It’s day nine of my medical weight loss program to lose 80 pounds and control my food addiction. I’m supposed to be keeping a blog or journal to track my feelings and progress. I’m no stranger to blogging, yet because I know my tendency to worry about the placement of every word and phrase, I’ve decided to make this blog more like a private journal that I may make public at some point. Otherwise, instead of just writing down my thoughts, feelings, and impressions, I’d be constantly critiquing my writing.
My first week was a mildly difficult shift from eating about 2500 to 3000 calories per day to eating about 900-1000. The first two days I felt weak and had a headache (even though I still got in 30 mins. of exercise), but by day three I had more energy to do my normal, daily routine. On day six, I began transitioning to an all Optifast product diet of about 800-840 calories. The physical transition hasn’t been difficult and I haven’t really been all that physically hungry. My level of mental hunger has been somewhat difficult. Because I’m normally the one to do all of the cooking, this transition has been more work for my family. At the onset of this endeavor, my daughters promised their help in the kitchen, as did my cooking illiterate husband. Life has sort of gotten in the way of my daughters’ attempts to help me. My youngest, a December college graduate, was luckily offered a job that was way too good to pass up on my first day of weight loss. With her commute she gets home a bit too late to begin cooking. My oldest daughter, who found out she was pregnant a week ago is having symptoms that sadly point to an ectopic pregnancy and she and her husband have needed a great deal of my emotional support. My own husband has been gung-ho about cooking, but needs me in the kitchen to lead him through every procedure, needless to say, I haven’t left the kitchen like I was supposed to according to the doctor and cognitive behavioral therapist’s suggestions.
To top it off, on day five of my program, we got a huge dumping of snow and a polar vortex that necessitated my youngest daughter’s boyfriend to come stay with us so he wouldn’t be trapped on his home on the mountain unable to get to work or school. So here I’ve been, trapped in an 1,100 square foot home, with five other adults who need to eat. Also with my easiest method of exercise, walking, taken away because of the ice and snow-covered roads and the below 0 temperatures, I’m limited to where I can exercise. My treadmill went into storage when my daughter and her husband moved back in, and our living area is really small. Still, I’m finding silly ways to move, like doing crunches or hand weights during commercials when I watch TV, or running through the house to deliver clean laundry one piece at a time.
Having everyone home has been the toughest. Instead of having my five shakes at home by myself, I’m having to endure the sights and smells of fresh muffins baking, homemade vegetable soup (which I prepared) simmering on the stove, potatoes roasting, burgers grilling, and not to mention the fast food and ice cream that my daughter’s boyfriend has eaten in front of me.
Though it my seem like I’m crassly bitching at everyone in my household for simply existing, I’m really not. They’re merely doing the things that people without food addictions or weight problems do. The world doesn’t revolve around my thoughts or feelings. With the removal of traditional food, I have actually learned several things about myself:
- Everyone in the household is way too dependent on me for way too many things.
- While I’ve managed to learn to tactfully say “no” in the business and social realms of my life, I suck at saying no to my family, and often put my own needs dead last in the pursuit of caring for them.
- Any errand is a trigger for eating to me. If I drop my daughter off at work (because her car sucks in bad weather), I would normally stop at McDonald’s for coffee, a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, and an apple pie.
- Any destination with my husband is a huge eating trigger because we normally couple any shopping or appointments with dining out. We never go cheap when we go out either. It’s always a full course meal at a nicer restaurant.
- I am naturally drawn to food by its smell and sight, even when I know that I don’t feel hungry.
- Anxiety, sadness, strife, boredom, and celebration are just a few of the things that drive me to eat.
- I have enormous self-control when I’m held accountable to an authority figure like a doctor, but very little self-control when it comes to self-accountability.
- I can drink far more water than I ever imagined. (100 oz. or more per day).
- Snow days don’t mean endless hot cocoa, gorging on carbs, and baking cookies, I can craft, read, and, of course, shovel snow!
Have you ever lost a significant amount of weight and kept most of it off? How did you do it?