BECOMING2   4,737
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Struggling with my love affairs

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Let me make one thing clear. I have never cheated on my husband. He is A #1 in my book, putting up with me through thick and thin--mostly thick--for almost 40 years. However, I realized I do have love affairs--with food.

Man, oh man, even the thought of breaking off my affair with mashed potatoes, my comforter of choice, sends me running to the local grocery store for a carton of Bob Evans Homestyle Mashed Potatoes. I can, and often do, make a meal of this silky smooth, almost as good as homemade, side dish with an addition of Hormel's Roast Beef Au Jus. These two combined really get my juices going--gastric that is.

Another lover I enjoy is ice cream--especially any mocha or java flavored ice cream. This lover transports me into ecstasy. Alas, the high from our interactions only last a few minutes. Inevitably guilt sets in and I crash. I beat myself up for caving into my desires, for not being strong enough to say "NO!"

None of these affairs of the heart cause me to feel better about myself. On the contrary, I realize they could care less about me. I'm just a piece of meat to them--if even that. So why do I allow them such power over me?

I argue with myself that I don't have to TOTALLY give them up. I can allow myself to meet up with them occasionally and for smaller amounts. But another part of me wonders if I'm strong enough for that. Will a normal portion satisfy my lust for them?

I had to totally break off my affair with another lover--Diet Dr. Pepper. I was out of control in my craving for him. Ahhhh, the cold tingly feeling of those first swallows. The caffeine rush he gave me. I thought I wouldn't be able to live without him. The first weekend without contacting him was awful. I felt sick with loss: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability. A thousand times I thought, "I can't do this" and wanted to run to the store to reconnect. But I stayed strong and true to myself.

Eventually, the headaches and fatigue passed. I still have an occasional craving, but I realize I feel better about myself without him. I'm sure he doesn't miss me at all. Surprisingly, I'm sleeping better. So now I'm evaluating my other affairs of the heart and deciding who needs to go next, and if it needs to be a clean break or can we settle on a friendship.

It's time for me to put my effort into relationships that give back--that take care of me--such as fruits, vegetables; complex carbs. These guys don't try to chain your soul. They really want what's best for me. I can't imagine having the same passion for them as I do my current affairs. But if I switch my allegiance to them I hope to be around a lot longer for the true love of my life--my husband.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKELLEY3440 9/17/2014 10:24PM

    Just came across this blog and my jaw dropped! I have never thought of food like that. I've thought of it like cocaine or a drug, but not an affair. That's really quite interesting and how smart you are to have that kind of intuition. Definitely made me think because every time I read something about giving up my sweet tooth I almost have a panic attack so I get it!! VERY well written. I'm going to hang around and see if you have anymore words of wisdom! emoticon emoticon

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BECOMING2 6/5/2014 12:08PM

    Thank you for all the kind comments. The blog was prompted by my realization that I do feel anxiety if/when I think of never eating certain foods again. I started wondering how I developed an emotional attachment to them. It's been a fruitful exploration (pun intended ;-)

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WHITNEYLD 6/4/2014 4:30PM

    It is so much more satisfying at the time to give in to the quick and easy delicacies.

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86SUSIE68 6/4/2014 3:28PM

    I've never thought about foods I love as affairs...what a great way to put it! You have got me thinking now and considering what affairs I need to end also. Great blog post!! Thank you!

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JUNEAU2010 6/4/2014 3:04PM

    This may be the best blog I have ever read.

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UKONOM 6/4/2014 3:01PM

  I loved reading this and can totally relate to what you are saying! It made me laugh.

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6 Days w/o my drug of choice

Thursday, May 08, 2014

I have kicked the Diet Dr. Pepper habit 3 times before. The last time I even lasted 3 months before falling off the wagon. What's interesting to me as a therapist is how similar my behaviors are to anyone who struggles with any addiction, be it chemical or behavioral (drugs, gambling, etc.) There is the physical discomfort of giving up the desired substance or behavior as well as an emotional loss.

Diabetes runs in my family. My father is diabetic and my deceased brother was as well. Recently I read some articles linking aspertame to an increased risk for developing diabetes and it scared me into making the decision to get off of diet sodas of any type. My goal is to withdraw from the caffeine first then give up all soda. On May 2, 2014 I drank my last Diet Dr. Pepper. Saturday I felt lethargic and had a moderate headache. By Saturday evening I was in bed with a pounding headache, dizziness. My eyeballs even hurt. It was weird. I'd never had such severe withdrawal symptoms before. Sunday morning I felt slightly better, but not much. Throughout Sunday and Monday the withdrawal symptoms came in waves, each slightly less intense. Today--Thursday--no headache or fatigue.

Now it's on to the hard part--breaking the behavioral patterns and giving up soda entirely. But I believe it is worth it. More research is coming out about the dangers of processed foods including artificial sweeteners. The game is on and I intend to be a winner.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thank you to everyone who responded to my post last night when I was feeling frustrated and angry with myself. It helps to know that others have struggled with the same issues. The advice is helpful, also; especially to hang in here with SparkPeople and not give up on this goal for myself. What is particularly frustrating for me is that the difficulty I'm having sticking to my plan for even a day. Day after day for the past 6 months I've either eaten over points and/or had sweets. I really pondered my situation last night (both before and after blogging.) In the past I've kind of pooh-poohed the idea of being addicted to sugar or carbohydrates. But I realize that these are exactly the foods that trip me up. When I'm tired, frustrated, happy, sad, etc., etc., etc., I think of junk food. What's with that? I realized last night that I'm thinking like an addict. For example, the idea of NEVER having mashed potatoes again, or chocolate cake or mocha ice cream SCARES me! Really?!!! They're just foods, but I seem to have an emotional--even visceral attachment to them. So do I treat myself like an addict? Should I aim for abstinence from certain 'trigger' foods or put myself through one of the popular cleanses (Even the thought of that makes me feel anxious)? This seems counter to SparkPeople's philosophy of moderation in eating. I would love feedback on this question.


Hanging in sparkpeople by a thread.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I am so disgusted with myself. Really. I am tired of failing and frankly don't have much faith anymore that I can lose this fat. I have reached other important and difficult goals in my life. I'm pretty accomplished in other areas actually. But when it comes to managing what I put in my mouth and exercising regularly...not so much. I had a doctor tell me once that losing weight isn't rocket science. You burn more calories than you consume--period. I agree. This is why it is so frustrating that I sabotage myself time and again. So, if I'm not stupid, and I can work hard and successfully in other areas of my life--why have I not been able to transfer those same skills to caring for my physical health? I suspect part of it is that I look at counting calories and exercising as chores--tasks that I'm not particularly excited about. But I do want to feel better and be able to feel more at ease in my own skin. I would think that is motivation enough. Some days it is--but they seem to be few and far between. Grrrrr...I am simply disgusted with myself over this. I tell myself to adopt the Nike commercial and "Just Do It!" How do you make health and activity a priority in your life? How does one make it important enough to do whatever it takes to achieve it? I read success stories of people who have had an "ah-hah" moment where they decide to change and never look back. I have been "trying" to lose weight for most of my 50+ years and frankly, I'm discouraged. I have lost and gained the same pounds over and over again. I DO NOT believe I'm incapable of losing weight. That isn't my issue. I KNOW I can do this. However, I just can't seem to find a vision or motivation that gives me oomph to stay the course. I'm just really pissed with myself right now.

I have been overweight for most of my life. There have been a few years here and there where I managed to be in a healthy range by exercising and portion control. I have a zillion excuses for why I regained the weight. Bottom line--wanting to look sexy just doesn't motivate me and that seems to be a major emphasis for some. Feeling better, wearing nice professional clothing and being able to play more does. Anyway--enough of my rant. Truth is, I guess I just don't want this bad enough. Whenever I have accomplished something difficult in other areas of my life I have sacrificed and worked and done whatever was necessary to achieve the goal. I don't know why I have not done this with making a healthy lifestyle a priority. I wish I knew, but I don't. Is it a case of live the lifestyle and the conviction will follow? If that were the case wouldn't I be converted by now? Whatever...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECOMING2 1/22/2014 11:20AM

    LAHEDONISTA, thanks for your post. I have had A-ha moments in the past. Like you, I have photos of myself in the past when I thought I was overweight but wasn't and would love to be at that weight again. Photos of myself being overweight have not helped motivate me. I have a very active denial part that likes to avoid pictures, mirrors, etc. I was reading a motivation article this morning and it suggested looking at my goals and how I've worded them. It helped me realize that I use words like Not, Never, Stop and such. The article suggested focusing instead on what you want to do and to be. So I reworded my goals. Thanks for your feedback. May you have success on your own journey.

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LAHEDONISTA 1/22/2014 8:49AM

    I agree with you that while I know I can do it, and I've done it before, actually making the effort to excercise more and eat less seems like a real challenge. Did you have any "aha!" moments you can use? Like, pictures that shocked you, old photos of yourself that scared you, or surprised you by how thin you were at that time? Maybe shocking yourself into motivation can provide a temporary catalyst while you form new habits (they take 3 weeks to actually take effect).

For me, the latest catalyst was 2 things: emergency gallbladder surgery that resulted in an unwelcome hospital stay, and a new forced low-fat diet, along with a picture of myself when I was 16. I remember thinking I was the fattest cow when I was 16, and now I would give anything to have that body back.

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COWGRRRL 1/22/2014 12:57AM

    You know what? You're absolutely right. So many people have that 'ah HA!' moment. For me it was when I hit an all time low in confidence and an all time high in weight.

I wanted to lose weight before that, but was never prepared to really focus and do what needed to be done. I could do it for a little while but then I'd give up and go back to where I was before.
One thing that really helped me was a forum that was quite small. There were probably only about 300 active members so we all got used to each other's names. They were on the same journey as me so they cheered for me when I got something right and commiserated with me when I mucked something up.

It was great because we had regular challenges and the goal was to see how much you could lose in a time frame. It wasn't a competition to lose the most, it was a competition to set yourself a goal and achieve it. So you didn't feel like you were failing someone else if you lost, you were only accountable to yourself.
But I will freely admit that the inner fire has to be stoked by ourselves at the end of the day. Support is wonderful and it can pick you up and keep you going when you're down, but you have to be willing to go there and admit it when you're down.

You can do it. Perhaps try attaching your thoughts to positive things. If you fail for a day, just think to yourself "I've done far better this week than I have in a long time!" rather than thinking something negative. It makes it easier to pick up and start again at your very next meal :)

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JACKIE542 1/21/2014 10:42PM

    I came and left, gained and lost, than I developed some health issues that I probably would not have had if I had lost the weight earlier. I think you should stay and try and move forward, small steps, does not have to be anything big. emoticon

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DOG_MOM 1/21/2014 9:33PM

    It's not easy. And the fact that you're still here is an accomplishment in itself. I've been on and off Spark for the past 4 years, trying to lose weight, then gaining it back. And now I'm back to stay. I've learned that it's a daily decision. Shoot sometime it's a bite to bite decision. Take small steps. It's persistence that counts in this game. Keep trying. Keep logging in. You're going to stumble. You're going to mess up. It's ok. Forgive yourself and keep coming back. You can do it. Just keep trying.


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WILSHAR7 1/21/2014 8:33PM

    It is NOT an easy road. I have been going at this now for more than 3 years. I lost 45 lbs. just before my son graduated and then came the summer. I didn't watch what I ate like I did when I wanted to lose the weight and then my husband got sick and went down hill very fast and I didn't exercise then either. I still watched what I ate somewhat, but just ate to keep up my strength to take care of my husband. I gained 25 of those lbs. back. My husband passed away in May and it's very hard for me to heal. 2 weeks ago I started cardio exercising again for ME! Today, I started strength training again. I have to do this for me.
I set a BIG GOAL in Oct. 2010 to lose 40 lbs. by May 2011 for my son's graduation. I reached it!!
Set a BIG GOAL for yourself to reach in about 6 months and work toward that goal. Set smaller goals for you to reach on a monthly basis and reward yourself. This is what I have to do again for myself. Have an incredible journey!!

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TEACHINGAGAIN 1/21/2014 8:00PM

    I know how you're feeling, but I've decided (once again) that ONLY I CAN DO IT! I've come back to Spark People with a vengeance and try to get lots of Spark Points each day. One of the things I like is that to get points I have to look at my goals each day. I think doing this will help me!!!!

Don't give up! You can do it (and only you can)!

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