…or How I Sincerely Thought I was being truthful about my food plan, but in reality was lying to myself every month.
Beware–there be slight mentions of period stuff below. Turn back now if you are squeamish.
Ugh. Okay. So. This week is my PMS week. I have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and it makes my monthlies more overwhelming, what with physical symptoms, emotional symptoms and general irritability. Please notice that I very kindly did not use the “B” word there. Even though it might be a more accurate description of my mood swings.
And this week I realized that for the past year I have secretly been self-medicating every month with wheat &/or cheese. I honestly did not realize I was doing this until yesterday, or maybe the day before. I have been feeling way more hormonal that normal. Like 10 times more hormonal and irritable than normal. And it felt kind of familiar, like Deja Vu. So I had the idea to look back at my food diary for the past year or so, since I started on my weight loss journey. And lo and behold I had no records because I get crazy during this time of the month and go off of my food plan and don’t write down what I eat because I eat stuff that is not good for me, and I don’t want a record of it.
And apparently I tend to secretly buy wheels of brie and camembert during this time of the month, so that I can eat it to “treat” my symptoms of crankiness. I’ve been bloated and retaining water and a terrible challenge to be around this week. I weighed myself this morning and I was 191lbs,3- 4 pounds more than I should be . Which is partly due to the cheese and partly due to water weight. But I feel like a terrible failure because I have realized that for months– maybe years, I don’t know–I have been eating foods I shouldn’t eat every month, once a month like clockwork. And blast it all if I know what to do about it or how to fix it.
In the past, this would be the point where I tossed my hands in the air and said to myself “Why bother? I’ve clearly messed up royally. I might as well give up, pack it in and go back to being a fat blob of misery.”
However, I am not going to do that this time. I am not going to give up and let the disease of compulsive overeating take over my life and make me suffer for the rest of eternity. I am sorely tempted to, but no. Giving up is not an option. Instead, I am going to climb back on the horse that threw me and ride it back to the stable.
I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do that, but I do know that come what may, I am not giving up. The only way my obesity wins is if I stop trying. I may not ever have a choice about some things in my life, but I have an absolute choice about whether I give up or not. And I am not giving up.
So I am praying about how to manage my monthly desire to self-medicate with icky food. I am praying about my weight gain, hoping that by the time my monthlies are over I will be back to my pre-menstrual weight. And I am paying very close attention to my food plan, writing down what I eat, every blasted morsel.
Finally, I am being kind and gentle with myself. I am patting myself on the back for finally being honest about what I’ve been eating during my PMS week. I am decidedly not beating myself up for literally lying to myself every month. I am giving myself compassion and kindness because I feel like utter manure. If I had a friend feeling so bad about herself, I would treat her with encouragement and forgiveness. So that is what I am trying to do with myself. Forgiveness for a years worth of one-a-month failure. Forgiveness for the ability of my disease to trick me into lying to myself so successfully. Forgiveness for not running an honest program or food plan.
And I am starting today, right now, this moment, with a clean slate, so I can do the best I can, and be as honest with myself and with God as I can be.
Today I am grateful for the ability to be honest with myself. I am grateful for renewed commitment to my weight loss efforts. I am thankful that I am able to be more honest with myself today than I was in times past. I am thankful for God’s forgiveness and most of all His Grace.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:2-4
You are not alone in this. I have been doing this for years and just now able to stop for the most part. I was medicating w/sugar and chocolate during pms week, thus negating my weight loss efforts. Will pray for you. Thanks for sharing with us.
Thanks Mary. I am still amazed that I have been doing this and that I have been so unaware of it. I’m really glad that at least I know about it now, consciously. That’s a step in the right direction. I know that years ago, if someone told me that they were doing something like this, I would not really believe that they were unaware of it. I would have thought that they were telling a big fib. But I was truly unaware. I did it and somehow part of my brain was turned off. While I might have known subconsciously, my conscious mind was not in the driver’s seat. I literally looked the other way.
Some parts of the bible say that God sees us do things and he “winks” at it, at our behavior. I think this is like when we see a child doing something they’re not really supposed to do, but we’re terribly busy with another task and so let it go on for a few moments before we get around to correcting them. Like looking the other way. I suspect I’ve been looking the other way when I buy that wheel of cheese and when I eat it in 2 or 3 days. At least now I can see it. And if I’m aware of it, I can address it. For that I am truly thankful.
Thanks for your encouragement. This was a discouraging thing to discover about myself, and the encouragement helps me as I get back on track.