Throughout this journey, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I gained my weight and why I gained my weight and what my triggers are. I’ve said it before, but I really want to understand and overcome the reasons I’ve gained in the past and I try my best to face them head on.
When I think of success, I see it as arriving at the point where I’m eating to live, and not living to eat… Let me assure you, my journey to that promised land is far from over.
One of the things that I’ve come to know is that I have some challenges with food, specifically around the portions I consume. Even today, 81 lbs lighter… quantity remain my nemesis. Whether I’m counting points, maintaining a food plan, or trying to stay within 1200 calories a day, those are really just numbers. My motivation to eat is what I’m trying to come to terms with most.
See, my challenges are not associated with WHAT I eat, instead HOW MUCH I eat of it. When I have something I really like, it’s often hard for me to stop. Let’s take, for example, a simple bowl of pasta…. perhaps the Brussels Sprouts Prosciutto Pasta I shared a while back.
I share this pasta recipe because it’s reasonably healthy… and full of delicious vegetables and the perfect food for me to have issue with. Like most of what I make, this was a new recipe for me… and one that I didn’t expect to have such a flavor punch! It was FANTASTIC!
And… I had trouble stopping after just one serving. I wanted one more bit of pasta, one more spoonful of veggies, oh and maybe one more with that tasty prosciutto on it. Next thing you know, one portion had quickly turned into two.
I rationally understand that food causes our body to have a physical reaction and, often times, it is a pleasurable experience. To someone like me, once you have this type of experience, you want to have it again. You know logically that the food is going to hang out in the refrigerator and that you’re going to get to eat it again tomorrow. For someone like me, however, my body craves it NOW and wants it NOW. Depending upon the dish, how I’m feeling emotionally that day, and/or my level of exhaustion, my will power can vary from strong to downright weak.
Tonight, I made an AWESOME soup… and I measured out my serving and proceeded to “portion up” the rest, in hopes of me not overindulging. It worked tonight. Sometimes it does, and other times… it’s not so pretty.
The same goes for snacking. Snacks in my house have a short shelf life. If there’s a tasty snack in my cupboard, I’m probably thinking about it… and it vanishes fast. For that reason, I’m extremely strategic about what I keep in the house.
The good news is that I’m working HARD to keep everything in check. I’m making smart decisions, and I thankfully haven’t binged in a long time. The bad news is that it’s always there… lingering. Kind of like that Mayhem guy in the Allstate commercials.
I read a REALLY moving post last week that was written by Emily over at Fit and Free with Emily about compulsive eating. While I know that I am an emotional eater, I’m thinking more and more that I might be a compulsive eater as well. Emily has begun writing a series called “Life of a Binge Eater” that I HIGHLY recommend.
Emily’s posts are some of the most honest and brave articles I’ve read in the blogosphere for some time. While I feel like a lot of folks (myself included) don’t spend a lot of time talking about those dark moments, Emily dives in and shares her story… shining a light on binge eating and the emotions that fuel it. Powerful stuff, folks, seriously powerful.
It doesn’t happen often… but when I read her posts, I started crying because I could relate to them in such a powerful way. While her meals were different than mine and her commentary fit her personal situation, she was sharing the story of my life, the story that I’ve been too ashamed to tell. I vividly remember treating myself this way… and, like Emily, I absolutely never EVER want it to happen again.
I’m planning to do more research on Binge Eating Syndrome over the next few weeks and I’ll share back with you guys what I uncover. I think there’s a lot out there for me to learn, and likely a lot out there for me to relate to.
Ultimately, I want to thank Emily for sharing her story… for helping me realize I’m not alone in this and for being brave enough to share the details.
With that, I truly believe that the changes that I’ve made already are going to propel me to the greater understanding that I seek. I know that it’s not going to be easy to figure out how to overcome my challenges with eating, but I ABSOLUTELY know it’s going to be worth it. I have to believe that each and every day I’m getting closer to my goal of eating to live… I look forward to the day I’ve arrived.