Jessica commented yesterday: “Thank you for sharing with us that you are a food liar too. It makes you human. A lot of people who have lost weight always act like they are reformed and they don’t have those problems anymore so it makes those of us who are weaker willpower feel that much more inadequate. =)”
I’m sure that my blog comes across as me being an expert at weight loss and keeping it off…it probably sounds like I don’t struggle, or I have an easy answer to everything. The truth is I don’t. I still struggle. A lot. I may not share everything on my blog because a lot of things are personal and sometimes it’s hard to get over the “who might read this?” voice in the back of my head. So I keep a lot to myself.
The last few months I have been going through some hard things. Sometimes in life there are rough patches in careers, relationships, friendships… Michael and I are fine (don’t worry!). We do have some issues come up once in awhile but anyone who says they never have issues in their relationship is lying–or delusional. 🙂
When I injured my leg running I went to a dark place for a few weeks. Wallowing, self-pity. I was jealous and angry of everyone that was running. I avoided all the running blogs I used to enjoy because the envy was killing me. I avoided reading Monica’s recap on the Vegas Marathon because I had planned on running the Vegas Half and it was just too painful. So I avoided. Avoiding is something I’m good at.
Something else I’m good at is stress eating and bingeing. That was my method of dealing with EVERYTHING back in the day. Grandfather died? Eat candy. Bad breakup? Gorge myself on entire pizzas. Stress? Eat dessert. I’ve written about my binge eating demons before.
While this was something that I used to do a lot, I find that the healthier I get, the less I turn to food to cure me of whatever ails me. I don’t have some sort of magic ability to resist temptations but I guess my trick is giving myself the “permission” to binge. Guess what I found? That I once I stopped beating myself up for the urge to binge, I didn’t WANT to binge. Not once have I turned to food in the last few months to soothe me. Sure I’ve been doing some stress eating here and there but I find that following my 90/10 Rule I don’t fall back into old habits.
90% of the time I still eat healthy, balanced, whole food meals and 10% of the time I splurge, or “stress eat.” I think that prevented me from having the desire to binge. Also: sticking to my workout routine is something that is constant and stable in my life and it’s DEFINITELY helped me stay on track. No matter what is going on in my life the workouts that I enjoy are always there.
The recent stressors in my life have had the complete opposite effect on me: zero appetite. That’s something I’ve noticed over the last few years. Where food was once the answer, it no longer appeals to me. Maybe that comes with age and maturity. Who knows?
Or maybe it’s the realization that I WILL REGRET bingeing. I will immediately feel ill, guilty, anxious and worse than I felt before I ate everything in sight. Same with drinking too much to numb whatever demons might be demanding attention: why? So you can feel ill and throw up, or have a hangover the next day? No matter what the addiction is that we use to soothe, we’ll regret it tomorrow. There will always be days like this.
Something else that keeps me balanced and stable are my kitties. There is no better cure to stress, depression or anxiety like a purring fur-monster that just adores you.
I’m figuring things out. I’m doing better. I think my spirits are lifting a little bit. I’m glad I made it through without turning to food to help me. And I won’t lie–nicer weather and spring flowers do have something to do with my improved mood.
And now for some cheery music by my favorite Beatle…
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right
QUESTION: Is food the answer for you? How do you deal with issues without turning to food?