Friday, April 6, 2012

Circle of Panic

For quite some time now I've been telling myself to go back to my nutritionist, who performed the (usually) bi-weekly task of weighing me and going over my food charts.

The last time we met I had started to regain some weight -- that was two years ago. She sternly cautioned me to pay attention to those 10lbs. "It starts with 10," she said, "And if you aren't careful, it can go from there."

Well, a few things happened in the interim beyond my control (the long period of 2011 illness in which I lost probably about 15 to 20lbs (but from an extreme gastro situation, not a healthy diet)), but I've yet to make an appointment to go back to her, and get back into a regular schedule of accountability.

What's that word there? Ah yes, accountability. That's what I'm avoiding.

My only experience of extended weight loss came when I was a) very motivated, to the exclusion of practically all else and b) seeing this woman on a regular basis, and facing the scale. (Erm, actually I never really faced the scale because I let her weigh me and record the number but I asked her to never tell me -- it was just too dauntingly high.)

You'd think, then, that I would go back. But I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed to go back without at least having returned to the lower weight that I was before I gained back about 10lbs. I want to go back and show her that at least in the two years since we saw each other I've been able to maintain my lower weight (which is seriously not all that low, in the bigger picture of "normal" size).

Now I'm afraid that I'm even bigger than I was then. I saw a picture of myself the other day and was shocked, shocked, shocked at how big my stomach looked. I am sitting here telling myself that it was just a bad picture, but squeezing my stomach, I can feel that roll. It's just hanging there, being fat.

The adult in me knows that I should not be an idiot and start going back to this woman. At this point, I've probably got to lose a good 25lbs before I could even get close to where I was. If I don't go see her, will that ever happen?

Barring that, if I really can't face her, then I need to man up and weigh myself at the gym, so at least I have a record and can get some sense of reality here. Yet I am so, so, so, so terribly afraid that I am going to see a sky-high number -- and I mean really really really sky-high, like 30 or 40lbs bigger than I'm thinking -- that I just can't do it.

I think of that and, no exaggeration, the panic just shoots through my body. My fight-or-flight response goes through the roof and I get antsy and jumpy and want to run somewhere and hide. It scares me to death.

My coping mechanism is to tell myself to just keep doing all the things that worked for me before and eventually the inches will come off and I can go back to my nutritionist when I'm ready. This is what I tell myself, yet... I fear it's not happening. I feel like nothing is coming off, and the panic comes back. Then I tell myself that this is why I need to get on the scale, because there could be losses and I don't know it, and the panic gets even worse. Meanwhile I obsessively take my clothes on and off in the morning, asking my long-suffering M repeatedly if certain jackets, pants, shirts look tighter on me. (The answer is often no, but in a less than convincing tone).

So, that's me right now. Ish, your friendly rat in a cage.


  1. If you are very reluctant to weigh, why not just do a few measurements like chest, waist and hips...then check again in a month.

  2. Lord, do I feel your pain. I am avoiding scales at the moment for the very same reason, and I've gained back a lot more than a few pounds. For that reason, and others, I've decided that my one goal for the time being is to get as fit as I can. Weight be damned. I'm working out like a demon and eating as well as I can manage.

    Here's the thing: we can NOT let the shame prevail. Your accomplishments are still your accomplishments. I firmly believe that for those of us so wired, it's practically impossible not to gain SOME weight back. It's part of the journey. The question then becomes, what is the best thing for you to do about it right now? Mentally, as well as physically?

    You can get back in the zone, but to do it, you have to find a way to forgive yourself for regaining some weight, and get the panic at bay. And you can do that. Be kind and gentle with yourself, first.

  3. Poor you - I think we've all been there. I have to screw up my courage to get on SoD every time, knowing that it has the power to destroy my week. And usually does! But I make myself do it because I'm afraid of the slippery spiral I could get on if I avoided it. Once you know, you know - it can never be that bad again. Wishing you courage...