I’ve been addicted to food for as long as I can remember. It was my friend when I was lonely. It filled the emptiness inside of me when nothing else could. It celebrated the happy times and cried with me during the sad ones. I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life where I could say I was truly in control of my food. At least not willingly. While I’ve been overweight since I was little, I have lost lots of weight over the last ten years. The problem is I’m not able to keep it off. Because I want to be transparent. Because I need to be transparent. Not for anyone but myself. Below is a summary of the last ten years of losing and gaining weight.
My relationship with food has always been unhealthy. I binge. I eat in secret. I eat until I puke and eat more. There is nothing good about me and food. I want that to change. Writing has always been a positive outlet for me and I’m hoping by writing here it can help me to finally lose the weight. But more than losing the weight, finally for the first time ever, keep it off.
Keep up with my journey by reading more in My Journal
In the last eleven years I’ve lost 300 lbs.
The First 100
There was nothing good about how I lost the first 100 lbs. In 2004, I was in the beginning stages of a major psychotic episode. In case you’re wondering I’m also bipolar. In 2004 I was unmedicated and basically floating through life. I worked third shift as a manager in a gas station. I was taking care of my two children completely by myself. I was barely holding it all together. In order to be awake to take my children to school, pick them up, make some semblance of dinner, I needed to be awake. So I lived on energy drinks, no-doz, ginseng tablets, anything I could buy over the counter to keep me awake I bought it. I lived on diet coke, one bagel, and 2 yogurts a day. I walked to and from work, A half mile each way. Walked my kids to and from school, half a mile each way. I walked to and from the grocery store, a mile each way. Our delivery trucks at work came on third shift which meant twice a week I unloaded a truck lifting 100’s of boxes weighing anywhere from 25 to 75 lbs. Needless to say I lost 100 lbs in about 10 months. I was ecstatic. Not only because I was manic out of my mind but I was at the thinnest I’d ever been in my life. And men took notice. I relished the attention I got. Though I never took any of them up on their offers to go out. It still made my world spin knowing I could have my pick of men.
Then my roommate decided she didn’t want a roommate anymore because she didn’t have a place to go with the man she was having an affair with. I had two weeks to find a place to live. A friend who lived in Bahrain offered me a free place to live. Being manic and out of my mind, I accepted and long story short ended up in Bahrain. I sent my kids to live with their father because had I remained in the US, we would have been living on the street. I never wanted them to be on the street. But this is about weight and not insanity so I’m going to cut this off right here.
Fun fact about the Middle East: every fast food place delivers. And I mean EVERY fast food place; McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino’s. I could keep going but hopefully you get the picture. I soon realized bringing my children to live with me wasn’t entirely feasible. I went from high as the sky manic to rock bottom depressed. And I ate. I would call Hardee’s. After they delivered I’d call KFC and order an 8 pc family meal with 2 large sides. Then on some days I’d even order Domino’s. I ate until I puked and then I ate more. This is also when I relapsed back into self harming again. I had been a cutter since I was very young. And as I ate, I would hate myself so much. I’d eat, then puke, then cut, then eat. On and on the cycle went until I gained what I’d lost and then some. I was in Bahrain for nearly three years then I went to live in London.
The Second (almost) 100
After being in Bahrain for almost 3 yrs, I went to live in London. In London, I was a bit more stable. Was one rung up the ladder from rock bottom. I ate sensibly, walked daily, and within about six months I’d begun to start losing some weight. I was in London for over a year and lost nearly 100 lbs. I didn’t do anything drastic. I ate fresh veggies and fruits. No fast food or junk. There was a beautiful park just up the street from me. I walked for hours every day there. Just strolling, looking at the trees, flowers, birds, etc. I didn’t think of it as exercise. It was just me time. Time to get out and enjoy the fresh air. But as time went on, the levelness I felt, started to fade. Depression started creeping back in. At first I didn’t notice. I stopped walking as much. Then not even every day. I swapped fruit for chips. Water for pepsi and by the end of the second year in London, I’d regained nearly everything I’d lost.
The Third 100
After London, I went to live in Pakistan with my husband. I lived there for five years and my weight was pretty even. I might go up or down 10 lbs but nothing drastic. I couldn’t exercise and had no control over what I ate. We had a big family and my MIL did all the cooking. She planned the meals. We ate what she cooked. There were seven of us. I probably could have asked for something different but that would mean she’d have to cook something separate for me. I could never ask her to do that so I ate whatever she cooked. Which mostly consisted of fried, carbs (potatoes and rice) and very little veggies and fruit. After five and half years in Pakistan, I returned to the United States.
At the time I was living with my BFF, rent free, as I waited for my husband’s visa to process and for him to come. In her home, I ate on a schedule. Not because I was hungry but because it was 9 am, or 2pm or 7 pm. I mostly ate lean cuisine prepackage microwave meals. If there was a time in my life where I controlled my food, it would have been the year I lived with her. I lost 85 lbs in that year; which was 2014 if you’re keeping up. I was ecstatic. I even took up running. ME! Running?! I couldn’t believe it. But I loved it. I am not fast. I won’t be breaking any marathon records any time soon but I love to run. So I do.
Then 2015 came, my husband’s visa was approved; by that time I had lost 95 lbs. I got an apt. He came over and I gained 25 lbs within the first 3 months he was here. I cooked for him. His work scheduled changed by the day. I have no routine. I must have a routine. During 2014, I woke up at 8 am. Every. Day. I ate breakfast at 9 am. I went for a run at 10 am. Showered at 11 am. Watched TV and shot the shit with my BFF and her husband from noon until 2 pm. Had lunch. Began work. (I work from home). Worked until 4 pm. Spoke with my husband on Skype from 4-5 pm. Worked until 7 pm. Ate dinner at 7 pm. Depending on what day it was I would watch my TV show with my BFF’s husband. We are both diehard SOA and Justified fans. Then I’d finish up whatever work if any. Play some WoW (Horde if you’re interested) and then between 1-2 am I’d go to sleep. This was my routine while living with my BFF
2015 is almost over I’ve lost nothing and have started gaining again. I don’t want to gain. I want to lose. Today my bipolar is medicated. I have a wonderful doctor, friends, and husband who are my support system. I want to lose weight so when I look at myself I don’t see the person I use to be. The fat depressed unhappy person. I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be healthy.
That’s why I’m here. I’m going to hold myself publicly accountable. Win or lose all the nitty gritty dirty parts laid out bare for all to see. This is where I am today. This is where my journey begins. This is where I finally be the me on the outside that I am on the inside.
I have a lot of plans for this section. I don’t know how many I’ll end up doing. I plan to try and see what works and what doesn’t. But this is about me. You’re welcome to follow along. This isn’t about telling you what the right way to lose weight is because there is no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss. This is my journey. This is what I feel will work for me. You’re welcome to try it or not. I’m not out to convince anyone about anything. I just want to be a healthier me.