Client Story: Annie Reflects on a Holiday Disaster

Posted on November 28, 2010 by

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Last year as the holidays approached I was cocky and full of myself.  After 6 months in GT, I had gone down 4 sizes in clothing, my embarrassing facial eczema had cleared, and I was getting compliments everywhere I turned.  My doctor had taken me off of antidepressants, cholesterol and blood pressure medications.  My blood sugar appeared to level out.  These mysterious mouth sores had disappeared.  The ‘carpal tunnel’ pain in my wrists strangely subsided.  It was all so mind blowing, and I was feeling on top of the world.  So much so, that I decided I was going to celebrate.  In the past, I always hid at home during the holiday season, not wanting to be seen  stuffed into a party dress.  Shudder!

Halloween came first.  My husband and I dressed up in costume for the first time in 15 years and attended a party.  I was not going to drink alcohol, and I carried a bottle of water.  After about an hour of  “OH MY GOD IS THAT YOU?  YOU LOOK AMAZING!”  I drank somewhere around 3 -8 beers and started shoving candy into my face.  I wasn’t exactly hanging from the chandeliers, but only because I couldn’t find them.  My husband was nothing short of appalled, and he quietly drove me home.  He had to be quiet, because I was loudly going on and on about nerve of the hostess asking me to ‘watch myself’ when I reached for a beer.  I wasn’t counting my beers, why was SHE?  Nerve.

The next morning I felt like death warmed over.  My husband ran a verbal replay of the evening.  I reminded him of my lack of party experience and he allowed as that was true, and we were soon laughing it off.  It wasn’t so damn funny when I got on the scale, though, and saw my weight was up 5 lbs.  But so what, I thought, it’ll come off quick.

My coach said something about “self sabotage”, which I thought was weird to say.  I got back on track and that 5 lbs came off but I didn’t go back to dropping weight as regularly as I had been.  It was like my body got stuck.  My coach said it could take 2-3 weeks to start dropping fat again because of the alcohol and all the crap I ate.  I thought that was ridiculous.  I was still feeling pretty darn sure of myself and planned a visit to my family back east at Thanksgiving.  They are all fit and into health and I was always the chunky monkey who didn’t fit in.  I hadn’t been home in over 10 years.

The minute I walked into the house it was all “OH MY GOD ANNIE YOU LOOK INCREDIBLE” and I bee-lined for the kitchen.  As I had a handful of Chex Mix  (I’d been traveling, I was hungry) they went on and on about how fat I used to be, and started talking about all the old stories.  The walls had pictures of my fat self and all my fit sisters.  They talked at me like I was now a member of some skinny – persons club.  It was weird.  I had a coke.  Then some cake.  We went out for pizza.  On and on.  I felt myself sinking into the “old me” and in some ways it felt like a relief.  It was also scary because I didn’t feel good.  The mouth sores came back after about 3 days.  My wrists and knees were hurting.  My family said things like “You always did have that rash on your face” as it reddened again.  It was frightening how quickly all the old symptoms returned over the course of just a week.  I barely remember Thanksgiving itself.

Once home the scale was up 11 lbs, and I was in severe pain.  I had the old constant headache back, the joint issues, etc – and I was crabby and mean.  My coach talked some more about “self sabotage” but I failed to see where it was self sabotage when I was just hanging out with my family, eating what they ate, and THEY are all fit.  As Christmas approached, my body had still not returned to it’s prior glory.  However, I still fit in those size 12’s so I figured all was well in the world.  Bring on Christmas!

I know.  You’d think I’d figure it out.  But I had to attend my company party, my husbands company party, a neighbor’s party, a potluck, a church social, and a cocktail party.  I planned my outfits carefully.  I wanted to blow everyone’s minds.  And I did!  I sashayed around, cocktail in hand, eating and drinking like everyone else and looking marvelous.  Then the next morning would come and it’d surprise the heck out of me when I’d step on the scale.  So I stopped getting on the scale.  I became convinced that the swelling in my ankles was because I drank too much water so I cut it down to maybe a quart a day.  I decided the pain in my gut was because I was eating too much protein, so I cut that down.  I was freaked out about my weight coming up and up after every party, so I decided I needed to drop my daily calories, and I started doing daily cardio.  I also figured out that I’d better not be working with my coach right now, being Christmas and all of that financial hoo – haa, so I quit that.  I then got it in my head that since I actually did lose all that weight that I probably learned enough to do it on my own and so I quit food journaling, too.  Then I quit wearing my heart rate monitor when I did cardio because I figured I’d lose more weight if I worked out harder than my dumb coach told me to.  What does she know?  I stopped weight training because I didn’t want to build muscle, I wanted to get smaller.  Duh!!

By the time the holidays passed and we were into January I was back up over half the weight I’d lost, and in a world of pain.  I was afraid to go to my doctor.  I started eating better and pulling my self together.  Then it was Valentines Day and I lost it for about a week.  By now I was truly understanding the correlation between what I ate and how I was feeling.  It was feeling awful that was really getting my attention!  My husband sat me down and told me, straight up, that he liked me better when I was taking care of myself.

Finally I contacted my coach and asked for help.  It hasn’t been easy – I kept falling into holes every time I’d hit around this one certain weight.  So I went to counseling for a bit and learned a lot about my self.  I learned, among other things, that it is okay to take care of me.  I learned tools to deal with self-sabotage.  I learned why I might be self-sabotaging (no one in my life had ever GUSHED over how GOOD I look – that is totally new!)

This holiday season is different.  I am planning how I will deal with the food and social aspects.  I’m different this year – because I’ve learned it really isn’t about the weight loss – it’s about my HEALTH and I am finally valuing THAT over everything else.   Shoot, I’m not sure I even want to stay up late for parties.  It makes me crabby.

Posted in: Client Stories