A weight loss journey
“It Was Me All Along” (affiliate link) really spoke to me. It fit perfectly into my weight loss/management theme this past week (see my vlog and my post about why weight loss isn’t punishment if you missed it).
So many similarities between myself and the author, Andie Mitchell:
- Love of food
- Bingeing on food
- Always looking for the largest cupcake, cookie, etc.
- Using Weight Watchers to lose weight
There was a major difference between us: I didn’t have an alcoholic father who was out of work and died, homeless, when I was a young girl.
No, my father is still here (as of March 2016 — he turns 90 this month!), and he wasn’t an alcoholic. I cannot blame my struggle with weight on any major childhood trauma. I can’t even really put my finger on when my love of food (which my entire family shares, so I come by it naturally) turned into a way to cope with being an introverted adolescent.
Which brings me to one of the major differences between me and Andie: Andie’s mother really showered her with unconditional love. She never restricted food, she showered her with love (in between working multiple jobs to keep them afloat), and always told her how much she loved her. Except for one instance when Andie came home from college and her mother was shocked at how much weight she had gained.
My parents love me, of course, but there was a lot of “you would look so pretty if you just lost some weight”. Despite the fact that they weren’t thin themselves! Even to this day, my mother tells me how great I look and sometimes I want to scream that I’m so much more than my weight! Another similarity between myself and Andir, after she lost the weight.
Another major difference between myself and Andie is that she lost the weight very young. Compared to me, anyway. It took me a year to lose about 40 pounds when I was in my late 20s. It has taken me literally years to lose the same amount of weight in my late 40s to mid 50s.
In some ways, I actually think that is a good thing — for me — losing weight slowly means you are taking your time to build healthy habits, and the weight loss is more likely to stick.
It’s very frustrating, of course.
You’re not done when you lose the weight
One thing Andie struggled with, as many people who lose a great deal of weight do, was going too far in the opposite direction: becoming very controlled and restrictive about what she ate, for a time, after she lost the weight.
I can relate to that, to a degree. When you lose a fair amount of weight, there’s always the fear that it will come back on. Overnight. In one meal.
It’s an irrational fear, of course, because weight doesn’t come on that fast (and sadly comes off even slower). But it’s normal, and I’ve felt that fear too. I still struggle with it, in fact, and I’m trying to get to a place where I’m more at peace with food. It’s hard, though. It takes time. Only someone who has been there can understand because no, it’s not normal, and to gain a lot of weight, well, let’s face it — that’s not normal, either.
Just as Andie was more extreme in her bingeing than I was, she was also more extreme in her food restriction, too. To the point of leaving a restaurant one time, early in her journey after losing the weight, because not having control over her food and the choices she had to make were just too overwhelming to her.
I have never gotten to that point, thankfully, but going out to eat or to a party can still make me anxious sometimes, and for the same reasons: I can’t control what choices I have, and of course, there’s the fear of gaining back all the weight in just one meal. Silly, I know, but there it is.
In the end I identified with Andie a lot more than I didn’t. Maybe only people who have truly struggled with their weight and food can truly understand this book. I certainly fall into both categories!
Would I buy this book?
I found it an easy, enjoyable read. I was really shocked when I read reviews of the book and many called her writing sophomoric. I really enjoyed her writing! Flowery, yes, but again, maybe you have to be the sort of person who truly understands that level of food addiction to understand the language, too. Our brains really are wired differently.
But would I buy the book? No, I wouldn’t; it’s not a book that I plan to read again and again. I took it out of the library, and that is what I would recommend if you plan to read it You can also check out Andie’s blog.
See what other bloggers thought of “It Was Me All Along” at Wendy’s bookclub:
Today’s theme is your running uniform.
That would be a running skirt, probably 75% of the time (it’s often tights during the winter, but even then, sometimes it’s a running skirt). From Skirtsports, of course (well, not always, but again, probably 75% of the time).
And you can get yourself some SkirtSports love 20% off (regularly priced items) with code CRJ20. Because #REALwomenmove!
Is food more than fuel to you? Have you ever binged?