I have a confession to make:
My name is Brianna and I have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food.
I had the “ah-ha” moment that led to me actually admitting this just the other day, when I once again caught myself eating a Cadbury cream egg when I wasn’t even hungry. Okay..not one..I ended up eating 3 of them..3!!! Those eggs are so sickeningly sweet that you only need one to satisfy even the deepest of sugar cravings, but there I was snarfing down 3 of them anyway for absolutely no good reason…
…and in case you were wondering: No, I did not have the Point Plus left to be spending 13 Points (half of my day) on Cadbury chocolate..
As I went home feeling like crap I sat in the car and thought to myself: why on Earth do I do these kind of things?! The random “binging” at night after a day of being so well behaved…or having an entire day or weekend of “Points don’t count” which completely derails any progress that I’ve previously made. This is not an uncommon occurrence and it has GOT to stop.
**I know that binging is a word that can mean different amounts of caloric intake to different people and can be considered a sickness. Everyone’s binge is different, and I choose to use this word to describe my unhealthy and unnecessary periods of overindulgence**
Because of lapses like this, I am currently about 6 lbs up from my declared goal weight and that is completely tearing me up inside and screwing with me mentally. Being up from my goal is all I can think about. Never mind the fact that I’m still well within my healthy weight range and BMI for my height. I don’t keep thinking about that. Oh yeah, and despite the gain it still puts me at losing 51 lbs on Weight Watchers. That awesome copper 50 lb award that was given to me in front of a Weight Watchers meeting is still something that I’ve earned and can wear proudly.
Do I give myself credit for any of that? No…
All I can think about is those 6 lbs (give or take depending on the day) that stare me in the face and mock me in bright blue digital font every time I step on the scale.
All I can think about is how, despite my awesome self control during the day, I still manage to come home and eat more than I should anyway
All I can think about are those 3 sickeningly sweet Cadbury eggs and how they managed to make their 13 Points Plus into my mouth when I probably didn’t even want the first one to begin with.
All I can think about is FOOD!!
It is not a healthy way to live, my friends. As dieters (Weight Watchers or otherwise) we spend way too much time with food on the brain.
- Which foods are “bad” and which ones are “good”
- Talking yourself out of eating the cupcake and settling for the 100 calorie pack or Oreo flavored wafer cookies instead
- What do I eat for breakfast? Will that give me enough Points left for what I want for dinner?
- What about dessert? What if I only have 3 points left? I NEED ice cream today!
- I’m going out for dinner with friends. Do I make the smart choice or do I let myself have what I really want (which is that burger covered in cheese and bacon..or pizza…or ravioli stuffed with full fat ricotta cheese..)?
- I already screwed up by eating that extra cookie. Might as well throw in the towel for the day (week, month..) and start fresh tomorrow. It’s a free for all today!
You get the idea.
Did you know that we make over 200 food related decisions each day? It goes so much deeper than what to have for breakfast. Every time you walk by the kitchen or the cake in the break room, you decide whether or not you’re going to touch that food. It’s really mind blowing when you think about it. When over 200 of my conscious decisions are focused on food and so many of my other thoughts are focused on food or my eating habits or the scale, that leaves very little time for me to focus on anything else. I’m sure my husband would love if my focus on my body was not on how gross I feel because of what I ate or what those 6 lbs look like slapped on there somewhere. Let me tell you..thinking about your body like that is a major mood killer, if you catch my drift. I could focus harder on my work, on music, on being a better housekeeper and wife, but instead I think about what I want to eat, why I shouldn’t eat it and then about how I ate it anyway.
After being on a “diet” since around 2006 the lightbulb finally went on: This is no way to be living!
That lightbulb went on 2 days ago, after 8 years of this mental game.
When I got home that night (in a majorly grumpy mood) I sat down in my emotional fury and literally googled “skinny binge eaters” in the hopes that I would find a blog or something with someone in my situation of “hit goal but still has these moments” and while I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I did get led to an ebook (click on photo for more info) that sounded right up my ally, so I promptly downloaded it, got ready for bed and curled up with my Kindle.
I will go into more detail about the ideas in this book later, but the basic gist is this: dieters perpetually put themselves on restriction (I can’t/shouldn’t have that cookie or cupcake) and this idea of off limit foods is what sets us up for binging potential. Our body is programed to let us eat what we want and still get down to our ideal (our body’s ideal) thin weight. You know those of us with annoyingly thin friends who can eat what they want and not gain an ounce? The book lets us in on the biological happenings that make them like that. It talks about regaining control of food the way our bodies were programed to do it, and one of the big ideas here is there is no restriction. I can eat whatever I want.
I’m only halfway through the book and it is fascinating. I’m not saying that I’m throwing in the towel on Weight Watchers and Points Plus and all of that. Not at all! However, the mentality of “no food is off limits” and listening to my body’s physical hunger symptoms rather than all of my other triggers is an incredibly empowering thing. While deep down I knew all of this, having the ideas knocked back into me by someone not blinded by food, like me, are very helpful and enlightening. Yesterday I was able to accept that today’s weigh in would not be pretty, and I ate what I wanted, still measured and tracked and I felt totally in control (and stayed within my 26 Points for the day. Go figure…). I hadn’t felt solidly in control like that in a long time. It felt good.
Maybe the lesson in my enlightenment and breakdown is that I need to not be so strict with myself. If I tell myself something is bad or I can’t eat it, then you better believe I’m going to want it, but if I learn to let it go and admit that I am allowed to eat a Cadbury cream egg just as much as I’m allowed to eat an apple then it takes the power and the sinfulness away from the chocolate sugar rush, which will then make it less appealing. Seriously, science proves that is how our mind works. There’s a lot more detail that the book goes into, but that’s for a different day (once I’ve actually finished it and been working on things). Next week I go home for Easter. I know there will be treats and night’s out and Easter awesomeness. Nothing is off limits. Nothing is a “bad” food. With that mentality my hope is that my mind and body begins to strike a harmonious balance with hunger, food and the way I use them. Stay tuned for an update.
My name is Brianna. I have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food….but we are talking through things and I think with some prayer, forgiveness and time, our relationship will be stronger and healthier than it has ever been before.