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Permissive thoughts and feeling oh-so-bingey

Friday, September 02, 2011

I haven't been blogging much for a while. I've had some health issues, work has been really busy, and I find it a challenge just to keep up with exercise, food tracking, shopping for healthy food and cooking. Sometimes my house gets kind of messy, but I usually choose to exercise first, so I think my priorities are in order!

Anyway, I wanted to share the almost-binge I had tonight. I had a short day at work scheduled (yay!) after a very long week with gruelling shifts that I undertook because two of my co-workers are on vacation. I take on a lot at work, and because I do the scheduling, I often wind up with crappy shifts. I take them because I'd feel too mean if I gave them to someone else! Wacky, I know.

But then something happened at work and I felt like a failure. I wasn't a failure, but I've got a boss for whom nothing is ever quite good enough. I felt awful, even though his expectations are beyond unrealistic. He's a workaholic, passive-aggressive, and a piss-poor communicator. Strangely, I still think he's an okay guy -- most of the time. But I can never measure up, and I take that pretty hard.

Work was piling up, so I stayed two hours late, which meant a delayed dinner. I do keep healthy snacks at work (yay!) but it wasn't enough. On the way home, I decided that I'd have ice cream for dinner. Yes, I would. No one can stop me. I can do whatever I want. So there!

Luckily, it's a 20-minute walk home, so I had time to unwind and work through my angst. Disordered thinking about food generally falls into two categories: permissive and restrictive. I'm the former. Whoo boy, am I ever! With the help of a support group a few years ago, I painstakingly uncovered my 'hot thoughts' -- i.e., the thoughts that set me off onto a binge.

My biggest hot thought was such a surprise that I laughed out loud when I was finally able to identify it. It was: "My life is so hard; I deserve a treat."

I laughed because my life isn't hard at all! Why was I thinking that? The thought was habitual. It was a remnant from a time when I'd really been struggling and food became my sole coping mechanism.

I have many more tools in my belt now! And my life is easier because of them. Again thanks to that support group, and to the support of my friends and family, and to my own hard work, I've figured out a lot of ways to distract myself from distress and to soothe myself when I'm upset.

But here I was, deciding on ice cream for dinner. I'm still turning to food as a reward for a hard day! And I'm still thinking permissive thoughts! But restrictive thoughts don't really work for me. If I deny myself something, it turns into a massive internal argument, and the stress from that is enough to make we want to eat myself into a stupor. So forget it. I just tell myself: you can eat whatever you want. Anything at all. Now, what do you really want?

As soon as I know I can have anything, the pressure lifts. I don't really want ice cream. I want to feel better. I want sweetness. I want to feel free, unrestricted and unencumbered, because work felt like prison tonight. Really, though, it was my own perfectionism and unrealistically high standards that imprisoned me. That's why my boss's high standards bug me so much; they are an uncomfortable reminder of my own!

I tracked my food before I ate dinner. I had far too many calories left for so late at night. That's often gotten me into trouble in the past. I've been craving spinach and salmon, so I cooked a bunch of spinach and ate it my favourite way, with butter, salt and rice vinegar. (Seriously, it's delicious!) And I made a salad with canned salmon and ate it on rice cakes. Not bad for a late snack/delayed dinner.

And now I'm in my calorie range, though near the bottom of it. Before I started writing this, I wanted to go back into the kitchen and find more to eat. I felt empty, bottomless, like I was missing a piece. But I poured my heart out in this blog, and it filled me right up. Funny, that.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD7651842
    Sorry I'm late, but I LOVE THIS, you really talked to me with this one.

    3245 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6842331
    Good for you to identify the thoughts and patterns - knowledge is power! emoticon
    3258 days ago
    Your blog was so refreshing! I am proud of you and how you actually got logical amidst the stress of the day, which is so hard to do. You added your cals, saw the big contributing factor to the cravings since you needed more real food (separate from the emotional triggers at work), and used your tools to get you through!!!! You're just great.

    3258 days ago
    I love the picture of the cat!!

    The journey to realizing your food issue, on the journey home is wonderful.

    For all of you that are reading this wise woman's blog, check out this organzation...


    even reading the course descriptions helped me with re thinking some negative thought patterns. The week I spent there, has changed my life...

    Ernie and Cathy... you rock!!
    3258 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/4/2011 12:42:51 PM
  • HEATHER1969
    I love that you can walk to and from work!
    3258 days ago
  • NUMD97
    I found myself here, when you appeared on my feed. Time well spent. Thanks for the much needed chuckle.

    And good for you for thinking through what you "really" wanted for dinner. The biggest demon in all this is ourselves, and you appropriately found a great way out of your dilemma. You have good reason to be proud.
    3260 days ago
    Loved this blog... arent you a smarty pants??? I say that in the most complimentary way! Figuring that stuff out and then acting on it is very advanced..Hooray for you!!
    3260 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    I have missed your blogs. You are so wise, and you write so beautifully. This blog contained some very eye-opening passages for me. I really appreciate you choosing your Sparkly friends instead of bingeing. I am quite impressed that you chose SPINACH over ice cream - sheesh. That is like having a black belt in fighting cravings. Please stop scheduling yourself to the nasty shifts - you deserve better!!! PS Your boss is an " unpleaseable" - I did a blog about "unpleaseables" - stop trying to please him - no one does, and no one ever will and when you stop worrying about pleasing him, I bet you will feel sweet relief. You are a gem.
    3260 days ago
  • UTMIZ_2000
    You sorted it all out and good for you. You have the tools and you know how to use them.

    But we need to talk about this scheduling issue you have. IT IS OKAY TO ROTATE THE UNDESIRABLE SHIFTS. You need to start telling yourself this every day. You are not the MOM at work, you do the scheduling. Remember to take care of yourself as well. YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

    If you don't treat yourself with respect neither will those around you. You deserve to be treated with respect by yourself. I have this problem, so I understand it.

    So proud of you!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3260 days ago
    Good for you!!!! That walk home is a blessing. Time to decompress after work is always a good thing.

    You are emoticon !
    3260 days ago
    You Rock!! It all seems so logical when we think about it....but at that time that we are wanting something that may not be the best thing for us, logic usually is nowhere to be found. But you found it.

    I've noticed lately that when I think about going on a binge, that I have to talk myself into it...in the past I would try to talk myself out of it and the desire to binge was much stronger than logic. It is great now because I'm not fighting a real craving...I'm fighting my emotions. And since I know the food isn't going to make me feel better (in the past it would...briefly) it is so much easier to fight.

    Have a great weekend!
    3261 days ago
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