Friday, August 15, 2008

153.0 - Hold the Shame

Before I get to today's post, thought I'd update you on the weight/food/exercise front:

*weight--is up because yesterday was a "hormones bottomed out & I feel like death" day. Pizza+ ice cream+Chex mix+cinnamon pita chips=weight gain. At least I can still fit in my size 6 J.Jill slacks I got last week (woohoo!). Squats & running are really starting to lift my behind, which is a nice change from the shape it's been the majority of my life.

*food--other than the above implosion, it's been semi-okay. I've been a complete slacker in tracking my food in WW online, which explains why my weight isn't going down. But I am maintaning under 152 for the most part, which I'm happy with right now. Still got my eyes on 145 by October 12th, though.

*exercise--ran 3.5 miles outside on Wednesday. Average 11:01 min/miles. First mile was fast @ 10:06, but the rest was s-l-o-w because I got way too hot (it was only 85, but a bit humid and sunny and that makes for hot running weather for this little sissy girl) and did the walk/run combo thing. Nothing on Thursday; just couldn't face dragging the kids to the gym. Today, I will run 3 miles and do a weights class after. Mom's got the kiddos this afternoon at my house, so it will just be dragging myself to the gym.

Now, for today's riveting commentary (ha).

Cindy wrote a great post about non-scale victories on her vacation to California. It's some really good stuff, and Cindy has such a grounded (and hard won) approach to life, I love reading her posts.

Something she said triggered a major AHA! moment for me: "Enjoying food. I was never embarrassed about what or how much I ate. I never had that feeling I used to have about eating in front of people - like I should eat less, and avoid the "fattening" stuff."

Eating in front of people used to be a huge area of shame for me. Whether in my job, or with my extended family, or in front of my husband, when I weighed over 200 pounds, every time I ate in front of people I felt like I shouldn't be.

I shouldn't eat anything but lettuce leafs and lemon water in public, that way people will assume I'm doing something about my fat ass. Mostly, though, I ate what I wanted in public and then just felt ashamed afterwards. And then I'd go eat more in private, which is where the bulk of my calories went into my body anyway.

Now that I'm at a normal weight (the BMI table claims that I'm still 4 pounds from "Normal," but screw that--I'm close enough and I'm not calling myself overweight any longer), I don't have that ashamed feeling any more when I eat around others.

And until I read Cindy's post, I didn't even realize it. I hadn't even named that feeling--I'd just lived my overweight life and my normal weight life in ignorance to the whole public eating/private feelings issue.

But after thinking through it and looking back at memorable food situations, I felt a ton of shame--frequently--when I ate around others. No matter what was on my plate, whether eating virtuously (I'll have the salad, hold the dressing) or sinfully (bring me more bread!).

I couldn't escape the fact that my body reflected my food intake, yet the food intake I was really ashamed of wasn't what I was eating at a restaurant table. But what I was eating in the bathroom (gross, I know, but it's the only room in the house where I can lock the door and have some privacy).

Now that I've been at this weight for almost a year, I've still got food issues. Just last night, I ate the last of the ice cream balls I bought "for the kids" in the bathroom--I needed an escape from my nagging children, and even though my daughter banged on the door twice, at least it was locked and I got my ice cream fix, alone, where I needed to be.

But I air my discretion publicly--here--and somehow that removes the shame. And when I eat out with clients, family, or friends, I usually order something healthy, because that's how I roll now, but sometimes I don't and that's okay too. And when there's dessert, I usually eat it and enjoy myself.

I no longer worry that people are judging me. Maybe they still are, who knows. The point is, I don't care anymore, because I'm no longer judging myself. I've left the shame in the dust. I'll eat a salad for lunch. I'll run off that ice cream today. I'll lift weights this afternoon and build calorie-burning muscle.

And if I want a decadent meal while dining out, bring it on. But hold the shame, please. It's no longer on the menu.

12 comments:

mcm mama said...

Good job with the exercise and keeping your weight stable. I'm not thrilled with my weight, but happy to be able to stay within a range I set myself.

Yay for getting past the shame about eating. We all eat ice cream while hiding from our kids once in a while. LOL Major kudos to you for the mental work you are doing in addition to the physical work of losing the weight.

Running Knitter said...

You definitely have the right attitude and I'm so proud of you. :)

Vickie said...

eating in front of people is multi part for most of us - first there is the "what are they thinking about what I am eating" that you mentioned - but there is also - the having to deal with other people over our food (like debating what we are or are not choosing to eat)- and I think that there is anxiety too. Frances mentioned that the feelings she gets (vibes) can impact what she eats and then how she feels about what she chose to eat. Complex stuff. Probably that thinking too much, never forgetting anything stuff kicking in. . .

L.G. said...

I'm thrilled that you are one of the people who sees yourself as normal and not worrying about those damn BMI charts! :-)

The shame/eating in public thing is so true. I know I've gone home and done things that I wouldn't do in public and it's all because I had look good in public.

You know, one reason you might be in the bathroom with your ice cream fix isn't necessariy out of shame, guilt, etc. but because you have some peace and quiet (relatively). I can't imgine any mom being able to eat ice cream by herself in front of children (gimmee, gimmee, gimee). Just a thought. As usual, you rock! And roll!

(PS I thought of you & DH today. There was an article about the real estate market here. One buyer was reduced to advertising a home as "Owned by DMB chef!" Yours for only $299,000 in the next county!) :-)

Jill said...

I totally get you on needing that fix alone. I disappear into my bedroom and by the time they find me, I'm fixed.

I never really had this shame eating in front of other people, because there was always someone who was right there shoveling it in with me, whether it was friends or family. The only time I can remember feeling weird was at an informal wedding where my skinny friend Rachel and I were serving the cake (there were 3 cakes actually), but we were gushing about how good the frosting was and I had this feeling that I shouldn't be talking about how much I love frosting. Like if everyone knew I loved frosting they would think "well quit eating it and you won't be such a fatty!"

I guess I did feel shame if my husband caught me pigging out. One time after I had just had my son, I had like, two desserts after dinner and the hubs asked me if I was ever going to get full. That was the first time I realized other people noticed how much I ate. I stopped eating desserts in front of him for a really long time. Now when I have something, if he says anything (which he rarely does anymore) I pretty much just flip him the bird and keep eating!!

I hadn't really thought about all this before. Very interesting.
Good post girl! =)

Cindy154 said...

I like that you consider yourself normal weight even when you are a few pounds over the BMI. So do I. I hit my "normal BMI" at 149, and then I fluctuated up but I still felt "normal" - and I also noticed that at your weight you can wear into a siz 6. So can I (not all 6's that's for sure but I have several in the closet now & still can't believe they fit me). I assume one reason for this is muscle from exercise. It enables you to be a smaller size at a higher weight. Muscle weighs more than fat, but takes up far less space. So, the BMI is a nice tool, but it is not the be all, end all measurement. And the reason you can have those decadent meals and deviations is because you get back on track right away or real soon, and, again, all the exercise you get and your muscle. I have a co-worker who told me that she works out because she can eat more, and she said with no shame "I like to eat!" - She has always been in good shape. Anyway, I like the discussion about the shame surrounding eating. Thanks for elaborating on it!

Cindy154 said...

PS - I just posted a picture of the 5 pound fat vs 5 pound muscle model on my blog. It is rather inspiring...

Heather said...

I can relate a lot ot this post because I used to hate eating in public and felt taht people looked at my choices and thought, you are too fat to eat that, you should be eating a salad! or I was embarrassed at the amount of what I was eating,etc. probably from years of my mom scrutinizing my food choices. it is SO nice now to feel that I am not being judged. its kind of sad that it takes losing weight to feel that way, that its OK to eat like a pig if I am thin. but I usually choose not to because it is still work to stay this weight and doesnt come 2nd nature yet. I am so glad you are feeling great and dont feel ashamed!

MizFit said...

AMEN on the shame
the SHOULDS
the MUSTS.

and Im gonna rewrite this:
it's been semi-okay.

as the fact that youve been MAINTAINING (so hard) under 152?

makes it GREAT but Im striving for 145.

no semi :)

M.

Helen said...

This is so timely for me (see my post from today)! A woman who was eating with us (and is much heavier than me) ordered a big fatty steak. She didn't eat all of it and I actually FELT her shame. It was sad and it brought up memories for me. I still feel that if you REALLY want it, you order it and you should eat it and not feel bad. It's all about taking responsibility for our choices. But our culture has really done a number on us. And I have to go to the gym so I'm going to have to leave it there...but this (and thanks to Cindy too for bringing it up) really brought up stuff for me...this is why our community is SO great...others remind us of stuff WE have to work through! :-)

Have a great weekend!

Carly said...

You have such a great attitude! You have come a long way and need to be proud of your accomplishments.

I still have issues eating in front of people.

Grumpy Chair said...

Great posts Laura and very interesting comments. Holding the shame is a great NSV and I applaud how far you have come on this journey.

You are such an inspiration to all of us.