This week, I had a rest week. I looked forward to this week during half marathon training: the week where I could just not do anything and take it easy so I could start a new training program the following week.
I expected to feel some sort of freedom: time without forcing myself to work out or forcing myself to eat good things (or as it turned out to be, NOT eat things). I could veg out, put my feet up, watch lots of reality tv, eat what I wanted to.
I am a recovering food addict. At 455 pounds I would go get carry-out from a local restaurant: large order of cheese fries with extra, extra ranch dressing. Plus a chicken finger salad with honey mustard/hot bacon dressing. Don't let the word “salad” fool you. It was fried chicken, cheese, potato sticks and tons of bacon drippings as dressing. The lettuce was just a method on which to get the fried chicken and bacon dressing into my mouth. For breakfast, I could go to a fast food restaurant and order 2 breakfast sandwiches plus a large order of hash rounds and some gooey sugar-disguised-as-fruit-filled biscuits. I would mindlessly stuff all food in my face until all of it was gone. Eating past the point of fullness and into stuffed and sweaty territory.
This week, my “freedom” from my new healthy lifestyle meant I reverted back to these old behaviors. It was an unconscious, robotic thing. I mindlessly went to restaurants and ate food that I know is unhealthy. I ate it without being aware of taste and how it made me feel, physically. I didn't go as far as eating like I used to in my 455 pound days, but looking at it right now, it was shocking how quickly I could snap back into these unhealthy, self-sabotaging ways. It's really disgusting looking back at it because I didn't enjoy it. Some of it didn't even taste good. I didn't feel more satisfied than usual with it in my stomach. I feel bloated and like my fat cells are seriously screaming at me. I know that sounds odd, but it's like the opposite of squishy fat. When I took my bra off tonight (I know, TMI), my skin literally hurt. It wasn't too tight, but my skin just HURT. I can't explain it. Hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about.
I don't know why I expected for this freedom to feel good. Or why I interpreted “freedom” as “screw what you've been doing and all that makes you feel good.” This week, I consumed Mexican, Italian, American and Chinese food. I say “consume” because I honestly don't remember being hungry when I ate it, or feeling satisfied when I ate it. It was completely mindless, and I really feel nasty about it. Disgusted really.
On one hand, I'm glad I feel disgusted. It is complete reinforcement – mentally and physically – that this healthy lifestyle is making a difference in how I feel every day. It affirms that my body and mind feel satisfied when I'm doing things that are good for it. I'm honestly surprised that this mindless eating-until-numbness was so unsatisfying. And that I continued to do it after 1 meal of feeling gross. It's almost like I subconsciously thought that if I kept doing it, I would get the same comfort from it as I did before.
I hesitated posting this because it makes me feel weak and vulnerable. But I know that I'm not. Hopefully by putting this out there, others in the same situation will realize that they're not alone, and that we can turn our own ships around.