Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I thought I could use my birthday as a turning point for getting back on track with my eating, and had been happy that my weight had stabilized at the lowest point it has been in the last two years, but my eating is off and I am back up. I didn't put the cake away from my birthday party on Sunday, and ended up eating two good-sized pieces when I wasn't even hungry yesterday. Not the end of the world, but it kept me from feeling comfortable in my body for the rest of the day.
Here, I had had wonderful friends come to my party-- so much love, but I find myself bummed by some of the pictures of myself. I am exasperated, too, I know, because I invited a new man to my party and I'm sorry now. I think he sees me more as a friend than a possible romantic partner and I'm avoiding pinning him down about it because I don't really want to face it. I can't blame him for any of it, as it isn't as if he is obligated to declare his intentions after 7 weeks of knowing me, and he has been very kind and kept his word regarding phone calls and plans, for the most part. I wish I could be grateful that he enjoys talking to me so much. We spend hours together or on the phone so easily, but I saw at the party that he had just as easy a time with everybody! He also gave me what I would call a cousin-ish kiss hello and good-bye. But, alas, I am attracted to him, and my negative side is plying me with thoughts that I don't deserve the romantic attention of someone smart, funny, and handsome. It is hard to have faith in the face of present reality. I'm also disappointed because I thought I was going to have a boyfriend for some of my time off--the next two weeks! Actually, he said he will call on Wed. (has doctor/dentist/class stuff today) and figure something out for us to do for fun, but I'm not even sure I should do it, as it is hard to be with him and not wish for something more! I know a person might not know for sure that you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone after 7 weeks. I ain't asking for that. but I think a man knows at that point if he wants to pursue a romantic relationship and he acts accordingly, esp. if the woman seems amenable, no? He didn't find out about my birthday until that day because I had been on the fence about telling him about it and asking him to my party until last Friday. Then he was out of town and says he didn't see my email inviting him until Sunday the day of the party, but he came for it, driving down an hour and back. However, he did not even stop and get me a card! never mind flowers. I know he's on unemployment right now, but really, if a man has feelings for a woman, wouldn't he be at least slightly stupid with money trying to impress her on her birthday? I mean, you can get a card and a small bouquet for 15 mucks! And he didn't try to stay late. But he did call me yesterday (the day after) twice, including a 3-hour phone call at night! I'm thinking he's a little lonely, he knows he likes me, I'm mentally healthy, unlike his last girlfriend, and he might be wishing he did feel more for me. I have definitely been on the other end of that, hoping I would get excited about a man down the line because there were so many right things about him. It never happened, even after I gave it a shot for a year or more. I try now to be honest with myself and the man very quickly now. I think I need to set more limits on the phone calls and long dates with this guy. I had been allowing longer times than I normally would because he lives an hour away, but I'm getting too caught up in the desire. Just like I need to limit food for my own good, I need to limit my exposure to this man. I think I've got to hold out for a man whose feelings are mutual, just like I need to hold out for getting hungry for pleasurable, moderate meals of a balance of luscious and nutritious food. I've also got to take responsibility for filling my life with other important activities besides eating right and finding a life partner. What if I never get thin or get a committed relationship? Will my life have been a failure? In my worst moments, I think so, but I know in my heart, I don't believe that-or I don't want to.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
In case you're interested in how a young woman with BED was able to turn her situation around with the help No S, as well as some other influences:
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
i write this as a way to deal with the continued urges to eat way more than I am hungry for in restaurants and in social food-sharing situations.
Let me preface this by saying that I believe if we are eating moderate amounts of food consistently-meaning we have no real deficit reason to need more food--, we can learn to withstand just about any triggers for bingeing, eventually for months and years at at time, and even forever. I do still give in to strong urges, but I don't believe it's because it's not possible to say no. My first 6 solid months of eating 3 moderate meals a day most weekdays--no snacking, sweets, or second helpings of anything-are a good start, but it's the next 18 months that are going to seal the deal.
That being said, simple overeating at meals has been shown to be correlated to later bingeing in those who do binge. It's counter intuitive, but so is lots of what goes on with compulsive eating. If that helps anyone next time she is in a situation where she needs incentive to refrain from getting too full, it will have been worth preaching about. It is worth the process of learning how much is enough to satisfy without being too little or too much. In fact, without that, we will never be at peace with food or our bodies.
I really think the urges to eat at unnecessary times will subside, but it may take longer than we think, and there might be some strong breezes of them for longer than that. Please don't take it as a sign that we are doing the wrong thing. I was never a heavy smoker, having not started until I was 25 and only going a few months at a time even smoking every day, even going months at a time without smoking until I finally quit at age of 27, but for YEARS afterwards, certain situations would bring on the urge to smoke. These habits are not only chemically induced from the outside; to some degree, they have a life of their own within the brain. And our "minds" will often cooperate by producing thoughts to continue the process. BUT THEY ARE BASICALLY HABITS. And humans can make new habits. Keep using whatever thinking and behavior has let us ignore those urges and that will become our default way of living. It is like turning a supersonic jet in the air. The pilot has to make very small changes in direction and long arcs to do it. Even if we are just at the beginning of our arc, it is worth staying with it. Younger women will have decades to enjoy the fruits. So will their children. Moderation, time between meals to get hungry, unattachment to food and harsh body criticism, savoring of many flavors and textures without overeating: This is a great legacy we are building now to share with our peers and pass on to our daughters. I doubt there is a more important time in history to make this central. More on the connection to future generations another time.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I don't know how many times I wished I could just go away to an island or some place in the mountains and just live there, eating only the right foods, having only so much around so that I wouldn't overeat, getting lots of exercise just as part of living, and being able to stay until I was thin and I didn't want to binge any more. But I knew it wouldn't work. In fact, in 1979, I travelled for an extended time. I realized I was really hungry only a couple of times a day and I would eat whatever I wanted until I was full--fried fish, rich curries (I was in India) and relaxing in the afternoon with a cafe au lait. I did tons of walking. I know I got to the lowest weight in my adult life. I had been living oversea for more than 2 years and this was just before I was on my way home. Lastly, I went to visit friends in England before I flew back to southern California. I gained 10 lbs. in one week, stuffing myself with Cadbury chocolate and heavy English food, telling myself it was because I had been away from good chocolate and the weather was cold, etc. But the truth was going home and having to face life--not just being able to wander in a cheap country, eat whenever--having to work at some crappy job all day, since I didn't know what I wanted to do, and not be able to exercise or relax when I wanted, figure out how to make a living--all of these things terrified me, and I know now I ate over it. To tell the truth, I suspected then that was the reason, but it didn't stop me. I didn't think I could solve those problems to my own satisfaction, so I ate, unconsciously deciding if I couldnt find a satisfying way to solve them, then I would at least use the strategy I knew and get a few moments' pleasure from, especially since it was so much easier than the alternatives. The easy alternatives were going for a walk, cleaning my house, calling a friend, watching TV. The hard ones were understanding where I would fit in my my culture's economy and society. Even the easy ones were hard when I couldn't face the hard ones. I did not forgive myself for not being clear in my goals and shooting for the stars. It took me 30 years to accept and understand what I could do for myself with the talents and emotional make up I had rather than what I wished I had.
But when I look back on it all, on all the insights I gained, nothing replaces the importance of just sticking it out at times--just tolerating the rotten feelings and thoughts and even trying to ignore then while insisting on waiting two more hours to eat, three more hours to eat, then relaxing and eating a moderate amount of food and being grateful that I was hungry and had the ease of a plate of great food. Just finishing the food and having the meal be over. That it was clear it was time to do something else, and it was okay that it wasn't the perfect thing to be doing to make my life perfect and reach all my goals. I could do something simple or something grandiose, but the important thing was that it wasn't about food, it wasn't about being thin, but I had to I just try to give it my attention and not complain. I'd even sometimes pretend I was going to die soon and try to allow that sense you hear from some really sick people in which they feel that every moment is great just the way it is. Of course, I'm not dying and I might sometimes want to expect a little more of myself, but I felt it was important, not to give up my dreams, but to not let them torture me anymore.
Maybe this is the true last piece in this puzzle. I've thought so many times, okay, I'm so close now, I just know it. This is one of those times. Gosh, I hope I'm right. But it doesn't almost destroy me when it isn't anymore. Amen.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I am saying this for those who are trying to end binge eating.
I don't mean to bring up a downer topic, but it's something we may each have to face. We may not be able to have the body we want living the life we are willing to live. Judith Beck in at least one of her books, which I like very much for the psychological techniques, not the eating prescriptions, says that sometimes dieters have to face that the calorie reduction and exercise requirements it would take to lose more weight may not be worth it for the negative impact they can have on lifestyle.
Though it may be theoretically possible to achieve and maintain thinness, the process could rule one's life in a way that would not pay off. Anorexics do it, though many of them die before they are 40. My friend's sister in law is a practicing anorexic at age 45. She lives with her mother and it has ruled both of their lives for 20 years. She has tried to commit suicide several times. No one will ever know if the relationship between them has kept the daughter alive or just enabled her. This is an extremely unfortunate situation, but it happens.
I don't think most people here sound like it is this serious, but I do hear discouragement and I completely understand. But I also want to say, what if this were it? What if somehow we had reached our lowest weight possible without sticking to 1000 cal. a day and working out for 90 minutes a day? That is what some of the people on the National Weight Loss Registry do to maintain their weight. That is their right, but it is not how I am going to purposely spend my last decades on this planet. If I were ill in such a way that it was necessary, okay, but not for cosmetic reasons. And, frankly, I don't like being held to that possible standard by the judgement of some of my peers, not the one's here, thank goodness, that I should be willing to do what it takes to be thin.
I do, however, want to do what it takes to become binge free and they are not the same thing. SOME people who become binge free become thin. Some people lose some weight. And some have no change at all in their bodies, but I have never heard of one who did not believe that the quality of her life had not improved immeasurably.
I have to admit I will be very disappointed if I continue to implement the habits I want to (and I haven't done them all consistently yet) and I don't drop another 10-20 lbs. But I doubt it will change what I set out to do with my habits.
I know that bingeing usually leads to more bingeing, which is a misery in itself because there are thin women who do it and they are miserable. I need to keep working on reducing and eventually eliminating it, at least in its previous forms, in my life.
I know that the body was made for consistent moderate activity and less frequent but also consistent bouts of intense activity that stresses the muscles, so I plan to incorporate a variety of cardio activities that I find fun and some resistance work a few times a week. This goal may or may not be intrica
tely related to not bingeing. Some hard exercisers binge and some say it helps them not binge.
I am going to keep striving to eat wholesome food in satisfying amounts and enjoy it. I am going to keep striving to feed my body only when it needs it and cultivate natural hunger without becoming an ascetic.
If I do these things and don't get the body I envision, I will still work to respect myself and the body I am lucky to experience life in. Even if I don't do those things, I am going to hold my head high. I am a person with a lot more to me than my eating and my weight. At the same time, I know it's worth the effort to rid myself of this attachment to immoderate amounts of food.
So, I guess I'm just saying I think everyone here should be proud of her efforts to conquer this whether she loses weight or not. It doesn't mean that I don't have empathy for our discouragements and won't need your bolstering at times, but it does mean I think the habits are the results; weight loss is only a lucky side effect. I also don't mean it's not okay to feel temporarily bad about our bodies. Only we know how it feels inside and only we can look closely and see if it comes from really being out of whack with our true needs or some ideal enforced on us from outside ourselves.
in any case, my heart goes out to those who are feeling down today. All I know is the best cure for me is filling my time in such a way that I get hungry for my next meal and don't stuff myself. Then I feel sane and even thin!--if I don't wear something too tight!
Be honest and pursue peace.
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