Continued from the last post..."The Weekend"
So, I managed to mess up two meals, but I was able to finish yesterday on the right track...which got me to thinking about how once upon a time, if I had messed up at all, I would have already thrown in the towel. Not only would I have thrown in the towel, I would have punished myself for failing with more food. I'm not doing this anymore! I have rid myself of the all-or-nothing mentality!
Ok, so I should tell you my history with weight loss....just so you know how monumental this is for me. I was a chubby kid. I knew what dieting was when I was 5 years old. I remember the arguments that my Dad would have with my grandparents about giving me too much candy b/c he thought that was the source of my chubbiness. I continued to be chubby and eventually my Dad would make me bring him the scale once a week so he could weigh me. He'd sit in his big chair in the living room and I'd stand on the scale in front of him...wanting to cry....b/c I was always afraid of what he'd say. Usually it was something like, "You're gonna have to cut back on your chow" or it would be a lecture. Lectures from my Dad were not boring...they were scary. This eventually led to my habit of sneak eating. My Dad would bring cookies into the house and my family would eat them when I wasn't around. I'd find out about it and of course the cookies would be gone. So, when they'd finally let me have a couple cookies, I'd go back later when no one was watching and take another few, run to my room, and gobble them quickly. (I carried this habit into adulthood) Then I remember being on a diet when I was 9. I lost 10lbs. My Dad was so proud of me...everyone was so proud of me. This particular diet was a family diet, but once my parents got tired of dieting, my diet went out the window too and I gained it back. The last time my Dad weighed me was when we moved to Charlotte. I was 11 and I weighed 120lbs. By the time I was in 9th grade, I weighed 190lbs. Of course my parents kept talking to me about my weight and my Mom mentioned Jenny Craig. So I started Jenny Craig.....and I was their literal poster "child" for a while. I lost 40lbs. Then, Jenny Craig asked me to work for them when I turned 16. By then, I had already started putting on the weight again b/c I couldn't afford to pay for the food anymore. They told me my position had been done away with, but I look back now and wonder if they saw that I was gaining weight but didn't have the heart to tell me that I couldn't work there b/c I had gained. I eventually gained more and more over time. I went to very many therapists to work out my emotional damage. I went to Overeaters Anonymous. I did prescribed fat blockers. I did herbal appetite supressants. I did Weight Watchers 3 times. I did Metabolic Profiling Systems. Each time, I'd lose weight and as soon as I messed up a few times....I gave up. Usually it was when I'd plateau, I'd give up after a while of not losing. Eventually I found out I have PCOS and that was a big part of the physical reason I couldn't lose a lot of weight. I kinda chewed on that for a while, tried meds for PCOS, but they made me sick. So, I just sat around some more....ate some more, not taking meds for PCOS working my way to 390lbs. In all of that time, I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder, had painful surgery for sleep disorder (part of my tongue/soft pallet removed, uvula removed, tonsels removed), got gallbladder disease, had gallbladder removal + another surgery to remove stones in my common duct, my lymphedema got worse, had to have compression therapy for lymphedema, had to have second c-section b/c docs just didn't think I could go natural (probably b/c I weighed well over 300lbs.), I have PCOS, and right before I started losing weight this time I got a gnarly blister on my leg that wouldn't heal b/c it kept leaking fluid (It just finished healing due to me taking care of myself). The positive thing about taking a long break from weightloss was being able to learn how to talk to my loved ones about my eating problems, learn how to forgive those who hurt me, rebuild relationships, learning how to love myself in any stage of life, learning how to be comfortable in my own skin, and seeing how truly bad things can get when morbid obesity is left unchecked. The biggest thing of all I learned during this time was to embrace truth....to embrace being truthful with myself and others....and not being afraid to hear the truth from others.
It's not hard to see why it was so hard for me to get past the all-or-nothing mentality considering everything I went through. I think getting past this way of thinking is key to overcoming yo-yo dieting and the key to enduring the weight loss journey. If we mess up one meal, it doesn't mean we should say "Oh well, messed up today....gonna go eat a quarter pounder for dinner." We don't have to say, "I had a bad day." We can just say, "Hey I messed up on breakfast...I'll do better for lunch and dinner." We don't have undo every bit of progress we make when we mess up by screwing around for the rest of the day.....we just move on. I don't even dread getting back on track now after a mess up b/c I enjoy the food that I eat, and I know that along the way I'll be able to splurge again in modesty. When I totally restrict myself, I don't feel like I'm in control. When I give myself freedom to make good choices and bad choices I feel like I'm living life. I don't hate myself for the bad choices....I may regret them, but I can forgive myself b/c realistically it would be ignorant of me to think that I can EVER be perfect. I just have to learn how to avoid sticky situations and be consistent in eating healthy. I'm not perfect....and it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I think this is the first time ever in my life I've actually applied this mind set. I don't dread a day of this....b/c this time I know I'm going to succeed all b/c I don't expect perfection this time around. That is such a release for me...just wanted to share. :) Have any of you ever struggled with this and was it freeing when you were able to get past it? When was your "ah-ha!" moment about all or nothing thinking? Has it made you more successful in your weight loss? I'd love to hear.