A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Self-Honesty Is A B*tch

Where do I start?

I can't get away from myself.  Have you ever tried to do that??  Get away from yourself?  It's impossible.  No matter where you are, what you're doing, how you try to distract yourself with other things...your thoughts always follow you.  They're always there.....and at times, they can be haunting...nagging...eating away at you until you finally stop running, and turn and face them head on.  Thus....this blog post.

I was extra tired tonight....Mondays are always extra busy but I suspect some of the lethargy had to do with the stupid eating I did this past wknd, which I confessed to in my last post.  I came home and had a turkey sandwich and a plum for dinner....baked some chicken breasts for my egg white scrambles in the mornings, cleaned my kitchen, did the dishes, washed 2 loads of laundry, and dropped in bed at 8pm.  I was tired....thought I'd be asleep in 5 minutes.  Nope.  I laid there and tossed and turned for TWO HOURS. 

Thoughts about my weight loss battle journey kept running through my mind....along with thoughts about other people's journeys....or more specifically....their triumphs.  I posted last Friday about my friend "266" reaching her 1 year anniversary of losing weight (I believe she's at her goal weight).  I've been thinking about her every day since then.  The images that she had on her video keep flashing in my mind....such pride...such joy...such hard won success...and it showed.  It's imprinted on my brain.  I want that for myself. 

Tonight, while clicking around in blogs, I came across Bitchcakes blog, whom I've posted about before.  I haven't been by her blog in quite a while...so I totally missed the post on July 28th where she finally reached her goal weight after what I believe was a 4 year-long battle.  Those 4 years included a 2+ year plateau.  Can you imagine???  Being at a plateau for OVER 2 YEARS...but not losing sight of your goal, sticking with it and continuing on until you finally cross that finish line?  That post was so poignant....her words flowed and I felt every emotion she expressed.  Such intense and appreciative relfection on everything she'd been through in the last 4 years.  I did the same thing I did when I watched 266's video last Friday....I cried my eyes out.  Happy tears for these amazing women for hanging in there and getting it done....sticking with it all the way to the end....never losing sight of their goals because they knew.....they knew what was at the end of that long, hard road.  They knew that one day, whether it be sooner or later, all of their work...their sweat...their tears...their falling off the wagon and climbing back on....their perseverance and tenacity would one day pay off in the best way possible. 

I laid in the bed just a little while ago and finally stopped running from my thoughts.  I just laid there and all of the thoughts that I'd been keeping at bay for the last couple of months....I let them flow in and consume me.  I laid there and cried pititful tears.  I cried for all times I've screwed up...all the times I've let myself down with my weight loss goals....all the times I've let my consistency fall by the wayside.  I cried for being so weak-minded when it comes to food choices.....and for the knowledge that it's my fault that I'm as big as I am.  It's my fault for letting myself get all the way up to 340 lbs and stretching out the skin on my body so badly that without a very expensive surgery, my body will never look good to me.  I cried because I'm afraid that when I do finally reach my goal, I'm still going to be unhappy, simply because of the skin damage that's already been done, and just isn't reversible without a surgery I'll probably never be able to afford. 

I also cried because I know I'm not doing enough right now to lose the weight and I've been trying to ignore it...or put it off...in my mind.  With the exception of this past weekend, I've been doing really well with my food intake during this challenge....but there's been virtually no exercise...just a walk on Saturday mornings with my baby Scarlette.  It's not enough, and I know it.  When I moved to my apartment, I cancelled the gym membership close to my old house.  It's too far of a drive from where I live now, but the main reason is I found it senseless to pay a $20 gym membership fee when I moved into an apartment complex that's going to have a fitness center.  A new property management company bought this complex last December and they are doing 4.5 million dollars worth of improvements.  One of those improvements is a new fitness center.  But they keep pushing back the date that it's going to be ready.  When I asked last Friday, they said it's going to be another 3-4 weeks. 

I've opted not to walk outside at a park after work simply because of the heat.  Down here in Atlanta, we have several days a week where the heat index is 104-107 degrees.  That's dangerously high.  I want to ignore it and go out and exercise anyway, but I'm constantly hearing on the news where people are ending up in the hospital from heat exhaustion.  So I keep telling myself it would just be stupid to exercise outdoors right now.  And I keep waiting on the fitness center to open so I can use the treadmill and elliptical.  But it's just not good enough.

I know this is going to sound weird to you, because it sounds weird to me...but I'm craving exercise.  I'm actually missing it.  The fact that I haven't been doing it for a while is really messing with my head.  I finally let myself do the whole self-honesty thing tonight that Sean's always talking about...and it's painful...but it's also cleansing.  You have to acknowledge the problem before you can fix the problem.  Ignoring it or putting it off doesn't make it go away.  How do I know this?  Because I wake up in the same fat body every morning.  I hate my fat body, and I hate myself even more for MAKING my body fat. 

What I'm fixing to say next is liable to offend some people.  I'll apologize ahead of time for any offense, because that's never my intention....but I can't let it keep me from journaling my thoughts and getting all of the toxicity out of my brain.  We are all different.  We are all motivated by different things, and we all have different beliefs. 

Self-honesty for me leads to self-hate.  But in MY case, that's not a bad thing.  Hate is my motivator.  It's what makes me know in my heart of hearts that one day, I WILL get this right.  No matter how many do-over's it takes....one day I will experience the exact same exuberant, euphoric joy and triumph that Bitchcakes, 266 and so many others have experienced.  I can see it in my mind's eye.  I can picture the day that I hit my goal....I can truly wrap my mind around the pride I'm going to feel, because I know that I WILL feel it.  It's not a matter of "if" anymore, like it was for so many years.....now it's a matter of "when". 

I know that a lot of people gasp when they hear someone say they hate themselves.  They say that you can't or won't get the weight off until you learn to love yourself.  They say that you're ok now...just the way you are...right where you are...whether you ever lose another pound or not.  There's a fine line here for me.

I do hate myself for the choices I've made that led me to morbid obesity.  And while I'm in this vein, let me say that I do believe it's all about my own personal choices, and my own personal responsibility.  I am responsible for getting to 340 lbs.  I am not, nor have I ever been, a victim of circumstance.  I wasn't abused as a child or an adult.  I had the most loving, supportive, encouraging parents in the world.  I come from a very close knit family that had plenty of money and all of my needs were taken care of.  Nobody shoved food down my face.  I have a thyroid problem, but have never blamed my thyroid, because when I was first diagnosed with it at 30 years old, my doctor told me hypothyroidism can be the blame for about 30 extra lbs. of weight on a person.  She said that it doesn't mean you can't lose those 30 lbs, it just means it's a little more difficult than it is for someone w/o a thyroid problem.  So I've never blamed the thyroid.  I also have PCOS...but that is not the cause of any of my weight gain....it is a SYMPTOM of my weight gain. 

Now...back to the self-hatred.  I can honestly say that this goes way, WAY back.  I've been at the very least, overweight, for as far back as I can remember.  Seriously.  I want to say maybe as young as 12-13 I was overweight.  I can remember being made fun of at school during these years.  I could blame it on that...but the people that made fun of me still weren't shoving food down my throat.  I was.  I always found it fascinating how some girls would develop anorexia or bulimia to keep from being made fun of or to be accepted and in the "cool" crowd.  I remember being jealous of them because in my young teenage mind, it took such major self-control to not eat....when I ate everything.  I got fat.  They didn't.  How did they manage so much self-control?  Didn't pizza smell good to them?  How did they keep from eating in the cafeteria when everyone else was eating?  God knows I was.  I really, seriously used to revere those girls in my mind because they had something I didn't.  Self-control.  And I hated myself for it.  No matter how much I wish I had it, I could never seem to achieve it, and I really think that's where the self-hatred cycle started.

I'm a no-bullsh*t kind of person....the way I think and what I will and won't put up with have really changed over the years since I've aged.  I'm more mentally strong now than I've ever been, and I'm proud of that.  I'm also a lot less thin-skinned.  I'm still very emotional, and can cry at the drop of a hat...but what sparks those tears have changed.  I don't face plant in a plate of food anymore when someone makes fun of me...and yes, it still happens occasionally, even at my age.  Nobody that counts....some guy driving down the road who likes to hang out his car window and make fun of fat people....that kind of random thing.  It still brings a tear to my eye, but I've grown enough and matured enough in this journey to know that bingeing on something WORSENS the problem. 

Now, instead of the self-hatred keeping me in the bingeing cycle, it inspires me to make better choices.  To tell you the truth, I haven't had an all-out binge in months and months.  That is true progress.  Amazing progress.  One of the biggest milestones I've had so far in the 90 lbs. I've dropped since my highest point.  When I look at myself naked in the mirror every morning before my shower, it's that disgust that makes me say, "I'm going to make this a good eating day.  I'm really going to strive for consistency.  I need to find a way to start exercising again.  I'm sick and tired of looking at all this disgusting fat hanging off of me and there's only one way to change it.  It's up to me."

The fine line that I was talking about earlier before I got off on my "school days" tangent is this......I do not hate every single thing about myself.  There's a lot of stuff I like.  I'm not going to list them, because that would make me sound vain, and I'm not a big fan of vanity.  I find it unattractive.  But I will say this...I'm proud of myself for making the choice to lose the weight.  I'm proud of myself for finally believing I'm worth it.  I'm even proud of myself for NOT losing it for Dwayne, who would love to see me at a smaller size.  Dwayne in regards to my weight is a whole other story and one that I'm not ready to delve into.  He loves me and I absolutely know that....but some things could be better.  I'll leave it at that.

I'm also proud of myself for getting up every time I fall.  One of the things that's going to be so sweet about reaching my goal is how very long it took me to get there.  I've learned a lot of lessons along the way, thanks to finding Blogland.  And I've learned a lot about myself....I've learned just what I'm made of, and it's pretty good stuff. 

The one thing I'm really, really struggling with right now is the exercise.  I have to figure out how I'm going to get it done.  Due to the heat and the fitness center taking so long to be completed, I'm actually considering joining another gym.  I'm on a very tight budget, so it would have to be one of those no-contract, $20/month jobbies....but I'm considering it.  I actually miss the gym.  Some people hate it....feel like they're being stared at, etc.  It's all in your head.  Trust me...nobody gives a crap how many of your fat rolls are jiggling.  In fact, the more fat rolls I see jiggling on someone in front of me on the treadmill, the prouder I am of them!!!  No joke.  It inspires me to no end to see someone set aside their fears and insecurities and just get in there and get the work done.  Hell, if anyone needs to be in the gym, it's us fat people!!  And I love that sense of comraderie....everyone working towards the common goal of getting fit and taking care of themselves.  It's like you're finally part of the "cool" club....it's cool to get healthy and get fit.  There's no arguing that point.  It's such a noble feeling when you've left the gym pouring sweat, smelling like hot garbage and looking like you've just been run over by a Mack truck.  There's nothing wrong with feeling that kind of pride....it's good for the mind and the spirit.  I miss it.  Whether I choose another gym, or some other form of exercise...I want to feel that feeling again of knowing I'm on the right track to losing this weight for good. 

As far as the self-loathing over the loose skin.....I'm still working on that.  There's a lot of mental work that goes into losing the weight, and keeping it off for good.  A TON of mental work.  I'm going to be extremely proud of what I've accomplished when I hit my goal of 170.  Maybe as I get closer to goal, even though the loose skin problem will likely get worse, maybe the pride and sense of accomplishment I feel will overpower the regret of abusing my body for so many years.  I don't know what's going to happen with that.  All I know to do is to press forward and learn to face these issues as they come, instead of burying them or ignoring them, and continuing to stall out.  Today was full of good choices, and tomorrow will be, too.  I'm going to keep pecking away at this until I get it right....and maybe now that I've gotten all of this out of my system, I can finally get some sleep.

Thanks for listening to my crap....and thanks especially to those who are hanging in there with me because, just like me, you know where I'm going to end up.  :)  


  1. I am so glad I decided to read this before bed. I totally could have written that. Except for the fact that I'm a lousy writer and have a hard time expressing myself. Seriously, THAT IS ME. Totally. I GET IT. I know how to eat now with out binging but I can't get over enough to keep losing!!! I was 320 at my highest and now am at like 237 so we are very similar in that sense. The only thing WORSE for me is that I don't crave exercise AT ALL. I HATE IT. Seriously, I was able to get to this weight without a lot of excersise (talk about hanging skin!). Thank you for posting that!! Sometimes you so just have to rant and get it out. I am going to reread this tomorrow too. You rock!! Don't give up!!

  2. I am so proud of you, Tammy. And I am in awe of your honesty and your willingness to share such deeply personal thoughts and feelings.

    So much of this journey is mental. The physical stuff, as you know is pretty much routine and not that complicated. It is what is going on in your head that makes it such a darned job.

    I know that you can do this. I know that one day, and I don't think it will be too far in the future, you will be posting your "I'm at goal!" post. And I can't wait to read it. Celebrate with and for you.

    I know what you mean about missing exercise. Do you know anyone who owns a treadmill or elliptical that they might let you come over and work out on? Have you ever tried Leslie Sansone videos? They are pretty good and give a nice in home walk workout. Maybe rent some and do them until your new fitness centre is ready?

    Anyhoodle. I really just wanted to give you some support and encouragement and end up writing War and Peace in your comments. *blush*

  3. Oh, Tammy. I wish I could say something to help you feel better about yourself. Just know that the fact that you're making a conscious effort to change is very inspirational. Maybe you hate what you did to your body. But the person who did that was the old you. The one who didn't give a crap about exercise or eating the right foods or their health. Now you're a different person, so at least try to give the new you a little credit. And by the way, listing off things you like about yourself isn't vain, it just shows that you aren't completely self-loathing which is a good thing.

    My suggestion for the exercise would be to get exercise DVDs. That's what I'm doing right now because I don't have money for the gym and in about a month it'll be too cold to exercise outside. DVDs have always given me good results as long as I do them consistently. If you want any suggestions just email me or something. :)

  4. You have me bawling my eyes out! Like seriously bawling. Such a raw post and I understand it very well.

    I always wonder how I got here. I've always been on the larger side, but very comfortable with my body and my appearance. It's within the last years that I've become very insecure and it's the right opposite of who I am in other areas of my life, or maybe who I want to be.

    It's okay to cry those tears of frustration. The challenge for you, and for me, is take those same tears and let that carry us to our own definition of greatness. There's value in figuring how the "why" and "how" we got here, but that loses it's value if we allow it to shame us into inaction and self-loathing. I'm working on it with you.

    It's no surprise you love the gym. There's power in knowing you're doing something to get you closer to where you want to be. There's so much power in the control. I was having such a rotten day that I went to work out at 10PM just so I could feel like I'd done something right today or that I was in control.

    I absolutely understand where you are. It's where I am too. Hopefully we can help each other get to the next place. You have my number; you have my email. I'm happy to workout with you. Just say the word. :)

  5. PS - 266's video was amazing; what she's done is ever more incredible but it's had almost a haunting effect on me too. Definitely start the "will I ever's" rolling...

  6. hey! i wrote about meeting bitch cakes in person on sunday. she's so nice, tammy! don't listen to her about all that neurotic, self obsessed stuff :)
    she's wonderful.

    i know where you're coming from with haunting thoughts. oh boy do i know. i was just thinking the same thing today. well, anyway i think it's important to have these conversations with ourselves.

    be well!

  7. I have loose skin, not a ton but enough. I will never look the same as some young girl who hasn't lived. But you have to remember. It's a battle scar. and once you get that weight off, that's how you should view it, as a victory scar. And a warning to never let it happen again.
    Everyone goes through life scarred...with a limp.
    It helped me to hate the fat..not me.
    I treated the fat like it was an unwanted visitor. I gave my fat a name. Every time I worked out I was getting rid of my unwanted visitor.
    And, instead of investing in another gym membership, why don't you see if you can't find a treadmill/elliptical or stationary bike to put in your own house. That way there won't be any outside interference with you getting your workout in...Hang in there hon.

  8. Hey Tammy,

    About your struggle with exercising and taking the time to go to a gym, plus pay for a membership. Have you ever tried doing any in home exercising? Like following a dvd program or something similar? I'm sure you are fermiliar with P90? Perhaps give it a try? I was the biggest skeptic with doing a 'tv' workout, but it has been my biggest success. Its fast, convienient and costs nothing!

  9. you know, I read this and reread this and it SO REMINDS me of when I was working as a resident adviser in college.
    90% of the kids who transferred schools did so to get away from themselves---and found the same sh*t in their new locale.

    youre so so right.
    its hard to be present with ourselves and face the (as I like to call it) MUCK---but only then can we, uh, demuckify.

    xo xo


  10. I understand what you're saying. Do you think that you are "punishing" yourself with food? Do you truly think you're "worth it"? Are you "worth" the time it takes to lose weight? I think you can dislike choices you've made and your weight, but dig deep and find the "I'm worth this, I believe I CAN do it" determination. I think you may have already.

    Worry about the loose skin later. Change what you can change.

    There is one reason that you need to do this....for you. You are the one that has to carry the extra weight around everyday. You are the one that is so affected. I get it.

    I can tell you from experience that when I lost all my weight 2 years ago and was a size 4....I still had the same problems. Yes my body was smaller, but not much else changed. I think that's part of the reason why I've gained so much back.

    I think examining all of your thoughts and feelings is the best step you can make towards change.

    Hang in there girl.

    I'm back on my wagon today. This time I'm going to try to keep that wagon upright instead of flipped over in the mud.

  11. It sounds like you had a rough day or two. I'm glad you are feeling stronger and more dedicated, after your introspection! Now, head to the nearest mall and walk in air conditioned comfort - just avoid the food court. I hope we are ALL part of the LSC (Loose Skin Club) one day! We can flap over our flaps, and deal with those issues when we've earned them. One battle at a time, right? Congratulations on your rededication - you've done well so far, so keep up the good work! xx

  12. Wow...I am speechless. Like so many others, I agree that this was an emotional post...and commend you for putting it out here for all of us to read and share. I can totally appreciate where you are coming from...and commend you for being on this journey--no matter how long it takes. You are a super source of inspiration and someone that I can totally lean on for support--and someone that I will be there to support. If there is anything (and I mean that...ANYTHING) I can do to help...please know that I am just a phone call (or text or email) away. (And now that you are geographically more desirable, I can get there a bit more quickly...LOL!).

    I know that for me, I have to sometimes get all of this out of my head (not that you would know since my blog has been a bit stagnant as of late!)...so for you to put it out here...wow!

    I applaud your willingness to know that there's no excuse...and you have never once given me any of that. You are definitely worth it...

    I leave you with (sorry if you have read it before) my most favorite quote ever (and it's so appropriate...and is posted everywhere around me...), "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter compared to what lies within us" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

    Love you, Girl...and now I must go and fix my makeup...waterproof mascara is a must--you should give me a warning next time!!! :)

  13. Tammy, thank you for pouring out your heart to us. I think it is therapeutic to just get it out of your head.

    First, you are doing great. And you are going to do great. You have been given some good suggestions about exercise. But while I was reading your post, I was thinking...She really wants to go to the gym. And $20 a month for a couple of months is a wise investment indeed. If you don't care for DVD's and can't get outside, please join the gym temporarily. I just think the time is right.

  14. Awww Tammy. I'm so sorry you're having a tough time but I think this was a great post and probably made you feel better.

    I'm almost done reading 'women, food & God' and the entire premise of the book is practicing exactly what you just did - feeling your feelings and moving on to better times instead of trying to hide them or numb them with food. I'm happy to loan it to you if you want it next.

    As far as the gym goes, you could do what a friend of mine just did and hop around to different gyms on free weekly passes. OR just join a $20 a month place like you said. I joined the Y when I didn't have any money at all but somehow it works out every month.

    I'm so here for you...anytime...just a phone call away. I would even drive OTP to come have a margartia with you :) Love you girl and huge hugs.

  15. You said a mouthful Tammy. ;0)Pun intended.
    It takes alot to pour you heart out & leave yourself vulnerable.
    You are to be applauded!
    I'll be cheering you over the Finish Line. (((hugs)))

  16. I think anyone who is obese or morbidly obese can identify with what you posted today. Facing these thoughts is time consuming and emotionally draining but I think that going through them is part of the process and the reason for being successful this time vs. past attempts.

    Going with Josh's comment... you can check them out at the library first and if you like them then get them on the cheap on ebay.

  17. You make me cry because you're so hard on yourself. Would you be so cruel and demanding of anyone else?

  18. Hope you are feeling better after getting all that out - stop being so hard on yourself you have lost so much already and doing great.
    Things will settle down and you will start the excersizing again - Rome wasn't built in a day!!


  19. God Tammy, I just read this at 6 on Tuesday - so sorry I missed it until now. I'm so glad that you were able to get all this stuff out. It really helps I think.

    I don't get offended by you saying you hate yourself because I automatically identify with it - but also know that what I hate in myself is not all of me, but the food addiction that is so hard and baffling to fight. I sense deeply that that is how it is for you too. You are a dear, kind person with a huge caring heart. You are coming to know yourself better each day and I hear that in your words. You ARE able to recognize true progress you've made over the months. The never-say-die attitude.

    The exercise thing is so helpful, not just for weight loss and toning, but also to help dispense the physical energy of the self loathing. You haven't been able to do it for awhile and that must be contributing to the mind struggle. Just keep talking, posting and praying. We can take all that you dish out and will help keep you uplifted and positive. I love you and will be sending you an email tonight about a change of plans with my trip. Hang in, girl!

  20. WHEN you reach your goal it will be amazing! And while I wish I could take away the hatred that you are feeling, I am somewhat comforted by the fact that I know you are aware of how many of us truly LOVE you to pieces! You have got this.

  21. I'm nearly 40 and it's only been in the past couple of years that I really like myself. But I can still be pretty mean to myself as well. One thing I found that helped me is, if you wouldn't say those things to somebody else (you disgust me, you're a failure, etc.) or you wouldn't let someone else say them to you, then how can you be saying them to yourself? You deserve to treat yourself at least as well as you treat others :) For me, it makes the problems more manageable, the light at the end of the tunnel a little more brighter, because while there were a lot of things that went into getting me where I am today (the good and the bad), none of them were because I am a pathetic, disgusting failure. And you can't undo the past, you can only move towards the future.

  22. Hugs..I get you. We'll have a loose skin lamenting party when we get together. Maybe gym hop with some free membership passes until your apt fitness gym opens up?

  23. I think this is a great post, and many of us can totally relate to it. I know I certainly can, and on so many levels! It made me cry too. For you, and myself, and so many others struggling with these very same feelings. And yet, I think NewMe has a very valid point. Would you be this hard on anyone else?
    Hang in there, it will get better!

  24. Hang in there Tammy...and know that i appreciate your honesty, we've all been there!