Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Am The Size Of Two Of Me

I am a yo-yo. One year I am fat, the next I am much better off 30 lbs. lighter. Then something happens, always health related, and I get fat again. Then I will lose a bunch, often health related, only to gain it back again when something else happens. I use food. I abuse food. I allow it to comfort me when I don't feel good. I let it entertain me when I am bored. I welcome its indulgence when I need a reward. I expect it to cheer me up when I am down. I have a deep and complex and well-established relationship with food. It is not just something to satiate hunger, sustain survival, but a lifestyle centered around eating. And watching TV shows about cooking and eating, and executing a social life around eating and drinking. We have taken a raw necessity of human survival, placed all sorts of cultural or religious or social conditions around it, and turned food into a complex placeholder in the execution of our modern day traditions. 

I am the fattest I have ever been in my life right now thanks to Prednisone and lack of self-control. I put on my fattest fat pants this morning that I have not worn in a few weeks, freshly laundered and dryer dried of course, and had to squeeeeze into them. I am talking button-popping, muffin top exploding jumping up and down to get them up tight. And today is my official first day off Prednisone after 6 months of crack-headed mania from the wonder drug that saved my life. So what am I going to do about it? I finally have my illusion of control back, but it was never a very disciplined illusion to begin with. How do I set about losing this weight? No diet. Diets you go off of and gain the weight back. No Weight Watchers or Nutri-System or program. Tried them all, done them all. For me they work for only a little while. No, this has to be true and long-lasting, life sustaining weight loss. How do I prioritize diet, exercise and weight loss in the schedule of my life? How do I place it over the pain?

Why have I assumed eating poorly lessens my Fibromyalgia symptoms? For that would be the only rational reason to indulge, when in truth it is quite the opposite. Eating crap makes me feel like crap. But for some reason on the way down, it tastes so good as to momentarily satiate my pain, releasing endorphins that feel good for the moment, but are quickly much worse after. I would relish the opportunity to go on the Master Cleanser but think it a wee bit premature. I have to remember I am a stroke survivor and to be gentle with my body. And then that is why all this extra weight concerns me... Back to the central problem at hand. I know what I should do, which is cut out anything processed, fried, cheese or creamy and get my booty to the gym. Make the right choices and take the emotion out of food. Remove a lifetime of habit of associations. Oh this is a tough one, I am working on here. Maybe its something you gotta take day by day, choice by choice. And if you make the right one 95% of the time you look good and are healthy. But if you want chocolate covered macaroon crust coconut cheesecake covered in coconut cream, OHMYGOD! more than 2x a year, you are gonna have problems.

Thanks for joining,

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  1. I wish you the best of... Well, not luck but maybe strength? I could lose one of me and still be 50 lbs overweight. I have fibro, lupus, and herniated disks.

    There is a surge of dopamine when we eat that we get addicted to. When we eat, we do feel better. I personally use food to fill up a hole in me that can't be filled with food, and I I've done it for 30 years (I just turned 38), and man is it a to try and be mindful when I want to indulge.

    I wish us both strength!

  2. i am sort of in the same boat. i think i'm pre-fibro, etc. i've chosen to live in the tundra with my parents (i'm a single parent, my daughter is 7). i know living here causes undue gloom for me but i came to help them out $$ and so my daughter could be around them. so...since being here i keep watching my health deteriorate. it's funny because in your mind's eye you absolutely know what you could do/need to do to start on a better path but then i go buy another bag of york peppermint patties! for me, i just don't want to start ... yet. i used to love exercising. it's the dead of winter here. anyways, just wanted to thank you for writing this. i feel like i'm in the same boat but for different reasons. (i moved here from miami - i was there for 3 weeks last september and lost 10 pounds without doing anything!) good luck loving yourself! that's one place we can start. or baby steps. :)

  3. Hi :) Boy can I relate to this! I have MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, just to name a few and have done the steroids off and on. I had gastric bypass surgery but didn't get thin on it, thanks to the steroids I was on for other stuff. It sucks. I'm thinking about trying that book that Dr. Phil is backing, it supposedly kick starts your metabolism by changing things up every 17 days or something. Not sure I can even stick to something for 17 days right now cuz food is my only comfort but we'll see. I wish you the best, thanks for sharing!

  4. I can relate as well. I was on Prednisone up to 160mg a day for 9 months due to nerve damage on the right side of my face. When I get stressed (which is 100% of the time) my right eye goes shut and swells up. The prednisone kept my eye up. But then it didn't work anymore. I gained lots of weight. As I weened myself off the Prednisone, the Fibro showed it's ugly face. It's so hard to get the weight off when I am in so much pain 24/7. I've lost quite a bit in my face, thank God, but the rest is going SO slow.

    Melissa Makowski

  5. if you find out how please share! a fellow sufferer currently over 300lb!
    Leigh at The Sewing Diva

  6. The main thing I would suggest is "tricking" your brain into eating healthier. Start by decreasing the portion size, not yet the complete elimination, of a fave but unhealthy food. Then start substituting a single healthy food here and here, especially if it's something you like, for something you normally eat that's less healthy. If you don't feel too deprived at any given time, you will be more likely to stick with it.

    For instance, replace fried chicken with broiled, or eat one piece of pizza plus a salad instead of three pieces of pizza. Try an apple instead of ice cream. And remember that it takes at least two weeks of consistent adherence to a new lifestyle change before it becomes a habit.

    It took me YEARS to turn my food addiction into something manageable. If you eat more than you had planned, or eat something you told yourself you wouldn't, make the next meal a healthy one. You might need a bit more lean protein in your diet than the food guidelines recommend (I eat about 14grams of protein per meal); this has something to do with fibromyalgia but I don't know why.

    And even if you don't lose a pound, if you are adding healthy foods and decreasing unhealthy ones, your body will improve in other ways that are just as important. Good luck on your journey!