zoot

I'm addicted to superhero movies, donuts, craft beer, playing in the woods, and reading YA fiction. I'm a writer by day and a dreamer by night.

Eating My Feelings.

I haven’t talked about my fitness/health in awhile. The scale keeps clicking up and I keep not exercisng. Today, it said 170 for the first time outside of a pregnancy. That’s a 25lb weight gain in ONE YEAR. I’ve never been this heavy (remember – I’m only 5’2″) and not pregnant. Ever. And if I was active and eating right and 170, I could love this body. Some days in some outfits I like this body, but since I can’t afford to buy all new clothes most of my clothes are too tight and very unflattering so most days I hate this body.

But the problem is, the body is not even the slightest bit healthy.

I still have this terrible cough (My doctor is feeling like it might be me developing asthma – which – I didn’t know that could happen) that got worse again last weekend. So my motivation to run has not existed as any time I’m in the cold and breathing hard my cough gets bad. I’ve been eating like CRAP lately. I had chips and dip for breakfast Tuesday. CHIPS AND DIP FOR BREAKFAST.

I’m trying not to be too hard on myself because my mental health has been in the toilet and I can only really focus on one thing at a time, but when I’m not being stubborn I know that when I eat right, my mental health is better. But most days I’m stubborn and that idea pisses me off because it’s one of those ideas that people who don’t struggle with anxiety or depression will say: “Well, you know exercise and a good diet can really help with depression!” But it is SO HARD to make good food decisions when your brain says, “But right now you are really really sad and chips and dip make you happy.” BECAUSE THEY DO MAKE ME SO HAPPY.

And I’m drinking too much beer, I’ve become really dependent on the Beer When I Get Home because it means my day is over and I can disconnect from the world and hide in a book or on the couch with sitcoms. So, that beer is like a MUST HAVE which was okay during soccer season when my days ended at like 8pm, but now my days end at around 5:30pm so I have that beer at 5:30 and then – well – there’s so much more time left! So now I always have TWO beers and some nights I even have a THIRD and y’all – that is TOO MUCH BEER to be drinking on the regular. THAT IS FIVE HUNDRED CALORIES OF BEER EVERY NIGHT. What the hell, Kim?

And I’m embarrassed by all of this because I’ve been twisted by bad messaging (as we all have) and I can’t help but look at every pound as a sign of weakness. As a sign of failure. This body is not ugly but it reminds me how far I’ve fallen and how sad I’ve been and it’s hard to start taking care of the body when some days my mind is still a mess.

But I have to do something. 25lbs in one year is unhealthy and since the scale keeps clicking up there’s nothing that says the weight gain won’t stop here.

I do want to make this clear: I don’t always hate the look of this body. I have a dress that I got at Ross that show off the curves on this body and if I’m in a good headspace and wearing that dress I can love my body. But I don’t love the body because I’m not taking care of it and I do know mental health and physical health are very intertwined together and I know I’m always a little bit more stable mentally if my body is feels healthy and right now my body feels terrible and my mental health is in the shitter so something has to be done.

I don’t know the answer. I think I’ll start with just writing down everything I eat and drink. Maybe if I have to write down, “1 entire medium cheese pizza” as my lunch I’ll avoid eating the whole thing in one sitting. The hard thing is that to do anything even remotely off “auto pilot” then my mental health has to be in line. When I’m in the “dark zone” of my mental health everything is just automatic, I just do what require the least amount of thought in that moment because thinking to much sends me down a dark spiral. So, forcing myself to take a moment to write down food may not be possible because it pulls me out of my “safe” auto path and forces me to think outside the auto pilot zone and lately that’s not been a good place for my brain to go.

DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?

Anyway. I’m going to try to see if I can do that and not feel 100% worse about my life. I’m just writing stuff down. I’m not going to make any changes to my diet or routine, I’m not saying “No more beer!” or “Only 1500 calories!” or anything like that. No rules except to write it down. One habit at a time. If I can make that part of my “auto pilot” routine then maybe it will help me make better decisions without spending too much time thinking about my own misery.

Thanks for letting me rattle on. Here’s to stopping this weight gain train before I bust out of the few articles of clothing I can still squeeze myself into.

14 comments on “Eating My Feelings.

  1. Could you afford to buy just a few things in a couple sizes bigger at a fast fashion place? To be comfortable and feel cute makes a huge difference for me! I used to think of buying a size up as “giving up” or “accepting” and it took me a long time to be ok with it. We have to cut ourselves a break SOMEWHERE.

  2. Oh, honey, it is IMPOSSIBLE to worry about what you are eating when your headspace is a dangerous place. Ask me how I know. No, don’t do that. But I completely understand. I wish I had advice but I don’t have that either. I just know for me, I have to get my head right first and then tackle the eating. It’s the only way.

  3. I so hear you on this. I was 252 lbs (5’8”) last December and so fed up with the yo yo of dieting and regaining. And I know I was using food emotionally as well.

    A friend of mine mentioned a new program she was on, and I was so skeptical, but I went on her website and watched her videos and decided to give it a go.

    I’ve lost 70 pounds this year. But more importantly to me, I’ve really gained a ton of freedom from all the cycles of drama I had with food. I feel like a “normal” person without irresistible impulses to eat when I’m stressed.

    I don’t know if you’ll find it helpful – everyone figures out their food and health differently, but I’ll pass it along in case you are interested. http://Www.brightlineeating.com.

    I am in her bootcamp, so I get discount coupons to share if you want to try it. (Everyone who has joined for a yearly membership gets these coupons, so you don’t have to get them from me – you could ask anyone in the program to send you one).

  4. I think you are an incredible person. I, too, have packed on some pounds and don’t feel great about it. I’ve stopped beating myself up about it, because I don’t want to look back in 10 years and have my memories colored by bad feelings. It isn’t easy. This is my body and I’m allowed to inhibit this body and this world. I can’t find the website where I’ve gotten some nice clothes for $10 or $20, but when I do, I’ll send it your way. Nice, flowy, comfortable clothes make me feel good and helps me enjoy this world. Keep at it. In glad you are sharing. We don’t have to be perfect. I said at least 3 stupid things yesterday and I’m trying not to cringe/hate myself. I keep coming back to: I will make mistakes and say things wrong, because I am not perfect. Thank you for everything you do.

  5. Oh Kim, how I relate to this post! I am so sorry you are feeling bad about your body (most of the time), but I need to tell you that I find you AMAZING. I gained 25 pounds in a year last year, and was on the brink of turning 45, weighing more than when I was pregnant, feeling like absolute dregs all the time, and finding every excuse to blame perimenopause, an imagined thyroid issue, etc. other than my habits for the situation. I read your blog every day, all about your running, bullet journals, pride in E, N, and W, struggles with anger/anxiety/depression, eating habits, etc. I wish I lived near Huntsville, because I think that you and I would completely be friends IRL. You are so strong, so open and honest, and so willing to be vulnerable, which I admire. I know this is a hard time, and body image/physical/mental/emotional health are inextricably linked, but please hang in there. I know you want to stay inside and not be around the drama of your running groups, and fall back into more introverted behavior; I implore you, keep using your readers as posts on which to lean. You make us laugh, you make us cry, you inspire us to be better people. We love you no matter your size, shape, medications, or boob sweat.

  6. I don’t have anything insightful to add, so I’m just going to say ditto to Jane’s comment. We love you!

  7. Years ago I had a terrible cough that would not go away. They thought I had developed asthma. I used an inhaler for awhile. But what I really had was a deep sinus infection that they found when I had a sinus X-ray. Took about three rounds of antibiotics to get rid of the infection and the cough. Hope you are feeling better soon. Maybe you could ask about the possibility of a sinus infection?

  8. The website is Dorothy Perkins and it refreshes fairly often. Feel free to delete this comment. They usually have sales every Sunday. I do not get any kickbacks for putting this here.

  9. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I don’t have any words of wisdom, other than to say that one of the things I’ve learned *from you over my years of reading your blog* is that just because we make a particular decision or are in a certain space, doesn’t mean it lasts forever. One of the things I admire about you is that you have changed things up over time. But that doesn’t mean it has to happen just this minute. Take care!

  10. Concurring with PP that it is nearly impossible to focus on healthy eating and exercise when you are in the depths of depression and anxiety. You have to focus on one thing at a time right now, and when you’re depressed, it’s the depression you have to focus on. Pick one thing each day you are doing to help depression (besides taking your meds). Maybe that one thing is not having that beer because it’s a depressant. And even if that means you eat 2 doughnuts instead, it is a step in the right direction. Keep doing that one thing. When you feel less depressed, you can add one thing. But you can’t expect yourself to do allthethings related to health when your brain is in mutiny mode. Praying for you.

  11. Ditto what previous posters have said. I have also put on some major pounds in the past 2 years (thank you, hormones, menopause, and unhealthy habits that have finally caught up to me!). My clothes don’t fit and there’s not a lot of spare $$ to buy new ones. I started using the Lose It app to track calories and while I was skeptical at first that it would help, it really is influencing my choices. It’s not completely accurate, as I have to guesstimate a lot in terms of how much I’m eating–especially at restaurants or social gatherings–BUT, it definitely just makes me more aware of how much I’m eating and what the trade-offs are. I haven’t magically shed the pounds or anything (yet) but I am a few pounds lighter so far. Might be worth looking into. In the meantime, be kind to yourself! You are loved and valued and are very important to a lot of people. 🙂

  12. Oh wow, I am standing RIGHT BESIDE you in solidarity! I, too, have gained 25 pounds! I have never been this heavy when not pregnant in my life. And it just keeps going up! I, too, am trying to love my body anyway…love myself anyway… I think about a couple friends of mine who have always been heavy, but they OWN it…it just IS what their body style is and they are comfortable in their own skin, sexy, etc. But I was never heavy in my entire life, outside of the few months after pregnancies. I am not ME. It makes me not want to go do social things with my friends. I used to sing professionally, and one of the main reasons I quit last year is because I can’t stand the thought of being up in front of people with all this extra weight on my body. And, like you, I know I am not HEALTHY. Too much the wrong kinds of food and too much wine. So…here we are. I like your idea of starting by simply LOGGING what I ingest each day. Simply fact-finding. No changes needed yet. Just gathering research. Thanks for that idea. It sounds like a perfect first step! Hang in there!

  13. Right there with you. SO right there with you. One thing my therapist has recommended for my feelings of “omg intertwining I feel terrible so I eat which makes me feel more terrible so I eat” which is just sort of the opposite of where I want to head which is “try to treat my body healthily which makes me feel better which makes me more apt to eat a piece of fruit instead of a package of Oreos” …. anyways my therapist recommended: try something ridiculously small. Like, if it doesn’t feel silly and tiny then it’s too big. For example, I said “well I could walk for an hour during my lunch break everyday” and she told me to rein it in, slow down, etc and my actual goal for the next week is to go for ONE walk at some point for JUST 15 minutes . Her thinking was that I don’t want to set myself up for more failure in that same terrible cycle, but just try to break the cycle a teenie tiny bit and then build from there. Anyways just wanted to put that out there as an idea. Hope you are feeling better soon!

  14. Kelly just said what I was going to say about the exercise. Any movement you haven’t been doing- park 10 spaces farther away from work. Ride bike instead of drive somewhere close. You are also on the right track with writing down what you eat. I need to start doing it again. Just dont get off track because you ate a bunch of crap that day. I started food journaling in September then quit- Slog through it and most likely your eating will improve. Get off the scale. If you want the donut, etc. Get it- then throw out half- or in my case put it under some of the crap in there car. Take small steps- no major goal setting. If you chose to run- set a short goal race. One that is a long party, or supports a charity near and dear to your heart and no more than 10K. Antidepressants will make you gain weight , but they are so necessary for people like you and me.

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