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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
  • no profile photo WORDTOTHEWISE
    Thanks for sharing your inspirational experience and emoticon words. Great quote as well.
    773 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this.
    I have issues at night too. But lately i am finding that even my binges arent as bad as they used to be. I count that as progress.

    and i love the quote:

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

    2070 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon That is my new attitude as well Pix!
    2098 days ago
    I know its been a long time but never too long to cheer a friend on to victory. So here I go emoticon emoticon emoticon , emoticon , emoticon , and last but not least emoticon .
    2169 days ago
  • JUDIL62
    The circus is always in town....SO TRUE!!! This blog is exactly what I needed to hear, thank you for sharing, and good luck on your journey
    2212 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2228 days ago
    we can get the monkey off one day at a time & if climbs up just be more careful next time
    2241 days ago
  • MISSLISA1973
    Thanks for this great post! I binge eat, especially on sugary sweets. I needed this reminder that it's worth fighting against, and that it will be a lifelong journey.

    emoticon Lisa
    2244 days ago
  • COLEE82
    Hi thanks so much for writing this! I, too have struggled with binge eating for years and it has been getting the best of me lately. Your words have reminded me that despite how I sometimes feel, I am not alone in this, and that I CAN work past it. Thank you, and well done!

    2246 days ago
    Pixie, you are not alone-the monkey has been riding me, or have I been riding it? Any way, for those of us who are emotional eaters, that monkey may be something we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives. One meal, snack, day, at a time. Cheers to us! emoticon
    2247 days ago
    Exactly what I needed to keep me going forward YET AGAIN!!!
    Great progress and attitude!
    2249 days ago
    You have done a great job training your monkey so far. Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring me to keep strong and positive. All the best!
    2251 days ago
  • no profile photo THEEAGLEWILLFLY
    Thank you for your blog. I guess it all comes down to putting one foot in front of the other, and if we fall down, mess up - as we all do somewhere along the way - then we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and keep putting one foot in front of the other. All the best for your journey Pixie-licious!!
    2252 days ago
    Once again, your blog hit the mark at just the right time. I'd been saving it and didn't know what it was about beyond the obvious.

    Just so happens the monkey crawled up my back to dance on my head today. I too was feeling disappointed in myself as its been a really long time since that happened.

    Your blog helped me remember it is over and done. Not the start of an ongoing slide.

    Thanks friend Pixie-licious...
    2253 days ago
    Thanks, your story made my day! Keep up the good work... emoticon
    2253 days ago
    Thanks for the inspiring post! i feel like I have a monkey on my back, too... I can't seem to get started and get it to stick. Its discouraging when the circus stays in town too long!

    I'm searching for motivation and your post was uplifting!
    2254 days ago
    FABULOUS! You ALWAYS inspire me! THANK YOU! emoticon
    2254 days ago
    great job. You are an inspiration. Stay strong! emoticon
    2254 days ago
  • no profile photo COOPER1009
    Thank you so much for this blog. Keep up the wonderful progress! I hope I can say the same very soon! emoticon
    2254 days ago
    emoticon Those monkeys must have escaped the circus!

    emoticon One rides my back, too.

    emoticon But, like you, I am training him! emoticon

    emoticon To you and anyone else out there...keep fighting but it is soooo worth it!
    2254 days ago
  • TJ54125
    A great post and very timely for me. Thank you!
    2254 days ago
  • no profile photo AN1944
    Loved your sharing - I relate 100 % I'm 69 and work at it everyday. Am now maintaining 70 lb loss for over 2 years. I have to take it one day at a time.
    2255 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/20/2013 7:31:58 PM
  • no profile photo FAITHR5
    that's an awesome way to thing about it! how did you convince yourself that it was worth it though. I keep trying to start or i'll even do good for a day or too but food always seems to win. i always give in and say well it'll be ok..
    2255 days ago
    Thanks for sharing Great job! emoticon
    2255 days ago
    Love this, thank you for posting "I've got a monkey on my back". Uplifting and it gives me hope.
    are a Supper Women
    2256 days ago
    What a great blog. It speaks for so MANY of us. You WILL be one of us that will reach their goal. Hopefully it will help a few others reach theirs. AND maybe it will help me. Thanks for the great start to the day and GOOD LUCK MY FRIEND.
    2256 days ago
  • 223DAISY
    Thanks for the encouragement! emoticon emoticon
    2256 days ago
    2257 days ago
  • no profile photo IRENE1955
    well done you, i admire you so much for admiting that you slip sometimes, but even more so for getting back to it, keep up the good work you are making real progress.
    2257 days ago
    Thank you for an inspiring blog. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2257 days ago
    What a wonderful blog thank you so much for sharing your journey
    After reading it thought could have wrote it myself
    Am struggling very much right now and like you start out with a good plan for the day and then it all goes downward
    Continue to take one day at a time
    Each day is a new beginning
    Will try to get that monkey off my back with the help and encouragement of others like you
    Love Prayers Peace
    emoticon emoticon
    2257 days ago
    Loved the analogy! Keep up the good fight!
    2258 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2258 days ago
    So true...and you're one amazing lady. I had a slip yesterday too as a reaction to my Eldest daughter having a major meltdown. (aspergers) . Reading your post has helped put it into perspective and I know in time I will be able to turn that reaction towards something more constructive. Until then I can and will continue making the choice to become healthier. Thank you.
    2258 days ago
    OMG I could of wrote this blog.. I have always had a food binge addiction my whole life sometimes I just do not like to admit it I always think that it "will go away" no it don't I is like a monkey on the back.. sometimes that monkey dose go away and he is in his cage behaving and other times he is out ready to pounce on me.. I am 50 years old and have had that money on my back since my teens. but not till I have read your blog have I ever admitted it.. I have always tried to deal with it.. right now things are going smooth but you and I know all to well that it can jump on any time.. and well your binge last night was the case but its over he is off your back and you are moving forward and I admire that.. you come along way keep.. Thank you for your inspiring and motivation.. Thank you..

    2258 days ago
  • no profile photo AUNTSISSYINKY
    Thank you so much for sharing exactly how I feel! I just read this today and its exactly what I needed to hear. I started out about 12 weeks ago, I've lost 15 lbs. I was on a roll the first couple months....but that monkey keeps nipping at my heels. Thank you for th emoticon e inspiration to keep moving forward! Congratulations on your success and determination!!
    2258 days ago
    I am where you were last March. I know i need to lose weight to help myself. I take medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol , allergies, and even depression. I say every day, tomorrow...tomorrow I will start losing weight, but the next morning it starts all over again. A year and a half ago I lost 25 pounds through diet and exercise and seeing a doctor for help... but when my life situations changed, I gained that back plus some. Now I weight the most I've ever weighed in my life. I feel so fat and unmotivated. I just can't seem to get back on the band wagon.it feels so useless. As soon as I go back to eating normally, which is NOT overeating, the weight comes back. I exercise by walking every day, and although I'm not a extreme exerciser I do move around....but it doesn't help. My weight only seems to go up or stays the same when I'm exercising. I know in the end losing weight is all up to me...but I can't do the ro emoticon utines I did when I was younger..my body can not hold up. I was hoping after reading your blog that you might be able to help me either through your own stories and/or through communicating with me. I need a friend...a buddy to help me get going and keep going. Can you help? I know I sound desperate..but you know I think I am. Thanks for listening.
    2258 days ago
    You have brought tears to my eyes with your words. I feel very connected to you and know exactly what you mean. Thank you for sharing. Your blog has helped me in so many ways. Thank you! emoticon emoticon
    2258 days ago
    You are so right....keep going. Remember:

    Two steps forward and one step back is still progress!
    2258 days ago
  • DROSS0616
    Thanks for such a great blog! I have issues with binges as well and though I have definitely made strides, when I slip up and "lose a round" I tend to beat myself up. We can do this!
    2258 days ago
    I had this Blog as an email the other day and thought WOW just like me, I so understand this

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

    our food issues NEVER go away, our weight loss journeys are ongoing for the rest of our lives, once people get to target then it will be a battle to maintain at that weight and NOT lose focus and go back to being a yo-yo dieter and put all the weight we lose back ON!!!!

    Thank you Pixie, this blog hit home for me xx

    2258 days ago
    Thank you! You helped me to see in a "new light"
    2258 days ago
    Great job describing a problem we all share. I was away for a few days on a mini vacation and threw "caution to the wind" . This blog was very timely for me as work today getting rid of that monkey once again. Thanks for giving me inspiration again emoticon
    2258 days ago
  • FREEBIRD7100
    thanks for the encouragement
    2258 days ago
    You keep on inspiring me. Thanks.
    2258 days ago
    thanks for sharing love the analogy
    2258 days ago
  • FRANCIE551
    Thanks for sharing. I struggle daily with the desire to binge. You give me hope when you are so willing to share. Keep up the great work and positive attitude! Once more Thank-you.
    2258 days ago
    Good for you! Writing this just after a bad episode shows courage and strength and determination and is such a good encouragement for others. I congratulate you.
    Keep at it. You're helping me and will help me help my sister. Thank you. emoticon
    2258 days ago
    Thank you for this posting. Really really did hit home. Congrats on your current and future successes also ! emoticon
    2258 days ago
    Pixie....another great blog. Oh that darn monkey! You are right the circus will always be here, but we can control the monkey. Thank you for the reminder that when we have the monkey on our back and we mess up, doesn't mean we need to quite. I have this saying on the wall in a room that I work out in. It says....I am under construction the best of me is yet to come. Then I have these little wooden stars 5 on them with inspirational words, along with 2 pictures of when I started this journey. It just helps me stay focus. When that darn monkey is bugging me I go in and look at this wall. Sounds silly, but it helps me. Thanks for sharing ....keep up the great job....yo9u are looking amazing!
    2258 days ago
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