So I’ve signed up for a weight loss challenge. Nine weeks. I’ll be working with a trainer and a nutritionist. I’ve decided to write about it because I want to hold myself accountable and I suppose I am secretly hoping that this resonates for somebody. Note: It is not sponsored, in any way.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this program , though not about the name “Largest Loser”. I just flat out hate the name. It’s so dorky and borderline embarrassing. Perhaps that is the dormant pre-teen in me, rolling her eyes. I’ve been to the Biggest Loser set and while I get it… Ugh. It seems a little patronizing to me. I wouldn’t want to be on the show, so why pretend I am?
I have to tell myself to get over myself here, and stop being a snob. It doesn’t matter what it’s called, right?
This disdain for the name doesn’t equal a lack of commitment. I am COMMITTED to do as told. I’m sick of driving myself crazy trying to figure out a workout, plan meals etc. I want a program because I want to be told what to do. For me, there is no problem with the “do” part. It’s the thinking and planning part that are laced with tripwires and traps. Possibly because I am a square peg in a round weight loss program hole. I keep hoping that there is a place for me, and when there is none, I am left to figure it out on my own.
The program began today with a lecture on nutrition, which is pretty standard stuff for a weight loss program. The assumption, and perhaps a more fair one than I have thought in the past, is that if you are overweight you are probably pretty clueless about food and/or making bad emotional food choices. It’s an assumption that pisses me off when it is applied to me, based on my appearance or the once or twice a month I order and eat french fries, because I’m out somewhere and there is nothing else on the menu that I am not allergic to. If a fat person order fries, it’s evidence of their low food IQ. If a skinny person orders the same fries, it’s assumed to be a (probably rare) indulgence
Fat = stupid about food.
I feel protective about other overweight people, and on the defense when a well meaning nutritionist or doctor shows up with a diet plan and diagrams so basic that they feel like first grade to me. Please people! My red flags fly when they ask what I had for breakfast like it’s a pop quiz I’m bound to fail. You bet that I’m aware that cookies are carbs! And candy too. I’m up on my healthy fats. I take omegas and probiotics and shop at Whole Foods. I have three kinds of quinoa and flax seed in my pantry. Back. Off.
So naturally the “dumb fatties” lecture was the one thing I was dreading most about the first day of the program.
Until this happened:
I was genuinely shocked when the nutritionist asked how many people had never read a label and 4 people raised their hands. Huh. More people copped to an inability to control portion, a reliance of terrible processed crap and complete ignorance of what they should be eating. I was able to stop feeling protective of the group and open my ears.
The lecture touched on basic nutrition, the scary stuff that lurks in processed food, portion size, and dietary/caloric needs for women vs men. We discussed good vs bad fats, emotional eating, allergies and food sensitivities and a few other things that I already knew, but I listened anyways because it never hurts to review.
But oh… how frustrating! Once again I find myself wishing I was guilty of the imaginary lack-of-food-control crimes that that are foisted on me by those who look at me and see the extra weight I carry. If only those crimes were the problem, the solution would be so much simpler.
Here’s where I am at: I’ve come to feel like food doesn’t love me, and the feeling has become mutual. Food is a friend that is just too high maintenance for me.
Everyone in my life, really in my life as in eating with me daily and living with me, is baffled by the fact that I am overweight. Celiac and multiple food allergies and sensitivities have ruled out any processed foods, or foods with gluten, beans, or soy. Recently I’ve been reacting to dairy as well and have had to cut this almost completely out of my diet. Low carb, high fiber, low glycemic index… these aren’t a diet trend for me. The issue isn’t about me choosing the right foods. The issue is eating, at all.
I’m tired, I’m running all day. I am out of time and energy to plan, shop for, prep and cook the limited foods I can eat without getting ill. Eating new things or things prepped by others is enough to give me a panic attack. I live in fear of a food reaction, which can put me out for a week.
So I skip meals, or make do with a slice of whole grain gluten free toast and almond butter. Or a hard boiled egg. I don’t even bother with salt. No time for salt. Sometimes I eat an apple for lunch. My goal – fuel the furnace, quiet the hunger, keep going. Food has lost it’s joy, it’s appeal for me. Food is a CHORE, and I am already chore weary.
If there was a pill I could take instead of food, I’d do so happily. I don’t eat emotionally. I starve myself from exhaustion and frustration. I’m efficient to a fault. My body seems quite content to run on very little, happy to hang onto extra.
I’m frustrated tonight. So frustrated that as per usual I don’t feel like making myself dinner. It’s too much trouble, figuring it all out. I wanted someone else to do that part, but after my first meeting it’s clear I’m not getting out of thinking about my diet. Which sucks because that was a big part of why I wanted to do this.
So what did I learn in the nutrition class? I learned I have food issues that need to be dealt with. It’s just that my issues are not like everyone else’s. They are special.