What Is Your Problem?

I talked so much about what my problem isn’t in that last post, I thought I would give you a bonus today and go ahead and write the post about what is my problem.

It’s no secret to me why I am fat.  It’s not that I am sedentary (I have 3 kids, I couldn’t be sedentary if I wanted to).  It’s not that I have not banished everything but egg whites and skim milk from my house. 

It’s not because of what I eat.

It’s why.

It’s why I eat, and why I eat what I eat.  I know, that’s a mouthful…oh man, the puns.  I kill me!

In 2009, I lost a few pounds.  32, I think, before I went on vacation and when I came back I found it impossible to get back into my routine.  I maintained for a while, which was good, but then I started to let stress get to me and when I am stressed….guess what I do?

Picture the scene:  The kids have gone to bed.  It was a long, hard day with them.  The oldest two fought all day, and the youngest found the Sharpie…AGAIN!  I have got to hide that better.  The dishes are done but the bathrooms need cleaning.  I haven’t been to the gym in a week.  My email inbox is stuffed and I have a million things to get to, but mostly I’m fed up from a day of parenting my 3 small children and need a break.  I grab my car keys and head for the door.   I tell hubster I’m “going shopping.”  He wants to know what I’m going to buy.  He’s concerned about money.  I tell him I’m not going to buy anything, just want to look around, it helps me unwind.

I get in the car and drive, almost on autopilot.  The intersection near where I am going is busy and confusing, and I worry that someone will hit me and I will have to explain to hubs why I was there in the first place…but that doesn’t stop me.  I pull up to the drive thru and order what I want.  Always the same thing. 

Even though I have already eaten dinner.

Even though I am not hungry.

I get my food (which totals about 800 calories) and drive to the adjacent mall parking lot and park near a street light.  If it’s really hot or really cold, I make it worse by keeping the car running.  As I consume the contraband (and make no mistake, I consume every last bit) it consumes me.  With guilt.  With anger.  With frustration.  With shame.

But it’s quiet here.  Dark and quiet.  No kids yelling, no one at all.  I am alone and quiet, and eating this food makes me feel good.  I feel almost…relieved.  I stuff the evidence in the garbage can on the way home and leave the windows in the car open so it doesn’t smell like french fries the next morning.

I go home feeling much better.  Relaxed.

And the next day, or two days later, or whenever…I do it again.  Always at night.  Always the same place.  Always the same order.  I can tell you exactly how much it costs.  I know exactly how it tastes.  I can even taste it right now.

Every time I do it, it’s “The Last Time.”  Every time, I make a promise to myself never to do it again.  It doesn’t matter.  I have done this more times than I can count.  As if to make it even more horrible, when I run out of excuses for hubs, sometimes I tell him I’m going to the gym.  The GYM, people!

I also eat out of boredom.  I find this a difficult thing to master, especially when I am using my computer.  It’s so easy to just grab a pile of chips to munch while I do my computer stuff.  And so easy to grab some more when those are gone.  And so easy to just finish off the bag, there’s only a little left now anyway.

In short, my problem is that I eat for all kinds of reasons unrelated to fueling my body.  I don’t eat because I’m hungry.  I tend to fill whatever void is in my life with food.  I smooth out my stress with food.  Food is my blankie. 

My struggle is keeping food out of the friend category and squarely in the fuel category.  I try to eat real food as much as I can.  I don’t eat food made in a lab if I can help it.  I won’t say that I never, ever eat processed foods – I do.  I won’t say I never eat “diet” foods – I do that too sometimes.  I’m even planning to review one here in the next week or so.  I just try to keep it to a minimum.

My body wants real food and I need to learn to give it that – when it asks.  Not because I am bored, tired, or stressed. 

That’s not the end of my plan, I am also going to the gym.  There are so many benefits to excercise, and I think it fits to get physically stronger while I work on getting mentally stronger.  As I slim down, I also want to participate in more fun activities and I need to get in better shape to do them.  I’m not in terrible shape now, but I can do better.

It’s working.  I’m listening to my body and exercising it, and it is moving back toward homeostasis.  My body doesn’t want to be fat.  It wants to be normal.  I just have to treat it right.

I don’t pretend to be a weight loss guru, or tell anyone else how they need to do it.  I’ve read a lot of blogs and everyone has done things differently. I think if you have found what is working for you, then do it!  This is what is working for me.  My weigh in is tomorrow and it’ll be the 6th week in a row that I’ve had a loss.  I intend to have a loss the following week as well.  I’m going to eat proper portions of the foods I like on Thanksgiving, but I will not eat out of boredom or stress the rest of the week and I will still post a loss.

That’s the plan, anyway.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chicky
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 20:08:56

    wow. I relate. It was like you were telling my story, only I don’t have a family/kids yet. But I am a sneak eater, a loner eater, a closet eater. I hide it from people around me, pull into a secluded parking lot and mow down.

    I have no point, except it is nice not to be alone in this, and that I am not the only one dealing with “numbing by food.”

    Reply

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