Punishment on the Road to Recovery
I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start attending Overeaters Anonymous to keep myself in check. I tried an online meeting, but it was TOO anonymous for me. I feel like when you’re behind a computer screen you can be whoever you want. Even though everything I said during the online meeting was true, I still felt like there wasn’t a lot holding me accountable. Not that talking to people in person really inhibits lying, but I guess I just can’t fib to someone’s face. I feel like person-to-person, people can see me and see my flaws so there’s no hiding.
So I sought out a real meeting. And then I marinated on actually attending for a few weeks. In the meanwhile, I became a carb monster. Something kicked in around mid-late March and it was like my stomach was screaming “Feed me carbs!” a la the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. I couldn’t get enough! And with Easter candy floating around it was no surprise that I gained 7 pounds. SEVEN. I was so close to my goal of losing 100, and then I gain seven? It was SUCH a slap in the face. Granted, I have been having a hard time fitting in the gym as much as I’d like so it wasn’t a major shock. But this just took the wind out of my sails.
I began beating myself up pretty hard over the carbs. I was obsessing over all the food I’d eaten and didn’t allow myself any wiggle room. I became pretty aggravated that all of my time was spent thinking about food by either being pissed at myself for eating it, fantasizing about having things I shouldn’t, or loathing it so much that I didn’t want to even smell it. I felt sort of masochistic, so I started looking into insane workouts to “correct” the problem. Literally, one is called The Insanity Workout, which incidentally I still might do. And I’ve been taking the stairs at work every day…7 flights up and 7 flights down, at least twice a day. Seven seems to be my magic number!
Anyway, I decided there was no longer any reasonable excuse and after a mini-meltdown I attended an OA meeting last Friday with M. The beginning of the meeting was a little boring with all the general stuff to get over like reading through some of the steps in the 12-Step program. But when we got to the part where people speak, it really got to me. Because it’s anonymous I don’t want to share specifics, but there were some young people in attendance and hearing their stories really helped me see that punishing myself over and over, mentally or physically, isn’t going to fix whatever the problem is that’s causing me to want to eat when I’m not hungry. I need to accept my mistake, and move forward.
While having dinner with someone I’ll call an FFF, or former fatty friend who also had the surgery, she and I talked a lot about what happens on down the road since she’s 2+ years out from her surgery day. One of the things she mentioned to me was that perhaps my body was craving those carbs because I wasn’t getting enough. And thinking back, I really hadn’t allowed myself many carbs at all. I think my body reached a point where it said “enough is enough!” and wreaked havoc. Just that little bit of information made me feel so much more empowered, like I could forgive my indiscretions because I now knew the cause.
And wouldn’t you know, the scale is already showing 4 pounds of loss, so I’m 6 away from my goal and 3 away from where I was a few weeks ago. I’m not saying I haven’t paid more attention to the food that goes into my mouth, or that the stairway hasn’t made my behind feel a little more toned. But perhaps just that positive outlook has helped me along too.
I’d like to go back to more OA meetings. They say to “keep coming back – it works if you work it.” Hopefully I can keep working it, mentally and physically, so that I can allow myself to heal from the wounds of being overweight. More on those later, but for now I’ll just end as always.
Thanks for reading. – A