Friday, April 20, 2012

Mission Impossible: This Fat Girl Will Self-Destruct

I was reading someone's blog the other day who noticed no one ever says, "Wow. Losing weight is SO easy."  And I thought to myself, "Actually, I have been thinking that exact thing.  It is easy." 

Oh, poor silly girl.  How wrong you were....

Starting Wednesday around 3pm it became apparent that I was losing my grip on this whole "eat right and exercise" business. I needed wanted food. I just wanted to snack.  And when I was done snacking I wanted to snack some more.  I felt like I was losing control.  I got that "bottomless pit" feeling where I knew that no matter how many bowls of popcorn I ate, I would want one more.  I gave in a bit.  I compromised some.  But I fought to keep my feet on the floor. 

Yesterday it all came unraveled.  I won't go into the gooey details...but it wasn't pretty.  At one point, I was driving home from work and I was in a panic.  I was breathing fast, clammy and shaky.  I had healthy food at home.  I could have just gone home.  But I went to McDonalds and got a Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap, McDouble, and an ice cream cone.  The second my lips met that ice cream it was like a mouthful of frozen vanilla flavored Valium.  I immediately relaxed and felt better.  The car ride home is about 20 minutes. And it was 20 minutes of pure bliss.  The effect wasn't long lasting.  As soon as I walked in the door I was searching for my next fix.  Last night was ugly. Self destructive.  Awful.  But it taught me an important lesson. 

Eating junk feels really really really really good. Great. Wonderful. Euphoric. I should open a rehab center for heroine addicts and feed them double cheeseburgers. They would be cured!  I've never tried heroine, but I'm pretty sure a double cheeseburger is just as good.  

All this talk about "replacing bad habits with good habits" is such a joke.  I can make as many lists as I want of things I can do INSTEAD of overeating but it's pointless. I can "Read a Magazine" and "Call a Friend" until I'm blue in the face and it won't even come CLOSE to how good great it feels to eat junk.  There IS no substitute.  Nothing works as good. Nothing feels as good.  I have to come to grips with that.  I have to understand that it IS going to be hard.

It's going to SUCK when I feel like that.  But I have to feel like that.  I have to wait it out. Get past it. It's an ugly addiction. Feeling like that means I haven't given in.  That I am fighting.  It's OK to feel awful because I'm not giving in to a horrible habit that will kill me.  

As time goes by I know I will feel it less and less.  But it will always be there waiting.

I got on the scale this morning to see that I gained 3.6 pounds in the last 2 days.  Sometimes I feel like I'm fooling myself.  Going through the motions to lose weight like it could ACTUALLY happen...when I know that it never will.  An impossible mission. 

But what if it DID work?  It has happened for so many people.  I could be a success story.  I could be The After Photo.


  1. Thank you for speaking the truth! Here's what I have to tell myself: Feeling the way I am feeling WILL NOT KILL ME. I can survive feeling like this. And about 10% of the time it works. The other 90% of the time? Binge city.

    1. I guess a 10% success rate is better than 0%...glad to hear that some one gets what I'm saying.

  2. I totally know what this feels like. And every time I fail, I realize that junk food is not something that one swears off for life. It tastes freaking delicious and my brain confirms this. For about an hour after a junky meal, I feel awesome. Then I feel horrible about the whole thing and the cycle repeats. I get back on the horse, watch what I eat and resist junk a bit longer each time.

    I have spend so much time trying to figure out what would be a good substitute. Nothing is. I've come to accept that I have to have a fix here and there. If I don't, I get to a point where I don't care about losing weight, and looking good and being healthy & fit. I just want my damn cheeseburger!

    So I've played around with cheat meal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it starts a cheat day that goes into cheat weekend. I don't know how to FIX this. I started having a stash of dark chocolate for cravings I have. Bite a small piece and I feel okay, like I'm not denying myself. But what is a good small fix for cheesy, fatty junky meal?

  3. Oh, El - I hear ya!!! I know the exact feeling, and in those moments nothing - NOTHING else matters much compared to just getting that junk in your mouth and savoring it with complete gusto. Ah, I love those moments. And McDoubles.

    I think the *closest* thing that can compare to that feeling (if not always outweight it) is feeling proudly in control. I really get a genuine rush from that, though it takes a little longer to take over and isn't always available (in my case) "in the moment". That feeling only arrives after I leave the kitchen or bakery or McD's vicinity and get something else in my mind to push aside the food lust. When I realize I've done this, it feels pretty great. However, I don't always last until that moment arrives. But very gradually, more often with more practice, I'm having those moments. That counts!!! It's not just the failing moments that count, dammit! Why do we let ourselves think that?

    I think that when it's inevitable and you're going to order the McDouble or chocolate croissant or whatever else, it could be HUGELY beneficial to our long term mind set to just tell ourselves "OK, I'm caving in to the pressure right now. I'm going to savor this big juicy piece of crap $1 McDonald's burger SOOOO MUCH that it will be worth having to work it off and possibly see a dent in my progress this week. (And they are on the dollar menu - see, I DO know your situation firsthand!) Acknowledge that you're still in control, and you're deciding to give in on this indulgence and savor it and then deal with the consequences later. Then eat it SLOWLY and think about all that...maybe you'll reassure yourself it IS worth it. Maybe you'll decide while chewing that it actually isn't really worth it, and you'll give the rest to your dog. Or choose differently next time. Or spit it out the window and drive away. But the key, I believe, is to remain in control. Yep, control your own caving in! It's only when we feel we lost control that all the other junk foods start parading through our minds chanting "eat me! eat me!" and we do as we're told.

    Cave small, and without guilt. Start that way. Then eventually you can work on caving only when you pre-plan it. But reality is, we're all gonna cave sometimes. That's life.

  4. PS - no way you gained 3.6 lbs *of fat* in 2 days.

  5. El!
    I completely and utterly know the feeling. I have actually been the feeling the exact same way the past few days! I feel much better today though thank goodness! Nobody is perfect just remember! I like to think that if I eat an ice cream cone every once in a while I am doing good! I know it is unrealistic to say I will NEVER eat ice cream again in my life so I just try and find a day I can add it to my calories! I try to remind myself often when I want let's say...a brownie...that it has no control over me! It is just a brownie, I am in control! I know how thebrownie will make me feel so why give in? I am trying to teach myself to just take a bite or so of things that I am seriously craving! :)
    wish you well! xoxo

  6. I always find it feels good until the last bite then it sucks and I regret it bitterly. After a YEAR at this and putting myself on a strict regime I am finally starting to feel like I can cope with cravings and ignore them. It has been a long road to realising that binging for me was a punishment.

  7. I know all these feelings too well. I ALWAYS regret it so badly.. it's an addiction that is pretty hard to kick.

  8. Losing weight, honoring my hunger signals, and recovering from my ED is the HARDEST thing I have ever done! I have tons of work ahead of me but just like you, there's hope that I will be all that I desire - all that I dream of. As a result, giving up is NOT an option. While I may succumb to my unhealthy desires but the next day/week/month, I will start again! Hang in there and be encouraged!

  9. Btw, you are a success story! You've lost over 30 lbs, you are dealing with your emotions and you are addressing the pink elephant in the room on your successful and encouraging blog! I bet you/we can think of several others things that make you a success story and it has nothing to do with the number on the scale!

    1. That's so kind Ro. You're right. Two bad days do not erase all my hard work and all the strides I have already made. Thanks.

  10. There are definitely times when it feels easy. Then there is everything else. When it's hard. When we binge. When we cave, and crave, and gorge.

    It's funny - with most addictions, you are supposed to quit 100% forever (alcohol, smoking, drugs...). But we have to eat to live. And frankly?? That's what makes it so darned hard!

  11. I totally understand where you're coming from! As a fellow MFPer, I too thought weight loss was easy until I reached the 3/4 mark of 48lb down, now I'm frantically working out just to earn some my calories to fit a small treat in. There's no way I could give up chocolate, I already gave up alcohol and take away, what more does my body want from me?!


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