I've been on a 'plan' of some form or another since I was probably 16 now. I remember noticing I was big at that age. In all honesty I was a size 14 and not huge but as a teenager you notice that difference and for a kid who was never that gregarious or popular the last thing you need is a big ass. So I dieted. Over the years I have made friends with Dr Atkins, Rosemary Conley, Ms Slimming World, had a brief flirtation with Master Weight Watchers and pure and simple calorie counting. I have drunk Cambridge milkshakes, I have drunk Slim Fast milkshakes (as far as I can ascertain thats Cambridge Smart Price), I have eaten whole panfuls of cabbage soup and I have probably spent way more on clearing my cupboards and reshopping for each new one than reasonably makes logical sense. I have taken tablets that absorb fat and eaten too much fat on them-a gastric experience not to be repeated. I have bought wonderous pills and potions from Holland & Barrett that promise fuzzily that you they 'may' help with weight loss. And it could happen. In the same way that one day I 'may' be an olympic hurdler.
I am the most dedicated amazing dieter you have ever met, I ooze enthusiam for my plan of the moment and am sure its the key to a skinny future...for 14 days. Then I have a tendency to drop off the radar and instead of a little jaunt off the dietary track I promptly take a right into the jungle and wandering off whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy while trying for a new world record on Reeses Cups cosumption. (Actually Im not sure I should joke about that. I have deep abiding concerns about levels of peanut butter cup toxicity). Yet here I am 18 years later. Not every diet I have been on has led to me adding to the ever burgeoning profits of the Cadbury corporation within a paltry 14 days. I have actually lost large amounts of weight prior to now and stuck to a few plans for extended periods of time. But each time I've gained it back and, feeling extreme guilt at my wanton abandonment of my excess stones, gained them back some friends to keep them company.
And I am fat lets be totally brutally frank here. I am not chubby, I am not curvy, I am not big boned. I am fat. And more to the point I am fat and really really tired. Because each of those plans doesn't get to the root of whats bothering me and why time and time again I fail til it feels like a war I am not going to win. And so last time around I set out doing my blog to try and keep me honest and log my journey. And it did help the times I wrote it, both mentally and emotiionally. So it seems right that, starting for the last time (again) i fire up my fingers and get to tapping. But last time I was guilty of allowing my blog to become comedic - entertainment as much as reflection - which is fine except I stopped writing it eventually when I realised I was starting to fail and so never really owned up to the fact I failed, just lifted the rug and quietly brushed it underneath (ssssh now, keep quiet and I will throw in a Fry's turkish delight poor battered little conscience). I was too ashamed to admit to it so publically and couldn't really find a way to make light of what was in my head so didn't think it would be that great for public consumption - really who wants to read angst over comedy. And so eventually I petered out again. But the yearning to lose the weight never went away and the want to share my journey with others who can keep me on track remains as strong because, to be honest, as tired as I get of fighting my weight I get more tired still of failing.
The truth of it is, and here is where the name badge comes in handy, is that I have a real problem with food. I don't smoke or do drugs, I rarely drink. Food is my drug, it is my vice. Combine that with my OCD, mental health and control issues, throw in some chocolate (and possibly some sticky backed plastic and pipe cleaners because they always turn up don't they) and you have yourself a freshly baked Maoribadger, over eater extraordinaire.
I don't know how to not 'eat my emotions'. When I am happy, when I am content, when I am tired or unhappy, when I am lonely, when I am depressed, when I am angry or when I am bored I crave food in a powerful physical way. Its no idle fleeting thought it is literally an overriding urge that makes it hard to concentrate on the other things going on around me. All I can think in that moment is how much better everything would be if I could just eat something sugary. And just one small piece usually will not do it. And so I often give in. And afterwards I am so incredibly confused. Because I do feel good. I have satisfied that overwhelming urge, that almost shove I am getting in the back and feel like I am back in control of my own mind. But around about then thats the last thing I want as I am mentally feeling like I am a complete and utter failure. I tell myself I am greedy for the amount I have eaten and I am stupid for giving in to the compulsion and I am destined to be fat and unhappy about it and the worst of it being that thats my on fault for not being a stronger better person. Thats just a downward spiral.
So here I am. Wondering if food addiction actually constitutes a genuine problem or I am actually just that weak willed and greedy person I often think I am. The truth of it is sometimes the journey to lose weight feels insurmountable. I can diet, I can even lose weight. I have done it before and I can do it again. But it doesn't end there does it? Sooner or later it creeps back in. And so if I am being totally honest with myself I am never going to not be this person. I can get as thin as I like I am never going to be able to stop sitting on my own shoulder watching myself. Thats not how it works. I feel like I am going to spend the rest of my life fighting my own urges now. Never able to be free and eat unthinkingly because I know once I relax I allow the demon back in the room. And I guess thats whats making me struggle the most and is what makes me slip off my plan over and over and OVER again. To know that from now to the day they wang me over the side of the boat (buried at sea sounds fun) I will forever have these feelings. And sometimes I think the fact I know that, that I can spend maybe the next year or two steadily losing weight only to find its not the end of the journey, its just the start that makes me worse. Because if I am going to spend the rest of my life feeling like this why not get the payback at least of the 5 minutes feeling good. And I think thats why I struggle and I fall off the horse - I think of life forever having to be my own self censor and that just feels so overwhelming I give in.
So I am having to write this for a multitude of reasons. First I have to admit that the problem I have with food is there. Otherwise its the ghost in the room. I can sense and feel it but until I acknowledge it I cannot start to banish it. From there I am going to have to admit to myself that actually, its probably never going to be genuinely banished. I can lessen it or make it go away for short periods of time but I am always going to have this problem. When I read an article on habit formation and learned it takes 69 days to change a habit during my last blog I think I allowed myself to think I genuinely could make that change. But whilst I can build up good habits and find distractions and other ways of dealing with my emotions if I allow myself to think I have solved it I let the demon back in unwittingly. So I have to admit that I have a lifelong battle in front of me. Having made that admission though I have to ask myself is it a battle thats worth it.
It is. Eventually. I know of all my reasons for starting this and I keep them on here to read again. And maybe I need to print it out and keep it somewhere safe for everytime the demon comes knocking. Because on many days I am going to feel like this journey is a mile too far. That to take a weightloss trip of 7-8 stone and only find myself at the start line is just too painful and it might be easier just to give in. But where does giving in leave me? It leaves me believeing I am that fat, greedy, weak willed, stupid individual. And very unhappy. So I know I need to keep going to get to where I want to be so at least when I have to face the demon again I am doing so as a happy person who doesnt look in the mirror and cringe or see themselves side on and want to cry. In all honesty I know the best way to face it is 'fighting fit' and at a weight i feel happy with. I guess i just needed to write it here to acknowledge that this is now it for my life.
Could you possibly all assist tidying the chairs up as you leave and no leaving coffee stains on the floor x