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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hello Sparkles!

Last night, after dinner (my usual time of impending disaster, as I often lose all functioning of my "brakes" (re: eating; you got that, right?), especially if there is anything chocolate/carby within about a 1 mile radius of me... I journaled about some stressful situations that I had been feeling sad & angry about. It did help, but the chocolate still found me later. --This is the extremely frustrating pattern that I aim to end. Thinking about these aspects of "Emotional Eating", and feeling fairly desperate, I also looked up "When Food is Love" (by Geneen Roth) on Amazon & read as much of it as I could on their "Click to Look Inside" (this Book) feature. I even cried a little, relating to her story. (I'm not usually a crier.) A friend (who I later realized was too judgmental to actually be a friend) had recommended it to me sometime in the mid-90s. I remembered the first few pages. (I think I'd read it while standing in a book store. I don't think I bought it.) I just wasn't ready for it then. Now is the right time in my life for it. So, I made a plan (as of last night) to keep journaling right after dinner. The book is in my shopping cart on Amazon, waiting for my next purchase. I'm also going to save one piece of chocolate to eat before I go to bed. (Not long before I brush my teeth.) That way I'll have some chocolate to look forward to every day, or rather, every night.

I think these things will work for me. I've been a little afraid to put rules like these in place for myself because I'm always hearing about things that people with eating disorders do; like having "too many rules" for themselves. I've realized that there are some things that work for me and some things that don't. If I have some rules for myself about nutrition & exercise, that doesn't mean that I have an eating disorder. This fear (being "accused" of having an eating disorder) was instilled in me on two occasions (noted here in reverse order of occurrence): One was when I was at my first job out of college. I was working on losing the weight I had gained in college (and did so, successfully, thank you very much!) when a colleague (another very judgmental busy-body, not the aforementioned frenemy) made such an "accusation". She based this on the fact that I was eating small portions and that I often ate the same thing for lunch several days in a row. (Never mind that she had the same soggy looking baloney sandwich on white bread every day. Whatever. I don't think I would eat that if I were offered money. Then again, maybe I'd do it once, if the price was right, but I don't know why anyone would pay to make that happen. Kind of reminds me of Joey on "Friends" assuming that he'd be rich when he found his "Identical Hand Twin" --Whaaat???) Anyway, I explained to her that I was single and living alone on a limited budget. So, if I made, let's say, a bunch of broccoli & cheese, I'd be eating that for a few days, until it was gone. (Unless I froze it, but I only like to freeze certain kinds of food. I don't like for my food to taste like the freezer itself. --Blech!) There was also the time, in college, when I dropped about 8 lbs. in the beginning of my Freshman year because I had heard about the "Freshman Fifteen" (i.e, "typical" weight gain experienced by kids in their first year of dorm life, until they figure out that beer & doritos won't sustain them through their mid-terms). I really didn't drink in college, though. There was a salad bar in the cafeteria and, as a Frosh, most of my food came from there. I really didn't have any extra weight to lose when I started college, so when a young woman in my class asked if I had an eating disorder (and I finally weighed myself and realized that I had lost weight), it scared me so much that I started eating everything that sounded good to me at meal times in the cafeteria. In my last year of college, I moved to an off campus apartment with a roommate and that's when the weight gain started in earnest. It was the first time I really had access to food 24/7. I didn't have to wait for the cafeteria to open to eat, as I rarely bought food when I lived in the dorms. Every study break meant a snack. That later became my bad habit of eating when I was bored. I think the woman who commented about my weight in my Freshman year really did have good intentions. She said she had had anorexia several years earlier, but she was an average to slightly heavier weight at the time of our conversation. However, I think this is "snipey" (like being a sniper) behavior that girls & women inflict on one another quite often. --A kind of (sometimes) adult bullying. (Like it's not bad enough that most men want us to be thin? Sheesh!) Where's the love from the sisterhood!? Well, I'm happy to say, those of us on SP are truly supportive of one another, always encouraging, always in a do-whatever-works-for-you-as-l
ong-as-it's-healthy kind of way. THANK YOU ALL for that!
Here's to our health! (Raising a mug of tea.)
: )
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    2010 days ago
    I think you have a great plan! We do need to figure out what works for our selves. I am still working on this myself!
    2028 days ago
    I used to think I had an eating disorder - compulsive eating. I joined OA. But now I realise that everybody... I just like nice stuff. And when I have nice stuff, I naturally want more. But I just have to realise, that actually I am allowed to have the nice stuff, and that actually, I enjoy it more when I only have a little - if I eat the whole gateaux I end up not liking gateaux very much anymore!
    2029 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm finding that after spending so long restricting myself and limiting treats for myself, I tend to become a food-pusher around other people and encourage them to eat treats (because if I can't have it, SOMEONE should!). I know I need to be careful of this and try to quit. I will also try to make sure I don't do like that formerly-anorexic girl did and project my own problems on them! I don't think this is something I've done yet, but having read your story, I will be aware of that kind of behavior and make sure I don't do that too! Also, that book sounds really interesting. I'll have to check it out.
    2029 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/26/2012 2:58:48 PM
    I eat for inappropriate reasons too. Women can be cruel to eachother with snarky comments. I think I recently got a copy of the book you mentioned from a friend. I have a fascination with books about people who have dealt with being overweight.

    Once I was really broke and had a hard time getting even 2 meals a day. I was really skinny. I think I became like Scarlett O'Hara and on some level declared "I'll never be hungry again!" I think I became a stuffer after that! A lifetime member of the clean plate club!

    Keep on sparking and blogging!
    2030 days ago
    Good clear observations...all. I've found that I too can be a boredom eater...or a 'I don't like that I have to do so much paperwork eater...or until recently...I don't have time to count calories and so I'll pretend they don't exist.

    Obviously this doesn't encourage weight loss...I really have to psyche myself up to exercise and then after I've done it...I that FELT good...and then I forget and have to start all over again.

    My new little buddy Fiona Fitbit will push me along...she makes it fun to stay active and I always am ready for a little challenge.

    When I get the boredom munchies...or the I don't want to solve this self examination problem...I would be prone to head for the refrigerator...or eat something that wasn't the best choice.

    Now I've fallen in love with Constant Comment GREEN tea...a little spicy, and that's the TICKET! emoticon
    2030 days ago
    I am considering starting a journal.
    I am not sure I expect it to work immediately (ie. I had a bad day, I want chocolate, try to journal to stop myself eating chocolate, oops) - but rather over time. Learning about what triggers those emotions (why did I have a bad day), and maybe learning with time how to address those emotions during the day, at the time they occur, rather than let them fester over the day - and then eat.

    I saw you on the Intuitive Eating team - I am exploring that too.
    2030 days ago
    Hi! You had several really good points in this blog, especially the very last thing you said about"do whatever works for you as long as it's healthy". SO true!! My "taste" for chocolate has changed over the years. When I was younger, and I'd get PMS, NO chocolate was safe. Then I had a hysterectomy, and practically lost all desire for chocolate. Then that evolved until now I've evolved into a dark chocolate "snob"! I can have 1 or 2 pieces maybe once a week, and I'm good. But it's like what you said, whatever WORKS for YOU. Potatoes on the other hand.....and I blame that on my heritage! lol

    Oh...I have found these protein bars made by Kashi that have a very light coating of chocolate on them, and they each have about 8-9 gr. of protein. Very yummy for lunch! Every day. Yes, I also bring the same thing for lunch every day. It's easy and I enjoy it.
    2030 days ago
    I just downloaded all these free pod casts from Renee Stephens. I found them on She has a book out as well now. I found out about her today from another Spark People person. She used to be a compulsive eater.
    2031 days ago
    I enjoyed reading this post! You seem very honest in what you share. I am new here. I am struggling. I have had an eating disorder most of my life. EDNOS would be the most appropriate for the most part, but I have struggled with bulimia in my past. I hope that I can get the support I need here, as i am at one of my heaviest weights ever. :(

    2031 days ago
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