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It's ONLY a Donut--or is it??

Friday, January 29, 2010

I woke early this morning (3:00 AM early). As I laid in bed trying to talk my body into more sleep, the first hunger pangs I'd felt in a week began to twinge in me. I've been sick and haven't really eaten anything for the past five days or more.

Images of the glazed donut, which I knew was waiting just for me in the kitchen, began to dance in my head. Now here is my rationale. Even if I ATE that donut, I would in no way jeopardize my weight loss, after all, I'd added up my calories in the past days, and had not gone over 500 in any day. SURELY my body NEEDED the nutrition and calories contained in that single, innocent donut? And had not the dietician herself told me to put aside tracking calories and avoiding sugar during my illness?

That's what I told myself.

And these things are all probably true.
So why am I now, having already consumed said edible, struggling with feelings of guilt and fear? Is this my old eating disorder rearing it's ugly head? I think, more than that, it is my fear that I've crossed the line from desperation to lose weight into feeling "not SO fat" now that I've lost fifteen of the 60 I plan on losing this year. After all, am I not moving around with greater ease? Fitting into my size 16 jeans again? And thus, I feel "safe" eating things like donuts.

This my friends, is the great trap into which I've fallen for every single weight loss attempt in my recent history. I think it is truly because I do not see myself realistically. I really AM still obese. I DO still need to lose significant weight.

How can I avoid this pitfall? Do any of you struggle with this problem? What suggestions can you offer to help me to realistically view the fact that I still need to lose a bunch of weight?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You have come across the big 'Secret' of this journey - that it IS an emotional and mental journey, perhaps even more so than simply a 'change of habit' route. We so often hear people whose struggles are in areas other than weight say things like, "Well, if she wants to lose weight, just stop eating!" This completely ignores the mental and emotional component of food. When we feel we have endured something awful (an illness, a rude comment, a burdensome day at work, etc), we feel the need to be soothed, and we DESERVE it! So, the doughnut, or the chocolate, or the cocktail, or the bowl of pasta calls to us. Our minds go into overdrive to justify why we SHOULD be able to have it. This isn't about hunger, it is about finding a way to feel better in 'the moment.' While you could just hunker down and say "NO", that can also create an obsession and the feeling that, "ok now I BETTER lose 2 lbs by tomorrow or I'm really gonna let loose." That's not helpful either. Toss the All Or Nothing Thinking into the ashcan - perfectionism is not required, just effort at least 51% of the time is improvement.
    Far better, I think, as others have said, to do what you are doing - to notice, notice, notice what is going on in your mind as these feeling arrive, and then analyze them, dismantle them. I did Dr. Gould's online Shrink Yourself program an it helped me more than I can tell you to do just this. In fact, he doesn't advise you to diet at all in the beginning - just to Notice and Feel. Where something is irrational, he has you write about it and work through it. The other Big helpful thing was the Spark Step .. I think it is in Step 2... make a Motivation Board. Think about all the things you want the weight loss to bring you ... stronger body, better sleep, better sex, the ability to hike a mountain .. whatever .. find magazine pictures of it and make a poster of it. Keep this visible, and refer to it when the feelings come up. This will help you remember your long term goals, which are far more important than any doughnut or martini.
    And, take baby steps -- it took us all time, some of us decades, to get here. It is ok to take time to make the return journey. Every little step is one more in the direction You want to go, and YOU do have the power over your life.
    3922 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 1:32:30 PM
    It makes perfect sense. Perhaps my comment would have been more helpful if instead I simply said to focus on something else on those days when your psychological obstacles make losing weight seem less pressing.

    The more we understand about these strange little psychological games we play with ourselves, the more control we have over them.
    3923 days ago
    I did not mean to give the impression that I don't think I need to lose weight!! I am completely appalled and disgusted that I weigh what I do. I think what I was trying to convey (and maybe failed) was how my sense of disbelief that I could ever have let my weight get this out of hand sort of protects me against what the mirror clearly shows. I don't want to believe that I am this large and that desire not to face the reality of my situation conflicts with what I know I have to do. Does that make any sense at all??

    Thank you for all your supportive comments. You made me feel as if I am really progressing, not only in the weight department but in the inner dysfunctional thinker and eater.
    3923 days ago
    Just realizing this is your pitfall is a BIG step forward. Now USE that information. If it means you can't have junk in the house - get it out. If it means you have to limit some things until your body lines up with your body image, do it.

    Most of all, take the focus off of your weight. You clearly don't think you need to lose weight. BUT can you walk a mile? Can you do 20 sit ups? Find a fitness challenge and focus on that. Then it isn't about what you "need' to lose, it's about what you *want* to achieve.

    Good luck.
    3923 days ago
    You have made a huge step by simply having this realization. You are on the right track. Just put the donuts down and nobody get hurt. Throw them away if you must. Best of luck on your journey!
    3923 days ago
  • JIJJI1313
    My usual breakfast was once 2 donuts and a coffee with heavy cream and heavy sugar. Back then I was very young about 16? I went from a size 8 to a 16! Then someone told me to exercise and stop eating donuts and coffee in the mornings. That's all I did at that time and in just 4 months I was back to a size 8. I wish it were that easy to get back to a size 8 now... 3 kids later... at 32 years of age... LOL Good luck and remember there are a lot of great and beautiful things out there besides donuts! :) Enjoy your day! :)
    3923 days ago
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