Monday, December 10, 2007

One More Time Around ...

After 10 successful years in Anonymous programs and running 5 days a week, things began to unravel, not dramatically you understand, just slowly … as things often do.

First I had to give up running as years of not stretching adequately led to a knee injury. I tried to replace my running routine with the gym and swimming, but neither fitted neatly into my schedule or had the same appeal.

Then I met my current partner who wooed me endlessly over expensive meals in posh restaurants. This was such a happy time in my life that I developed amnesia about my problems with food and began to eat things I normally avoided. Of course, once Pandora’s Box was opened, old patterns began to reassert themselves and I began nibbling when stressed, anxious, angry etc. instead of dealing with my feelings head on.

When my weight began to creep back up, I should have gone into panic mode, instead I began to buy stretchy clothes so I could be comfortable … just until my weight went back down, I told myself. The problem with stretchy clothes is that they offer no resistance to weight gain and one can gain and gain and gain with a certain unconsciousness. Unwittingly, my partner made my unconsciousness even worse because he didn’t care what size my body was. He never once said anything and when on occasion I would comment about my weight. He’d say, something to the effect that there was more of me to love. This was a radical change from the men I'd dated before him who I am certain would have been very critical if I gained even 1 lb.

I wasn't binging, just consuming far too many high calorie foods too often and not exercising. It took about 5 years for my weight to return to my original adult number of 190lbs.

About 2 1/2 years ago I woke up from my amnesia and was horrified that I had undone my healthy routine of good diet and exercise and had regained all my weight and then some. I became determined to return to a healthy weight and committed to Overeaters Anonymous again. I ate the prescribed three meals a day with nothing in between for 1 year but refused to exercise and felt deprived most of the time. In the first few months I lost 20lbs., and then plateau for 9 months. That was the most frustrating of experiences and eventually I gave up and slowly gained the 20lbs back.

I took some time to really think about how I wanted to proceed with my weight loss goal and in August after a false start, launched a blog called 55kgs.which crystallises everything I have learnt over a lifetime of struggle with food, exercise and weight and charts my journey to my ideal weight of 120lbs. Here is what I've learnt:

1. I love living in a slim body.

2. If I eat more calories than my body can burn, I will put on weight.

3. I NEED A FOOD PLAN. Just going into the world and making healthy choices on the cuff doesn't work for me. If I am to survive every party, wedding, lunch and dinner etc. that blows my way without overeating or making poor choice, I need a clear idea of what I can eat when and how much constitutes a portion. What, When, How much are my buzz words.

4. Eating a balanced, healthy food plan and getting regular exercise are NOT always fun, but have a profound effect on my body, emotions and mind and on my ability to function effectively in the world. They can also prolong my life and stave off illnesses. In other words, I love what they do for me.

5. Sustained weight loss is only possible if I maintain the food plan and exercise routine that enabled the weight loss to begin with.

6. I am hard wired to eat sweets as a way of nurturing myself and soothing my feelings. I will have to contend with this for the rest of my life.

7. If I don’t build sweet treats into my food plan, I’ll feel deprived and have a greater tendency to go off my plan and overeat sweets when I do.

8. My chance of success losing weight is greater in a community than alone. I had my first success with weight loss in two Anonymous programs in New York. It is very hard to find accessible OA meetings in London, so in August, I started a weight loss blog, 55kgs. to help me develop a community of like-minded people and of course, that's why I am writing here at Sweet Potato Pie.

For background reading on this post see:
1. Compulsive Eater and Sugar Addict
2. The Beggining of an Abuse Love Affair
3. Listen to the Hunger
4. What is the Hunger About?


Tracy said...

Ex-Cell-lent Post!

Especially since I am going thru relapse again....

Still exercising tho and keeping the weight at a standstill, but the sugar is winning...

Nona said...

Oh dear. It must be the season because I have been having a little chocolate everyday.

I'm working on formulating a plan of action I can live with over the next three weeks.

I'm determined not to be undermined by Christmas celebrations.