Monday, April 30, 2007

It should have been a fun weekend

There's no reason my weekend shouldn't have been delightful. It started out that way. Friday I got off work at noon (because I worked Sunday). I went home, had a mindful lunch, and my thoughts started to stray to the ice cream in the freezer. I wasn't hungry at all, but bingey thoughts began to invade. I sternly told myself that if I got hungry later, I could have ice cream. I also reminded myself that it is only when the thoughts are strong that I have the opportunity to change things. It's when the urge is strongest that the door is open for me to walk though into a different life. So I left the house and walked the dog. A longish walk, but not obsessively calorie-burning long.

When I returned, I unpacked two boxes. YEAH me! I was a little bit hungry when I finished so I ate ice cream. I had a smallish bowl, but still had thoughts of eating bunches more food. So I left the house, ran errands, got home, got ready to go out and left with dh for a date. We went out to eat at a posh steak house. I had half of a fabulous 8 oz steak, a roll, tossed salad, some french fried onion curls that came with my steak, and a tiny serving each of green beans and hash browns. I was REALLY full. I could have easily done with less, so I felt some guilt. I wasn't even tempted by dessert because I knew it would put me over the top and I'd feel sick if I ate it. We went to the symphony and I realized at intermission that I was really enjoying the concert without obsessing on what I ate or didn't eat. It was such a lovely evening.

Saturday started out rather badly. My dd didn't like her toast because it had raisins in it. I made her new toast and picked at hers until it was gone, even though I'd already eaten my breakfast and wasn't hungry. I was ravenous by the time I had lunch and ate a bit too much, feeling quite full. A couple of hours later while I was paying bills (always a dangerous time for me) I ate a lot of ice cream -- a lot. I felt like crap. It's funny -- I know that bill paying is a trigger for me, but I always sit at the dining room table to do it. It's like I am looking for an excuse to binge. I have to finish the bills tonight and I am going to take them elsewhere work on!

We went to mass, left our girls with my SIL for the night, and drove to the lakeshore to see the guy who was best man at our wedding and meet his new live-in love. We had a really good time, though I felt terribly self-conscious about my weight. He has had weight issues in the past, though he looks great now, and I'm sure he was noticing my weight gain. We had dinner and I ate tooo much. Only two pieces of mushroom pizza, but load of veggies. Okay, not so bad -- except that I then chowed down the strawberry shortcake dessert and a few handfuls of chips!

Sunday was another crummy day. I was fine until I got to work and felt soooo hungry by mid-afternoon and had nothing nutritious to eat. I snarfed down a bunch of crackers in the breakroom and soothed my hunger pangs. I had to go straight to bowling after work, and it was a potluck. I ate too much there, though it wasn't really any extraordinary amount or anything. I was even a bit hungry when we got home. T went right to bed, but I had some cereal and milk, topped off by a bowl of ice cream. Curse the inventor of ice cream.

I lay in bed feeling positively wretched. Not because I was overful, but because I had such a great Friday and couldn't hold onto the momentum. Instead I sabotaged myself. I work up more determined than ever to get off this hamster wheel. So in spite of waking up late because my alarm was too soft and allowing that to ruin my day, I am eating like a "normal" person today. I am going to conquer this.

Friday, April 27, 2007

a hodgepodge of topics

In answer to a couple of the comments I got (and THANK YOU for your lovely supportive comments!) -- I really can't eat dessert first at dinner. Well, I could -- but wouldn't it be providing a bad example for my children? They are, so far, totally normal eaters without any weird food attitudes and I'd like to keep it that way. My older dd never had any sort of dessert until after her first birthday and even then it was a rare thing. I'm not sure how on earth we got into the habit of having it every night after dinner (which is how it was for me growing up) but now I can't backpeddle and stop. I've tried and the girls think they're deprived and want to go out to get ice cream if we have nothing sweet in the house.

I'm still wavering on the class. I think I'll wait and see if she calls me. I asked her to give me a ring when the class was ready to start up again, so when and if she calls I will ask her a few more questions about exactly what she does and what her success rate is. I wouldn't mind starting up some sort of support group myself, but all of the support groups I've been involved in online seem to divide into two groups of women -- one group that totally gets IE and can't seem to grasp why the second group is having so much trouble leaving bingeing and overeating behind ( group). I imagine a real-life group would be much the same unless it was lead by a therapist.

I started doing my upper body weight training DVD again a couple of weeks ago. Good grief, was I sore! It took me until a couple of days ago to be able to make it through the abs portion without giving up before reaching the end. It has reminded me of how good weight training feels -- how strong and capable one feels after a session. My leg is stronger now than it was last time I did the DVD -- 6 months ago maybe? There's an exercise in the ab portion that's like the plank in Pilates and my leg isn't shaky and trembly now when I do it. I have noticed that lately I can walk up the stairs without help from the railing, as long as I'm not carrying anything heavy. I still need the rail to go down or I feel as though I'm going to pitch forward, but hopefully someday I'll be rail-free!

I've been thinking about something Geneen Roth says -- that food gives you something -- something you need that you aren't getting. What could I be not getting? I definitely have put my life on hold since my accident. I still have boxes that need unpacking and haven't entertained much at all, beyond family. The walls are still mostly empty, the shelves are still mostly empty, and I still haven't unpacked and organized my scrapbooking stuff enough to accomplish anything. When I have time on my hands at home, I usually manage to spend it paying bills, doing routine cleaning, baking or cooking, eating, or sitting around reading.

Two years ago I was so convinced that when we moved to a house that we weren't ashamed of we'd keep it up better and have people over more often. That may have happened if I hadn't shattered my leg, but after I recovered, everything seemed like too much of an effort. I tired easily if I stood too long, I couldn't carry things, going up and down the stairs was awkward, and I just got lazy somehow. more waiting! Today I get out of work at 12:15pm (since I work on Sunday) and I'm going home to unpack. I'm determined to work on it every day I have off until it's done. When unpacking is done, I'm moving on to pictures on the walls.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Singin' the Tight Pants Blues

I'm rather down today. I haven't weighed myself, but my pants were really tight this morning. I haven't had any sort of binge since Easter (when I grazed myself into a food coma at a family brunch), and I haven't really been overeating much at meals. However, I've been having some sort of dessert at most every lunch and dinner. Dessert at lunch is usually just a couple of Hershey kisses or a dozen m&ms (unless a coworker has brought in something delish), but my dinnertime desserts have been things like hot fudge sundaes, root beer floats, large pieces of leftover Easter bunny, handfuls of cookies....all without being the slightest bit hungry.

I'm feeling a bit hopeless. I know I can't go on a diet -- if I can't stop myself from eating cookies after dinner I would certainly not be able to stick to any kind of diet. Yet I'm very, very unhappy over my weight gain. I feel as though I've been writing and re-writing this exact thing over and over and over again for a year now and I'm not getting anywhere.

There is a class starting up in May that is supposed to help one stop bingeing, conquer cravings, deal with feelings instead of eating them, etc. I spoke to the teacher about it last winter, but didn't sign up because it costs almost $600. That is a large chunk of money for us -- a large chunk. I finally worked up the courage to ask T if it would be okay for me to spend the money to take it and he (bless his cheapskate penny pinching heart) didn't hesitate before saying if I thought it would help me, I should go right ahead. I hesitate though because good heavens, I could teach such a class! I've read so many books on how to stop binge eating, how to eat healthfully, how to eat intuitively, how to deal with negative thought patterns and feelings. Through my HMO, I've taken a class in dealing with stress, a class based on the book Thoughts & Feelings : taking control of your moods and your life, a class based on the L.E.A.R.N. book (deals with losing weight without dieting), I've had therapy... I feel as though I've done it all and nothing has helped. The simple fact is that there is no magic pill -- no magic class. I have to do it myself and so far have been unable to do it. If I spend $600 on something that doesn't help yet again, I think the guilt will be overwhelming.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

graham cracker update

I've eaten 5 or 6 graham crackers -- no bingeing behavior around them. However, they are the fat free cinnamon sugar kind (not my favorite), I have no milk at work to dunk them in, and they aren't mine. I'd be rather mortified to have a coworker walk in on me eating an entire inner package of them.

I thought of completely staying away from them, which is often easier than trying to eat just a little bit of any tempting food. Is that realistic though? I can't go through my entire life avoiding foods that have been problematic for me in the past. I'd become a hermit, never venturing to a dinner party or restaurant. When I was 30 lbs thinner, I was afraid of restaurants. I brought my own lunch to a scrapbooking crop because I had asked the hostess what she was serving ahead of time and didn't want to eat croissants with chicken salad! I don't want to go back to that again. What a weirdo.

Last night the girls and I went out to dinner with my dad (T stayed at home brushing up on his testimony for a trial). R chose IHOP, and I actually looked up the menu ahead of time because I was nervous. Their "healthy" choices looked rather unappealing, and when we got there I ordered a sandwich, then changed to a bacon burger on sourdough with fries. It was rather tasty, but I was pretty full after half of it. I took the other half home and left five or so fries on the plate. I was full, but not overfull. I still felt guilt. How long does it take for that dumb feeling to go away?!?

We went off to see the butterflies at the local botanical garden, and then stopped for ice cream on the way home. I got a kiddie cone, feeling some guilt because I wasn't the slightest bit physically hungry. Neither R nor C finished their cones, and I threw them away instead of polishing them off.

I've been experimenting today with eating until I'm JUST full. I am hungry sooner than usual, but I feel less guilt and, of course, am eating less food. Next time I KNOW I'm going to have dessert (as I did last night), I will try and stop even sooner. To be honest, I think I could have eaten only half the fries and about a quarter to a third of the burger and felt fine. I might have even been hungry again when it was time for ice cream.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

a test

Well, I am to be sorely tested over the next week or so. We have a constant supply of snacks from a coworker who somehow thinks we are underfed. So in the break room, there are usually potato chips, honey wheat pretzels, cookies of various varieties, etc. I sometimes eat a few, but usually stay away from them, knowing that store-bought goodies just aren't that great.

This week she brought in graham crackers. Oh, graham nemesis in the battle to prevent bingeing. I don't know what it is about them, but I have so far not been able to eat one or two graham crackers at a time more than a few times in my life. I LOVE them dunked in milk, with chocolate and marshmallows sandwiched in between (as smores), spread with peanut butter, or just plain. Perhaps they're connected with some emotionally nourishing memory of childhood.

This coming week will be a test of my ability to be around graham I need something else to stress me out.

Another example of intuitive eating in action: my four-year-old ate wayyyy too much candy on Easter, with no comment or judgment from me. On Monday morning she announced she wasn't hungry for breakfast. The only thing she wanted to eat was a carrot.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

French Toast for Breakfast

French Toast for Breakfast is the name of a good book on intuitive eating -- can't remember the author. Anyway, she says she gave her book that particular name because the women she worked with seemed most whistful about eating french toast for breakfast. They had denied it to themselves for years because it was too fattening.

I was thinking about this yesterday when I went out to breakfast with my MIL, SIL, and aunt-in-law. I looked a the menu and went back and forth about what to have. I really wanted french toast but thought "it's sooo many calories! So many carbs! What if I eat it and then I'm starving an hour later because I didn't eat any protein?! What if it makes my triglyceride level shoot to the moon?! Or my blood sugar level?!"

I changed my mind at least half a dozen times, but finally ordered the french toast. When it came, it was two pieces made from challah bread and each piece was at least an inch thick. They served it with real maple syrup and real butter. I'm pretty sure I've never had such delicious french toast. Even though I was starving, I forced myself to eat a piece slowly and mindfully. I realized that I was satisfied. I had to fight with myself not to eat more because it was so yummy, but I wasn't hungry anymore. I saved the rest "to go" and ate it today for my afternoon snack.

Anyway, I didn't get hungry until 3pm. I wasn't at all tempted to eat anything when I got home from work -- wasn't really hungry and didn't have the urge to eat for other reasons, unlike most Wednesday nights. I don't know if it had anything to do with allowing myself to eat what I really wanted or not. But next time I'm going to try the french toast with carmelized bananas and peanut butter!

Monday, April 02, 2007


I bowled a 111 last night -- woo hoo! Actually I bowled over my average (which is now 75) all three games. Yippee -- maybe practice does really help even hopelessly non-athletic people?

T, R, and I went out to breakfast this morning. I am always fascinated by R's eating -- she just stops when she's done. End of story. Three bites of french toast left -- so what? She's done. I, on the other hand, only ate about 1/3 of my omelet and was full (two pieces of English muffin toast also), but had to fight with myself not to eat more. I ate a few bites of R's french toast too though. On Friday night R stayed overnight with my dad and on Saturday she told me she had three donut sticks for breakfast. Oy. BUT she then didn't eat one single bite of additional food until dinner!!! Talk about intuitive eating in action....

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fighting the Food Demons

I've been fighting the food demons for three days now. I wish I could chalk it up to TOM, since I'm scheduled to start tomorrow. However, I'm afraid hormones have little to do with the little guy on my shoulder screaming "EAT! EAT! EAT!"

Friday we were supposed to meet several of T's police academy buddies and their wives/husbands at a local bar. He hadn't seen many of them for months -- even years in some cases. I was completely jittery about it for days beforehand. T went through the academy about five years later than most because he had dropped out of college for a while, not knowing what he wanted to do. I remember attending the big graduation party with him, feeling incredibly insecure. Being four years older than T, I was 10 years older than many of the kids in his class. I felt old, fat, unattractive, and totally out of place. For years after that party I avoided academy parties and weddings like the plague. It ended up contributing to a lot of tension in our marriage because T thought I just didn't care. When I finally ended up confessing to my insecurity a few years ago, T thought I was completely wacko, though he said so in a much more gentle way.

Anyway, I was so incredibly anxious all day Friday that all I wanted to do was eat all day long. I resisted for the most part, though I ended up eating way too many m&ms out of the community candy dish. I kept asking myself, "What if you just live with the anxiety? What's the worst than will happen? You'll be anxious. At least you won't be anxious AND feel horrible after bingeing!" Sooooooooooo ironically, we arrived at the bar to find that two of the three women alums who showed up are now overweight -- one larger than I am -- and some of the guys have put on some weight too. All of my dread was for absolutely nothing. We somehow got onto the topic of age -- perhaps because it's been 10 years since graduation for them -- and my age (42) came up. I could tell they were genuinely shocked that I was older than T, which boosted my ego some (though I honestly don't care about my age and readily admit it to anyone who asks). I did end up a bit too full at the bar (though I left food on my plate), but it was probably because by the time we ended up ordering I was absolutely zero on the hunger scale and wanted to eat my own fingers.

I can't believe that I built up that dinner to be such a source of dread. Let that be a lesson to me -- please!

Yesterday and today -- I'm not sure what the anxiety was all about. Yesterday I dealt okay with it all day, though I did eat a rather LARGE bowl of ice cream after dinner. Today, not so great. I didn't binge really, but I ate 3 brownies after lunch even though I wasn't hungry anymore, and then had a large piece of cake in the afternoon (not hungry). Today I guess bowling could be part of it. Ugh -- only 3 more torture sessions. They already asked us to bowl with them next year. Wahhh.