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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weight Watcher success!!!

Tomorrow is my 3rd weigh in and the end of my 2nd week on WW. And I'm doing GREAT!

Last week I lost 5.2 pounds! And since I was sick, that was without exercise. This week, I've still been doing well, and I even fit in a workout the last two days. I feel hopeful about my weigh in.

I've had a much BIGGER success, though. Last night, I had the urge to binge. And guess what! I didn't! Here's how: The cravings set in, and I knew that I did not want to throw away all my hard work. I was only in the second week, but I wasn't willing to give up on myself. So I distracted myself by calling a friend. Then, I focused on how good it would feel to be in control of the cravings. I told myself that waking up the next morning knowing I had resisted a binge would be a very powerful feeling. So I went to bed still wanting to eat, and when I woke up this morning, I got a big smile on my face thinking about the victory. Here's what I plan to tell myself from now on when I want to binge:

"The victory of being in control makes me feel far better than any food ever could."

This works because I am an instant gratification kind of girl. I want to be happy now, no matter how miserable it makes me feel in the future. That's why I binge. But the power of knowing I had control kicks in within a few hours. It's not instant gratification, but it's a lot more immediate than losing 100 lbs!

Anyway, I am thrilled about this victory. I'm also fairly certain I've never done anything like that in my life. I've ALWAYS given into the cravings. And now I know: I can be in control.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Time for something new....

Ok, I feel a little silly. I just spent the last few posts telling you about intuitive eating. And now, although I'm not abandoning what I've learned, I am moving on to something new.

I have decided that I am going to do Weight Watchers. At first I was going to phrase this as I was going to "try again", but I want to use stronger and more positive language than that. So I'm not trying, I'm DOING, and it's not again, because last time was just a "try". Get it? :)

Why am I doing this? Well, I am sick of not losing weight. I'm frustrated that I'm gaining weight again. And I am just all around sick of being stuck in this body! So tomorrow I am going to my first WW meeting, and I am greatly looking forward to it!

I was going to post my "before" picture and weight, but I just chickened out. But I promise that when I lose some weight I will post my starting information. It's just too embarrassing to post when I'm still there, you know?

I will be back tomorrow to tell you how it goes!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wowza I can eat a lot!

I don't have much time to blog right now, but I was thinking over my last post, and I realized my increments for overeating were not accurate to my personal experiences. I wanted to set the record straight for my own peace of mind.

I have been known to...

not only eat HALF a bag of chips, but a BAG and a half.
not stop at 5 cookies, but eat 12 (not dinky chips ahoy, either. I'm talking big homemade cookies.. with real butter!)
not just eat pizza every day, but eat a WHOLE pizza every day

The list of my eating offenses goes on and on, and somehow I didn't feel right letting you think that I thought half a bag of chips is the maximum amount you could possibly eat. Because that's just not true.

Whew! I feel better now :D

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm (relatively) happily married! & The Basics

I'm shocked. I just found out that ANOTHER couple that's our age (I'm 21) is getting divorced. I hurt for them. They were great together, and they were one of our favorite couples to hang out with before they moved halfway across the country. They have 2 kids,  a house, and a loving family to support them. And it still didn't work out. I feel so much empathy/sympathy for them.

I have never dated anyone except my husband. That means that the only relationship I've been in is the one I'll be in for the rest of my life. Since my only relationship has worked out, I don't know what it's like to be with, or love and lose, someone who isn't my soul mate. So when I imagine losing a boyfriend or husband, I imagine my life essentially ending. I am positive that I could not live without my husband. Literally, I don't know how I would do it. So when I see a couple who was in love break up, all I can do is hurt for them.

I don't want to come across as stuck up or condescending at all. I am awful with men. I don't know how to flirt, I either clam up or act like a freak, and I've never had a guy like me back except for my husband. I know how amazingly blessed I am to have the relationship that I have. And although we have our fair (or not so fair) share of problems, I would consider us (relatively) happy.

Ok, I said I would tell you what I'm doing to get back on track. Here it is: I am doing the things I did right in the first place. What were those things? Here you go:

1)I gave up. I stopped trying to control my food. I stopped judging what I was eating. I removed the emotional entanglement from my eating experience. Does this mean I don't eat in response to emotions? No, it just means I stopped the mess of thoughts that was leading to the mess of emotions surrounding the way I ate. And all I did to do that was... Give Up.

2) I ate whatever I wanted to eat. If I wanted pizza every day, I ate it every day. (That's actually a realistic approximation for me. I. Love. Pizza.) If I wanted 5 cookies, I ate 5 cookies.  If I wanted half a bag of chips, I ate half a bag of chips. And you know what? Overtime, I started to eat pizza ONCE week, and I started to eat only TWO cookies. And I started to eat chips out of a bowl instead of the bag because as it turns out, I stop eating whenever I run out of what's in front of me (usually)! Then I noticed that I was eating fruits, and the occasional vegetable, and food other than pizza and chips and cookies. And how did this happen? I gave myself absolute permission to eat whatever I wanted.

3) I ate whenever I felt like it. Now, the IE book says to only eat when you're hungry. But to me, that reminded me too much of the things (diets) I did before I Gave Up. So I eat whenever I feel like it. Just like giving myself permission to eat whatever I want makes me eventually eat less, giving myself permission to eat whenever I want makes me eat less often, too.

4)I stopped eating when I felt like I was ready. Again, the IE book says to stop eating when I'm satisfied. But sometimes I'm not ready to stop eating when I'm satisfied. My stomach fills up awfully quickly for a stomach that's been stretched out so much! So I keep eating until I feel ready to stop. This is where trusting myself comes in. I have to trust that I will eventually be ready to stop eating. And what helps me stop eating? Knowing that I can eat again in 5 minutes if I feel like it. (See #3)

So that's basically what I was doing when I stopped gaining weight close to a year ago. But then I got in my head, I got depressed, I got confused, I tried waaaayyy too hard, and I started to gain weight again.

So now, I am going back to this. My counselor told me that if I know what works for me, I should NEVER let anyone else tell me to do something different. And I like my counselor, so I'm going to listen to her. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Can I do better?

I'm not being a very consistent blogger, am I? Today I was on a message board, and someone had posted a link to their blog. And I loved it so much that it made me remember that I have a blog, but I haven't written in it since OCTOBER. That makes me disappointed in myself.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my mom a few weeks ago. I was telling her that I hadn't been working out that week, and that I didn't think I was doing my best. And she said, "Sara, everyone ALWAYS does their best!"

At first, I was like, "No way! Why would every one try so hard to achieve 'their best' if they are ALWAYS doing their best?" But then I thought about it. I think when people say "my best", they mean the best that they could do ever. Which would probably mean some other factors were involved, like years of experience coming together, and having the right people around you, and God working in your life. But those things (well, the first two) don't occur every day. But you do do your best at any given point in time given the circumstances.

This realization was such a relief for me. I've always been hurt by the phrase, "try harder," because it's not usually a question of effort. And even if you feel like you didn't exert any effort, I bet there was something else going on that made that lack of exertion your "best" for that point in time.

Anyway, moving on.... Since I've been doing my best all along :) I will be interested to see whether my best in the future will include writing in this blog! I would like it to.

Last time I posted (October), I was telling you about Intuitive Eating. Well, I am still (attempting) to eat intutively, and I have to say, it's going pretty well. I had some trouble for awhile there, though. Here's what happened. First, I had a mood swing, and I got depressed. I should talk about emotional eating in another post. Second, I was reading an intuitive eating message board, and people started comparing alcoholism and over eating. I thought that they had it all wrong, and that I knew everything I needed to know about alcoholism. What you didn't know until now is that my dad is a recovering alcoholic, and I have spent thousands of miles in the car with him going to AA conferences (that also had activities for the kids) discussing alcoholism. So when I read the "misinformed" posts, I called my mom to talk to her about it. (I call my mom 1-7 times a day.) She informed me that I was the misinformed one. So I called my dad and invited him over to discuss AA and intuitive eating.

When my dad walked in the door, I was still under the impression that AA was about control. Apparently I've never paid much attention to the first step: "Admitted we were POWERLESS over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." You see, I had attempted Overeaters Anonymous, and the first thing they asked me to do there was make a list of my trigger foods, and then simply not eat them (as if that could ever be simple). To me, that came across as, "Step One, Take Control."* I'm not judging any OA group except the one I tried, which to me, had it ALL wrong (based on what I know now). So, my dad explained to me that AA was about relinquishing control, and, as step two indicates, turning your life over to a higher power. He told me that in  his opinion*, AA was no place for anything "psychological", such as thought techniques. He thought that if your head is the problem, how can you expect to fix it with your head?

I took this to mean that I couldn't follow any of the intuitive eating techniques because they were all "psychological". My counselor later explained why this was crazy very well. She said, "If what you were doing was working, why did you mess with it?" So, for the last few weeks, I have been working to regain the progress that I lost in the last month or two. My next post will be about what I'm doing to get back on track.

*AA is a wonderful program that I credit with wonderful things. OA also helps many people. Any person's opinion is just that; an opinion. Please do form impressions of the program as a whole based on what I have said.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And there's progress on the eating front!

I have Binge Eating Disorder. I've been diagnosed twice. I have tried a thousand diets: calorie counting, Fit or Fat, Weight Watchers, South Beach, SparkPeople, the list goes on. I have had a million "tomorrows"- you know, the day when you're going to start taking control. And I have had countless moments in my life where I felt like I was a failure because I couldn't control what I ate.

But guess what? I am now free. I am so excited about the things I don't do anymore: I don't diet, obsess about food, or binge. Even better: I DO stop eating when I'm full, enjoy my food more than I used to, and treat myself with respect and  little bit of love (the love could use some multiplying, but I'll get there). In fact, I haven't gained weight since February, and I've actually LOST a couple pounds.

You want to know what's going on, don't you?!

I have been eating intuitively. There is a book called "Intutive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works," and I've been using what it says. What does it say? In a quick tiny nutshell, it says: eat what you want, eat when you're hungry, and stop when you're satsified. I'll tell you more about it later.

I actually have a history with this book. I've struggled with eating for a long time, so when I went to my first counseling session when I got to college, I told my counselor that I wanted to lose weight and that I was on a diet. She immediately said, "NO! Don't diet ever again. Get this book, and go talk to this person about it." So I got the book and talked to the person. I could tell that it was a great book, and the person was super helpful, but something just wasn't clicking. All I can say is that it must not have been God's plan for me to start following the book then, because I wasn't ready.

However, I kept the book. I really liked it, even though it wasn't clicking. Fast forward through countless diets and endless food misery, and arrive in Spring 2010. I am fed up with diets and my failure with them, and I give up. That might sound bad, but you have to consider what I'm giving up on. I'm  not giving up on hope of myself, I'm giving up on DIETS. They are making me miserable. And around the time that I give up, I stop gaining weight. It must be a miracle, right?

Fast forward again, to summer 2010. I remember the book. And I realize, "Wow, I think I might be doing what the book says without trying!" I was. For some reason when I stopped fighting, I won.

I've been working on it since, then and I plan to share my journey with it with you!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm back...

Ok, so I haven't posted in awhile. I can explain.

I started writing this blog because I knew there was something wrong with the way I was eating, and I wanted to share my journey of "fixing" that. I had decided that the way to do that was through a partial hospitalization program for mental health. So, when I had to leave that program, I felt like my blog was over. But it's not.

Let's talk about leaving the program. Basically, I'm not healthy enough to go (to the place for sick people...). I know, it confused me, too. However, my psychiatrist said that I really could be too sick to commit to such a full schedule. I agree. And at first I thought that it was a bad thing, but after some discussion with my new counselor (yay!) I have realized that I didn't "quit", I made a healthy choice to leave.

I am happy to give you a positive update on my disorders (Bipolar and Binge). They are both doing considerably better! I am back on a new bipolar medication that I had taken before (but had to quit for insurance reasons) and it's working just as well now as it did then! I am crying much less frequently; down from every day to every couple weeks. My mood is so much more stable, and I have been more active. However, I am still a long way from healthy; I'll tell you more about my recent experience with that in a future post.

My progress with my Binge Eating Disorder has been so HUGE that it deserves it's on post. So I'm going to end this one (happily because I'm back) and start a new one!