Monday, 24 June 2013

I'll Leave the Cupcake

3 little monkeys + 1 sunburned aunt

I spent Friday night piping homemade frosting onto homemade cupcakes and making peanut butter and jam sandwiches in the shape of monkeys.

It was surprisingly fiddly, not surprisingly messy, and absurdly satisfying. It was for my (three) nephews’ third birthday party, and my sister needed help. I was happy to do it, happy I could do it, and happy none of it ended up in my mouth – not that night, and not the next day at the party.

It’s not that I intend to deny myself frosting forever. But I knew starting to eat it the night before would get messy, because I wouldn’t just take a taste, and I’d arrive at the party the next morning already feeling a little sick. At the party itself I was so busy chatting, chasing, and corralling that I never really got around to them.

It was a novel feeling, getting back home and for once not worrying about who had seen how many cupcakes (and heaven knows what else) I’d eaten, and what might be being said about me by my family.

It may be almost as good as cupcakes themselves.

Twenty-six days without a binge.

Monday, 10 June 2013

I Saw the Sign

For at least a few months now, from time to time my therapist has suggested Weight Watchers. Not necessarily for losing weight, but as a way to learn that no foods are forbidden, and that anything can be fitted into a healthy eating plan.

I listened, but inwardly I dismissed it. I haven’t done Weight Watchers for years, but I didn’t want to measure anything and track anything. I didn’t want to deal with my tendency to overestimate grossly the points of what I eat in restaurants. I didn’t want to start obsessing about the best ways to use my points, and spend ages calculating options. I didn’t want to switch to foods that are less whole, less filling, and sometimes more chemical (nonfat cheese, nonfat yogurt) because the point system encouraged them, or to discover that foods I like to eat (and were, in some cases, nutritionist approved) have an absurdly high number of points. And most of all, I didn’t want to weigh myself, which I knew would be required to start.

As the months passed and still I was unable to string together more than a couple of days without bingeing, and none of the foods my nutritionist was telling me to eat sounded appealing, I became more desperate. But still I wasn’t willing.

Then a friend in London told me she was doing Weight Watchers for what turned out to be the same reason I was considering it: So she could get a handle on portion sizes and fitting in foods (as she pointed out, chocolate, for example, does not have little devil horns next to its point total).

I wanted just to do it, but I couldn’t face finding out that I’d gone above a number on the scale (200) I swore, after 2006, I never would again. And I was sure I had. By this point last week I had managed to string together maybe six or seven days without bingeing – more than I had managed in a while. I was eating healthy foods but in huge portions; portions I knew were way too large but I almost didn’t care – that’s how relieved I was not to be bingeing.

And then a friend I’ve started doing Barry’s Bootcamp with on Wednesday mornings got engaged, and mentioned she wanted to lose weight. I told her I’d do it with her, and suggested we look at Weight Watchers. Then I saw a blog friend doing it, too.

Something snapped.

At just after 3 in the afternoon – despite the amount I’d already eaten and drunk that day – I went to the gym and steeled myself to get on the scale, reminding myself that just because I didn’t technically know the number didn’t mean I didn’t know it in some sense.

It was 195 pounds, or one pound less than what I weighed at the nutritionist in November. I got on both scales there just to double check, and the numbers were similar. Then I signed up for Weight Watchers.
That night I reminded myself that still I weigh less than I did for most of high school. Today is Day 5 of WW, but more importantly, day 12 without a binge.