Sunday, January 29, 2006

A nice Sunday

I've been having a rather lazy day, which is nice for a change. Last night T and I watched the DVD "Mad Hot Ballroom", about NYC kids in a ballroom dance competition. It was very cute.

I hopped on the exercise bike today for about 6 minutes and I was whipped! Good grief, my aerobic capacity has gone straight down the tubes since I broke my leg. My leg muscles were hurting and I was getting out of breath. If my knee doesn't swell up like a balloon, I'll get back on tomorrow for 10 minutes.

I feel terribly fat. I looked in the mirror before my shower and was so down about what I saw there. My jeans were incredibly tight on Friday night -- and those were my previously baggy size 10s. I'm trying not to hate my body, but I feel as though I'm fighting a losing battle in that regard. It's enough to make me want to start counting calories again. BUT I WILL NOT!! I am going to beat this #$*^%($#) eating disorder if it's the last thing I do!

I tried some "self care" today -- watched 2 episodes of "Lost" on DVD, sat around reading the paper, did my leg exercises, and now I'm on the computer. It's nice, though I feel as though I'm neglecting the girls.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 day at a time

I've had one binge in the past 2+ weeks -- a definite improvement. I've actually only overeaten a few times and had a few times when I ate something when I wasn't hungry. I'm still sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seems as though I can eat like a normal person for a stretch and the the pressure just builds up until I explore in an eating frenzy.
Well, I started this post on Thursday. It's now Saturday and the other shoe did drop. Yesterday I woke up and somehow I just knew I'd binge. I'd been feeling that way ever since Thursday. I fought the urge all Thursday evening and ate 1/2 a Hostess cupcake, a few graham crackers, and a smore after dinner, but managed not to have more than that. Then Friday, I just fell apart. I didn't work (since I'm working today) and I had my usual breakfast, then added 2 Pop Tarts, a Hostess cupcake, some jello cheesecake pie, some more graham crackers with peanut butter and as smores... that might be all. I felt overfull.

I went off to see "Brokeback Mountain" with Jacque V and Ruth G at 10am. They had popcorn and candy, but I wasn't even tempted. After the movie, we went over to The Pita House for lunch. I wasn't really hungry. I had a brief struggle (internally) over eating, but I felt that since I had suggested the restaurant it would be weird if I didn't eat. If I were to be 100% honest, I'd also have to admit that I didn't want to "miss out" on eating there. I ordered a chicken kebab pita and ate the whole thing, along with parts of Jacque and Ruth's giant cookies. As Geneen Roth points out, if you don't wait until you're hungry to eat, you have no cue of when to stop. I probably wouldn't have eaten even half of the pita had I been hungry and stopped when I wasn't hungry anymore.

In the evening we went out to celebrate Ryan's birthday. We had dinner at the Rio Grande Steakhouse. I was hungry, but had a heck of a time decided what to get. I really just wanted some fries and a piece of bread. I would have felt strange just getting that, so I ordered a mug of chili too. They brought the chili first. It was good and if I had just eaten half of it, I wouldn't have needed another thing. I ate the whole thing, a piece of bread, and the fries. I was stuffed. Then we went to Ryan and Carey's for chat and games. I guess I figured "what the heck?" and managed to down a giant piece of birthday cake, 2 peanut butter chocolate bar cookies, several macadamia nuts covered with chocolate and several chips & dip. I felt rather sick.

It's obvious that, though I think I have legalized all foods, I definitely haven't. Otherwise, I'd have been able to skip lunch, eat just the fries I wanted, and skip all the food at Ryan and Carey's house.

Today I "started over", so to speak. I had my ww tortilla with LC cheese and turkey breast for breakfast, and packed a lunch of a large salad with some turkey breast and cheese on top, and a snack of jello cheesecake, vanilla yogurt, a banana, and a few strawberries. I was quite hungry at midmorning and thought about the bagels June brings every Saturday. I decided I'd rather eat the snack instead and eat a bagel in the afternoon if I got hungry. That worked out because I always feel stressed out if I don't eat all the food I bring. I know that sounds idiotic, but it's true. At lunch, I was not hungry anymore after my salad, but ate some soy crisps anyway. It was okay though.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Eating in the Light of the Moon

Someone on a bb I read posted this from the book Eating in the Light of the Moon and it really resonated with me:

Addiction keeps us from being fully present in the moment with ourselves, our feelings, our friends, our lovers, or with whomever or whatever might have captured our attention. Instead, we find ourselves agonizing over how many calories we ate earlier in the day. Rather than being in contact with life, we withdraw from it, into our obsessive thoughts about binging and dieting. By putting our energies into planning that next binge or preparing for the next diet, we remove ourselves from the present

So true -- so many times I eat to put off doing something or remove myself from a stressful situation. On Wednesday night I was so stressed out about T being at basketball. I had to take the girls to Pizza Hut and grocery shop with them by myself. C wouldn't eat, I had an entire medium sized pizza looking at me, and when we got home the girls needed baths. I so wanted to EAT! At PH I ate only one piece of pizza, though I picked a bit at the girls' personal pan pizzas. I was satisfied after my salad and one piece of pizza, but resisting eating more was difficult. I didn't want dinner to end because it would mean going to the grocery store. Ugh. Then when we got home the girls went upstairs to bathe and I stayed downstairs. I really wanted to just sit and relax but knew I should be upstairs washing hair and keeping an eye on the kids. I wanted to eat everything in the cupboard. I opened the door about 5 times, and ate two potato chips. Then I told myself that if I binged, I wouldn't enjoy the food, I'd still have to go upstairs, and I'd be upset and feeling horrid. I calmly sat with one Twinkie and a cup of hot chocolate and slowly ate and read the paper. Then I went upstairs and bathed the girls and put them to bed. I felt so good about not giving in to my urge to stuff myself.

More from the book:

To recover from disordered eating, we must be willing to go beyond food itself to discover the presence of the real hunger that underlies the urge to eat compulsively. With disordered eating behaviour, our true needs and innermost desires are hidden behind urges that only symbolize those real needs and desires. When we are engaged in addictive eating, that is the time to look for what the real hunger is because that is the moment in which it gets presented to us in its symbolic form. By simply eliminating certain foods or striving to restrict our behavior, we deprive ourselves of opportunities to learn of the true meanings behind those symbols. Someone who is addicted to eating is actually starving on an emotional and spiritual level. Her longing for food is a longing for emotional and spiritual nourishment. It is often a longing for the ideal mother, the archetypal Good Mother who nourishes us, soothes us, and loves and accepts us just the way we are. Frequently, this is the "something" she searches for as she stands in front of the fridge. This is what she is really in pursuit of when she sets out for the grocery store. No matter how much ice-cream she eats, how many cookies she consumes or muffins she devours, she cannot fulfill this longing because she is filling her stomach, not her heart, not her spirit. For a woman to recover from disordered eating, she must recognize that she is starving. She needs to understand that the food she requires is not material food. She must be able to name her hunger and recognize its symbolic nature in order to nourish herself.

I think the thing is that I can recognize that I feel anxious, but I don't know how to get behind (beneath?) the anxiety and find out what is causing it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Geneen Roth is a genius

I swear Geneen Roth is writing directly to me (or about me) in some parts of her book. I had three or four great days of conscious eating and then I suddenly freaked out on Wednesday and had a big binge. WTF? I'm so angry with myself -- not because I binged so much as because I was very aware it was happening and I didn't take any of the steps that one is supposed to take in that particular situation. I printed out the steps and stuck them in the drawer to pull out next time. If I am not willing to do the work to heal, I am never going to heal.

I saw a counselor on Tuesday morning about my compulsive eating. She says I should try to get the HMO to refer me to a psychiatrist because a generalist just isn't going to cut it. She feels that I have a bit of obsessive/compulsive disorder, mild depression, and an eating disorder and could benefit for medication for anxiety and some psychiatric sessions. I made an appointment for my yearly checkup so we shall see. If worse comes to worse, I will bumble along until open enrollment, switch to a PPO and make the damn appointment myself!

C starts gymnastics tomorrow. I asked if she wanted me or T to take her and she said me. She told me, "I don't like daddy very well. He drives me crazy!"

Monday, January 09, 2006

good weekend

I had a good weekend. I started re-reading Geneen Roth's book and taking notes on it to re-read (and re-read and re-read). I really concentrated this weekend on not overeating and sitting down when I do eat. I realized how many times I pop something into my mouth while standing up. I really made a conscious effort to sit before eating and it made me not eat quite often because I'd think, "I am NOT going to sit down to eat one potato chip. I'll just have some the next time I'm hungry." Of course, when I was actually hungry potato chips weren't what I wanted to eat at all.

One of my coworkers always brings bagels in to work on Saturdays and there are always some left over. I've never taken any home because you know -- too many calories, can't eat those..blah blah. Well, I took three home on Saturday. R and I each had on Sunday morning for breakfast and I sat down and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was full til after 1pm. I felt anxious when it got to be lunchtime and I wasn't hungry, but told myself that the food in the kitchen wasn't going anywhere and I could eat when I got hungry. I ate the second bagel for breakfast today, but had to eat it while multi-tasking, since I was getting my lunch ready and getting my kids ready at the same time. I definitely didn't enjoy it nearly as much -- and what's worse -- I sat in the van on the way to work feeling unsatisfied and wishing I had something to eat! Just goes to show you what mindful eating will do...

I didn't play with the girls for an hour, but did make some time to unpack boxes downstairs AND asked T to help so I wouldn't feel resentful. The whole family played Candyland after dinner, which kept me out of the kitchen and kept me from even being tempted to cruise the cupboards or fridge.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

intimacy issues

Well, I told T last night that I feel I subconsciously keep people at arm's length to prevent myself from being hurt. I think sometimes I cook, bake, or eat to put off playing with my kids, calling a friend, or being with T. That sounds so sad. The guilt probably compounds the problem. It's rather sick, however, when I realize on a Saturday that I've spend several hours in the kitchen -- hours I could have been playing Candyland or making love.

I made an appointment with the Employee Assistance Center for this Tuesday. She said for eating disorders they usually refer you and work with your insurance. Well, that should be interesting since the HMO has their own counselors and I've already met with the one at our health center. She was absolutely no help whatsoever. I saw in the paper a blurb about a support group for eating disorders that meets twice a month. I called for info and had to leave a message on their answering machine. If it's a group that is honestly trying to get better, I'd like to go. I don't want to go listen to a bunch of whiners who aren't actually trying to do anything about their problems. That's harsh -- especially since I'm sort of one of them. I've almost finished reading Geneen Roth's book on overcoming compulsive eating, yet yesterday when impulse struck, I ate -- even though I was totally aware of what I was doing.

I didn't even try to figure out why I had the urge. I was planning the binge in the car on the way home from lunch with Barb, Gail, and Jacque. I don't get it. Yes, I was very hungry on the way to lunch. But she served us a delicious, healthy lunch. I didn't overeat and I wasn't hungry. I felt like I might be getting hungry, but wasn't yet. Even so I ate until I had that slightly sick, too full tummy feeling -- a couple of brownies, a bunch of soy crisps, a bunch of organic animal crackers, a piece of crustless pumpkin pie with fat-free Cool Whip, 2 Hershey kisses, and a few potato chips. Then I promised myself I wouldn't eat again until I was hungry. I drove off to the Girl Scout cookie sale meeting, only to find that I had the wrong day. When I got home the family was eating pizza. I ate a piece, another brownie, a few more cookies, two more Hershey kisses, and a cup of hot chocolate. ARGH.

So, I have the day off tomorrow. My goal is to play with my girls for at least one hour and lay around with T during C's naptime and make love if we didn't do it in the a.m. AND to only eat when I'm hungry and stop when no longer hungry (as opposed to "full").

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The "holidays" have passed in a haze of too much food and not enough relaxation. The new pants I bought just 3 weeks ago are tight. ARGH!! My knee still hurts like heck and it still swells up like a balloon when I try to ride the exercise bike. I rode for 8 minutes the day after Christmas and it hurt even worse than usual for 3 days, as well as swelling up horribly.

I can't even say Christmas was fun. I felt fat and awful. I spent part of Christmas Day addressing our New Year's cards and since I felt so sorry for myself, I ate about four pieces of fudge and 12 frosted cut-out cookies, as well as an assortment of other food. At dinner at my parents' house I ate so much I actually felt sick. It's been a long, long time since that has happened. I checked out Geneen Roth's book on compulsive eating from the library. I nod and think "yes!" and "that makes total sense" about everything I read -- yet I can't manage to put it into practice. I think it's because I'm not willing to give up trying to lose weight and truly allow myself to eat anything I want. I'm too afraid of gaining yet more weight.