Over(eating) The Edge

I have a fascination with weight loss programs and documentaries. Call me a glutton (haha) for punishment (smack), but there is a morbid (haha again) fascination within me.

Fat and Fatter, World’s Fattest Man, Fat v Skinny. I’ve watched them all. Twice.

Youtube is a scary, scary place especially when you need a diversion.

I know why I am fascinated.

It’s because I wonder what the “tipping point” is? What is their breaking point? What happens to push them into that scary place? From eating 2000 calories a day to eating 10,000? What takes them from someone who is overweight and mildly active and spirals them into a housebound recluse, unable to care for themselves?

I have been much bigger than I am now, but I somehow have always managed to pull myself back from the precipice. I don’t know how that happens. Is it inbuilt? There is something in my brain that stops me, brings me back.

I guess that unknown boundary will always be my saving grace.

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Scared Skinny

Much has been made about the Biggest Loser Finale this week and the seemingly incredible transformation of the winner from morbidly obese to borderline anorexic.

I’m not going to start on how many types of wrong the show is, nor will I indulge in body shaming of the winner (fat/skinny body shaming works both ways kids). But I will say that I do know people, intelligent, well spoken people, who will think she looks great.

I on the other hand, am not so sure. But she was a contestant in a reality TV show where there was a large cash prize on the line. Think about the lengths people have gone to in winning or just competing in Survivor.

Money, fame in exchange for skipping a few meals? Simple decision.

I have been accused of having no will power or not wanting to lose weight enough to stick to a diet.

In reality, yes it is easier to eat what I want and live a slothfully indolent life. I don’t have hormones or other environmental issues to blame.

I’ve been morbidly obese, obese and at times a little overweight most of my life. It’s not about willpower or motivation, rather when I have been strong enough to keep my demons in check.

Like now.

What I am getting at is, would $250,000 or even $1 million help me do that? Actually no it wouldn’t.

But it could buy me a nice house on a deserted beach somewhere far away so I could hide from the inevitable judgment.

*Weight check – another 1kg down this week and I also crushed my fitness test.

The Worrier Princess

My parents claim I have never been a good sleeper and the evidence does bear this out. As a baby sometimes the only way they could get me to sleep was to drive me around the streets of Merrylands. The motion of the car (a Datsun) would calm me down.

I am still a light sleeper. The slightest noise will stir me. I fidget. I routinely wake up at 4am, then have a conversation with myself that I still have 90 minutes of time to sleep. Naturally I don’t.

I attribute this to my propensity to worry. I don’t know why I am a natural born worrier. I also can’t remember a time I didn’t worry about something.

Some people call this people neurotic. Or more kindly anxiety. It’s my natural state. I remember when I was in high school, they made us read the truly bleak book Z for Zachariah about a nuclear apocalypse. I was 13, it was the early 1980s at the height of the Cold War and I was convinced this would happen.

Someone suggested my propensity to worry could be attributed to being an only child, bearing the brunt of our parent’s anxieties and overwhelmingly love. This could be true as another only child friend has what she calls “World Sadness”, that is, she occasionally gets sad about things happening in the world, big and small.

My worrying topics range from trivial to the serious to the self indulgent. Currently I am worrying about (in no order):

  • I have a new job and there is a lag in my salary being paid. I am worried I will run out of money before I am paid again;
  • About my job generally (as someone who lost their job twice in 18 months at one stage, justified I think!);
  • I said something stupid and mean and it caused a problem with someone I love. This is my major  source of worry, regret and grief for me at the moment;
  • That I will die poor (recurring see above);
  • What I will wear tomorrow;
  • That my car will break down again (continual);
  • About my aging parents generally;
  • About a friend having a difficult time with his work and of course
  • My weight

Those are just a sample of things that cross my ind every day. I’ve tried all manner of techniques to stop it, from distraction to hypnosis but haven’t managed to come to grips with it. I just live with it.

As my father calls, me, I am the Worrier Princess.

*Weight and food check: I am more than 4kgs down from 10 days ago.

When an apple a day just won’t cut it…

As I write this I am thinking about what I am going to have for my next meal, I have been thinking about that for some time.

All the time in fact. When I will eat next? What I will eat? Will people notice if I eat early? What will I cook for dinner? Should I eat before I go out? Does anyone have any snacks?

Let’s be honest here. I am a food addict. Pure and simple and I probably always have been.

Of all the addictions I wish I could have had (shopping, sex, shoes…hell even substances), I guess I could have chosen something more glamorous…or frankly acceptable.

See, I think one of the main reasons why I haven’t accepted the reality food addiction is frankly, it does seem a bit lame.

Another excuse for gluttony.

Or lack of will power.

Or being someone who just enjoys their food.

Someone who I care about and I have a little schtick where we send each other media links about the new fad diet, the latest in research on healthy living etc.

They know intimately my issues with my weight, with food and generally my struggle to be healthy and have been supportive beyond words.

I sent them a piece earlier this week and the response hit me hard. I was told my problem was that I read all of this but never do anything about my own eating issues.

When the reply email landed I felt as if I had been slapped.

Hard.

I locked myself in the bathroom and had a cry (I cry a lot, it’s reflexive), but I couldn’t hide from the fact that it was true.

I hated it but knew I had to accept it.

I digested this for a couple of days. Cried some more. Checked out the cost of weight loss surgery and whether that would fit in my holiday schedule. Remembered my fear of needles and promptly dropped this idea.

Then I made a decision.

Yesterday I had a workout with my personal trainer. A workout that had be a sweaty and crumpled mess in my car afterwards. Best workout in ages. He had weighed me and we discovered I was 3kgs down from last week which was more a relief than a cause for celebration.

I showered, went to a media dinner (oh the irony – I am a food blogger!) and when I came home, perhaps fueled by a couple of glasses of red wine and a belly full of Singaporean food (I agonized over every mouthful), I registered this blog.

So here I am. Doing something about my “eating”, about my addiction, ugly and as deeply unsexy as it is.

This is not going to be the prettiest blog and I will confess I am prone to the odd maudlin dramatic turn, but at least it will keep me honest.