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?

Guilty!

000cop-blowing-whistle-200x300I read police blotters.

There, I said it!

I, Lori, pour over the names of all those unfortunates who, by virtue of their bad behavior, have their names recorded in the section of the paper labeled : Court News. In this section of the paper I find people admitting to all manner of crime, including misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor harassment, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs, and assault with a deadly weapon.

In addition to these pleas, the Court News cites the names of individuals who were sentenced without having entered a guilty plea. These are those who refused to admit to wrongdoing, but were found guilty anyway. This second group was involved in indecent exposure cases, indecent assault cases, retail theft, obstructing administration of the law, driving under the influence, and criminal mischief, along with other less glamorous crimes. One might ask why these things interest me?

They interest me because:

1. I’ve done some things in my past, and they weren’t all laudable.
2. I have friends still living rough lives.
3. I want to know what my neighbors are up to, even if after-the-fact.
4. I want to be forewarned if trouble is headed my way.
5. I’m plain nosey.

While reading the Court News this week, two things occurred to me.

First, I’m shocked that the court still pays to advertise the outcome in criminal cases, what with the shocking regularity with which crimes are committed these days.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that crime is no respecter of age. Some of the individuals showing up in the police blotters are 54, 59, and 69 years of age. I guess a thief is a thief is a thief, no matter how many times he or she has blown out the candles on a birthday cake.

I’ve heard it said that to the pure of heart, all things are pure. Perhaps it’s true then that for the criminally inclined, there’s always a reason to skirt the law.

Why is any of this noteworthy, or fit fodder for today’s blog post? Only because as I was looking through the police blotter last night I realized, “If eating more than one needs to live were illegal, my name would be in the Court News section of the paper on a repeating basis.”

I need to do better.

I’m glad overeating is not yet illegal in my county!

Are you a repeat offender with junk food? What have you done to curb your urge to eat in nearly criminal ways?

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.

Tossing My Cookies, I Mean Cabbage

 

cookie with shadesDo you ever worry about food at your house going to waste, or not being eaten by the time it begins to go bad, or lying around in the pantry long past the expiration date on the container? I do and I did for years. There is a decided difference in how I handle this problem today that is not at all how I handled it ten years ago, or even five years back.

I throw it away.

You heard me right. When food is expired or expiring in my house now, I throw it away. I don’t eat twice what I need, I don’t slightly fresh foods, and I don’t try to push food on others who don’t want it, don’t need it, or don’t like it.

Instead, I throw it away.

I give myself permission to throw it away, because I know that tossing it is healthier for me and my wallet than eating more.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about those old habits I had with expiring foods, before I got clean. It’s a wonder to me that I don’t still think the way I once did about them. Used to be I would say, “Oh, what a shame.  If I don’t eat that, it’s going to go to waste.”

Now I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” always making sure my back is to the trash can.

I’m not crazy, after all, just getting tough with food.

I like the decided change I’ve made with my eating, and I like the fact that I’m losing weight again.  I may have hit on the right combination for me to make my body respond as I need it too. I’m hopeful, anyway, and keeping my fingers crossed.  The last thing I want to do at this point (or ever again), is attempt to shove more food down my pie hole at a time when I am finally seeing some progress.

It has been five long months FIVE LONG MONTHS that I have been on this stupid plateau.  Time to change.  Time to toss!

I’m learning that while some foods will always spoil faster than I can eat them and therefore will go to waste, that’s no reason for my waist to expand [and my hips, and my flabby arms, and my thighs…].

This girl is tossing like a Olympiad, and finally seeing some results.  Viva La Garbonage–or however you say that in Spanish.  (I think you say it: basura, but I like Garbonage better.)

What’s that, you say, Mr. Pepper?  No, I won’t be eating you tonight. Say hello to Mr. Garbage Can.  He can’t wait to make your acquaintance!

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?

Small Things Count

chicklettes

It’s easy when you’re morbidly obese to get fatalistic in your thinking.  Dieting is a huge challenge for those accustomed to eating what we want, when we want, and in whatever quantities we want.  The fact is, when you’re addicted to food like I am, it’s not just food you’re trying to quit.  Oh, no.  It is all those associations that are made with and through food: friends who eat with you when you don’t eat alone; feelings you get when you indulge in favorite foods; triggers that go off like roman candles when you deny yourself certain things, and the ever popular changing body image—a huge factor for anyone whose lost more than a couple pounds.  These are real concerns and can become real pratfalls for those not completely committed to staying the course.  Doing the footwork needed to get healthy, making changes and not becoming distracted along the way can be challenging, but the good news is that the longer you walk the path of health, the easier it becomes.

SMALL THINGS MATTER when you’re trying to work a clean program and break bad habits.  Today I want to share a few examples of how small tweeks to my plan affected my Mother’s Day weekend with family and friends.

Coffee makes it easier to overeat and get dehydrated.  I am a social coffee drinker, and not a binge drinker.  When company comes over and we are done with our meal, I serve coffee and I drink coffee. This weekend, I drank a lot of it, from home brewed to Star Bucks. The more coffee I drink, the less water goes in my body. The less water I drink, the more dehydrated I become, and in the past that would signal me to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, in a maddening desire to fill myself up.  Not pretty and definitely avoidable.  This weekend I was not vigilant, so something as small as a small coffee was able to make a difference for me.

Granola Bars, even healthy ones, can be addictive and should not be left unattended on the counter at family gatherings.  This weekend, family members got together for a picnic.  I made homemade granola bars, full of oats and nuts and wheat germ and honey. They were all nature and all incredibly yummy.  Did I eat more than I should have?  You bet, but only a few more.  Next time, I will take only enough for us to all have a serving, and then I will freeze the rest, or send them home with others.  The recipe will be retained for special occasions, at least until I have a better handle on snack foods at family functions.  When it comes to granola, even a small bit more than a serving adds up fast.  Beware the granola glut.

I have found food journaling to be immensely helpful in keeping my focus where it should be at mealtime. Knowing I have to record my food, even when I don’t record the calories and am not able to weigh or measure what I eat, keeps me mindful not to indulge in second helpings, heavy desserts, or “treats” between meals.  Knowing I have to account for every bite that goes in my pie-hole makes me feel like I have some control over my life and recovery.  It’s a small thing to pull out that note book and jot down a few lines, but it adds up to big results when I go back over the journal entries and see that I’m under goal for the day—a big win for anyone trying to trim the fat.

In an emergency, gum has saved my keister more than once.  A stick of Doublemint gum satisfies those lows and highs I get in times of stress.  I chew, but I do not swallow, and that my friends is no small feat for a food addict.  I always have a stick of gum at the ready, because while it might seem like a small thing to spend 20 minutes before dinner chewing gum, it has saved me lots of calories in the time I’ve done it, and for this girl, that’s what it’s all about. 

This weekend, I ate well.  I ate moderately.  I ate sanely, and I ate honestly.  I ate too much granola, and I did not drink enough water.  I did not move enough.  I did not sleep well Saturday night, and I suffered from insomnia again last night—probably due to too much coffee.  The results:  I gained 2 lbs, but it’s okay. A 2 lb gain is a small thing, and this morning I got right back on the plan. 

Small victories become Big Successes when I decide to begin again.  Consistency and persistence win the day when it comes to losing weight.  I had a terrific Mother’s Day with my family and those 2 lbs gained will be gone by Friday. Thank God for small blessings.

Make It Happen!

springWhat a beautiful day!  I’m lovin’ these spring temperatures and abundant sunshine in Pennsylvania. Doesn’t it feel good to see the trees and flowers in bloom?

Woohoo, God is good!

God is good, but what if you aren’t feeling good today?

What if you’re loaded down with troubles?

What if you don’t feel like you have the strength to make good food choices?

What if eating the way you’ve been eating has become a burden on your body too heavy for you to bear?

What if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired?

If your hope’s run out and your cup’s gone dry, if you can’t think anymore, if you can’t come up with any solutions that you think will solve the problem of problem food, I want to encourage you.

You know, it’s not wrong for you to be discouraged sometimes.

It’s not wrong to feel emotionally depleted.

It’s not wrong to wonder what the future holds.

What is wrong/unproductive/ineffective is giving up.

Feelings come and feelings go in life, and as humans we are not immune to them. We are affected by hard times, lean times, sick times and confusing times, and that’s okay, but what we need to understand is that food won’t erase hard times.

Overeating won’t make hard times better.

Overeating won’t fix relationships.

Overeating won’t clear up your complexion, fill you with energy, or tighten up those loose upper arms.

Overeating is a progressive problem that doesn’t get better on its own.

Cravings beget cravings, until we decide to make a change.

As long as nothing changes, nothing changes.  New habits with food have to be birthed by intention and design.

If we want things to change with our food/bodies/health/future, we have to be willing to do something, some small little something, some seemingly insignificant something different. What is that for you?

For me, it is a challenge to mix things up, change foods out, embrace new thought patterns…new habits, and start my day with something other than a bagel.

Rules are hard, but habits are easy.

Like falling off a log, we barely think about them until they work.  Then we rejoice over the weight that drops like flies on a chill autumn day.  It’s not effortless, I agree, but it’s not impossible either. 

Today, remember:  Food is fuel, God is love, and change is possible!