One of the many battles I had to overcome was eating in front of people. The sheer thought of others watching me eat would cause a rush of emotion. I wondered if I ate something healthy if outsiders would think I was a joke "trying" to eat something that was good for me, as if I was an actress in a play. I also thought for sure that if I gorged on an unhealthy meal, those watching would look at me in total disgust. I felt like I couldn't win. There would be judgment no matter what I put in my mouth, so nothing would go in it.
My fears of what others thought of me aided in my gradual weight gain over the years. I never ate during my 8-hour work shift. However, the second I left work I would drive through the nearest fast food restaurant to tide me over before I would eat dinner with Dan. After dinner came the much desired dessert, followed by late night snacking until I eventually would crash.
I would wake up in the morning (stuffed to the brim), skip breakfast, go all day without eating and then consume a ridiculous amount of calories all at night, yet again. This was my daily eating pattern. On the weekends, we would always go out to eat and I would try to cast aside my anxieties about others and just enjoy my food. I would eat all that I wanted, when and how I liked it.
One of the secrets to my long term success has been Dr. Oz's advice to never, ever get too hungry! When I become ravenous, I eat anything I can get my hands on with no thought to what I am actually eating. Balanced, timely meals throughout the day, filled with fiber and protein are my weapons against overeating.
I love breakfast, and when I wake up, I am actually hungry and look forward to fueling up. Eating reasonable snacks between meals helps to keep me balanced before my next meal. Having emergency foods like an apple or carrot sticks "just in case" has saved the day many times!
I had to get over what I assumed people must be thinking about me and used that negative energy to inspire conscious choices. When I took charge and started eating in front of others, I found out people aren't really as interested in what I'm eating for lunch as I had previously thought. In fact, others probably thought it was stranger that I weighed nearly 400 pounds and they never saw me put food in my mouth! That is actually something to ponder about…
Again, it is all about balance and taking the control back. I had the keys to my success and I continue to hold onto them.