Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fat Lady Thoughts

Today is going pretty well; the headaches are going away, and although I still feel mildly ill and am tired, I am starting to get back to normal again. My weight is not going down yet, but I know it will. I am hanging in there.

When I was at the mall today, I had some of my old Fat Lady thoughts. I smelled the food court and thought about how, if I was not concerned about weight or health, I would probably want to eat the way I *used* to eat at 278 pounds. The mall was a favorite hangout, especially during school hours when the older kids were gone and I could take the baby (2 at the time) in her stroller to the mall. She wouldn't judge me for eating enough for 4 people; she didn't care. She was just happy to have her pizza.

Me, on my "Ideal Day" (aka Dream Binge Day) I'd first stop in the Barnes and Noble for a grande iced caramel Mocha with whipped cream. Mmmmm. I'd sit in the bookstore and look at books while my little one played beside me in the kids' corner. Then we'd go to the food court. My order was always one slice of pizza for her, and two for me, plus a Caesar salad and a Pepsi. Sometimes a bread stick, too. She was too little to finish one of those huge slices, so I'd polish hers off for her. Then we'd go for big, soft pretzels dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar for "dessert." Buy one, get one free, so I would eat pretty much all of that after she had a few bites and was full. And then, we'd stop at Cinnabon for a nice big cream-cheese-frosted cinnamon roll to take home. I'd have that an hour later while she napped, when my stomach had emptied slightly.

Yes, today in the mall, I thought about all those foods. I didn't really *wish* I could do that... in fact, I know that I would make myself sick trying to eat that quantity anymore. I doubt I could eat more than one slice of pizza before getting full (thank goodness). I didn't crave those things or have to talk my way out of getting them. But there is a bit of odd nostalgia for the good ol' days when I ate whatever I wanted... when taking the steps between the food court and the Cinnabon stand left me exhausted and in pain, but I did it anyway. Funny, isn't it, how I couldn't bear the pain of walking down the block, but I would hobble and limp to the Starbucks and the Pretzel Time because, of course, they didn't have a drive-thru.

I don't want that life anymore. The wanting, the craving, the wishing and drooling and *living for* foods is what I call my Fat Lady thoughts. They have faded into the background these days, and while I *do* think "oh yum, that smells good, too bad it has a million calories or I'd be eating that right now," it's very fleeting and I no longer obsess. I guess I am really a changed person.

Some days I get a little worried or afraid that the Fat Lady is going to come out and go into a rampage and ruin my skinny life. I wonder if she will rise up and knock me over and plow through all the progress I have made, steamrolling the thinner me into the ground as she rages around in her frenzied state, going from food to food to food trying to find something that isn't even there. I wonder if she will ever *really* be gone... or will I always have to watch my back and carry a stun gun to tame her into submission?

I dunno. I haven't seen her in awhile. Even on the days I went off-plan, I didn't go nuts. I did not revert to eating batches of cookie dough or going to McDonald's. I ate a banana. I had tuna on wheat. I had a handful of corn chips with salsa. I mean, *that* is not her. That's just me, eating off plan a little. In fact, I don't think I have seen a crazy raging binge in a lot of months.

Yeah, come to think of it, I have changed so much that it would take a concerted effort to go back to the old way of life. I'd have to consciously eat so much I'd make myself sick, stretching my stomach back to its former size. I'd have to start buying tons of headache medicines and Tums again. I'd have to buy a whole new Fat Lady wardrobe, since I got rid of everything over a size 16. I would have to really hate myself and be in a self-destructive state of mind to do that to myself. And I don't think I am like that. I think I am, really, a new person.

All I can do it take every day as new, as it comes. I heard a quote on the radio today: "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." I think that applies to this whole weight loss thing. If you're losing weight and changing your eating, but you haven't really changed your MIND, you have not really changed. If you are dieting to please someone else, when, in fact, you still really would rather be fat and eat what you want, you have not changed the inside. You're still the Fat Lady no matter what you weigh. Are you doing this against your will? Are you? Am I?

I had to think hard, because there have been times on this journey when I really DID NOT WANT to diet, eat healthy, lose weight, or exercise. I felt almost compelled to do it because it was somehow what I *should* be doing. And then I'd binge. But now, I am doing this of my own will. I want it. I am convinced... and I am of a completely different opinion regarding those foods I once treasured and adored.

I know not all Fat Ladies think like that. But for me, my inner Fat Lady is pretty destructive and selfish. And I am very glad to be rid of her... hopefully, forever.

24 comments:

Cathy said...

Lyn, so true, it HAS to begin in your mind, or in another way, even deeper than your mind, in your core self (I love reading Martha Beck's books about reaching the self beyond mind). I have lost weight in the past for one reason or another, but I could not face the reasons I had the weight to lose. It was too hard, way harder than eating healthy. So it came back, in spades. And the funny thing is ... those reasons are not so horrible, it is not like I could on the Jerry Springer show with them. Yet they are big impact for me. I just posted on my (new) blog about self doubt ... I am not having thoughts that I want to stuff myself with food, yet I have thoughts that I will be fat no matter what. I know that isn't true, but the thoughts come and go. I like this quote "Thoughts are just what is.
They appear. They're innocent. They're not personal.
They're like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling.
Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them.
Would you argue with a raindrop?" Byron Katie

Glenn, Fat at Fifty-five said...

Good for you! I expect you'll continue to find your way to the life you want for yourself.

Splurgie said...

You really have changed. My guess is that you'll never go back to those Mall food sprees. As you said: "I don't want that life anymore." You deserve the life you're living now.

Autumnforest said...

It's an interesting process. Since I somehow took the focus off of eating to stuff down all my anger and frustrations and started being my genuine self and working out hard and eating a very clean sparse diet, I was shocked by something. People say "you binge if you deny yourself," but the reasons I ate went away and so did the binge needs. I made cookies the other day--which had always been a huge trigger for me. I smelled them and looked at them and I just didn't want them. I made myself eat one to see if I would re-trigger the old cravings and --- nothing. It wasn't good. It wasn't bad. It was just a freaking cookie. Rather boring. It's like when you fall out of love with someone and you see them, you no longer feel that longing. I fell out of love with cookies, I guess.

Pubsgal said...

I think you're right. I think my changes are working for me, too, this time around, is because I want better for myself. (Oh, and Autumnforest's comment is so true, too, and yet made me giggle: "I fell out of love with cookies.")

Lanie Painie said...

I am so sick of that fat lady trying to get us to do things that are bad for us!

Mine has been whispering to me all day, but I find that she hides when I exercise.

CJ said...

Those small binges you have could be the body's need to have glucose/carbs. It is the primary fuel in the body and body constantly craves it when tired or fatigued

You have sure come a long long way since 278lbs, kudos to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm always a little baffled when I hear someone say that they will *never* something again, especially when it's something they did for years. Changes like that do happen - though I've never "fallen out of love" to the point of feeling neutral about an old one - but with food? I cut way back on bread and chips for years - a decade on the chips - but I can fall right back into inhaling a loaf of bread or a family bag of chips. An entire frozen pizza, sure. I don't eat like that as I once did, but it's not like the 6 months I had oatmeal for breakfast until I never wanted to look at oatmeal again. what's your secret to making that mind shift?

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I *hope* I never... but I cannot say for sure. I would happily eat that way again if there were no health consequences. It does get easier over time, and with that comes more confidence.

Jennifer said...

I too have the fear that someday my fat lady mindset will come back. I have decided to take it day by day instead of feel overwhelmed. It seems to work! I find that I still want those things but there is something different about me now that I dont actually eat them. Nice post.

Jennifer
http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

Diane said...

It's no different than an alcoholic thinking about alcohol for the rest of thier lives even after many years of being sober.

Those thoughts will never leave, just how you respond to them. I think you handled it great!

Congrats!
Diane

Theresa said...

What a wonderful post!! I totally agree that you are nowhere even close to that person you left behind 90 pounds ago. We've all noticed these changes. Now you are finally noticing them too! I am just dancing with happiness for you.

:)

Crys said...

Your fat lady and my fat lady would each half a half of those BFF necklaces!

Fat Grump said...

"Are you doing this against your will? Are you?"

That's an interesting question. I want to be thin but I also want to be able to eat without thinking about what I am eating. I find the constant monitoring of food and the planning of meals quite tiresome. I was never a binge eater..more of a person who ate whatever was around...and too much of it. Now I have to think about portion size and keeping foods like cake and snacks out of the house. I know if I had an ability to magic myself thin I'd be happy because then I could eat whatever I liked again. I think I ate reasonably healthily before..but didn't exercise and didn't worry too much about quantities and frequencies.

Hmmm.I know healthy eating has to be FOR LIFE..and to be honest, I DO find that thought daunting. I have said as much in my blog. I am eating 'all things in moderation' - but excluding doughnuts :)That's the only way I can do this, even though progress has been very slow.

I am not sure I'll ever wean myself off some tastes..although lots of things hold no temptations for me now whatsoever...which has to be good. Yes, this slimming lark is definitely a mind game. I need constant self-reminders that I am doing this for me and that what I am doing IS worthwhile.

It sounds as though for you, the benefits of weight loss and healthy eating far outweigh any desire to go back to old ways. Once that becomes ingrained I am sure the road ahead becomes easier.

Vee said...

I'm still a fat lady, but my own fat lady thoughts are going away. I haven't gone off plan since I re-started this 32 days ago. I kinda want pizza, I kinda want a Dr. Pepper, I kinda want a big ole ice cream sundae with hot fudge ... but ... it's not all consuming like it used to be. I **can** do this!

Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon that said I can't imagine the "never", but I had a useful revelation yesterday. Someone said they'd cut sweet foods out of their diet, and suddenly started to "taste" other flavors, even liking bitter beer. I have a niece that's the same way, that she grew up not liking sweets and consequently ate a much healthier diet. I've never liked sweet foods very much, which I think has made it easier for me to eat fruits and veg. On the other hand, I have a serious salt tooth. I don't know if it's better to indulge it (in a low-cal way), fight it, or simply recognize it. I'm pretty sure that if I had to eat low-sodium pizza or chips I wouldn't be drawn to them at all.

Miss E said...

Great post, as usual. My fat lady just won't go away. She keeps coming back no matter, and most of the time it seems I gladly embrace her and welcome her back, throwing all caution to the wind. I suppose I'm having difficulty connecting to what really got me where I am, so I'm not even sure what I'm dealing with - only the consequences of it. Hopefully things will get better with time.

clickmom said...

This is the exact mystery I am trying to unravel. I want to make the change that will enable me to be a person who eats healthy foods to live a healthy life and not long for the junk because in the end it always leaves me physically sick and emotionally unfulfilled. I want a healthy relationship with food. Not sure how that happens or how to get there. Working on it though!

Anonymous said...

I have read and followed your blog for about a year now and I respect your journey. However I find this post disturbing in how it feeds the self hatred. Such strong words used to describe behaviors that I believe you understand were there to help you cope with some difficult times. It reflects our cultural views of a "fat lady" as being gluttonous, ugly, not worthy of compassion. It wasn't the fatness that was the problem, but that lack of awareness in the present moment. That is really the beast inside of us... when we turn away from ourselves, whether we are skinny, fat...
Bonnie

Kel said...

Wow Bonnie, what a deep revelation. That hit home for me!

Lyn said...

Anonymous (Bonnie)~

I think you misunderstood what I am saying here. There is absolutely ZERO self-hatred behind this post, rather, a lot of self-love and working to understand all the parts of me. I have to recognize that I have a part of me that IS self destructive and selfish... I would never say ugly though. But I have worked hard to eliminate the tendencies I have had to overindulge (if you want to call that gluttony, ok) and sit around a lot (lazy? perhaps). I absolutely do not judge *other people* and I hope my blog has been a source of understanding and compassion. While I do have compassion on my old, fat, hurting self, I can't coddle her anymore or accept those behaviors back into my life if I do truly love myself.

beerab said...

You know there are just some days you need more food. Those "cheat" days were days your body said "hey today I'm going to need more fuel."

I know some days I am hungry and eat more but the next day the scale stays the same or goes down. Go figure!

Kim said...

Lyn,
My name is Kim, my blog is www.fightthefatonedayatatime.
blogspot.com
I just want to tell you there is a fat lady in all of us. I have not arrived at the place you are now. I can not look back and stick my tongue out at my fat lady and tell her whose in charge she still dwells inside of me like a bee buzzing in my ear. I am considered obese in the eyes of doctors. But deep inside I am a thin person screaming to come out. I know you still may be in a struggle at times but will/I guess what I am asking is can you adopt me as a blogging friend and help me get to where you are I want to lose for me. I promise to use the same methods and encouragment you share to pay it forward to someone else Oh and I've been reading your blogs and medifast is out of my budget anything you can pass on would be great. Thanks again for letting me know I am not alone in this battle.

Sarah (Fat Little Legs) said...

Oh man... I am so with you on this one. I have the dream binge. I actually have real dreams about it. Going into Starbucks and eating every pastry I want with my Venti Mocha with full whip made with whole milk. And it goes on from there...

I too am scared of the fat lady coming back. Some days it actually consumes my thoughts. Its freaks me out completely. I jsut have to remind myself that the thinner lady is in control now and the fat lady should be pretty dang scared of her too.