Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Occasionally: How I Grew My Ass

If you are a healthy weight today, without ups and downs and have maintained your weight loss a long time then this probably does not apply to you. This post is written mostly for the food addicts, like me.

Have you heard or read this statement:
"I don't see anything wrong with occasional treats."
The last time read the blog of someone who was losing the battle and still did not see anything wrong with  occasional treats, I had tears streaming down my face. These were bitter tears of identification, pain, understanding. They were tears full of memories of how I nearly killed myself with 'occasional treats' time and time again. Have you heard the saying "Our eyes are broken when it comes to food." If our eyes are broken then it makes sense that we cannot 'see' anything wrong with occasional treats. Just because I cannot see something does not mean it isn't there. I cannot see my own ass but it is still there. 

Let's define OCCASIONAL.

In my house, cccasional is for tables,
not for snacks and edible treats
oc·ca·sion·al  an adjective (adjective means a descriptive word, not an action word). Occasional is occurring, appearing or done infrequently or irregularly.

This means it is not occasional to have something every day or every Saturday. It is not occasional if I planned for the one I am having now and prepare for the one I'll have next. It is not occasional if I keep it in the house 'in case I want an 'occasional' something. If it is there, I am going to want it at some point and probably at the wrong point.  Occasional treats gave me an ass so big I needed size 36 1/2 jeans.

If you are a normal healthy weight and can stay that way without purging, yo-yo dieting, or exercising more hours than you sleep, you have what I do not: the ability to have occasional treats without doing harm to your psyche and body. There are many people who absolutely can eat things occasionally. I cannot be one of you.

When I was at the hospital with my brother in ICU, it was not time for an 'occasional candy bar' from the vending machine.  When I am happy and exhausted after a great day  it is not time for 'an occasional sundae.'  I should not use food when I am hurting, angry, lonely or tired. Treats cannot come out at that time. If they do, they turn into their cousins THE TRICKS. I have to be very careful about having food in celebration. I am someone who can start out with just tasting the icing on the cake and the next thing I know I have finished off the cake and running to the store for a cacophony of 'occasional tastes.'

This is me around 360-385 pounds. Sitting on a sofa,
watching TV, hiding the food from the camera. Back then
 'occasionally' was how often I stopped eating. 
Advertisers and food manufacturers do not want me (or you) to take this stance. They want us to think there is nothing wrong with occasional treats. Otherwise, they cannot sell us anything. I have to remember they are not giving me their message for my own good. They are doing it for their bottom line. I can never think they are trying to serve me in any way. They do not exist to help me. They exist to turn a profit - period. That is not wrong. I just need to not be part of their customer base.

Other food addicts want me to think there is nothing wrong with occasional treats because they, too, need to sell something. They need to sell this faulty rationale to others so they can bite into it themselves. I used to say that sugar isn't my problem. Maybe there was a time when it wasn't. Does not matter if that was true in the past because I don't try to sell that line to myself anymore. Sugar is my strongest trigger. I need to get over myself if I ever again think otherwise. 

I wrote this next paragraph in response to another blogger questioning if it is just fate that some maintain and some regain. I wrote:
I disagree with the concept that one person will maintain significant weight loss while another cannot. I do not think it is cannot, I believe it is will not. I can keep the pounds off as long as I am willing to do what is necessary. The minute I take back the behaviors and foods that lead me into weight gain I have let "will not" take over the actions necessary.  There are stoic days when I have to apply a lot more effort, but each time I do what is necessary I come out happier on the other side. I hope your stoicism leads you to where you can be truly happy because you deserve more. We all do.
I cannot remember where I wrote that or when but it still holds true for me today. Even more today because in the past year I took back some of the behaviors and foods that lead me into obesity and once again, I gained some weight. It is only in applying the principles and behaviors that work and moving forward with stoicism during the hard times that I continue to lose that weight and get to be keeping the pounds off today.

What has 'occasional' done to your ass?



Vickie said...

I have a HARD time with the 'maintenance' bloggers who do not understand this (what you wrote) is true for most of the people in weight loss blog land. These bloggers should understand MOST of the people reading them are food addicts. And while the bloggers might not be one of them, they should write as if they were so they are not enabling the masses.

If you expand this concept (not enabling) to diet plans, it truly makes me crazy. WW in particular has done so much harm - 'anything in moderation' and 'activity points' and 'free food' are the worst enemies of most anyone trying to get sane, lose weight and then keep it off their bodies. Because again, the vast majority of the people they are dealing with are food addicts and/or have other problems.

On the subject of processed: My husband, who does not have a diagnosis/does not have a weight problem, says on the subject of processed, even he can tell additives send him through a craving loop. salt - sugar - fat in whatever combination.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane! "Occasionally" was my everyday routine, meaning at least every afternoon, right? I had NO IDEA how many(!) less calories a slim woman eats than a fatter woman.

Your above picture says MORE than a thousand words. Can the strugglers not take your picture to heart and learn something meaningful from your experiences?

:-) Marion

Caron said...

It drives me crazy when a so called weight loss blogger advocates eating junk with such phrases as "Life's too short not to have..." and 27 of her favorite minions pile on and agree even though none of them are making any progress in their fitness goals. But that's just me. :(

Unknown said...

I really like Vickie's comment. What's the name of your blog, Vickie? I'd like to follow you. :D

:-) Marion

Vickie said...

I have been private for over a year. If you want to email your email to me, I'll send you an invite.


And funny you should ask because I have started reading your blog and really enjoy it. I just put a link up to one of your quotes the other day.

Anonymous said...

Jane, I very much needed to read this today. Squirrels are afoot in my brain due to travel and being out of routine. Having read and processed this I am now going to go read it again. And again. I will show those squirrels who is boss.

Thank you.


Karen said...

Occasional , in moderation , indulged, life is no fun if you can't eat cake for_____.

All BS I bought into for many years. Thank you for blogging about this. Once I found your blog about a year and a half ago, the spell was broken and I could see clearly.
I'm thankful I did not have a heart attack while waiting to figure it out.

Jane Cartelli said...

Marion and Vickie: I am glad you have found each other.

Karen: It is a tough spell to break. I know I need to keep remembering that breaking the spell is not followed by 'and they lived happily after after." It is followed by diligence to make sure it is not woven again in a different web. I am glad you did not have a heart attack too! Heart disease is in my family. I am always concerned.

IMissAmyJadeW said...

This is amazing! I loved this post.

When I was at the hospital with my brother in ICU, it was not time for an 'occasional candy bar' from the vending machine.

Wow wow. Jane you are my hero. Good stuff.