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Working my "getting better, bit(e) by bit(e)"...and an Insight

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good morning everyone, the quotes identify a book I am working (non-caps by the authors) and I had a thought I wanted to share.

I am spending the week making a balance sheet about binging vs not binging, emotional and practical gains and losses for self and others. Then I get to rate all the reasons!

Anyway, I was treadmilling this morning and watching a French Canadian movie I had recorded. It is about a terminally ill man being helped by his family and friends to die with dignity.

Now, the film does not focus on weight or fitness at all, but the actor playing the man is rather large....and it got me thinking.

I am in my 60's. I will reach a time (and I hope it is a long time away!) when others will have to care for me and my physical person. When that time happens, I want to be darn sure that the physical person being cared for is the healthiest I can make it, for the sake of my own dignity.

That's was an important insight to me, though. Brand new idea.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:37AM

    Hoho, I worked as a janitor for a while and one time is was this old very honorable man we should carry into the church for the funeral service (I am in sweden it is not at all the same as over there but anyway)..and his coffin was REALLY heavy and I was shocked because somehow I had some fantasy that my wieght would sort of disappear with my soul... so silly considering that I hae worked a lot with animals and know that a fat ded sheep is of course heavier than a skinny dead sheep... I started dieting immedeatly (did not last) but I thought it very embarassing if I will be a corpse that breaks the coffinbearers (?) backs...silly motivation but still... how come if I tried to become skinny because my alive me would enjoy it?

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ROCKMAN6797 12/29/2011 1:42PM

    Great insight Bonita!
I agree 100%

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KANOE10 12/29/2011 1:02PM

    I agree with you on staying as healthy as possible. I am in my 60s also. I am visiting my 92 year old mother. The more we can keep our bodies healthy the better we will enter old age. Bite by bite..good quote.

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1PHATSANDY 12/29/2011 11:16AM

    Do you know what GUITARWOMAN, I am also thinking about that same subject. I have arthritic hips and was told I need hip replacement surgery. But I have been in pain from it and limping for about 3 months now. i know I don't want to be a burden to others but it may come down to it. And I don't want to be an overwight burden emoticon Loosing weight may also keep me active longer . I'm in my 60's also, to young to not be able to get around. emoticon Good luck on your journey.

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Now THAT was interesting.....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Please bear with me, I am going to ramble a bit I think, but maybe this will help me and you?

Yesterday, someone close to me treated me poorly. Enough said. I am realizing that this is the biggest trigger for my binging. So, I went into I want to eat everything in the house (and the house too?) mode.

But, I had a lovely dinner planned, and thought of all the negative outcomes of binging, and did not.

What happened instead, and this is a whoa, what happened here moment, is that I had a really, really major anxiety attack. I had not had one in years!

Now, those of you who have suffered from anxiety attacks know that they are not going to kill you, but are darned unpleasant while they happen. You feel as if you will absolutely pass out, but you won't. I learned to manage mine a long time ago, without meds, through some cognitive behavioral work, and this one went away, as all the others did as well,
I am left with a bunch of questions. Clearly, the upset just had to come out, and if not in binging then it came out in anxiety symptoms.

I went to the the Spark medical information, there was no specific mention of anxiety attacks, and more relevantly, anxiety attacks associated with not binging.

So, what is worse? Anxiety raises your blood pressure to not good levels while it lasts. It is emotionally draining. Binging, aside from the immediate relief, is just not good in any way I can measure.

At this point, if I am going to have to choose, I will choose anxiety. I am going to reframe the whole experience by saying that by not binging I was able to experience my emotions, and the next, healthier step, will be managing my emotions without significant anxiety attacks.

Thanks for listening! If anyone reads this, has this happened to you? Are there resources on Spark on anxiety attacks? Maybe in the Depression section?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:31AM

    What has happened to friends of mine is when they stop one obsession, another shifts into gear. We talked about this yesterday at our AcoA study group - one of us has been sober through AA for eleven years but instead has problems with sugar and sex. And as he is starting to work with these "Inner child" questions his obsessions has gotten worse for a while... and my eating is on a rollercoaster too - we all think that this comes from stirring the pot and will calm down as we progress.

But it is logical to me that if I have used emotional eating to suppress anxiety for x years, the anxiety will pop up if I stop bingeing - another acoa friend reporteted that this autmun her alcohol intake has become troublesome - she did a gastric bypass two or three years ago and bingeing is no longer an option...

What is worse - anxiety or bingeing? I am trying to moderate my bingeing while I am working on the anxiety... and as I am a believer in twelve step program that is what I use.

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OOLALA53 1/2/2012 11:48AM

    I can't answer your questions about sources on Spark about anxiety, but I do know that many people with compulsive eating issues also suffer from emotional issues, and learning to manage emotional stresses supports good eating habits. You have made so many strides, I think it is inevitable that you will discover how to manage the stresses that bring on either the urge to binge or the anxiety attacks. Your wisdom is growing all the time. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 12/26/2011 5:59PM

    Sounds like you have survived and gained some knowledge.
So happy that you took this path instead of the other....


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SIMPLYDEE 12/26/2011 5:36PM

    That's putting it into perspective. Good for you. At least you do know how to manage your attacks. I have never had one ,but from what you said you dealt with it . Way to go. emoticon

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My ah-ha! moments of the day......

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Had two insights today, thought I would share, they may help others!

Those who have gotten to know my virtual self are well aware that I am a binge eater. Yecch. I am working very hard on managing this kind of eating, I am so committed to be one of the 5% I can taste it (no calories though, weak attempt at humor). I am 15 months into maintenance, up a few pounds (some of it may be added muscle but I am not kidding myself, most of it is binging!). I have been reading about binging, journaling, thinking.....

Insight number 1: For me, for now, I cannot stray from my planned eating (with the exception of an extra pack of gum). If I make just one change, or add just another 50 or 100 calories (still under the daily allowed goal) I am lost, destroyed, sunk, in a pickle, you name it. The eating will not stop. So, simple, not straying from determined plan.

Insight number 2: This goes back to my experimental psychology undergraduate degree. You know, where you use white rats and train them by reinforcement. (For everyone's information, when the term was over, I took my ratties home, made pets of them, and they lived a good life. I have had rats for pets over the years too. They are clean, smart, and cute.)

So, back to reinforcement. For me, binging feels good. Eating what I want as much as I want makes me feel really nice, until the letdown of course....

I realized today that binging is an intermittent reinforcive behavior. I don't do it on any schedule, I don't do it every day, or at a set time, or day of the week. And, if you know your psychology, behavior that is intermittently reinforced is the hardest to stop. You keep doing it with the hope at some point, some time, you will get your reinforcement.

So, for me, I have to just stop. Another dynamic is that the feel good feeling about binging, as time passes, gets forgotten, and is not so tempting. Also I get to deal with my real problems, not just stuff them with food.

Actually, then, this gets kind of easy. No decision making needed. No eating off plan, even a bit, which will lead to no binging which will put to rest the pesky intermittent reinforcement of the whole thing.

Will I mess up from time to time? You betcha! But I think these concepts will stand me in good stead. I hope there is at least one other sparkperson out there who can get some benefit also!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:24AM

    Wow! Interesting! I am going back trough your blogs to find out what is happening - you are a very interesting spark acquaintance!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/25/2011 1:26AM

    Oh man do I ever hear you on this.

About 90% of my eating behaviors are structured around avoiding triggering binges.

I keep almost no food in the house. It's all at work where people would see me indulging if I binged.

And its not snack food. Its any food. I have watched myself binge on raw oat grains, along with carrots, apples, or whatever else is in the house.

I eat a minimum of 1500 calories per day because if I go below that for more than a few days in a row the hunger will trigger a binge.

I eat no starches, grains, or added sugars. Those trigger binges. I have to limit fruit for the same reason.

I eat 150g of protein per day. That helps with satiety and thereby controls the binge trigger.

No tv in the house. That is a trigger.

Exercise after work so the appetite suppression will kick in at night when I'm most vulnerable.

Rarely attend work parties where they feature snack foods. Rarely eat out.

Carry protein bars for emergencies.

Weigh myself every morning. If I binge at night I see the effects immediately.

I try to be actively engaged in weight-based challenges; competition helps suppress the urge to stray from my plan.

Every one of those habits was discovered to help by trial and error. They all add up to constructing a world where I can live reasonably safe from binge triggers most of the time.

Because for me as well, binges can lead to more binges. I gained 20 lbs in 2 months this summer from binge cycles and general self indulgence. It took 4 months to get it back off.

Not something I want to repeat. So like you it's best for me not to even start.

Comment edited on: 12/25/2011 1:31:27 AM

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DDOORN 12/24/2011 10:27PM

    Whew! Would that I could slam the door firmly shut and batten the hatch against that intermittent reinforcement...! I can do better though...good reminder! Thx for sharing!

Have a wonderful Christmas filled with music & heart!


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PUDLECRAZY 12/23/2011 8:07AM

    Intermittent reinforcement is the worst kind for breaking a habit - great observation! What works best for me is to keep the foods I like to binge on out of the house. Who binges on carrots or apples or oranges after all? It is the sweet and the salty that can bring us to our knees.

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ROCKMAN6797 12/23/2011 12:53AM

    I completely agree with insight #1. I have a certain set of foods that I eat on a regular basis. I know the nutritional values of these foods inside and out and I gain great comfort from eating them. I will stray from these same foods every once in awhile but, quite honestly, I always return to these certain foods because I like them!
With regards to insight #2 I, too, believe that the best way to stop an undesired behavior is to merely STOP! However, I like to eat so I will not starve myself rather I work out more and find healthier choices to eat. I am a firm believer that I am not on a diet rather I have adopted a healthier way of eating. I refuse to not allow myself to eat something I want. I just practice portion control and make the necessary adjustments so that I stay within my established calorie range.
Nice blog Bonita!

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ANNAMAAM 12/22/2011 10:36PM

    ok...the intermittent reinforcement...I studied this and this a rather huge and very helpful revelation! ...yes,CLEARLY now I See that I need to quit it entirely. And yes, I am noticing that the feel good feelings of various foods are wearing off my consciousness and I just don't care anymore. So the same would apply to bingeing. You are totally right.

I am a little unclear as to insight #1...are you eating the exact same thing everyday food-wise or just calorie-wise? I am being very serious about calorie counting...well, as of yesterday. ...I had a very tough semester and had to stop eating certain foods during it...but now I am totally focused on what I need to do. I am on placement for the next six months, so hopefully not too stressful, lol. I think I will like it much better than school. :)

great blog!

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CAROLJEAN64 12/22/2011 10:28PM

    I think you are rally on to something. I believe for me it was the other way around however. It was dealing with and resolved the emotional problems that got me to the place where food is for sustenance, not emotional control.

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Hand Injury, again......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This is so like me....

Thursday last week I was making chili. We use canned kidney beans.

So, I was cleaning out the cans preparing them to put in the recycling, when RIPPPPPP!!!!! right across the top of my right hand thumb, a two inch slash from a rough edge on one of the lids.


It bled, a lot, had to apply pressure to stop it. And of course, bending the thumb (cut right across the thumb knuckle) was painful to say the least. I will stop with the detail, kind of graphic.

So, the above led to no guitar work for a couple of days.

I am now bandage free and can bend the darn thing with little or no pain.

Think I will go and play my music!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TYGRLILY 12/22/2011 12:44PM

    Ouch, thats exactly the kind of thing I always end up doing to myself no matter how careful I try to be - and yes it's usually always when getting it ready to recycle - you'd think we're doing a GOOD thing so we'd get good karma huh! Glad it's healed and you can play again!!

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ROCKMAN6797 12/19/2011 1:26PM

    Ouch, thank goodness that you have healed and can now get back to playing your guitar!

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DDOORN 12/18/2011 9:40PM

    Yeouch! Sounds like me too...always getting cuts, bumps & bruises here & there. Sounds like you won't let it slow you down TOO much! :-)


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PUDLECRAZY 12/18/2011 6:23PM

    Dang! I hate it when that happens. I hope you heal up quickly.
emoticon emoticon

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THE_HERMIT 12/18/2011 6:05PM

    Playing guitar by creative visualisation is one technique I have used at times when i have been unable to physically play.

It is a good way to learn the music by visualising the hand movements on the fretboard and the right hand technigue too. I also think of the type of sound quality I want to achieve when playing the piece.

I am glad that you have recouperated now though.

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The Sweet Spot of Guitar String Changing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

If you have been following my friend feed, you will see day after day of string changing, and tuning, and tuning, and tuning...thought I would say a bit more. Non-musicians, feel free to skip this one, but, you might find it interesting.

The really nice things about guitar strings are that they are the one disposable you have on a guitar. After taking a deep breath and putting out many dollars for your guitars, you think twice about trading, or selling. And if you've chosen right you don't want to. But strings, ah, there you can experiment and have a bit of fun.

Now, one of my guitar teachers once said that all strings are made in the same factory and are just put into different wrappers. Can you believe this? It may be true, but he was kind of cynical, and had long hair, so I try to take the comment with a grain of salt. It would break my heart if true.

Now, strings for classical guitars are typically called "nylon strings." Three of the set of six are actually nylon, and three are metal wound around a multiple thread core. At least that's the way it used to be. There are newer developments, such as composite strings, and graphite strings, but I am kind of traditional and stick to just plain nylon.

Now, nylon strings, especially the ones that are actually nylon, stretch. And stretch. And stretch. and ssssttttrrrreeeetttccchhhhh. They can go down a half tone in a matter of seconds after being tuned up when they are new.

So, you never, never, never change strings just before a lesson. Or even worse, just before a public playing or performance. You change strings about a week before any of these occasions, and spend time tuning, and tuning, and tuning.....

The thing is, brand new nylon strings sound phenomenal. They sound the best they will ever sound during their life on your guitar. But you can't really enjoy them, because you are tuning, and tuning, and tuning....

And then comes a time, oh, just about a week after stringing to maybe two weeks after stringing. This is the sweet spot. This is when the darn things are staying in tune long enough to actually play music on, and are still sounding almost as good as brand new.

I am approaching the sweet spot on both my Yamahas.

And smiling about it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_HERMIT 12/15/2011 3:49AM

    When I worked as a guitar teacher I had to become quite adapt at rapid string changes and tuning,

which reminds me of a joke the Australian Guitarist John Williams sometiemes makes when tuning between pieces in concerts.

he has be known to say. I am going to play you a short chineese piece called Tun-ing

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PUDLECRAZY 12/14/2011 7:47PM

    Don't I know it! I had to contend with that also with the 10 ukuleles I bought for my class this summer. Plus I restrung all of my school guitars this fall. I had to retune each instrument each day, sometimes more than once. Not to mention my own three guitars. All are settled in now. Ahhhh!

Like you, I experiment with different kinds of strings. The ones I like for my flamenco guitar are La Bella 2001 light tension flamenco strings. I use Martin Silk and Steel for my school guitars, Elixir Anti-rust Nanoweb strings for my Taylor Grand Symphony, and Aranjuez strings for my Taylor NS34CE. I buy more of the bass strings than the nylon strings. For each complete sets of strings I buy one extra set of bass strings. They just don't wast as long, so I change them more frequently. I think StringsByMail loves me. (And I love them!)


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DDOORN 12/14/2011 6:25PM

    How about a Yamaha myself and know quite well this sweet spot you mention.

But have to admit it's gathered WAY too much dust and the strings are WAY I appreciate the inadvertent "nudge" and will treat myself to a string changing soon. I'm sure that'll get me playing more again and refreshing my repertoire!

Love the sound of my nylon-stringed Yamaha and the roominess of the fret-board a classical guitar offers! If I play any regular or electric guitar my hand feels so scrunched up!


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ROCKMAN6797 12/14/2011 5:50PM

    An interesting and informative blog Bonita.
You obviously are very knowledgeable about the guitar.
Your discussion of the "sweet spot" can certainly apply to other things, like running shoes, jeans, and caps!
Thank you for sharing!

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