Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Road to Recovery Begins with a Single Step

Welcome to my new blog!

My other blog, Passion & Zest, was started a few months ago to explore new and old passions and find some creative outlets for myself.  At several points, the blog took a turn toward my relationship with food and my commitment to healthy eating.  Or rather, how difficult I've found it to commit to healthy eating and how my relationship with food has become disordered.

About a week ago, I wrote a very emotional post in which I came to realize that I may have an eating disorder.  Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or Compulsive Overeating (COE), to be exact.  So far, this is a self-diagnosis.  But it has scared me to realize that this could be a real problem I'm facing and I have decided to take action.

I decided that blogging would be a good tool in helping me to work through these issues, but didn't want to turn Passion & Zest into a weight loss or recovery memoir, so I've started fresh. 

I'd like to say that in the past week I've abstained from compulsive or binge eating, but it isn't true.  What is true is that I've been very cognizant of the choices I've made.  There have been times when I've overeaten, even mini-binged, and times when I've willed myself not to give into binge temptations.  And by "willed" I usually mean I generally distracted myself for long enough that I was no longer willing to prepare the foods I thought I wanted.

I have also taken a few steps toward recover.  I joined Overeaters Anonymous.  Though I have yet to make it to a face to face meeting, I have joined an online group geared at newcomers to the program and have attended some online meetings that are held via chat room. I have also picked up a few books to work through, and am in the process of finding a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.  I have decided that, for the moment, I'm focusing on the head stuff.  For the first time in years, I am not going to fuss over the weight loss stuff right now.  I believe if I fix the head stuff, the body stuff will follow. 

The first book that I am working my way through is Overcoming Overeating: It's Not What You Eat, It's What's Eating You! by Lisa Morrone, PT.  I have just finished the first chapter, at the end of which she asks to note our starting point.  She uses three assessment tools: Body Mass Index (BMI), BMI with waist measurement, and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR).  Ms. Morrone asserts that "A reality check is never easy, but there will never be recovery without it." So here goes:

Reality Check: November 9, 2011
As of this morning, I weighed an even *gulp* 191 lbs.  I'm 5'3", or 63 inches.  In case you've ever wondered how to calculate BMI, it equals (weight in lbs * 703) / (height in inches squared).
Because I'm a dorky math lover, I'll jot it out for you:
BMI as of 11/9/11 = (191 * 703) / (63 * 63) = 33.8 = OBESE


Next up, BMI combined with waist measurement.  My waist currently measures 38 inches in circumference at my belly button.

When a waist circumference over over 35 (for women - over 40 for men) is combined with a BMI over 30 the risk of obesity related diseases is "very high."

double yikes

The last measure is Waist to Hip Ratio.
Waist: 38 inches
Hips: 46 inches
WHR:   .83
A healthy WHR for women is .7 (.9 for men).

triple yikes

Anyway, there it is.  My reality check.  My starting picture is below.  Sorry for how bad it is, but I have an awful full length mirror.  I could ask my cats to take the picture of me, but I'm pretty sure they'd just give me a dirty look.

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