I’ve become increasingly tired of myself lately. Like really sick and tired of myself. And that’s no good place to be. Every morning and every night I have to go to bed to ME. I have to live all day with ME. And sometimes that can be super annoying. Especially when part of me is a big fat liar.
I didn’t realize what an amazing liar I was until the other day. I was talking to my daughter about my brand new plan. You know the one where I decided to start walking again in the neighborhood? The one where I decided I am going to plan out all my meals?
Kids are great sounding boards sometimes. You know why? Because they haven’t quite figured out yet how to BS you. They just tell it like they see it. So I was telling Charlotte (my 6th grader) who already has the personality of brutal honesty about my big plans and she said the following words…
To which I replied…”What do you mean what’s new?”
And she was like, “You said you had a new plan, Mom? What’s new about that? Isn’t that the old plan?”
And I was like “Um excuse me. No. I am starting to walk in the neighborhood every day and I’m going to plan my meals…blah blah blah…”
And then she started rummaging through her backpack completely and totally uninterested in anything I had to say
“Are you even listening??” I said to her. “You asked me a question and I’m answering it”
She goes, “Yeah I get it Mom. You’re doing the plan again. The same plan you always do. So that’s good”
I said, “No this is new. I haven’t been doing that. Now I am going to do it consistently”
“Well ok if you say so. I mean it sounds like the same plan to me though. Because you always do this. You quit and then you start it again. And then it works but then you stop doing it. I think maybe if you just did it all the time then you’d be happier. Because seems to me you keep just going back to the same plan and calling it new. But anyway, I was wondering if my friend could come over on Friday. What do you think?”
And that’s when I realized that she was right. And also that I’m boring as all get out. And that my story is TIRED and nothing more than a repeat of the same thing over and over again.
I follow the basic plan of eating right, planning meals, eliminating sugar and exercising. It works splendidly and I start seeing progress. I suddenly have this amazing epiphany that I have cured myself. That all is right with the world!! And then I go off the rails. I quit the plan. I make excuses for why I don’t have to work out today. Or I stop planning meals and let nature take its course. Next thing you know I’m overeating again. I’m lazy again. And then I get depressed which is quickly followed by blaming it on anything and everything other than myself.
You know I was reading over some of my past blogs and I was horrified at something I wrote last year. My oldest daughter had started college. I had moved out of the area and she was on her own for the first time. In her own apartment. Free! The oldest of 4 kids finally FREE. Ever been 19? Ever been on your own for the first time? I remember being 19. I believe that was the year my Mom threw me out of the house for running around with a boyfriend she didn’t approve of. That was the year I felt really put upon because she expected me to help with the dishes and laundry. I mean after all I did live there rent free. But geez….expect me to help with the dishes? Yes I was a spoiled brat CLEARLY. But I didn’t see it at the time. Kind of like how I am right now. Where I don’t see the obvious.
So my oldest daughter was off on her own for the first time and she didn’t make some of the best grades in college. She also wrecked the car. Never mind that the car accident was ruled to not be her fault. Never mind that MY grade point average when I was her age and in my first semester in college was like a .6
None of that matters suddenly. Because I can’t remember anything I ever did at that age. All I knew was that she wrecked the car and I had to deal with that. I had to deal with the insurance company and the rental car and getting a new one. I had to be annoyed at the bad grades that I paid for. But then I stumbled upon a fantastic plan!! I would now blame all of those things for the 40 pound regain I experienced last winter!
YEP. It was all her. And then I wrote this whole scathing post about how my daughter didn’t appreciate anything I did. And poor me. POOR POOR ME. The whole thing is atrocious. I’m glad I deleted it. Complaining about my daughter on my blog is really one of my lowest points yet. It really shows you though to what lengths we will go to blame anyone but OURSELVES for gaining weight!
Some of us are stress eaters. I know I am. But no matter what stress I ever have it is still MY responsibility. No one has ever tied me down and forced a hostess cupcake down my throat. Woah….Now that I’m writing that it sounds like my 50 shades fantasy. But I digress….
The point is personal responsibility is critical. And it’s something I need more of in my life.
On this blog I believe I have blamed a million and one things for my weight problems.
I’ve written about my divorce and my ex husband. Blaming him for everything from my severe anxiety to my eating disorder. But he left in 2006. And it’s 2016. The guy isn’t even stationed in this country. So is it really his fault that I ate cookies last night? Because I don’t think so.
I could share a lot of things that may have contributed to it but at the end of the day I am still responsible for what I do with my feelings. And no one but me should be held responsible.
My husband left me. My Mom died. My grandmother died. And none of those things should be a reason to eat.
At some point in life it might be time to sit down and take a hard look in the mirror and just say
GET OVER IT
I believe in compassion . I believe in being kind to yourself. But can we sometimes allow things to become an excuse?
And I’ve done that one too many times
I have a cycle that I tend to repeat. And it’s become even obvious to me.
I do well for awhile. And then I screw it up. But WHY I screw it up has been the mystery to me. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately and I think I see a few patterns that need to be addressed in my life. Things I keep doing over and over again that are in some ways a form of self sabotage.
#1– I keep changing the “Plan”
When you go on a ‘diet’ and then fail at it, you want the diet to be responsible for this failure. In order for that to happen you need to change to another diet. That way you can say the original diet you were on failed. In that estimation, every diet that exists is a failure in my book. Because I’ve tried them all. But the truth is it’s ME. If I followed the diet, it wouldn’t be a failure. If I have a food plan and I then eat off that food plan—who failed?? If I say I am not going to eat sugar anymore and then I go eat sugar–whose fault is that?? But instead of admitting to myself that I made a choice to screw up, I just decide that this plan doesn’t work!! This buys me at least a month usually of trying to figure out a new plan. And that takes time. I have to research and read and decide what to do next. During that time I get to eat whatever I want! When I pick a new plan I get to go through the beginning phases of still not really understanding it. I can buy a few more weeks of just trying to figure it out. Get my bearings. More excuses to be had!!! By the time I figure out the new plan I can have a week or two of progress. But eventually that one will fail too in which case we just repeat the whole cycle again! It’s not usually the food plan that is the problem. It’s my willingness, commitment and inability to stick to it. It’s my desire to go off of it. As I have stated before I have issues with sugar. And I know that. If I am off sugar then I can’t blame the physical cravings for going back to it. If I go back to it then it’s all on me. It was my free will choice that did it. But it’s just so much easier to blame the ‘plan’.
#2– Intuitive Eating
This works for a great many people but never for me. Because I use intuitive eating as a way to go off the rails. I so badly want to be an intuitive eater!! So much so that every time I see a book, talk show, blog or anything that discusses intuitive eating I decide all over again that this is for me. And if I could do it RIGHT then it would be me. Because as we ride the personal responsibility wave I would have to admit that intuitive eating DOES work. If you actually do it as it is meant to be done. But here is the problem for me. Intuitive eating tells you to get back to eating the way you did when you were a child. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Well I never had a childhood like that. In fact I have had very few days like that. Because something inside of me is wired wrong. And I don’t always know when I am hungry or full. Not really. To be ‘intuitive’ means to do something based on your instinct. Based on what you feel is right. And what I always feel is right is EATING. If I didn’t rely on my conscious thought or determined reasoning to come up with a food plan…if I just relied on how I feel and what my gut is telling me…then I’d always and I do mean ALWAYS end up at Baskin Robbins. Because my gut instinct tells me almost every day that food is what I need to fix everything. If a lightbulb needs to be replaced in a really high ceiling fan that I can’t reach without a ladder then what I clearly need is a 3 scoop double hot fudge sundae. That’s what my instinct tells me.
The closest I have come in my life to being an intuitive eater was when I got off sugar. Completely. When zero sugar was running through my veins. This eliminated all the physical cravings I had due to the chemical effects of refined sugar. But you know what it didn’t do?? Eliminate my screwed up wiring that says donuts are the cure to world peace. And that if I just ate more donuts I could probably fix all of life in 5 seconds. Every single time I try intuitive eating I end up knee deep in donuts. And it’s not because intuitive eating doesn’t work. It’s because I have some kind of inability to decipher the truth when it comes to my hunger and the root of it. If I would finally accept this then maybe I could stop going down this dark alley once a year.
As I said before I’m an exceptional liar when it comes to what I’m actually eating. I hate logging my food mostly because I know it will reveal things to me. Even when I decide to log it, I don’t actually log everything. I seem to conveniently forget things. For example, tonight I made pork chops. My son wanted to dip his pork chops in Heinz 57 sauce. So I gave him some. And then I reached over and dipped my own pork chop into it. And then I did it again. And again and again! Because I love that stuff. It’s like 20 calories and 4 sugar grams for 1 tablespoon. And I probably drench one entire tablespoon on one small bite of pork chop. But because the sauce is on HIS plate and not MINE…it doesn’t count. It just doesn’t. So I don’t log it and then 20 tablespoons later I’m wondering why the scale didn’t move. I mean I am following the plan. I am logging every single thing I am eating. So obviously the plan doesn’t work, right?? Or maybe it’s my body that defies the laws of science. Yes that’s it!!!…..
#4— I am a scientific phenomenon!
It is absolutely amazing to me how my body seems to not follow any of the physical laws that work for the rest of the world. They say if you eat less and move more you will lose weight. But not me. I can eat almost nothing and work out all day long only to end up gaining 5 pounds. It’s absolutely unbelievable. Clearly I have some kind of disease. Or problem. Or curse!! Because no matter how hard I try or what I do…my body just refuses to lose weight. It’s like my body hates me. And it wants me to be fat. What can I do? It’s not my fault my body is a freak of nature. And welcome to the LIES. Welcome to the web of lies that I tell myself. Because if you cheat and don’t log what you ate then the only one you’re fooling is yourself. And if you say that you worked out all day but really all you did was kick the blanket off your feet while turning onto your side to press ‘continue’ on your Netflix show…then what do you expect? I’m an accomplished liar when it comes to telling myself that I’m doing everything right. Am I the only one?
#5—Refusing to Plan or Learn How to Eat Real Food
I’ve said it before on my blog so it should come as no surprise. I hate to cook. I’m not good at it. It’s not my skill set. And I don’t enjoy it. Therefore I don’t like to do it. What i like to do is EAT. But cooking has never interested me. I managed to get through a million years with a lot of hamburger helper, casseroles and a few main dishes I did bother to learn how to cook. If it’s prepackaged, pre made or better yet pre-cooked I would buy it. But what I never wanted to do was really learn. I have said that too many ingredients and too much variety triggers me to going crazy with food and that’s true. But it doesn’t give me an excuse to not do it. It just means I should stick to keeping it simple. Every time I set out to be consistent with planning meals, I go back to NOT doing it. Consistency is not my strong suit. If it was just me, I’d drink Atkins shakes all day and eat chicken at night. I lost a lot of weight doing basically this for the most part. But I have children and they aren’t cool with that. So is it really my fault that the kids got hungry and I had to order a pizza? And this brings me to one of the most brilliant excuses a Mom can ever drum up for herself! THE KIDS MADE ME EAT IT! That Heinz 57 sauce was on his plate and it called to me. And why was it in the house in the first place? Because I bought it. Not for myself of course. Oh no never. It’s always for the children…
I have a problem with sugar but my kids don’t. They’ve never had weight problems so why should they have to suffer. I’ll buy the ice cream for them. I’ll buy the donuts for them. And if I happen to eat some of it along the way then thats just the sacrifice I have to make as a mother.
And now I’m a saint! A VICTIM EVEN! Because I’m just trying to be a good Mom, right?? Because being a good Mom means buying crap for your kids and feeding it to them. And then pretending that you didn’t mean to do it and it isn’t your fault. Could there be more delusions I can feed myself?!
Most of you know I feel the most secure when I’m on liquids. That way I don’t have to deal with food. But every time I incorporate more real food into my life, I go off the rails again. I have not achieved peace with food. I am afraid of it. Even when I am off sugar I am afraid of it. And I have yet to find a good way to handle that. I admit this is strange. It’s disordered thinking and it’s not healthy. What we need to do is learn how to interact with food safely. And yet I haven’t made it there yet. I swing the pendulum between a lot of liquid shakes with a safe meal at night to trying to cook elaborately all kinds of things that make me fall into a black hole. There needs to be a happy medium. And I just haven’t found it yet.
But refusing to do that is not helping. It’s just perpetuating the ridiculous roller coaster that has gotten me to where I am.
I’d like to address one more lie that surfaces many times among people (like myself) who have had weight loss surgery. And it’s this
#6–The Weight Loss Surgery Failed ME….
I am only speaking of MYSELF. I know that there are people whose weight loss surgery did not do what it was meant to do. And I am not at all denying that happens. But when people find out I have regained 100 pounds they often think that it was the surgery’s fault. If there is one thing I would like to embrace in this world it is THAT. But that would be the biggest lie of all. The reality is that you can beat the surgery. Any one that you have. I had one of the most drastic surgeries a person can have. 85% of my stomach was removed from my body altogether. It’s called the sleeve and it drastically reduces the size of your stomach. As time goes on it stretches out some. It probably even doubles but what it never does is totally grow back. And that means I have a tool that does work. I cannot binge as I once could. I cannot shove 1 gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, 2 boxes of Hostess donuts and 1 bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups into my stomach in one sitting. That is the reason I have ONLY gained back 100 pounds. Because the surgery DOES help.
But the real reason I regained weight after surgery is simple. I started doing all the things I wasn’t supposed to do. Eating things I shouldn’t eat. Exercising less. And at the end of the day—there is nothing left to say. At one point I researched going to Mexico to try and have my sleeve redone. Because I would rather try and pay for another surgery then accept reality. And reality is this—I still have a stomach and a brain and a mind. And all three of them like to eat. They love it in fact. And the surgery didn’t remove my brain so therefore I can still think my way into a box of donuts. Maybe what I really needed was brain surgery?!
There are some things I need to admit to myself because they are the reasons I’m in this situation. And the last one I must admit is probably the hardest of all. And it’s this.
And that is probably the biggest problem I have. I don’t want to preplan my meals. It takes time. It takes work. And I’d rather reach for a Digiorno. Also exercise is hard. It makes you sweat. And I’d rather be eating Kit Kats while watching Prison Break on Netflix. And who wants to admit that this is their problem? I’d rather just say I have arthritis in my knee and so I can’t walk. Or that my bad ankle is giving me problems so I can’t work out. I’d rather say that I’m a single Mom of 4 kids so who has the time for all that food planning??
I’d rather just say that my husband left me and my Mom died and I have no one but me to hold down the fort so life is just SOO HARD….and shouldn’t I get a free pass??
Life is hard. And a lot of people have it hard. And a large amount of those people have it WAY HARDER THAN ME. So all my complaining and excuse making is really just another way for me to excuse myself for the nonsense that I perpetuate year after year in not achieving goals that could have been achieved long ago if I would just do what needs to be done once and for all.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a bad rerun.
A record that keeps skipping
That drip coming from the faucet that just…won’t…shut…up
Because all I do is rehash the same junk over and over again in an effort to rationalize why I’m still overweight.
I’m really good at starting and then quitting. In fact I excel at it. And then the guilt and regret I feel brings me down.
I hate feeling guilty. I hate feeling regret. It’s so much easier to just lie to myself about why I do things. But it only covers up the truth. And isn’t it the truth that sets us free?
Today my prayer is that God helps me see the truth in my every day life. See it and accept it. And stop excusing it. Because I could spend the rest of my life rationalizing away my lack of progress. Or I could get up tomorrow, go for a walk, preplan my meals for the day and do something I haven’t done in awhile…
And live in reality. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?