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SP Is My Answer...I Cannot Do This Alone

Saturday, May 05, 2012

My struggles with my weight have continued. I'm up...I'm down...I'm up...I'm down. I'm on...I'm off...I'm on...I'm off. I'M TIRED. But...I think I "get it." I've realized this before...then I forget and I "fall" again. The realization is...I still have a problem with food. And, therefore, I still have a problem with my weight. And, I STILL NEED SP.

This morning, I began reading Jared's Story...the Subway Guy...Winning through Losing. I could have written the first chapter. Very interesting. I think this will be a good read for me. We both discovered in our early years that food was a comforter and friend when people were not. And the first chapter was about realizing that you have a problem...Step 1. Yes, I have a problem.

I had lost 85 lbs. Now, I've gained some...and I'm currently at the 77 lbs lost point. Did losing 85 lbs make my problem go away? Nope. But I was able to control the problem for the most part over the past 21 months. And that has allowed some of the evidence of the problem to slip away...pounds lost. But I still have an addiction to food.

I've been trying to wrap my head around this and understand it. The parallel that best helps me to understand is comparing it to someone who has a physical illness that does not actually go away or cure, but is controlled, by medication. I compare it to having seizures. I'm familiar with seizures as my husband experiences them in his sleep if his medication is not right. Usually, as long as he is taking his medication, he does not have them; but, if he does not have his medication, he will have a seizure that evening or the next. The medication does not make the condition go away...but it does control it.

My being a part of SparkPeople has not caused my problem with food to go away...but it has given me a way to control it. As long as I track my food and eat in range, my relationship with food is normal...and I lose weight. If I do not track my food, my relationship with food gets out of control and I overeat...and I gain weight. It's that simple.

It's been almost two years since I started with Spark. The first year, I was a solid tracker. The next six months, I was mostly tracking, and the last 3 months, I have been more off than on. Not tracking does not work for me. I have a problem...tracking and being a part of SP is the solution. It does not cure me...but I feel "cured" because the problem does not show up...just like my husband not having seizures when he has his meds.

So, I feel a little disappointed that a cure does not seem to be happening with my food addiction. I really thought/hoped that it would "be gone." I feel like I am making excuses by saying I have this problem. I would like to deny it. I feel like, if I admit I have the problem, I am giving it power over me. But I am a realist. I have looked at the facts. I see what is going on and what has been going on all of my life. Reality is...I am a food addict. SP works to control the addiction for me.

So, I have a choice...try to go it on my own (as I have been over the past few months) which does not seem to be working...or hang with SP and be "okay" and complete my journey to a normal BMI. I want to complete the journey. I can't do this alone. I need SP...just like my hubby needs his meds. It's okay to use what works.

Hope you all are doing well. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GOIN4GR8
    You speak for so many of us who know exactly what you're going through. I'm glad you're back tracking. It IS tiring to keep doing it over and over again--I know, cuz that's what I do.

    Take care, and keep fighting the good fight.
    3340 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6266064
    I could have written this blog! emoticon
    3368 days ago
  • SHARONSPARKLE
    I'm with you Spark Friend! I can't lose if I don't track every bite that goes in my mouth. I haven't been losing this winter. In fact, over the months my weight is up 6 lbs. I am back to tracking and as the lbs start to drop, I feel my Spark returning as well. Just as long as you get back to tracking and realize how important it is to your success, you will continue on to your normal BMI.
    3369 days ago
  • GERMANIRISHGIRL
    I hear you Cathy. I have been maintaining my goal weight since Jan. But I can't stop tracking...because I am a control freak. emoticon

    emoticon
    3372 days ago
  • ABB698
    That's why they call the elite 5% of people maintainers! Hang in there!
    3373 days ago
  • MORTICIAADDAMS
    I have to track too. It's way too easy to overeat otherwise and I'm shocked at my caloric intake when I start tracking again.
    3373 days ago
  • KLWALDON
    It's all part of the journey! The ups and downs. It's nice that SP is here when you need it. Congrats on accepting reality and fighting the good fight! Two of the hardest things for me to do!! Way to go!!
    3374 days ago
  • EUGENIAINSIGNA
    These are really important realizations to have and make perfect sense! I've also found that I just need to track and stay on top of it...if I don't track, nothing happens. When you realize what works for you it gives you the power to keep succeeding!!! I love the encouraging atmosphere here!! emoticon
    3374 days ago
  • SLIMTHICK2
    I too have been having some serious problems for the last six months but like you I'm here for the long haul, the ups and downs are just part of the process. Thanks my friend for keeping it real. All the best. emoticon emoticon
    3374 days ago
  • STRIVER57
    Cathy ... glad you're back to keep inspiring us. please don't look at it as a failure, cuz it's not. keep on sparking
    3375 days ago
  • MOGAL1946
    I, too, go back & forth with the tracking. Sometimes using Spark Menus and sometimes just logging my foods. Sometimes weeks go by without tracking. I've found I do much better if I log my own foods and really be aware of what I am eating. Esecially in the sodium tracking. We will succeed...one day at a time!
    3375 days ago
  • XXEDRA
    I am sorry that you have not been able to do it how you want to, but so glad you found something that works so well for you.
    3375 days ago
  • NUMD97
    I hear you. I have been tracking every single day without exception for over four years now. It's like brushing teeth. That does not mean that each day is a good day. Far from it. But I have been able to maintain an over 30-pound weight loss. I clearly know that without SP it would all come back in a heartbeat.

    I also know that very little of this journey is truly food related. Of that, I am also certain. But illuminating all those dark corners is a very difficult task. So I keep the food issue, at the very least, in abeyance. When I'm ready (IF I'm ever ready), I will get that flashlight and explore all the reasons for this weight gain and what it truly means. Once that is more than clear, I also believe, the weight will stay off for good.

    Let's hope all these things come together in this lifetime.

    Thanks for the great blog. I have no doubt you'll figure it all out, in your own time.

    Best,

    Nu
    3375 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 8:20:54 AM
  • FIT2BETHIN
    It's a real struggle, isn't it? I'm beginning to think i'll always have to spark...because I'll always have this addiction. But thankfully, we DO have SP in our tool belt of resources! Set yourself a new streak: something like I will track my food every day. See how long you can do that. Before you know it, you'll be back at those 85lbs...and on your way to a healthy BMI! You can do it! I just know it!
    emoticon emoticon
    3375 days ago
  • NEWHORIZONSR4ME
    I'm with you on the need to track and I really wish tracking was faster. My life is sooo busy I find it hard to take the time to track. Food is still a soother for me andit is hard to remember that when I am tired or stressed. Finding what works is an important step and something to be proud of. Way to go Cathy!
    3375 days ago
  • LAURIETAIT
    I think that once you get to a healthy BMI and stay there for a while it will become easier to wean yourself from tracking dependence. I just hope you never wean yourself from Sparkpeople entirely. I miss you when you're not around!
    3375 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Cathy. emoticon on your weight loss! That is a personal achievement that bears recognition.. I believe that food tracking is probably the most important feature on Sparks, and it is a HUGE time saver! I believe that it's why most of us are on Sparks . IT WORKS You can do this, Cathy. Don't get yourself down, and overwhelmed! You are one of my role models and proof that I can lose the weight I need to do too!



    3375 days ago
  • CHRISKENANDKIDS
    I can completely relate to this entire blog! I track EVERYTHING. No matter what. And I exercise 6 DAYS A WEEK. No matter what. I feel that if I stop tracking or exercising, I'll gain my weight back. It's happened before and I feel it will happen again. Welcome back to tracking, and welcome back to SP. At least it's not 85 pounds again! Congrats!
    3375 days ago
  • LOPEYP
    Tracking works. Discoveries are half of this journey. I'm sorry that you had a small setback but it sounds like you did some self-discovery during this time and are back going in the right direction. emoticon
    3375 days ago
  • CHALLENGER15
    I like your analogy, Cathy, of it being like someone requiring meds. I think that will help me to continue to track.

    Thank you for posting.
    3375 days ago
  • DOTTIEJANE1
    CONGRATS on your weight loss . Food tracking i belive that is why most of us are on Sparks . IT WORKS . Wishing you success in 2012 .
    3375 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11189655
    Excellent point. I too find that exercise comes way easier than controlling my food. I've been waiting for a "cure," but the realistic way to deal with this is realize that "controlling" this condition of food addiction is more realistic. Much like an alcoholic. Abstinence and success does not make me not an addict.
    3375 days ago
  • ANATASHIKI
    same problem here . exercise did become a second nature , but tracking and staying within range , ugh . unfortunately exercise doesn't seem to count much emoticon
    3376 days ago
  • no profile photo CD557571
    Good for you to figure out what works for YOU! Tracking my food in advance, helps me with my grocery list and also takes the guess work out of "what's for dinner".
    3376 days ago
  • BE-THE-CHANGE
    I have come to a similar realization myself. It's definitely OK to use what works.
    emoticon emoticon
    3376 days ago
  • LOISDESK
    I can totally relate, too! I love food too and can SO easily slip back into my bad habits of over eating. SP tracking is an absolute necessity!! I imagine it will be that way for the rest of my life. I am not to the maintenance point yet, and I'm concerned about how difficult that will be, but I'm hoping that staying closely connected on SP, with tracking & exercise that I can do it.

    After dropping the pounds it's easy to forget that the addiction is still there and has to be controlled...regularly.

    Thanks for your honesty and know that there are MANY of us with the same issue!
    3376 days ago
  • SHEENADEE
    I agree with you about tracking. When I first reached maintenance mode, I dropped regular tracking. Some people might get away without tracking; but I am not one of them.

    I wish you all the best and plenty of congrats on all your successes to date!
    3376 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9753279
    I have tracked my food on & off for many years and have realised that the only way I can lose weight & keep it off is to do this. I have even put my daily calorie intake on a spreadsheet. This has been a revelation. I have discovered that I tend to eat more calories on the first Friday of a 28 day cycle. I have also discovered that I have a metabolic average rate of 1870 calories a day. If I go over this by 500 calories I put on a pound! I had always thought that you had to eat 3500 calories extra to put on weight but not me! I am very careful to measure my food & drink so I know I am not making a mistake with the numbers.
    So I shall be happy to track my food for the rest of my life and am so glad that SP has made it a lot easier for me to do this. emoticon
    3376 days ago
  • ONEKIDSMOM
    Well written and honest. Thanks for sharing.

    I have been through a similar journey of discovery. Sometimes I fight the disease. Sometimes I let it have its way. But funny thing, when I let it have its way, I am not happier, or more satisfied. And I find some nasty symptoms, weight gain being only part of the picture... aches and pains come with carrying extra weight, too.

    So... Step 1... admitting I have a problem, and that I don't have power over it... an addiction.

    I have to track. For the rest of my life. Or suffer the consequences... and quality of life is important to me.

    We can do this. One day at a time. emoticon emoticon
    3376 days ago
  • DUXGRL1
    Cathy, a lot of us are in the same boat with you. I am picturing myself being 80 years old surrounded by my food diaries, LOL. But it works!
    3376 days ago
  • DUSTYPRAIRIE
    If we're honest, SP helps us to be accountable. I did start to lose consistently when I realized that part of the culprit was hidden sodium. The surprise to me was that I wasn't getting enough fats of any kind.

    Glad you are going about your journey thoughtfully. I enjoy keeping up with you.

    Have a sparkling weekend!
    3376 days ago
  • MOMMA_LITTLE
    Me, too, Cathy! I can't do it alone, either! I just can't be on Spark as much as I wish I could, so I am doing my best to balance, as usual, and like the rest of us, huh? You aren't that far off of where you were, so don't lose heart! emoticon emoticon
    3376 days ago
  • KKKAREN
    I have the same problem, I must track my food. I've been with Spark for 4 years now and still haven't reached my goal. If I dare stray then I gain. Keep up the good fight and I know you'll do well.
    3376 days ago
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