Me and My Healthy Lifestyle

The honeymoon is definitely over between me and my new “healthy lifestyle.” During the first six months and 30 pounds and four pants sizes we got along great but now the bickering has started.

This past week, I sorta gave it a rest. I didn’t exercise much. I ate a bunch of crap and guess what? I gained three pounds.

It was depressing to really realize that this is something that has to be different for the rest of my life. I’ve hated my metabolism this week with a passion I usually reserve for the love of my favorite crafts and sports team. I’ve hated the fact that I can’t totally give up food. The thought has crossed my mind that maybe an eating disorder for 6-8 months would solve all my problems.

But the truth is I think I kinda already have an eating disorder at the other end of the spectrum. I’m an emotional eater.

I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m sad. I eat for entertainment. I eat to celebrate with friends. I eat when I need something to do with my hands. I eat because it tastes good. I eat because I like food. I eat. I eat. I eat…I eat too much.

Add that to a spectacularly slow metabolism, a lifestyle that doesn’t provide much exercise and here I am: massively overweight.

This is something I started to realize back in January. It was in the mix of what got me started with getting into shape. The first couple of months I was really good about questioning myself every time I went for something to eat:

    • Am I physically hungry?
    • Is this food I am choosing something that will nourish my body?
    • Am I willing to spend the calories on this food right now and not eat something else later in the day?
    • Is there something I could do with my time that would satisfy me just as well as this food?

Asking all those questions before every trip to the kitchen is exhausting. Especially since I live in the kitchen with two kids needing meals and snacks and more snacks and oh, wait it’s supper time already? So over the past few months I’ve lost that question and answer session before sitting down to eat. I was still doing pretty well because of the amount of exercise I was putting in but this past week I decided I just didn’t care any more. And it showed in how I felt about exercise, how I felt about eating, and how I felt about my body. And so I gained weight.

I have hesitated to call this a problem for more than 10 years. While we lived in North Carolina I had a good friend who was a binge eater. She attended Overeaters Anonymous and often urged me to go. I declined on the grounds that I “just liked food,” not that I had a problem. I know, classic denial. Just because I studied psychology, doesn’t mean I can’t still miss the giant cheesecake sitting on my plate.

All of this has been swirling around me in the past six months. Several friends have also come out to me about their struggles with weight issues recently as well. So I wanted to get this all down here. To rededicate myself to my relationship with my health lifestyle. To remind myself that it’s a continual process and that there are other ways to cope. To let others know that talking about it always helps and that it’s always a good day to walk a few miles.

Some resources:
Emotional Eating
Binge Eating
Overeaters Anonymous
Are you a food addict? Yeah, some of these questions made me cringe a little bit.