Saturday, April 15, 2023

Diving Deep into the Why

I've been on a roller coaster in terms of my weight loss the last few weeks.  It has caused me to step back and I spent some time this week in deep thought.   Why do I self sabotage.  What is wrong with me that I can go from being so super excited one minute to shoveling food into my mouth the next minute?   There has to be some underlying issue.  What in the world?

So let me recap what has been happening.  I got a stomach bug which was no fun at all!  However, I managed to lose  pounds through that time and I was loving that! (You can read about that here.)   I was determined to get right back to my tracking and exercise and use the 5 pounds as a spring board to a fantastic loss for the month of April.  I actually spent the first day of my planpreparing and doing great!   That lasted one day before I totally fell apart.  I totally self sabotaged myself. (You can read about that, .here

I would love to say that I wrote that last post about self sabotage and turned things right around.  However, to say that would be a huge lie!   I struggled.  OK, let me give credit where credit is due,   I actually had one aspect that I didn't struggle with.   I exercised!   The first day was a bit lower  intensity (but Mondays usually are).   But I got right back into my exercise routine and for that I am proud.   However weight is not lost in the's lost in the kitchen.   And in the kitchen, I failed big time.  

In the past I would aways just say "I self sabotaged and move on.  But for some unknown reason this time I sat back and really started to think about what is wrong in my thought process that makes me subconsciously self sabotage my efforts.  

My first thought was the relationship I have that is a bit negative.  Of course my mind went there first. I touched on it a bit in this post.   Afterall, that, jealousy over what I did have,  and their own misery that they had at that point deeply buried within themselves.  Sure, the comments hurt, a lot.  But I was able to see that the comments really didn't start until I was in my late  teens, ramped up as I become an adult and really escalated when this persons life fell apart (about 5 years ago).    My weight issues began long before the negativity began and growing up with this person was actually full of love. (Even in the throes of the negativity, I know this person loves me.)   So if that wasn't it, what was it?

Was it my fear of failure? I touched on it in a recent post, but I have talked about it many times over the years.  I am afraid of failing.  I am afraid to reach out and grab my goals and dreams.  Why would I be afraid of losing weight?   I wear my fat as a coat of armor around myself.  I don't have success with some aspect of life....well then it must be because I'm fat!   I didn't get a job years back....and while I STILL feel that a large part of it was due to my weight , I know that I have used my weight as my excuse was to why I didn't get it. Instead of looking at realistically and with clear eyes, I blame my weight.  It's easier to blame my weight than it is to blame myself.  Once again, I'm sure that this has a bit to do with my self sabotage but again, this started in adulthood.  I once was fearless and confident and ready to face the world head on.......even though I was a fat woman.  So nope, the weight issues predated that.   So Back to the drawing board I went with a determination to try to figure this mystery out.

I pondered, I thought, I prayed.  I want to get to the bottom of this and fix myself from the inside out.  All week long I was thinking.  I kept coming up blank.  But throughout the week I started to think about friends from my childhood.  I'm sure some of it was triggered by the 'walk through the past' that I do with my mom when I visit her. (I pick a house that we lived in...or a church we attended...or a vacation.....and I dredge up memories and talk about them with mom.  Some days she is out of it and can not remember any of her own to share...but some days she jumps in and shares her own memories....which I LOVE.)    As memories surfaced in my head throughout the week I had a few fleeting nolstagic moments where I longingly thought about times where I was surrounded by friends, but I moved on.  It wasn't until about 203 days ago that it hit me......and once the realization came to me, it all made sense.....

I am an extrovert living an introvert life.....and I use food to fill the void.  

So let me go back to the beginning.  We lived in Johnstown (PA) and I had been in school with the same people for years.  I knew everyone.  I had friends at school that I spent time with in and out of school.  My dad's church had kids my age that I spent time with at church and out of church.  The neightborhood had lots of I spent a lot of time outside playing with people.  I was a healthy  (if not dainty) sized gal.  When I was 12 years old my family relocated to Brooksville (FL).  In one fell swoop I becamse the new person in school.  The outcast in a sea of people that had been friends since they were 5 years old.  Sure I made friends, but my friend base was very small....1 or 2 people. (I actually was friendly with everyone and had no enemies.  I could talk to anyone..but I remained on the outskirts of every social group...never really breaking in and making a lot of friends.  The church that my father ministered at was small and there wasn't really anyone my age.   As for people my age in the neighborhood, that didn't happen either.  I was cut adrift.   

 We moved north when I graduated from high school.  I ended up attending a Junior College which in my experience was not conducive to making friends. It was a continuation of high school for most people my age.  They were there with their lifelong friends.   The older people were already entrenched in their own lives.  Once again, I was friendly with everyone but it was an acquaintance style interaction.   My dad's church once again had no one my age...I was in this limbo age...the closest single person being 10 years younger and about 8 years old.  (I got some great babysitting gigs though!)    I transferred to a four year college for my  forged two years earlier.  But I fell into a good group of people and once again lived a life full of friendships and I loved it.

Graduation occured and I ended up back in the area where my parents lived.....with no friends.  Through my adult years things ebbed and waned in terms of friends.  I would make one or two friends at a time but then life would pull us in different directions.....and I would go back to being alone with few friends.  Right before the demise of my first marriage I had friends was awesome.  But then a divorce and change of circumstances and I was again left with very few friends.  

And that is the root of my problems.  As I said earlier, I'm an extrovert living an introvert lifestyle.  Once I realized that, it all made sense.  I was healthy sized until we went to Florida....and then I lost weight.  I turned to food as my friend when I had none and I gained weight.   

Most people go to college and GAIN weight .  I went to college for my Junior and Senior years and guess what?  I LOST weight.  I lost a fair amount of weight.  I don't know the actual amount of weight I lost, but I know that when I graduated that I was 2 sizes smaller! Coincidence?  

Before the demise of my first marriage I had lots of friends (some ended up not being friends....but that's a whole different story).  I was at my lowest weight!  

Over and over, I was able to see that when I was living a life full of friends I consistently weighed a lot less.  It's the periods where I am not surrounded by friends and people that I find myself weighing a lot more.   I fill the void with food.

I honestly don't know how to fix the problem.  Making more friends would be the most obvious.  hahaha.   But seriously.  I don't know for sure that this is the problem...but it all makes sense.  maybe just knowing why I"m eating will help me control it!  

And yes.....just writing this out makes me feel lame and sad.  But hey, this has never been a place that I hold back and don't express my totally honest feelings and findings.  


Mrs Swan said...

Whoa! I hope that this realization and talking about it might help you! Possibly get you into some activities with many other people like a bowling league or something? Thank you for sharing and I don't think this is a lame post at all. I am so behind on blogs and may try and catch up today. I didn't realize you grew up so close to where I live currently. I am a hop slip and a jump away from Brooksville.

I self sabotage too and I don't know why. Maybe your revelation will spark mine. Oh darn When I was writing my post I was also uploading pictures off my phone. I actually didn't add any pictures to my post but I just checked and the pic didn't upload anyway. It was just a dollhouse furniture item someone made that ended up in my FB feed that I thought was adorable I wanted to show you. I actually loooooove minature things so I don't know how I never got into doll houses. maybe because I was more of a Barbie girl.

peppylady (Dora) said...

I understand about stepping back. I stop keeping a food journal and my weight went up awards. Not making an excuses, but having a job sure puts the damper on my well being.
Coffee is on, and stay safe.

Amy said...

I have gone through these periods of self sabotage and trying to figure out why I eat stuff that gets in the way of achieving goals. I don't think all that thinking helped. When I read Brain Over Binge, the biochemical explanation made so much more sense to me, especially in the face of stress, our brains are seeking the hit of dopamine to neutralize all the biolochemical reactions happening due to stress and the hormones stress releases. You are eating that stuff because it's pleasurable and your brain would like to try to neutralize all that stress. Being upset about not eating how you think you should only creates more stress and the loop continues. For me, the times I have been successful have started with me doing what I didn't want to or wasn't sure about but just diving in. And I have not been perfect in my journey but I have set loose boundaries for things I choose not to do (like eat things made with sugar) because it will have me fighting against myself. Many times when I want to eat things that are not on plan I can talk myself out of it by realizing how good I'm doing and how much I want to see the next lower goal weight on the scale. I used to inspire myself during grueling workouts by thinking about all the people who doubted me and how I'd show them how amazing I truly am! I know its hard to be trying to get back but feeling like you lost the path. It's a normal biochemical response to all the stress you've been under. You exercised last week, that's awesome. Many many people on this earth did nit do that but you did! I think you should celebrate that instead of feeling bad that the food didn't go as planned. It will all come together again, but until then, do what you can do and celebrate it!

jen said...

I’ve just had a few days of self sabotage…I’m afraid I eat my emotions.

SANRDJ said...

I think that is a huge breakthrough that you had. Loneliness can be a big trigger for many.

And I don't think there is anything wrong with looking for opportunities to be more social and find some connections. Are you able to open yourself up to going to group settings to try to meet new people? Zumba classes, hiking or biking classes. Something you and hubby could do together? Sometimes I even feel if you find a local dog park and go at the same time a few times a week, you start to notice a pattern of the people that are there and you start talking etc. It might not be a whirlwind friendship that is created, but it's sure nice to have a casual chat with a familiar face.