This is a hard post to write, because it’s something that a lot of people can easily judge a person on.
I am/was a binge eater.
It really started around middle school. My afternoon has always been a snack fest, which I’m still currently trying to work on. I would eat mostly junk food and lots of it. I would do something like completely fill up a bowl with ice cream, mindlessly eat that, and sometimes go for seconds. I would eat 2-3 snack cakes or half of a bag of chips. Thinking back, I was ashamed of my snacking habits and I’d even hide the trash under trash from that morning so no one noticed. It was almost every day that I would do this. It was a problem.
When I got to high school, I’d stay after school for activities. I’d buy 2 candy bars from the vending machine and a soda, thinking nothing of it. And when I started working at a grocery store, things just got worse. I would always buy myself snacks after work, and just eat it all in the car before I got home. I wanted the snack, but I didn’t want anyone to see me eating it. I slowly gained weight in high school, but it wasn’t anything drastic that would alarm anyone. I went from a size 16 to a size 20 in high school.
When I got to college, I kept having random meals when I wasn’t hungry. I’d eat my 3 regular meals, but during late nights, it just felt right to go to Jack in the Box or Canes. I didn’t need the food, but hey, who was gonna stop me? My habits in the cafeteria alone were terrible. I’d have seconds or sometimes, even thirds. And don’t get me started on the free ice cream…I’d have at least two servings of that. One during the meal and one to go. I actually didn’t gain any weight in college, though. I’m pretty sure walking a few miles/day to classes and student organizations had a little something to do with that.
However, when I graduated and entered the real world, aka 8 hours/day behind a computer, it really caught up to me. I moved back in with my parents, and continued my same terrible habits. I gained about 20 lbs. after college fairly quickly, and realized that my work clothes were no longer fitting. I also became engaged to my husband around that time, so I knew I had to do something. I started on Weight Watchers, and lost the weight that I gained post-college. I was on cloud 9 at our wedding…240 lbs.
After the pressure of the wedding let off, I found myself back to my old ways. I’d tell myself weekly that I’d start going back to the gym and eating better, but I didn’t. I would eat a treat every day after work, and I ate fast food for lunch. Dinners weren’t much healthier, and I ate until I was completely stuffed. And in between, I just snacked all the time. I remember after work one day ordering a full meal from a fast food place just as a snack. I wasn’t hungry, but I had a terrible day at work…I just didn’t care. I also ate a full dinner that night. With habits like that it’s no surprise that I gained 58 lbs. Seriously. No surprise.
I had a series of wake-up calls that led me to taking control of my life.
- I fit in a pair of size 26 pants and 3x tops.
- It felt like a chore to walk sometimes.
- ALL of my clothes in the closet were completely tight. It was bad.
- I couldn’t fit in a booth anymore without squeezing my stomach in.
- The scale was dangerously close to 300 lbs.
So, after the holidays last year, I saw the 298 and thought that this was it. 2012 is my year to change. I have to change, especially if I want to expand our family….even at 250 lbs., my doctor said I would probably have fertility problems, as well as a higher risk pregnancy. Now I know that weight doesn’t fix fertility problems, and I have no idea if I truly have fertility problems (we’ve never tried). However, I wanted to rule out weight as a problem for when we are ready for kids, so on January 1st (after drinking an entire bottle of wine out of a Solo cup on NYE…so classy), I made the decision to change.
It was VERY hard to not give into my urges. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the grocery store, and just wanted to buy a pint of ice cream or a bag of cookies. I started calorie counting, and truly treated my calories like a budget (for the most part….I do have a splurge meal from time to time). Every time I have an urge at home, I grab something to work on, whether it’s knitting, sewing or heck…just cleaning or writing a to-do list. It helps. I avoided baking for a while (which stunk, because baking is SUCH a fun hobby of mine), because I knew I could easily eat 4-5 servings of a dessert without even thinking. The first time I got back into baking, after everything cooled, I set one serving aside to enjoy, and put the rest on a plate with saran wrap and then even taped the bottom of the plate to make it more difficult to give in to my urges. I know…extreme, but my binge eating was extreme and I didn’t want to go back there. Months later, I stick to my one serving and sometimes even a half serving of the food I bake.
I’m still battling those urges today. It really only happens in extremes…either when life is stressful or if I find myself extremely bored, it takes a lot to tell myself “no” to those urges to just eat everything. I’m not perfect…sometimes I’ll give in and eat what I want (I always stop myself after that one meal), but I’m doing much better than I used to. My weight loss is at 50 lbs., and I know since I’ve been doing this for 10 months, those results could be much better. I’m human though, and I know that fighting the urges to binge are going to probably be a lifetime struggle.
The past two weeks have been a little difficult. The scale just stayed put, and it has been SO hard not to binge. It really truly was. Last night, I decided to go through my SD card and found a photo of myself from August of last year. I ended up turning on the camera phone and took a picture of myself right then and there. I was shocked.
You see, when I take my progress shots every ten lbs., I just see that same shape. I know things are getting smaller, because smaller clothes fit, but I didn’t see 50 lbs. of progress in my latest pictures.
However, the face? Oh man…I can’t tell you how stoked I am to finally see results like that. The face shows those 50 lbs. My body (to me)….ehh not quite, but my face? I definitely see it now. Talk about re-motivated! Only 9.3 more lbs. to go until 20%. C’mon Amy, let’s do this!