As the idea for this came to me, I was eating my lunch. 260 calories worth of Grilled Peppercorn Beef and Vegetables paired with a goblet of refreshing fridge water, 2018. (The jury is still out as to whether that is a great year.) I was scraping the last bit of rice and peppers onto my fork and the decision was made. To no one in particular I said, “My name is Micaa. I am a flavorholic.” As the last syllable came out of my mouth, just for a moment, my inner fat girl surfaced and the tray I was scraping with my fork flipped out of my hands and bits of rice went down the front of my shirt, all over my lap, and down the side of the couch.
And just like that, she was gone.
Instantly, I knew without any speculation, what an alcoholic feels and precisely what those meetings are for. I knew, in the mess that the meetings were quite helpful and why they are life long missions for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. It really made me pause. Sitting there, covered in saucy rice, I thought: “You know? Food addiction is a thing and there should be some sort of program for people like me too.
So here it is: Flavorholic Anonymous.
A while back, a co-worker and I were losing weight and being quite supportive of each other. We did exceptionally well despite being states apart. We shared workouts, recipes, motivation, anything related toward that goal of not being called “overweight/obese” by the doctors. While she went farther than I did, and kept it off, she did say something to me once that resonated with me. I even wrote it down and that sticky note on my Monitor has a slight gathering of dust since it has been there so long:
“I know I am going to have to count everything I eat for the rest of my life.”
There is more truth in those eighteen words than anyone who has not known the struggle of changing to a healthier lifestyle forever will ever know. My view on food was that 1. I loved flavor. 2. I was a stress eater. 3. I am a member of the ‘clean your plat or else’ generation. And, 4. I viewed food as a fun/social thing instead of fuel for my body. These are things that can hurt anyone’s progress.
I had to almost start my journey over from where I started. With my coworker, I had went from 208+ to 148 over a period of 18 months. I counted every bite of food, every exercise. I worked out daily. It wasn’t easy. Once I got comfortable, I slowly slipped into some bad habits. I had a stressful period and, before I knew it, the scale yelled 181 at me.
I was devastated.
What I didn’t do the first time was change my mindset. The entire time, I would spend every extra second of my day planning and thinking and fantasizing about my next meal. It was horrible and tiresome to have my brain wired in such a way that food was the only thing there was when I was not focused on work or whatever. The day I figured out how to change that, my inner voice was totally silent.
The silence was so loud! Yet, it still spoke volumes.
I still have to count everything. I still have to do some physical activity every day. If I stop, the numbers will creep back up there and I am back to wearing those sweatpants with the fuzz balls on the legs. Similar to an alcoholic, they thank a greater being every day and set the intention…one day at a time. As a Flavor Hog, the intention is set when I honestly count everything and remember that food is fuel and not some reward for abstaining from throat punching someone.
There are days when it’s a struggle. I just want to cram my face with a Tasty Kake Honey Bun or two then sleep it off. These are like the days an alcoholic will sit in the parking lot of a bar wondering what’s on tap. While the AA person will call their sponsor, it’s not that simple for me. I have to convince myself that is not a good idea and take that bad intention and work it out. Am I really hungry or can I do something else until this yearning goes away?
I don’t know. I have to keep that demon I refer to ad my inner fat girl suppressed and sometimes, she’s a beast and gets the best of me. It’s a daily struggle.
I cleaned up my mess from lunch. Since I am not going anywhere, I think I will just keep my ricey clothes on as a reminder that the struggle is especially hard today and set the intention to work even harder at it. When I win these battles, tomorrow is better and I feel good about that.
You can join too. No judgement. We are all comrades. Remember:
My name is Micaa. I am a flavorholic.
What do YOU think?
Since I have left the carefree calorie days of the late twenties and early thirties, I have spent nearly all day, every day thinking about what I am going to eat next. I would fix the planned meal, usually for more than one person to eat, then, to avoid leftovers (as well as no one else eating the meal,) proceed to eat the lot of it. I always had to clean my plate. Then, almost immediately, I would begin to think about what to eat next. I tried to stay busy but not the right kind of busy, because my brain would continually think about food and what we had to eat in the house or what I was going to get at the store. It was frustrating and mentally exhausting.
Not only did it make me mentally tired, I was gaining weight and becoming physically lazy. I hated life. I hated me. Unbeknownst to me, I subconsciously hated my inner fat girl for taking over every thought and replacing it with the next plate of food to shovel into my mouth. I became depressed and it affected my entire family. My clothes were all too small and I was wearing the same three sweatpants and t-shirts all week. Working from home, I could do that. I had one pair of “fat jeans” that I wore every time I had to leave the house. That was it.
Two years ago, someone hurt my feelings in relation to my weight and I used that hurt and anger to drop from 208 to 148. I felt great and it was definitely a huge victory. I was proud to be asked for my license because it was me at my largest and I definitely looked different. What didn’t change was that inner voice constantly thinking about the next thing to eat. So long as I never became overly stressed, upset, sad, or any other negative feelings, I would do just fine. However, it prevented me from not overeating during those times and it was still a mental struggle. Again, all those bad feelings took over and I forgot how to direct the bad feelings constructively toward exercise and strength training. Of this 60 pounds lost in the course of approximately 15 months, I gained almost 40 pounds back.
This was when I discovered, for me, my problem was more mental than the physical. I had to prevent food from taking over every second of my waking day as well as the majority of my dreams. I did some research on the topic and, eventually that of my doctor. Armed with the tools to overcome the strength of my inner fat girl, I se out in a new journey to make some permanent changes. That was three months ago.
It is still a struggle. However, most days, I am allowed to think of things other than food. I have even begun to read, a lot, again. There are days that are exceedingly hard. When I win with any victory, no matter how small, I am proud of myself. Yesterday was one of those days. While the victories of yesterday were quite insignificant to most, they were exceptionally huge for me. Another thing that was a victory was, I still got my walk I. Despite having an off day. Definitely a victory for a day that would otherwise have been horrible and reminiscent of the 208 pound me. Here is an excerpt from my journal regarding other Popularly Overlooked but Huge Victories from yesterday:
Yesterday was a struggle that ended in a victory. I spent most of the day craving a chicken sandwich with cheese and bacon and mayo as well as any kind of milkshake. I was craving like a smoker wanting a cigarette. Living in a resort area, the activities of Memorial Day weekend are quite dangerous so we chose to stay home. After cabin fever se it, we did decide to walk to the store. I caved and did buy the lowest calorie Gelato I could find. (1. Ice cream was not on sale. 2. Other frozen treats were too many calories 3. I have always wanted to try Gelato.) While still not in the right direction, it was still a victory because I was thinking about calories. The draw back was the small box I selected contained seven servings. I ended up eating a little over half which was half my goal intake for the day. 😔 HOWEVER, I still ended the day under the maintenance suggested calories for the day. A small victory there. I also woke up not feeling like garbage for eating with reckless abandon on a cheat day. Overall, a win! Oh, also, I am proud I didn’t eat the entire container. 200 pound me would have done so in one day, if not one sitting. Yay for me!
While these victories may not seem like much it means a great deal to me because it is a win over overly destructive behavior. It gives me hope that I can do this again and again and it becomes a habit. It is victories like these that are going to shut that fat bitch up once and for all. Further, actively thinking about my food choices only when it is time to eat makes choosing to eat healthy and wisely a lot easier. While I have chosen to give up so many of the foods I love, I have discovered others I love and it is best to break up with things I know I cannot control myself around.
It is a struggle but still a journey and I feel I am winning, for the long haul, this time around.
Micaa 2 / Inner Fat Girl 1
What do YOU think?
I spent most of my life finding solace in the bottom of a plate of my favorite things. Pizza, creamy Mac and cheese, cake, cookies, ribs, other things that just make you feel better when the world is picking in you. After I had my last baby, I paid for that kind of thinking. I got my feelings hurt one year and I lost over 65 pounds with motivation. What I didn’t count on was that, despite getting down to 148, I would go all the way back up to 180 and hate myself again. Since then, I have started this second journey and found that there is such things as eating disorders and all those years of stress eating have wired my brain incorrectly. You have no idea what it’s like to think about what you are going to have for dinner from the time you open your eyes in the morning. To have every waking moment of thought nearly dedicated to the awesome amount of calories you plan to consume at your next meal. To be honest, it’s quite tiring and just makes you consume even more.
Because I am older and my metabolism has slowed, I know I have to count everything I put in my mouth, for the rest of my life unless I want to be knocking on 200’s door and beyond. I am saying this because, I had a victory today that was no small feat.
One cup of Velveeta Mac and Cheese is 360 calories all by itself. My son can eat it with abandon because he is a growing kid. What’s hard for me is that, no one makes it quite like Mom, and, as badly as I wanted some, I settled for a broccoli/Brussels sprout salad with tangy French dressing.
For someone like me, that was an amazing feat. I felt like Rocky Balboa at the top of the steps. The struggle is not over, however. It’s five pm and thus, the start of the hardest part of the day for me. You see, I can do great all day! Eat well, exercise, drink water…but then I normally cave and snack mindlessly until bedtime. Also, there is still part of that mac and cheese in the kitchen. From where I sit, I can see it…calling to me.
I’m gonna fight and smile at the sunrise tomorrow instead of being riddled with guilt about overeating. This is but one victory for me. The small ones all count. Hopefully, they add up to bigger ones.
Wish me luck.
***Defiantly flips the middle finger at the pot in the kitchen in a kiss off gesture!**. Today, I win.
What do YOU think?
I get up and go about my usual morning routine. Only, I stop for an extra moment to ponder what I see in the mirror. Who is this looking back at me? I have not seen you for a long, long time. Good morning Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent?
Why do I say these things to the mirror? After all, it is just a reflection. A reflection of one’s self. However, that reflection can become someone else. Someone you hate, someone you don’t recognize and remain that way for many years. Sometimes, it is not even the fault of oneself that we end up this way. Sadly, in my case, I think it was. You see, the reflection I have been staring at (screaming at) for nearly 20 years was not me but someone much larger, lost, and different. I avoided her. I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t look in the mirror. When I did, I wanted to throat punch her and scream in her face until spit rained upon it. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME!!!!????
But this morning was different. I have yet to wash my face and brush my hair but I can only smile at what I see staring back at me. I don’t want to scream at her. I don’t hate her. I know she has come a long way and has a long way to go but I can see her. My best version of me. She is beautiful. She is a mess. However, she is no longer a joke. She is wiser. Things like fat jokes are not funny anymore. She sees the world through a different filter. I like what I see. After all these years, I have found the person I was searching for and I can get back to loving myself. No more happiness in the bottom of an empty plate. That was the same kind of happiness a drug addict chases when they are trying to get high. I am beyond that now. No more turning to food and bad habits when things become stressful. Because I can love me and I am able to stare at the face looking back at me in the mirror, I am a stronger person. I can love me now.
It was strange, this morning, staring at my reflection. I liked what I see. Bed-hair and all. I have not felt that kind of comfort in a long time. Stranger, I don’t know where you went or where you have been, but please, please, don’t go back there anymore. I have a funny feeling you didn’t like it much. I know I didn’t like it when you were gone. I can smile at you and you will smile back. It will be a true smile. One that is not hidden behind a puffy face and slits for eyes. One that is not obscured by more than just a chin. It is you. Beautiful you! While you are not completely back, I can see that you are there and you have that determined look. You are here to stay!
I love you reflection. I know you feel better and I know you are working hard to show the world that you are still here. That you still exist. Thank you for caring enough to come back. Thank you for taking the journey to get here. Thank you for being…me.
Hello Stranger! I am glad you are here. Stick around and show pride without fear. Welcome Stranger, you’ve been gone so long. I can never apologize enough for steering you wrong. Hello Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent? I am glad you are back. Our journey will see, just how we both can stay on track. Stranger no more, I love me. My reflection, I love, is staring back at me.
What do YOU think?
I must admit, since I have had children, my weight has been a horrible conversation that I have with myself multiple times a day. When I see little skinny people or people with simply no flaw on their outer person, it makes me want to pour red wine on their head (I hope they wear some expensive white outfit) and run off into the nigh cackling like a maniac. Skinny people seriously make me sick. People will tell me it comes with age and that I can get back to a weight I am comfortable with, yada, yada, yada. Not gonna happen. Too much work and, apparently, I am not in love with myself enough to go to such great lengths. There are other things like genes that come into play to. I just know it but I have been told that is a cop out. Whatever. You don’t know me.
Enough of the back story. The other day, there was this girl that honestly looked like a mini marshmallow walking around on toothpicks. She was short, dumpy but was THAT SKINNY! She had a HUGE phone in her back pocket. You know, one of those “I can slap your face with this and knock you out with it” phones. A Samsung Galaxy note 1200 or whatever the fancy people get these days. I swear that phone was wider than the thigh she was trying to support it on. I mean really folks. Does someone that small honestly need a phone that big? Can it be that she is not old enough for a knife or mace for personal protection that she has to have a phone that she can wap someone with and still be able to hold on to it. Truthfully, I cannot see how that would be possible either unless she uses two (2) hands or something. Jeez girl. You are all about matching your clothes, at least you can match your phone to your body type.
That brings me to another thing. These little tiny women who have HUGE babies. I mean JEEEZ..How in the world were you able to spit THAT out? That child, at 3 months is nearly 2/3 your size and you are already back to looking tiny and trim? Kids will scrape your insides and stretch your body every which way that is humanly impossible and yours is awesomely bigger than it appears your body is capable of forcing out of a hole that is about the size of a golfball and you STILL come out of that looking like you adopted or something? Ugh. The natural world has a sick sense of humor and Mother Nature laughs at me everytime I scoff at a skinny minnie. Mother Nature, we will have a talk one day. I can assure you of that.
UPDATE REGARDING THE LYING SCALE: They must have received a complaint or something about that scale that I wrote about a few days ago. I went back to it and it was REALLY different than what I initially said it told me. While it was better, I still hate it because it is not good enough. However, it does not stick anymore. Glad I am not as huge as I thought I was. Now if my coffee diet will just start working, the world will be beautiful.
However, Mother Nature and I still need to have a chat…
What do YOU think?
My name is Micaa and I am a flavor hog.
I had an epiphany yesterday while scraping the bottom of my spinach dip jar. (It was frustrating enough having spinach dip for chips and all I had was crackers.) I realized that I had sat down and ate the entire jar in one and a half sittings. O MY GAWD! What a pig! But the stuff tastes SOOOO GOOOODDDD!!!!!
I sat there and thought about that for a minute. I had to swear off Chocolate Jiff because I could finish a jar of THAT in a day too. I also have to stay away from making uber creamy mac and cheese because I will eat the whole box. Hrmm….There is a pattern going on here.
Ok. Ok. I admit it. I LOVE flavor! If it tastes good, I am going to eat it even when I am not hungry. If boredom is hanging with me, I may even eat more. No wonder my vain attempts at meeting the elusive “130” have failed miserably. What do I do? It would be a horrid experience eating all stuff that has NO flavor. Ick. But I bet I can lose a lot of weight that way. I could also get rid of a lot of stress in my life becoming a career serial killer but maybe I wont do that. Wait, if I totally eliminate flavor out of my life, will I become a serial killer? Maybe not. I didn’t when I quit smoking. I know! I should try to eliminate caffeine and see if I can do it. If so, then I will resume caffeine and quit flavor. No….that won’t work. Then I have to fight the urge to blow up the planet. I will have to steal Marvin Martians Q-36 modulator first. Aw dangit! Then I won’t be able to blow up the planet because the house is on a slab and there is no way to move it away. Too expensive anyway. Grrrr. What am I supposed to do!
I certainly do not have the time to jump on tready for three hours every day. While that may be an option, it would only work if I could study while I am on tready. Yea, not really, I get stressed out on that thing! Really! The kids pick on me and they run behind me making me nervous that I am going to kick them. Not that I would want to kick them but when they poke fun at me an tready having our time together, I would like to but then, that is mean and I am not mean. Not to my family anyway. Well, the close ones.
Too bad mean will not let me lose weight. I would just be mean for a month, lose a butt ton (yes, that is an accurate measurement and it is a real one! Bing it!) of weight and then return to being nice again. Ah, but then that is circular huh? Eliminating flavor from my life would make me mean and I would lose a butt ton of weight (have you looked it up yet?) and then I could just leave flavor out once I know I can live without and just try being nice again. Well, we all know boss is nice when she is work. However, flavor hog aint nice…like boss! (There it is! The digression! Now, go watch the movie Life! Haha.)