Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Battle with Food Addiction UPDATE


This is me in February of 2012.  It's probably one of the most hideous photos of me still in existense so I thought I'd get it out of the way first.  Go big or go home, right?  For the record, I am a bigger boned woman and I'm 5'8".  That does not however excuse being morbidly obese.  In this pic, I know I am all of 250 pounds.  It still repulses me today BUT...I climbed that fucking mountain like BOSS.  I was trying to change,  even in the midst of my darkest days.  I was out there climbing mountains.  What you don't see is me binging on a 12 inch steak and cheese sub with chips and a soda afterwards.  You don't see the 12 beers I drank and the chips and dip I finished off that night because I hated my life.  I was depressed and struggling with food addiction.  I wrote an earlier post on my food addiction here:  Confessions

I was huge but by god I'm on top of the mountain!
Me at my heaviest, 250 pounds on the top of Pinnacle Mountain in Little Rock Arkansas.
I hated that place.

So, I was climbing all of these "mountains" (coming from Virginia, I use that term loosely when referring to the large hills in eastern Arkansas) in preparation for my very first attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.  Lofty goal for a fat chick eh?  I was so depressed, I didn't care if I died on the AT as long as I was back in the Appalachians and in the Eastern Time Zone.  I wanted to walk home, from Springer Mountain Georgia to Rockfish Gap Virginia.  Okay, I wanted to hike the whole thing up to Katadin Maine but realistically I thought if I could get to Virginia I'd be happy.

Here is a pic of me on top of Springer Mountain Georgia at the end of March 2012.  As early in the season as it was, it was REALLY hot.  I found out just what it's like to be 250 pounds, out of shape, and haul 44 pounds of gear on your back up and down REAL mountains!  What a shock!

Look at the fat rolls around my waist!  Even my knees are fat!

Bursting at the seams...Men's XL clothing was tight.

I managed to do an entire week alone hiking the Appalachian Trail.  I ran out of money and was physically exhausted. I panicked and went off trail.  I really wish I'd borrowed some cash, sucked it up, and stayed on the trail but then again, everything happens for a reason.  Although the next year was really tough, it put me where I'm at today and for that, I'm very grateful.  I still want to thru-hike the AT.  We'll see...maybe next year?

So, I FINALLY moved home to Virginia in the summer of 2012.  I took a room in an old farmhouse, sight unseen.  I had no idea what the place looked like, other than pics that were shared online.  I'd never met any of the people that lived there.  I honestly DID NOT CARE.  I was so desperate to go home to Virginia and to be done with my current relationship, I didn't care who my new housemates were as long as they left me and my cat ALONE.   I spent nine months with a pervy old man who was a hoarder and who liked to prey on vulnerable women, a house full of young party animals/musicians, and two incredibly awesome females who became my friends. I still hang out with both of them.

Here I am in the summer of 2012, still fat but very happy.  I think it shows in my face.  By August, when this pic was taken, I had dropped 14 pounds just from being out of the toxic Arkansas relationship and living in Virginia again.  I was still in a big battle with my food addiction but I was starting to win and feel better. When you feel better, you eat less.  It's a positive cycle.

Happy to be home, lost 14 pounds.
There's a story behind the radical hair choices.  I'll talk about that in another post.

A post from September 2012:  Why I am going hiking today

Okay, this is tough for me to share but here I am at my absolute worst.  Close up.  I was back to eating my feelings and washing them down with wine AND I had run out of my thyroid meds.  I'm hypothyroid and need to take a supplemental thyroid tablet for the rest of my life and here I'd been off my meds for a few months.

Horrible skin, zits, cracked lips, dark circles, swollen face.  I was miserable here and it shows.

Here I am in the month of December 2012.  I had just started exercising by walking a mile a day.  I had also done some lemon water fasting and just gotten into organic vegetable juicing.  I was really starting to feel and look better.  The pics start in early December and go thru the end of the year.

Now we're into January of 2013:

Feeling better but still looking rough.  Change takes time but I was determined to do it.

February 2013

March 2013
AKA the month my Happy returned
Feel like wearing makeup again!
Feeling cute and sexy!
Feeling confident again!

Finally fit into this dress!!!

Let's move on to April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

And...July 2013
Me today, still a work in progress...

My professional portrait for my online businesses.
Photo courtesy of LEGWORK, by Legz LLC
Thanks Legz!

Photo by LEGWORK, by Legz LLC

Photo by LEGWORK, by Legz LLC

Me at Virginia Beach.  Yes, I'm wearing a bathing suit under there and I walked around on the beach for the first time in years!

Today, I still struggle with food.  Unlike drugs, it's nothing something I can just quit using.  I have to eat.  It's a daily struggle and I try not to be too hard on myself if I eat something unhealthy.  I just have to remember that food is not there to numb my feelings or to occupy my time.  I have learned how to feel my feelings, to experience the pain and hurt, and to be stronger in spite of it.  I have learned how to recognize "bored hunger" from true hunger.  

I'm far from perfect and honestly I never want to be (HA!) but I have learned a lot from dealing with this addiction.  Most of my success had just been flat out stubbornness and the desire to make a positive change.  I do things like walking, yard work, and stretching.  I drink a gallon of water a day.  Yes, a gallon!  It really does make a HUGE difference!  I rarely drink soda of any kind.  I've never been a sweets person.  My "kryptonite" is potatoes.  All kinds of potatoes...mashed, fried, baked, tater tots, french fries, scalloped, au gratin, hash browns, boiled...THAT'S where I have to really be careful.  I still eat them, but only with a meal.  There were times I would ONLY make mashed potatoes and gravy and EAT THE WHOLE BOWL BY MYSELF.  Yep.  No more.

If you are suffering with an eating disorder, I urge you to seek help.  Talk to a friend, a doctor, someone.  There are Overeaters Anonymous groups, therapists, even social media groups where you can get online and talk to others who are going through the same things.  

Don't give up on yourself.  If you're unhappy, change something.  No one says you have to be a certain size but if you're really miserable at your current weight and food is your problem, make a change, a small change, right now.  Go for a walk.  Even five minutes is better than nothing.  Drink a glass of water.  Stretch.  Listen to music.  Call a friend.  Take a nice bath.  
(I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.  I am just talking to you as a human being.)

Okay, I have avoided posting this for as long as I can stand it so here it goes...

UPDATE!  As of 10-30-2013 I have lost 76 pounds~I'm back in a size 8/10!