I’m fat. I have been most of my life except for the times when I was anorexic/bulimic. I’ve dealt with eating disorders (ED) for most of my life, and any time I try to lose weight in a sensible way, I plunge deeply into the abyss. No matter how reasonable I am when I first start, my ED-thinking takes over, and I end up in the same bad place. I will fully admit my desire to lose weight has always been for vanity reasons. I don’t give a shit about the health benefits–it’s all about looking in the mirror and feeling gross.
I’ve spent twenty years getting fatter and fatter. I lost weight more than once during that time, but it never lasted. One time it was because I was trying out antidepressants (for a second round), and they were making me feel deeply suicidal. I lost nineteen pounds in two months because every minute I was fighting the urge to kill myself. When I told my doctor, she kinda laughed and said, “Well, whatever it takes” or something like that. I immediately changed doctors because even though she was joking, that was completely inappropriate. Quick side note: SSRIs work well for me on the first go-around (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa) for about a year. Then, the effect wears off, and I switch. When I re-try the same drug, it makes me suicidal. I don’t know why, but it’s highly unfortunate.
Anyway, I got off the Celexa right quick, and I stopped feeling suicidal, but I also regained the weight. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been, and it’s way out of hand. I would have thought cutting out gluten and dairy would have led to natural weight loss, but my guess is it’s the rice. I’ve added it back into my diet, and it’s calorie-dense. Jasmine rice because it’s delicious. It also doesn’t help that I don’t cook and mostly rely on deli food. It’s not so bad when it’s the co-op, but when it’s Cubs? Yeah, not the healthiest food of all. Also, I gave up fruits for some years even though I love them because my mom was very rigid about them when I was growing up. I’ve started adding them back. I eat an orange every day because it’s good at easing aches and pains (as told to my taiji teacher from a weightlifter), and I try to eat other fruits. I have grapes in my fridge right now, but I haven’t been very good about eating them.
I’ve also decided I’m going to do the ‘add one healthy item a week’ thing with the hopes that snacking on healthy food will slowly overtake my desire to munch. Earlier, I cut out chips and popcorn, but I added them back for whatever reason. Side note: There are two ways to deal with cutting out ‘bad’ foods. One, cut them out completely. Two, slowly wean yourself off of them. I’m more of a number one kind of gal because if it’s not there, I can’t eat it. But, I’m nominally a grown-up now, so I’m going to try a combination of the two. One, once I’m done with my current bag of popcorn, I’m not going to buy any more chips/popcorn. Two, I bought individualized bags of baby carrots and a bottle of pickle spears. In theory, I’ll munch on those when I have an impulse for the salt. It’s kinda working, but we’ll see what happens once the munchies are gone.
I can’t count calories. That way lies disaster. The first time I dealt with anorexia, I obsessively counted calories. I ate the same things every day, and I had all the info memorized. It’s not good for me, and now I have to avoid looking at nutritional information because I become obsessed with it. It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t dealt with an eating disorder, but I became trapped in the numbers with no way to escape. I remember spending hours looking at pictures of desserts (trifle, for whatever reason, was a particular fave of mine) and drooling much in the same way a horny person might look at p0rn. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Hours. I’ve never eaten trifle, but I was obsessed with it for whatever reason. I think I might find a way to make a gluten-free/dairy-free trifle.
Anyway, I don’t know how to be healthy about food without it disintegrating into disordered thinking very quickly. If I try to go by tape measurements rather than the scale, it doesn’t matter because I know the inches to pounds conversion. In my head. I know all the tricks of the trade, so if I’m going to try to lose weight, I have to do it without any measurements. Which doesn’t seem satisfying to me. I like seeing the numbers go down (who doesn’t?), and I need to know that I’m actually making progress with my weightloss. That is the crux. I don’t care about my health. Well, I do care, of course, but it’s ancillary to wanting not to looking grotesque. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror twice, and I winced. I hate the way I look, and more to the point, I’m not healthy right now.
In addition to adding one healthy item a week, I think I need to stop relying so much on deli food, and I need to start simple. One of my problems is that I tend to be too ambitious when I do things like this. Again, part of my all-or-nothing personality. I’ve been buying meat–barbecued, prime rib, roast chicken–and it should be an easy thing to buy cold cuts instead and just make sandwiches and wraps. By the way, it’s frustrating to look for foods that are gluten-free and dairy-free without being vegan, paleo, or soy-free. I eat meat! I eat soy! I just can’t eat gluten and dairy. I don’t mind eating the same thing every day, so cutting out the prepared meat and just making sandwiches could be an easy and satisfying solution.
I have a big clam shell of spinach, and that’s a good way to get some veggies in. I find that it’s better for me to eat smaller amounts more often than bigger amounts less frequently, but I haven’t been doing that lately. Ideally, I would be eating six small meals a day, but I get too lazy. It doesn’t help that when I’m sick, all I want to do is lie on the couch and not move. I’m going to try the slow and cautious thing and see if it works. Otherwise, I’ll have to come up with a Plan B.