Food addiction and self-sabotage
I think it is extremely important, when losing weight, to change our attitude towards food and eating. It is not enough to begin on a diet and expect that you will make it through on willpower alone. If you think that a healthy food is something you HAVE to eat to lose weight then you wont last long. To consider a diet as “a sour medicine you have to take to lose weight” then you wont stick to the weightloss plan. To lose weight and maintain ideal weight is a lifelong task. It is not something you do only for few months, lose the extra pounds, and then go back to your old eating habits, because there is a reason you are overweight, plain and simple, and its your eating habits. As long as you keep going back into the same tracks you are doomed to failure, and you will never lose the extra weight permanently, no matter how many times you go on a diet. It is my opinion that if you are trying to solve the problem with the same solution every time and fail, then its certainly time to change tactic. It is a fact that you cant both have the cake and eat it, nearly literally. You will never ever be able to get succeess with weightloss untill you drop FOR GOOD the old eating habits that made you overweight.
For most overweight people food has become addiction in a similar way as alchohol for drunks. You dont have to dig deep to find similarities with those two addictions. F. Ex. Why do you keep on eating food that is making you gain weight? Most often it is because you think that eating that food makes you feel better, you simply get high on food. The same with drunks. Why do they keep on drinking booze when it is ruining their life? Simply because they think it makes them feel better. Even though you feel terrible when you overeat, you simply cant stop yourself. To feel that way is the essence of addiction. Thats what its all about. When you feel that way, you are addicted to food, simple as that. In that stage, no fab diet will do any good, because you will always relapse into the life of food addiction. If you are on a diet and you are constantly thinking of food that you cant have, and that you are looking forward to eat when you finish the diet, then you are not solving anything. It is the same as the drunk that becomes sober for few months, gets his life back on track, only to start to drink again and end up in exactly the same situation as before.
When I started on my weightloss I was completely lost on how I should handle it. I expected that I could do it all by willpower and by denying myself junk-food. Soon I realized that it wouldnt work at all that way, so I started to deal with it like it was an addiction, not an appetite or self-control problem. After few months in weightloss I made the decision that I wouldnt go into my old eating pattern ever again. I said to myself, that I couldnt “eat freely” ever again. I had tried it but I ended to be 403 lbs and miserable. I couldnt be trusted to eat without control so it was very important to be always in control. I realized it was just a question on finding a method that could help me get the control back and stick to the method (foodplan and weighing all the food).
Some of you might think that it is difficult to follow such a big decision, and that it would make my life so dull and boring not to be able to eat junk again. Believe me, this decision made things so much easier. When I stopped feeling like I was doing something I HAD to do to lose weight, and changed it into something I embraced and welcomed in my life, then the weightloss stopped being a day to day struggle of food denial. When I realized that there was no X time in my life where I would start to pig out again on everything I felt like putting in my mouth, then I stopped flirting with my mind on how much this tasted great and that I wanted to eat this and that. A drunk will never stop his drinking permanently untill he makes the decision of not letting booze be a part of his life anymore.
It is not enough just to make the decision on this, you have to follow it through by doing things that are essential. First you have to dig deep into yourself and find out why you are eating. What is the thing that triggers it? As with any addiction it is very important to resolve feelings that have been kept hidden with food. When you are eating to dull your true emotions, to dull the wound in your soul that you have gotten one way or the other, then they WILL surface when you start losing weight, it is just a thing that always happens. When they do, you have to resolve them. Dont try to dull them again by quitting the weightloss or starting another addiction. I know it is very scary when you start to feel those real feelings again, and it is very common that people start to eat again when it happens, but you have to face them!! Otherwise everything will be so much more a struggle, including the weightloss. Just think it this way: When you see a horror movie, the most scary ones are those were you dont see the monster clearly. It gets to be 100 times scarier then if you get to see it in every detail. The same with hidden emotions, feelings and problems. As soon as you look them in the eyes they stop being so scary and dangerous. As soon as you start to feel the familiarity in it then it is no longer frightening.
Another thing that is important, is to expose what is really going on when you crave certain food or feel the urge to binge. Dont accept cravings as a feeling or emotion that you have to obey, that you have no control over. To say “I cant help it” is giving up on the spot, because then you cast away all responsibility of your own actions and you accept to be out of control. If you think you are not responsible over your actions then who is? To withstand cravings for food you have to debate to yourself, you have to tell yourself good reasons why you shouldnt obey to the cravings. F.ex. if you have a crazy cravings for icecream (or any other food that makes you gain weight) then you should ask yourself: Is it really worth it to throw away everything I have worked for, to lose the belief in myself, to feel out of control, guilty, a loser, failure...... just to have the taste of icecream in my mouth for few minutes? Is the taste of icecream more important then my success in life? Is the taste of icecream more important then my health? Is the taste of icecream more important then feeling good in my own skin? Is the taste of icecream worth having people stare at my fat ass everytime I go out in public? Is the taste or icecream in my mouth for a few minutes worth having people point at me and making fun of me? Is the taste of icecream good enough to risk my own health and ultimately my own life? Wouldnt it be better to have a piece of fruit instead, they taste great and they DONT ruin my life ................. Just continue debating in your mind all the reasons why you shouldnt have that da... icecream untill you dont want it anymore. It sounds incredible but this thing works!! Just remember also to tell yourself that you are in control and not that craving, and never ever never tell yourself “I cant help myself”, because then you have just made an excuse for having that icecream, not a very good excuse but just enough to convince yourself that you should eat that icecream. Do this to every craving you get, one icecream at a time, one donut at a time, one candy at a time.
At the same time you should also do the same thing to food that you should eat to lose weight, just reverse it: Say to yourself, Isnt this tomato great tasting, and it is making me feel good about myself, it is giving me success, it is helping me gaining control over my life, it is giving me my health back, it is giving me my happiness back, it is making all my dreams true, Wow, I am just so grateful and so lucky to get to eat this tomato.
To do this is very effective if you do it always when you eat healthy food, one tomato at a time, one fruit at a time. It really conditions yourself into liking the healthy food, and it helps you connect happy feelings with it, and ultimately you will start to feel the same way about healthy food as you did with the junkfood. You will start to crave for healthy food instead of the junkfood, since you are always connecting negative feelings with the junkfood everytime you think about it. It takes few months to reverse the feelings about food, but when you get to the point where you crave healthy food, the weightloss journey gets 100 times easier, because then it isnt about denying oneself the food we crave, but to crave the food you should eat. Then you dont have to constantly deny yourself of anything anymore and you stop struggling with cravings and the food addiction.
I also want to say something about self-sabotage when you are trying to lose weight. I see so many are struggling in the beginning of the diet, when they have lost the initial 10-30 lbs. It seems that nearly everyone that starts to lose weight panics in the beginning, including me. I remember when I had lost the first 20-30 lbs I nearly freaked out for a few days. I got such a strange feeling when I realized I was losing weight, I got really scared and anxious, and I started to think constantly about reasons to quit the diet. Luckily I kept my head clear and started to dig deep into those feelings, because I saw they could ruin my weightloss. What I ultimately found out was that I was probably panicking because I was afraid of leaving a part of my life behind. I had been overweight for so long that I didnt really know any other reality. I was miserable in the life I led, but on the other hand it was the only thing I knew. I knew exactly what it meant, what could happen, where my place in the world was, it was simply very familiar and in a strange way I felt safe in this misery of a life. All my extra weight was my shield towards the world and I was starting to lose that shield so I felt very vulnerable and afraid. I knew that I was on my way to a much better life but it was so scary because I really didnt know what to expect, what would happen, where my place in life would be. I think this fear is very common and understandable because it is just a part of being human to be more at ease in a situation that is familiar, no matter how much you suffer or sacrifice in that situation. To move on is just scary, no matter where you come from or where you are going. The strange thing is that I didnt realize this untill I had thought a lot about it. I just felt scared and anxious without a clue why I felt like that.
To get through weightloss all the way to ideal weight is filled with all kinds of self-sabotage. The thing I mentioned above is just one thing of many. It sounds incredible that people that dont wish for anything else then to lose weight would sabotage their own weightloss, but it is happening all the time. Most of it happens on a subconcious level and has its roots in old and painful emotions that are dug deep with all the food we have eaten to dull that emotion. They are emotions like self-hatred, low self-esteem, to feel worthless, to feel like a victim of life and all the other feelings that are negative and destructive against oneself. They sabotage the weightloss by making us feel that we arent strong enough to go all the way, that we are a failure and not worth the success, that we deserve being in a miserable place in life. Those emotions are the ones that whisper in your ear “come on, eat that cake, you will fail anyway, just pick it up and put it in your mouth, to eat that cake is what you REALLY want, it is what you NEED, I promise it will make you feel better!”
This is why good self-esteem and to love and accept oneself is so important to have when you are gaining control over the eating. If you have a bunch of negative feelings about yourself and your appearance, it is much harder for you to take control of your life. If you dont trust yourself and if you dont like yourself you wont obey yourself and take control. If you dont like that person you are, you really dont want her to be in charge because you think the negative feelings about yourself are more valid and true then you, so you listen to them instead. It sounds complicated but I hope you get the point.
Here are the latest weightnews: I have gone from 335 lbs to 325 lbs in 3 weeks, so my weightloss in all is 77 lbs in 5 months and 10 days (161 days). To make those numbers interesting:
I have lost over 14 lbs every month, 3.45 lbs every week, a little under 0.5 lbs a day or 0.25 oz an hour. Imagine that!! I am losing every hour 0.25 oz of fat that is a similar amount I use to butter my bread every day, or around 1/3 of the of fat portion I eat every day. AMAZING!!!