Out of Control – Day 1664

The last 2 months have been tough for me. I have got myself into an ugly situation with my eating. Mainly eating anything sweet; chocolate, biscuits, cake etc…

The last time I wrote here was nearly 2 months ago. In that entry I talked about wanting to lose my Lockdown Belly. The kids were going back to school and I was determined to start eating healthy. I was sick of scoffing biscuits and chocolate whenever I fancied. I’d gotten myself into a bad habit over lockdown and I wanted to change.

Well, in true Mrs Mac style I went all in. I’ve always been an all or nothing girl.

First, I created a spreadsheet to track my weight and measurements. Next, I researched some new low calorie meals, then created a meal plan based on consuming only 800 calories a day. Lastly, I set an impossible goal of wanting to be super model thin by Christmas!

Ridiculous I know, but my mindset at the time was, if I was going to do this I was going to go big! (or skinny haha)

Can you guess what happened? You guessed it, I failed miserably. The first few weeks went well and apart from feeling hungry and irritable all the time, I stuck to the punishing diet plan I had created for myself.

Unfortunately by week 3 my enthusiasm and willpower had abated. I blew the whole diet one night in September by consuming my weight in pizza and chocolate!

Instead of taking stock of the situation and re-evaluating my methods, I spiralled into a unhealthy cycle of strict dieting, followed by days of binge eating chocolate and biscuits.

Do you know what the last few weeks have felt like? My old drinking days!

The cycle of strict dieting then binge eating reminds me of the merry-go-round of drinking, not drinking. After consuming a family size bar of Galaxy chocolate I experienced the same feelings of shame that I used to get waking up to the realisation that I’d drank 2 bottles of wine, after promising myself I’d not drink.

I even started to hide the amount of biscuits and chocolate I was eating from my family. I used to sneak off to bed early with a cup of tea, having squirreling away a chocolate bar first without Mr Mac noticing. Most times I wasn’t even hungry; it just felt compulsive.

I may not have suffered the horrendous hangovers or stooped to the levels of deceit I managed in my drinking days but the feelings were so similar.

Somewhere in my subconscious I knew I had to stop but I kept giving myself one last ‘hurrah’ before accepting my fate. Last weekend I disgusted myself by eating non stop, way past feeling full and then some. I ate so much chocolate before bed on Sunday that I felt sick, fat and ugly. All night I lay there with crippling indigestion and heartburn. I knew once Monday came round I’d had enough.

Monday was my first day with no sugar and more importantly no dieting. I read about binge / compulsive eating and realised that my strict dieting (not to mention the addictiveness of sugar) was causing the binging. It sounds so obvious when I say it now. Nevertheless, being stuck in that diet/binge cycle, I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t control my eating.

It’s like giving up alcohol. If you add in exercise and dieting and starting a new job at the same times as giving up alcohol, you will probably fail. You have to work on one thing at a time to succeed.

I just needed to cut back on the biscuits not create a punishing diet, set unrealistic weight goals and unleash my inner calorie counting monster too!

Its Day 3 without sugar today. I have continued to eat normally; no diet. My goal is to do 2 weeks without any added sugar, like cake, biscuits, sweets etc. I thought blogging about it here would help me, just like it did when I first gave up alcohol. Keep me accountable.

I’m getting cravings for something sweet after every meal I eat and on an evening. To help with this I am using some of the tools I learned when I quit alcohol to not cave into these cravings.

I’m sitting with my uncomfortable feelings. I’m checking that I’m not Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT). Plus, I’m distracting myself until the craving passes by reading and writing here.

Writing about my feelings is difficult sometimes and I can be guilty of only writing about them after the fact. Despite this, I always feel less anxious and more focussed once I have wrote down my feelings.

I feel lighter and not trapped in my own head and the cravings have less power over me now.

Mrs Mac x

Check out my website soberthinking.com for more posts and articles.

Photo credit Henley Design Studio on Unsplash.com

Loneliness in Sobriety – Day 1650

It’s officially Autumn here the United Kingdom. The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change colour.

Although lockdown restrictions are continuing, my kids are back at school. I am pleased about this as it gives my kids routine and a sense of normality. Besides from the obvious academic benefits, I believe it will be good for their mental health and developing social skills too.

I am enjoying my new routine too. The house is definitely quieter with the kids at school and it allows me to concentrate better on my new website. Moreover, I am more patient and present when my kids come home. Bonus.

Unfortunately, we have recently been hit with stricter ‘local’ lockdown measures in my part of the UK. These new local measures restrict us from visiting friends and family at the moment which is disappointing. Nevertheless, I remind myself to focus on what I can control not what I cannot. Which, by the way, is still the single best bit of wisdom I have gained during my sobriety journey!

Luckily, I did have a great night out not long before the restrictions came into effect at an outdoors Bongo’s Bingo event. Despite my initial reservations (will it just be full of drunk people???) it turned out to be a fantastic evening, full of bingo, music and laughs. No alcohol was required.

I wrote about my night out and my attempt to start losing my Lockdown Belly (which is still a working progress) on my website soberthinking.com. I’ve included links below.

I also want to share with you my latest article called Loneliness in Sobriety.  I talk about the dangers of loneliness in early sobriety and ways of combating loneliness, even if you’re not a people person. 

Did you know the emotional feelings of loneliness can benefit you too? I look back on my own experience of feeling lonely and not feeling understood in early sobriety and see it now as a necessary evil.

Without this baseline feeling, I would never have known what I wanted or needed to move forward and evolve. You can read the full article here.

If you want to follow me on soberthinking.com please do. You can sign up to my Newsletter and receive my free Getting Sober Guide here.

I don’t send out newsletters very often so you’ll not get bombarded. It’s just a way of letting you know when I have put out a new article or diary post.

Mrs Mac x