Victorious!

Happy weekend, my faithful followers!

I have 2 major victories to share…

First victory…I now only have 4 pounds to go to hit my century mark. (Huge relief not to have gained this week.)

 IMG_1530

 

Now for the second…

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have long struggled with a Compulsive Overeating Disorder. The initial stages took hold my junior year in college, and a few episodes have still managed to crop up every few years.

I’ve gotten control over the worst binges and truly believe that having to eat gluten free has assisted with that.  I can no longer indulge in 3 value meals at McD’s and after reading a few articles on the chemicals in microwave popcorn, I no longer eat 6 bags at a time. As many times as I did it and with as much crap as there was in the weird powdery butter (Extra Butter flavor was my poison) I’m surprised I haven’t sprouted an extra limb or suffered from major cognitive impairment. (The popcorn binge is my most vivid memory as it happened over and over again.)

Please don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments, and I most definitely have my triggers.

My ‘episodes’, as I’ll call them, never started out with the intent to eat ridiculous amounts. Typically I’d see a commercial or a sign or smell something that made me think of a particular food I wanted. The second that desire for that food popped into my mind, it became an absolute obsession.  I’d snack on something else, still focused on that original craving…I’d watch TV, still focused on that original craving…I’d go eat a full-fledged meal with others, still focused on that original craving. The only way to make the focus stop was to give in and get whatever it was I couldn’t stop thinking about. And relieving that obsession always turned into an uncontrollable binge.

In the past, I could get away with my calorie marathons because I could hide them. I lived alone or was in the car alone with time to dispose of the evidence. Fortunately, since Allen didn’t travel much for work, and especially since he and I were laid off, we are together 100% of the day which I love for a number of reasons…1) I hate being apart, 2) I’m a worry wart and run thru a myriad of worst-case scenarios when we’re not together (you can thank the driving ineptitude of Florida residents for that), 3) Being together and dining together means I don’t have my binge/hide opportunities.

Sure it sounds childish for me to feel like I have a chaperone on my eating excursions…but I’m not at a point where I totally trust myself.

I boredom eat, I emotional eat, I stress eat, I happy eat, I hungry eat, I looks-like-it’s-close-to-lunchtime-so-I-should-eat eat and I unfortunately still over eat.

The last few weeks have been full of stress. We are moving in 3-4 days and the thought of packing up everything and hauling it and 2 cars 8.5 hours north is doing a number on my anxiety level.  Couple that with moving to a new city (although I couldn’t be more excited about living there), trying to find a new job, Allen trying to find a new job, Christmas-time, trying to find a house, and trying to maintain the weight I’ve lost, and I just about want to declare myself temporarily insane.

So naturally…well, not naturally, but historically speaking, I want to eat. And eat some more.  Thank goodness for my trusty sidekick for keeping me in line.

But this morning…I was alone…in the car…and the thought of Chick-Fil-A fries entered my mind. And I wanted them.

I’d thought about them when I got in the car. Went to get my nails done…with the yelling and whispering of a language I cannot comprehend all around me while I sat their being pampered, I thought about them some more. I decided to make a trip to Home Depot for trash bags, but the smell of sawdust and paint did little to curb my hunger.  All I could do was focus on that waffle-y goodness.

I tried to see if Allen was done with his appointment…called a few people…tried to create some type of diversion, some type of sign that would make me let the urge go. Nothing was working.

I knew I was in trouble…I knew this meant 2 things. That I was giving in to that uncontrollable, suffocating urge that I’ve fought so long to cope with…and that I was getting ready to potentially eat this and act as if I hadn’t, planning to have lunch with my better half soon after. Binging and hiding it…I was headed down a slippery slope.

So I drove 4.5 miles out of the way to give in to my desire. I pulled in the parking lot…it was 11:30, which typically means that Chick-Fil-A is a chaotic mess of soccer moms and hungry workers on their lunch break. I made a silent deal with myself that if the line was long, I would go home…It wasn’t. I think I picked the 4-second window of time in the history of this location that a wrap-around line was not present. Shit…what was I going to do now?

I pulled behind the 2 cars that were waiting and prepared to order something. Damn I was hungry…and my brain proceeded to run a thousand miles a minute: Could I mask the grease smell if I ate them in the car? Would one order be enough? Surely I’d need 2 to make sure the craving was satisfied. What kind of sauce do I want? Will they be salty enough? Is there anything else I need to order? Wait…what was that sound?

As I was close to my time to order, I heard a weird noise. A strange metal dragging on the ground noise. Was it my car? Crap. What should I do? Fear ran through my whole body…what if I break down in the drive-thru line…at CFA…at lunch hour! How would I explain to Allen that I was sitting there deciding between BBQ and Polynesian sauce when the automobile crapped-out.  (Turns out it was the bizarre music choice of the car behind me that was causing my panic.)

And it was at that moment that I felt like I woke up from a dream. Like the hypnosis had worn off and I was ‘present’ again.

What the hell was I doing in the drive-thru lane? Two orders of French fries aren’t going to get me to my 100-lb weight loss goal by the end of the year and giving in to the worst part of myself was not the way to overcome my most embarrassing struggle.

So I simply drove away and the fanatical desire ceased….completely.

With no French fries came no guilt…no disgust…no sadness…no anger at myself for giving in…no standing in the mirror crying because I knew I’d certainly gain weight after eating 2 lunches (though claiming to have had 1)…no hiding…no binging…no embarrassment.

It may have been a struggle…it may have been fought till the 11th hour (thank goodness for overly loud dubstep)…but a win in the final minute is still a win.

I finally had a ‘W’ in my win column. I emerged victorious over the ‘obsessive thoughts lead to binge’ battle for the first time EVER… And while I know many battles make up a war, I am incredibly proud of my buzzer beater.

 

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

Advertisements

Step Away From the Chocolate!!

I promise I will restart my weekly ‘normal’ blogs next week. PROMISE.

This week I need to vent…well not really vent, I need to confess.

I cannot stop thinking about…chocolate.

Please for the love of all that is holy forbid me from it!  As the result of a ‘hormonal week’ (that’s about as nicely as I can put it) I am having sweet cravings out the wazoo.

This is so abnormal!! I’d give up sugar for 6 months to eat 1 french fry.  Dessert does nothing for me typically. I’d much rather be elbows deep in a bag of Lay’s any day of the week.  But this week….this week is just plain ridiculous.

I opted for dark chocolate after lunch today…it’s more nutritious, right?  I’m afraid to buy a large bag of M&M’s for fear I’ll tilt it into my mouth like a feed bag and eat them like a dog eats a biscuit.

Going to the grocery store earlier was a mistake…instead of focusing on dinner I found myself wandering down the ‘snack’ aisle staring at the 5lb bags of candy and wondering how many would fit in the basket. Thank goodness I’m gluten-free or Little Debbie would have promptly sent me a thank you card after the chunk of change I would have dropped on boxes of Swiss Cake Rolls.

The voice in my head loudly yelled, ‘Ma’am, step away from the chocolate’. I half expected to look up and see the grocery store employees coming at me with scanners drawn.

I feel like someone needs to call in A&E’s Intervention….yes, it’s that bad. It’s been two hours since the last M&M…I’m sweating and shaky. I’m conspiring on how I can score my next ‘hit’. I feel like a drug addict.

Want to know how bad it really is?! I went to the vet (ok I didn’t but Coco did and I took her) this morning with blue M&M stain on my bottom lip.  Yes, the handful of M&M’s  (from a small bag) I had for breakfast decided to really make me regret my decision.

I think it looked enough like a purple bruise that no one said anything. But they were looking. Thinking they were staring at the gargantuan bump on my chin (thanks for that too, hormones), I didn’t think anything of it.  I was mortified when I got back in the car and discovered the lovely blue dot on my kisser.  Great first impression at a new dog doctor, Hannah! I’m sure the notes added to the bottom of the chart where something like: ‘Owner must be having sordid relationship with blue ink pen’, ‘owner was in fight and lost’, or ‘owner is trying out new 80’s shade of purple-blue lipstick that is NOT working for her.’

It was chocolate karma! That’s what I get for indulging!!

I’ve gotta stop…the little progress I’ve made over the last few weeks is going to completely unravel with the calorie consumption I’ve had in the last few days.

I am happy to report that in addition to a tiny bit of weight loss, I did manage to get into a size 8 and am now the proud owner of a SMALL shirt! I never thought I’d fit in a medium much less a small! As if that wasn’t enough, exactly one year ago today I weighed 214…so proud. 🙂

Maybe I’ll think about that when the urge to stick my face in Cherry Garcia arises. I don’t know if my will-power is strong enough for the ‘curse’ force though…

Motivation to eat lettuce is so tough when Swedish Fish (ok not chocolate but damn delicious!) are sitting there looking all beautiful. They’re whispering…saying naughty things and taunting me…’Take a bite…I dare ya!’

I’ve got to resist…if I keep going like this the city council is going to have to approve an expansion plan in the region of my badonkadonk.

Don’t do it, Hannah. Fight it. Be strong.  (But it’s so tasty.)  Don’t do it. You don’t need that candy. (But I do.) You’re better than that Reese’s Cup.  (No I’m not.)  You’re sweet and wonderful without that Symphony bar. (Oh, shut it.)  Step away from the chocolate.  Step your ass far, far away.  The next town over should be far enough…the next state maybe. Candy is evil.  Remember that!  Say it with me now, everyone. Candy is…oh, nevermind. You heard me the first time.

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

~ Catherine Aird

The Phantom of the Fat Girl

Down a little bit more…not as productive of a week as I would have liked, but as it was another week on the go, it could have been a lot worse.

 

For the last 14 months I have undoubtedly gone through some pretty significant physical changes.  Having lost almost 75 pounds, you can’t help but have changed a little bit.

But despite all the physical transformation I’ve gone through…despite the fact that I’ve dropped from a size 20 to a size 10…I still have a hard time seeing the new me occasionally.

I still compare myself to the Giselle’s of the world…to the Kate Upton’s. I wish for a flatter stomach and a firmer ass. I want toned arms and 1 chin…I want to look in the mirror and stop seeing fatter Hannah.

Don’t get me wrong…I do see very clearly that I’ve lost weight. But I don’t think I’m seeing myself as I presently am.

It’s like I’m on a 35 lb delay.  My brain still thinks I weight over 200 pounds.

 

Uhh, hello?!  What the hell? Where is the confidence I was guaranteed? Shouldn’t I be wearing a bikini for the first time in my life? Shouldn’t I be able to get dressed in the morning and leave the house in the first thing I pick out because there is no longer such a thing as an unflattering dress that makes me look like a refrigerator? Yeah…not so much.  To me, I look almost exactly the same. And yes, I’m still changing clothes 100 times. No bikini. On occasion, refrigerator status.

I’m putting on medium shirts and convincing myself that the sizes must have been manufactured incorrectly. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably and I’m telling myself that it’s just fluke.

How does one change that? I do I overcome the ideals of perfection thrown into my face daily by the media? How can I be proud of the fact that I’ve dropped my BMI 14 points (true story) instead of the regret that I don’t have the belly for a bikini? How do I get over the fear that every time I sit in a chair, it’s not going to buckle beneath me?

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The quality of that video is bad…but you get the idea!

 

Believe it or not, this distortion has an actual name:  ‘phantom fat.’  Apparently, after a person experiences weight loss, their perception of themselves can sometimes take its time to catch up to the body’s physical changes. Experts have compared it to the feeling of the phantom pains that amputees feel long after a limb is gone. Yes…I said experts. As in people-who-get-paid-to-analyze-the-brains-of-others agree with this distortion….I’m not crazy after all! (Ok…I guess that’s technically up for debate.)

Who would have thought that body image would be something I’d have to worry about once I got here? I figured my insecurities would vanish with the weight.

So now begins a new battle… I’m working on recalibrating my image of myself. Surrounding myself with positive people is certainly helping. People that don’t necessarily know the way I used to be, but see me as I am right now, and appreciate all that this person is. People that truly believe in my beauty, and not just in comparison to what I was…I am trusting the compliments for the first time in my life, instead of convincing myself that there’s some ulterior motive behind them.

But why put in all this work if I can’t see anything changing?

I know I’ve got to give it time. Staying on track towards my ideal and happy weight will help.  My brain will see and celebrate the new me eventually.

I also need to stop being unrealistic.  I’m not going to wake up tomorrow rocking the physique of a Victoria’s Secret model. Losing the weight won’t necessarily turn me into a stick thin, air brushed, Hollywood honey… No one is perfect. I’ve got to try to focus on an ideal that is realistic for me given the bones and genes I was born with.

I have come a long way mentally…it’s time I take a good hard look at myself and see the long way I’ve come physically too.

Years and years of beating myself up has left me numb to how mean I’ve been to myself…It’s high time I appreciate my body. Flaws and all…imperfections and all. It’s time for me to look into the mirror and say, “Damn, the new you is absolutely astounding.”

 

“Mirrors are perpetually deceitful. They lie and steal your true self. They reveal only what your mind believes it sees.” – Dee Remy

Run, Forrest, Run!

Forrest felt like running…and so do I.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I want to walk out the front door in the morning with my pumped up kicks on…iPod fully-loaded…bounding with energy. I want to walk out the door and run. Run for hours. Run for miles. And so I begin.

Since I seem to do everything by the ‘go big or go home’ philosophy, I have opted to not just begin running, but to train for a half marathon.

Me…run 13.1 miles?! I know you’re laughing. Trust me. I’m laughing too. Thinking about me having the ability to run more than 50 yards about makes me want to crawl under the covers and hide.  Then again…so did the thought of losing weight when I started all of this, and look how far I’ve come on that front?!  See?! 55 pounds and counting!

Running is not natural for me. It doesn’t feel natural and I guarantee it doesn’t look natural. The earth shakes on its axis when I run. My brain jiggles in my skull when I run. I look more awkward trying to jog than Shaquille O’Neal would look doing ballet.

But it is my mission. It has been my goal since the beginning. One of my life-long dreams is to run a half marathon. And I’m going to do it.

And the training officially started Monday.  Thanks to a running coach I had a few years ago, I have a 29 week program that will take me from barely being able to run from my bedroom to the bathroom, to running 13.1 miles.

There is no turning back now…I’ve put it out there for the world (ok not the world, but my faithful followers) to see.  As of August 4, 2012 this girl will be half marathon ready!

And while we’re talking about Forrest…

I watched it last weekend for probably the 3000th time, and a few of the lines I’d heard a zillion times before stuck with me a little more than normal.

Forrest’s momma told him he wasn’t different. Told him he was just like everybody else. Despite the fact that his back was as crooked as a politician or his IQ was less than 75, he was taught to believe he was no different. He didn’t let his physical or mental limitations stop him from doing what he thought was right. He put himself out there with little to no regard of his obvious uniqueness. He was comfortable with what he was. His self-confidence came naturally, despite a number of reasons that any average person might retreat to avoid rejection or humiliation.

So I started thinking about my own self-image. I’ve let my chubbiness be my disability. I have let it trick me into believing that I am neither normal nor good enough. I could have had all the confidence in the world but I didn’t. I let society convince me that because I was overweight, I was inferior.

I am making progress in my belief in myself, but I am still struggling in believing that I’m good enough when compared to others. I somehow have convinced myself that I am inferior to every single woman on the planet who weighs less than me. That personality and wit and brains could not possibly be as good in me as they are in someone skinnier and more attractive than I am.  In a restaurant I will secretly think in my head, “No one is paying you any attention because there are plenty of women in here much thinner than you are.”  I honestly believe that a girl with no teeth, no education and no sense of humor is better than me because she’s a size 2 and I’m a 14?! Seriously? That sounds even more stupid to type.

Where did I pick up this notion that skinnier women are better? Who sent me the memo that all men care about is a woman’s dress size?

When will I genuinely trust that I am an incredible catch? That there is no better than me?…Who I am now the same person I was 55 pounds ago. I am no more intelligent, no more funny, no more charismatic now than I was then. Being 4 sizes smaller hasn’t made me finally desirable, it’s just fine-tuned what was already awesome.

I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else anymore. I want to be proud of me and everything that I am and everything that I offer. I am so close to being there…so close to believing in myself 100%.

No more running from my own self confidence… I’ve had enough beating myself up for one lifetime. The only running this girl will be doing is 13.1 miles toward the finish line!

On your mark, get set…Go!

“The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” ~ W.H. Auden

Two Wolves

An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life…

This is what he said to them:

“A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil — he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, competition, regret, superiority, greed, and ego.

The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed.”

For far too long I have been feeding the bad wolf.

And yes, part of it does entail over feeding that wolf with food. But I’ve been feeding the bad wolf with some of the other evil the Native American mentioned.

Fear: I am afraid I will fail…again. I am afraid of what I might discover about myself going through all of this.

Anger: I am so mad that I let myself get to this place…that I allowed myself to eat my feelings away…that I allowed myself to lose control.

Envy: I find that jealousy plagues me. I try to bargain with God: If only I could be like her, then I’ll give up something else. Why do I always think the grass is greener on the other side?

Sorrow: I am sad that I don’t feel better about myself. Sad that I feel so alone sometimes. Sad that I don’t feel confident enough in myself.

Regret: This is my big one. Regret consumes me. Regret eats me alive and chokes me almost daily. Maybe if I hadn’t quit gymnastics in 3rd grade I’d be skinny…maybe if I’d tried harder in college I’d be a doctor now. I waste so much time wishing I could do things all over again. And the older I get, the harder it is to overcome.

Greed: This should speak for itself…my times of gluttony and overeating were times of excess and greed.

Self-Pity: I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself. I’m tired of having times where all I want to do is crawl back in my shell – where I’m convinced no one thinks I’m worthwhile because of my size.

Inferiority: I don’t feel like I’m good enough, that I’m capable enough. I don’t feel that I deserve praise or recognition. I don’t feel that I am anything extraordinary. I don’t feel that I’m worthy of true complete love.

I’m tired of feeding the bad wolf.  I’ve done it all with the full and complete understanding that it was foolish, misguided and self-destructive, but feed him I did.

I want to feed the good wolf. I want to wake up with joy and pride so deep. I want to feel serenity in myself that I’ve never known. I want to find peace within my soul.

I’m not really sure where my mind is right now. I’m frustrated. I’m starting to lose my motivation. I’m losing direction.

Case in point…A gain:

 

I haven’t been able to do anything physical because I’m still wearing the stupid moon boot on my right foot. (Damn tall shoes.) I’m emotionally all over the place right now – having those weird breakdown moments as I stand in my closet trying to find something to wear.

I refused to look at myself in the mirror before I started all this. I refused to look at what was in front of me….what I had become. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day before I got in the shower and fell apart. Who is that person? How did she get that way?

I know I’ve lost 38 pounds. I know my clothes are fitting much better. I know I feel better than I have in a long time.  But something is missing. Something is making me fear this failure again. Something is keeping me down.

I desperately need to find out what that something is…I need to fill the trough for the good wolf for a while…time to starve the bad one.

 

“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.”