Friday, September 2, 2016

Operation Breaking Binge: Accepting my Journey

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I have finally accepted that I have Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and that it will always be a factor in my life. However, accepting the existence of something in my life does not mean I have to accept its control over my life.

I had to find a way to control it. Things were really bad for me at the end of 2015 and the start of 2016. I was binging, on average, every three days. I was miserable—physically and emotionally. My number one priority this year has been finding a way to control my binges, and so I started ‘Operation Breaking Binge’.

Back in March, I posted Operation Breaking Binge: Just the beginning. I told you a little about what it was like to experience one of my cravings. Then I told you how I stumbled across a Pinterest article about curbing sugar cravings (or I should say the article found me because I do believe in such things). I took a break from the blog to focus on controlling those binges, primarily because opening up about something so personal turned out to be a big trigger for my binges.

I think I am finally ready to jump back in and start sharing. I’ve realized that part of the reason I’ve been given this journey is because I need to share my story. I know others have found solace in my words, knowing they were not alone. Others have found inspiration to face their own monster. Others have found a way to better understand someone in their life who suffers from similar challenges.

And I’ve learned that I can’t go through this journey alone.

It’s been almost two years exactly since I had my orientation at Farrel’s Extreme Bodyshaping (FXB) and started blogging about my journey. Do you remember the title of my very first post? If not, that’s okay. It was:

In that post, I talked about how my journey was about learning to love myself no matter what. It was learning to stop defining myself based on my weight. I had made huge progress toward that mindset in the year before I joined FXB, and in the two years since I have only grown stronger in that mindset.

However, what I couldn’t accept two years ago was that my statement “it’s not about losing weight” also encompassed my BED. While I had been able to start separating my weight from my personal worth, I had not considered that I had to separate it from my eating habits as well. I fully believed that if I found a nutrition program I could stick with, then I would lose weight and my binging would just ‘go away.’

I often have people ask me, “Is the program still working for you?” In most cases, I know the real question is, “Are you still losing weight?” Yet, I refuse to answer with pounds lost. Yes, I am losing weight. Yes, I hope to lose more weight because I know that is what is healthy for my body. And, yes, I will soon be posting about the weight loss part of my journey. But weight loss is not what is most important for me at this point in time.

As I stated back in my very first post, what’s important is loving myself no matter what the scale says. After two years at FXB, I can now say what is also important is to not base my worth/success on what I put in my mouth.

I’m still a work in progress. An example is something that happened to me just now while writing this post. You see, I have this bracelet I wear.

I purchased the locket and charms from Origami Owl and made the beaded strands. I’m a visual person, so a long time ago I decided to make this bracelet as a reminder of my progress. The charms signify aspects of my journey: continuous change (infinity symbol) and ultimate transformation (butterfly). The third charm was because I thought it needed some color :) The beaded strands represent pounds lost. One strand for every ten pounds.

I had first made this bracelet before I joined FXB. I had lost about 50 lbs on a different program, only to gain it all back quickly. When I joined FXB, I removed all the strands and started over. I’m now up to four strands (I’ll let you do the math...).

As I sat here typing out the words above about weight not being my primary focus, I looked at my bracelet. I realized it was unintentionally keeping me tethered to weight as my primary success metric. I LOVE adding a new strand to this bracelet. I love wearing it because it reminds me how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am. But I just realized the strands should not represent pounds lost. It should represent months of no binging.

It’s time to add two more strands.

So, back to that question above: Is the program still working for me? More than I ever could have hoped.


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