LOSING IT -Update

“TRIGGER WARNING” This blog contains information about abuse, which may be triggering to survivors.

It has been quite a while since I did a “Losing It” blog post. Some of you who followed the series have asked how it is going. I am excited and terrified to report that I am only ten pounds from my next big goal. I have been working towards this goal since January 2010.  I lost 65 pounds, put back on close to 20, and now have lost those plus another 8 for a total of 73 pounds. Achilles tendon surgery followed by knee surgery last May has hindered my progress.

I actually started this process in January of 2007. I not only joined the gym but I actually worked out 3 times a week. I started a food log and did all the right things. I started losing rapidly at first. It slowed down but stayed constant at about 3 pounds a week. It came to a screeching halt when my friend Jan died.

Two things happened at that time. I blamed Jan’s death on her gastric bypass and loss of over 100 pounds. If that is the toll losing weight took, I wanted no part of it. The second thing was reverting to my old way of coping-emotional binge eating. Food has been a way of dealing with pain and anger since I was a child. Food never let me down. I was in control when I ate (or so I thought.) Science has shown that binge eating effects brain chemistry releasing serotonin and endorphins. It is in essence “getting high” on food.

The first time I remember this type of eating was when I was nine years old. I was already a “chubby” child so I feel sure this wasn’t the first time. My “relative” had come to town for the weekend. He always stayed at our house. He took me with him to visit some friends that Saturday. I knew how this day would end but I tried to put it out of my mind.

I read a blog by Joy Cannis the other day.  http://joycannis.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/3-things-the-girl-in-your-life-needs-to-know/

She says, “We females are born with the same questions we are asking in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 100’s… Those are these;

 Do you notice me?              Am I beautiful?                  Am I special?”

I didn’t feel any of those things-not at home, not at school, not at church. So I was willing to take them any way I could. And when “relative” came to town, I felt all three. When he left town, I felt empty, confused, and ashamed.

Monday after lunch, Grandmother went to the store to pick up a few things. The new McDonald’s was next to that store. I asked permission to get a soda while she shopped. I walked up to the counter with my five-dollar bill and ordered not only a soda, but also two cheeseburgers and two fries. It felt so good while I was eating them. I ate them quickly and headed back to the car with my soda.

Grandmother got in the car. I handed her the change. I was ready with a great lie if she asked about the change. She didn’t look at the change, but quickly shoved it into her purse.

“What is that smell?” It smells like French fries. Did you eat fries when you were over there?”

I wasn’t prepared for that question.  “Um, no I didn’t. The store smelled like fries so maybe the cup or me smells like them now.”  She started the car and we headed home. Narrow escape, but I was in the clear.

As time went on, I became better at hiding and lying about my food consumption. For a period in my life, alcohol and drugs replaced the food. Once I was free of them, food came back as my high. It was another addiction to face.

In January 2010, my therapist helped me confront my challenge with food. It was the last thing we worked on together. I often hear people say that smoking was the hardest addiction to overcome. While it was extremely difficult to quit, my lifelong affair with food is my greatest challenge.

Yesterday I attended a celebration of volunteers with my job. We had some of the best food there. There was BBQ, chicken, pasta, a variety of side dishes, and or course desserts. One table was set aside for the sweets. When I walked anywhere near the food area, my eyes were drawn to the luscious chocolate layer cake, the decadent brownies, the creamy butter cream frosted sheet cake, the mouthwatering homemade cookies, and other delectable goodies.

I turned away, refusing to let their lies seduce me. “One won’t hurt you. You can make up for it tomorrow at the gym. Don’t be rude, your friends worked hard on this. Come on, you have to give in once and a while. You have been doing so well; certainly you can enjoy a special occasion like this.”

I fixed my place taking only fruit, cheese, and a few wheat thins. I kept the portions very small.  Later I returned when someone brought the most delicious chicken with garlic.  I did allow myself to have one cookie. I asked a friend to get it for me. It was one of those weird cookies with chocolate and oats. I did rationalize that oats are a good source of fiber. And even though I was proud of my victory over the dreaded dessert table, there was a bit of sadness about losing an old friend.

I told you I was excited and terrified to be so close to this goal. I am excited to reach goal and move on to the next one. The next one will be my final goal. Of course, maintaining the weight loss and staying healthy will be my life long goal. I am terrified of failing to reach it. I am terrified of reaching the goal only to lapse into old habits and regain the weight.

Today I have the same request I used when I first posted “Losing It-Part 1”    I ask for your support and encouragement. I ask that you NOT give me advice on how to eat or lost weight.  Believe me, I have read every book, magazine, article, or blog ever written.  I ask you to be honest with me if you see me falling into old ways.   I ask you to accept me as I am no matter the outcome.

Do you notice me?                 Am I beautiful?                    Am I special?

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56 responses

  1. I see you – a very beautiful, very special, very talented, and very strong woman! I will be one of your many cheerleaders encouraging you on toward your goal. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for that. It does mean a lot to me. It doesn’t stop me from going to fun places for lunch. When I first started sharing this journey with people they would say things like “you know if you ate more raw veggies and fruits for snacks it would help.” I wanted to reply, “Really–no s^^t? I would have never thought of that. Did you perhaps think fat equated to stupid?” I realize people are only trying to help but it doesn’t.” I start every day with an extra large tea from Sonic. They all know me and my car. LOL A co worker said, “You know it would help a lot of if didn’t drink that large sweet tea everyday. Do you know how many calories are in that?” I replied, “Why yes I do actually. ZERO It is UNSWEET TEA.” 🙂

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      1. Ha! I hate busybody-ness. And the assumption that overweight = ignorant about health. Argh.

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  2. Your reply to the comment above about the tea made me laugh. I really enjoyed your post and wish you all the courage to press on. I’m proud of your accomplishment so far! I can identify with the sense of losing an old friend. I’ve lost a couple. I think I missed the excitement of anticipation even more than the momentary comfort they gave. Yeah, we had some good times, but overall they weren’t that great as far as friends go. Please have faith that deeper, truer, kinder friends are in your future.

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    1. I spent so many years not allowing anyone to get close to me. I had an intimate relationship with food, alcohol, drugs and other addictions. I cherish friendships I have now and they are better than any addiction. Thank you for your support.

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  3. Much love to someone who inspires me to be the best of who I am everyday.

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    1. Thank you Sonia. Love you my friend and I am also inspired by you.

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  4. It’s wonderful that your weight loss journey is continuing – 73 pounds is to be applauded. Good luck for the rest of your road to a healthy weight!

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    1. Thank you so much.

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  5. Seventy three pounds took a lot of willpower and work. I notice you. Your words alone tell me you’re beautiful. And girl, if you can be victorious over the dessert table, you are definitely special.

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    1. When I reread my blog this morning, I realized my description of the dessert table sounded like it might belong in a romance novel. LOL Thank you for this kind words.

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  6. I totally relate to food as a love affair and an addiction. It has definitely been a high for me across my lifetime. I can’t believe how closely I relate to what you’re saying . And I must say super congratulations on your awesome progress. You are an inspiration!

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    1. I wanted to say I was glad you could relate and I am glad you did but I really hate that anyone can relate to this. Thank you for those kind words. If you need support at any time just email. I love to hear from people who are dealing with the same issues.
      Cathy cathy@cathysvoicenow.com

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  7. The answer to all three of your questions in YES. I wish you the best of luck as you continue your journey.

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    1. Thank you Julia.

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  8. Honest post. Congratulations on the weight loss. Want to hear something I find annoying? I think I heard you say yes. I struggle with food and weight, have gained and lost over the years, but you wouldn’t know that if you looked at me now. My neighbor, to name one, who has put on about 30 pounds of late says to me constantly, I wish I were like you, you can obviously eat anything you want and stay thin. Why would anyone believe that? I actually have the slowest metabolism known to humankind. I’ve given up repeating myself telling her I work hard at it, and that its not easy as I find emotional comfort in food. Its a lifelong lifestyle as you have said above. So good for you in dealing with what happened in your life and forging your way through.

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    1. I was talking to a nutritionist a few months ago. He said, “Don’t you remember when you were 16 and could eat anything you wanted and never gain weight?” I replied, “Ah NO. I have never been that way in my life.” He said, “OH, you are one of those.” My doctor described it as, “you have Cadillac body with a VW engine.” So I totally get the slow metabolism. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
      Cathy

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  9. Jennifer Worrell | Reply

    I loved your honesty! Wonderful writing about an amazing journey! Congratulations!

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  10. Best of luck to you! I admire you for sharing this so openly and I look forward to hearing about the rest of your journey.

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  11. I love the three questions every girl should ask. Never heard that but I want to share it with everyone. Congratulations on your accomplishment and good luck on the next phase. just keep swimming. Erin

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    1. It came from Joy Cannis. I just started following and reading her blog. Her blog is listed on my post. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  12. Be extraordinarily proud of yourself! You are already accomplishing great things.

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    1. Thanks for reading it, Katie.

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  13. Congrats! I love the truthfulness in your sharing. It must take a lot of courage to pen down the experience.

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    1. There is a lot of fear in sharing things like this. Fear of rejection, fear of not being believed, fear of people using truth against you, etc. But there is a tremendous amount of freedom in sharing. And when people say they can understand or relate because they have faced issues as well, I don’t feel quite so alone and I hope they don’t either. Thanks for your comments

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  14. You should be proud of yourself. Thanks for the honesty and best wishes as you keep moving through this.

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  15. oh wow… WOW could i relate to this post. i’m morbidly obese and just found out i have mild diabetes. doc wants me to cut sugar, potatoes, rice, etc etc for four months and go back to re-check my blood. thing is- i know what to do. i know how to do it. i know exactly what i’m doing to myself. i don’t smoke (anymore), drink (anymore). but i eat. and eat and eat. thing is- it’s HARD to break free because food is a necessity to live. as you know. also, for me, i lost 70 pounds in one year (doing low carb) and felt like i had never felt in all my life. and then my dear, dear grandfather passed away (complete surprise) and i, once again, turned to food and never looked back, gaining back all 70 pounds and then some in less than a years time. i’m TERRIFIED… PETRIFIED of having that happen again. which is why i’m morbidly obese and have mild diabetes. they’re all excuses, yes, but, again, food is a necessity to live. one day at a time… that’s what i have to do. that’s what we all can do.
    You’ve done and are doing an amazing job.You are noticed. You are beautiful. You are special.

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    1. I remember going to the doctor about 15 years ago. He put my chart down when he left the office for a minute. I looked over and saw the words, “morbidly obese.” I was horrified. So I did the only thing one could do in that situation. I ate more and gained more weight.
      I know I will fight these demon all my life. BUT I am sharing with friends (old and new) because I learned I can do many things with help that I couldn’t do alone. Good Luck my friend.
      cathy@cathysvoicenow.com

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  16. So many of the things that you said hit home. Especially the lies that we tell ourselves when trying to overcome the desire to eat something “bad” when we know in our heads we shouldn’t. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished thus far and good luck with the rest!

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    1. It makes me feel so much more “normal” to hear other people often have the same thoughts and feeling that I have. Thanks so much.

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  17. Seventy-three pounds is incredible. An early congratulations on reaching your next goal, because after reading this I have no doubt you’ll make it sooner rather than later!

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  18. Like the comment above…73 pounds. That is such a big deal. My neighbor who I love dearly is on a weight loss journey. She is so talented and brilliant — but taking care of her self and not soothing her emotions with stress-eating has taken a huge mind shift. But after 24 months of ups and downs (mostly ups) she has done it…and it sounds like you have too. What a fighter you are. Stay positive and you’ll make that last goal. No doubt.

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    1. Thanks so much. I love hearing that other people are fighting and winning the battle. 🙂

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  19. Sounds like you have achieved something great already and I wish you nothing but success on the rest of your goal!

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    1. Thanks so much

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  20. As a mother of a daughter who had to deal with a “relative” and has a bit of a love affair with food, I really and deeply appreciate this piece. I am so impressed with your diligence and discipline at this point regarding your health and weight loss…and even more impressed by your resilience and willingness to open up to the world. Thank you so much for this. I will remember those three questions without them needing to be asked…and unwaveringly and ceaselessly reply “yes” to them all.

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    1. I am so sorry your daughter had to experience that. I haven’t done this alone. I have had amazing people open themselves to me and support me. My only regret is that I took so long to get here. But each step along the way has been necessary. Thank you for sharing that with me.

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  21. 73 pounds is amazing and you should be proud of yourself! I buried my feelings in food for a long time and even now, 20something years later, when I get stressed or anxious I feel the pull to the food. It’s a battle. You’re doing great, keep up the good work!

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    1. It is a lifelong battle for sure. But with help it can be won. Thanks so much.

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  22. God bless you for this honesty. And for sharing your journey with all of us in such an open way. Because of you others will heal from food addiction and harmful abuse. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for reading the blog and sharing that.

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  23. mondayswithmac | Reply

    That was brave to share. Thank-you.

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  24. Thanks for reading my blog!
    And I am so glad to have found yours. I, too, found food after giving up drinking and smoking. Cookies and ice cream. I bragged about not having a sweet tooth for years. Who knew beer was the same as sugar in my body?
    A day at a time is my mantra.
    But watch out for shopping addiction!

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    1. OH..I already know about that one. Let me buy something because that makes me powerful and in control. And it feels so good. Yeah..sugar and alcohol. That is why they feed us candy and cookies and any form of sugar they can in the early days. LOL

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  25. Cathy, I’m right there with ya on this journey, sister. I started trying to lose weight (again) in January. So far, I’ve lost 17.5 pounds. It’s not a lot, and I’ve got a long way to go, but I understand the dips and curves on the weight loss trail. Best of luck to you as you navigate them, friend.

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  26. I’ve lost and gained and lost and gained. And I also have conversations with myself to both resist and rationalize. Keep up the great work!

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    1. I have those conversations on a daily basis!

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  27. Oh Cathy, your post hits me! I feel as if I’m getting a glimpse into my mother’s soul. Every thing you wrote, every pound lost, gained and emotion, she has over the years articulated to me. I wish you a safe & healthy journey to a place where you feel beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Jackie. I am glad you could relate to it.

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  28. […] wrote about feeling special and loved by my abuser in a blog post.  It was the most confusing thing to know in my soul that this thing that was happening was so […]

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  29. thank you for visiting my blog … I find your writing to be compelling and intriguing, and I hope you will understand when I say that because I am currently working through some serious issues in my relationship with God, as much as I enjoy your words and am interested in what you are saying, my God filter is getting in the way of me being open to your message. Put another way, I hear you, but I can’t hear you. I’m hoping I will progress to a point where I might become a regular follower. Your writing style is bold and sincere, and your story (what little of it I have observed) is powerful. I apologize in advance that my triggers on issues having to do with messages that come through a spiritual filter are so tenuous; and this is from someone who regularly links religious or spiritual music clips on my own blog. Yes, I am completely aware I make no sense. God understands.

    More than anything, I wanted to say that I’m very appreciative you left a bread crumb trail that I can follow, perhaps when I am in a better place in general, and specifically, when I’m closer to resolving my own spiritual triggers. I’m one of those people who wants to be close to God, and yet, despite my own personal experience, (in a positive way), I still sometimes have trouble accepting his existence. I feel removed from him, but not from your words. Hope that made sense.

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  30. […] I started a series called “Losing It” when I first started this blog.  I update it from time to time.  A lot has happened since I last wrote about it so thought this was a good time to share what has been going on.  You can read other posts here and here and here. […]

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  31. […] know well, I can take care of myself.   I have written a little about my experiences here and here. During the class, I debated whether or not I should share anything, but I […]

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