Being shy in a group

This is my 4th week going to OA meetings at one location in Greenwich Village, and I’ve only talked to one woman.  I’m usually shy in big groups where I don’t know people, where I feel like I don’t belong, or even in small groups where I know people if there’s someone who’s more outgoing than me (which happens a lot).  Part of OA is that you’re supposed to get support from the group and talk and text with other OA members on the phone.  I have yet to do that.  I don’t even know how to begin.  I don’t really want to put myself out there.  And that’s part of the problem.  I think I just need to do it.  Ask for help.  Text someone.  Call.  There’s a list that goes around, but I’m too nervous to write down peoples’ names.

This week has been pretty stressful, with the situation with my boss’s car, my back going out on Tuesday, and starting school again (which I actually really enjoyed–one year down–two more to go!).  I binged a few days ago and today.  Yesterday I overate but didn’t binge.  Ugh, I feel so stressed, I just want to sit somewhere in the sun and read and not do work or worry about anything.

Next week I’m going to try a location in midtown.  Really I just want to hear someone mention their kids instead of always talking about their parents.  Sometimes I just feel like I don’t belong anywhere.  When I’m in Queens I feel like I should be in Brooklyn.  When I’m in Brooklyn I feel like I should be in Manhattan.  When I’m in the Village I feel like I should be on the Upper West Side.  Why can’t I be happy where I am?

Hi and a bit about my journey so far…

I’m starting this blog to help me stay motivated to live healthfully and mindfully.  I’m trying to get back to a healthy weight after gaining back the weight that I lost between having my two children.  I work outside the home, and so life is pretty hectic.  I welcome any tips or comments to help me stay motivated and not mindlessly eat to meet some need other than hunger or appreciation of food.

I’ve dealt with emotional eating since I was 10 years old.  Here is my weight history: In high school I think I weighed around 120-125 pounds.  I’m 5’2″, so that was toward the heavier side for someone in their teens.  I was a dancer and so I was always self-conscious and wished that I could lose weight, but I loved to snack.  There were times that I limited my food intake too much.  I remember days in high school when I would just have a small single-serve bag of pretzels for lunch and that was it.

In college I gained around 10 pounds and continued to be unhappy with my weight.  I remember a girl in my dorm asking me if I always ate so much cereal.  I still danced, so was getting pretty regular exercise.

In graduate school I gained 10-20 pounds, and would yo-yo up and down 10 pounds or so.  I became really unhappy with my weight and body, but I tended to block it out most of the time.  I was wearing a size 14 but I ignored it and tried to fit into my 10s and 12s.  I tried Weight Watchers for the first time in 2003, but just cried through the meetings.  I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t lose weight on my own.  After trying for 6 months or so with no weight loss, I stopped.  I started dating my future husband, and started to take yoga instead of dancing.

In 2006 my husband proposed (I said yes!).  A few months later my mom committed suicide.  I was devastated for much of the year.  I also didn’t want to pick a date for our wedding because I wanted to be thin.  I tried to lose weight unsuccessfully on my own.  I was attending a gym regularly and eating mostly healthy foods, but just way too much of them.  And I would binge on healthy food and junk food alike.  I didn’t keep trigger foods in the apartment, but I would buy them on the street and hide that I was eating them from my friends and family.

In 2007 we finally picked a wedding date for 2008.  I tried to lose some weight, and even joined a Weight Watchers at work program.  I think I lost around 10 pounds, putting me at around 155 for our wedding in 2008.  Then in 2009 I joined Jenny Craig, and I was able to lose 10 more pounds, after also weaning off of anti-depressants that I had been on since the late 90s.

I got pregnant in late 2009 and had horrible panic attacks and nausea and went back on medication.  I couldn’t work for a month and lost 12 pounds.  My oldest daughter was born in 2010.  Throughout the pregnancy I ate a lot, but I lost a lot of the water and pregnancy weight (I was so swollen!) and was back to 155 when I went back to work, but then I went back up to 158 or so.  In 2011 I had enough.  I tapered off meds and went back to Weight Watchers.  For the first time, I had success with the program and I lost 23 pounds in less than a year!  I was at 135 (a healthy weight) for the first time in over 10 years! I became a Lifetime member in the fall of 2012 and then got pregnant with my youngest daughter.

Instead of tracking and eating mindfully during my pregnancy, I ate a lot.  This time I only gained 28 pounds or so (as opposed to the 40 with my first), and a few weeks after I gave birth I was back down to 142–only 7 pounds away from my goal!  But then during my maternity leave and when I went backed to work, I binged like crazy and gained 10 pounds in a little over a month.  I went back to weight watchers when my youngest was around 5 months old, and I’ve been struggling with intense cravings and lots of emotional eating.  I had panic attacks again and wasn’t able to eat in the morning.  I lost some weight, but then gained it back when I was able to eat again and back on anti-depressants.

That brings us to the present.  I’m around 152 now.  It’s 2014 and I want to feel healthy and mindful again. And feel comfortable in my clothes, too!  I want to set a good example for my two young daughters.  I don’t want to hide food and binge anymore.

Anyone out there with a similar experience? Struggling with life balance, emotional issues, and healthy eating? I hope to share my experiences and would love to hear from anyone else struggling or who has had some success.

Updated to remove typos.