Thursday, November 18, 2010

The truth is

The truth is that I've gained all 75 lbs. back.  I lost 75 lbs. and I gained them all back. Again.  This is the third time I've lost around 80 lbs. and gained it all back.

This has me terribly ashamed.  I feel humiliated.

So, here it is -

1) My weight is none of my business, so let's keep it out of your realm of concerns too - unless I bring it to you, unless I ask for your advice, help, opinion.  (If you are reading this blog then I am asking for your help!)
2) Weight loss is hard when we're losing 5 lbs or 30 lbs.  There is something more sinister, more insurmountable when the amount to be shed is 130 or more.
3) If your stomach turns when you see my cottage cheesy wings/arms, then don't look.  I try to keep them covered, and thank Heavens I'm not the chorister.
4) If you're thinking about my weight, then there is something in your own life that you are trying to avoid looking at - that's my rule of thumb: when I'm obsessing over someone else's problem, and I do this a lot (!), then I'm actively avoiding improving my own life.

And maybe there will be more things to include on this list, but for now, I am feeling defensive, ashamed, humiliated and immoral.  I am feeling angry - furious even, because I've failed AGAIN!  How dumb am I?  Am I really incapable of being honest as it says in the Big Book?  This is the "incomprehensible demoralization" that they write about.

In my 12-step program we talk about overeating being a disease.  For the last 7 years I have resisted that label as being too dramatic.  But here is what I am realizing today, at the height of my bankruptcy with weight control.  Today I see that there is something different between me and people who are normal eaters.  That thing looks like this: normal eaters get full or get bored and leave the table or kitchen or plate.  They eat for fuel.  I am not a normal eater.  I get full, sometimes.  But if there is something delicious or comforting or, truthfully, in front of me, then I eat it.  Or I feel compelled to eat it.  My friend has something in her brain that tells her not to eat any more.  I do not.  (Fish don't have this either - fish will literally eat until they die).  Leftovers of non-broccoli?  I'll take care of that.  Feeling angry?  sad? tired? lonely?  Food will fix that.  Have a cold? the flu? hangnail? Food fixes that too.

There have been many mornings when I made the decision to have scrambled eggs and toast with butter and it was so good that I got up and made it again.  And then I got up and made it again.  And once I did it five times in a row.  Then it was lunch time.  I don't stop, I'm telling you, that it takes an act of desperation or God - or brutal self-talk to stop eating.  12-Step people call this a disease.  I think I need to be a 12-step person and call it a disease too.

Because if it is a disease, I know what medicine to take.  I can learn the symptoms of my disease.  I can learn to recognize remission vs. a "flare-up" vs. what is truly needed.  2 large snickers bars will not repair my flat tire.

I'll deal with the shame later.  That's a Kristen issue.  Today I'm going to deal with the food issue.  I know what to eat today, so I'm going to eat it.  And when my brain says, "that's not enough" and "you should have some cookies with that" I can recognize that my brain will ALWAYS say that, that sometimes, most times, it can't be trusted.  I need an outside source to tell me what to eat and when and to guarantee that it is enough for my physical needs.

That's where I am today.  God willing I'll eat what I planned to eat and it will be enough.