Weighty Matters

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A Welcome Serenity

I don’t know whether it’s difficult for me to describe what it’s like when my eating disorder is raging out of control, or if it’s just nearly impossible for someone else to understand if they’ve never been in the grips of a compulsion.  When things are bad, my mind is almost always focused on food and eating.  If I’m around food, then all I want to do is eat it.  I may make trip after trip after trip to the kitchen or, if there isn’t enough food in the house, get in the car and drive to hunt down something more to eat.  It’s like I have a beast in my head whose hunger can’t be satisfied.

That could very well be because I’m not usually experiencing actual physical hunger.

So all that emotional and mental trauma goes on and creates a variety of negative, uncomfortable conditions.  When I eat compulsively, I eat too much — to the point of true physical discomfort.  This point is reached one hell of a lot sooner than before I had weight loss surgery.  However, I have reached it when losing the struggle against the compulsion.  I was never bulimic with a cycle of binge eating and then purging.  Soon after the surgery, I learned what it physically felt like.  Even though I wasn’t overeating, while my body readjusted to eating different foods and I began to learn what size portions I could handle, I threw up a lot.  Physically, it is no fun at all.

However, even more than the discomfort, the mental and emotional effects of the eating disorder are devastating.  They’re exhausting and depressing.  They compromise my confidence and distort the way that I feel about myself and my life.

Add all this up and one would naturally wonder why anyone would live like that.  Why would someone willingly continue engaging in the behaviors that create such a painful, upsetting reality?  The short answer is that sometimes we just can’t stop.  The disease is cunning, baffling and powerful.  Sometimes it is stronger than I am.

And sometimes, like right now, I’m stronger.  I get to experience days when I’m not harassed by the disorder, when I live my life without having to constantly beat back the compulsive beast.  When I’m not turning to food for comfort or as a coping mechanism.

Right now, all three aspects of recovery are aligned and working as a team.  The Always Hungry? food plan with its percentages of protein, fat and carbs is delivering its promise of greater satiety and alleviated cravings.  I’m using the tools of my 12 Step program, committing to abstinence, planning and preparing my meals, and everything else.  I’m trying to reduce the focus on weight loss and keep it on working the program to strengthen my foundation and stabilize my recovery.

As a result, I feel so much healthier in my mind, my spirit and my body.  For today, I’m living life in the grace of a welcome serenity.

 

 

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Operating on Faith

Sometimes it is really hard to not get frustrated or impatient.  (Remember the old joke, “I want patience NOW!”?)  I need to constantly remind myself that as long as I follow my food plan and continue to exercise, I will lose weight.

Have I mentioned that I am not a very patient person when it comes to my own endeavors and performance?  Yes, I know that I put an awful lot of pressure on myself.  Unfortunately, it’s a lifelong habit.

I’m used to turning over the physical stuff to my program and Higher Power.  It is much more challenging to let go of the mental and emotional things.  Every morning when I first wake up, I express my gratitude and I ask for help in remaining on my food plan and staying abstinent.  When I say abstinent, I know that I’m thinking about the act of abstaining from compulsive eating or binging.  Today I realize that I need to broaden that and ask for help in abstaining from certain thoughts.  Thoughts like, “I should have lost X number of pounds this week” or “If I do this, I should lose X amount of weight by X date”.   Those are only two examples.  There’s no end to what I can think up.

For today, I will keep working on having faith in program, Higher Power and myself.  For today, I will ask and be open to help in not getting caught up in my head so much and in not pressuring myself with expectations over which I have no control.  I am responsible for sticking to my food and fitness plans.  That’s the priority for me every day.

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