My New Reality

I don’t know if anyone can relate, but I always feel on top of the world when I start a new program, have an epiphany, or establish a new goal.  I am deliberate about sticking to my plan and because of that, I feel true freedom from the things that have held me back in the past.  A few days later, reality starts to set in and the things that have held me back in the past start to resurface.

Last Friday, after meeting with my nutritionist Rebecca, I had a drive I hadn’t felt in quite some time.  I respected the advice Rebecca had given me, to focus on wellness goals beyond the number on the scale and to start to deal with the issues that have kept me from living freely.  I was scared of the work I would need to do to achieve that freedom but I was determined.

Friday and Saturday were fantastic but Sunday afternoon some oh too familiar insecurities started to settle in.  Although I felt great about the foods I had eaten so far that day (pancakes and coffee at Eastern Market and a half a turkey sandwich at home), the realization of the week that lied ahead of me started to make me anxious.  Questions started to flood my brain…

What am I going to eat all week?  Should I create a weekly plan?  Am I going to get enough sleep?  Will I actually get up for my early morning workouts?  Will afternoon snacks ruin my day?  Will I stop eating when I’m satisfied?  Am I losing weight?  Am I gaining weight?  Should I return to a strict diet plan?  Will I be able to reach a happy and healthy weight?

And then it hit me, ASHLEY! NOTHING HAS CHANGED! YOU’RE JUST SCARED!

It’s a whole lot easier for me to return to my old ways because you know what, they are routines I’ve been a part of my entire life.  I’m used to living a life where my weight is up and down and I spend hour after hour figuring out how to lose weight.  I create plans, break plans, succeed at plans, and fail at plans.  It’s all a vicious cycle that I’m exhausted of, but at the same time am comfortable with.

What’s scarier is to break the cycle.  To deal with my REAL issues and to change.  The reality is y’all, I know exactly what I need to do to lose weight and I have since I was 13 years old.  I’ve known for ages what I should and should not eat.  I’ve read book after book about how best to fuel my body and have spent countless hours on my fitness.  Those two things are not my issue, although I like to act that I don’t know what to eat in order to lose weight.

My real issues are…

  • Overeating – Eating past satisfaction
  • Closet eating – Eating behind closed doors or in private because I’m embarrassed or fear being judged
  • Emotional eating – Eating instead of dealing with my emotions, whether anger, boredom, fear, loneliness, you name it
  • Binge eating – Consuming an excessive amount of calories in a short time period

My feelings on Sunday had nothing to do with my goals, my plan, my diet, or my fitness, but instead had everything to do with the obstacles and personal issues that have stopped me in the past.

On Sunday I was overwhelmed with emotions and for the first time chose not to turn to food to cope with those emotions.  It was a scary thing for me to do but I know that if I’m really going to change my life and break this cycle I’m going to have to break these habits.  And you know what, I did great on Sunday and Monday went just fine too!

I went for an early morning run with Neal…

Sunrise

Enjoyed Ezekiel bread topped with pecan butter and a banana for breakfast…

Pecan Butter

Had lunch outside with a friend at noon…

Lunch

And made a delicious dinner when I got home (recipe coming tomorrow!)…

Summer Pasta

Fear has stopped me a lot in the past and up until this point I’ve allowed my eating issues to trump all that I know about health, wellness, and fitness.  It’s hard to put my foot down, to say no to dieting, and to trust that I will reach my goal of living a happy and healthy life, but you know what… this IS my new reality!

Comments

  1. says

    I’m the same way, you’re not alone. I know exactly what I need to do but I’m really good at sabotaging myself for reasons that I haven’t even 100% figured out yet. You can do it Ashley!

  2. says

    I absolutely love this post. We share some of the same real issues and all too often I find myself freaking myself out before the week even begins because I’m scared I’m not going to be able to handle whatever life throws at me. Thanks for the inspirational post- I needed the reminder that everything is fine and that I’m in control of my life. I have the power to make lasting changes that I feel good about.

  3. Jennifer says

    We have a lot of the same food issues. Every one of those things you listed I struggle with. A good friend if mine is a nutritionist and we have conversations at length about how I can overcome these things…. But I just can’t seem to get past them.

  4. Jennifer says

    It is like I am writing this myself. I am struggling right along with you. And I am a numbers person too. It’s something I have struggled with since 8years old and continue to struggle with. I am wig you every step of the way, rooting for success!

  5. Erin says

    I LOVE this! I understand so much of what you’re saying. I have been in a cycle of new plans and programs for years, when all along I know exactly what I need to do to feel good about myself. Thank you for this, it feels so good to have someone write out the exact words that I’m feeling.

  6. says

    This is a great post. It’s tough to be self-aware sometimes, but it sounds like you’re seeing things clearly right now.

    Have you ever though of seeing someone to talk? It might help to deal with the emotions behind the overeating. It’s just a thought.

  7. says

    I can relate to the closet and binge eating. I find myself doing it after the baby goes down for the night. It’s like, “It’s been a crazy day, the baby is finally down for the night: time to reward myself or eat to deal with any stress.” I have made it a promise to ymself to stop this 2 weeks ago. So far so good…good luck to you!

  8. says

    Thanks for having the confidence to share your real issues! I think sometimes that’s all it takes is to really acknowledge them and be able to stop them in their tracks. Keep up the great work!!

  9. says

    I know, it seems like sometimes we get so inside of our own heads, and we just need to get out of our own way! You sound like you are in a really good place.

  10. says

    Ashely it’s like you are in my head. It’s freaking me out :)

    I’m glad you are on the right path to figuring this out. I keep thinking that I need to talk to someone to help me figure this all out. My job gives us 6 free sessions a year, mostly b/c of what my job is but we can go for other reasons… I will have to look into that.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there. You are not alone.

  11. Tara says

    The great thing is that you are Aware of your eating habits. Hopefully, you can share these concerns and episodes with your nutritionist so she can help you with them, as they happen.

    You are doing great!

  12. says

    I was able to move past my closeted eating and binge episodes, but it wasn’t until this year that I told my husband about them. I definitely had them during the first few years of our relationship & marriage and it made me feel better knowing that he knew. I recently went through an episode with my family that really stressed me out and made me want to resort to old habits. We had some junk in the fridge and my husband immediately threw it out (well he ate some, but I am totally okay with that) so that I wouldn’t binge/emotionally eat. While I know I make great choices with food, there are still times when old habits creep in.

  13. wendy r. says

    You can absolutely do this – a lot of us have been there, habits can be broken, good and bad. I have been where you are, keep it up, one day at a time, one choice at a time.

  14. says

    I sometimes eat past satisfaction too – I think it’s because I don’t give myself enough time to tell me that I am crazy full!!! I need to listen to my body more, and not my mind, that is typically telling me: it’s so good, just go back for more – I have to mention though that the food I generally over eat is… Spaghetti Squash! LOL!

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