Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Am Not A Diet Failure

I'm an emotional eater.

I can remember using food, specifically Butterfinger candy bars, as an emotional crutch as early as age 8. I would buy them at the YMCA after swim class on Saturday, stash them in my closet and then devour them in secret when the need arose. The need arose a lot.

Today has been really emotional for me. I have come to the realization that a relationship that I thought existed didn't because the other person is too ashamed to admit that there is something going on despite nearly a year of getting closer and closer. My weight loss to date be damned. The shallow opinions of mere acquaintances (not even real friends) means more to him than I do. It has been tough to deal with that realization. It is the denial of our friendship that hurts the most because that is what I had the most faith in. The worst part of it all is that he seems to believe that I should be okay with this arrangement, ready to pick up where we left off when it is convenient and safe for him to do so as if I am so deaf, dumb and blind that I wouldn't notice.

So I fell off the wagon big time! Well I didn't exactly fall off the wagon. It was more like asking the driver to pull over to the side of the road, come to a complete stop and allow me the chance to get off and make a well planned visit with old friends while waiting for me to come back and resume the trip.

I ate a HUGE breakfast. I don't mean slightly larger than normal, but a full on gorge fest. I ate meat (two kinds - bacon and chorizo). I ate eggs. I ate a whole lot of cheese. It was not pretty at all.

I slipped up. I fell down. Now it is time to pick myself back up again and forgive myself because it wasn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last.

I am re-reading PastaQueen's book, Half-Assed. When I read it the first time (around my 50th pound lost) I knew I would re-read it periodically in order to gain new perspective based on where I currently was in my own journey to lose half of me. Today was the perfect day to read the "I Should Know Better By Now" chapter. In it, she talks about planning to make and over indulge in muffins and feeling self disgust after she'd done it. But then she goes on to talk about how she isn't perfect:

I wasn't a 100 percent perfect dieter. No one was. If I fell out of bed, I wouldn't call myself a failure at sleeping. I'd get up and make a note to sleep toward the middle of the bed. My mother liked to say I was a work in progress. It was hard to progress if you were always perfect.

I am not a diet failure. In previous attempts at weight loss I've always been a diet quitter. But if I never quit, then I can never fail because failing is simply a result of giving up.

And in yet another bit of timely confirmation, Denise @ It's Not a Diet, It's a Weigh of Life... had a post today called Walking the Tight Rope.

In the WW meeting, we also talked about walking the "tight rope of weight loss" where you feel like you have to walk this narrow line of a diet and keep on plan, because if you fall off you just fall off completely and never get back on. Our leader stated that sometimes, you just got to get off the tight rope and take a different path worth walking that isn't so narrow and restrictive.

In the past that was me to a fault. I only saw that narrow line and didn't realize that there were different paths to be trod. So when I inevitably fell I would believe that I had to abandon it all because I hadn't been perfect. That isn't so this time. I don't feel this enormous pressure to stick to the thin line of perfectionism that so often fades because we can't even get near enough to see it properly. I know that I will mess up and I have to be okay with that. I can always start again.

I WILL start again.


Its all about me said...

The main thing is that you realise it and you are going to do something to change it. Can't wait to see what this year has install for you... you can do it.

purple_moonflower123 said...

Thanks for quoting me. :-) I totally know where you are coming from. In the past, I would slip up while losing weight and proceed to gain 20 pounds. Like you, I believed that once I wasn't "perfect" what was the point in continuing. I know that conquering the demon of emotional eating is tough, but it can be done and we are doing it!!

I also have read Half-Assed and plan to read it again. Another book I like is "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl" by Shauna Reid ( Like Half-Assed, I see aspects of myself reflected in those pages.

Kimberly said...

Its All About Me, yes I have realized so many of my past mistakes and prejudices about dieting and know that just cuz I screw up doesn't mean it has to be a permanent condition.

Denise, you and I are so often on the same page it is eerie. I just ordered Diet Girl's book from Amazon today! It came out in paperback on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for realising it's not the end just because you slipped up.. I've lost count of the many times I've done that and believed I've ruined everything.

Nancy said...

Awesome! I too have to keep this in mind.

I'm going to check out these 2 books since I'm looking for a good read when I travel. :)

Rebecca said...

Sorry that relationship did not turn out like you thought it might. Yes, you do need to get back on the bandwagon but No, you do not have to feel bad for asking the driver to pull over. Guilt will get you nowhere! You'll be amazing once again tomorrow, because that is what you are. You are not one bad day! :)

Dani said...

Sending your hugs as you realize that you have to pick your life and head off in a direction that you might not have anticipated and most likely didn't want. Your post and the references you acknowledge were a phenomenal insight into the way we walk this journey and cutting ourselves some much needed reprieve from perfectionist attitudes. Sometimes the fork in the road we took by mistake ends up being the best blessing ever!

Losing Waist! said...

You have some serious money in the bank (as in experience doing making the right choices) and put more in every day... you can always go back to those to gain strength and wisdom.

I know you will get back in the groove. I think as life goes on you will develop different coping skills for grief and they will change. It is still early in the game! You have done so well and you have 1,000 times more victories than mistakes- give yourself a break and some love. Love yourself through the mistakes because it is about being a human being balanced- if you hate yourself when you make a mistake it will end up being worse every time you do because you will dread how you will treat yourself in reaction to it!

Chews to Lose said...

I'm not going to give you a pep talk about your weight loss & falling off. You already have that down - I just want to say I'm really sorry about your "friend". I hope that things get better!

Tamzin said...

well sorry to see that today didn't go as well as it could have. Ended relationships are hard, hard hard hard. I've been there before too. Its pretty much devistating. Sorry. :(

I AM happy to see that you are going to get up and solider on... who knows where that march will take you - but I'm going to hope for it to lead towards a better person who won't care about what anyone else thinks.


Barefoot Pixie said...

I relate with all my heart and I really empathize with what you are feeling - both the heartbreak over being treated like that and the heartbreak over treating yourself like that. I spent my entire life before my husband feeling that way and letting myself be treated like that by the same guy. Every time he would treat me like garbage I would turn around and treat myself like garbage by binging. Basically I felt that if he didn't love me then I was unworthy of love. How messed up is that? More like the other way around! You deserve so much better! You deserve a person who is AWED to be loved by you and can't wait to scream it to the world. Live worthy of that kind of love and it will find yoU!!!! Hang in there!

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