I have lost 152 pounds now, and I wanted to talk a bit about what I did to break that plateau. It’s called balance. I have always been a bulk or volume eater. It didn’t really matter what it was, healthy or not, if I was eating something I enjoyed, more was better. My meals became huge, and sometimes the meals turned into all night binges. I’m sure it was how I stuffed down the feelings of loneliness, insecurity and fear. And the result of all those years of binging left me feeling lonely, insecure and fearful. Funny how we do the very thing that adds to our suffering to deal with what we are suffering from, isn’t it?
Ever since April 1 of 2015 I have stayed faithfully under 1400 calories. But the last few months I was not losing like I should be, roughly I was losing a pound every week or two. That would not be so bad if I had under 100 pounds to lose, but a woman my size should be losing more than that each week. So I spoke to my sponsor, and I did a lot of praying with a close friend.
I started eating three 400 calorie meals and one 200 calorie snack. I was an emotional mess for a few days. I can’t describe the depression and weepiness! I thought I was losing my mind. As the days passed, it became clearer. Even though I was staying within my calorie budget, I was binging! I would basically white knuckle what I ate from the first of the morning until dinner time. I drank coffee and ate a small breakfast and bank up my calories so I could have a big Dinner meal. Sometimes I would have a 1000-1200 calorie Dinner. It flipped some kind of switch in me that left me wandering in the kitchen all night, even in the middle of the night, standing in front of the fridge eating spoonfuls of cottage cheese, slices of deli turkey, and cheese. Most normal people stop eating when they are full, but for some reason, being full keeps me wanting to feed all evening. They were just little nibbles but I couldn’t turn it off! Then I would wake up the next morning feeling defeated and starve the day away until evening. This cycle raised havoc on my metabolsim and it was an emotional roller coaster.
Thinking back in my life, I always saw the evening meal as a reward for the day. It was re-enforced by the evening has always been the loneliness time in my day, ever since I was a kid. My Mom worked and I usually came home from school to an empty house, and spent the next few hours watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island and eating anything I could find. When there was nothing to eat in the house, I got out my Moms Better Home and Garden cookbook and made something. I became a great cook that way. Then when I became an adult and had my own home, I binged when I came home. I would come home from the beauty shop and find my friend food, to comfort me. I remember working in the shop and thinking about what I was going to cook and eat that night. I’d sit in front of the TV and watch Beverly Hills 90201 and Melrose place all while shoving huge plates of spaghetti down my face.
So, I grieved this week, exposing my secret, and saying goodbye to my binging. Never did I think eating 1400 calories a day could possible bring on a binge. But it took a tremendous amount of white knuckling to do that, and even though I grieved the loss of my evening binge, there is this peace and contentment that has taken it’s place. The white knuckling is gone. And the constant thought about what I was going to eat at the end of the day left me. I have had to take a lot of care to weight and measure my food this week. Old habits take a long time to die. I could slip back into that habit very easily. My sponsor is watching my food journals on My Fitness Pal, so the accountability is on a high level. It is nearly impossible, at least for me, to lose over 300 pounds without an army of support around me, and the biggest part of that support requires me to be very transparent. If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing. We are as sick as our secrets.
This weight loss journey of mine has had many twist and turns. I have walked down paths I never thought I would. But the growth I have experienced is truly amazing. Be well everyone!