Look, I try not to diagnose myself because I'm not an expert in psychology, but I experience some pretty dramatic highs and lows. They don't last too long if I catch them on the downswing. When I notice myself engaging in a behavior I'm trying to improve on I'll oftentimes stop mid-motion and begin pushing myself back into the upswing.
Like the Monty Python boys always say, "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!". Or, if you prefer, "always look on the bright side of life".
I don't like a few things about myself, as I'm sure many of us feel from time to time. I try not to linger on things I dislike, because living with a positive attitude is way more enjoyable to live with day-to-day than it was living in a constant cloud of my own bitchiness.
Growing up I mercilessly compared myself to other females, and resented when I wasn't identical to them in one way or another. While I was still a child, my grandma was able to get through to me that I was beautiful to someone (her), and if I agreed - that should be enough. I wanted to agree, and at times I did. At other times I felt like a different person was in control and I was just a spectator, and I hated that side of me. I avoided doing things because I feared interactions with other women who I had already decided were more beautiful and desirable than me. I feared making a spectacle of myself in front of an audience and being ridiculed. I felt so inferior to everyone. Everyone was a supermodel but me.
I totally bought into the media crap on what beauty standards are - what women should look like so that they'll buy more products to try to "restore youth" and fix all of our undesired features into shiny, gold perfection. It was all so exhausting. I know it was exhausting because I've been working on letting it go for the past year or so, and every time I relapse into the old habit of caring whether or not others find me attractive I start eating to cope. It can turn into a binge eating session that has sometimes lasted for weeks at a time. The only reason I maintain my weight around 145-150 is because I told myself I wasn't going to get over 150 and I fucking meant it.
In the months leading up to the New Year I'd been upping my compliments to other women I interact with day-to-day. I don't go out of my way but if I'm at a checkout line and the person has cool hair or an interesting tattoo or name on their badge, I pay a compliment. I've had some polarizing reactions, which surprised me. I'd say over the 3-4 dozen people I've interacted with since I started about 70% of them seemed to genuinely appreciate the compliment and often will return a compliment. But there were roughly 30% of women who looked at me in a way I can only interpret as being "what are you getting at?". The one eyebrow raises. She says nothing, look me up and down and her eyes never return back to my face because she decided to end the conversation right then. Or she'll walk away. It's the darnedest thing and I'm not sure how to interpret it, but I guess for now I just accept that we're all different and some people probably don't like to be complimented. Diff'rent strokes... for diff'rent folks... and so on and so on and scooby dooby doo.
Sorry guys. I've been sick for a week and am stir crazy as heckfire to get back to my normal routine. I miss the trampoline park. Hopefully I'll be well enough to do that this week.
Look, the moral to the story here is that I'm on the upswing because I felt like enough was enough. I get tired of hearing myself complain about certain things. I have no patience for excuses with food. I must eat healthy and just because I'm bingeing healthy food doesn't mean it's a healthy practice. My body doesn't like it and it lets me know in a multitude of ways (bloating/gas from foods with too much flour or nuts, cramping and diarrhea from too much dairy, crazy mood swings and gateway to overeating from too much sugar, the list goes on and on) and if I realize that I've been complaining about not feeling well for several days or weeks at a time... I get focused so that I can fix the problem instead of continuing to whine about it. I know how to fix it for myself, but sometimes I need to hit my own person low before I can pick myself back up and continue. This wasn't an epic downswing back into cheetos and cupcakes or anything - I still hate junk food with the fire of 1,000 suns. I wasn't kidding when I said fast food smells like obesity. It really does. And I LOOOOOVED that stuff. Popeyes Chicken... 2 crispy pieces of dark meat chicken and that damned biscuit! So much love. I wanted to eat there all the time. But that was before I experienced first hand how much what I choose to eat matters. I loved fried chicken, so I learned how to make "fried" chicken through clean eating. I did that by using a baked almond crusted chicken recipe I found online, which I refined to my own tastes and shared here and it really satiated my urge to eat fried chicken! Pair that with some baked potato cubes... all I was missing was the biscuit... until about 4-5 months ago. I learned to make my own biscuits which are aaamaaaaziiiiing! My husband suggested adding cheddar a while back... and oh man. I don't need Red Lobster for ANYTHING anymore, either. Hah!
My tastes have gone all over the map over my adjustment into clean eating. It's not always a smooth ride, but I'm dedicated to sticking with this, only improving with time, for the rest of my life. This is the happiest I have been with my life up to this point because I don't stop trying and I'm starting to reap some benefits. In 10 years I've become a different kind of person in a lot of ways, but definitely physically which was totally holding me back as far as my aspirations to be a singer. I love singing, but it's hard to have a bunch of eyes on me when I'm only thinking about how I am barely able to breath in the layers upon layers of shapewear under my clothes. In my own opinion of myself, I like me better this way. I can breathe, first of all. It's also nice to be so loose on stage now, it's actually fun.
When I get like I've been for the past few weeks, feeling down and helpless, I try to snap myself out of it. When I binge, I stop mid-bite and ask why I'm eating when I'm not hungry. Sometimes I don't seem to care and I just let it go. But I know now that the pattern is that I will eat when I'm feeling stressed. So I asked myself if I was stressed from feeling inadequate - was I comparing myself too much? No. I had been doing a good job of creating positive connections with other women instead of feeling like we were competing. The competition is over. You win, ladies. You sexy, sexy creatures. ;-*
Well, it turned out that there were a fair amount of things on my mind that I didn't even think were that big of a deal until I started talking about them. Once I got everything off my chest about life and how I was feeling and what currently matters to me... I felt that familiar feeling - energy. I was sick, so that didn't help, but I was already having issues with self-control well before the cold set in. Once I had the energy to spare, I threw it all at getting back to eating more strictly and working towards a completely attainable goal. I want to stop binge eating when I'm stressed and maintain a regular fitness routine and hopefully these factors will help me drop into the ideal range of 135lbs. It's only 15-20lbs. I've already lost way more than that, so it's totally realistic.