I have already mentioned that I’ve felt mentally healthier (and far less angsty) during recent times when I’ve not-dieted. Releasing myself from the SHOULDS and MUSTS is incredibly freeing. The gnawing guilt that envelopes me disappears. Mostly.
However, I’ve also commented recently that I’m feeling the ‘need’ (indeed, more of a desperate need) to lose weight. It isn’t about vanity – for a change. And I don’t think it’s really about self-acceptance or self-hatred. It’s about the fact that I struggle in Zumba with my fitness and my weight on my ankles and shins. When I walk I get shin splints and my back aches. In yoga I can’t do certain poses because my bloody stomach is there… in the way. Naturally when struck by this realisation I panic.
I’ve already shared my thinking. I was going to go on protein shakes. Skip carbohydrates altogether or at least at night. I even considered lapbanding.
And just as naturally, when struck by these thoughts old habits kicked in and I started bingeing. A lot. People on Facebook and Twitter have seen the evidence. Brownies (AGAIN!), fudge, chocolate, corn chips. I haven’t even wanted this stuff a lot of the time but had it anyway – cos soon I was ‘not going to be allowed to have it as I was about to start dieting’. #viciouscircle
I’ve struggled with the ‘how to not-diet but still lose weight’ question for a long time. I expect that ultimately – IF I stop forcing myself to not eat certain things and listen to my body, giving myself the freedom to satisfy its cravings and needs, it will eventually ‘win’ over my mind and I’ll be less inclined to ‘feel’ like bingeing. I do see that there could eventually be a light at the end of the very long disordered-eating tunnel.
However, I know this will take time and – recently – I’ve felt that sense of urgency. I’ve had a deadline you see.
I’m going to a blogging conference/training event in about three weeks and stressing that I’ve gained weight since I last attended the same event. I do realise that bloggers I know and love (and like) won’t really care. And as for everyone else… I’m small fry in the world of Oz blogging so no one will be looking at me. And, it’s not a health and fitness event, so in that regard it’s just the vanity and self-consciousness issue (not to mention the fact that NOTHING fits me!).
However, I am doing a pop-up event after the conference for health and lifestyle bloggers and I am somewhat concerned that I’ll feel out-of-place: a fatty-boom-bah amidst a sea of svelte gorgeous creatures.
I’ve stressed off and on about this over the past month or more – constantly calculating how much weight I could possibly lose between now and then. (10kg when I had 4-5 weeks; probably 7kg now with 3 weeks, but by next week it’ll be 5kg and – quite frankly – I won’t look any different in a fortnight anyway!) Plus I always cringe when I hear of people dieting to a deadline (school reunions, weddings and the like!).
And then, a couple of weeks ago while lying in bed, I was struck by the realisation that this conference would simply come and go and there was NOTHING I COULD DO about it.
I reminded myself that there’s no finish line in terms of my weight loss or my ‘life’ (well, I know there is… but you know what I mean!). Slowly moving towards my goal weight would be an achievement in itself I realised. NOT obsessing constantly about dieting, bingeing or exercising would ease my stress and free my mind for more positive pastimes (akin to the minds of ‘normal’ people! 😉 ).
So, I realised that IF I can forget about the conference and my concerns about how I will be perceived, then I can potentially forget about the binge dieting, and with that, the binge eating.
Voila! Crisis averted. Problem solved.
So I thought.
I felt such a sense of comfort and relief when I sat down to write about my thoughts the next day. But then… as I started writing my mindset changed again. Completely. For once the light of day didn’t make things better. For once my witching hour thoughts were more measured and evolved. The post got shelved as I again calculated how much weight I could drop before mid September.
And now… I’m resurrecting the post because it’s on my mind.