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Fear, Emotional Eating, and Self-Sabotage.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

I’ve been a member of Spark People since June 2009. Some months I am almost obsessive about sparking and in others I barely log in to get my spark points for the day. I have been spending a lot of time reflecting lately. I’ve even started doing some searches to see who I can talk to about my fear, emotional eating, and self-sabotage.

You see I’ve been heavy all of my life. I remember being 119 lbs in fifth grade. I remember hearing the school nurse tell me I was almost the heaviest in my class. I felt shame and struggled with that shame for the next 36 years. I am still struggling with shame, though not as much as before. You see I made a commitment to myself at the urging of my beloved to do something about all of these feelings. I committed to losing weight for myself. I recommitted to that goal in March of 2012. Since then I have lost 43 pounds. At my highest weight I was 271 pounds. When I looked at those nifty BMI charts I was in the very dark grey section Extreme Obesity or as I called it “I’m going to drop dead any minute”. I would say it with a sarcastic laugh and play off my fear, but I knew that I was skating the edge of some very serious health issues.

I didn’t always watch what I was eating or even log it, I had ups and downs, thankfully more down than up. I plateaued and raged that my weight was not just melting away. I tried different exercises and found what worked for me. I walk. Early in 2012 a lot of the members of my favorite Spark Team, Go Swift Kick!, started talking about the FitBit. I hemmed and hawed and finally purchased one in April 2013. By fall I was walking 5 miles a day on the weekend. My average daily step count was 11k. All of that helped me break out of the Extreme Obesity category and move into Obese.

That move, along with the 43 pounds I have lost have left me feeling afraid. I have always been safe behind my armor of fat. I didn’t attract attention for my looks; I didn’t have to fend off unwanted attention from anyone. For reasons I’m not comfortable writing about here, I cannot handle aggressive sexual attention. I am facing the fact that for much of my life I have done nothing to lose weight because I am afraid. Now that I am making slow steady progress toward reaching my goal weight, I am engaging in some self-sabotage. I am buying things that I know I won’t eat in a portion that fits in my calorie count. I have made some progress though. I’m portioning out the treats so I don’t eat all of them at once. I’m logging them when I eat them. I can’t say that I have completely broken my bad habits, and my emotional eating has been kicking in a lot lately. Some days I have two or three portions of my high fat foods.

Friday I attended a work event and one of my employees looked at me and told me I was looking very good. She told me she could really see the weight loss. At the time I was distracted and didn’t pay attention to how her acknowledgement made me feel. Today I went through my dressers and closets and pulled out all of the clothes that I have shrunk out of. Oh boy, even typing that is making me feel very afraid. I packed them all up for donation, I am not hanging on to them just in case. I am trying to shed my armor in the physical world as I am in the emotional world.

I have reached a point of making better choices. For example when my beloved called me to say that her niece was selling Girl Scout cookies and should she buy some, I told her no. She tried to say we could freeze them and then only pull out a sleeve at a time. I told her no, because if they were in the house it would be too easy to get them. I finally have acknowledged that I have to treat things like Girl Scout cookies like an illegal drug, because to me they are.

So from this moment forward I vow to treat myself gently, celebrate my successes, acknowledge my fears, and work to overcome them. I recognize I am on a journey not a sprint, and promise to give myself time to reach the destination. I will not berate myself if I take a detour, and I will ask for the support I need to work through my fear. I will offer the same support and encouragement to my fellow Sparkers, and vow to be there for them as they have been there for me.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I read this and realized I am not alone. I struggle with food and my feelings. I cannot seem to get below 195. Once I get there I freak out and gain again. It's mental I know. I probably should see someone about it. I have to treat food like a drug too especially sweets. I can't say no!

    If you need to talk email me because I am in the same boat.
    2654 days ago
  • JANET552
    emoticon I am so proud of you for putting your fears out there. It takes a lot of courage to face those fears but we have to if we are going to move forward. I think packing those old life clothes up and getting rid of them is an excellent way to celebrate your new life!!

    You rock girlfriend!!
    2655 days ago
    Sable, what a wonderful blog to share with us. Fear is such a crippling emotion. It can truly paralyze our forward motions, I hope we can help each other to keep moving forward. We really have the best team around. Thank you for sharing, my sparksister!
    2655 days ago
    Sable, I am in the "fighting tears" group. You were very eloquent in describing your feelings and fears and I can totally relate. I, too, am proud of you and REALLY wish you were coming to the meet-up so I could give you a big old hug:). Keep it up with the reflection, the commitment to your journey and with banning those devil cookies from your home! I look forward to meeting you some day.
    2656 days ago
    2656 days ago
    I am so proud of you. For losing the weight of course and for learning what constitutes kryptonite for you and most of all for putting your fear out here where you could face it and where we could see it too so we can support you in this shaky part of the journey. If the only weight we had to lose was the layer of fat on our butts, we would all be in perfect shape....but no...I think we all have to lose that extra baggage weight too and that's the hardest weight to lose. It is very hard to face who or what we might be when we've lost weight and leaving that little girl behind who first felt the pain of the words and treatment of others. But I think we can when we make up our minds to do it. That doesn't mean that we'll all be strong at all times ( I just finished that second bag of licorice..why did I allow myself to buy that?) but one step at a time, over and over again!
    2656 days ago
    Oh my goodness, I read this through tears, because I feel like those are my words, too. I am SO proud of you for putting this out there and the progress you have made is phenomenal. I want to jump onto your coattails and do this thing! The self-sabatoge you describe is exactly what I do. I don't have too small clothes to give away, because I kept most of my stretchy ones. How wonderful that you are taking care of business! emoticon Hugs to you, friend.
    2656 days ago
    Sable, this story really pulls at my heartstrings. And I am so proud of you for overcoming your fear just a little at a time, to the point where you can now acknowledge how far you've come and continue to go. You Go Girl -- and never doubt that we are here for you every step of the way!
    2656 days ago
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