A Silly Epiphany ...

Allow me to share just one "a ha" moment I came to in the beginning of 2016.   

Me photobombing Nobel laureate Michael Brown and Kevin Klatt (aka @Nutrevolve) October 2016
I'm kinda cute, huh?  
I met my now husband the October after graduating from college and getting my first real job.  He was a co-worker and friend of my apartment neighbors and friends.  At the time I was far from the fattest I'd been, but I believe the pants I was wearing were size 14 at the time.  We hit it off instantly.  Movie magical type stuff.  In my sleep-deprived state the next day at work I even told my co-worker friend that "last night I met the man I'm going to marry".

But it turns out he was involved with someone else and there was an awkward year of seeing him from time to time when he was over to visit our mutual friends.  Then about a year later we dated for a few months.  This didn't end well, but we parted "friends".  I'd see him from time to time still, but hadn't seen him in years.  

The summer of 1991 I did a sprint triathlon.  I was in grad school at the time, and in addition to swimming, running and biking, I also played intramural volleyball and softball.  Those were fun times.  I got down to my lowest adult weight without really trying.  Often after softball we'd go out for beer and pizza.  I was in a really great place.  But when September approached and the race was over, I just didn't have the time or opportunity for so much activity.  I regained a bit, but I moved back to my home state to be a work study student for my PhD.   I re-lost most of the weight and was likely within 5-10 lbs of my lowest.  By this point of my life I had kicked the binge eating disorder.  

So later that summer, I decided to try to sell my condo and make my move permanent.  It was on a visit back to meet with a real estate agent that by total fluke I ran into him again.  We've been together ever since.  In two days, it will be twenty-five friggen years!  The company where I was to do my PhD was not doing well at that time and come the end of the year it appeared there wouldn't be money for my position.  So I moved back to CT and since my condo was rented out, I moved in with him.    

No matter that I no longer binged, I still had no grasp as to what "eating normally" entailed.  So since he was so normal that way, it was really a great time to eat on his schedule ... "normally".  We cooked dinners.  Ate at the table.  All that stuff.  It really felt so normal, and anyone coming from disordered eating I'm sure can appreciate this.

One problem:  He's a broad shouldered 5'11" man who had his own construction business at the time.  I was (and still am) an almost 5'4" woman with an at-the-time mostly sedentary job of grad student.  We married in November of 1994 and I was pretty close to the weight we met at, but had put on a few.  But by 1997 -- when I first tried Atkins -- I found myself back over 200 lbs.  

>>>>> FAST FOWARD >>>>>

Obesity when you're married is totally different than when you're single.  Especially if you're lucky enough to have a partner who loves you no matter the weight.  This is where I lived for a decade!  I realized that my husband's penchant for junk foods was doing me no favors way back then.  Also, regular alcohol consumption is intrinsically linked to his heritage, and I adopted that too. Those calories add up and influence eating behavior.  But mostly:

What I didn't realize was how much my own eating behavior was governed by his eating cues.

You see, I'm not that hangry type, I don't eat breakfast most of the time because I'm not hungry in the morning.  This has been true for as long as I can remember as an adult.  But I really do better eating one big "supper" in the late afternoon/early evening, and perhaps a snack or two before or after.  He's not a breakfast eater either, or who knows what might have become of me!  But he is definitely a two-big-mealer, sometime mid-day and later in the evening.

I had an opportunity in early 2016 to be alone for the first time in 24 years.  (Here's where I'm just not going to air personal stuff, don't go getting all conspiratorial on me OK?)   It just hit home to me that left to my own devices and cues, I did more than quite OK.   Yeah, I lost weight like gangbusters, and I experimented with extremes without awakening the binge disorder monster.  Rapid weight loss is really *my* way to go.  Chugga chugga along and ride the wave or whatever analogy, then HOLD GROUND.    I'm about 65 lbs lighter today than then, and holding steady for around 8 months now!  For those who've been with me since the 2010 founding of this blog, you'll know how insanely monumental some 30-35 lbs of that really is!! 

It sounds silly ... to me anyway.  That it just never fully clicked that it wasn't just the types of foods my husband prefers, but his eating schedule that I'd subconsciously adapted to.  Just being cognizant of this I've set new boundaries and rules ... mostly for me .  YOU HAVE TO FIGURE YOUR SH!# OUT AND DO THIS FOR YOURSELF.  NOBODY ELSE WILL.  NOBODY ELSE CAN.  I cook most of our meals.  I prepare stuff he can augment for himself (e.g. he adds hot dogs to my bean concoction), but also can be eaten on a different schedule.    He loves the very low fat food I cook  (It's amazeballs folks, get ye an Instant Pot!!),  and my body sure loves it too!   When I say plant-based I mean that as well.  It is not vegan or vegetarian by any standard.  I eat all meats and seafood to varying degrees, frequencies and amounts.  Even A. "Beelzebub" Keys ate carving roasts a couple times a week.    I share what works for me.  I won't advocate because that's not the purpose here.  The scientific evidence assures me what I'm doing is health promoting.  QED.

This year of 2017 has brought new struggles for us.  It will go down as our year of convalescence from surgeries both.  LOL.    I'll have more to share about that (my side anyway) in coming days.