Over the years I've come to realize that my weight definitely fluctuates with my body's emotional state. When I started 0-5 eating in 2003 I was very content in my marriage and with my life. As the weight was coming off, I noticed that men were starting to pay attention to me. I began getting compliments and comments, and I really enjoyed it. I've always loved my husband but after 11 years of marriage, a part of me craved the newness and fireworks from younger years. I made some really crappy choices and almost lost my husband and my family.
Thankfully my 3rd pregnancy opened my eyes to how foolish I was being. Unfortunately some real damage had been done to my marriage and although my sweetheart forgave me, I had a hard time forgiving myself. I held onto my pain throughout my pregnancy and gained almost twice the weight gained in my previous pregnancies. I was depressed and wallowing around in my own self-pity for a long time, even after my daughter was born.
One day my husband said something to me that annoyed me like crazy but it really made me think. He said, "What are you getting out of feeling this way? I've forgiven you, it's over for me. Why are you holding onto this? It's doing something for you, I don't know if it's self-pity or negative attention from me but you're getting something from feeling this way. What is it?". I really had to dig deep and admit to myself that feeling down and not forgiving myself was in a way it's own kind of drug. And I was hooked. I made the choice to forgive myself and to let the past go. I returned to eating 0-5 and started losing weight.
In 2009 things got tough again. My husband's work wasn't going well and he was feeling his own depression. This really freaked me out because the atmosphere in our home felt like it did when I'd made those "crappy choices" earlier. I didn't want to feel helpless, afraid, and yucky again. For me, all "fear" feels pretty much the same no matter what it's origins are. Anxious, giant pit-in-my-stomach, crying a lot, nervous, agony... I decided that I wasn't going to feel yucky again. I selfishly shut my husband out. I wouldn't let him close to me and I wasn't supportive or understanding of how he felt and what he was going through. I told myself that if my husband wasn't going to be here to support me and help me feel better inside than I'd find friends that would. I also decided completely out of the blue to finish hair school. I didn't even talk to my husband about it (what???).
I was the oldest person at school. I felt like I had to be as small as possible to make up for my age and so that I'd get the most attention. I lost all my extra weight within a month. Thinking back now I realize that in my mind, I was in survival mode. My husband and I were not on the same wavelength and I was "searching" for someone to take care of me and my kids'. We almost separated that year because I was too afraid of feeling "fear and pain" again.
In January of 2011 our daughter was hospitalized for 15 days. During her time in hospital, I gained 15lbs. 15 pounds?!! How is that even possible? I gained one pound every day. I went in wearing my normal jeans and came out unable to even button them up. I know now that the weight gain came from not only the trauma of seeing my baby girl so sick, but also from me using food during that time to comfort myself. The days were long, she was in so much pain, I was all alone in that room for hours and hours at a time. Food was the only thing to look forward too so I kept myself pretty much stuffed through those 15 days. Yuck!
After she got out of hospital, life got back to normal. I started eating 0-5 again but this time the weight wasn't coming off like it usually does. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I was eating 0-5 and exercising...what was happening? This was when I found the book called "The Gabriel Method" by Jon Gabriel. Mr. Gabriel lost over 220lbs without dieting or surgery and his body shows almost no sign of ever having been obese. In his book he talks about how our bodies will hold onto extra weight as a coping or survival mechanism. I feel that my body was holding onto my extra weight because in the past when I've been "skinny", I've indulged in attention from other men causing a huge rift in my marriage. I would pull away from my husband and turn to "male friendships" outside of my marriage. I didn't want this to EVER happen again. My husband and I were going strong in our marriage. We were happy and I didn't want to lose "US". My body was holding onto the extra weight as a way to protect my marriage and my family. After I realized and understood what was happening with my body, I was able to take steps to eradicate my need for outside attention. It's not that I've been able to turn off my want for the attention, now I just plain ignore it. No amount of attention from outside my marriage is worth losing my husband and my family over.
It wasn't until I was able to train myself to feel "safe" and "unafraid" that 0-5 eating started working for me again. The extra weight is coming off and I'm happy with who I am and how my body looks. I'm happy in my marriage and feel pretty darn blessed with my life.
Two quotes that I really like are these:
"There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error and experimentation. The failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works."
by John Mcgraw
"Worrying is like praying for what you don't want."