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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Food fight

I'm in a food fight and I'm tired of it.

It seems that lately my whole existence is revolving around food and weight loss, diet and exercise. It's frustrating and exhausting and embarrassing. The quality of my days (was this a good day or a bad day) seem to hinge on whether I caved to the donut or made it to the gym.

I've felt this way before, only it wasn't about food and weight. When I was struggling with postpartum depression after Charlie was born, I recall saying to the woman who ran our support group that I was tired of waking up in the morning and being greeted by the presence of the depression first thing, wondering if today would be a good day or a bad day. "I'm tired of being defined by this," I said to the group.

And that's how I'm feeling about food and exercise right now. Defined by it. Consumed by it. I know it's all of my own making. I ate my way back into 20+ pounds. I sat on the couch most of the winter, even though I could feel my butt expanding underneath me.

I know what to do to get out of it.  I know all the tips and tricks. The motivational sayings like "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" and "if you bite it, write it." I could tell you to park further away from  your destination, to take the stairs, to do sit ups and crunches during the commercials on television, to split meals or box half of your entree as soon as the food is delivered in a restaurant. Oh trust me, if I had a curtain to hide behind, I could be the Wizard of Oz of weight loss.

So it has nothing to do with knowledge. It has everything to do with power. The power to say no to foods that aren't going to get me where I want to go. The power to say yes to exercise when I'd really rather stay home. The power to believe in myself that I can set a goal and achieve it.

But food has its own power too. I am an emotional eater. A donut or cookies or chips and salsa can bring an instant feeling of calm to my frenzied psyche when I'm wound up about something. And since Mike was laid off almost two weeks ago, food has been my drug of choice.

I haven't just rolled over and given up. I joined Weight Watchers (where I've watched my weight go up by 2 pounds over the past two weeks). I've made intermittent visits to the gym. I've walked on my lunch hour at work. I watch The Biggest Loser and Heavy for inspiration. I'm still working with FitCity Indianapolis and IN Shape Indiana -- and I believe everything I've said or done on behalf of those organizations and I've worked hard to be up front and honest about my own struggles. But I also have to believe that I am not alone, that many, many other people are waging their own food fights as well.

I wish I had some inspirational way to wrap up this post, some rah-rah-victory-is-mine sentiment. But I don't. All I have is a chance to make the right decisions today.

If you want to read some more straight-from-the-heart posts, visit Shell at Things I Can't Say to see today's Pour Your Heart Out participants.


Annie said...

The struggle is constant and will always be a part of your life because unlike cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, you need food to survive. It is how much a part of your life you allow it to be that is the key to finally getting to a place where it isn't taking over your day. Read the book Made to Crave, pray for can get past these drowning feelings with the power of Christ. I know you believe, so allow Him to be your drug of choice to deal with the stresses if life and let be nothing more than fuel to you. Easier said than done, I know, I too WAS an emotional eater and sometimes fall back into that pattern, but most of the time I'm now able to turn my thoughts towards Jesus and get paste those cravings. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and are worth so much more than this pain you're living in.

Jessica McCoy said...

You took the words right out of my brain. I feel the exact same way. I've been trying to start something over at my blog ... weekly check in or challenge but I can't even get that started. I get inspired on the inside but I can't chanel that to my outside to fix my eating habits or exercise more.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I will try not to be overly rah-rah cheerleader in my response... I just posted earlier this week that I can feel my engine revving up to kick back into high gear with healthy eating so I'm currently riding the healthy high.

That doesn't mean that I don't struggle. That doesn't mean that I didn't eat an entire box of Tagalons at my desk last week in one afternoon. That doesn't mean that I have wolfed down potato chips and Helluva Good french onion dip evening after evening.

Since feeling that kick to get back to it, I've set a date and I can tell that I've been trying to mash in some of my favorite splurges before next week hits (Mar 7 it all kick sinto high gear). But when I try to mash it in, I start to feel the urge to not give in and that's a great feeling- although a bit strange, too.

I wish there was a magic button or switch to flip to find that motivation and drive. I've been seeking mine for months now- winter was hard on me.

I'll be your Fit Friend if you want me... maybe we can do something together through our blogs?

Shell said...

I have the hardest time following through on weight loss/healthy eating goals.

I know what I should do, but actually doing it? ha.

I'm an emotional eater, too. I swore I would get to the gym reguarly- haven't been since the New Year started...and probably not since a few weeks before Christmas.

Hopefully, just recognizing that you(and I!) want to do these things will help.

Anonymous said...

I wrote about the same thing last week for PYHO. I feel your pain. It's a constant struggle. And I'm ready to give up. In fact, I think I sort of already have. And that sucks.

kbiermom said...

OK, look to the right-hand column. Scroll all the way up. See that blue ribbon? The one that says "defies categorization." That's not just your blog -- that's YOU. :)

You say you know how to get out of it. But it sounds to me as if "it" is not your size, but the burden of feeling defined by your size, and how life seems to be revolving around that struggle lately. How do you get out of that box?

I get that way whenever I have a task hanging over my head. No matter what else I get accomplished, I feel as if I'm failing because of that one thing. Or I'll get so focueed on that one thing that other easy stuff starts falling through the cracks.

So, I think I can relate somewhat. I have no magic solutions, but only a few ideas.

Humility, as defined by Liz's pastor: thinking of ourselves less. Everyone is struggling with something. Helping others with their struggles never fails to put my own in perspective.

Talking with others about what's going right in life -- take your eyes off the struggle for a bit and give yourself some credit for what you *are* getting done well. :)

Write down a whole bunch of categories that describe you. Maybe a long list, maybe a stack of notecards with a different definition of you on each one. All under the header "defies categorization." :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

Struggling here too! I'm not far into it but I just added a new book to my Nook that delves into the WHY of the struggle (so we can fix the roots) instead of just HOW to treat the symptoms. You might want to look into it.

Made to Crave by Lisa TerKeurst

She's funny and honest so it's an easy read even if I do kind of hate her for thinking she was huge at 168.

Sharon said...

I am right there w/ you, Amy. You are not alone.
Sure, I just had a baby. But pregnancy isn't a reason to stop eating well or stop exercising. Yet I gave up & let sorry for myself. So here I am now, facing a lot of weight to lose, yet again sporting a double chin, and afraid to look in the mirror each time I face one.
I am embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and each morning face the same thing: get over it & move on, or feel bad and let that bring me even lower?

I know you know what will make you happy.
I hope you feel good again soon, inside & out.

Amy said...

I literally started a blog yesterday about all this! I'm personally one who lives a life of regrets. Eight weeks ago I knew I'd be celebrating a big event and promised myself (and my blog population, I'm embarrassed to say) that I'd stick it out and lose some of this weight. I've failed. Again.

I've seen referrals to Made to Crave several times and am thinking I could use a good spiritual read. Couple that with ongoing postpartum depression and I'm one humongous mess (yes, I know he's six now...)

And it doesn't help that "others" are struggling, too.

So I have no answers. But I thank you for putting MY struggle into words, too. Because I couldn't.

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you, sister. This week, I feel like I've been eating my frustrations. I'm totally an emotional eater. And you're right---I have all the info. My aunt's a dietitian, so I've probably got way more info than anybody really needs. lol And yet, I don't have the will to use it. I don't understand why I do this.

Thanks for this post!

beautiful because said...

Defined by it. Consumed by it... i totally get that. thanks for pouring your heart out today!

MrsJenB said...

You are speaking directly to my heart right now. I know every trick, every piece of wisdom. I could write a freaking book. But I'm hopelessly overweight.

I say hopelessly even though I know it's not a hopeless cause. It only feels that way at times.

Thank you for sharing this today @ Shell's, I hope that you manage to turn things around and if you need to talk to a stranger ;-) I'm here.

Michelle said...

Oh, it's like you've read my mind and written it down. Hang in there my friend.