Weighty Matters

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Food Calling

Where did December go?  I sort of saw the days fly by but I was so darned busy I couldn’t latch on for the trip.  In addition to being ultra busy with work, I also managed a week’s vacation up to the Northeast for my annual holiday time with family and friends.  I wish I could say that I also maintained my good eating habits while I was away, but I don’t want to lie, particularly not on my own blog.  Holiday cookies might as well be crack.  That’s how addictive they are for me.

Emotionally, I had a wonderful time away.  I love spending time with so many people whom I deeply love but whom I don’t get to see so often.  Physically, between the cookie binges and not working out for a week, I ended up feeling pretty crappy by the time I was on my way back to Florida this past Sunday.

I think it’s a good thing that stubbornness is part of my DNA and mental makeup.  I refuse to give up on myself.  I immediately began eating more cleanly, sticking to my plan, and even drinking more water.  Yesterday morning, I was on a rower at 7 a.m.   It’s only been two days and I already feel better.  I always try to remember that each day is the opportunity for a new beginning.  I don’t have to repeat bad behavior.  I can always choose differently.

My boss and friend and have shared a couple of discussions about this the last two days.  At some point yesterday I said that it isn’t really about the food for me.  It’s about my behavior with food.  Apparently that stuck with her and she’s been looking at, or raising her awareness of her behavior too.  We talked some more today about what it feels like to have an eating disorder and why, when we know our goals and our desire to follow out plan and eat responsibly, we go off track.  “It’s like there is an alien being in my head sometimes,” I said.  “The alien takes over and I grab at food that I don’t want because the alien being wants it.”

The alien being is my eating disorder, of course.

She then, sort of plaintively, wondered why only the bad foods call to her.  “If I have the food around, it screams my name,” she said.  “Why don’t the good foods ever call me?”

That lead to more discussion about behavior and thinking about how we can set ourselves up for success.  I’m glad we had that talk because it put it all in the front of my mind and helped me later on.  Every year I end up shipping home a box with the gifts I’ve received.  The box arrived today and in it was a package of white chocolate and dark chocolate mixed with peppermint.  I unpacked the box, looked at the candy and thought, “No problem.  I’ll just have a nibble now and then put the rest in the refrigerator.  I’ll be okay.  I can control this.”

I honestly don’t know if that’s my ego talking or my misguided illusions.  I broke off a piece and ate it so fast that it barely registered.  I did go so far as to stick the rest in the fridge, but I also went back to the fridge to eat another piece of chocolate.

That simply would not do!  I knew that my eating disorder wouldn’t stop thinking about that chocolate until I’d returned again and again and, eventually ate it all.  I had a choice to make and, this time, I made the healthy choice.  I grabbed the box from the fridge and marched it to the outside trash cans.  Bingo — One large chocolate bar rendered unable to tempt me any more.

I texted the tale to my boss.  She texted back, “Well played.”

The chocolate called to me, but it got the wrong number.

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Extended Funk Part Deux – and the “D” Word

First I want to say that you all are terrific and I am grateful for your concern.  I appreciate you checking on me. This funk and the food relapse have really taken hold and I’m having more trouble than I anticipated fighting my way through it all.

I haven’t wanted to post because it’s been difficult for me to face facts and talk about them, but my agreement with this blog, myself and everyone that reads it is that I don’t come here and post bullshit.  I’m not going to come and lie that all is great with sunshine, roses, and sparkles when all is not great.  This blog is my gut-check honesty place.    So, rather than lie, I emotionally isolated.

My relapse continues and it’s the worst it’s been since before my weight loss surgery.  I’ve gained weight, although I don’t know how much because I haven’t stepped on the scale.  I can feel it in my clothes and in the way my body feels.  More than the physical results, the emotional and mental effects are the worst.

I know I’ve said this all before and I’m like a broken record right now, but there isn’t anything original about binge eating disorder.  Relapsing sucks.  Feeling out of control messes me up in a myriad of ways.  I’m unhappy and that also has an impact in other areas of my life.    Also shared before is the chronic heel pain from which I’ve been suffering which severely limits my ability to exercise.  Not only do I not reap the physical benefits, but I’m lacking those uplifting endorphins.

At least I took positive action for that condition and saw a doctor last week.  I’d properly self-diagnosed the condition – plantar fasciitis.  I am now following the doctor’s instructions – wearing good sneakers, stretching to loosen the tight calves, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds, using a splint at night.  I am mostly following the no bare feet/no flip flops directive although that’s honestly the most challenging.  I hate wearing anything on my feet when I’m home.  However, he told me I can wear original Crocs so I truly am trying to be better about this too.  I want the condition to get better.  Constant pain is, well, a pain, and limiting the types of exercise I can do interferes with my recovery plans.

Yes, I do have recovery plans.  I can’t let all of my hard work and effort fall apart.  It is never too late to begin again, unless I’m dead, and good Lord willing, I’m not going to die anytime soon.

I need to go back on a diet.  The dreaded “D” word used to describe programs and methods of eating and making food choices to result in weight loss.  That runs counter to a lot of my accepted knowledge about having an eating disorder and being in recovery.  Heck, it runs counter to a lot of popular medically-influenced thought these days.

On the other hand, it can also mean, to me, an actual plan that embraces healthy food choices  with frood eaten in planned-for, structured, non-binging, non-compulsive ways.  That’s the kind of diet I need.

However, I also know that, as much as I hate admitting it, I need that validation of seeing pounds come off of my body, seeing the number go down on the scale.  Sure, keeping to my food plan of healthy eating and abstaining from compulsion should be enough positive reinforcement and engender the feel-good spirit and emotions that keep the abstinence rolling.  But, I’m human.  At least in the beginning, if I see that I’m losing weight again, I will feel better.  I am less likely to then engage in attacking myself with ugly thoughts, angry labels, and shame-inducing negative comments about my weak character.

So, here I go again, my friends.  Once more into the breach.  This really is a never-ending journey, an eternal process and, to be honest, a constant effing struggle.

It isn’t easy and never will be.  However, it is always and absolutely worth it.

Thanks for hanging in with me.  How are all of you doing?

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First World Problems

For the last couple of Novembers, I’ve joined in on an effort on Facebook to do 30 days of gratitude. I posted about it here on November 2nd last year. A couple of days ago, two young women with whom I’m friends (Yes, Hope, your twin sisters.) dedicated October to posting about first world problems. I was a little slow on the uptake at first, but then I got it. Lots of things that we react to as problems, living here in America, are really not a big deal when you compare us to people who live in third world countries deal with or don’t have. While I’m not by nature a big complainer, sometimes I do start to feel a little “set upon”, cranky, or put out. If I’m going to be completely honest, some of the things that put me in those moods are pretty darned insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Attitudinally, I can do better than let myself mire in the muck of dissatisfaction. I honestly try to cultivate gratitude as much as possible. I think it’s a graceful state of being, not just in November, but year round.

Going back to the first world problem thing, have you ever looked at a full closet or in a drawer and had trouble choosing something to put on fo the day? That was me this morning. So, my first world problem for the day could be, “So many clothes I can’t decide which to wear.” That’s only a problem in first world countries. In third world countries, many people have only rags to clothe themselves.

Relating to me and my eating disorder struggles: “Food is all around me! It’s so hard to stay on track.” When millions of people are starving in the world, I have a lot of nerve wigging out because I have too many choices. Seriously, Mary. Suck it up. The problem isn’t too many choices. The problem is choosing to eat too many times.

Complaining again about eating right and exercising but the weight not dropping off? For today, I’m even going to think about that being a first world problem. There are countries where the path to good health is not accessible to everyone. At least I always have the ability to eat good, nutritious food and work on my physical fitness to improve my health and well-being. In third world countries, there are many people for whom every minute of the day is a struggle simply to stay alive.

I don’t know if I’m going to join Christina and Allison in posting daily, but I’m grateful they started the exercise and post it on their pages. They’ve made me think.

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