Weighty Matters

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Better Day

on June 10, 2013

Thank you all for your support.  It helps a lot.  It’s important for me to come here and write honestly about what’s going on and what I’m experiencing.  I appreciate that you all listen and provide positive feedback and insight without trying to fix me.  Again, this all helps.

So today was better with my food.  I am abstinent.

Abstinence in food addictions and eating disorders is a bit different from drug addiction and alcoholism.  I can’t avoid eating all together.  My abstinence means getting through without slipping into compulsive eating behavior.  It means I commit to eating to my food plan without taking that spur of the moment, unplanned addition.   Back in 1991, when I first went to a therapist who talked with me about having an eating disorder of compulsive overeating and binge eating, I didn’t have a clue how to establish abstinence.  The thought was horribly overwhelming.

She was also maintaining abstinence from an eating disorder and broke it down for me easily at first.  We didn’t focus on quantity of food but on the timing and control of the behavior.  For example, she said that if I woke up in the morning and committed to four slices of pizza and a quart of soda for dinner, for now that was okay.  If I woke up in the morning and committed to a single slice of pizza and water and stuck to that, then I was being abstinent.  If, however, I continued to eat and consumed four slices, I wasn’t.  For the first couple of months, I concentrated on that technique.  I committed to three meals and three snacks a day — including quantity without judging the actual amounts or volume — with the food choices planned and written down first thing in the morning.   Doing this really helped clear my head.  Might not have been great for my arteries, but it cleared my head.  With a clearer head, I could delve with greater success into the deeper issues.

Anyway, this morning, I planned out my foods for the day, packed two snacks and my lunch and went off to work.  When I got home, I cooked the dinner that I planned and ate it consciously.  A short time ago I had my last snack of the day.  I didn’t deviate.  As soon as I post this, I’m going to quit while I’m ahead and go to bed.

I also got the dogs out for good walks in the morning and evening and did a quick set of Tai Chi with friends at lunchtime.  The abstinence and exercise have my head in a much better place.  It’s only been one day, but one day at a time is all we shoot for.  We can build a strong, long, healthy recovery by stringing together one day after another after another.

I won’t say it was an easy day.  Amid the general load of work projects I addressed, I received an update on the friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  The news is far worse than we hoped; so bad, in fact, that they aren’t proceeding with the biopsy or chemo.  They’re arranging for hospice.  Clearly, the disease is so far advanced that it’s inoperable and untreatable.

I’m heartsick.  But, I didn’t eat over it.  That’s important.  Jamming food into my mouth really won’t ease the sadness or upset.  It will only do me harm.  That is true of every issue, problem or challenge we encounter.  Overeating doesn’t help.  It only makes things worse.

Remaining abstinent and staying in recovery instead of relapse are what I need to remain strong and deal with this and everything else.

Here’s to another better day tomorrow.

4 responses to “Better Day

  1. Mimi says:

    Mary, I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s status. I know it’s very hard to accept. Congratulations on keeping those emotions separate from the eating issues. There’s just no running away from intense feelings. We either face them or let them rule us. The time you spend with your precious pups and good friends will help balance those feelings.

    A day at a time has been your path this far, stick with it. You can do this!

  2. Skye says:

    I’m glad you had a better day and I know the coming days will continue to be better. You rock!

  3. BarbN says:

    I missed yesterday’s post– I was out of town. I completely agree with what Skye said, you haven’t disappointed any of us! Thanks for the explanation of how you got started on your plan, I may try some of that with my own efforts to change my eating habits.

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