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What role does food play?

Monday, June 04, 2012

I donít know about you, but I start thinking about what I am going to eat for dinner before I have even finished my breakfast and today and most of the past weekend was no exception. You might be saying to yourself right now, that seems good, I am playing ahead, thinking things through. Nice try! Ideally, I would love for it to be about planning ahead, but I know that is not what I am really doing.

That really got me to thinking about the role food plays in my life. When I eat, what I eat and why I eat. We have to eat, so that encompasses the when part; what we eat plays a major role in our weight loss and maintenance, but how much focus do we put on the why part? The answer to the question of why we eat seems pretty easy; we eat to fuel our bodyís right? I know for me that it is only partially true. I eat for these reasons as well:

* I eat because it is time (12 noon, 5:00pm Ė you get my drift)
* I eat because I am tired, sad, happy or angry
* I eat because I am bored and donít have anything else to do
* I eat because the food is taunting me from the kitchen
* I eat because I had a bad day at work and in that moment a pizza seems like the only thing that will make me feel better
* I eat because I had a good day at work and in that moment a pizza seems like a wonderful reward
* I eat because I am low on groceries and money but feel starving
* And the main reason I wanted to write this blog today I eat because it is the highlight of my day/life

Meal time is the highlight of my life? Seems kind of pitiful doesnít it. For me, not really, it is just reality. The fact of the matter is I donít have a lot going on in my life right now. I am not married or in a relationship, most of my friends live in other states, I donít have a child at home any longer and even though I am blessed beyond belief to have a job, it is so boring and not what I really want to be doing. As I said above, I donít just eat for fuel; food to me has become to mean something totally different. I have changed the role food plays in my life as a substitute for family, companionship, entertainment and my relief from boredom, which is not the role food should be playing at all.

Although, each item on that list needs to be addressed (all in due time) I am going to start today with dinner time, which when I really think about it (obviously if I am thinking about dinner at 9:00am) is the meal I have been having the most problem staying within my calorie range on. Tonight when I go home, dinner will not be first area of focus. I am going to try to change the routine. I not going to throw my pajamas on (yes I put them on when I get home, because I can) and immediately start making dinner. Instead I am going to do something else, a chore, read a chapter in a book or work my crossword puzzle, something else, other than focusing on food. Then when I am hungry and not because it is time I will make dinner, eat it and be done with it.

My hope is to make meal time just a part instead of the starring role!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 6/4/2012 7:24PM

    You must have found the key to one of my "dark rooms" within my brain - HA! - your blog hits home. Food focus ... been there, done that ... repeat, repeat, repeat. I really like your action plan for the evening. I've implemented some of the same things into my world and it has helped. Good lucky sweetie!

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The Social Situation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I consider myself a extroverted introvert. On the surface I seem pretty outgoing, I am not shy in front of strangers but if you put me in a room with my peers, I become a different person, self conscious, unsure of myself, a plain old nervous wreck. So heaven forbid a "social situation" arises, you know like a wedding, a girls night out or case and point a charity event, like the one I attended this past Saturday. In times past these kinds of things would just plane old send me over the edge. You see, even though I might not be the "big" girl in everyone's mind, in my mind I am. I have body image problems, plain and simple.

Now, my goal this year is to gain more self confidence, learn to really love myself for who I am, that means outside as well as inside. In times past, getting ready for a social event like this one, where everyone is going to be dressed to the nines, would put me into the poor house. I would need something; a new dress, usually shoes, sometimes a trip to the hair salon, maybe getting my make-up done or all of the above. But you see, I have a closet full of clothes and shoes, a drawer full of make-up and great hair. That "something" I need has never been a material thing, but a feeling, one of acceptance, one of belief that who and what I am is good enough in any situation. So, when Saturday arrived, I did not buy one new thing, did not visit one salon or make up counter, I persevered in my goal to be myself, to realize that no amount of material things are ever going to be enough if I don't believe and accept myself for who I am, no matter what the situation.

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the night (had another one taken and I was critical of myself, it's a process) and I like that person I see, which to me means, I am getting there one social situation at a time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDYLIN90 4/20/2012 1:12AM

    You ARE gorgeous and I'm so glad you are finding your way. This evening for you was a huge milestone...CONGRATULATIONS!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/17/2012 3:25PM

    "I persevered in my goal to be myself . . ." YES!! That must have felt amazing. I can see why the photo you posted from that night is one of your favorites. Way to go friend!!

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That kind of hunger...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Have you had ever had the kind of hunger that food just does not feed? Yesterday I had that kind of hunger. For me it starts out like true hunger. I remember thinking to myself right before lunch that I was having what I deem "one of my hunger days", but realistically, there was no reason for it. I fed this hunger during the day, but I never felt full. I was not feeling well, which could have been a contributor, but usually when you don't feel well, you aren't hungry.

On my way home from work, I decided to feed the hunger with the wrong kind of food. After I finished eating that wrong kind of food, I was still hungry, so I ate more. By the time I reached for the bag of pretzels, it finally dawned on me that I was not feeding hunger, I was feeding emotions. I was feeding disappointment, rejection and that void that is so deep that crawling out of it seems futile. That void has run deep for many years of my life and even though in the moment is seems futile, I crawl out, like I did this morning when I crawled out of bed, even though I knew that the hunger I was trying to feed yesterday was still going to be there.

I still feel disappointed and rejected. The reason these feelings are looming over me right now is because I will have to face them head on the next time I return to San Diego (which is in a few weeks). You see, the person with whom I was rejected by is currently living with my family in San Diego. My family does not know that we were together last time I was there, so no matter what happens, having to be around him or him not being around to avoid me just SUCKS! I know I need to move forward, but for me, it just is not that easy. You see, when you have no self confidence, you try to create scenarios in your head to ease the pain, but all the while you know the truth. The truth is, he does not feel the same about me, and no matter how many times I try to tell myself it is his loss, he would be lucky to be with me, I know I deserve more, I can't help but feel like there is something wrong with me.....Rationally, I know this is not true, and there are days when I stand strong, but when that void creeps up, when that loneliness creeps up, I just cave....

But today is another day, and I don't feel as hungry. I also know that if that hunger returns today, I need to be sure and ask myself, what am I REALLY hungry for....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDYLIN90 4/4/2012 9:19PM

    I'm a big believer in self care when I'm feeling that kind of hunger and believe me, I have experienced it on so many occasions. I've fed it all the wrong things which only made me feel worse. As cliche as it sounds, one thing that has helped me is doing something that is pampering and feels good to me, even if it's just spending extra time doing routine body maintenance stuff. Hope you are feeling better as I know your blog entry was several days ago.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 3/29/2012 8:08PM

    Aw, Sweetie - I'm sending you hugs and good thoughts. I know about that type of hunger, it's so difficult to deal with and it seems to grow no matter how much you feed it. BOO!

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ABEAUTIFULMESS1 3/29/2012 2:22PM

    I hate feeling the way you're feeling!! Just know that you can and will be able to move on- its sometimes just takes (A LOT) longer than we would like most of the time! At least you were able to stop and realize that you were having emotional hunger and were able to recognize it which is a great accomplishment! Just keep your head up- it is his loss, but at the same time, as hard as it is, you need to remember that you are worth SOOOOO much more than being an option or wanting someone who doesn't feel the same way. You deserve someone who is going to feel toward you in the same way that you feel for them, and waiting for that is definitely worth it!!!

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Stuffing is for Thanksgiving not for Emotions

Friday, March 02, 2012

In a therapy session long ago the counselor described my habits of drinking, emotional eating and spending as stuffing my emotions to fill the emotional void I had experienced through out my life. That really resonated with me. Then I ready a blog from one of my dear Spark friends regarding really "feeling" the emotion rather then "stuffing" it away with food. It was a real break through for me, because I realized that I don't feel many things, I stuff them away, I avoid them, I replace them with negative self talk, wine, ice cream and shoes.

Affairs of the heart are so tough for me. I don't play in the dating world very often because I am really bad at games. My experience last weekend with a boy I liked which was exhilarating and fun has left me sad and disappointed. Determined not to let the situation control me I have been working hard all week at repeating those words to myself, "Don't Let this Define You"... It's been going ok. I haven't emotionally ate, I haven't indulged in to much wine and I haven't spent money. I have exercised, I have stayed within my calories and alas, I "felt"...

I did not realize how often I tried not to feel emotions until I was laying on the couch thinking a few things through and a thought would pop into my head and I would immediately avoid it. I was trying not to feel it. One because It hurt but feeling it would mean having to admit it was real, and obviously admitting it was real would be some sign of weakness. See, I always put on the happy face especially in the area of relationships. I try to tell my self and those in my life that I am fine, I am happy being single, alone is great. Since things did not go as I had hoped with the boy, having to admit how excited I had become at the thought of having someone in my life and realizing it was not happening was crushing. Having to face the fact that I really am lonely, and I do want someone in my life, and how disappointed I am, boy I gotta say, it was a tough feeling to have. So, there I felt it, it is out in the open, good right? Well, here is the other thing I do. I start with the negative self talk; maybe I am meant to be alone, maybe there is something wrong with me. I can't date, I am to messed up, no one will want me! Yes, all those things go through my mind, A LOT!! But since I am working on TACKLING these issues of my lack of self esteem, I have started to talk back; you have to believe you are a great person, you aren't meant to be alone and you are no more messed up then the next person!

All this feeling is exhausting. I feel lousy and maybe that is the best thing for me. I am allowed to feel bad, I am sad and hurt that someone I liked did not like me back. In the end I guess I know feeling lousy about a boy is way better then feeling lousy about weight gain, having a hang over and unpaid bills. This time stuffing was not an option...take that Stove Top!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNESSMONSTER8 3/3/2012 11:07AM

    It's normal to hurt for a little while before you move on. It's always best to let it out and let it go. Just remember you deserve the best. Don't settle for anything less than what's perfect for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    The one great thing about feelings is that no one can tell you how you're allowed or "supposed" to feel... I mean people might try to tell you "you should be happy!" or "aren't you dissapointed?" but in the end you have all the rights in the world to feel anyway you feel- whether its a wanted feeling or unwanted....unfortunately the wanted feelings aren't the hard ones to deal with! Let yourself be sad, angry, dissapointed, afraid, etc... Its not always a bad thing to have negative feelings- it just shows that you are someone who is really letting life affect you- which it should! I know that I would hate going through life apathetically- that's not fun at all- But sometimes with the fun, you get the unwanted/bad but at least you can say that you're really living a life and soaking in everything that its handing you- good and bad.

You're doing a great job!!! Its definitely hard to not stuff those feelings or "eat your feelings" as I say all the time!

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SHELBY2050 3/2/2012 4:03PM

    Having "been there done that" the one thing I've realized - stuffing away the emotions with food/shopping - they never truly go away. Dealing with them is the only way to put a "period" on them and move on. Please don't let yourself be defined by whether or not you have a "boy" - let me tell you - they aren't all they are cracked up to be - lol!!

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Managing Disappointment

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have been known to do a lot of things when something disappointing happens in my life, and those things usually lead to greater disappointment. So, I thought I would take a few minutes to do some managing, because I know I am facing disappointment!

This weekend I had some fun with a boy, someone I have liked for a while but he was married and now he is not. He may not be Mr. Right for a few different reason, not insurmountable reasons, just reasons that should be taken into account, because they could be part of the disappointment. Anyways, as the weekend came to an end, it did not end completely like I had wished, and needless to say, I don't think we are on the same page as to what to now that the weekend is over. Granted we live in two different cities, but again one of those reasons that are not insurmountable. So, as the dust settles, and the disappointment is setting in I know I need to get one step ahead of things because my track record is not the best at handling disappointment. Why you ask, well, not to beat a dead horse but lack of self confidence is one of them, and how I usually cope with disappointment, ie, emotional eating, spending money and laying in bed feeling sorry for myself and not participating in life are my good old stand by's. You see where I am going here, disappointment begets more disappointment. But, since I am determined to nip this self sabotage in the bud I thought that I needed to get things off my chest and sort through my feelings.

Not being on the same page about how to move forward after the weekend, well I can understand that. One person thought, hey maybe this will lead to something and one person said, that was fun . So, having to wrap my head around that, well, it just hurts. That glimmer, that feeling of excitement was gone in a second and it makes me realize how lonely I really am. How having to put your feelings on the line, and having them hurt, it just SUCKS. When things go unsaid, like I know you are coming back in April (I am and he knows that) but we well talk before that, or hoping that he would send you a text , facebook message or email just making sure you got home safe, when those things don't happen, it just adds salt to the wound. Now, I know it is only Tuesday, who's to say those things won't happen, but the waiting for it, and wondering if you should send an email, or whatever, is just as hard. That is why I need to head this off at the pass, manage the disappointment before it manages me. So here is what I am going to do:

1. Remember that I am a wonderful person and he would be lucky to have me in his life
2. Don't isolate myself no matter how hard it is
3. Don't wait around for something that is not going to happen
4. Move forward and don't stay in the past
5. Don't play the "what if" game!!
6. Don't obsess, it is what it is
7. Feel the disappointment instead of stuffing it away
8. Remember that if he wanted to contact you he knows how and he should want it!!

Now after writing it, I have to live it! For me easier said then done. But again, I am determined not to let these kinds of situations take control and define me any longer! I have to come out strong on the other side or my life is just going to keep standing still.

Plan for tonight: I think I need to go home (after the gym) have a good cry, keep praying and like all things, this too shall pass!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNESSMONSTER8 2/29/2012 2:44PM


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ABEAUTIFULMESS1 2/28/2012 2:48PM

    I know that it doesn't make the dissapointment go away, and I know first hand it really really really hurts when you're on one page and it seems like the other person is in a completely different chapter, or even a different book! One quote that I try to really hold close to my heart is "NEVER make someone else a priority if they're only willing to make you an option". I obviously don't know the situation/details, but you definitely deserve someone who thinks the sun shines out of your butt even when you're not in a great mood or don't have it all together. It's hard, and there's going to be a lot of ups and downs, but don't ever sell yourself short! ALWAYS make yourself a priority and don't let anyone else treat you as less!

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