weight loss

Haunted Numbers

In the dark

Under the bed

It’s there

Hiding

I know it’s there

And it knows all my fears

When I turn out the lights it taunts me

Haunts me

Teases me

Softly calling my name

What am I so afraid of?

I ignore it

But it can’t be ignored

I pretend it isn’t there

But it’s always there

I am shackled

A prisoner with no escape

During the day I think I am free

I can even forget

For a while…

But it will still be there

It’s always been there

Since I was too young

Waiting

Patiently

Because it knows I’ll come back

I always come back

I am afraid without it

Uncertain

I need it

I long for it

To be reunited and reassured

I will gaze trustingly into its unblinking eyes

Expectant

Hopeful

Trapped

Those neon blue eyes changing to numbers

Telling me how good I am

I will bask in its praise

I crave it

But it will not come

My hope is empty

Instead I am mocked

Not good enough

Would could love me?

Who could love this?

No one

But it will always be there

Reliable

Unwavering

Whenever I need it

When I am weak

It will show me the truth

And I will remain shackled

The scale never lies.

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Weight Loss Demotivation

Usually after writing a post, I go on a tag search to find other bloggers who are writing about the same topics that I am. It’s nice finding people going through the same issues as me and finding others who share the same thoughts and values. Blogging is a community, right? Where people turn to share their ideas and connect with others. But as I searched tags like “binge eating” and “weight loss” and “health” I found myself getting discouraged.

For two reasons. The first reason is that people are doing so many unhealthy things for the sake of “health” and “weight loss.” And most people would say “you’re one to judge?” Obviously I’ve had struggles with things in the past and I’m still working on having a positive and healthy attitude. But there are a few things I’ve learned over time, and I know that punishing yourself with exercise if you slip up, fad diets and counting calories will not help anyone achieve their long-term health goals. We’re all so tempted to do these things because they can give us short-term results. But if they worked, we wouldn’t keep having to try new diets every few months would we? And they’re just not sustainable. I’ve done shitty diets with short-term success and I felt great after… For a while. But the problem is that 30-day programs and 21-day cleanses and 7-day fasts won’t work much beyond the time period they specify. Because we are humans with lives. And the human in us will want to eat carbs again one day. And the lives we live will (and should) include weddings and wing-nights and chocolate cake on birthdays. Deprivation just starves our body for the things we want the most. Hold your breath and eventually you’ll want to breathe. And even if you’re not doing something like a 30-day program, say you’re counting calories or logging your macros instead; if this is working right now, do you really want to do this for the rest of your life? Not only is it not sustainable, it’s boring, and it’s a lot of work. Do it for a while maybe so you can become mindful of what you’re eating, but don’t plan on doing this forever. When I see people blogging about these things I see people who are going to eventually fail. And it’s depressing to see. And there’s so many of them. So many of us. That’s right, I’m lumping myself in there too because I talk a big game, but for all I know what I’m doing isn’t sustainable either. When there’s so many people struggling to be healthy, and making bad decisions through temporary fixes or misinformation due to all the contradictory articles and “studies” on the internet, it’s discouraging. How can any of us be healthy in a world so full of misinformation?

The second reason I get discouraged is from reading all of the success stories. These discourage me for a different but similar reason. A lot of people do see success through these temporary fixes, even if they’re only temporary. And they share these successes. And they should. Because they did it, and making it through any program whether it’s two weeks or two years is hard. So share away and be proud. But as someone who has finally opted for the slow-and-steady route, it is discouraging. Nothing is harder to ignore than someone who lost 10 pounds in two weeks or went from a size 16 to a size 6 in a matter of months. What’s their secret? Maybe I could do it for just a while and see those kind of results too. In a world where quick fixes are the solution, it’s hard to be patient when results are so painfully slow. It’s tempting to cut out all carbs, but I know I won’t do this for longer than a month at most. And it’s tempting to cut out all sugars. But does that mean I won’t celebrate someone’s 60th birthday with a piece of cake? Will I go out for wings and opt to only eat the celery and carrots on the side? It’s not realistic. But I want those results now. I want to wake up a find that I have magically lost thirty pounds overnight. But it’s not going to happen. This is one of the problems with looking to others for motivation. It just turns into comparing myself to them and wishing I were them when in the end I can really only be myself.

But I plan on living a long life and during that life I would like to have a healthy relationship with food. And despite all the amazing results people have had on various programs, I need to stick with what is going to work for me. I hope all these bloggers find their own way too, I just hope if they fall they learn from their mistakes and keep going and eventually find their way and learn that quick fixes aren’t the answer. Putting the short-term benefits over the long-term benefits is one of the reasons so many of us are in this situation in the first place; choosing the immediate gratification of gorging on six cupcakes at a time or an entire pizza over the long-term health benefits. This short-term mentality is what’s going to trip us up over and over again. And just like it wasn’t the solution to our health before we realized we needed to change, it still isn’t the solution.

For me, my fix lies somewhere in being mindful of what and why I’m eating. Eating when I’m hungry, and looking for a sustainable way of eating and living. Those are the success stories I want to read.

Disordered Eating

I think I’ve been in denial for a long time. I have a history of eating habits that could potentially be classified into some seriously heavy categories; categories like Food Addiction or Binge Eating or Eating Disorder.

Like so many females… people… everyone! I feel like I have grown up never feeling good enough. I almost wish I could pinpoint some traumatic event in my life so at least then I would have something to blame, but I’m not so sure it was any one event. Just slowly, gradually, over time, people have made me think less about myself. And slowly, gradually, over time, I’ve learned to believe it.

But you know who doesn’t judge you and make you feel less about yourself? Food. You know who can fill (even if only it’s only temporary) that emptiness inside of you that comes from feeling small? Food.

And it’s sad. Food can be for enjoyment, of course, but what happens when it becomes an emotional compulsion to try and find some enjoyment? What happens when you’re embarrassed and ashamed about your relationship with food? What happens when you’re eating drive-through a block away from you house, then hiding the trash in someone else’s garbage so your family won’t know what you’ve done? That’s right. I’ve done that too.

I’ve had diet successes before. I’ve lost weight, but of course I’ve gained it back. I’ve also successfully completed programs like the Whole 30 and the Carb Sensitivity Diet, but I always seem to to go back to my old ways. I’m a yo-yoer.

I’m working on building a healthy relationship with food. I know what I should do but knowing and doing are two very different things. Because it’s hard and most days it seems like I’m set up to fail. Recognizing you have a problem is supposed to be the first step to recovery. But how do I know if I can do it myself? Should I get help? How serious is it?

In a tactic to delay seeking out professional help, I’ve started carrying around an emotional eating journal for when I feel like bingeing on junk or eating when I’m not hungry. And I think it’s helping. I’m not writing every little thing I eat down or counting calories–I think that shit is a huge waste of time—I’m writing down times and emotions and potential triggers and how I’m struggling. It seems to layer on some logic on top of the compulsion and seems to calm it down a little. I feel like I’m in control again. I feel like I have a choice in what goes in my mouth; it’s no longer impulse, or convenience, or availability, or being set up to fail, it’s my choice. Time will tell I guess, but right now I feel cautiously optimistic.

Impossible

Day 1, Day 1 again, this is the last Day 1

How many failures

How many new beginnings

Today is the day

Today will be different

This time

Maybe tomorrow

Next week

On Monday

 

Measurements, photos, weigh-ins

Promises, plans, intentions

 

Doubts and why bothers

Anxieties and depressions

Give ins and give ups

 

It’s for my health

Lies

It’s to improve my energy

Sure it is

 

It’s for looks

It always has been

 

Too fat

Not thin enough

No muscle definition

Too short

Too weak

Not good enough

Never will be

 

Obese

Overweight

Overloaded

Overburdened

 

Society says one thing

The mirror says the same

Your clothes scream it at you

And eventually you believe

 

Impossible standards

Impossible expectations

Impossible to ignore

Impossible to succeed

Impossible not to fail

Healthy is the New Skinny

I feel like I want to give up.

ALL.

THE.

TIME.

We live in a society where we expect instant results. Where we press a button and get what we want without another thought. Without any extra effort.

I’m not lying when I say I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise more in order to be healthier. Because I am. That’s why I’m also trying to do things like spend more time outside, get more sleep, write more, keep learning how to play the guitar; these are all things I’m doing to make myself healthier, not only physically, but mentally and psychologically and spiritually as well.

Sometimes though, my desire to be healthy is the only thing that keeps me going when I’m feeling low on self-confidence. When I feel fat and ugly and wonder why I should even bother.

Because I can’t lie when I admit that I also want to be thinner. I’ve grown up in a world where thin equals beauty and fat equals ugly. Every day I wake up and have to try to ignore this. Fortunately, the world is moving in a direction of body positivity; where all shapes, sizes and colours of people are accepted. But progress is slow. And there are still many people who don’t accept you for your inner self because they can’t get past your outer self. And because of this, every day is a struggle.

I don’t think of myself as ugly. But I do think of myself as fat. And unfortunately I believe that I could be prettier if I wasn’t fat. Why does using a descriptor like “fat” hold more weight than a descriptor like “short” or “tall” or “blue-eyed” or “brown-eyed?” It does not define me, it is just another characteristic of who I am; one feature of so many good features that I have. I love so many of those other features. But this one, really tries to drag me down.

About ten years ago, I swapped out my one-piece swimsuit for a bikini. I had lost of a lot of weight, I wasn’t my ideal body image, but I had met some goals and was feeling confident. Since then I have put back on a whole bunch of weight; but I still wear a bikini. My opinion is that a one-piece doesn’t hide the fact that you’re fat any more than a two-piece does. A two-piece just means there’s more skin. As someone who prefers winter when I can hide myself under sweaters and hoodies, showing my body to people in the summer always seems like a big deal. A way bigger deal that I want it to be.

This coming up Saturday, we are going to the beach for one of my friends’ birthday. And I will be wearing a bikini. And I’m feeling discouraged. Six days is-of course!-too little time to get a magazine’s definition of a bikini body so I find myself wondering why bother again. It’s frustrating. And it’s hard when I worry that people will judge me. I can almost hear them talking behind my back, asking other people why I would even think of wearing a bikini. The initial reveal is always the hardest. After that I can settle into the situation. I can own the body I have. But the week leading up to a beach day always seems to be the worst. When time has snuck up on me and I’m all out of options.

I long for the day when I can be confident wearing a bikini, regardless of what I look like. When I can quit faking confidence and just have it instead.

Since I was having a low self-confidence day, I spent the morning listening to women talk about body positivity and wanted to share this YouTube video with you all. Ashley Graham is a model, designer, and body activist and was the first curvy woman to be in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Her attitude seems like an attitude to strive for for anyone facing body positivity issues. I hope you can take some of the things she says to heart like I’m trying to do.

The Befores

The decision to post these photos was hard. Harder than I ever would have thought.

I briefly contemplated posting these with my face cropped out, but what am I so afraid of? I post pictures of myself on the internet all the time – Facebook, Instagram, etc. – so why is this different? Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of losing my anonymity. Not that these are pornographic or anything, but they are me at my most vulnerable.

I rarely talk about diet and my weight loss struggle with people I know. I admit to very few people that I would like to be healthier and be in better shape. I work hard to try and accept myself for who I am and I kind of feel like talking about how I wish I could change all the time just doesn’t really help that. Of course, I have internal conversations which are probably louder and more persistent than any conversation I would have with someone else, but I work hard to try and be confident, even when I’m not. Fake it until you make it I guess, right? Maybe you can only find the solution once you’ve accepted there is a problem, but if you’ve already accepted it internally, does it need to be publicly  acknowledged too?

But I guess the whole point of this blog was to hold myself accountable. And it feels like I need to go all in…

So here I am. Coming out of hiding. Posting my befores without any afters…

It seems really hard to find any before pictures on the internet without the associated afters. And I totally understand this since it’s much easier (and likely more inspiring) to tell the world how far you’ve come as opposed to how far you need to go.

But this is me. This is who I am now.

And in an effort to make this seem like less of a big deal for me, I tried to make my befores fun, and not conform to the frowny sad-faced befores so many other people seem to use. Because this will take time and effort, and I don’t want to wait until the afters to have fun and enjoy my life. I want to be happy and have fun now, regardless of what I look like and who I think I want to be. Every day I have the opportunity to be a better version of the person I was that day before.