My problems with food and weight have traditionally fallen to one extreme or the other along the spectrum of eating behaviors. I was either "being good" with food or "being bad". When I was good, I was oh so good, but when I was bad, well, you know.
Ah, but the "good" is so sweet! I perfectly count every calorie. Every food I eat is carefully planned. I think, "This is EASY!" and wonder, "Why don't I always eat like this?". In time, I become a bit smug. I wonder why everyone doesn't do what I'm doing? I feel in control. I exercise like a mad-woman, getting up at 5:00 AM and sweating in the gym.
But of course it doesn't last. This type of rigid-perfectionism is unsustainable in the long-term. Something happens - it's someone's birthday at work or I overeat a restaurant meal or my fella does something that pisses me off and I eat my feelings. There's no "gray" when I'm being good. There's no room for bad food choices. Suddenly everything shifts. I'm no longer "good". I'm horrible, stupid, fat, ugly, hopeless. I'll be fat forever. Everything will always be they way it's always been. There's no sense in trying. I'll just fail. Again.
Somehow having Lap-band surgery changed everything for me. I began living in a place of moderation. I was successful even when I made less-than stellar choices. Slowly I began to do things differently. I questioned the long-held beliefs. I didn't start another diet, slipping into the "good" zone. I didn't make foods off-limits. I allowed them for the first time, in moderation. I began to trust myself with food. I was okay for the first time in my life. It was freeing, unbelievably so.
But lately I've seen a bit of those old black and white thoughts creep back in. It started around Halloween when I had several candy-binges. I ate candy I didn't even particularly like. I just shoved it in my face without enjoying it. It wasn't moderation. It was "bad". I was bad. I didn't start gaining weight for awhile, but around the first part of December I noticed I was up about three pounds. I've struggled with that all month. I've had weeks where I did pretty well with food, but I've also had some colossal failures. Last week was hard because I was off work and my house was filled with Christmas goodies. My weigh-in on Wednesday after Christmas was good - I was down a bit, but since then I haven't done such a great job of holding it together.
Now I'm afraid of the scale. I'm afraid that my pants feel tight. I don't want to fail. I'm ashamed. I'm "bad". My eating has been okay, but I'm afraid, perhaps irrationally so. The number on the scale tells me if I'm okay or not. It defines me. It evaluates me.
And I know that I have lost my moderate living, at least for the moment. I'm back in the black and white of it.
Me and my dad on New Year's