Stressed is Desserts Backwards

An honest and thought-provoking player blog about the real emotions that come up when we gain weight...and when we take it off.

This is my first blog post and I tend to ramble and sometimes things make sense in my head but not on paper so be patient with me please. :)

Today I am officially 10 pounds away from my first goal of losing 71 pounds. I set this as my milestone because 1) it will put me right at 300 pounds, and 2) it's around what I weighed when I moved to TN almost 7 years ago.

I've been struggling a lot the past few weeks and realized I've been pretty stressed out. This prompted a lot thinking today about the emotional side of not only weight gain but weight loss. (As a therapist and an introvert I think a lot about feelings).

My life has been on the fast track to obesity since I was really young. Not only did I feel shame about my body from around age 7 but I was also taught to binge eat (along with bad eating habits in general). Around age 10 after both of my grandmothers passed away suddenly and within two weeks of each other is when I really began to be overweight. After that point I have never been a healthy weight and have always turned to food for comfort and used binge eating as a way to have control in my life.

I think most people realize that obese people probably have a lot of issues with food/feelings that landed them in the plus size department, but what I wish people realized is the emotions involved in losing weight. I can't speak for the skinny privileged (people who have primarily been at a healthy weight throughout their lives) but for the morbidly obese I know that the emotional road down the BMI scale can be just as hard as the trip up. We aren't losing baby weight...We are losing baggage!

"We aren't losing baby weight...We are losing baggage!"

This upcoming weight loss milestone made me think about all of the emotional junk I'm dealing with. Over the last 7 years of packing all that weight onto an already morbidly obese body I have had an incredible amount of emotional trauma. For 5 years I was a specialized crisis counselor for kids. I went out and determined if kids needed psychiatric hospitalization. I've seen things and heard things that most can't imagine. Then came the paperwork for the job on top of homesickness turned depression. A year into it add the shame and self-loathing I felt for gaining so much weight. I ate my way through every drive up in the area and on my days off pizza delivery was my best friend. Some days I ate 3 meals from fast food places. I binged to feel more in control and to comfort my loneliness and depression.

In March of 2015 I started a new job (my second since leaving crisis counseling in the dust). I bought a Fitbit to help motivate me and planned on making some changes once and for all. Things started slow and then I ended up gaining some back. Then in February of 2016 I started my first DietBet game. I've had many emotional ups and downs. I've cried and I've had moments of pure hatred for my body, but I've also felt victorious and amazed at what my big body can do.

"I feel like losing weight is like hitting rewind on all the emotions that made you gain weight in the first place."

I feel like losing weight is like hitting rewind on all the emotions that made you gain weight in the first place. You have to go back in order to move forward sometimes. You have to feel the feelings again in order to deal with them properly so that they stop causing so many issues. And while you're dealing with all of that stuff coming back up you also have to keep yourself from eating your way out of a dunkin donuts over current stress.

It's hard. It sucks.

It's a process. It's worth it.

The moral of this blog entry is simply point out to myself and whoever might be bored enough to read it that life is messy and full of emotions and that dealing with those in appropriate ways is better in the long run or one day you might wake up and be 371 pounds. And if you find yourself in the position of weighing 371 pounds you still have to deal with those feelings sooner or later.

Make it WayBetter

One powerful way to take care of your emotions is to write about them, as Carrie did so beautifully here. The DietBet blogging feature is a great place to do that, and you can either make your posts public or keep them private!