Day 21 – The Finish Line?

I don’t mean to brag but I finished my 21 day diet in 3 hours and 12 minutes… ~Pinterest

My first goal has been reached. I did it. It feels great. Even with that one compulsive bite of candy,  I am proud of myself. I didn’t slide into a candy-eating frenzy. I don’t know what my total weight loss was, yet, will have to report on that Monday when I get back to town. I’m working on quieting the crazy that’s telling me if I weigh on Monday after my Sunday cheat day, I will skew the results. Today I will continue to work Step 3 and remember that I am not in control.

I am working out a plan for a lifetime and right now I am leaning toward 21 day chunks of abstinence followed by one day of giving into weakness before jumping back in to another 21 days. It feels like creating a specific plan that allows for structure but also gives me …ok, I am stopping myself. I am controlling again. It hasn’t been my nature to just go with it. How can I rectify my nature with this? I truly don’t know. The only plan OA asks you to follow is a plan of abstinence. That is what I need to remember.

I will be offline for a couple of days. Talk to you when I get back.

Day 20

I put my scale in the bathroom corner, and thats where that bitch will stay until she apologizes. ~ Pinterest

That quote is so funny to me! I have been absolutely obsessed with my scale. I weigh every day, multiple times a day. I try to make little bets with myself about how much I am going to weigh at the end of the day and I always say a little prayer that I will weigh the same as I did that morning so that gives me an advantage the next morning when I weigh again. Obsessed.

I was thinking about what I mentioned yesterday regarding what I have been praying to my HP about…maybe I need to ask for freedom from my main compulsion – control. I am so busy trying to control every aspect of my life, that I am failing at all of them and that feeling of failure is so overwhelming. Can I truly embrace the OA Step 3 (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God/HP)? What does that really mean? I guess it means that instead of charging through life, I need to be silent and seek guidance from my HP.

I tried it this morning. Instead of automatically getting on the scale, I silently asked if I should and I very clearly heard ‘no’. So, I didn’t. I was willing to trust the voice – call it intuition, call it HP, call it whatever you want, I have to be willing to give up control and trust it. So I did. And you know what? I didn’t burst into flames after I walked away from the scale. Tomorrow is the last of my initial 21 days, I am leaving for Myrtle Beach and wont be able to weigh myself until I get back and that’s going to be ok.

I’m going to have to keep reminding myself that I am no longer in control, that my HP is. I have to listen to that voice.

Clearly, I am a skeptic. I know you are too. In so many ways this feels crazy, but everything else I have tried hasn’t worked. I am willing to take that leap so why not believe that God, my Higher Power, can cure me?

Day 19

I don’t always have a cheat day but when I do, I eat for myself and 1/2 of a small continent… ~Pinterest

I keep thinking about my next steps. What happens at the end of 21? Right now, I am focused on getting through Easter weekend without undoing everything I have done for the past 20+ days. I know my cousin is going to make pasta. My mom made a meat pie (yes, you heard me, a meat pie!) and Easter cookies. How do you maintain healthy choices and enjoy yourself? As far as I have been concerned, they are mutually exclusive, you can’t have one with the other. That’s my problem. I want to be thinner, but continue to eat the way I always have and not exercise. Magic.

I am planning for Sunday to be my cheat day, but again, I don’t want to go crazy. How do I eat something without sliding right back down that slope? I don’t know.

I know that carbs are truly my kryptonite. I know that the more I eat, the more I want to eat and I don’t know how to stop once I start. I keep praying to my HP to help me control my compulsive overeating but I am not sure I am asking for the right thing yet…

Day 18

If you’ve lost your appetite today, I think I have it ~Pinterest

I’m sliding into homeplate on this first 21 days…I’m feeling…disappointed and excited at the same time. Disappointed that my weight loss isn’t greater and excited because I feel like this is a lifestyle that I think I can maintain. The disappointment part is the part I am most troubled by. This is so hard. I’m really working on my mind and getting to a place where the number doesn’t matter, but lets face it, when its as high as mine is, the number means something. I am trying to reframe it but I haven’t found anything that works for me, yet.

I will say that starting each day with my devotionals has been helping me, I feel more grounded. I really am trying to take it one day at a time. I did have two revelations today. According to the 12 steps of OA, the most important thing is finding a Higher Power (HP) that you can turn your will over to. And if it isn’t God, or if you are having a hard time with that concept, find something that you can use “as if”. My first revelation is that my HP are the books that I am reading each morning…right now, they give me hope. This morning when I was reading Step 3, I realized that the books are my lifeline; they are my as if, right now. If I want to make it, I know that I can’t do it alone, I have to rely on someone/something outside of myself to make it happen. I have always considered myself spiritual, not necessarily religious. I have never bought into everything the Catholic Church espouses, but I have always loved God. What I never believed is that God would ever pay attention to something as trivial as my weight problem so I have to shift my belief. For now, I will use this books as my HP until I believe and act as if God will answer my prayers. I know He can, but can I?

My second revelation was that when I am thinner, men are more attracted to me. I have always known that the men I like don’t like fat women, but what if instead of that being the case, it’s really my attitude? When I am thinner, I am more attracted to myself! I act differently, more confident, happier, maybe that is the attraction? If I can live “as if” for my HP, do you think I could also live the life that I think I would have as a thinner person now?

Day 17

I’d give up carbs, but I’m not a quitter ~Pinterest

Lets continue the booty call saga. Another text came through last night, this one saying, “Can you sneak me in tonight?” Once again, I rebuffed him. There was this part of me, though, that was worried that if I turned him down again, I would never hear from him again…and then I have no one. Even though a ‘friends with benefits’ situation is not what I am looking for, can I really afford to piss off the only man that is interested in me?

I don’t want to. I want to have more pride in myself and my choices and feel like I am worthy of more. Even when I don’t feel like it. Being fat really fucks with your mind. You never feel quite good enough or worthy of someone’s attention so sometimes, you settle. I keep promising myself that I wont settle. I don’t want to be with a man that is settling for me either.

I want to be the kind of woman that is proud of herself but if I was really honest, I want to be the kind of woman that any man is proud to have in his life.

Four and a half more days of my twenty one. I would be lying if I said my cravings are gone, yesterday I would have traded a kidney for a handful of jellybeans! Thankfully, both kidneys are in tact and the offensive beans are hidden somewhere out of sight, out of mind.

I’m still working on my mind and working my steps. I feel very comfortable in my progress. Step one, I am definitely powerless over food. I think about it all the time. I watch food shows. I think about what I am going to have for my next meal and how it will be prepared, constantly. Step two, I wholeheartedly believe that God is the only one that can help relieve my obsession. I have tried this on my own. I have lost and I have gained, I have tried every diet under the sun and wasted lots of money trying to achieve a perfect number and yet, here I sit, still in this same stuck spot.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our life and our will over to the care of a Higher Power. May as well, right? Its not like I have been doing such a great job trying to take care of myself and run things! This is a hard one to wrap my mind around – what does this look like? I am going to keep reading and praying, but I know this is exactly where I need to be.

Day 16

I hate when I gain 10 pounds for a role and then realize I’m not an actress ~Pinterest

Last night I got what I am sure was a booty call from my ex. A little bit of history, we dated for a few months last year and then he broke up with me; he said that I was unavailable – not from a matter of time, but a matter of heart…and he was probably right. I liked him, but to use elementary school terms, I didn’t like like him and I guess it showed. Anyhow, over the past year, he has texted from time to time to check on me, particularly when I had my surgeries, which I thought was sweet, but it always seemed platonic. Lately he has been stepping up his game, texting more and more, being flirtatious, asking my opinion on things, etc. Last night, he texted and said, “Sneak me into your room tonight.” We both have our mothers living with us and it is quite an adjustment! Anyhow, no, I am not sneaking a man into my room. First of all, its my house, I don’t have to sneak anyone, anywhere. Secondly, I am not a booty call kinda gal. And third, if I was a booty call kinda gal, I certainly don’t feel booty call ready. And that’s the rub.

Lets get past the booty call part of the story and focus on the readiness. I am way too insecure with my body right now to let anyone see or touch it, let alone try to feel sexy in it! Since he and I last saw one another, I have gained at least 50 pounds. In one year. Let that shit sink in. Last year was an extraordinary year with two surgeries. I completely gave in to all of my food issues and ate with abandon. In fairness to myself, I do gain weight really fast and furious, but knowing this, I still indulged. And indulged. At day 16, I am still only about 10 pounds down and I really have done most everything right. I am practicing my abstinence – abstaining from carbs, abstaining from overeating and completing my 21 days as clean as possible. But what happens after these 21? That’s a really good question. I need to come up with a plan for living. A plan that allows me to live.

I want to feel comfortable in my skin.

By the way, I am pretty sure that T was drunk last night even though he said he was only buzzed and that he thinks about me all the time…I haven’t heard from him yet today, I am going to assume he is sleeping it off!

Day 15

People don’t want to hear about your diet. Just shut up, eat your lettuce and be sad. ~Pinterest

Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than us would restore us to sanity. More than ever. I came to this realization this morning after reading Step 1 again, that I am ready for Step 2. I know I can’t do this myself and have to believe that something greater than myself is the only one who can help.

My cousins Gina and Linda are visiting, they are both older than me and have watched me grow up. At no time have they ever made comments about my weight or done anything to suggest they are embarrassed, in any way, of me. That I do for myself. Meeting them for dinner after not seeing them for a couple of years, I was ashamed of the way I looked and didn’t want to go. I went and it was fine, but I kept fidgeting with my clothes, adjusting so that I could somehow camouflage my size. I couldn’t. At this point, the way I feel really has nothing to do with anyone else, it is all about how I see myself and it isn’t good.

Tonight, I am going to be in a situation where we are out and about and all I can think about is, “Will the seats at the restaurant they choose support me? Will I be able to move between seats to get out if I need to? Will the bathroom stalls be too tight?” Forget about all of the strangers that will see my body but not me. The shame of invisibility is overwhelming today.

Day 14

I think my soulmate might be carbs ~Pinterest

“If I could just get to the perfect weight, then life would be perfect.” I think I said something to that effect a few days ago…I just read that again in a passage in the book…its basically debunking that theory. And I guess, deep down, I know that to be true, but its deep, deep down aaaand, I sure would like to test the theory! LOL

I have one week left of my 21…I actually didn’t notice it until this morning. I realize that I am on Day 14, but it didn’t register that it meant only one week left. I am a little afraid to let it go. We all know that I haven’t been perfect, but the structure has really helped me. I am just over 10 pounds down. I am reading my OA books again which really help me center and I am feeling a little less overwhelmed about my future path to wellness. All really, really good things.

Day 13

All I care about is carbs, my dogs and like three people… ~Pinterest

I have thought a lot about what Dr.P said and I really need to focus on my health, not my weight. She is right. I have to get my mind right. I have a problem with food, I miss it when there is something I can’t eat and sometimes, if I know there is something that I shouldn’t be eating, I start plotting ways that its ok if I eat it. I am not a person that eats just one bite, even if I don’t really like it, I eat the whole thing. Pushing away a plate that still has food on it, is not my style.

So, now this is a journey to healthy mind and body…honestly, this is going to be a lot harder than I thought. I read this during my daily devotional this morning:

…didn’t know who I was and what my purpose in life could be, I didn’t want to be me. I wanted to be someone else. I didn’t like my looks, my body, my intellect, or any part of me. I wanted what you had – your hair, eyes, and personality…I used food to hide from me. I was afraid of what I would find if I looked…(Overeaters Anonymous, 2nd edition. ©1980)

This is true for me. I am arguing some of it in my mind, particularly the part about personality but when it comes right down to it, there is this weakness that I attribute to my personality that I would like to exchange for sure. I definitely have no idea what my lifes purpose is; I say all the time, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” I’m 48. Its time I figure some shit out.

I am re-reading the books that I bought when I was actively attending Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings and feeling more and more pulled to do the 12 step program. When I first went in 2010, I never really worked the steps, the fellowship was more important. Having someone else who could understand my struggle (the struggle is real!) was intoxicating and I was faithful in my attendance. I wish I would have actually worked the steps, too, because here I am again.

OA is all about giving up control to a Higher Power. For me, my Higher Power is for sure, God. I have been talking to God for years, have always believed there is something bigger than me that is in charge, but have never felt significant enough to have God support me.

Step One. We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable. Yes. For sure, yes. I have zero control over how I think or consume food. As good as I think I’m doing on my 21 days, yesterday I cheated. Without thinking about it. At my office, I volunteered to stuff eggs for an upcoming charity event and we were stuffing them with candy and trinkets. After stuffing one hundred or so, I literally opened a candy and popped it my mouth. Didn’t even think twice about it, until it was in my mouth and then I swallowed it anyhow. I felt so guilty and ashamed. Food shouldn’t make us feel this way.

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to control my eating and thinking I was in control. It is part of the very fiber of who I am; control is not something I easily relinquish and to admit that I am really not in control? That’s a big first step. But its going to take more than me saying it, I have to believe it down to my toes. I am not sure I am 100% there. This step will take more work.

This day, food wise, is really tough. I am feeling very snacky. I really have to figure out some good snacks because right now, it is taking everything I have to not walk into the kitchen and eat anything that is not nailed down.

Day 12

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a salad, asking it to be a donut… ~Pinterest

Gosh yesterday was a frustrating day. Be warned, this language might get salty.

I mentioned I was going to the doctor and was going to ask about weight loss medication, right? Well that’s a no go. She and I had a long and frustrating talk where she pointed out that at this point, any medication could be more detrimental than good and that if my only goal is weight loss and not health gain, then I might as well have gastric sleeve surgery. First of all, I was shocked that she would recommend any kind of surgery. Second of all, after having two abdominal surgeries last year (hysterectomy and hernia), the thought of having an elective surgery is repulsive. And I guess in some corners of my crazy mind, it is the final admission of being fat. I can’t really deny that I’m fat if I have to have surgery to not be fat, right?

I’m really fucking pissed at myself. How did I let this happen?? How did I get to this point? It’s literally hard to do anything.

My doctor also said, “even if you lose 70 pounds and go to another doctor, they will still think you need to lose weight…” I know she is right, but again, it’s not what I want to hear. I can’t really live in my fantasy world when people keep throwing that shit in my face. Ultimately, her point was I need to stop focusing on the weight and focus on getting healthy. Mind and body. I appreciate what she was saying, but again, I didn’t want to hear it. I still don’t.

Let’s add insult to injury. Also, yesterday, I received my cardiac monitor. I am wearing it right now and will for possibly thirty days. It’s annoying. I have a battery in my pants pocket connected to three wires that are then attached to my chest and belly. The receiver is the size of a cell phone and it is in my back pocket. If I have any “episodes” I am to hit the record button on the thing and stay still until it beeps that it is ok to move again. I am heading to St Louis on business April 9 so it’s possible I will be able to turn it in prior to my trip otherwise I will have to take it with me and wear it while there. I guess I would have to explain to the TSA why I look like I am wired to blow. I am hopeful that I will be able to turn it in early.

I called my sister to vent, little background here, she is older than me but has always been in much better shape. She is married with three children. My sister is smart, attractive and also has food issues, but she is much better at controlling them than I am. I called her just to express my frustration with myself, the situation, everything and honestly, it didn’t help. Completely not her fault, but still frustrating. I have to find the reserves within myself to find the path, no one can fix me or make it better.

So this morning, I got up, I read my daily devotional and I went to work. One day at a time.