Obese by a Thousand Quirks

I’ve been really stuck on the question of if I am a binge eater. This thread on reddit about compulsive eating habits was hard for me to relate to. I don’t hide meals, go to multiple fast food places, go into a dissociative fugue, eat out of the trash, etc. So what are my bad habits? You don’t get to be morbidly obese without bad food habits, so let’s be real about my choices:

  • Eating to soothe myself. Bad day at work? Graeter’s sundae. Stressed about money? DQ Blizzard. Frustrated by life? Double Stuf Oreos. Wow. I know how to spell ‘Stuf’ correctly because I’ve seen the packaging enough times.
  • Cleaning the plate. I don’t know how this started because I don’t remember my mom lecturing me about starving kids the world over. I think I just picked it up because my parents and sister are clean-platers too. Now I have to remember to think about my portions before I begin eating and tell myself it’s okay not to finish.
  • Eating too fast. Done this all my life, another family habit. I have to be cognizant and chew my food very slowly and force myself to put down my fork from time to time. Now I watch everyone else’s plate and try to pace myself with them, pretending I’m not a basset hound.
  • Over-serving portions. I’m a 5’2″ female. I should never eat as much as my 6″ husband, and yet I often do.
  • Eating sweets at night. When I do indulge in late night snacking, which isn’t often these days, it tends to be something sugary like ice cream or cookies.
  • Neglecting vegetables. There are some veggies I love (broccoli, peas, corn, cucumber, artichokes, etc.), but I never choose veggies as a snack. Eating healthy salads makes me feel like I’m denying myself real sustenance. Whenever I’m at an event or party and the veggie tray is devoured, I’m shocked. Of all the food available they chose celery and carrot sticks?
  • Overusing fatty spreads. I’m an over-spreader. Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, brie. I have never let myself buy Nutella because I just know I will be helpless against it’s velvety chocolate goodness.
  • Eating while cooking. The fridge is right there, and I have to wait on the chicken to cook, and I’m sooo hungry. I can’t wait. I don’t wait.
  • Getting overly hungry. If I don’t plan ahead and have healthy snacks available, I get overly hungry, my obese brain takes over, and it justifies eating whatever’s closest at hand. I’ve started repeating to myself, “Your hunger is not an emergency,” to shut my brain up.
I’m sure there are more. I’ve asked my husband to tell me what bad food habits I have. Poor guy. Nothing like slipping a landmine under his foot. He thinks I drink too much milk, but I disagree. I keep skim milk in the house when I am trying to lose weight because it satiates me when I have big cravings. I always track and account calories for it, so I don’t consider it a bad habit. But, alas, yes, water would be better.

Bingeing vs. Overeating

Just came back from therapy. It was okay. Mostly she asked me a lot of questions. I did cry some which annoys me to no end. She seemed nice and helpful without being a cheerleader or fake, which is exactly what I’m looking for. I liked the accountability of Weight Watchers, and I think I’m viewing therapy as that plus hopefully greater insight into my issues.

I’ve come to accept that food is my struggle. It seems like such a simple thing, but in 2014 I forced myself to say aloud “I have a problem with food”. A simple, declarative sentence that made me cry to admit. The line between food addiction and bad eating habits has always confused me. After all, isn’t everyone addicted to food? The therapist asked me to explore that a bit and consider if I binge or mini-binge on food. I couldn’t help but think of an old Lifetime movie where this tiny woman would gorge herself on hostess cupcakes and everything she could grab at an out of town grocery then eat it in the woods and throw up all around her car. I don’t do THAT of course, so I’m doing okay, right?

Movie-drama example to the side, maybe I do binge eat without realizing that’s what I’m doing. Is eating when you’re already full considered bingeing? If that’s the case, then hell, I’ve been swimming in a pool of denial that tastes like chocolate ice cream.


When Up is Down

The last few days have been difficult. The number on the scale went up even though I have been tracking all my food and staying close to my calorie goal. I do not want to be a slave to the scale so I limit my weigh-in to once a week. And I know, I know… sodium, pms, stress, glycogen, blah, blah, blah. It’s just so very demotivating when you’re expecting a loss and see a gain.

But this is not nearly enough to thwart my efforts, right? Right.

So let’s focus on the positive. I spoke with my husband about designating one evening a week and a corner of our apartment to my artwork. He has already started clearing out the area for me. I also have my first ever therapy appointment today. Haven’t chickened out yet. Progress.

I hope the therapist is a good fit and not a whackadoo who tries to smudge the weight off me. We’ll see.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.Japanese Proverb

Starting Weight: 278 pounds
Current Weight: 267 pounds
Weight Lost: 11 pounds

I’ve been wanting to get this started for a long time, and it looks like today’s the day. Two things are on my resolutions list every year: lose weight and make more art. So here we are.

My weight loss journey has lurched and stumbled many, many times; I have even tried to start this blog once before. So I’m trying to figure out how to make this time more successful. If I’m being honest with myself, I must say that I have never addressed the mental aspects of my weight struggles. So on Tuesday, I start therapy. Dun dun dun!

There is a lot of stuff rolled up into what I want this blog to be, but rather than explain it, I’d rather just do it. I tend to over-think and under-do, but I’m working on that. I’m working on a lot of things.