Monday, April 28, 2008

Hungry Hippo

I realised a couple of weeks ago that I am sick of being hungry. I have this idea that to lose weight I need to be hungry. I try to convince myself that I should eat when I am dieting, but I still find that I unconsciously restrict myself to the point that I am uncomfortably hungry. I generally try to stick to 1200 calories to lose weight, but I know that I purposely over estimate my calories and that I would rarely eat more then 1000 calories.

The whole idea that deprivation equals success has been with me for over 20 years and it isn't easy to shake. My whole life I have had people tell me to stop eating and I thought that was what I had to do to lose weight and be happy. Of course I now know that deprivation just leads to binging and it is a perpetuating cycle that is really hard to break.

I decided things had gotten out of control when I was at my mum's for dinner a few weeks ago and it was a warm night but I was wearing a thick jacket because I was so cold. My family commented on how strange it was that I was all rugged up and I casually replied that it was because I hadn't eaten in days (was drinking diet shakes) and not eating makes you cold. My brother laughed and said how weird it was that I was so open about my eating disorder and that most people try and hide it. I then proceeded to eat 5 plate fulls of food. I walked away from that evening and realised that something wasn't right.

I've been spending a lot of time trying to work through what I can do to make things better. My motto recently has been that I need a lifestyle that is sustainable for the rest of my life. I don't want a short term solution I want a sustainable and happy life. This may mean that I will lose minimal amounts of weight or even no weight at all which is terrifying to me. My whole life has been about striving to lose weight and while this is still the case, I am not prepared to continue doing things the way I have been doing them because I just can't be happy this way and I am sick of being hungry.

Of course while it will be hard to force myself to eat more, it is going to be even harder to learn when to stop. It is also going to be difficult not to get consumed by guilt and self loathing because I only feel like I am 'good' when I am punishing myself. I think this will be harder then if I just followed a 1200 calorie diet and exercised everyday and lost 25 kilos. I have done that numerous times and I know it doesn't work me. I need to change myself from the inside out and that starts with being kind to my body.

13 comments:

  1. It's so important to make sure we're eating enough, and yet so hard to do when our brain says "less food, more weight loss". I'm on the same page as you- I'm refusing to be miserable over weight loss anymore. The weight might never come off, and that's hard to accept- but at least I'm not scared of food and torturing myself.

    Good luck Tully!

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  2. Hey Tully,
    Long time girl! Hope u r well. Listen, you absolutely have to rethink how you feed your body....the key is to make healthy choices in reasonable quantity, NOT TO DEPRIVE YOURSELF under any circunstances. Make your body feel safe, give it enough fuel to carry you through workouts and most importantly to help you reach your long term goals. Deprivation only yields temporary success! Rework the whole equation and havea great week! K.

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  3. Great minds think alike huh! Definately time to find something that is sustainable long-term... the question is - what??? I tend not to deprive myself of food when I'm losing weight, but eat "well", and when I'm not, I'm practically scoffing my face 24/7. Sounds like we both need to find a middle ground.

    This weight loss thing is much more complex than just "eat less, lose weight" and I wish that people of a "normal" weight would realise it!

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  4. I really enjoy your blog. The more I think about food, the more food I eat--always have and probably always have. So I now just make meals and snacks following the Canada Food Guide (so many daily servings of grains, fruits & veg, meat and dairy) and I don't count calories. If I have a piece of cake or some ice cream, I don't panic because tomorrow is another day and I can punish myself on the treadmill, not berate myself all night long. Sometimes harder to do than others but I think that's will sustain me on this life long journey to good health.

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  5. Eating when you are hungry and stopping before you get full is not easy, but it is very worthwhile. It takes a long time to get used to eating this way. Treat the slip ups as lessons and not failures.

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  6. So much wisdom.... This is a turning point for you-- the beginning of your NEW revolution!! :)

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  7. It sounds to me like you're fed up of dieting, calories, and being hungry all the time and you just want to be sane around food - join the club, girlie!

    It's hard work, but its worth it - and I really love the comment of, 'don't treat the slip ups as failures, but as lessons', that's exactly what it is. [although I'm not sure about 'punishing yourself' on the treadmill either, I think being kind to your body includes finding exercise that you enjoy]

    Good luck. You know how to get in touch with me if you need any help. :-D

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  8. I didn't quite realise how you've been feeling about all this.

    It seems you've got more than enough advice to go on :) So I won't add any more. Just to say I'm sure you'll find a way through all this.

    Be good, yo!

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  9. I too have a love hate relationship with food. I think with time you'll find whats right for you but that doesnt necessarily mean you have to eat more or less that you're comfortable with. Like for instance I really love cheese and rice and breads so instead of cutting them out I'll load up on veggies and have a small portion of lowfat or fatfree cheese that way I'm getting full, feeling satisfied that I didnt have to cut one of my favorite foods out (though I do have the 'modified' version) and am making healthy choices. Its okay to lose at a slower rate but you've got to give yourself nutrients that will fuel you for the day. Easier said then done, right? Best of luck - it'll work out =)

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  10. I thought I was the only one that thought like that!! I only feel like I am on track when I am so strict that I go to bed early from hunger!!
    I too am learning that if it takes a little longer to lose the weight but I am healthy, I will be better off. But it's hard to think differently after so many years of dieting but I have to realise it never worked before so changing the cycle could actually work .... mmmmm .... food for thought!! *giggle*

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  11. It's so much harder to work on those inner issues than just quitting food, but so worth it. I think I've got a few inner issues that need to be tackled atm.

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  12. I had no idea you were living on shakes. I recall you mentioned them once but I had not idea they were a regular thing.

    A lot of what you said made good sense. There are many paths to weight loss and I agree with you that you absolutely must chart your own course.

    Be Well!!!

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  13. Only dieters will ever call a gritty, powdery, watery thing a "shake".

    Perhaps the book "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch might help. It's a way of making peace with food, and re-learning how to connect with your body and feed it properly. I mean, if you're at diet rock-bottom it can't hurt.

    And PLEASE eat until you're no longer hungry. Your deprivation is making ME sad and I'm not even in your body!

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Awww thanks so much for the comment!