Ep 0079 – Expressing Yourself Without a False Self

Laurie seen from above on the hiking bench
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Having fun with the angles of my selfie. Here’s a view from as high as I can reach of me and my gear on the next to top Zen place bench.

Podcast Recap

How can we let go of our false selves and learn to express who we are? Welcome to new BC Rachel who recommends a new podcast for us to check out. Now available, a certificate of completion for Brave Companions who have listened or binge-listened, all the way through the episodes so far! I announce my upcoming live support group – details to come. Touching letters from two new brave companions on the bravery report, María from a Spanish speaking country and Amy from Ohio. Courtney, another new brave companion is on the bravery report a record three times in one day! Once for her bravery hotline call, once for her comment on day 4 and once for posting her story on Who are the Brave Companions? Dawny also calls the bravery hotline with an update about her vacation, how she’s doing with intuitive eating and what SHE’s bravely giving up today! Featured comments by Stéfanie from Quebec and Amy from Wisconsin. I also reveal my secret binge behavior these days. Courtney ends the show by making me LOL!

Laurie grinning

See, it IS all about the angles. I include this take because it’s as thin as my legs have looked without me photoshopping them!

Hikers on the trail

The trail is popular on this cool Sunday morning.


New BC Rachel’s introductory comment on Day 6

Win the Diet War with Dr. Nina – the podcast Rachel mentions in her comment.

Courtney’s comment on Day 4

Courtney’s story on Who are the Brave Companions?

Post YOUR story on the Who are the Brave Companions? page

Bravery Tips on Episode 78

Courtney’s funny bravery comment on Day 78

Stéfanie’s list on Day 76

Stéfanie’s response on Day 77

Amy from Wisconsin’s supportive comment on Day 77

Amy from Wisconsin’s bravery hotline call can be found on Day 65

Survivor TV website

Ways to support the show financially

Want to have Fun Being Foolish too?

Participate in our new feature called “Foolish Fun“. Just call the bravery hotline 206-350-6445 or check out the send audio page on http://www.compulsiveovereatingdiary.com/how-to-send-audio/
And tell us a joke, riddle, a silly story, limerick, sing a song, play a kazoo, ANYTHING but talk about compulsive eating. This is the feature where messing up is just part of the act! No names required and Silly Aliases are AOK! Need ideas? See Day 54’s Resource of the Day for my page of ToonaCat Jokes

Catch up with Laurie

My Spreaker page. Please follow me there if you are on Spreaker.

My Instagram page at LaurieDreamWeaver

FaceBook Page if you want to sign up for our email list by clicking Tiger the Cat’s Sign-up button

Laurie on Tumblr

My page with instructions for all of the ways (so far) that you can send audio and lend your voice to this podcast.

New free way to leave voicemail http://speakpipe.com/laurieweaver You can also click the blue button on this page that says ‘send a voice message.’

Bravery Hotline

Leave your comments, questions, feelings and stories on Laurie’s podcast voicemail hotline – 206-350-6445.


Host: Laurie Weaver

Main Theme:I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1

I’m Letting Go (Josh Woodward) / CC BY 3.0

Resource of the day

Taking the Leap from False Love to Real Love.
By dotJenna of SelfLoveU.com. Insightful article that highlights the differences of your false self and your true self. Highly Recommended.
Comments box:

25 thoughts on “Ep 0079 – Expressing Yourself Without a False Self

  1. Suz (Suzanne)

    Okay, I had to come and write something. I’ve been wanting to call the Bravery Hotline, but haven’t been feeling all that brave, or coherent.
    I have said, and have felt, like I’m not really convinced that my eating problems are related to my feelings problems, but I think it’s time I treat them as if they are, even if I’m not yet totally convinced. They are THE two biggest problems in my life, and they both need to be dealt with, and I think it’s reasonable to find how they might be related.
    Also, your talk about false self is getting to me. I have always tried to be genuine and truthful with others, but not so sure I’m succeeding with myself. I seem good at sharing and advising with others, but have a blind spot when it comes to myself. Or, I can have moments of insight, but then fall back into old habits. Or, like Allie Brosh of “Hyperbole and a Half” says, (something like): you think you want to discover something deep about yourself, and you go just deep enough to scare yourself, and then you retreat back into your castle of lies.
    I wanted to call the hotline to say that I feel like a fraud. I am not doing anything. I’m not a program, I’m not tracking, I’m not resisting overeating. The very thought of it makes me anxious. I see coworkers of mine who have lost weight, or who are measuring out portions of grapes or whatever at lunch. I feel anxious and guilty and resentful. I should be doing that. It shouldnt’ be that hard. It shouldn’t be that scary. I used to be able to do it. But right now I feel absolutely stuck and unable. If there is chocolate in the house, I have to eat it. My favorite chips? Can’t concentrate on anything til they’re gone. I have to eat the food to feel safe or in control (??) even though the food makes me feel out of control. I even have to eat the food so that it’s gone, and then I’m safe FROM THE FOOD! That is nuts.
    I go through days where I want to eat everything, and I never feel full. Then I think, intuitive eating couldn’t work for me, because my body is a liar. Then experience fullness on another day, but I won’t believe it, and keep eating until I don’t feel that fullness anymore, and it’s all shut off and I’m in food oblivion.
    I avoid. I have to have an escape. Sometimes I have to try and escape from food. The cravings hound me even when I’m choosing a healthy alternative. That makes me feel angry and trapped and angry at my messed up brain.
    I keep listening, I keep thinking, I keep trying to picture myself on the progress train, and not being terrified that I can’t get off or that it’s actually a deprivation train.
    I also just realized that seeking information is another way of avoiding taking action. I caught myself thinking, “I need to listen to all the podcasts again. Maybe that will help me start.” Or, “I need to listen to ALL of Allen Standish’s podcasts too.” I need to order more books, read more from the library. I have to surround myself with information and every possible solution to my problem. Maybe acupuncture will blunt my appetite. Maybe there’s some way to help. Essential oils. Some new medicine. Some routine. Some magic. Something will break through. But, like Laurie said in the first podcast. First you have to change your mind. I know how to talk that talk, I just can’t seem to walk that walk. Change my mind. I can say it. I’ve done affirmations. I’ve written. I’ve recited the mantra in my head. But the behavior seems stronger. Deeper.
    So I haven’t made a profile on “Who are the Brave Companions.” Because I don’t feel brave. I don’t feel like I belong. I feel like my compulsion and my problems set me apart, and that I will always be left behind. Cravings always win.
    And it’s not okay to have upset feelings where I live. I am a middle aged, unmarried person living with her aging parents. That’s right, I’m that kind of pathetic. But that’s just the way it is. I make too little at my 3 part time jobs to afford an apartment and pay for all my expenses and prescriptions. And I’m not extravagant or wasteful by any means. But I digress…it’s never been okay for me to be angry or sad. Or even too happy. Nothing too demonstrative. And my mom is the only person allowed to be angry, and my dad is the only person allowed to be depressed. My function is to listen to them complain about each other, and help out and make things better when there is a problem. Mostly it makes me feel very tired and makes me want to withdraw and isolate. I love them, and I’m thankful to be here. But sometimes it’s too much. My main work place has a deal with a counseling place, and I’ve been there, but had a counselor actually say to me, “Maybe you’re actually happy and you just don’t know it,” which is about the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. So I don’t go there anymore. I read, I think, I walk, and maybe I could learn to blog.
    But can I learn to eat? I mean, eat to eat, and not to medicate, if that’s what I’m doing. And yes, I do take my daily antidepressant. No shame in that. It keeps my nose above the water. But it doesn’t stop the creepy cravings and the food frenzies.
    If anyone else out there is having trouble getting to feel calm and confident enough to even start something, you’re not alone. I want to be the person who can approach a big behavior change with enthusiasm and optimism, I’m just not her right now. I’m a skeptic. I’ve learned to be. And I have little energy to spare.
    That’s my moment of Real this morning. Jumbled as it was.
    Back to work.

    1. Suz (Suzanne)

      I forgot to click to notify me of comments. If there are other non-starters out there I do want to know if they respond. 🙂

        1. Suz (Suzanne)

          I just made sure to check the box on my follow-up comment. 🙂
          Thanks for all your encouragement. I’m not a very good speaker when I’m nervous! I get all tangled up and go blank! But if it would make you happy, I will try.
          Well, that was a Pleaser thing to say. I just feel more comfortable typing. I hate my voice.
          But I just felt compelled to write to you today. I’m groping for a lifesaver but I know I have to keep swimming too!

          1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Ok then 🙂

            PS, I’m PROUD of you for stating your true preferences. Don’t EVER do something to please me (at least as the only reason). If my suggestions trigger a spark and a thought “I’d like to try that, but I’m scared” and my support helps you try a bravery thing, then go for it. If it isn’t for you now, or ever, let it go. Remember my struggle to give up the scale? I had to wait until it felt right, even though it was scary.

      1. courtney

        Suz, I’m a non-starter. You’re not the only one. On the contrary, I actually think that by coming to this site and sharing with each other that perhaps we ARE starters. We’ve made the first step. We’ll make the next step when we’re ready. In the meantime, I’m going to try to be more kind and gentle to myself.
        If you dont mind me asking, would you mind sharing something that you like about yourself? XoXo

        1. Suz (Suzanne)

          Thank you so much for that, Courtney!
          I agree with you. Maybe this IS my start. My first steps. My first big step is to try and figure out how my emotions and my behaviors around food are connected. I never feel an obvious link between my feelings and my drive for the food. I think a lot of it must be subconscious. I just feel really driven to eat some days, and I feel irritated and frustrated that my mind or the cravings won’t leave me alone. But are the feelings there first, or are the cravings there first? I haven’t figured out which is the chicken and which is the egg!
          I too am trying to be more gentle with myself, and to observe my behavior instead of judge it.
          I’ve just ordered 3 books through Laurie’s amazon portal: Intuitive Eating, Eating in the Light of the Moon. and the Practicing Happiness Workbook. How Mindfulness Can Free You from the 4 Psychological Traps That Keep You Stressed, Anxious, and Depressed. I also have one out from the library called Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, and Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior. Not sure when I’m going to get all that reading done, but I’m interested in it all!
          And something I like about myself…hmm….Well, I like that I can play the piano, and draw cute cartoon scribbles. 🙂 Thanks for asking!

          1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Wow, Suz, I think this is sooooo important.

            I too am trying to be more gentle with myself, and to observe my behavior instead of judge it.

            This remains a challenge for me, but the better I’ve gotten at observing rather than condemning the better my entire life has become. Big hugs too, because I believe for most of us, many, many of our triggers are at the subconscious level. This means we are literally blind to what is motivating us and that can make us feel full on looney-tunes at times. It is the observation that gives you clues, just like an anthropologist studying a culture, into what it may be. I think it is important too, not to place expectations on yourself about what you find. That is like chasing butterflies with a flyswatter instead of sketching them. To continue the analogy. Once you make friends with the butterflies by being still and proving no harm, they will land nearby, maybe even in your hand. Then you can observe the beauty of what they are trying to do for you. You can thank them and gently, when the time is right, let them go.

            PS, I LOVE your music and can’t wait to see one of your scribbles 🙂

            PSS, Thanks SO Much for ordering your books through my Amazon Link. I think you will especially like Eating in the Light of the Moon. The fables applied to society and how we feel about ourselves is just so cool. Let me know what you think of it once you’ve had the chance to read some.

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Wow, I am SO proud of you Suz for being BRAVE and expressing your thoughts and feelings as they are. I accept and understand them very much. I do want to assure you that you are ALREADY one of the brave companions. There is no need to be perfect, successful, or even on a path to change anything to be a brave companion. All it needs is the desire to listen and consider and see what resonates or not. I think, even just liking to be heard about food, perfectionism or other issues that get in our way at times is enough. This site, the bravery hotline, and the show is for that. You’ve heard of the “great unwashed?” we are the GREAT UNHEARD! We are the pleasers, the smilers, the take-care-of-iters, the schedulers. We may not even know what we want or who we are. But here, you have a place to explore that. Here you can be on a food plan, exploring intuitive eating, or not trying to change your eating at all. If you want people who understand where you are, or where you have been, then this is a good place. Maybe think about calling the bravery hotline just to say hello? Post your story on Who are the brave companions and be as brief or as long as you like. You can say “I’m Suz and I love music”. Or post this comment there again. I also love your point about information keeping us stuck. A Great topic! I have done that SO many times. From what you’ve shared with me, I can tell you are a gifted writer, I suspect also a good speaker, and a talented musician. How cool is that that you can play by ear? It seems you could use some fun and sharing in your life. Your former counselor sounds like a clueless newbie. Maybe you can try another? I’ve gone through several until I got one that clicked. Also, dearest Suz, You CAN change your mind right now! Because, if what you change it to doesn’t work out, you can CHANGE it again. If we can agree that you would like to feel happier, then you can explore that. Does slowing down as you eat chocolate make it taste more delicious or does it make you anxious? Is there a time of day that food tastes best? You don’t need to track anything. You don’t even need to think anything. I find if I give myself permission to just feel, I can at least get a glimmer of what’s going on and if I want to change it, keep it, or let it ride.

  2. courtney

    I am out of control. That’s the first step to healing, I’ve heard. I fake being pleasant. I fake being happy. I fake not loathing myself every time I binge because I try to pretend that it didnt just happen. I hurt so deeply that food is the only thing that comforts me. It soothes me. It understands me. It goes in waves, my binging. Definitely the more I hurt, the more I eat, and the fatter I get which makes me really mad at myself, and I beat myself up even more. I have got to stop letting what people think about me dictate how I feel about myself. I am a kind, generous person with a good heart. Im not just a body, and I think its really shitty that so many people are so judgy. So what? I’m fat. I also have a whole lot to offer as a person. Im faithful, kind, compassinate and a good listener. I would accmpany you to the doctor’s office or drive you to the airport. I would even feed your cat while you’re gone, and I’m a dog person. 🙂 Anyway. I feel like I’m losing myself — too obsessed with seeing myself through other peoples’ eyes and forgetting who I am. Heavy girls seem to get ignored, looked over, looked around, looked through. It’s a strange phenomenon, because I haven’t always been this heavy, and I am treated completely different by most people when I’m either heavy or thin. Even family. I want to be healthy. I want to fit into my clothes. I don’t want to have diabetes in the future. I just DON’T know how to get off of this hellish nightmare of a roller coaster.
    Thanks for letting me vent. Much love and support to all the BCs. xoxo

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hugs Courtney, boy have you put yourself on the bravery report today! I could have written most of this post word for word myself (except that I am a natural born cat person ;)). I so get the rage of the invisibility and non-personhood that seems to go with being seen as possessing a larger body type in our society. It is infuriating! But the good news of my experiment is it seems the more self-confidence I have, and the more I truly seem to accept myself, the better the response is from much of the world. There will always be jerks, but it seems that we can impact our experience by changing our own minds. That’s kind of cool! You are so out there, so brave, so raw and honest, I can’t help but think you too are shedding your cocoon and I’ll bet good things will come of it, dear Courtney. xoxoxoxox

      1. Suz (Suzanne)

        Okay, I have to say I’m feeling like a belligerent 8-year-old. I felt like my posts were brave and risky for me, but I’ve not qualified for the bravery report! Well, I’ll put myself on my own bravery report! haha.

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Good for you Suz! Your own bravery report is the TRUE bravery report. And for what it’s worth, your posts belong on MY bravery report too. And I know how it feels. My voice acting teacher has said nice things about my skill, but never said my voice was anything special. The other ladies have had comments like “Your natural alto tone is so sexy, it’s very commercial”, or “You always have such a genuine smile in your voice – that’s worth its weight in gold”. Me. nada. And to be honest it stings a little. But, like you, I tell myself that my voice is unique and special and maybe I just need more practice for it to shine. YOU are so great at expressing feelings, I’m sorry I don’t tell you more often.

    2. Suz (Suzanne)

      I love this post, Courtney! I can relate 100%.
      It seems like the bigger I’ve gotten, the more invisible I am! And I always feel awkward and not accepted or approved of…I can’t figure out how to fit in no matter what size I am. But like you, I recognize that I’m still a good person with many good qualities. I guess I’m different enough to be an oddball, though.
      I just have to keep remembering that even if some people think it’s their right to criticize and judge me because of my size, it doesn’t mean their opinion is valid. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a problem that wasn’t so gosh-darned obvious to the world. We have to carry it around with us, emotionally and physically. And to most of society, if it *looks* good, it *is* good. Many people have agonizing struggles that aren’t as obvious to the world, but they can hide it better under a facade. Overweight people can’t hide it…maybe that’s why many put on the facade of cheerfulness.
      I think I’ve gotten past some of that stuff as I’ve gotten older, but some of it still bothers me. I know I no longer want to lose weight to fit into cute things or be accepted socially. I just want to feel better, and be more mobile and energetic. Diabetes runs in my family, so I want to avoid that. But apparently the spectre of diabetes isn’t enough to scare me straight at the moment!
      You are worth every good thing you do for yourself! Other people’s approval feels nice, but doesn’t determine your actual worth. I totally understand how hard it is, though. My brother was always tall, blond, slim, and good looking. It wasn’t hard to see the striking difference in how he was treated in life versus how I was. He never understands how I feel, and thinks I just have a bad attitude. But when you feel the sting of rejection and ridicule since childhood, it changes who you are and how you cope with life.

  3. Cheryl

    OMG! Where to even begin? First off, Suz, you may not think you’re a very brave person, but your first post up top there is one of the bravest, most honest things I’ve ever read. And It’s chock full of truisms for me as well as probably everyone else reading. You’re in a less than ideal place in your life. We have an adult son who is separated who has been living with us for three years now with no move toward reconciling with his wife, and THAT is making ME nuts. But it is a FAR CRY from having to care for aged parents. Especially on your own. There are so many hidden depth charges associated with that, even in the best of families.

    I, too, have a very difficult time identifying eating episodes with emotions. I sometimes think that’s because I don’t really allow myself to feel my feelings on a conscious level because of exactly what Laurie was talking about today. I LOVED that quote, “…you think you want to discover something deep about yourself,
    and you go just deep enough to scare yourself, and then you retreat back into your castle of lies.” Lordy! How true is that? I went through Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self” (which falls under your heading of SEEKING INFORMATION TO AVOID TAKING ACTION!) and scribbled all THROUGH that book. By the end, I knew myself VERY well — and not at all because I still didn’t let myself go spelunking in the darker caves.

    But what you said about the bigger you’ve gotten, the more invisible you are made me really choke up. I feel so much that way. I’m a yo-yo dieter and I’ve always figured that was because when I’m down 30 lbs. people say such nice things, then I gain it back and they don’t mention it, like it’s taboo. The question I asked myself when I read your comment was, am I sabotaging myself deliberately to stay invisible because I got so close to who I MIGHT become that I scared myself to death? I’ve gotta do some pondering on that. So don’t you dare run off and hide now. We have a lot in common, girlfriend!

    Laure, this podcast was so full of treasure… I’m one of those people who went from being a rebel and doing my own thing when I was younger and not giving a hoot what others thought to being overly sensitized to what they think and (especially) feel. And I hide behind a false self A LOT because of that. But I feel like the falsehood is even more personal than that. It’s when I betray myself in some way and feel that little buzz in my solar plexus and get all teary-eyed that I KNOW I have just been truly false to MYSELF. It’s like seeing a beautiful dress you really want to buy but you don’t have the nerve to do it, so you justify not buying it by saying something like, “Oh, I’d probably look as big as a barn in it anyway.” Whether I would or wouldn’t is really beside the point right then. The problem is, I’m not speaking my truth to MYSELF. The truth is I love the dress and I want it, or at least to try it on to see how it fits. When I betray myself in that way, it makes me sick in my soul. Does that make any sense? Don’t quite know how to explain it. I just know I have as big a problem being false to myself as to others.

    Everyone you quoted today had some gem to impart. Maria’s pleasing people then pleasing herself with food… I never looked at it like that. Amy who is being brave as h*ll getting a second degree while taking care of disabled kids talking about having bulimia and WANTING to be alone vs. feeling the need to have others in her life so OVEREATING to fill that need. I never would have made a connection like that.

    I could go on and on, but it’s just so awe inspiring to see so many vulnerable and hurting people who are willing to be honest and reach out to others. What an amazing group of Brave Companions.

    And one other thing, I’m with Amy on passing along congrats on not letting the snug pants episode drive you to the kitchen. What a victory that was. There’s a lesson there for all of us.

    I feel like this is one of your best episodes ever. You touched so many people. And to Rachel, Courtney, and Patt, it’s good to have you along on this journey.

    Good job, Laurie!!!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks so much Cheryl. This was a watershed episode I think for my own life. Remember, even though I sort of know what comments I’ll read, and roughly what I may ponder, most of what I say when I’m NOT reading comments just comes out. So often I am pretty shocked by what I hear when I’m editing. I’m much more fluid in thought when I am talking during a walk, or right after a walk than when I’m trying to sit and write and this episode’s topic really got to me. Thanks again for your support.
      PS, the pants are still looser as of today. 🙂

    2. Suz

      Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you for your responses to my post. 🙂 And for calling me brave!
      I think we definitely have a lot in common! Thank you for encouraging me to stick around.
      I have to admit I’m still in the “seeking information” stage..but hoping that somehow that will translate into internalization of new ideas and building up steam to try even one teensy tiny step towards progress!
      Some of all the kindness and bravery on this board also has to rub off, right?
      I’ve bumped up next to the scary places a few times on my quest…just hoping that I will desensitize to some of the uncomfortable feelings.
      Also, because of your comment about unconscious self-sabotage, I’ve also been thinking of reasons why I may not want to lose weight, subconsciously or not. I think maybe earlier in life, it was a way to avoid the extremely high expectations of my parents. My dad in particular has always been a perfectionist, and extremely hard on himself…always calling himself a “loser.” I think he wanted perfect and successful children so he could feel like maybe he wasn’t a loser. Or, maybe he focused on our shortcomings so reinforce his own idea that he IS a loser. I don’t know. But being fat, and not conventionally pretty, was enough to secure my station as living proof that my dad is a loser. I lost weight once in high school, and suddenly I got attention I never got before, and the expectations on me went way up. Well, for a person who has very low self esteem, and who had no emotional support, that was just too much for me.
      Now that I’m older, into middle age, and past that youthful stage where everybody is entered into the social beauty contest whether they want to be in it or not, I wonder what I could have done if I had adapted to being smaller, if I could have coped with the pressure. I liked some of the approval I got, but mostly my inner fat girl was thinking, “you people are phony jerks!”. It left me feeling like all love is conditional. That you are only as good as your last achievement and if you fulfill someone else’e needs.
      Being fat took some of the pressure of expectations off me. I was a failure, anybody could see it. Don’t expect much out of me. I can’t handle it. I haven’t thought about this for a long time. Maybe I need to work on these thoughts!

      1. Cheryl

        Suz, I can say DITTO to everything you said. In fact, all three times I’ve dropped the weight and got to within 10 lbs. of my goal weight (which was only 170), it was a barrage of compliments that totally did me in. And I’d think, “Gee, if I look that good now, you must have thought I looked like Petunia Pig before I lost! How honored I should be that you could stand to be friends with me. Go take a flyin’ leap! I’m going back to who I really am!” Of course the minute I got there I’d have the very same thought you did. What would have happened had I been able to acclimate to being smaller? Of course, on the heels of that thought was “I can’t live with these food restrictions for the rest of my life. I just don’t have the energy…” One psychological hurdle, one physical.

        So for me I think learning to accept myself where I am is going to be the most helpful, because honestly, I don’t know what else to do. So hang in there with the rest of us. You can just lay it all out on the table here and no one judges anyone. (I may still your chocolate, however! LOL)

        1. Suz

          Ditto, too! Or, Thritto!
          In a way I liked to hear that people thought I looked nice, but that compliment automatically comes with the dark flipside of “compared to how you USED to look”!!!
          Or, I love this one, “You’ve lost weight! Good job. Keep it up!” Keep it up. We wouldn’t want you to get complacent and think you’re done or that you’ve reached complete acceptability.
          So it’s hard to know what to say to someone who’s lost weight, I guess! We don’t have the same hangups about other changes in appearance, like a haircut. Oh, you like my haircut? It’s cute? Well, I’m sorry my hair was so hideous before!! haha.
          My goal weight is also 170 or 180.. In my mind, I think that’s a place I could feel good and also maintain. But I have a long way to go. Last time I lost weight noticeably was on Weight Watchers about 3 years ago. (I put it all back on) and once I reached a 30 or 35 pound loss, I had a restriction freak-out. My points had to be reduced again and I just couldn’t deal with it. My all-or-nothing mind said I can’t do this, period. I can’t restrict again when I feel I’m just barely able to cope with the level I’m at. If I’d been smart, I’d have just maintained for a while and then seen how it felt to try the new point level for a couple of days, or maybe just tried to maintain throughout the long, cold, dark winter and then tried to lose again in the summer. Instead I decided that I may as well eat whatever.
          That added on more thoughts about what/where I might have been if the weight hadn’t piled on again. If I might have made more progress toward my goal. Sometimes when I’ve been out walking, I try to picture a thinner version of myself, walking up ahead of me. I want to catch up with her and merge into her smaller shape. I’m having a harder and harder time even picturing myself smaller! But I have to keep reminding myself, it’s still possible to change my body, even at this stage and age.

          1. Cheryl

            “So it’s hard to know what to say to someone who’s lost weight, I guess!”

            You know what… I think that would make a really good discussion for Laurie on her podcast. It’s very, very, VERY relevant. It’s fairly easy to support each other on here because everything is out in the open. But what to say to someone who isn’t in this loop without doing exactly what we were just talking about and undoing all the good that they have done? So glad you brought that up! That’s a great question.

  4. Nola

    Hello Laurie and Brave Companions,

    Today I’m letting go of the need to catch up on all the episodes before chiming in with my own story. I found this podcast through Alen Standish’s interviews with Laurie and I’ve been binge listening ever since. Like so many of you Brave Companions, I’m a lifelong yo-yo dieter, starting around age 14. That makes over 44 years for me. I’ve tried them all! Laurie, there was an episode where you talked about trying a low carb type diet when you were a child. That might have been the Stillman Diet which was high protein and low carb as well as being low fat. That was one of the first diets I tried. Anyway, if I ever write a diet book I’m going to title it “How to Lose over 1000 Pounds in less than 50 Years”. Do you think that would sell ;-).

    As I’ve been listening to Laurie’s story, every episode has had something that has resonated with me. Sometimes I feel like Laurie is inside my head and has lived my life. I’ve been consumed with thoughts of food, what I will eat next, when I will eat next, what can I eat, what can’t I eat, which diet or food plan to try, etc. You know the drill. I’m actually a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, having achieved that honor in 1999 after joining and re-joining so many times I can’t remember. Since then I’ve been up and down, over and under my goal, until about 5 years ago when I decided that I didn’t want to spend the second half (or third third LOL) of my life being unhappy and disgusted with my body and I worked and restricted diligently until I got back under my goal weight again where I’ve managed to stay since. I’ve realized that as a teenager and young adult I used my fat to become invisible. Once I became middle-aged perhaps I was able to let go of it because now my age does the same job. (That begs the question, why do I want to be invisible but that’s a question for another day.) Unfortunately losing the weight and maintaining my weight loss doesn’t mean my obsession with food and urges to overeat have gone away. I’m a secret eater and suffer from “tomorrow” syndrome and “all or nothing” thinking, not to mention that I have chronic insomnia. When I’ve had a particularly rough night as I did last night, it’s really, really, really, hard to overcome the urge to binge. And of course, if nobody sees me eating it, it doesn’t count, right?

    Well I don’t want to ramble on too much longer but I wanted to say that I’m really glad I found this podcast. It helps immensely to know that I’m not alone in hearing and trying to resist the call of the cookies in the office kitchen. Sometimes resistance is futile indeed. Listening to Laurie’s journey has made me think that MAYBE if I allow myself to have a cookie and maybe even eat it in the presence of my co-workers, I might not be compelled to keep going back for more, hoping that nobody is around so I can sneak “just one more” until they are all gone. Because as we all know, there’s always tomorrow to start over again LOL.

    Laurie, you’ve come so far since you started doing this and helped so many people. I applaud you for your bravery and openness in sharing your story with the world. I want to get caught up but in some ways I don’t because you’ve been my constant companion for the last 2-3 weeks and after I’m caught up I’ll have to wait like everybody else to hear what’s going on in your life and what new adventure you’re on. Thank you for verbalizing my thoughts and feelings way better than I could do myself.

    PS – I love to walk, hike, ride my bike and sing (not necessarily at the same time).

    PPS – I am also Canadian but live in Alberta on the other side of the country from Stefanie.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Nola from Alberta 🙂 Welcome! I’m so happy you popped in now and didn’t wait until you were all caught up. I LOVE Alberta. About 19 or 20 years ago I taught some courses at the Banff Center for the Arts. Loved the flats as well as the Rockies. And Stillman IS the name of the diet I was on as a child. Used to make hamburger patties with melted cottage cheese on them *blech*. Congrats on your Lifetime achievement with WW and even more so that you have maintained at goal. That’s awesome, but as you point out, body weight, body image and self image around food are all different things. Right now I am working on what’s under my eating triggers vs. trying to lower calories (or points) or eliminating foods from my diet. PS it sounds like we like very similar activities, so I’m happy to meet a kindred rider/hiker/singer xoxoxoxoxoxo

      1. Nola

        Thanks for the welcome, Laurie. It’s cool that you’ve been to Banff which is practically my back yard (I’m in Calgary).


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