There are good days, bad days, and then there was yesterday…

The past few days have been really hard, food craving wise. In fact, I’m not exactly sure what I want to say in this post. I’m not sure if I want to scream, “This is hard!” or if I want to use this forum to admit my guilt and transgressions of last night. My goal in all of my posts is to be as open and candid as possible about myself. If I’m truly going to document this journey with full integrity, it means revealing the bad, along with the good.

My gluten free journey started about three months ago, and it’s been going surprisingly well. In fact, in the back of my mind I’ve wondered when I might hit a wall. I know myself too well, and I’m wise enough to know that four decades of food addiction and emotional eating doesn’t just vanish overnight. But the past three months have resulted in a 60 pound weight loss, and going down a few sizes in my jeans. But most importantly, it’s resulted in me feeling so much better mentally and physically. But the past few days have been challenging, and yesterday, well yesterday just plain sucked!

Over the past three months, I’ve been able to keep a handle on my emotional eating. In the past few weeks alone, I’ve encountered personal rejection and disappointment. First, there was a six hour date with a man who couldn’t seem to stop himself from showering me with compliments the entire time, yet I never heard from him again. (please join me in the theory that he is working for the CIA and was suddenly assigned a top secret mission in a country far, far away.) Second, it was a tryout to be a lead singer for a new Christian band. Originally, I was selected and invited to the next band rehearsal. However, a day before the rehearsal I received an email stating they decided to go with a male lead singer. In both of those situations, I never thought about comforting myself with food, which is a change for me. But there seems to be one emotion that is my Achilles’ heel…stress. I am 100%, certifiably, a big stress eater. Unfortunately, stress is just part of life and although some days it’s higher than others, it’s a constant. Yesterday, I could feel from the moment I woke up that I wanted to eat. I went to the café at work to get breakfast; my urge was to order a breakfast burrito. (huge no-no because of the flour tortilla) But I fought the urge and ordered my egg white omelet with turkey bacon. Lunch time found me back in the café where one of the options was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob…yum! But once again, I made my way past that station and ordered a hamburger, no cheese, no bun, with a side of asparagus. The afternoon was brutal, it’s hard to explain what I was feeling, all I can really say is it was just this constant, annoying, feeling of wanting to eat something “yummy.” I just couldn’t shake it. To make a long story short, I didn’t shake it, and I gave in with dinner. I treated myself to my favorite Mexican restaurant and Dairy Queen. Just so you understand how self-destructive my behavior was, I didn’t even display enough will power to choose gluten free options at either place, even though both offer them. After I got home, I spent 20 minutes in the bathroom getting completely sick (which I deserved) and then spent the rest of the evening overwhelmed with shame and guilt. Mostly because I felt I’d come so far in controlling what I ate, yet it was a reality check that I still have far to go. It was disappointing to have been fighting my battle all day, only to waive the white flag and give in at the end of the day. Just as a side note, nothing I ate made the stress go away. I mean, Dairy Queen is good, but it’s not that good. But this morning I made a conscious choice, I’m going to do my best to forgive my own transgressions, dust off, and get back on the horse. There are always going to be good days, bad days, and even way crappy days like yesterday. The good news is (God willing) there is always a new day tomorrow.


“Relax and look down, you’re missing it…”

I returned from my cruise a few weeks ago, it was a great time. The best part of the trip was being able to spend time with my family. I don’t get to spend that much quality time with them, and I loved it. As far as eating gluten free for the entire trip, I was not successful. I started the week off fairly strong, but by mid week I was enjoying a shrimp burrito from the Mexican Cantina…and it went south from there. It’s amazing the difference I felt as I introduced gluten back in my diet, it was not a good feeling. I was very happy to get back home and back to my still fairly new routine of gluten free.

But I did mark one thing off my bucket list…snorkeling. I love the water and I’ve always wanted to snorkel. But it’s one of those things I was unsure if I could really do because of my size. Now, when I pictured what my snorkeling experience would be like, it was me putting on a water mask, walking off the beach, sticking my head in the water, seeing some very cool things, and walking back to shore. But that is not how it works, so I was in for some snorkel schooling. When I arrived I was given all my equipment, which included; mask, life jacket, and fins. Those freaking fins…I HATED the fins. You can’t walk in them and even when I finally made it into the water; they made me feel as if I was completely off balance. I’m a good swimmer, and because of my body, I also float very well. I can literally float for hours with very little effort. As I made my way further into the water, I just couldn’t get control of my body because of the fins. I was so desperate to take them off; I thought if I can just lose the fins, I will be fine. I looked over at one of the men who was in the water to help us along. He was a big, buff man with long dreads. I was really flopping around in the water, and thinking to myself,” I don’t know if I can do this.” I managed to yell out to him, “Can I take off my fins?” He responded, “No, you have to keep them on.” I remember thinking; he doesn’t know that I’m a good swimmer and I will be fine without these fins. I started to really doubt myself, I remember thinking that this was a dumb idea for someone my size and I looked back to see how far away from the beach I was. Maybe I could just turn back and forget the whole idea. As all of these thoughts were going through my head, and I was continuing to flap my arms trying to balance my body, I heard his voice again. He said, “Just let your body fall forward and relax.” Easy for him to say, his body was totally ripped, my body is more like a weeble. (you know…”weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”)  I managed to let my body fall forward but I struggled to keep my head above water and my arms were still desperately trying to ground me. I hadn’t noticed that he had moved much closer to me, he was only about six inches from me. Just as I realized it and looked over at him, he said, “relax and look down, you’re missing it.” Something clicked inside me and I did exactly as he said…I completely let go of my body that I was trying to control, put my head in the water, my legs came up and the fins started to do their job. For the next 45 minutes, I swam like a fish, head down, looking at the most beautiful under water life. It was amazing! I’ve thought a lot about that day in the past few weeks. I so often like to control situations; making sure things are safe for me. I’m a pro at telling myself that I can’t do something because of this or that. (normally “this or that” means my weight) In this situation, the fins were my excuse, but the truth was I just needed to let go and relax. As I continue on this journey of life, I’m going to keep that experience and those words with me, “relax and look down…” because I definitely don’t want to miss it!


Never judge a book by its cover, even a big one…

In a few days my gluten free journey will take me on a seven day cruise. Now, if I had just been on a “diet” the past few months, I would have already jumped off the band wagon in preparation of REALLY jumping off the food band wagon while on the cruise. If you’ve ever been on a cruise you know all the food that comes with the trip and it is available 24/7. But I have every intention of remaining gluten free and still enjoying my vacation to the fullest. (wish me luck!)

But there is also an element of traveling as a fat person that is always interesting…the facial expressions of some of the other passengers prior/during boarding. When you are fat and you are flying on an airplane, there are always looks of panic on some faces as you make your way down the isle of the plane. You know exactly what is going through the minds of many, “please don’t let her be sitting in my isle.” I understand why they are thinking that, it doesn’t feel good, but I get it. But here is the ironic part, what they don’t know is that they ABSOLUTELY want me to be sitting in their isle. You see, for many years whenever I travel on a plane, I buy two seats. I would never travel at my size and not do that, it just doesn’t make any sense. I wouldn’t buy a size 10 pair of jeans and then try to squeeze my butt into them, just as I would not try to squeeze said butt into one small airplane seat. It’s about common sense and comfort for all involved. Now, I don’t need two whole seats, so as a result, it ends up feeling like there is an empty seat between me and the third person in the row. So rather than be squeezed up against another passenger, whoever is in my isle has tons of room. What most those passengers see is a fat woman who somehow has the nerve to fly on a plane, and who will surely crush the person next to her making their experience miserable. But the truth is that I am a fat woman, who understands her body (and physics) and I’m socially responsible to understand that as a result of my size, I need some extra space. I remember flying to Phoenix a few years back to see some friends. It was an early morning flight that was completely full. As normal, I was sitting in the window seat, with my extra seat being the middle. There was a man sitting on the isle and just as everyone does, he watched as people walked past him to take their seats. Once the cabin door of the plane closed, he put his laptop in the middle seat (which I didn’t care about that at all), looked at me and said, “I guess we lucked out today.” His comment was based on the fact that we had an empty seat between us and we had plenty of room to stretch out. I looked at him, smiled, and replied, “Well technically, you lucked out today. I paid for this seat too.” So, never judge a book by its cover, you just never know…


Maybe “fat” and “gluten” should both be four letter words…no, just the latter.

The gluten free journey of a food addicted fat girl…

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, and I have to say it was good news and bad news. My first reaction was, “but I love pasta!” (don’t tell me there is gluten free pasta because all though I have yet to try, I know it’s not the same) But after some serious discussion with my doctor, I came to realize that gluten may be a big contributing factor to so many physical and mental health issues I’ve had over the past five years. (probably longer) My second reaction was, “maybe there is finally some hope to feeling better.” My third reaction was again, “but I love pasta!” Never the less, my gluten free journey begins…but I know it’s not going to be easy, for so many reasons, not the least of which being that I am a fat girl who loves good tasting food. Yes, I would even go as far as to say on some level, I have a food addiction.

I’ve been overweight my entire life. In fact, I can’t really recall a time I wasn’t over weight, although it wasn’t really brought to my attention until I started Jr. High school. The first 12 years of my life, no one said much about it and I was a happy and energetic kid who had lots of friends and was already completely boy crazy. But when Jr. High school started, my elementary school blended with four other elementary schools and suddenly there were many new faces. I quickly learned that some of those new faces did notice the extra weight and were happy to comment. In fact, there were a few who were completely relentless with their teasing and humiliating me about my weight. I wish I could say that I have forgotten their names or the things they said, but some things stick with you a lifetime. I had two years of hell at school; I mean “made myself physically ill and scared to go to school” type of years. Unfortunately, this really wasn’t a time when most teachers gave a shit about bullying…it was what it was. But high school started, the teasing seemed to subside for the most part, and I enjoyed my high school years. I become a happy young adult, went to college, had lots of friends, and still remained boy crazy. I married a super-hot man from Sweden, and although it didn’t work out, we remain good friends. I have wonderful friends and a great family that I love very much. I own my home and I’ve worked my way into a successful career in management at one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world. I guess if you are looking at society’s standards, I’ve been fairly successful in life. But there is one thing that most of society continues to hate about me and considers an epic fail…I am fat! The crazy part is I don’t mind being fat, I will admit that I do not like the size I’m currently at because it does keep me from doing some activities in life that I like to do. But I like my larger body and curves, and I truly think large women are beautiful. In fact, I would like for us to live in a world where all of us can love ourselves and our bodies. A society where there is more disgust shown for those who demonstrate greed, ignorance, and bigotry; and less disgust for a fat woman in a restaurant enjoying hamburger. I know our culture thinks I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t ever see myself wanting to be “skinny.” (however you many define skinny) I so wish I could go back in time and tell the fat 13 year old me that what those boys were saying doesn’t matter, it will not mean shit to you in your life, and you are not even going to recognize a few of these dudes at your 20 year class reunion. What I want is to be as physically and mentally healthy as possible. I believe eating gluten free and yes, losing some of my weight is a good start.

So my journey begins…