Saturday, February 13, 2010
What has helped me most when I have that feeling of unfairness is to think about FACTS that Beck gave: Most thin people DO restrict their eating.
They may not consider themselves on a diet, and many of them don't talk about it a lot or call attention to it. But they repeatedly choose healthier, lower-calorie options. They also stop eating when I would still be wanting more and more. If a special evening event will be more indulgent, they eat light the first part of the day.
I do have some thin friends. I keep watching them. It is fascinating. Beck is right; they don't eat whatever they want, whenever they want.
Some people eat much more than I can because their activity and exercise level is extremely high. My son has a heavy-lifting job and also plays basketball several hours a day, six days a week. His calorie requirements reflect that lifestyle!
Part B of what has helped my thinking is my deep, soul-solid conviction that ultimately, eternally, the universe is actually fair. God is utterly just. I simply don't know the whole picture in this lifetime; I cannot see what God sees.
The best closing word is from NUSL8T on the forum : "It's not unfair that I need to do the things that nourish me instead of continuing with my old patterns that hurt me."
Friday, February 12, 2010
I was at an annual business meeting for my husband's hiking club. Everyone present was slim and fit except you-know-who. When the agenda was concluded, a buffet was served in the next room.
I thought this occasion was a perfect opportunity to observe the way slim, healthy, active people behave around food. After all, The Beck Diet Solution is teaching ME to think like a thin person!
When the meeting was over it was time for the meal. A few people ambled in to where the food was spread and got something to eat. Most continued animated conversations and began new ones. Gradually everyone trickled in. A few people left without eating (gasp!).
I knew the types of food likely to be offered, and had psyched myself up to choose wisely. I looked over the buffet and mentally practiced my choices before I walked through the line. I took my plate off to find a place to sit (most people stood to eat). I ate slowly. I enjoyed it. Then I went to find my husband.
He and a number of others were standing around the food tables talking (only a couple rooms were in use for this occasion). But no one was shoveling seconds onto a greasy plate. No one was grazing. No one was trying to scrape the last bite from the brownie pan. The abundant food display received not even a glance!
I looked from one to another in fascination. Then I got it. For them the eating was over; the food chapter was closed. They were done with their meals, so the delicacies sprawled around were irrelevant. It was not even on their radar. They had chosen some food; they enjoyed it; then they moved on. In that room, the most tempting thing for thin people was a discussion of one member's multi-week cross-country bike trip this spring!
I aspire to this balance. I will keep practicing the Beck principles, I will keep replacing sabotaging thoughts with helpful thoughts, I will keep building interest in areas of life unrelated to eating.
Next year I will be one of the trim and healthy crowd at the annual meeting!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This element of The Beck Diet Solution is liberating!
"Oh, well" is the opposite of my previous routine---which was to say "Oh, no" and obsess about it, whether disappointment, frustration, or regret.
"Oh, well" positions me to move on.
"Oh, well" frees my mind so I can be open to practical strategies for making things better next time.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
A funny thing is happening to me. For all these years I have resisted various steps because I was not willing to DEPRIVE myself. Now some changes have been possible, with the incremental structure detailed in the Beck Diet Solution---because I committed to see it through, with God's help. Some surprising things are happening.
A couple weeks ago I made a choice to stop relating to food like a starving orphan. I began to tell myself over and over, "You are not a starving orphan. You have enough. You will have enough tomorrow." Gradually I was able to see more and more clearly the ineffective habits I have sustained. Eventually I decided it would be a healthy step to extinguish all of the starving-orphan behaviors.
I do realize that play-doh-ing the last crumb from every plate did not make me fat; picking up my son's candy wrapper and looking for fragments did not make me fat; licking every tool I used after cooking a meal did not make me fat; asking anyone with my same DNA (or my same zip code?) for a bite of their food did not make me fat; overdoing it on free samples did not make me fat. But the mindset that compelled those scrabbling behaviors made me fat and has kept me fat all these years. Somehow the Beck disciplines have helped me see how I operate. Sobering and embarrassing. But so hopeful, because I am tasting the freedom of a new relationship to food.
Starving Orphan says, "It's good to have more and more."
Freelady says, "What I planned to eat today is enough."
Starving Orphan says, "There's a bit of available food. Eat it!"
Freelady says, "I already ate what I need."
Starving Orphan says, "That looks so good. Sigh. I really want some of that."
Freelady says, "I don't need that. I have enough."
Starving Orphan says, "Here's free food. Get a lot." Freelady says, "I want to be thin. Eating this won't help me."
So here's the funny thing. As I give up these greedy BEHAVIORS, the desperate grasping feeling towards food, more food, a lot of food, lessens noticeably. And the thing I am marvelling over, with thanks to my Creator, is that I am actually noticing more and enjoying more the genuine blessings of my life. I had no inkling how much my attitude toward food had preoccupied me.
These days I have more clarity about many other small pleasures and positives around me. I am catching my daughters' smile more, really feeling the warmth of my son's hug, savoring my husband's serenity, basking in the warmth of the quilts when I turn over in the wee hours. I am giving thanks for a phone call from my sister, seeing a friend at the store, the hug of my snug sneakers, the satisfying coolness of a crochet hook, the cheerful chirp of a squirrel. Plus I'm noticing how good my planned food tastes!
For decades I've had plenty of information about healthy eating. But whenever I contemplated changing how I handled food, I pictured a bleak, sterile existence, stoically munching something as appealing as Purina Cat Chow, resigned to pleasure-less days of rigid tedium. I had no clue how out-of-proportion my thinking was.
I have been a happy person with a life full of variety and spiritual meaning; how could I have believed food so pivotal? It was certainly not rational. I want to keep growing into more sensible notions about food.
I was so worried about missing out on food. In reality, by over-concern about food, I was missing out on so much else.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
I do know several people who have a normal perspective on food.
My friend was pumping gasoline. I nodded toward the adjacent convenience store as I commented with a chuckle, "I'm not allowed to go in there."
[This is because while I'm in food rehab, I've found it helpful to create a few "rules," just for myself, to aid in carrying out the NO CHOICE commitment of the Beck Diet Solution. I know my weaknesses.]
My friend said, "Well, wouldn't it be perfectly fine for you to go in there, as long as you just didn't buy anything you shouldn't?"
Like I said, some people have a normal relationship with food!
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