OverThinking

000overthinkingSometimes I find it hard to fix the reason for why I began eating to excess.

The reason, if there is one reason, eludes me. 

Am I that good at rationalization/minimizing, that I can totally set aside in my mind the reason for the beginning binge?

Am I so disconnected with the past that I have forgotten what got this started?

Did I eat/overeat out of willfulness…hopelessness…control issues?

Does it even matter anymore?

I keep thinking that if I could just go back to that moment when I first interacted with food in an inappropriate way, and identify what was going on that day, I would discover the “secret” to what keeps it going now.  I have this fantasy of being able to project backward to that time, freeze frame, see the urge to continue eating past the point of satiation in an adult way with a healthier aspect and history behind, and then I could begin again.

Like a mathematical equation that went awry, I would be able to pinpoint where the mistake was made, correct it, and begin again, this time coming up with the right answer.

The correct sum.  The piece that defines the whole.

Maybe it’s mere fantasy.

I’m still trying to work the cipher, though….

What memory from your past seems like a vapor quickly fading?  When have you felt that not remembering was a blessing?

What to do…what to do…

Yesterday I traversed the aisles of my local Ben Franklin store.

Ben Franklin Store

Ben Franklin Store

Do you know of the famous Ben Franklin stores?

Have you ever been in one?

Is there one in your area?  The amount of stuff they have in there is crazy!

BF stores harken back to the days when the five and dimes carried everything under the sun. This store carries almost everything. Its contents are as eclectic as my living room, which is decorated with hand-me-downs from family and friends, daily reminders of their love for me and my affection for them.

Usually I love spending a few minutes shopping in my local BF. I rarely buy anything of significance there, but going into the place is like attending a feast for the eyes. There is so much to see, and some of it is weird, and some of it is expensive, and some of it is over my head, and some of it is totally nothing I would ever use, ever. Yesterday, however, I was on the hunt for something to do. I was thinking yarn, maybe, or needle point, possibly, or paints? Canvas? Something…

I have decided I need to do something to keep my mind off food, to entice my brain in another way, to renew my artist heart, and/or light a spark under my still substantial butt. Ahhhhhhh, I just don’t know what to choose.  I have done a wee bit of needle point/embroidering in my teens, and I crocheted and did hook rugs once upon a time, but I left all that years ago. Do I want to revisit it? Should I?  Is it just a waste of time?

Maybe I should learn something new.

I’m feeling restless and like I want this weight thing to get going again, but we are in the middle of a deep freeze in NEPA and that’s not changing any time soon. Getting outside in this is not ideal.  Especially since there is a lot of ice to contend with in my neck of the woods.

One thing is clear in my mind at this time: I want to quit whining and start doing something!!!

Seriously, I’m tired of hearing myself complain, but have no real action plan in place.  I’m hoping that will soon change.

What do you do for fun, exercise, or to keep your mind off food and your butt away from the TV?  Share with me.  Maybe I can do it too!  One thing is for sure, food obsession is no fun.  Gotta find me a way to divert my attention away from food.

Thanks for listening once again.  I promise, I will try to quit the whining and get something going soon.  One project I am excited about right now is buying some new furniture for the house on the hill.  I will try to include some pictures later this week, so you can see what I’m dealing with and maybe suggest a few changes. I want to go for a cottage/bungalow feel, but farm and country is good too.  Excited to see where that goes.

Maybe I answered my own question through writing today.  Maybe my next project needs to be redecorating at home.  Maybe…

I still want to eat like a kid

Eating like a kid is a problem, because I don’t have a kid’s body, a kid’s metabolism, or a kid’s energy level any more.  I’m an adult woman, with a sometimes aching body who struggle to eat right.

This morning a friend shared with me her efforts to change her eating habits.  She only half jokingly said that those efforts were giving her a migraine.  That comment made me think about how difficult it is to quit old habits and develop new ones when it comes to eating.  And if, like me, you were never taught how to eat as a kid, making those changes is even harder.  You’re now on your own to define for yourself what good eating habits are and should look like.

Some days I feel like my childhood was stunted.

I don’t mean to say that its all my “mommy’s” fault that I overeat.  It’s my choice to eat what I eat and eat it for the reasons I eat it.  I’ve ceased blaming others for that–its a loser’s game.  Instead, I own the fact that I’m a big girl with big girl choices to make in this world, and I’m learning to make them as best I can. What I’m trying to say here is that it isn’t always easy, but change is possible.  For thinking, rational, reasonable adults, it is.

My childhood has left me struggling to catch up in some ways…

With regards to discipline.

And balance.

And accepting my shortcomings.

And forging new pathways.

And facing my fears.

But I digress.

What my friend was trying to say this morning is that change is hard–migraine inducing hard sometimes. I agree, but I also know that we are all stronger than we think we are!!!  I first learned that at the gym. We also have a Helper we can call on whenever we need extra assistance.  Your Helper might be different from my Helper, but if you’ve been trying to get healthy for any length of time you know that HELP is EVERYWHERE.  You just have to want it and be willing to accept it.

As I have become willing to accept the help offered to me, I’ve seen some encouraging things take shape in my life.

I’ve seen…

Patterns emerge that help me to better know myself.

I’ve seen…

A Game Plan develop.

I’ve seen…

Real commitment on my part to follow a plan.

And I’ve seen…

A sense of empowerment come from stating a goal, working to reach that goal, and achieving that goal.

Goals Rock, especially when they are achieved.

I’m getting stronger!!!

Finally, I’ve seen…

Relationships between me and others that were once strained find healing.

Because of all this change–change that never would have happened had I not wanted to get better–I have come out on the other side of sickness stronger, more confident, and better prepared to deal with the future.  I’m ready to move forward with new tools and put new strategies in place, understanding myself and others in a way I never could have if my thinking and acting (and eating), were still reflecting that childish willfulness that used to be the hallmark of my personality.

I’m excited for the future.

I’m wearing a size pant that I have not been in since high school, and feeling pretty good about that.

When others make a comment on the changes they see in me, I respond with, “Find a plan you can stick with for the rest of your life, then keep pushing, keep leaning into God, keep believing in the process, and keep trusting yourself. Oh, and take a few aspirin for the pain.  Cuz ‘life is pain, highness.  Anyone who says differently is trying to sell something.'”

Gotta love that Princess Bride.  😉

Do you still want to eat like a kid sometimes?  How have your habits changed over the years? What is the most adult thing you do when interacting with food these days?

 

 

The desire is still there…

000pizza big

I soooo want to eat a huge, greasy, pepperoni and ham and egg and bacon and peppers and mushroom and extra, extra cheese pizza for twelve about now.

Either that, of head-butt someone!  Grrr…

The statement printed above is word for word what I typed in an email to someone today when faced with the frustrations that go along with dealing with imperfect humans.   I honestly wanted to shove my face full of food.  I felt that way for a good five minutes.  What’s that about?

I did not partake of any substance, save water, ice cold water, during this time, but I wanted to.

Maybe these new healthy habits are beginning to kick in and become a working part of my processing brain?

Maybe…

For today: I did not eat a huge, greasy, pepperoni and ham and egg and bacon and peppers and mushroom and extra, extra cheese pizza for twelve that I wanted to eat. That’s progress!

What about you?

What frustrates you enough to at least fantasize about going back to good, ole food for comfort?  If you’re brave enough, do tell.

Disclaimer: No twelve-slice pizzas were harmed during the writing of this blog post, nor after this web page was closed.

Truth, Lies, and Unique Reasoning

Did you ever play Truth or Consequences when you were foolish?  I say foolish instead of younger, because a little time and some maturing changes your desire to play the game.  This is especially true if you have ever had what you said or did during TORC video-taped and then released on any number of social media sites.

I have not had any silly admissions by me video-taped and released into cyber space, yet.

Thank you, God!

In the spirit of TORC, I’m going to tell you a few things about me today that I think will probably also apply to others.  Early on, you won’t know if they are true or false.  Further down the line, I will reveal the truth or falsity in my statements.  Here we go, let’s see what I can tell you about me.

I’m confident I can quit overeating any time I want, no problem.  Truth or Lie?

I don’t have food dreams.  Truth or Lie?

I hate counting calories.  Truth or Lie?

I love counting calories.  Truth or Lie?

I’m convinced I might never get to my goal weight. Truth or Lie?

I’m afraid I might loss all this weight, only to gain it back again.  Truth or Lie?

I’m never 100% sure if the choices I’ve made with food and food planning are right or wrong. Truth or Lie?

I think I am unique when it comes to the struggles I have with food.  Truth or Lie?

The true answer to these statements are:  Lie, Truth, Truth, Lie, Truth, depending on the day, Truth, Truth, Lie.

Most important of all of these statements is that last one, and it’s the one that I most want to talk about today.  For years and years, and yes, years I thought that no one struggled to be thin the way I struggled to be thin.  I believed no one gained weight as quickly as I gained weight.  I thought that no one was as affected by the taste, sight, smell, and luscious experience of eating meat-drenched pizza pie as I was, but I was wrong.

I was also wrong when being foolishly young I thought I could eat, and eat, and yes, eat again and it would not affect my health.  For some reason, I thought I was uniquely gifted for eating huge amounts of sugar, salt, fat, and flour and that I would never develop diabetes or other systemic illness I now understand are linked to obesity.

Wait, that statement is a lie.

I knew the possibility that I would develop diabetes was high:  My maternal grandmother, my aunt, my mom and my sister already suffered with the disease. I knew I was high-risk, but I just kept eating and eating and yes, eating, oblivious of the consequences.

I have people I love who are deceiving themselves the same way I did for years.  Maybe they, too, think they are unique.  I fear for them.  I want to help them, but I still have some self-help that needs doing before I can be a mentor for them.

Truth is, I am not unique when it comes to deception or overeating.  There are many of us out there playing food games.  Something is going on in America, something has slipped into our food, our lives, our psyche, and that something is killing us.  We are eating ourselves to death.  No kidding. We need to stop.  We need to realize that this desire to lick our plate clean is not healthy.  It causes more harm than good, and we need to stop it.

I’m trying to develop a strategy for stopping the abuse I put my body through for years.  Part of being successful in this way is wrapped up in understanding that I am not unique in my eating habits.  Uniqueness separates me from the help I need.  Uniqueness urges me to turn away from good food mentors that are out there ready to help.  A feeling that I am uniquely fashioned so that I can do this one on my own, by myself, without the assistance of others is a faulty notion.  I’m not unique when it comes to food and eating.  What has worked for you, will most likely work for me.  It’s simple math, and math doesn’t lie.  If I eat less and move more, I will lose weight.  That is true of all of us, and if we don’t take it seriously, there will be real and painful consequences.  I know, I live it every day.

How about you, what fallacies did you maintain about yourself before you started addressing the lies and telling the truth?  What truths do you have yet to proclaim?

Body Image

Last night I had the best conversation…

A friend and I talked about the concept of body image and glorified bodies.

Kayaking2

So many times in this life we feel like we have to settle for bodies that are too tall, too short, too round, too angular, too dark, too light, too easily scarred, and/or too resistant to our efforts to change them. Anyone who has ever had to watch what she eats knows that being stuck inside a body that doesn’t quickly metabolize food is no fun.

Some of us work really hard to cut calories, trim fat, eat more protein and less sugar, oh, and less processed foods, and still we are not slim or trim. Ugh. If only we had that magic wand that Cinderella had, we think. Forget about finding our prince charming, we would just like to fit into a size 0 pair of jeans.

We think that would make us happy.

Happiness and joy are not the same thing though.  You know that, right?

Let me say it again: Happiness and Joy are not the same thing.

Today, I’m trying to focus my thoughts on the joy of being healthy, being able to move about freely, having a body that works properly, and enjoying activities that help me fight the isolation that often goes along with my kind of eating disorder. 

If you can’t fit into size 0 jeans, it’s okay. Not many people can. What’s important is that you focus this day on knowing God’s will for your life and finding the courage within you to live it out, as best you can.

Food is fuel, God is love, and change is possible. 

I Think, therefore I drive myself crazy

What is possible in this life? What is permanent?

What is able to be changed, and what will forever remain the same?

Is there anything we can do to improve our lot in life, or does fate have a hold on us, so that we cannot move away from harmful behaviors, to find freedom?

The_Thinker_Musee_Rodin

What about food? Can our eating habits, when changed, change us?

I believe they can and do, so why am I having so much trouble with food this week?

These are the questions that dance, prance, and stomp through the wilderness that is my mind.

I think too much about food, I know that.  I think too much, in general.  All this thinking “gets to me” sometimes, I will admit, but I have not found a way of escape from the thinking habits I have developed over the years.  Nor do I know if I will ever be free of them.

I think about things, and then I write what I think about.

I get solutions from thinking sometimes, but not all the time.  I put ideas “out there”, and people respond, but not all the time.  I grow as they share, and we all together help one another to recover, which is good.  I think the process is helping them, anyway.  I know it’s helping me.  I’m slowly learning to be free of food thoughts.  Or rather, I’m slowly learning to LET go of food thoughts.  I see the work yielding good results.

I still think, I think too much about food.

Will this habit ever go away?

I don’t want to think about food as much as I do.

I don’t want to have to handle the topic of food as often as I do.

I don’t want food to be the major companion that I travel with all my days, but neither do I know when or how we will part ways.  For now, I have to be content to keep doing what I’m doing and count the results as blessings in my life.

Today, my food wasn’t perfect, but then, neither am I perfect.  This is about progress, not perfection.