It is April 26, 2021. I haven’t updated since October 2020.
And it’s because I was ashamed.
When the holidays arrived, I completely gave up on eating better. The lure of carb-loaded goodness in the form of stuffing, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and bread – glorious bread! – was too much for me to resist and once I indulged, it was over for me. Months of restrictive eating (and the increasing irritation from eating the same stuff all the time that came with it) gave way to even more months of free, uninhibited gluttony. I gave up on myself and lost sight of my goals.
And wouldn’t you know? I gained back almost all the weight. All that hard work, gone.
I proceeded to fall into my classic cycle of: eat everything I wanted —> feel super depressed about it —> eat more, because food is how I cope with things. Repeat indefinitely. I know I’m certainly not alone in getting stuck in this horrible cycle. And intellectually, I know that I was stuck in the cycle but emotionally, I couldn’t seem to get out of it.
And then, of course, add on white-knuckling it through yet another diet in the hope that my willpower would be enough to stick with it… and failing…and the life cycle of the morbidly obese is complete.
Now here I am, back to try to lose weight again. But this time, I’m approaching it a little differently. Every time I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, I have only focused on my body and what I needed to do to force it to shed the pounds I so desperately wanted it to lose. I always thought that – this time – I was going to be “strong enough” to eat the right things and do the right things and be the right things, etc. I never really gave much thought to the mental and emotional challenges that come with losing weight. Because losing lots of weight instantly changes you to be a happy, optimistic person, right? (Insert face palm here.)
Over the past month, I have been researching into the reasons behind why a person lets themselves become so heavy their weight actually inhibits them in some way. I’m not going to get into everything, there are books for that lol, but there were two things that really hit home for me:
- Food Addiction. I have always joked that I’m a food addict, but never really thought about what that means. To put it simply, I use food as something more than it is. I use it to soothe feelings of sadness and anxiety. I use it bolster good feelings when I’m happy, and therefore began to associate happy times with eating “happy” foods. Just like an alcoholic. Just like a drug addict. At the end of the day though, food is neither good nor bad. It’s just food. And that probably sounds so simple and obvious to some of you reading this, but it was almost an epiphany for me.
- Mindfulness. I know mindfulness, in general, can seem like nothing more than a trendy word or fad that gets thrown around too often. For me though, relating mindfulness to food and eating was what finally pushed through my initial, knee-jerk, eye-roll reaction whenever I heard about it. Pausing to think about what I’m eating, why I’m eating it, what emotions are pushing me to run into the kitchen when I’m not hungry, etc. It’s making me think about all that for the first time in my life (and I’m in my mid-30’s!) and it’s changing my perspective more every day.
So with all that being said, I have decided to give keto another shot. And I am doing it better this time. More clean, healthy food. A bigger variety of food. One of my biggest gripes about last time was I was getting so tired of eating the same things all the time. A lot of cheese, almonds, bacon, burgers, and chaffles. But I’m wondering if, at the end especially, I was almost self-sabotaging by eating the same stuff every day. It was food I didn’t want to eat, and so I felt forced into doing something I didn’t want to do which meant the second those holidays came around, I ran to all those carbs with open arms. One thing I did to help with this was I created a list of keto-friendly foods that I legitimately enjoy. It was a lot longer than I thought it would be! It’s currently on our refrigerator so whenever I feel in a rut, I can browse the list for something new.
I feel more ready this time. Which could mean nothing, or it could mean that this millionth attempt to lose weight will finally be it. At this point, only time will tell. Send some positive thoughts my way as I attempt, yet again, to learn how to be a healthy person.