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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Miller-McNair

Its all in your head.....Mostly

I have spent most of my life labeled "Obese". And for most of that I was "morbidly obese". No matter how you feel about the medical definitions of weight, it is horrible to see those labels. Even now after loosing 100lbs from my heaviest weight I am still considered Obese. I was able to get to just "over weight". Seems like such a weird, evil goal to get to.......Over weight. Even that label is strange. With just about anything else we would want more of.....over the normal. I want more money, more days off, and more chicken wings.......which may be why I have these labels. These labels, along with others have distorted my thoughts about myself, my body, and what I eat. I have been on every diet out there. The points system, the no carb, the binge and purge. Yes, I know binge and purge isn't a diet, its an illness. An illness I struggled with until I couldn't hide it anymore. All the diets worked....and I use the word "worked" loosely. I would loose weight with each one. Thats how they all work....you cut back on food, and you loose pounds. The problem wasnt the diets, it was what was happening in me.

A lot of people ask how I lost weight. It wasnt one diet. It was the combination of what I learned on all the diets. For example, one diet was eating small meals every 2-3 hours. That was the most successful for me. It kept my blood sugar level through the day and I operate best not depriving myself. I have had decades of trial and error on what foods work best for my body. Too much bread hurts my tummy, and too many cookies hurt my waistline.

The old saying goes "Everything in moderation". Unless you have no idea how to moderate. I had some thought processes I needed to work through that had nothing to do with what food I put in my body. I grew up with times of food scarcity. Until I went to counseling I had no idea that trauma forced my mind into a binge process out of fear. I learned a lot in counseling. Food was my best friend, my addiction, and the security blanket I settled into often. Most people will say they emotionally eat.....yea. I eat for every emotion....not sure what emotion is fried chicken....but I like it. I was told that food was fuel and I should see it that way. That does work for me either. I love through food. I love making big meals for friends and family. I love making someone's favorite food or dessert. Food connects us and breaks down boundaries. An ice cream after a tough day or a good game. Soup when you dont feel well. A steak to celebrate. Food may be fuel but its also fun, and a bond. So that left me trying to navigate my relationship with food. An alcoholic can avoid bars, liquor stores, or beer aisles. I cant just stop eating or seeing grocery stores. Food to me now is like an ex I have to keep seeing. We have to be kind to each other and keep our boundaries. I still fail horribly. The first year I lost weight I had a health scare and I was mad. I ate everything I wanted and then more. I gained some weight back and then learned I cant hurt myself with food with things dont go well. Eating that much and those things didnt hurt anyone but me, unfortunately it was like a slow suicide with mozzarella sticks. I also had to learn to like myself and realize I am worth taking care of. This lesson was also tough coming from trauma. Choosing better food wasn't punishment for being fat, it was a way to love myself and treat me well.

We have the choice to process life through substances like food or allow food to be a good part of our lives. No diet will ever work if our head isn't processing life. As soon as the stipulations of the diet fall off all the pounds pile back on. I still make mistakes with food. But knowing myself helps.....a lot. If I know a busy season of tour is coming up, I dont buy sugary snacks and I prep healthy treats. The stress and triggers will come, but I will be prepared with better options than Doritos and Oreos. I also know now that when Im tired I should rest....not eat. When I am bored I should walk or create something....not eat. When I feel the trigger of scarcity I stop, breathe and remind myself that I have all I need. Its ok not to clean your plate.

If youre reading this and on a weightless journey I want to challenge you to stop thinking about the food and start thinking of why you want the food. All diets say focus on your "why". why you want to loose weight, why you want to be healthy. They say focus on the dress you want to wear or the activity you want to do. But I say focus on why you are eating. Why you want that burger and not a healthier version. Is it the taste or the need to feel control over something. When we find our why, we find how to change. Any guidelines or structure of a diet can be a good thing, but without the understanding and processing of life.....it will just be the next last diet you tried. and Stop saying you failed on that diet.....You learned from it

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