When you’re on a roll

Friday, February 22, 2013 Permalink

I’m visiting my mother this morning. My childhood hometown is only about 35km away from my new place. We try to catch up at least once a week and it’s lovely to have that regular contact.

But… I’m a bit nervous about today’s visit. I’m both worried that I will and that I won’t get on her bathroom scale. You may recall that the last two times I’ve been on it I’ve been shocked about my weight gain which has spiralled me into a ‘woe is me’ kinda tailspin.

It’s been more than a month since I climbed up on the scale of judgement and – quite frankly (and happily) – I’ve been healthier (in terms of my eating AND mentally) over the past month than I have been for a year or so.

I know some readers are disappointed I’m not being more rigorous in my diet and exercise (counting calories or working out regularly), but in my little mind I’m happy with my progress… particularly given that my bingeing had increased since my move almost four months ago.

So, I’ve stopped my bingeing in its tracks. No chocolate for over a month. Danger foods avoided. Thoughts of bingeing have floated into my head and been averted.

On my most recent post about how I was doing, I said I wasn’t claiming to be ‘better’ rather that my behaviour was under control. For now. Karen Anderson left a comment saying, I was not broken and did not need to be fixed. And I was reminded that I actually agree with that. Plus, having read of the experiences of other binge-eaters, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be ‘over’ my temptation to binge-eat. There’s no magic wand. It’s not something that goes away,  just something I need to ‘control’.

But… one thing I was particularly keen to start working on was the size of my evening meals. I eat too much. (There, I said it!) I eat a lot of carbs (yes, I know), but too much in general.

As I’m serving it up I know my plate is too full. I know that going back for seconds (or thirds) when I’m already full is a mistake – but I can’t help myself. It’s usually so yummy I just need to keep eating. I tell myself I can have the leftovers tomorrow, but doesn’t work. The whole deprivation mentality kicks in and I start to worry about not having ‘enough’.

But… I know I need to change that. And last night… DISASTER!

Again, I’m not cured or fixed and that was just ONE dinner, but still… some may scoff, but I’m celebrating the small wins. (Positive reinforcement etc etc!) And I’m continuing to focus on making small changes.

Which all brings me back to my original point – and yes… you were wondering if I’d get there!

Do I, or don’t I get on the scale at my mother’s?

I read a lovely post by Tony Schober (Coach Calorie) on MizFit Online recently. He suggested that weight loss should be a side-effect of a healthy lifestyle NOT our primary goal.

I love the idea that I could start making healthy choices and lose weight as a result; rather than attempt to lose weight by making healthy choices. If that makes sense. Usually weight loss is the end goal for me. It’s not about being healthy. Hell, I dream that someone will put me in a coma and drip feed me for 3mths to force me to lose weight! It’s rarely the process and usually just the result which interests me.

Of course, if I get on the scale and HAVE lost weight – it will be more positive reinforcement that I’m doing something which feels mentally healthy but is physically healthy as well. But if I get on and HAVEN’T lost weight (or lost barely any weight), I’ll wonder what on earth the point is and possibly go back to chocolate, corn chips and endless vanilla diet coke. I know the naysayers will suggest that discovering I haven’t lost weight will force me to look more closely at my diet and say it’s a cop-out NOT to get on the scale; but I can’t help but lean towards the first option… in that I continue to feel a sense of achievement and wellbeing (despite what the scale might say).

I know I’ve talked before about weighing or not-weighing (a lot!), but what are your thoughts on ‘weightloss being just a side effect of a healthier lifestyle’? Is it something you aspire to?
Do you believe we’re ever over binge / destructive eating tendencies (as opposed to the occasional eagerness to overeat, which I’m pretty sure lives in most people!)?

  • Char
    February 22, 2013

    I used to weigh myself all the time and it just did my head in. I’m talking about a couple of times a day. And I’d freak out if I’d gained a little weight – which of course you do over the course of a day. Crazy stuff! Now I hardly ever weigh myself but that works for my particular brand of crazy. I don’t know that I’ll ever be truly comfortable with numbers on scales but I’m a lot more comfortable with my shape and size.

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2013

      Oh yes Char, when I was anorexic I was on constantly. THen when ‘dieting’ I’m constantly on. Just before weigh-in I’m on after work, after dinner, before bed, during the night and first thing the next morning for my official weigh-in! Scary!

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga
    February 22, 2013

    When I put weight loss on the back burner and put my relationship with food and myself on the front burner… that’s when the magic happened. You have to want a healthy peaceful relationship with food MUCH MORE than weight loss.

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2013

      Yes Jill, I’m actually feeling pretty good about where I am now. And… da dum! I got on the scale and have indeed LOST weight! Love that it’s almost a ‘side effect’ of focussing on my eating and feel less bad about the fact I haven’t been focussing on my exercise as much!

  • Liz
    February 22, 2013

    Deb, I really like what Jill had to say.
    here’s something for thought – what would your behaviours be like if you never set foot on a scale again?
    It’s nice to see you being nice to “you” for a change.

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2013

      Thanks Liz. And yes, I also loved Jill’s comment. I was ‘judging’ me in quite a positive light before I contemplated getting on the scale.

  • Satu
    February 22, 2013

    I’ve had a difficult relationship with weigh ins. 🙂 I stopped weighing myself altoghether in 2009, then I ballooned rather suddenly (over 10 kgs) but that was probably more to do with my depression than not weighing myself. Now I’m back to weighing myself once a week and I’m trying to learn a better way to relate to the numbers on the scale.

    I don’t think I have ever really binged, but I do overeat from time to time. I don’t think that will ever stop and weight-wise, occasional overeating is probably not a problem.

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2013

      I agree Satu and suspect that most people overeat from time to time and guess if it’s not a regular thing and doesn’t impact on their health then it’s okay.

      I like your comment about trying to find a better way to ‘relate to the numbers on the scale’.


  • Jess
    February 22, 2013

    About 10 years ago I went through a brutal ED, which was preceded with and followed with binge eating. In fact binge eating is what got me to actually gain the weight back. Very unhealthy mentally. Honestly I have always found talking about the binging to be more confronting then the ED.

    I have found since I changed my focus to feeling and being healthy I am a weight I’m happy with (mostly) and I almost never binge. If I do have the rare binge I don’t panic (which only ever lead to further binging) because I know I can go l can maintain a healthy weight.

    The times when I have successfully lost weight have been when I made changes for health not weight loss. Ie I started walking to work instead of the bus. It was slow and steady weight loss but after 3-6 months people were commenting.

    I can barely handle the scale because in my head I really want to see low numbers that pleased me during my ED. In reality I know I look fine many kilos heavier, but it still depresses me.

    See how you feel. I honestly think slow and small changes add up and have the best overall success rate. If you’re not ready for the scale wait until next visit. Sorry for the novel response.

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2013

      Slow and small changes are what I’m aiming for at the moment I think!

      And I can relate to your fear of the scale. I think I’ve written before about my anorexic years and how the scale became the bane of my life. I don’t think you ever REALLY get past that.


  • Anne
    February 23, 2013

    I couldn’t agree with you more, binge-eating is not something that goes away but something that needs to be controlled. However controlling it is not as easy as it seems and I know that from experience. My weight gain happened too fast that it came to a point where I needed help. I didn’t want to go under the knife so I opted for a pill that a friend recommneded, which is called Liproxenol. Not the first pill I tried but was certainly the last.

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2013

      I’ve never heard of Liproxenol Anne, but am really glad it worked for you!

    • Alex
      March 3, 2013

      My doctor recommended this to me as well, but I am quite skeptical on taking a diet pill as an aid for weight loss. Most of them are not really effective and/or safe. Well, that’s what I would hear from other people.
      As much as I would like to stick to a diet and exercise plan everyday, my profession would always get in the way as it would require me to eat frequent meals to get me through the day. Which lead me to be the unfit and not-so-confident-and-feeling-bad-about-herself lady. I need help, I realized. Any tips would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

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