I’ve had this blog post running through my mind for days, but I was too uncomfortable to share.  What if they think I’m a fraud, what if they think I’m a loser?  How could I possibly be training for a half-marathon and gaining weight?  However, when I read Roni’s new post, about the real raw emotions that lead to binge eating I felt like less of a weirdo freak that uses food to self-medicate.  Her post was so honest and made me feel like I wasn’t the only person in the world who felt that way.  I feel like, I have a special talent to help people through my blog, and if my sharing my struggle can help someone as much as her post helped me, then it’s my duty to be honest and share with you.  When I went to the doctor for “mystery illness X”  (it’s not kidney stones, ok great, but what is it?),  she asked me “What’s up with the weight gain?”  It was official, it wasn’t just a pound to two here or there, it was “weight gain.”  *sigh*  It’s weird, like I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to count points, or calories, or carbs or portions or anything else.  I just want to be normal sometimes.  I just eat when my body says I’m hungry, and not because I’m stressed or tired or stuffing down emotions with sweets. 

I’ve been under a lot of stress working on a real estate business venture outside of my real job and Running Into Shape.  And I’ve been so busy/stressed/tired that it’s too easy to slip back into old unhealthy habits.  Muffins for breakfast, sweet caffeinated drinks to wake me up, “treating” myself to big lunches because I “deserve” it for working so hard, and eating the holiday desserts ALL OVER the office because they “taste good” and grabbing greasy fried fast-food for dinner because it’s “convenient”….  Well, this new fat roll on my side, is real living proof that all of that emotional eating is anything but a “convenient tasty well deserved treat.”  I used to date this guy that always said, “Yeah that SOUNDS good.”  And that’s about it, it only sounds good, but it reality, it’s nothing good about using food as a “convenient tasty well deserved treat.”   The reality is I need to start re-programming my mind to realize that eating healthy “feels good” to my body, that it’s a real “treat” to get on the scale and see the numbers go the other way and that I “deserve” the happiness that comes with maintaing a healthy lifestyle!

  1. Baby Girl you aren’t alone.

    Most of us are so good with self-sabotage that it’s second nature. You are right about retraining the brain and learning different rewards for the victories. In the past, I have been really good dealing with stress, but lately my stress is about money and it’s getting worse and now making it’s home in my belly (like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers).

    I had/have a horrible shopping habit. This year, I have made a great effort at putting items back, saying I’ll come back for it IF I really want it. Most times, I forget about it or find something else to do. And for the times where it’s been something I REALLY want, when I return and it’s gone…eh, it wasn’t meant to be.

    Now to take that same thinking and move it too food. That’s my challenge. When you feel the need for a treat or you’re stressed and can’t think about getting something good to eat (especially if you’re out and about)…say to yourself: Imma head home because I have XYZ in the fridge. Change your driving route at the last minute to bypass the drive-thru. And when you get home, if your brain is still saying: feed me Seymour, but feed me that Sonic Footlong with chili and cheese…head to the fridge and make your own.

    Or if you’re like me and hop on the scale in the morning and say: hey, I’m down 2 lbs, I think I will go out for breakfast and have pancakes (yes, I do that)…stop yourself and say hey, I will make my own. So far, this trick seems to be working for me.

    Eating healthy is not about deprivation. I’ve had to learn that with shopping and with eating. If I say I’m not going to shop, when I get some “extra” cash, I blow it and spend the rest of the month depressed because I should have done something else with the $$$. Same thing with eating. If I say I wont have cake, when it’s time for B-days around the office, I’ll eat a HUGE slice and probably go back for seconds. So now, if I want something sweet or “bad”, I’ll take a bite. I’ll find a co-worker or friend to split the bad stuff. This way the want is satisfied.

    Keep plugging along, you’re gonna get there.

  2. Hooray for honesty!!! Carli – That is a sign of getting healthy attitude. We can check ourselves. It’s not that we don’t fall off the horse… it’s that we keep climbing back on.

    I too, lost quite a bit last couple of years (40 lbs). Every ounce was fought for. I’m not an easy loser. Metabolism, who knows.

    Well, out of no where, I start packing pounds back on, to the tune of 15 lbs. I’m working on that, down 5 lbs this past couple of weeks (new WW program).

    I guess long story short, when I started this journey, I like you set a goal of 1/2 marathon. Well, the weird thing is… I wasn’t losing any substantial weight. I was walking 8-10 miles a day, almost every day. Nothing. The thing is, calories are so much easier going in, than coming off. I hate it!!!

    I have a couple 1/2 marathons under my belt, and thanks to your inspiration I’ve moved from power walking to running. Perhaps, like a penguin, but running all the same. You, my wee lassie gave me the boost of confidence to do that. I am very proud to say I can now run for 35 minutes without stopping. That is HUGE for me. Thank you!

    We are all works in progress, you help me to keep that in perspective. I thank you for your humor, your honesty, and most especially your generosity of spirit. Carli, you are very special. I hope you know that. –Patty

    Proudly posting stats (I never would have done this before)
    SW – 260
    CW – 231
    GW – 165

  3. Carli, I understand the struggle with emotional eating. I learned it from my mom, and am trying so hard not to pass it on to my daughter! I try to have a list of non-food treats, so that when I say, “Yes, that Carl’s Jr. burger slathered with cheese and mayonnaise is the perfect reward” I have something readily available to look at as an alternative.

    It’s a setback, but nothing you can’t move on from. And seeing you acknowledge your own setbacks helps all of us reading your blog realize that we too can move on from our own!

  4. ” it’s a real “treat” to get on the scale and see the numbers go the other way and that I “deserve” the happiness that comes with maintaing a healthy lifestyle!”

    What an absolutely fabulous attitude. I have the exact same issues as you. I work out like it’s going out of style, then I sabotage it by eating like crap. I have this problem with rewarding myself and comforting myself with food, and I can’t see any of the hard work I put in showing off because I just keep tacking on more calories.

    Frustrating, no? I have a skinny-minny husband whose comfort food is carrots and never works out, but is still a twig… he cannot understand why I have the issues I have with food. And it’s darn hard.

    But Carli, we CAN do this. One hard-won victory at a time… and sometimes a massive victory can be something as simple as not grabbing one of those cookies in the office.

    Best of luck to you friend.

  5. So many of us struggle with this issue. I decided about 10 years ago that as long as I maintain as I get older and don’t gain, that would be progress. And I’ve been able to do that. Mostly by cutting out caffeine and fast food. Then after I went without those things for about 3 months, I started having them again with reasonable frequency. I also have been in therapy for about 2 years, and that’s really been key in making some progress toward a healthy me.

    I’m convinced that running will be an answer for me, too, because if I want to run, I will have to start eating more reasonably. And, if I want to run without knee problems, I will have to drop some weight. We’ll see how it goes when I try to start again after I’ve been sidelined with my knee problems so far. I guess becoming a runner as an overweight 37-year-old is tougher than I expected.

  6. Tex Queen, OMG! I totally just see the stress setting up shop in my stomach area, that’s exactly where that new fat roll is…. I’m a shop-aholic as well, and I do the exact same thing to control my spending. That’s a good idea to apply to same philosophy to food. I think I just eat and then think about/regret it later. I need to take time to pause…in the book I’m reading (A Course in Weight Loss) she calls it that brief moment of insanity when we think doing something bad for our body is actually doing something good. Healthy eating is NOT deprivation, it’s amazing how our mind tricks us into believing otherwise….My office is the worst, they literally send out an email with a PICTURE that says “Enjoy Doughnuts, cookies, cake or candy in the East Kitchen”. Ugh! I try to delete it and pretend they never sent it. But I think I will work harder at what you said, just pause for second and think of healthier/better alternatives. Thanks for sharing LaShaune! 🙂

  7. Patty, I feel you, I also had to fight for every pound. When I did this the first time around back in college it was so much easier. CONGRATS on the 5 pound weight loss and the running success! I am amazed that I’ve been doing more miles than I’ve ever done in a week and still GAINING weight. I think it’s a bit of what the previous commenter said, I think oh well I walked 4 miles today, certainly it couldn’t hurt to have those fries…Ummm, yes I does hurt. But I keep reminding myself, I didn’t gain back all of the weight I lost…. I’m still surprised when people say I encouraged them to start running. Like, I know that’s the whole point of my podcasts, but when it actually works, I’m amazed! You go girl on posting your stats. I have a “magic number” and when I reach that, I think I’ll be comfortable enough in my own skin to post my numbers. Thanks for your kind words and making me feel “special.”

  8. Angela, that’s interesting that your emotional eating is a learned behavior from your Mom….mine would probably be the exact opposite. My parents didn’t allow sweet treats in the house as a kid and health and nutrition was always a focus as my Dad didn’t want “Fat Kids.” Ironically, he ended up with 3 fat girls who rebelled against the system LOL! That’s something that I always think about, that one day when I become I parent, I don’t want to be an extremist like my parents or unconsciously teach them binge emotional eating habits either. Hopefully by that time I will have found the right balance myself.

  9. Julie, I laughed every time I thought about you saying that your husband’s “comfort food” was carrots. I have a bag of carrots in the fridge that needs to be tossed out because I never even opened the bag and they’ve gone bad. Thanks for quoting me. I rarely go back and read what I wrote, but that is something I need to keep saying over and over until my brain understands. Thanks!

  10. Leslie, it might be tougher, but it’s definitly possible, I get emails everyday from people who are well into their 40’s and 50’s and tons of letters from overwieght people who started to run. Listen to your body, dont’ over do it, and you will succeed.

  11. Hey Sista! It’s been a while since I checked in. I sure miss “seeing” you every day. We do deserve to do what we want…but we don’t deserve treating ourselves poorly, even if it tastes good. 🙂 I’m glad you share, you are not a fraud. I follow your blog because you are…well, not perfect. I identify with not-perfect people. I, myself, fall into that catagory. In fact, I would imagine that many of the women following your blog are tired of the media perspective of perfection. I don’t know about you…but I am okay with never being a size two, six, or eight.

    Anyway…Happy Christmas and Merry New Year~


  12. Hey Jenn! Missed you lady! Glad you’re back! Check out my new video!

Leave a Reply