Sunday, October 7, 2012

Feast of burden

My absolute favourite time of year!

Let the games begin!  Every time there is a holiday celebration...or a celebration of any kind, I like to have a little competition with myself over how well I will do staying on plan.  So far I am undefeated...against myself!  I don't actually fear celebratory meals.  My family (both extended and in-laws) always make a protein of some kind with salad.  So I always know I'll be covered.  This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.  My absolute favorite holiday!  No pressure with gifts...just food and family.

I know for some of us who are on special diets, the holidays can prove to be very daunting.  The temptation to throw everything out the window and start fresh at the beginning of the week can be overwhelming.  I'm here to remind you of how hard you have worked up until now.  Is it worth it to throw it all way on a splurge? I say no.  For me (and this is why I can't deviate from the lifestyle change), I know that if I splurge one day, that will lead into two, which will lead into a week, which will lead to a weight gain of 100+ pounds.  Far fetched you say?  Not even a little.  I've been down that road way too many times to not know how it will end.

I'm a binge eater.  In my post My Life in Pictures, Part 2, I shared that I was bulimic in my late teens. I had been binging since I was a child.  I used to hoard and then secretly gorge myself on food.  I'm not sure why I did it, or why I needed to have that full feeling, but I did.  When I was 18 and living away from home for the first time, I started binging and purging.  I would do this several times a week, and on the days that I didn't purge, I wouldn't binge, but I would eat very little (ie: two slices of bread with peanut butter).

I was able to drop weight doing this...not a ton, but enough to keep me at a fairly "normal" weight, and by normal I mean I was still over-weight, just not obese.  This behaviour lasted for about 2 years.  The reason why I stopped purging is because my mother heard me and confronted me.  I didn't admit or deny that I was making myself vomit, but I know she knew.  The shame of being caught caused me to stop the purging.  What didn't stop was the binging.  I continued to binge eat myself to 300 pounds.

I have recently cut raw almonds out of my diet.  I am allowed a serving of said almonds (ie:10), but then realized that they became too snacky for me.  I started to obsess over them when we were apart.  Sure almonds are healthy, but not when you eat 3x more the suggested serving size.  Then I found myself justifying the behaviour by saying, "well I run 35+k a week, I can splurge on almonds".  Not so when you still haven't reached goal.  Although it may not sound like a lot, these little behaviours add up into all the bad behaviours of my former life.  A place I refuse to return to.

I'm going to have to live with celebrations and holidays for the rest of my life.  I'd rather that they be fun and enjoyable, not something that makes me anxious.  I'm the one in control of my destiny. I'm the one who will have to live with the consequences of my actions tomorrow.  I have a dinner tonight, and a dinner tomorrow (neither of which I am preparing).  I already know what is being served, so I am totally prepared.  Planning is key in any worthwhile situation and my health and well-being is a priority.  Walking into social situations blind and reasoning that there was nothing there you could eat because you didn't know what was being served is just an excuse.  A bad excuse to eat off plan.  It takes little effort to pack something you can eat...just in case!

What I am most thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving!