Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On the Weigh Down -- Month 3

Weight: I have no idea. My husband was in the bathroom this morning. He actually knows pretty much what I weigh, but I still feel odd weighing myself in front of him. Besides, it was 5am and the dog was agitating to go out. I will say that I'm pretty sure my weight is about the same.

I had some really good days and some really bad days over the past two weeks. I veered between restricting and bingeing and just plain overeating. I finally decided that I needed to go back the The Appetite Awareness Workbook by Linda Craighead and actually DO the exercises, rather than simply reading them and nodding my head at how sensible they are.

The first step is to monitor your appetite. Each day you try to eat three meals and two snacks, eating whatever you want but stopping when you are moderately full. The idea is not to get too hungry because it is then very difficult to eat mindfully and stop when moderately full, so you eat when you feel moderately hungry. You record not what you ate, but how hungry you were when you started, when you finshed, whether or not you ate mindfully, and whether you felt any positive or negative feelings about your eating.

It has been interesting tome to see how OFTEN my feelings about what I ate are negative! It's also been very difficult for me to eat when moderately hungry. Sometimes my schedule doesn't allow it and I'm STARVING by the time lunch arrives. More often, however, I'm attempting to wait because I feel that I am hungry "too soon" after eating. I can totally see how this kind of behavior leads to overeating at the next meal, even if I overeat vegetables. I'm so hungry that I look around for what else I might eat after finishing my lunch, even though my tummy is rather full.

It has been rather freeing to eat whatever I want, but quite scary. I have so many black and white and should/shouldn't thoughts about it. It is definitely the case that recording this way is much less binge-inducing than keeping track of WHAT I'm eating or how many calories I'm eating. When my automatic calculator pops on, I immediately try to shut it off.

On another topic, I went shopping this morning, which was not very fun. I was looking for a top to wear to a party we're going to on St Patrick's Day -- something maybe a bit sexier than the mostly dull sweaters in my closet (that now fit me -- my sexy sweaters are rather...tight). I tried on about ten tops and bought one. As is the case every single time I go shopping, I get into the dressing room and flash back to the day I finally decided that my size 10s were falling off me and I needed some new clothes (this was spring or early summer 2004). I had an absolutely delightful time buying a raft of new capris, pants, and tops. I actually sank to the dressing room floor and broke down in tears when I found that size 6 after size 6 fit me absolutely perfectly, and I kept having to return the mediums for smalls. I had never in my life worn a size 6 and I was thrilled beyond belief.

Does it make me incredibly shallow that I loved, adored, and cherished being a size 6? No, it didn't solve any of the problems in my life, but I had one less problem since I wasn't self-conscious about my body every time I went out in public. I didn't constantly remind myself to suck in my stomach. Everything in my closet fit -- and more importantly -- looked just fine on me. I didn't have to wonder if my butt looked big or my arms looked flabby. People say that losing weight won't REALLY change your life. People lie.

1 comment:

Lulu said...

Oh dangit, I just wrote a whole comment here and then lost it.

Thanks for popping into my journal and offering your experiences as support. It really helps to hear how others have muddled through similar days and feelings.

I'm curious to hear more about The Appetite Awareness book - my first reaction is that I don't want to get so consumed by journaling every time I eat; but that may just be fear at work, fear that I don't want to see the mindlessness at work in my eating behaviors, fear that I can't or won't change; fear that it will be one more book that I've bought in hopes of solving everything, but in fact just one more book that sits on the shelf and reminds me that I've failed, yet again...

I can totally relate to the shopping story, too. I had a day like that as well, about two years ago, where I ended up buying 5 bathing suits because I was so astonished at how not-bad I looked in them (see, I can't even say I looked "good" that would be too much of a stretch...but I didn't hate the way I looked, and I was fitting into small sizes, which I therefore equated with success...)

There's no denying it felt good to be on the "good" side of the weight loss pendulum. I guess if I had realized then though, that it would rebound to this extreme, I may have tried to be a little less overzealous and given myself some more breathing room "on the way down". Who knows. I do know though, for me, it's really important to figure out a way to realize I'm still the same, beautiful woman who stood in that dressing room 2 years ago and marveled at the reflection in the mirror. You are too. We are more than our outer layers, wifemom.

Sorry to get all philosophical on you so early in the morning. I agree with you that losing weight DID make me feel better about a few things. But, that's also in retrospect. I bet if you asked me about it then, I would've found a few things to tell you I felt cruddy about, even then. So who knows.