Saturday, December 10, 2011

Me and Mud Mountain

You may have wondered where I have been lately.  Well, aside from being insanely busy with some year end projects at work, I have also struggled with what I could say here.  Yep.  Been busy, but partly avoiding you on purpose.  Sorry.

In the last almost 2 years since I began blogging, I have developed a feeling of responsibility to all of you who are reading.  I feel responsible for giving you good advice, sharing my successes and struggles, and overall leaving you with things to ponder and encouragement to run with.  There is a blog I read where I feel the blogger seems to have good intentions but jumps from diet to diet, and excuse to excuse, never finding success and never moving forward but never admitting they fail, just jumping to the next thing, exclaiming "this must be it!  this will work!"  Until it doesn't.  Again.  It pains me to read blogs like that; its like a bad train wreck though and I can't look away.  I keep hoping they will get it.

So that huge sense of responsibility has kept me from blogging since my 10k debrief at Thanksgiving.  I have not felt like I had anything encouraging to say, and I was struggling.  It's not like I want to pretend this is an easy, perfect journey, I've been painfully honest before for anyone to accuse me of that.  I just didn't have the words.  And maybe, until this last 24 hours, didn't really understand what was happening anyway.

This last 20 pounds is anything but a cinch. In fact, if you look at my weight loss, I have only lost 3 pounds since I finally hit 100 pounds down on August 31st.  So that means I have lost a little over 1 pound a month for two months.  Um...slow weight loss much?  I'm even struggling there as I keep gaining and losing the same 3 pounds it seems.  I'm back up to 185.  It seems to be my body's favorite number.

Now to be fair, my body is still changing as well. I'm now solidly in a size 12, and even have some dresses that are 10s that fit me well.  I can physically see some changes, but I can also see, and admit honestly to myself, that I have another 20 pounds at least to lose, not due to the stupid BMI chart, but due to seeing the fat on my body and knowing my body fat % is not yet considered healthy (I actually think that chart is right).

So I'm done being fair, and if you follow my facebook page you know that I have mentioned a "slippery slope" here and there.  Let me explain.

My metaphor is that building and changing your lifestyle is sometimes a bit like running up a muddy mountain.  You see footprints ahead of you so you know it is possible to climb it.  You feel strong when you are at the bottom and begin your ascent and sometimes you even make it ten steps (or days/weeks/months) before you slide backward.  There are times you are using your hands and feet, to steady yourself, pull yourself upward, and at other times, you have to have friends giving you a shove from behind in the right direction.  But you continue to look up.  Every success keeps you focused on the peak.  Every failure makes you want to look down...and then you slide a little bit more.  This slope is unforgiving, yet encouraging.  Many have climbed, lost and slid home.  Many have climbed, pushed through, achieved their goals and the climb is a distant memory.  Some, like me, are close to the top but continue to slide backward.

I have yet to crest this mountain my friends.  And I think I know why.  I have baggage holding me back.

I've addressed having issues with food on here.  I'm an emotional eater at heart with little self-control.  Ok, stop gasping, those that have only known me since on this journey, believe it or not I am not fixed of that issue.  But I really think it is more than just being an emotional eater which has become very clear to me in the last few weeks.

I think I am addicted to food.

Oh the sense of relief I'm feeling right now from admitting that out loud, or typing it out loud.  Same thing these days; I did say it out loud to my friend this morning as we were running.

Hello, my name is Clara, and even though I have lost 100 pounds, I am still addicted to food.  I am still on the slippery slope and right now I am hanging on for dear life. 

Last night, I consciously chose to eat something I would never have touched 6 months ago.  Chicken fingers, french fries and a biscuit from Bojangles.  It smells good when people in the office eat there, but they have all discouraged me from eating there as they know my general food rules.  And I ate there anyway.  This followed a day of many unplanned treats, as vendor gifts are pouring in by the basketful. 

All of this is following a few months of more travel than normal and being busier than ever.  I think I began to go sideways on Mud Mountain.  I was using both hands and feet, but not moving forward.  Just sideways.

I've come full circle and am back where I was in August.

Listen, this is still not the worst place to be.  I am happy with my progress.  But I realize there will not be further progress until I fight this food addiction head on.

Know how I came to this realization?

Through other people.

Now, no one has staged an intervention (though I would really welcome one if any of you are interested), I haven't had anyone sit me down and tell me they are concerned, and I am not upset with anyone for supposedly sabotaging me.  None of that has happened.

A few comments here and there are what clued me in to the realization last night that something was not right.

Last month while traveling, I had the opportunity to eat at a really awesome restaurant in SC.  The food selection was incredible. I absolutely could have made a good choice.  But the sweet potato chips sounded really good, and how bad could they be?  So I made the choice to have pretty much an entire plate of fried food.  FOOD FAIL.  Fried crab cakes (which were not actually good compared to the broiled ones), hush puppies, sweet potato chips and fried shrimp.  And lots of diet coke to wash it down.  A comment was made, by someone who spends alot of work time with me, that they had never seen me eat anything fried.

Twisted my good ankle on Mud Mountain.  Continued to move sideways.

Later on that really sunk in.  In the 9 months I have worked for this new company, I have maintained my good eating habits in work situations; like when we all go out to lunch, etc.  Not perfect, but never ordering fried food.  This is how I lost the weight, and this is how they knew me.  Fried food was out of character.  Huh.

Then the food has just been rolling in, literally, over the past few weeks.  Holiday treats from vendors.  Amazing dipped this and that. Candy in the office.  Freaking cookies!  I have not had my snacks with me and therefore, I have indulged way more than I should have. 

I was hungry on Thursday afternoon and one of my co-workers offered me an apple.  I didn't want an apple, I said.  I wanted something else.  An apple would have been a perfect choice, and would have made me feel fuller longer.  My co-worker asked me if I was drinking my water like I usually do.  Another interesting, thought provoking comment.  I mean, I was drinking water.  But I haven't been up to my normal 4 bottles a day lately.  Clue #2 that me and Mud Mountain were preparing for departure.

I ended up eating a bag of popcorn from another co-worker. Popcorn really isn't the worst thing.  So why did I have to eat a bunch of maple dipped peanuts after that?  Seriously? Especially on a day where I already indulged in some chocolate covered raisins.

Then we went to a bonfire at a friends house and ate hot dogs, chili, chips, chocolate chip cookies and smores.  Yep.  All of that.

My body is freaking out.  Mud Mountain opened up a trap door and invited me to jump in.  I continued to shuffle sideways.

Yesterday I ended up indulging in more cookies, more double dipped maple nuts (yep TW that's where they went) etc.  And then I met Mr. Bojangles for dinner.  And he sang to me.

Full frontal face plant on Mud Mountain.  Complete with backward slide and bojangles man singing. 

When I got home with my food, my husband was shocked at what I had ordered for dinner.  He was being very careful, but was asking me questions about why I made that choice, etc.  I wasn't offended by his questioning, more just convicted by it.  He said he knows I feel better when I'm making better choices.  He just wants me to feel better.  I haven't even mentioned my diet coke consumption as of late.  Ridiculous.

I hugged Mud Mountain and we shared an ugly cry.

In all honesty, I haven't actually cried about this realization even though I should have.  It isn't like an earth shattering revelation that I am in shock about.  I think underneath my looking-good-in-my-size-12-exterior, I have simply been avoiding the fact that I have a problem I have not yet dealt with. 

And until I really learn about and deal with this problem, there will be no scaling this mountain. 

There it is, my friends. Challenge explained.  Now, what am I going to do about it?

I'm going to pray.  Alot.  If you have read my profile, you know I am a Christian.  I'm not going to judge you, so don't judge me...I won't be preachy here but I will honestly share what I truly believe is going to help me over this addiction that is blocking my access to the top of this mountain.  God is.

I am simply not strong enough on my own to do this.  Or, by now, 27 months after starting, it would be smooth ascent to the peak.

As described above, I'm between a ledge and a mudhole.  I need divine intervention.

My husband is a pastor, and my own prayer life, partly due to being busy but mostly due to not making time, has been anything but regular.  Yep, gasp again.  Preacher's wife is not a saint. :)

Today I will finish reading a book I've mentioned on Facebook called "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst.  She is a Christian author who writes in this book about satisfying your deepest desires with God, not food.

Since I began reading her book I've continued to struggle, though I've had some amazing realizations. 

At first, I was skeptical, as she talks about how she is pretty restrictive on treats in her diet.  I don't ever want to be diety, as you've heard me say a zillion times.  But as I read more, her rationale is that she may one day get to the point where she is strong enough to, say, bake 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies and only eat one and not sample the batter.  10 times.  But she isn't there yet.


But I was made for more than chocolate chip cookies and their evil dough.

There are tons of amazing thoughts, good, direct, thought provoking questions and relevant scriptures in this book.  Today, I'm going to purchase the workbook to go along with it and begin working through this food addiction once and for all.

I will take you along on the journey with me, if you're interested.  I almost have that feeling before you start a new exercise program, or start taking a new class at the gym. 

I have anticipation of healing this addiction.

I have excitement over being stronger than I've ever been and finally losing weight again.

I have joy knowing I am not on this journey alone.

It starts with asking that no one give me any food treats for Christmas.  If you want to give me a holiday mug, just give me the mug. :)  No candy, no cookies, etc.  I'm not swearing these things off, now, I may end up going cold turkey as I learn more about this issue and how to handle it; but as of this moment I'm not making a proclamation that sugar is the devil and I'm done with it.

Though it may be.  And I might be.

Time will tell.

Thanks for listening to my rant...and for praying for me if you feel so inclined.  I want so badly to have my light shine brightly for others; I desire to help anyone who wants it, to get healthy and love themselves more than food. 

My heart truly is in the right place.

Now lets get my head there.

Love you all,


jrae83 said...

Tears and prayers for you, my friend! I had to confront the food addiction earlier on this year. Just the realization itself was a huge relief and help in my journey. But I can always look back on those weeks or for me, months of September and October, and see where I let my addiction take control. And those diet cokes are sneaky little devils that do not help in anyway really! I've gone back to my limit of one a week but hope to decrease it even more. Thanks for sharing your struggles AND triumphs! They have helped me in more ways that I can count! Love you!

Anne said...

Good for you! It's a hard realization to accept that this really will be a life-long thing that will have some hard times. I too realized a few years back that I was addicted to food. I think it's harder for food addicts that say alcoholics or other drugs, because we don't have the choice to never have food again. I am certainly an all or nothing person though. I can't just have little bits of this or that of things I shouldn't have or I slip back into bad habits all over the place. It's nice to have someone else put into words what so many of us are thinking. And I think that is the reason you have so many loyal followers. You tell it how it is and others identify with you. Thanks for posting this. We're all behind you pushing you up the mountain or next to you having a conversation on how we're going to get up this darn muddy slope. :) Keep it up. Things can just go up from here!

ClaraB said...

Thanks Jess and Anne! Your comments are so encouraging and help solidify my decision to be so transparent. :) I appreciate you both so much! We are all in this together.
Huge hugs,

Clare@peak313 said...

Go, girl go! I'm your biggest fan! You are doing exactly what you need to be and without the valleys, we don't experience the mountaintops.

Keep writing. Keep living life. It's beautiful and it's music to His ears.