eating the junk I love. And it must be forever.
So, what do you think? Does any of this resonate with you? Do you feel deprived when you diet? Do you believe that deprivation has to be forever in order for you to reach your goal and then maintain it? Or are you more balanced than me? Can you have just "one" of whatever food it is that gets your motor running and not be triggered into eating more and more and more? Can you have just "one" and be emotionally stable? I can't. I know that. Now I just have to implement what I know. Here, I am torn. I know what I need. I know what I want. But my needs and wants somehow are not more powerful then my emotions - at least not today. My emotions know how long forever really is. And they just aren't ready. Now what on earth do I do about that?
If ever there were a time that I needed to hear from you, it would be now!