Sunday, June 26, 2011

Living to Eat........Eating to live???

I am one of those people who rarely feels full and uses food to: celebrate, comfort, punish and numb myself.  I am defiantly a person who struggles with "living to eat"! 

Since I was about 12 years old I have battled my weight and eating habits.  I had a someone in my life that always commented on my weight by saying things like "your not as fat as last time I saw you!" The summer between my 5th-6th grade years we moved to the country and my mom went back to work.  I am a city girl at heart and loved "1st place" and playing outside with the kids on the street.  That summer I gained 30 pounds before starting 6th grade. I was teased throughout middle school for my weight and the bus ride was torture for me as one guy would moo at me when I got on the bus because I had to turn sideways to get down the isle.  When I was in 9th grade I got mono and dropped the 30 pounds and guys started to be interested in me.  The summer between my 9th-10th grade year is the only summer I can remember feeling comfortable in a swimming suit.  Throughout high school I struggled with my weight and self image because to others I appeared normal but to myself I always felt overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin.  When I got pregnant with Chloe I gained 80 pounds ( I don't know if I thought I was going to give birth to an 80 pound baby or what!)  I struggled for years to get that weight off!  I ordered things off the TV and went to weight watchers and had a little success but always went back to eating excessive amounts of things like pizza and burgers looking back now I can see that during those times of binging that I was also struggling with depression. 
I ended up going to a weight loss clinic where they gave me pills that really took the weight off but I am sure they were not good for me as I had to take another pill so that I could sleep because the "Doctor" said that if I just took the weight loss pill then my heart would race and I would not be able to sleep. When I was pregnant with Allie I only gained 30 pounds and that came off pretty quick but I was still 30 pounds over a healthy weight.  I was taking a lot of anti-depressant medications at this point and my marriage was falling apart.  After my marriage did fall apart coupled with the stress of single motherhood and a divorce, the weight started to fall off me.  I joined weight watchers again to keep loosing and was doing yoga everyday.

But after about 5 months of doing that and feeling better about my body a professor at OC came up to me and said "Oh! Your Jennifer Neilson! Your not fat and ugly! I heard you were fat and ugly and that was why your husband left with someone else." It was like everything I was thinking in my head was being said out loud!  From that day forward anytime I went over my weight watcher points I would purge my body.  Some weeks it was just once a week, others it could be as much as 5 times a week.  I have 2 year and 5 months of recovery in this area now but in that time I gained 35 pounds.  There was no way I could healthy be at the weight I was (which I still felt "fat" at that weight) and I think for a long time I felt like a failure and gave up because of that. I finally came out of denial, weighed myself, and set a new and more realistic goal.

I wish I could be one of those people who say they do not care about the number and just want to eat healthy and be active (and I do want those things) but at this point in my life honestly, I DO care about the number I have just adjusted that number.  In the last year I have become more aware of my emotional eating and have tried to be more in the moment and feel my feelings.  It is defiantly a one day at a time journey for me and every morning before my feet hit the ground I ask God to help me make healthy food choices and for awareness when I am stressed and trying to run from my feelings by stuffing them down with pizza, burgers, ice cream, or some other unhealthy food choice.  I also feel that right now in this journey I need to write everything down that hits my lips so that I stay out of denial about what I am REALLY eating and WHY I am eating. I tried to do weight watchers again but it was just to painful because every time I went over my points I was panicked and was fight the urge to purge again. My fitness pal has been great for me because it is a "one day at a time" program and if I do want a treat I know what exercise I do need to make up those calories.
I have become resigned to the fact that I will probably always struggle with food and eating but when I can break it down to "one day at a time" perspective I feel like I can deal with it.  This time around it has taken me a lot longer but I am down 9 pounds and feel like I am on a healthy track to be at a healthy weight and for once take exercise seriously! I feel like have started the journey to shift my thinking to "Eating to Live!"

Lesson Learned: I will always have an appreciation and love for food but I do not have to eat because I do not feel loved, like a failure, when I am hurt, or when I am just sad. It is OK to feel all of those things and when I binge eat doing those times... I only punish myself and those feelings are still there along with extra weight and I feel even more like a failure.

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