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Learning Opportunities

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours." -Dag Hammarskj÷ld

I woke up this morning after another night of binging and I had two choices. I could either panic, get really mad at myself, be in a state of anxiety and self loathing all day (my default reaction after a binge), or I could take a deep breath and change my perspective.

Renee Stephens of Inside Out Weight Loss always says, "there is no such thing as failur, only feedback." She tells us to think of slip ups as learning opportunities and a chance to grow. I fully agree with her. And I'm taking these past weeks with multiple binging episodes as learning opportunities.

I've figured out things about myself during this time.

Here is what I've learned:

1. I need to eat seated. When I don't, I overeat.
2. I need at least 30 minutes to eat really, really slowly. When I don't, I feel rushed, my belly tenses, I gulp my food, and I don't feel as if I've eaten.
3. I need to chew my food really well and really slowly, breathing deeply while I eat. When I don't, again my belly tenses, I gulp my food, and I don't feel as if I've eaten.
4. I am someone who needs to meditate in the afternoon when I'm transitioning from school/work rush to home life. When I don't, I feel frantic and harried and eat in that way.
5. I need to eat at very regular intervals, not allowing myself to get too hungry. When I don't, I feel ravenous, even if it's just psychological, I eat too fast, and I overeat. For me, this means...

Breakfast sometime between 8-9 in the morning.
Lunch around 1 or 1:30
Snack around 4:30
Dinner around 6 or 6:30

6. I need a post dinner ritual signifying the end of the meal - making a cup of herbal tea. When I don't, I also want to keep eating and that leads to binging.
7. I need at least 7 hours of sleep/night to feel good. When I don't get it, I'm irritable, impatient, and more apt to binge.

When I follow these guidelines, it's a lot easier for me to take care of myself. I feel energized by my meals, and I feel confident, powerful, strong, and much healthier in general.

My hope is that if I'm committed to these guidelines, they will become habitual quickly. I know for a fact that in the past, the better care I've taken of myself, the easier it gets over time because I feel so much better!

"We win half the battle when we make up our minds to take the world as we find it, including the thorns." -Orisen S. Marden
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEPERWOMAN 11/22/2013 12:10PM

You can do this. You are worth it.

Love, Ginger

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HOLLYM48 11/14/2013 6:57PM

    This is a great list! Thanks for sharing and I hope it works well for you!

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HDHAWK 11/9/2013 7:28PM

    This is a great plan. I'm really struggling right now and need to get it together! I hope you and your daughter are doing well.

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MJREIMERS 11/4/2013 3:35PM

    You have wrote it down and are committed! I know emoticon This journey isn't easy and it's easy to get caught up in old ways, but now you are ready to start a new journey on a new path. A path that will make you healthier, stronger and a better YOU! YOU CAN DO IT!

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NANADEE44 11/3/2013 2:58PM

    It's plain to see that you have identified many of your triggers for binge eating. Your outline of all the steps you need to take are inspirational, even to those of us who are not binge eaters, but have weight problems triggered by other things in our lives, whether internal or external.

I too, like the quote from Renee..."no such thing as failure, there is only feedback". We all slip up on occasion and truly this is our opportunity to learn and grow from our own mistakes. We all make them. We are only human. It takes a long time to unlearn bad behaviors and relearn the good ones.

Hang in there. You have the support of many here who love you and want you to succeed, just as much as you want to succeed.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 11/3/2013 2:14PM

    Great insights and great plan! Identifying the triggers and aggravating factors is half the success. Good luck!
Eating mindfully, without reading helped me a lot in the past few weeks.

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_RAEVEN_ 11/1/2013 8:19PM

    Its great that you're able to see what triggers a binge and that you've come up with ways of overcoming those obstacles. emoticon

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ALEXSGIRL1 11/1/2013 7:25PM

    thank you so much I also eat to fast I don't even enjoy my food as I should I need more mindful eating thanks for reminding me

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GARVCO 11/1/2013 4:42PM

    Nice thoughts. I like the "frame" reference and one of your ideas really hit home with me - a near empty nester & stay at home mom: Don't eat standing up!

Too funny - how many times do I find myself essentially eating my lunch standing at the kitchen counter .... or the snacking I do while making food and cleaning food up.

Your thought is going to make a difference for me!

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    Sounds like you are doing a good job of "Paying Attention" and being a good parent to yourself. Parents pay attention and try to understand what is happening and why and then discovering the way to make things better.
THEN comes the WORK part, putting all that knowledge into practice.
I believe in YOU.... You CAN do this.
Hugs, Audra

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SETTIMIA 11/1/2013 7:55AM

    Well done for working through this, I can learn a lot from you.

Thinking and sending prayers to you and your family


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TINAJANE76 11/1/2013 7:20AM

    I love how your plan deals with both your eating habits and tending to your emotional wellbeing--both equally important in this journey. I know you can do this, Julie, and I'll be right here to continue cheering you on!

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KANOE10 11/1/2013 7:14AM

    Those are great guidelines for you. They will keep you on track and feeling satisfied. I have to watch how quickly I eat as well. I like the comment there is no failure, only feedback. I know you will do well. You can do it.


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MNABOY 10/31/2013 11:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MIRRORBALLMOON 10/31/2013 11:13PM

    I love your list. I'm discovering similar needs myself. Two days this work week, I ate an apple and some almonds before I realized I was hungry, and it was easy to avoid over eating those days. Two other days I tried waiting until I knew I was hungry to eat, and I over ate both days. I think I'm not good at sensing the early stages of hunger and then get out of control. I'm going to experiment with eating at more "scheduled" (yet not rigid) times and see if that helps.

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KAYTIE22 10/31/2013 10:31PM

    This is a great blog. As always, thanks so much for sharing the many things you have come to know. I needed to read this right now. I've been spiraling downhill for weeks and really should follow these guidelines.

All the best to you. Hope you and your daughter are doing well.

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MARILYNROBERT 10/31/2013 9:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MILLISMA 10/31/2013 7:48PM

    Great blog and a super self assessment. I also believe it makes a difference when you actually put it in "print". I love your guidelines and they are ones I could surely use also.


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WILSONWR 10/31/2013 6:35PM

    You've got some good guidelines there. I'll have to try some of them. Good luck!

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BECKY0111 10/31/2013 5:56PM

    Thank you for sharing some of your lessons learned! I need to learn some of these lessons myself, especially the end of meal ritual herbal tea. Dessert used to be my end of meal ritual. Your idea is better.
Enjoy your tea!

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    I agree - our binges (slips) are lessons to be learned. What you KNOW and write out here is great! My binges have to do with alcohol - not food, but same idea with so many of your coping mechanisms (sleep, meditating, new rituals, eating well). emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 10/31/2013 4:32PM

    absolutely lovely!

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KELLIEBEAN 10/31/2013 3:31PM

    I like that, no failures, just feedback. It's a huge win when we learn from our mistakes!

You have a great plan in place!

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SPARKLINGME176 10/31/2013 3:29PM

    It always amazes me, how we on Spark People are VERY simular! This is how it works for me, too! Except dinner time for me is switched with your last snack. I just feel better! If I could JUST know how being up a pound or 2 makes me feel. I wouldn't have a food issue at all!

Thanks for your support & putting into words ectally how my program works for me/us!


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PACKERMANN 10/31/2013 2:43PM

    wow--very insightful. thanks for sharing!
A night-time ritual sounds like what i need too.
going to have to think about that and figure one out.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 10/31/2013 2:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOGLADY13 10/31/2013 2:08PM

    You have put a lot of thought and reflection into your response to food. That's hard work. Good for you. It takes time to change patterned behavior, but it is worth the effort.

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PHOENIX1949 10/31/2013 2:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRICKET4 10/31/2013 1:57PM

    I like the idea of meditating after coming home in the afternoon from a hectic day. That should make for a nice transition. I think I'll give that a try.
Herbal tea at night is just plain lovely, especially now that the weather is cooler.
Finding what works for us individually is key to stick with our new chosen lifestyle.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/31/2013 1:35PM

    Sounds like you have a good idea of what works for you while eating.
Keep practicing. You are on your way.

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WATERMELLEN 10/31/2013 1:14PM

    Very valuable for all of us, actually: figuring out what works in taking care of ourselves is key. No failure: great feedback. And since we're dealing with eating . . . feedback is just what we need!

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LOFLLAMA 10/31/2013 1:12PM

    You can do this!!! I have faith in you!

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PROUD-GRANDMA 10/31/2013 1:10PM

    Love it! Thank you for posting!

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