Friday, September 14, 2012


I didn't get to 258 pounds by having a healthy relationship with food.

Go figure

Two years ago, my typical evening meal was a cheeseburger with french fries. If I was feeling especially healthy, it would be a salad. With cheese. And bacon. Topped with high-fat dressing. And fried onion strips.

Looking back, the cheeseburger may have actually been better.

Then, I started on a weight loss journey and at the age of 49, I had to re-learn how to eat a balanced diet - no tricks, no gimmicks. Back to the basics with of the four food groups. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks.

Boring, I know. None of the 'wow' factor of so many of the fads out there.

Not satisfied with the basics, I decided to get creative. What if I pushed all of my meals into the front of the day? What about cutting calories down to 1400? and if 1400 is good, why not 1200? or 1000? or 700? Maybe just fast for a day or two? Or, decide that certain foods are okay to eat and eat only those. Then, start taking things off that list, until the number of safe foods dwindles down to 7 - and 2 of those are looking iffy.

Oh,  yeah, totally don't worry about that diabetes issue.

That whole experience didn't work out so well. The over-thinking, the constant analysis, and second guessing may have created the beginnings of an eating disorder.

Something snapped into place in the beginning of the summer. I realized I'd gone pretty far from the advice of every expert out there, and started adding back foods and calories. Slowly, incrementally, mindfully. Even though a part of my mind screamed "NO! you will gain back weight!! DON'T DO IT!" I took a leap of faith and added until now, my diet is fairly normal, and my attitude towards food healthy.

Or so I thought. Until this week.

A grown woman should not be standing in a quiet corner trying to get control of her breathing when in an unfamiliar restaurant because she is overwhelmed with too many choices.

Yep, nearly full blown anxiety/panic attack because I couldn't decide what to eat. The prevailing thought was, "What was safe?"

The 'beginnings' of an eating disorder? Really? The beginning?

Oh wow. This is hard. Hard to eat right, hard to remember the basics, hard to make good choices one after another, hard to let myself live and not let the thoughts of food take over my life.

I completely understand why people lose a lot of weight, then regain it. It's the mind games. It's the thinking that the ways that got us here were temporary, and not accepting that the entire process is a journey, not a race. Accepting that eating healthy is the new normal. Accepting that there is just no need to look at the pizza, fries, blue cheese dressing, because those things are only healthy in moderation, and if you get to 250+ pounds, moderation is not a strength.

But hard is not a reason to stop. It is, however, a HUGE reminder to respect the progress already made and to take a deep breath when things get a little tense, and let the mind relax into what it knows is right.

The basics == good stuff.

Thoughts to take with me today: The words from one of my favorite songs..."Breathe, stretch, shake, let it go."

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