Tuesday, July 6, 2010

About to throw in the towel...

     I've been here before...lots.  I'm at this point where a milestone looms, where new territory beckons, where I might have to stop thinking that everyone is staring at me, where I might not have to worry about how much space I take up in the world.  And, I'm scared to death...
     It's been 12 weeks since I began this whole life-style change and actually I'm finallyy to the point where I was exactly a year ago.  Last summer I weighed 203 pounds, left to visit my family in Oregon, planned on losing 10; instead gained 7 and spent the next 9 months gaininig another 23.  This summer, I'm in the exact same place.  I weigh 201; I'm leaving to visit my family in Oregon in a couple of weeks, and I'm wondering why this year will be any different. 
   Because when I get to this point, and those glorious 100's smirk at me from 18 ounces away, I turn and run the other way.  Is it because that's what "normal" people weigh?  It is because then I might have to stop making excuses for not doing things?  Is it because it's too damn hard weighing carrots, and still seeing the same ugly, fat girl in the mirror?  Is it because I've known nothing different than hating my body, and what if I get to that magic number and still seeing nothing but hate for my eyes and my thighs?
     I'm about to apologize for venting in my own blog--but I am sorry!  I'm sorry for complaining, for worrying about such shit when there are people with actual problems in the world.  I'm sorry for gaining and losing thousands of pounds over and over again.  I'm sorry for not loving the body that God has given me, for teaching my daughter not to love her own.  I'm sorry for quitting every time I get so close to actually succeeding.  I'm sorry...hell, I'm sorry for being sorry.  But, you've all found me on a really bad day.  Maybe tomorrow I'll try again, but for now, I don't expect this to work...and I think I'll go eat a brownie.


  1. Read "Women Food and God" by Geneen Roth before you go. May help you to identify - and break - patterns from your past. (especially if you're going home) Good luck! You can do it!

  2. Sarah:

    Put the brownie on the ground and step away from it slowly....

    Before you throw in the towel, remember that you have lost in just 12 weeks the weight that it took nearly 12 months to gain. That's good!

    And keep in mind that the familiar, even if it is harmful, is easier than the unfamiliar, no matter how hope-full. The Children of Israel longed for the fleshpots of Egypt.

    You have friends who are pulling for you.

  3. Sarah:

    I've been thinking about your post for the past couple of days now. The frustration and fear that you express are familiar. I cannot speak specifically how I deal with issues of food and weight as a woman and mother, but I can speak to them as a man and father.

    Bottom line: Food kicks my ass. Ever since I can remember, I have had a weird relationship with food. It has been friend, comforter and stabilizer. It has been my drug as much as any opiate; and, there is finally some evidence emerging that shows addiction to food has physical components as well as a psychological ones.

    For what it is worth, I was shocked when you revealed you were at 200lbs, because I certainly would not have guessed it. My psychological barrier has been 350lbs, because above that standard scales do not register. The last time I knew my exact weight, which was about six months ago, I was 365.

    It is not just eating the food that is the problem; it is also the obsessive thoughts. I do not know if this speaks to you or not, but my mind is constantly on food. I also like to eat by myself and will often not eat a great deal in public, but will eat a ton when alone.

    For a while, attending Overeater’s Anonymous helped. It is based on the 12 steps just like Alcoholics Anonymous. There were many people who had lost hundreds of pounds and kept them off for years who were still dealing with their feelings and issues with food. Like all addictions, it is never cured, but it can be treated and arrested. And for a while, I did experience some sanity and relief around food.

    I stopped attending, however, last October simply because I got tired of listening to myself gripe and complain about my eating and not taking the steps to do something about it; or more accurately, not willing to do anything about it when I relapsed. However, it was hard because almost all the participants, at least in Rockford, are women, which made working with a sponsor kind of complicated. Plus, being a pastor does make it hard because even in small groups in a good size city, it is hard to keep your anonymity. Double plus, addiction to food is often not taken like a serious addiction like alcohol and drugs; however, in some ways it is harder because alcohol and drug addicts know that abstinence has to be the basis of their new relationship to drugs and alcohol; those addicted to food can learn to identify and abstain from certain trigger foods and behaviors; however, they can never abstain from all food. Every meal is about facing the addiction.

    Lately I have been feeling really bad physically. In the past, I was able by shear grit to overcome the extra weight. When I was a police officer, I could run a mile and half in 9 minutes, which is fast for someone not overweight. In fact, I was the third fastest in the my academy class, with the first place guy breaking the academy record. But age is taking its toll, my weight is up, and for the first time exercise actually makes me winded in a way that worries me. My fear is that the damage is already done and its too late.

    Something Ben did the other day highlighted to me just how messed up my thinking about food is. He had fallen and skinned his knee. Kathy had asked him if he wanted a popsicle. He looked at hear and said, “I’m hurt, Mom; not hungry.” If he didn’t look so much like the two of us I would have begun to wonder if he was our kid.

    I know Ben has gotten to the age where he knows that Mommy and Daddy are bigger than other people and he worries about us. I have started the elliptical trainer at the Y again, but it is very slow going and it seems like I tire way too easy for a 42 year old man.

    Anyway, I didn’t intend to rant on your blog, but I wanted you to know that you are not a freak and that you are not alone in your struggles with food. You are in my prayers.


  4. Lee--Please rant away. I think my hope in writing this blog is that if I'm open and honest, other people will too. I want this to be a conversation and discussion (okay same thing, two different words). Thank you so much for sharing your story--you are right this whole food thing is soooo hard. Why do we think that because we're mad or sad or tired a brownie will make it better? Honestly to speak positively (which is something I rarely do)...this program I'm on has helped me, because it's so all or nothing. You can either eat or you can't...and I'm learning (very,very slowly) to cry instead of eat; to throw shoes instead of eat; to hit the wall instead of eat (so maybe it's not the smartest release, but at least it's calorie-free). I wish there was some magic thing for us who medicate with food--and I wish someone could just wave a wand and make us see food as the fuel it is. But, obviously we can't. I too am just rambling...but Lee, I want you to know that I cried as I read your post, because I get it...and I want you to know that you too are not a freak and are not alone. Thank you so much for your story. You are in my prayers. Sarah

  5. Sarah, (and Lee,)

    I don't have any deep revelation, but please know that I am praying also for you.