Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not Disordered

Sometimes, it's really hard to say how important to me (or unimportant) this whole weight thing is. There are days when it feels like the most urgent thing EVER (like, when my pants are too tight, or I come across someone who has not seen me since I regained the weight, or when I just don't FEEL well because of obesity) and there are days when it is not even on the radar (like when I am just having a great day, feeling good and happy and like there is nothing at all negative in my life). Really there are days it doesn't cross my mind because I am busy living life and the fat just is what it is, I am the size I am, and it becomes a non-issue.

I guess it shouldn't be that way. At least, I kind of feel guilty about it when I stop and think about it. Like... I had some great, but busy days this week and it did not cross my mind at all to feel bad about my weight (which may be good) but it also did not cross my mind to make an effort to do anything about it (which is not so good, unless I want to stay 245 pounds). It's kind of what I wanted: for food and diet to fade back into the background of life... to feel completely UN-obsessed with food. It's a healthy mindset from a recovered eating disorder point of view; the "binge monster" and obsessive food thoughts went right back into hibernation when I stopped weighing, measuring, and tracking all my food and calories. That's good, right? I don't feel disordered. I feel pretty normal in the food thought department.

But does feeling "normal" and un-obsessed about food preclude weight loss? Do you HAVE to have a food-centric existence to get the weight off? Is it possible to lose 70 or 80 pounds without a razor sharp focus on diet and exercise... without making The Diet the main focus of your existence? I dunno. When I lost large chunks of weight on Medifast, I had to "drink the Kool Aid" and live, eat, and breathe the Medifast lifestyle. That *did* result in the food obsession going away.... mainly because all the choices were made (packets instead of food) and food became an inconvenience more than anything. I mean, really, any plan that has you measuring spices like pepper and oregano and has you eating on an exact schedule from a very limited menu requires you to truly buy in to their doctrine... like a religion. Calorie counting, not so much, but it also requires a lot of attention to food. I really would like to get the weight off without thinking about it so much. Is that too much to ask?

This week I have gone back to eating basically whatever healthy choices I prefer. I find my body does tell me if I need protein, or carbs, or fat if I listen. When I get hungry, if I pay attention I can feel what I am hungry for. I still sometimes want junk, but I just don't keep it in the house so if I really, REALLY want it I have to go get it. And then I get one portion. Mentally this feels healthy to me. And my weight has stopped going up. But I am not losing.

Am I just too happy and content with my life? Maybe I need to be more miserable. I admit I am scared that a health crisis is what will give me that huge shove to DO something about my weight. But then I think... I AM doing something. More protein and produce, less carbs and junk. And it is benefiting my health. My joints don't ache like they used to. The tendinitis is gone. I sleep better and don't have reflux when I am eating well. My A1C is good and my blood pressure is great with 1/4 the medication dose that I was taking in the past. But what I am doing is not enough for weight loss.

Well, enough of that for now. Time to get back to living life.


Anonymous said...

You're not alone. I feel much the same.

Anonymous said...

Too much to ask? You can always ask ...and if you find the answer please tell me!!!

LHA said...

I think I understand what you are saying, but I also feel that you need to think a little deeper on this subject. You are right that it may very well be a health crisis that forces you out of your complacency about your weight, and I urge you to do what you can now to avoid that happening. Being older than you are I can look back on times in my life that I could and should have taken control of my eating and my health and it would have made such a big difference in how my life unfolded. I admire your persistence and I know you have the power within you to get to a healthy weight. Good luck on getting that scale moving downward!

Anna said...

That's a good question. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I had to pay attention to all of the details in order to lose weight. I think that when I stopped paying attention to every bite I ate, when I would mindlessly snack on the extra cake, or have second portions, or let myself eat out of the cookie box/potato chip bag/ice cream tub., that's when I could blank out on just how many calories I'd had for the day, or for the week. On the other hand, when I began to eat mindfully, and with a plan, and would succeed in stopping myself before eating that extra whatever, I would be able to lose weight. I don't think of myself as a binge eater, but I do remember sometimes not being able to stop eating something until it was all gone.
I also had to become really unhappy with my weight in order to embark on the diet path. Then, and only then, would I be able to have the discipline to stick to my plan. Even then, though, the first couple of weeks were always harder. I suppose it's an adjustment, that one gradually becomes accustomed to the new way of eating. And, I think that as I got older, and into the menopausal years, it got harder to even lose the first few pounds, and I would get frustrated, and go off my plan, only to regret it later on.

Joy said...

Personally, I believe you (generic 'you', not specific) need to feel happy about yourself and accept yourself with love just the way you are before you can make any real changes because the bottom line is you're doing it for you, not for anyone else, and you have to believe you are valuable enough to be worth it.
(using the pronoun 'you' because 'one' seems cold and formal)

I do best when I have a busy day, have made the effort at the weekend to plan the meals for the week - all of them - and got in the necessary shopping. It's all there and ready and there are no quick decisions to be made when I'm rushed or hungry. The thinking has already been done, the decisions have already been made.

Like today (looking at sheet beside me) I'm having porridge with pineapple and yogurt, tuna pate with 3 oatcakes and a salad followed by an apple and then, this evening, fish, new potatoes, runner beans from the garden, peas and then more yogurt and pineapple. It's all there, no more decisions to make, no more thinking necessary! :-)

J x

Anonymous said...

You probably need to think about it at first, yes. Any new habit around food, exercise, or anything else needs some conscious thought. Eventually it just becomes your life. But at first you need to build the habit. Decide what you want your eating and exercise to look like, daily, ten years from now and whether that's conducive to losing weight and maintaining that weight loss. Then just start working on consciously doing that every day until it becomes unconscious. It doesn't need to be such a big deal.

Darcy Winters said...

I wish I had a good answer. I've found that if I am constantly obsessing over the points/calories/whatever that at some point the pressure becomes too much and I fall off the wagon in a huge way. On the other hand....if I don't think about it on some level - I get too complacent and that seems to be when the weight starts creeping up. I hope there is a middle ground, but so far...I haven't found it.

Lee said...

have you read any blogs by Isable Foxen Duke? she addresses the eating-thinking connection

Anonymous said...

You seem to imply that you are very busy all the time, but I thought you did not work full time so I would like to hear what you do with your time? I am not being critical but am curious because if I was not working I imagine I would have several hours every day to work out, cook healthy meals, plus anything else I wanted to do. Would you share? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This post is why therapy could help you. You don't seem to be able to distinguish the voice of your eating disorder from your rational voice. You bounce back and forth between two opposite stances. You are unwilling to be uncomfortable and it doesn't take much to throw you off. This is the disease!!

Verena Schwald said...

So why not try therapy....again?
Since this is so deeper than food.

I know that you said that you couldn't find any NEDA approved therapists in your area but so many therapists offer sessions via skype.

Do you really want to wait until you have a serious medical complication as your "wake up call"?
Then what?
What will change to make you able to lose weight then?

I guess I am not understanding what you are waiting for.

Please take good care of yourself

Amy said...

Well, there is a big "awareness" movement right now, many people who have successfully lost did so because they were aware of what they were doing (seeking) and why (biochemical, emotional) and had a plan in place for what to do when those things crop up. Your plan sounds solid, listening to your body within a set of parameters that you've allowed and making room for an occassional food that doesn't fall in those parameters. You know from experience, telling yourself you can NEVER have something will only make you want it more.
I think it is wonderful if you are so content that you don't feel you have to change or worry about what the world thinks of you, those are goals we should all aspire to! And, it's excellent that your health is good, that is a big-picture major deal! I say, keep rocking on! If you are happy and healthy and not gaining, what else is there to worry about?