~*~ Mail Bag ~*~

You know I get some really great comments and sometimes they really strike a cord within me. Today I got a great comment from Susan:

Susan's comment regarding post "#92 - Fat Acceptance Organizations"

... as for your advice about moving on, I'm going through a tough period myself at the moment and your words came at exactly the right time. Many people in your situation would have (re)turned to food for comfort - but you haven't! I admire you so much for that.

You are so right Susan. It's so easy to turn back to food to comfort us in times of need. But that is part of overcoming fatness - learning to find other ways to cope with life's hurdles that don't include food. I suppose a few years ago I would have made myself feel better with a box of Chips Ahoy, but now I find other ways. Of course, blogging helps. I'm a firm believer in talking out your problems. If you don't have someone in your life you can confide in and discuss all the crap life has thrown you, write a blog or journal. Even talking things out to yourself really helps. Hehe, honestly I can't tell you how many times I've worked things out in my head by myself... yes that means I do talk to myself. But what the hell, it's healthy, isn't it? Just get it out. Really it's about distraction. Find an outlet for release. For me it's talking and journaling, some like exercise (yeah just what I'm thinking too... yeah right... not for me), some watch TV, play the computer, talk on the phone, whatever... just know that eating isn't going to make your problems go away... it's not going to make you feel better... actually it will make you feel worse from the added guilt.

I think too many of us have bottled up life's problems and try to keep stuffing the feelings down by stuffing our faces. It really doesn't help. Sure, maybe for a half hour or hour after downing a bunch of junk food you feel fantastic. The seretonin (feel good neurotransmitter in the brain) rush you get from consuming massive quantities of carbs will temporarily take away the pain... I can't stress enough... temporarily! Then you start to come off your sugar high and crash and feel like crap all over again. How many of us have lived this over and over again? Feel bad, eat something to feel better, feel awesome for a bit, crash, feel bad, eat something to feel better, la la la la la. Over and over again, I lived this cycle, til finally it occurred to me it wasn't working. The food really wasn't making me feel ANY better.

So yes, I've had a really rough past few months. Did I turn to food ever? Sure, I'm human. But I never let it go too far. I don't let a little slip up, crumble all of my progress to the ground. With eating right, I NEVER tell myself I CAN'T have something... I'm like a rebellious kid... tell me I can't and of course that's all I want. So I let myself have whatever I want in moderation. And no, a whole bag of cookies is NOT moderation. But sure, I have to admit sometimes when I've been down and wanted a wee pick me up, I did turn to food. I'll tell you though, it's really hard not to fall into old habits. But I keep telling myself... Food will not take away the pain... EVER! And then I find something else to do, I move on, and I cope, sans food. And through all of this I have not gained weight... ok not entirely true... I went up five pounds... then right back down so I'm right where I was before all this. Actually I hopped on the scale yesterday and saw a number I hadn't seen in years... 249. So actually through all this I lost a pound. Ok maybe by some people's standards losing 1 pound in the past 8 months is terrible progress, well poo poo on you! Frankly I'm proud of the fact that I've just been able to maintain through all of this, and now I'm starting to lose again. I never set out on this journey thinking I was in a race. I never set a deadline for weight loss. I set a goal to lose and maintain... two things I've consistently done. For that I am proud.

So yes Susan, it's hard not to fall in our old patterns of coping during the rough stuff, but we need to make the choice. Life can be hard, painful, and sad. We just need to remind ourselves that there is something better out there for us. We won't always hurt, we won't always cry, we won't always struggle. I'm always telling myself, "what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger." By now, with what life has thrown at me, I think I'm one tough broad. Life isn't all peaches and cream (no, that isn't a subliminal food message lol). There is only one person that can make you happy, and that is you. It's your choice. Happiness? Depression? You pick. But know, never ever will food help you in your quest for happiness.

Read the last ~*~ Mail Bag ~*~ post


Vic said...

Wow!!! You touched on a nerve in me so deeply in this post. "I think too many of us have bottled up life's problems and try to keep stuffing the feeling down by stuffing our faces." I am a big time bottler. I did not totally connect that just bottling my emotions was contributing to my weight issues!!!

Thanks again for helping to open my eyes.

Catherine said...

I think it is amazing that you have managed to maintain your weight loss through all you've faced the past several months. You should be very proud of yourself!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Keep it up. Do not lose hope!

When I read stories such as this I can't help but feel compelled to share my story. I have been dieting for the majority of my life. In school I was normal size. When I hit collage I was at my thinnest at 125 pounds. I am 5 foot 3 inches tall. I looked pretty normal. My siblings were in perfect shape. In fact, my sister was very thin - she even modeled when she was in high school. All this to say that my weight gain was directly attributed to emotional highs and lows. I suffered numerous tragedies, the first following graduation from college, when in nine months my mother and her parents all fell victim to cancer. Her parents literally worried themselves to death over their only child. My father and siblings had long been out of the house. He had been gone for over a year. My siblings for 7-10 years or more. After the deaths the house I shared with my mother was divided up and I was out of the only home I knew - and thrust into the world - so to speak: my very first apartment, my very first job, suddenly learning to survive alone. By this time the rest of my immediate family were all back home in various other states. To get past the emotional shake-up, I ate cookie dough and Reese Cups. It didn't take long to blow up. But I was still under 200. In two years, I headed west. Both of my siblings were in California, though opposite ends of the state. None of us spoke to my father by this time.

I lost a significant amount of weight on various diets over the years. At one point I even went down to 150 pounds - only 25 pounds shy of my goal. Every few years, there would be groups of family that would pass away. Many were from illnesses, a few from horrific tragedies. And every time I turned around, my diet would be sabotaged either from another one of these events, or something less significant going on in my life (but that I thought important at the time).

I tried everything to lose weight. From just cutting back - to an 800 calorie-a-day diet plan, to Phen-fen, to Slim-Fast, to eating Lean Cuisine's, to taking herbal diet supplements such as Mau Wong and Guarana supplements. I tried every diet pill. Every meal replacement shake. Richard Simmons. You name it. I went to Over Eaters Anonymous. But couldn't take it - why? - because I was never, ever, an over-eater (except for diet soda). I just ate garbage. Primarily sugar-related. Oh yes, and diet-sodas. Until I had a seizure-related incident that made me realize how harmful diet-sodas are when not used in moderation. But once the neurologist okayed the use - I went back to drinking the stuff - although limiting myself to a few a day.

I NEVER exercised except for the year I was on Phen-fen and Mau Wong / Guarana supplements (because the pills gave me so much energy) where I was able to finally go under 200, at 195. But as soon as these diet aids went off the market, my weight blew up. Eventually my weight increased to 200, 250, 280 and finally 300.

Why do I bring all of this up? Because until last year when I had given up and blown up to 300, I was on the same path of destruction. My thinking pattern was the same. A quick fix. No exercise. One glass of water a day. Watching TV all night. Not eating all day long and opting for one meal after work - usually take-out, or ordering in, and as a result eating late. When disappointment or troubles occurred, out came the chocolate.

This continued until a number of personal life changing events occurred. At 300 I couldn't walk fast, I was out of breath frequently, and I couldn't stand for more than 15 minutes at a time. Out of the blue, I decided to stop ordering take-out and began cooking at home. I began drinking 6-11 glasses of water a day. I was more careful about what I ate but was still excessing in the carb department. Regardless, I lost around 35 pounds from September to December.

When December rolled around, and I saw the doctor on a routine appointment, the scales showed that I weighed more than I thought. I also was diagnosed with stress-induced diabetes. It was so bad by the time they discovered it, however, that my eyes had already gone blurry and my legs limp. A close friend's mother had died recently from diabetes, and a neighbor lived across from me with amputated limbs. So I was scared out of my mind. Sure it wasn't cancer. But it [i]is[/i] called the silent killer. And people with my history of bad habits tend to blow-off the warning signs - and - any effort to fix the problem. What made things worse was the fact that I was placed on insulin 4x a day and told it might be diabetes 1 (after having been diabetes 2).

I was immediately placed on a no carb diet. I began eating six small meals a day. I cut out all sugar and diet soda. I began walking as much as I could physically handle at the time. Soon the weight began to drop off. My blood sugar numbers dropped to normal within two weeks. Whole wheat / multi-grain bread was added to the diet - but in small quantities. I am now going to the gym 3x a week and plan to increase it when I'm able to do so. I have lost 82 pounds and have another 90 - 100 to go. I drink diet soda now - but in extremely limited quantities.

The main thing from all of this - is that I want to shout from the roof tops to warn others younger than myself - to do something before it is too late. The 30s are the prime of your life. You can lose weight and accomplish everything you want. When you get older - and weight comes off - but you sag and wrinkle. So try to establish all of the good habits now. Losing weight is great - that is the first step! But drink 6-10 glasses of water - the weight will drop off faster. And exercise, exercise, exercise!!! If I can do it - ANYONE can.

Fairy said...

I lost 13 lbs in only two weeks by obeying this one easy rule

Anonymous said...

I know everyone has their own ideas on weight loss. I've had my own battle with my weight. (I won)

The most important thing I ever learned from a totally unrelated source. Dr. Joe Vitale said something that I already knew but had not internalized enough to actually put it into practice in my life.

He said,... "as within, so without". In a nutshell it means that the way we think of ourselves is the way we tend to create ourselves. He compares it to an airplane on auto pilot. You can take hold of the stick of that plane and force a change in direction that you can maintain as long as you don't let go of that stick. But as soon as you do,... you WILL go back to the direction set in the auto pilot.

For us, our auto pilot is the way we see our selves. If we have a picture of ourselves in our mind of an obese person,... THAT IS OUR AUTO PILOT! I changed my picture. I lost 200 pounds. It works. Not alone. But it works.

--Jordan Hale

Fanya said...

Yeah...it's REALLY hard not turning to food when stressed, especially since I love all kinds of food.

When I really desperately want to turn to food, I do, but to prevent myself from overeating, I tell my group of friends that I'm baking and will be sharing, then I bitch to them about my problem while eating food I like but in small amount since other people have already consumed the rest while I'm talking.(which makes me feeling better and eat good food. The hard part is the sharing for me...)

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