March 24, 2014 by Kara Nichols
I’m thinking about hanging up a sign that says “No longer accepting dieting advice” because I’m getting it from all angles from well-intentioned people. It’s been a discouraging couple of weeks, actually it’s been about a month now, of going back to old eating habits. Recently I wrote about re-establishing my relationship with foods that were forbidden on Medifast. From everything like green peas and carrots to pop tarts and double-stuffed oreos. I went a little crazy and I gained about 8 pounds.
It’s like I’m a kid again. I was put on my first diet or “cleanse” around the age of 8 and I remember no one wanting to trade my dried papaya for a luscious ho ho at school lunch. There were weeks when I was only allowed to eat vegetables, which was kind of like torture. I would overeat and eat things from the forbidden list as often as possible. My mother caught me trying to steal a Snickers bar at Target once. I also used to steal candy from the college bookstore and eat it in the bathroom stall in the women’s dorms. I am guessing I was around 10 years old and hungry for something “bad” for me. Sorry Mrs. Berry! (she ran the bookstore at the time and might read this) Maybe I will write the bookstore a check to cover bad habit. I was really desperate and an otherwise really good kid.
Now I’m 34 years old and I’ve been yo-yo dieting since before I could cross the street alone. I’ve tried lots of diets. So I am change things up a bit and instead of signing up for a new diet I am:
~ signing up for therapy
~ seeing a dietician
I’ve gone to therapy in the past and didn’t really like it, but going in with a specific issue to solve might make it more enjoyable. As far as the dietician goes, it occurred to me as I was making my bed the other night that I’ve never seen a dietician and that might be a great option. I need to be taught how to eat. I need a plan PLUS accountability. I see my general care doctor next Monday and will get a referral to a dietician. In the meantime, a friend from high school is a dietician and she’s been giving me some pointers and books to read.
It’s so glaringly obvious that there is more going on inside of me than a meal replacement bar can fix. My days as a thief are long gone, but that little girl who just wants to eat candy like a normal kid is still inside. Is freedom even possible? I’d be foolish to think that with therapy and a dietician I will be cured from what ails me, but it does give me hope. And that’s what I need right now. A sense of hope.
If I ever reach old age, I want to be able to know that I didn’t spend my entire life being miserable, going from diet to diet.
I’ve been losing and gaining the same 50 pounds over and over again. That’s the life that is shaping up before me and I want it to stop. I don’t want to cram candy down my throat in a parking lot. But I don’t want to sit in the corner and live off of broccoli either. Is there a middle ground? I guess that’s my quest now. I keep hoping that this journey is like climbing a mountain and eventually I will reach the top. But it feels more like swimming in murky water, not being able to tell which way is up.
If losing 60+ pounds taught me anything it’s that I’m still the same person inside! I have the same insecurities, I just wear a different size of clothes. I’m still bound by old ways of thinking and it’s going to take much more to change than I originally thought.
I’m not giving up. At least not today. I am looking forward to trying out therapy and a dietician. If that doesn’t help, I will try something else. And hopefully I am swimming toward the surface. I can almost see the light.