Back in the Saddle Again


The Fall funk got me baaaaad this year. Got fired in August and spent a month worrying about why. (That’s right – they didn’t tell me until I finally went to talk to the person who fired me and asked why.) Wasn’t my work. Just my attitude. I disagreed with something and that was not what they wanted.  I guess they really just needed a yes woman.

Well, that ain’t me.

Still…months have passed. I sank pretty deep by the end of September. Finally dragged myself into the doctor for meds. The ones I should have started in August. But, like I said, I was distracted.

In my search for a real job, I came across a job for a greenhouse worker. I applied. I got it. I make over $100k less than I usually do, so money is tight. But being outside and working with plants and the sheer physical labor involved has helped to spring back.

Another bit of serendipity: I stumbled across an Audible early bird cyber Monday deal on Sunday night for Bright Lines Eating. It was only $5 so I bought it and started listening to it on the drive into work.

Susan Pierce Thompson, the author, tells her story in the book and it resonates with me so much. I’ve listened to it twice now – all 12 hours of it. I may listen again tomorrow. But what I’ve learned so far, is lots of science (valid, I hope) about why it is so hard for me to stay on track.  Leptin resistance in the brain stem, damaged dopamine receptors, addict-able personality traits (take the quiz!) and more.

Hi, my name is Karen and I’m a food addict. I think that’s more accurate now than compulsive overeater. It isn’t that I’m eating that much at any one time, but I have gone back to the dark side and I graze on sugar and flour products far too much.

Bright Lines, or BLE, focuses on planning, journaling and tracking everything. Checklists, even. The four “bright lines” or four things you must do are: no sugar, no flour, 3 scheduled meals and no snacks and weighing and measuring your food.

Ok, they had me at planning.

So I’m back in the saddle again. (The great Gene Autry, though most people will remember it from Sleepless in Seattle.)

My son and husband are NOT excited.  Understandable. Like many addicts I latch onto one idea after another but none of them ever seem to work or work for long and then I’m back in the bark-o-lounger with a bag of chips and chocolate.

I have to keep reminding myself that success is falling down 9 times and getting up 10.

So I’m getting up again. I’m going to sign up for the Bright Lines 14 day challenge and see what happens. I’ve made it two days with no flour and no sugar. Tomorrow will be hard but –  I have a plan!

2 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle Again

  1. Good for you. I rejoined WW Lin mid October. 20 lb gone. It’s amazing how your body reacts when you do the right thing. Great but funny thing is that I have completely changed the way I eat and I haven’t felt deprived. I had two thanksgivings Plus left overs last week and still dropped a couple of pounds. I am eating low carb, low sugar, lean protein and it is working! Good luck on your continued journey to health. We ALL need it!

  2. It was scary last May. I’d been creeping up in my weight. Not terribly, but to the point where “I choose not to wear this today” was because things were getting too tight. At that time I attended the monthly bariatric surgery support group meeting. It was about the habits of people who gain their weight back. There were tears in my eyes as I realized that my habits would make me the poster child of weight gain: grazing, not tracking food, eating while reading or watching TV, etc.

    Should have been the prod I needed to get going. Nope! I was still feeling smug that I’d had one glass of wine all spring. The vow was no alcohol until after my niece’s wedding in early July. That idea stretched into no alcohol until the end of that vacation. And that stretched into infinity. Meanwhile the grazing, mindless eating and telling myself how healthy my snacks were continued. The clothes started closing in on me.

    It was mid-October when I decided to humble myself and admit that things had to change. I could no longer coast on the “I can eat anything I want after gastric bypass surgery as long as my portions are small.” Wasn’t coasting, was climbing.

    Upon beginning to track my food, it was clear how easy it is for a food addict can lie to themselves. Yes, I only took a small container of mixed nuts “in case” I needed a snack during the work day. That portion was about 340 calories. Skim milk was another liquid/protein addition that added another 110 calories. And those mixed nuts were there to grab when I was home and feeling tired or bored or lonely or stressed or…Or…OR! They’re healthy, right?

    The shock was that the My Fitness Pal app said that in order to lose one pound a week, my limit was 1200 calories a day. 1200?!?!? With the proper mix of carbs, proteins, fat and fiber?!?!? Are you f**king kidding me?!?!? And I have to weigh myself to measure progress? I have to change my habits?!?!?

    I still eat in front of the TV or while reading. My mix of nutrients isn’t always balanced. But the step of tracking my food and exercise has been consistent these last 41 days. Do I mix up my exercise, nope. But steps have been taken and there are four less pounds than when I started tracking.

    There are two signs on my refrigerator. One is a line from “Avenue Q”: “Everything in life is just for now.” It reminds me to be mindful that whatever I am obsessing over is probably not happening at that moment.

    The other is a line heard at that May support group meeting regarding the luxury of living the lives we have in regarding knowing where your next meal is coming from. “It’s ok to be a little hungry. You won’t die.” So what if you feel like eating for whatever reason at this moment. The next meal is most likely within four hours. You can live that long without eating.

    Karen, I am there with you as a fellow food addict. Each new plan is a bit of new hope. Anything will work as long as you stick to it. And slips from the plan? Well, yesterday really did end last night. The slips need not continue.

    We are the chronically fat. We know what to do to eat right. It’s just a matter of being mindful and making that choice instead of lying to ourselves that this bit going into our mouths won’t matter much.

    I support you. I miss you. I cheer for your success. I smile at your hands on work with the plants. Yay us for taking steps.

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