It’s been an interesting week. I hope you’re well etc.
The weigh-in for week 57 has just been completed, and it’s been such a terrible week that I’m almost relieved to only be reporting a +3. +3! It’s been a while since I’ve had a result as bad as that, and to be honest it’s been a very long while since I’ve had a week as bad as this. It could have been much worse, so I’m counting my blessings in some ways, but it is still a fairly disheartening experience.
This started in the duty-free shop at Arlanda airport, Stockholm. Before I flew out there, I was aware that I had some really strong cravings for my usual nemesis – jelly sweets. I seemed to be planning a binge even before I got to the airport, but I was aware of it, I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t be giving in to it, and had a really good week without it. Just to recap, I had a week where I couldn’t point very well, as I had no idea what I was eating, but managed an STS. That was great.
Back to the duty-free shop. I had some Krona to get rid of, so was doing the usual tired-traveller drudge around, trying to find something that would either be nice for my family or for me. I chose a few things of chocolate for my wife and daughter, and some chocolate for me. I chose some jelly sweets for my daughter, and some jelly sweets for me. And some jelly sweets for work. And some more jelly sweets for me. So just to recap here, The Shrinking Man, the man who much as he’d dearly like it to be otherwise has a complete inability to eat jelly sweets in moderation, is currently heading back to the UK after a great week abroad, and he’s carrying two large carrier bags full of jelly sweets and chocolate.
I knew I was kidding myself even then, but it’s like some strange sort of willing blindness that kicks in and I wasn’t prepared to openly accept that I was doing anything even remotely foolish. I opened a bag of jelly sweets on the plane, and shared some with a colleague. Even at this stage, I noticed that I was eating about ten to every one that my colleague ate, but that realisation sat in the back of my mind like some minor irrelevance, rather than a warning of impending doom.
Anyway, the next few days went something like this:
- Saturday night – arrive back home. Have burger king, followed by dessert of jelly sweets and chocolate. And Jelly sweets. And some more chocolate
- Sunday – have deliciously healthy fruit breakfast, then jelly sweets during the journey to Father in laws for a BBQ where I ate too much of everything, accompanied by crisps and snacks a plenty. Arrive home and have a dessert of jelly sweets and chocolate. And jelly sweets. And some more Jelly sweets
- Monday – Have jelly sweets before breakfast. And chocolate. Back at work – decide not to take in jelly sweets for work colleagues, because “I don’t want to eat them during the day”. How do I manage to convince myself of this stuff? Eat relatively sensibly during the day. Decide that this is all getting out of hand, so decide to finish off chocolate in one go for dessert, and am so disheartened once I’ve finished it, that I then finish a whole can of jelly sweets to “remove the temptation”. Decide that I will definitely take the others into work the next day
- Tuesday – Consciously forget to take the jelly sweets into work. Eat ok during the day. Pick at jelly sweets during the evening. When wife and daughter have gone to bed, eat lots of jelly sweets. And cakes. And biscuits
- Wednesday – eat jelly sweets before breakfast. Work from home. Spend day picking at jelly sweets
It took me until Wednesday evening before I finally did what I should have done somewhere at the airport. I picked up everything that I had left, which was still quite a bit, and threw it in the bin.
For the rest of the week, I’ve eaten relatively well. Not brilliantly, but relatively well. Until yesterday that is. Yesterday, for no readily apparent reason, when I got up, I had one of my daughter’s jelly sweets. Just one sweet. I even commented to my wife how much easier it seemed to be to have just the one when they were someone else’s. She just gave a wry smile as if to say “here we go again”, but I chose to ignore it. I ate relatively well until I was out at the football yesterday afternoon, and then had a twix, and a large bag of quavers. Not the end of the world there either, but not ideal. Later on at home, I asked my daughter for one of her jelly sweets. And found a few more of my own that I hadn’t noticed – even now I’m deciding that these ones don’t count because they’re sugar-free. Still not all that bad. But once everyone else had gone to bed, I managed to devour two bits of cake, a caramel biscuit, a couple of packs of crisps and some chocolate. All in about five minutes. Seriously.
It has been a long time since I’ve had a binge like that, and it’s one of the scariest weeks I’ve had since I started this, because it’s served as a chilling reminder of just how easy it would be for me to go back to where I started. I’ve made some fantastic progress over the past 57 weeks, but the demons that got me fat in the first place are still there. And they’re very strong.
The main positive from this week was that I managed to snap myself out of it on Wednesday night and turn what could have been a terrible week into just a terrible few days.
The main lessons from this week are that:
- My powers of self-delusion are as strong as ever
- I need to accept that, for whatever reason, I can’t do moderation when it comes to jelly sweets, and I need to stop kidding myself. I’m aware that if you read back through previous blogs, then you’ll find that sentence a number of times, but I think I believe it this time (Even as I write this, I’m trying to rationalise a way through this that doesn’t make jelly sweets the problem. God I hate this. How can little lumps of sugar cause me so many problems?)
- There’s something very messed up about the way that I’m waiting until everyone else has gone to bed and then eating – it’s like I’m too ashamed to do it in front of them, but not too ashamed to not to do it – that’s a little weird to be honest
- Deciding that the solution to eating too many sweets is to eat them all in one go to remove the temptation really makes no sense whatsoever (and that honestly is the first time that I’ve seen the lack of logic in that process)
When I ate well this week, I did the WW points thing properly. When I didn’t eat well, I didn’t point everything properly. I think it’s probable that the cause and effect are a little mucked up in that sentence, because I think that the pointing is a genuine help to me, and that when I stop pointing, I start eating poorly. That needs a bit more of a look at, because I’m keen to understand it a bit more.
It’s been a truly awful week. I’m feeling absolutely disgusted and disappointed with myself. I’m going to try to draw some positives out of it though.
I think that this is one of those crossroads weeks where it would be easy to give in to the demons, and to just give it all up. The general self-loathing that I’m feeling right now, coupled with what I can best describe as a feeling of helplessness, would in all previous attempts be the trigger for just that. Giving up feels safer and friendlier. It feels like that’s where I belong. It feels like that’s all I deserve. (I’m welling up here).
I, The Shrinking Man, am not finished. I am not the weight that I want to be. I am not the weight that I deserve to be. Whatever I’ve done in the past is only relevant because I can use it to help me get to where I want to be, and that’s 12st 4lb. I have a long way to go, but I’m learning at each stage of the journey, and that’s a good thing. I’m looking to change my relationship with food, and to understand and control the demons that challenge that, and that’s why weeks like this are important. These are a necessary part of the process, as it’s learning to deal with weeks like this that will allow me to stay where I want to be. The destination isn’t the key, because this isn’t a holiday. When I find 12st 4lb, I’m moving there for good.
Have a good week.