My eating plan was not working anymore
I promised myself about a year ago, that I would make the choices and the decisions that are best for me. Period. No matter what it looks like, no matter how many times I might have to change and switch things up and no matter what that path may look like. I made a promise to myself that I would make the choices that worked for me and do what is best for me.
After I gained some weight and was really struggling with my eating disorder, I decided to go back on Jenny Craig. I went back to what “worked” and what I knew like the back of my hand. It was familiar and at the moment, I knew it was the best choice for me. I also began doing daily weigh-ins. Both of these decisions were not only to lose weight, overcome this fear and dependency on the scale, but to help me work on my relationship with myself, with food, and continue with my journey. I talked to my therapist about this weekly. We talked about how it was going back on Jenny Craig, the daily weigh-ins, and how I was doing overall. Everything was going well.
I also promised her that if things started changing, if I start struggling with the scale again, or if I struggled with food and eating, I promised that I would be open to changing things up. I made a promise that if I was eating either too much or not eating at all (since I tend to struggle with both ends of the spectrum with this) that I would make changes to overcome these struggles. I was hyper-aware of what I was doing, thinking, and taking it day by day. I felt really good at the beginning with the choices that I had made and what I was doing to continue my weight loss journey while recovering from my binge eating disorder.
Time for a Change
Well, a few months in, I started really battling with the scale. I was struggling with allowing that number to determine my mood. I felt I wasn’t losing weight fast enough and I found myself not being able to eat any type of food without gagging or truly struggling to eat anything. I also noticed that I was obsessing over my workouts and trying to work out longer, harder, and more frequently to try and see “better results” on the scale. Once all of this was happening, I knew things needed to change.
I stopped weighing myself so that I was not obsessing over seeing that number go down, or up. I started feeling so much better. I was enjoying my food again and I starting looking forward to my workouts and moving my body without the mental struggles of pushing myself to workout harder and longer. I found myself doing workouts that I wanted to do because I truly enjoyed moving and the workout. Things had started to feel like they were “normal” again.
I Need to Stay Self-Aware!
While things were feeling good I was careful to stay aware of how I was feeling and thinking about myself and my food. After a while, something did not feel right again. I did not feel good. I felt “off” again. I found myself restricting myself to eat only Jenny Craig meals, I would not even take a bite, smell, or attempt to eat anything else- even a salad. It had to be a Jenny Craig food or meal. For some reason, if I and went “off” and allowed myself to eat something other than Jenny Craig, I felt like I was cheating and doing something bad. I felt like I could not lose weight unless I was eating Jenny Craig food. No matter what the food was- grilled chicken, veggies anything. I started to notice that this was only adding to my “all or nothing mentality”. I knew this was not good or healthy. After I had anything that wasn’t Jenny Craig, I would go completely off of the Jenny Craig plan and feel like I needed to go all the way off because I had already failed…so what’s the point of continuing with my planned day. It didn’t matter if I had actually binged out or not, the feeling like I had to binge out was there. It was either all Jenny Craig food and meals or a free for all.
I felt like life had started to spin out of control and I didn’t know what to do. I want to lose weight and I need to overcome this eating disorder. But I felt in my heart, as much as I loved Jenny Craig and the programs had worked for me in the past, it was time to change things up and try something new.
I thought about counting macros again, but I think right now with where I am, I felt it would continue to add to my disordered way of eating. Feeling like I have to be so strict and perfect and eat foods that I might not want just to hit my macros. As much as I think macro counting was great, I did not think this was the best choice for me right now.
I also don’t believe that intuitive eating was right for me, even if this was of eating is the “way” that is recommended for people with an eating disorder. I do not feel like I am in a place where I can intuitively eat without going crazy. This way of eating is what got me to 500 pounds. This might be the overall goal, but for now, I don’t believe this is best for me. I do not feel I am ready for this much freedom, and that is ok. Remember there is no one “right way” or “right answer” for everyone, no matter what anyone says.
Time for a Different Plan To Reach The Same Goals
I have made a decision that I have honestly been thinking about for a while, and I have decided to join Weight Watchers (WW).
I know this is just another “diet” but it is a way to help me count my “calories” or points, eat real foods, and not be on packaged frozen foods anymore. No foods are off-limits, I can eat anything that I want and hopefully, I can change the relationship I have with foods. My hope is that this freedom and way of tracking will help with the all or nothing mentality, enjoy a variety of foods, and help me with the relationship I have with food and myself.
I have signed up, got the number of points I get in a day, learned about how to track the foods, points, and what foods are “point-free” for me. I signed up for the app and I will see how this goes.
To figure out what plan I was going to be on and how many points I will get I also had to weigh myself to put a starting weight. I will be honest, I cried again because I still do not like the number I saw. This still needs some work. So I will be weighing in every Sunday, once a week, and see how that goes. I will be looking at the scale myself and tracking it and if this stops working for me or is causing me a lot of mental struggles, I will change it and stop weighing. But with a weekly weigh-in, I will see how I do.
In terms of workouts, I am still doing my at-home workouts and I am loving them. I am not tracking the number of calories I burn during my workouts right now, because I do not want to become obsessed with this and try to do “longer or harder” workouts based on how many calories I burn during a certain workout. I want to continue to workout because it makes me feel good and because I enjoy the workout, which is what matters anyway.
I Will Continue to Lean On My Support System
I am still going to be virtually seeing my therapist as often as possible and I am meeting with another nutritionist who will also help keep track of my eating disorder. My therapist has given me “homework” and will be doing daily journaling and really making self-care and self love a priority.
I am excited about this new chapter and I am ready to try something new and different….but I would be lying if I said that I am not also terrified. Jenny Craig is a program that I am so used to, comfortable with, and fully understand. I am not ending my membership and I will have some frozen foods on hand for when/if it’s needed and I will still talk with my consultant as necessary but she is also super supportive of this decision.
This is a new and different journey for me that I feel ready for. I will keep you posted on how this goes, how it’s working, not working, challenges and struggles along the way. I am also hoping that I will be able to share more recipes since I will be cooking more.
Pick the Best Path for YOU. YOU are what matters most!
As I said, we must listen to what our hearts say. We must do what feels good, right, and best for us. We must continue to make the choices and decisions that work for us no matter what anyone else says. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, it matters what and how you are doing. There is no one size fits all and no one right answer for everyone. I will continue to keep doing me, working on me, doing what’s best for me, so that I can keep recovering at my own pace and speed.
Everyone is going to have an opinion as to what we should do, not do and tell us we aren’t doing something “right”. Don’t listen to them. Listen to you. DO YOU!
So, WW I am coming for you. I am excited to join WW, start something new, and to keep working on me.
The goal doesn’t change, but the path and the way we get there may change. We have to be able to move, bend, take the road less traveled and travel down roads that may look scary or unexpected- but the goal still stays the same. The way we get there might change along the journey.
Remember the right path may not always be the easiest one….
But I will have faith, courage, and head down this new and different path knowing I am strong and I can do this.
I promised I will make changes as needed, I promised that I will do what is best for me. I told myself that I will do what is right for me and make the changes I need to as I go. I have no idea if this will be the right path, but for now, this feels right for me. I know I will give it my all, do my best and listen to my heart and keep doing what is best for me…no matter what.