As I've struggled with my weight and with unhealthy eating patterns over the years, I've often berated myself for moving from one "solution" to the next, and seemingly failing at every one of them. After all - I'm still overweight and I still have a lot of food issues, so I've failed right?
The next logical step in this thought process is the "why bother" way of thinking. Since I always regain the weight and return to unhealthy habits, why bother?
I've begun to think that perhaps there are puzzle pieces of what I've learned from these experiences that can be maneuvered together as part of the journey to a solution. If I can put the small nuggets of wisdom that I've gained from each experience together, perhaps I will ultimately be successful.
Let's take a look:
First diet in 9th grade - I learned that cutting calories extremely and exercising several times a day will equate to weight loss. However, these habits can't be maintained over the long haul so the weight is quickly regained.
Six years later I tried Weight Watchers - I learned that if you stick with your allotted daily points, you can lose weight even if you eat junk that you shouldn't. However, it gets progressively harder to control the junk food intake. Eventually that junk food will equate to more points than necessary to lose weight or even maintain.
A few years later I happened across a movie about the gentleman that started AA. I related so well to his story, but with food rather than alcohol. I did some research about OA. There weren't meetings in my area, so I purchased literature and tried online meetings. I was still in denial, chose an ineffective meeting filled with enablers and quickly lost interest. Lesson learned? If the message of a program resonates strongly, try again.
Next, I went to a counselor who specialized in eating disorders. I didn't relate to her well, and ultimately after spending probably 6 months going to her I gave up. Looking back - I gained something very important from this. In the process of food journaling, my anxiety and depression became evident. I eventually began to take medication which has helped tremendously.
When I expressed to my internal medicine doctor that the counselor didn't seem to help, he recommended a psychiatrist. I saw him for a while, but didn't really relate to him either. Another failed experience. But wait - he suggested an adjustment to my medication that helped quite a bit so all was not lost.
Fast forward past multiple diet attempts that typically resulted in weight loss, but then regain. After recently reading several books about sugar addiction. I was reminded that this is not my fault. My issues are a result of a biochemical issue, not a character defect. I'm still struggling, but this is a valuable piece of information.
I went to my first OA face to face meeting tonight. I'm still processing this in my mind, so the jury is still out.
Most importantly - I'm not giving up.