Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Rock Bottom

I hit it. On Monday, January 3rd, 2011.

We'd had a wonderful weekend away as a family in Nashville, TN, celebrating the new year downtown & then spending the weekend at the fabulous Opryland Hotel. I couldn't wear my Levi's that I brought with me--how'd they get so tight?--so I was stuck in one pair of jeans & one pair of dress pants that require Spanx pantyhose. I was wearing a coat a lot of the time, so I wasn't really hyper aware of my clothing. I just tried to ignore it. I didn't bother bringing a swim suit for the pool. Mark took the kids swimming while I cleaned up the room on the last day of our stay. I'd planned that before we even left home.

Then Monday morning, when it was time for work, I tried on some dress pants that I'd worn a couple weeks before--I'd been wearing the same stretchy jeans pretty much every day for the few days I worked at the office over the holidays, so I hadn't put on these dress pants for at least 2 weeks--and I could zip them & pull them up, but they looked horrible. And my back fat was BACK, in force. And my shirts didn't cover anything up.

I was desperate. Size 12s are the biggest size I have. But I can't wear my 12s. What do I do?

The unthinkable.

From the dark, untouched and unloved back of the closet, I pulled out "The Before" jeans.

The size 16s that my size 8 body used to prance around in and say "look how big these jeans are! Wow, I can't believe I used to wear these humongous things." Those jeans.

They fit. Well, they are big on me, but not that big. They are comfortable on my body, but they made me sick to my stomach.

I walked around all day Monday in a fog. A post-vacation fog, because I'd had two really great weeks with my kids and husband, and a depressed "how did I let this happen to ME?" fog.

Before the New Year I had already realized I was in big trouble & I needed to DO something for real this time. We went to see "True Grit" the Tuesday before Christmas, and there is a scene where Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn is passed out on a cot in the backroom of a Chinese man's shop. Mattie Ross comes in to get Rooster to help her avenge her father's murder, but Rooster is worthless, hungover from his alcohol binge the night before. She's disgusted with him, tells him she'd believed all the stories of his true grit, but all he showed her was what a drunkard he was.

That scene, for some God given reason, hit me in the gut--I am Rooster Cogburn.

Oh, there's talk that I'm a half-marathon runner & I lost 55 pounds a few years ago, and I am an inspiration to many women just like me. I play with my kids in pools & the backyard, and I'm comfortable and happy in social situations. My husband thinks I'm sexy and I love to shop for cute clothes. I'm pretty, normal, and fit in with the fit moms at the pool in the summer time.

But the harsh reality is--I'm a sugar addict. I've been binging on sugar for the past year or so, and it's caught up with me. On more than one occasion I've snapped at my kids because I was deep in the sugar & wanted to stay there, but they insisted on needing my attention so I got angry at them. The day I yelled at Sophie for something stupid, and made her upset for two hours while I slept in my bedroom because I was "tired" but I was really sleeping off a sugar coma--that day was the tipping point. I didn't know it was the tipping point, because I hadn't seen "True Grit" yet.

But when I saw that scene in the movie just a few days after my sugar-rage, I knew deep in my bones I have a serious problem.

I've danced around this before. The Potatoes Not Prozac book. The Crack the Fat Loss Code diet. SouthBeach. Atkins. Any time I eat like those diets say to eat, I feel better. I look better. I lose weight.

Before New Year's weekend, I searched online for something else. Something that could help me FIX what's wrong with me, not just another diet.

I found this book online & downloaded it so I can read it on my Kindle. I also ordered her workbook & CD's on Becoming Binge Free. I found Jill's name (of the Sassy Pear) in the Introduction of the workbook, as a friend & fellow blogger of the author, so I knew I must be on the right track, 'cause Jill & I are like peas & carrots. :-)

And since Monday I've been journaling my food, my weight, my emotions. I've been eating sugar free since Monday night. I'm eating some fruit, some carbs, but I'm being very careful to watch how the carbs make me feel. Do they create sugar cravings after I eat them? So far I'm doing OK.

And I walked/ran outside yesterday for the first time since my Dad's funeral. It was brisk and the sun was setting in a blue sky, and when I ran, I felt free.

I know this isn't a GO PERFECT OR GO HOME deal. I'm going to fail. But I will just start again.

It's January. Gosh darn it, there's a reason people make resolutions & feel like there's a clean slate at the beginning of the year. Because December sucks the life out of you, that's why. If you can't declare New Life in January, you might as well lay down & die with the dried out Christmas trees.

I'm not lying down to die. Nope. I'm back on the horse, yet again. One more time. Maybe it will stick this time a little longer than the last. I hope so. I'm ready to get the old new me back again.


Helen said...

Me too, baby! I so relate. And I don't even really LIKE sugar. But I found myself spiraling down into it over the holidays. I really really think that, for me, it's lack of exercise that starts the spiral. So today I went on-line and found a gym that offers yoga and Zumba (yay!) that is close to me. I am going over there tomorrow night to check it out, then am doing the 7-day free trial they have. Assuming I like it, I'm getting back on that exercise horse. I miss it. But somehow it's so hard to make myself take the time to DO IT. Grrrrr. (And, P.S., I am in my biggest pants -- sizes 12 and 14 -- if I gain anymore, I won't have anything to wear except stretchy yoga pants!)

Vickie said...

There are so many really good things about this post.

you used numbers. I always think there is something empowering about having a size or lbs number in print. Acknowledging reality. Leaving ego at the door.

you have zeroed in on WHAT the problem actually IS (vicious cycle of processed - I think it is more than sugar for most of us - I call it salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, artificial additives). there are a lot of people who end up in your circumstances and just feel 'failure' but do not know why and therefore do not know what to DO. (And by the way - My husband, who does not have any extra weight and eats pretty much like I do, says the cycle of processed is a very real thing - eating any makes one want more, More, MORE.)

You are owning your circumstances. No enabling. No codependency. No blame. Owning it.

You appear to have yourself pointed forward instead of rumminating on the past. That is one of the most important parts but SO VERY HARD for most of us. We woulda-coulda-shoulda ourselves beyond all reason. And that keeps us stuck. Facing forward and moving forward while learning from the past is very powerful.

And YOU WROTE it all out to share with us and that makes you listen to yourself. One of the most important steps. Very much like standing up at an AA meeting and starting with "My name is Laura . . ."

Very proud of you.

Cindy...154 said...

I am glad you wrote this post. I can totally relate. I got rid of any pants over a size 10 and I can still wear the 10s but I find myself squeezing into some of them and they do not look the same. I have 6 and 8 sizes that I don't even try. The pants that are tight now were baggy at one time. On New Year's Day I felt particularly large and I found a big long shirt I bought in 2004 in Florida to cover my body in a swimsuit. I put it on and it felt really eerie. It was not as baggy as I would have liked it to be. I refuse to go back and I know how easy it would be to do so. I thought if I lost all the weight that of course I'd never gain it back but that's not true. I can get into the same denial, the same addictions and same self defeating patterns if I don't take positive action every day be fit. I get content and complacent or I get depressed and give up, either way the end result is not what I want. So, every day I have to take action. I have been allowing myself to maintain a higher weight and it does not feel good, plus the pounds sneak up and next thing I know I will be justifying an even higher one. I keep saying I will lose it tomorrow. Well today is yesterday's tomorrow. I hope you keep posting. I miss the days when we all supported and encouraged each other. I think that is what made the difference for me. Hang in there. I am going to check out the website for your book. Wow what a ramble I have made here. thanks!

Jodie said...

Thanks for being honest L! It's hard to realize all that is going on...and harder still to admit...and even harder to put it into words.

You can take back control. You have before and you will again. You're already on the right track and moving.

Keep posting, we're here to support you.

And good luck!

Jill said...

Damn straight, sister!! Peas AND Carrots!! ;)

Yes, you are a sugar addict. But you are still also all of those other things - a half marathon runner, an inspiration, a sexy fit mom. Just because you don't feel it, doesn't mean it isn't true!

I think you are going to love Karly's work. She has a way of bringing things out into the light so they don't seem so foreign anymore. I've had many "aha" moments reading her stuff.

And you are so right - December does suck the life out of you, even if it is a wonderful time. The post-Christmas crash is hard, but ya gotta love that clean January slate!!

You are on the right track, girlie. Just keep heading in that direction and you'll be fine, size 16 jeans be damned! :0)

Jane said...

Another sugar addict here...and you can add chocolate to it. Once I get going on the stuff, there's no stopping me.

I agree about having a clean slate on Jan. 1. And December does "suck the life out" of many of us. It's OK to make a formal resolution or an informal one that is in your brain and may need to be tweaked as you go along. That's what I'm doing right now--informal--because I have lots of personal stuff taking place, and right now I'm not home much to cook my food and to be as "precise" as I would like to be with my diet. But I decided that difficult, chaotic circumstances were not going to derail me and ruin my previous efforts. Just acknowledging this informal plan and refusing to take off my pants with the too tight waistband has helped immensely in keeping me on track.