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Old 11-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Default Finding Control

After more starts and stops and different diets than I can count, I am hopeful that I am finally finding a healthy way to control my impulse to binge. Almost five weeks ago, I began a medically-supervised weight loss program that has set up strict parameters for what I can and cannot eat and when I can and cannot eat. Having to be accountable to the doctor each week is really working to keep me on track.

Because of my disfunctional relationship with food and the strict 1000 calorie daily cap of the program, I also find myself fighting the urge to stop eating, skip prescribed snacks, or to get by on as few calories as possible while still being within range. I am allowed to drop as low as 800 calories--which I find myself shooting for with regularity. I'm sure there are others who appreciate the attitude of, 'Fine, if I cannot binge, I'll starve.' Once I am able to see the program psychologist, I hope to get better control of this urge to swing from one extreme to the other.

Ultimately, I do have hope that this program will allow me to break old habits and learn a new relationship with food. In the meantime, I've lost almost 20 pounds. Before anyone starts noticing and making comments, I'm hopeful to be seeing the psychologist so I don't repeat my pattern of a compliment throwing me into a binge cycle.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing about your plans, worththeeffort2! I know exactly what you mean about a compliment throwing you into a binge cycle. I'm a longtime yo-yo dieter, and I've had real problems with the way people respond to me when I lose a lot of weight. I get freaked out when they're staring at my body and saying, "Wow, you look great!" I remember one time during a weigh-in at a diet clinic that happened, and I burst into tears and essentially had a panic attack.

Do you have any understanding yet about why that happens—why it's so hard to cope with what other people say when we lose weight? I've heard some people say they don't like the compliments because they imply that you were somehow unacceptable when you were heavier. I don't think that's the issue for me. It's almost like a sexual trauma thing for me, even though I've never been actually molested or raped. But I feel it as though the other people are getting in my face, getting in my space, so I start binging to regain the weight and push them away.

This is an important issue for me to get a handle on, because I'm 58 years old, and I intend for this weight loss from a high of 351 down into the mid-100's to be the last time I get rid of the flab. I want to be my old slim self, before all my emotional eating behavior began, and I want to be comfortable in my own skin, when I get there.

Do you think there's something a bit scary about being normal-sized? What do you think this issue is about?
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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But I feel it as though the other people are getting in my face, getting in my space, so I start binging to regain the weight and push them away.

It's interesting now that you bring this up. I have always used my weight to keep people (specifically men) away. I hadn't even thought about it until now, that maybe since I have lost all libido due to hormone changes and have no desire to be with anyone, maybe that has somehow released my mind to let me finally commit to losing weight? Wow this is a very interesting thought I will have to explore. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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For me, I believe quite a lot of my weight issues have to do with sexual trauma and the mixed messages I received about food when I was a child. At age 10, just as my body was starting to develop, I was molested by an older brother. I never said anything but internalized the trauma. I, like so many girls raised in traditional American homes, was admonished to be a "good girl." Anything remotely vein or sexual in nature was bad, particularly my own impulses.

I am beginning to believe that binging in reaction to receiving a compliment--especially from a man--is a form of self-punishment for having a pleasurable reaction to the compliment. Putting on weight or staying heavy minimizes the potential of receiving compliments, therefore, reduces the odds of me experiencing the type of pleasure I was taught is "inappropriate."

This is one of the reasons I'm scheduled to see a psychologist. I need to work out these issues so this time, the weight loss sticks. I'm also moving into menopause, so being 50 and considered "too old" to be sexually attractive may be exactly what you suggest--a buffer that can substitute for food. I don't know. I'm working on it all.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:01 PM   #5
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Compliments seem to fuel my sense of rebellion. It's as though people are welcoming me to the dark side of conformity, the place where fat women are taught that we are always broken and unsuitable in our current bodies. To be honest, though, I'd feel more mobile and comfortable at a size 14-18, so this quest continues. It's a matter of fat rights and feminism bumping up against plain old practicality.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Well, yes, part of my drive to lose weight this time and keep is off is the need for conformity. My work place is threatening to increase insurance premiums for any employee who does not "live a healthy lifestyle." At this point, failure to live a "healthy lifestyle" includes anyone who smokes and anyone who is overweight. Because a majority of administrators are also heavy drinkers, alcohol use is not mentioned in terms of healthy or unhealthy behavior.

So, yes, in order to keep as much of my $15/hour income as possible and be able to afford to pay my mortgage, I must conform to governmental or societal or medical standards of what is considered a "healthy weight." The admins in charge of this change have yet to determine the precise standard. I think it's because that alcohol issue keeps getting in the way. In any event, the organization believes it will save boodles of money in health care costs if all 10,000 employees are forced to comply or pay up.

Since I know this is coming, I'm utilizing my health care insurance coverage now to participate in a medically supervised weight loss program. If I am not successful enough in this program, I will be forced to either undergo major surgery to have my digestive tract permanently mutilated in order to reach the goals set by my employer or look for another, potentially lower paid job without retirement or health benefits. At age 50, my prospects are not good (another societal conformity issue called ageism). Do I go under the knife to stay where I am so to keep my retirement benefits and health care coverage or do I quit my job, take the risk of not finding another, and still be required to pay more for health care coverage under the new U.S. laws? I'm an overweight American who happens to have a chronic, non-weight related illness, who is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

My choice is to take advantage of the health care premiums I currently pay to try to lose as much weight as possible in order to save money in the long run. Since the insurance will cover psychological counseling, I can also use this as an opportunity to address issues that have pressed down on me since age 10. Four decades of self-abuse and self-punishment are enough. I guess you could say that I'm taking a lemon and making lemonade--sugar-free, of course. Yes, I suppose I could waste time and energy proclaiming outrage but instead, I've opted to turn the situation to my advantage and move forward.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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It sounds like you've got a great attitude, worththeeffort2! Best of luck!
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Current mini-goal: Get down to 260
Pounds to go: 12

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Mini-goal 1: 30 days binge-free —> done 12/21/13 & binge-free now
Mini-goal 2: Get down to 280 —> done 5/22/14
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by worththeeffort2 View Post
Well, yes, part of my drive to lose weight this time and keep is off is the need for conformity.... So, yes, in order to keep as much of my $15/hour income as possible and be able to afford to pay my mortgage, I must conform to governmental or societal or medical standards of what is considered a "healthy weight." ... If I am not successful enough in this program, I will be forced to either undergo major surgery to have my digestive tract permanently mutilated in order to reach the goals set by my employer or look for another, potentially lower paid job without retirement or health benefits. At age 50, my prospects are not good (another societal conformity issue called ageism).
You sound very smart and articulate. You should be working at a job paying $50 per hour (or more), not $15. 50 is not old. I'm almost 57 and continue to find new clients (who pay me $80 per hour). I'll bet you can put your brains and eloquence to profitable use.

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Old 12-13-2013, 06:39 AM   #9
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Thank you, FreeLanceMomma. I did my stint as a writer years ago and burned out on it. Ultimately, I decided a life of drama and trauma wasn't for me. Unfortunately, I'm tied to a poor home state due to family commitments. In my life, I've discovered dumb people don't want employees who are smarter than them working for their companies. It's a Dilbert kind of world.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:02 AM   #10
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Default Tough Day, Yesterday

Yesterday was a tough day. I'm not going to say I had an urge to binge but I certain was jonesing for sugar. It hasn't been easy, being the holidays. My work place has overflowed with candy, cakes, cookies, and the like. On Wednesday, someone left the gift of a two-piece box of Godiva chocolates on my desk. I set them aside to re-gift to my mother. She'll enjoy them. Yesterday, I came across a large tin--and I mean a large tin--of Godiva truffles. OMG. Among my favorite things in the world. I walked away.

This afternoon, I will start my Christmas vacation and will be away from the office until Jan. 2 when, with any luck at all, people will be full bore into their own pledges for New Year's abstinence and all the sweet goodies will have disappeared.

It is far easier for me to stay on track when I am at home. I don't feel stress, so the urge to eat emotionally is significantly reduced. I'll also be able to hit the treadmill or exercise to my videos whenever it is convenient. I'll also be able to exercise for a longer period of time than I can in the evening, when I get home after work and already feel exhausted.

My goal is to lose 5 pounds over the period of my vacation. I would like that very much.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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Default Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

I am doing a celebratory dance in my head. I have reached the first Onederland--that is, I have only 100 pounds left to lose to reach a healthy weight. It sounds so much better than 132 pounds to a healthy weight.

I have really been enjoying my Christmas vacation at home without any food, stress, or emotional triggers around. I've been able to dedicate at least an hour each day to working out. I've stuck to my diet plan every single day and I'm approaching the two month mark without a sugar binge.

I'm on a mental "high" right now but I haven't forgotten the days I struggled and felt horrible over the last 8 weeks. I know there will be crappy days down the road but for today, I'm doing a happy dance in my head because I feel good.
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #12
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Worththeeffort2 This is great news! I have been struggling to get to the gym and today I had some eating setbacks . I'm trying to keep it in perspective though.... It's great to hear about your sucess over this difficult time of the year (when it comes to food and temptation!)


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Old 12-27-2013, 06:27 AM   #13
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Thanks, SharShar. Usually, it is a super busy time of year but I planned ahead to scale back this year and then, bad weather postponed many of those plans. Home is my safe haven, since I control the food that comes into the house. Plus, my husband and I both prefer a quiet, drama-free life so the potential for stress eating isn't an issue when I'm home.

Each moment of each day is an opportunity to start fresh. Don't focus on the slips. Focus on your successes and long-term goals. I'm fortunate to have an elliptical and treadmill at home now but, honestly, 75% of my workouts are done following exercise DVDs that I buy through Collage Video online.

Keep up the good work, SharShar. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #14
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Default Happy New Year!

I have had a wonderfully relaxing 10 days off for a Christmas vacation but today is the last day. I've noticed that, despite my continued exercise efforts, my weight loss is starting to slow but at least the scale is still moving in the right direction.

I'd be lying if I said I'm not feeling a bit anxious about returning to the workplace tomorrow and having to face my co-worker, Mrs. Snarky Church-Lady and the Bi-Polar Boss Lady. I just need to focus on taking time for me during the day by sticking to my usual breaks; taking and eating a healthy, balanced lunch; and taking occasional strolls just to get away from my computer and desk.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
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Default 42 pounds gone

I'm so pleased that I've managed to lose 42 pounds over the past three months. I'm averaging losing 14 pounds per month. I have not binged or broken the program. I'm also excited to see that my BMI has dropped below 40. I've got a long way to go, I know but I'm excited that I'm making progress in a way that I should be able to maintain the loss long-term.
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