Monday, June 25, 2007

8 More Random Facts

Tricia tagged me to list 8 random facts -- I'm not sure I can actually come up with more, but here we go (I hope I didn't repeat myself):

1. I greatly dislike going barefoot or walking around in my stocking feet. In the house I wear slippers, and outside I always wear some kind of shoe. I don't even like walking on the sand at the beach.

2. I am completely clueless when it comes to popular music. The only thing I listen to on the radio is NPR.

3. I have never tried to water ski or downhill ski. I went cross country skiing once, but fell a lot.

4. I grew up in a household with a lot of pets -- at one time 45 cats and 15 dogs -- many of which were in the house.

5. In my mid twenties I lived in a neighborhood that was very poor and was home to a lot of gang activity. I lived in a house that had been made into 20 apartments, and only 3 of us had a phone. Even though I was the only caucasian person living in the building (and one of few English speakers), I never really felt odd. The young are a lot more adventurous, aren't they?

6. I read a LOT of magazines. Working in a library, I have access to 100+ and read one every day at lunch or dinner.

7. I have nieces and nephews ranging in age from two weeks to twenty-five years old -- big age range! My dh has a sib who is still planning to have kids too, so the range will get even bigger.

8. I'm lucky. I once won $2500 in a grocery bingo game, and won $500 in a church raffle a few years ago. I don't buy lottery tickets though.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

...And the Drama Continues...

I have found lately that I am tempted to pre-binge and get it over with -- I am afraid that the urge will overtake me and I want to preventatively binge. I know -- that sounds completely goofy. I've just been feeling so...normal...for the past couple of weeks and I guess I'm just kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I've had several -- okay almost daily -- sabotaging thoughts after eating something not so healthy. Today I ate a tiny sliver of cake someone brought in for a birthday treat and I immediately wanted a giant hunk or two because I felt like a bit of a failure. I caught my thoughts, reassured myself that a sliver of cake does not equal disaster, and went off to do something constructive.

Yesterday I realized that yes, I can sit with my feelings, as they say. After venting about my dad at dinner with friends (a very healthy dinner at which I didn't overeat in the slightest), I felt really overwhelmed and anxious. I swear I wanted to drive straight to the ice cream stand and dive in. I actually felt as though I had the little devil and angel from the cartoons on my shoulders -- Yes, you DESERVE ice cream! No, think of how crummy you'll feel after eating it! Yes, it will soothe you! No, you aren't even hungry! Then I got home and felt even more annoyance that T had been playing with his ipod all evening and hadn't even done the dishes. I almost got back into the car. Instead, I just rode out the anxiety and the urge. It took a while, but I didn't die. In fact, absolutely nothing happened except that the anxiety lessened after a while, and I went to sleep. And T did the dishes without me saying a word.

Sunday, dad's house:

Dad is sauntering from kitchen to living room, carrying two items at a time, packing them and paying no attention to whether or not he actually wants the items.

Me: Dad, wouldn't it make more sense to take the box to the kitchen where you are actually packing it?

Dad: Hmmm? I don't know (continues what he was doing)

Me: Dad, do you actually use that George Foreman Grill?

Dad: I might

Me: Have you used it even once in the past nine months?

Dad: No, but I might

Me: Dad, what makes you think that after nine months of not using it, you'll suddenly wake up tomorrow and want to use it?

Dad: I might use it and I'll keep it if I want to!

Me: FINE! I'll just leave and let you do all of this yourself!

Dad: silence (looks stricken)... wanders off down the hall to put the grill with the other items he's not keeping (such as the Mickey Mouse ice cream maker used once, and assorted appliances whose purpose is a mystery to him)

I told him that I was only trying to help because I didn't want him to be so claustrophobic in his new house. He claimed he wasn't claustrophobic and I pointed out that there are piles of STUFF on every surface. You can't even walk into some of the rooms because of all of the STUFF. His new house is about half the size of his current house so even if he takes half of everything he'll be just this crowded. Lord help me.

I managed to hold it together and not dive headfirst into his dessert cupboard, though I found myself shoving a few handfuls of nuts and chips into my mouth once I got home. I gained control of myself and reminded myself that not only did I want to be hungry for dinner, but that I would feel awful if I continued down the bingeing path. Putting the nuts away, I went upstairs and away from the kitchen.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I spent my entire day off running errands that HAD to be done, listening to my children fight, and helping my dad pack. I got to my dad's house and felt completely and utterly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of STUFF that he has to get packed by June 30, when my brother will be here to help us move him. I simply cannot believe two people could have accumulated so many unnessary household items. Who on earth needs five tupperware pie holders? I threw away four huge black trash bags full of food that was past the sell by date (by many months), which made me want to weep over the waste of it all.

I felt a huge black resentment because my day was consumed by chores I didn't want to do. I didn't even realize how angry I was until I had eaten a piece of coffee cake, a bite of donut, and 1 1/2 cookies. I was actually hungry, but I was eating compulsively, standing up, shoving it in. I stopped mid cookie, told myself that I was only going to feel worse if I continued, and tossed the rest of the cookie down the disposal. As I started packing up again, I pondered my sudden desire to eat junk and connected it to my fury, as well as the fear I have for my dad. I fear that he won't be packed in time, fear that he'll have 300 boxes to move, fear that his old house won't sell and my brother will lose his shirt (he bought my dad's new house for him and will pay the old mortgate until it sells because dad has absolutely NO savings whatsoever), and fear that I will be spending every free minute I have over the next month packing and scrubbing for my dad. Just the thought of it all makes me feel incredibly resentful. My parents inherited about $200,000 from my grandmother and went through it in less than ten years. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Really Living LIfe

The past few days I've been really, really busy at work, I went for a walk with a possible new friend in the neighborhood, and I've done some things I'd been putting off. I haven't been tempted to binge or even eat between meals. I've gotten really hungry before even thinking about food.

This is definintely part of what I NEED TO DO. When I reach out to people (which scares the%*#@^ out of me), take time to do something just for me (and refuse to feel guilty about it), and when I keep busy at work instead of wasting time, I don't have time to obesses about food or the need to soothe myself with it.

Friday, June 08, 2007


It seems that when my dh leaves the house -- to play golf, go to work, or even just to walk the dog -- I have the immediate urge to eat. I was pondering this oddity and wondering why on earth it happens. My dear dh would never, ever comment on anything I ate no matter what time it was or what I was eating. It occurred to me after some though that this could have a connection to my childhood. (I'm beginning to think every quirk I have can be traced back to my childhood)

Though we never went hungry, food was not a freely given commodity at home. We ate very healthfully because we always had a huge garden and my mom canned and froze every veggie there was. We had many meatless dinners of bean soup, tomato soup, etc., and couldn't afford junk food or going out to dinner. I think the first time I had pizza was as a senior in high school on a field trip. We did have dessert often, but it was usually cake because cake mixes went on sale often. We had only powdered milk and the only cereal we usually had was generic brand corn flakes or Cheerios (with occasional Malt-o-Meal if it went on sale). I remember one winter that my mom found some place (a store?) that sold bread for 10 cents a loaf -- except that every loaf wrapper was cut down the center because it wasn't supposed to be sold for human consumption. Not that anything was wrong with it -- it was just past the date it could be sold. We loved it because we got all kinds of exotic brands of bread. Remembering that makes me realize how desperate my mom must have been to reduce our food bill.

We were not allowed to eat anything without asking first, and not between meals, ever. It just wasn't done. Imagine a teenager (you know how hungry they are!) coming home from school having skipped both breakfast and lunch (because I hated powdered milk and our lunches were boring -- always natural peanut butter & jelly and an apple), and not being allowed to eat anything. We'd sneak into the kitchen and eat several slices of bread, quickly and quietly, hoping mom couldn't hear us. After I started babysitting every weekday after school, I binged daily at their house. I can't believe Mrs. R didn't fire me -- her food bill must have increased hugely after I started working there. She had all the wonderful stuff we never had -- bananas, big red delicious apples, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, ice cream sandwiches...mmmmm. I gained 10 lbs every year I worked for her!

So, when my dh leaves the house, am I reliving running to Mrs. R's house to stuff down as much food as possible before her kids got there? Or sneaking into the kitchen to see what I might eat that my mom wouldn't notice was gone? When I have this feeling, I need to remind myself that we have more than enough money for groceries -- and the store will never run out of food.

Hunger is not an emergency

I've been reading Dr. Judith Beck's book, The Beck Diet Solution. She states that it is NOT a good program for someone struggling with an eating disorder, and I know that if I tried to follow some of the steps, it would lead to undesirable results. She does have some great cognitive behavioral steps though. One thing she wrote kept coming back to me -- she says to go hungry for 8 hours one day to help you realize that hunger is not an emergency.

BTDT -- I've gone hungry for more than 8 hours in times past and it makes me horribly cranky and gives me a serious headache. Since trying to eat intuitvely, I've been trying not to get too hungry or go too long without food. I've been feeling desperate for food every time I get even the slightest bit hungry. I've been afraid that I'd freak out and binge if I went hungry for too long.

I am ready to start feeling a bit more hungry before feeding myself. Work is REALLY busy right now and there have been several days when I've not eaten for hours. I am hungry, but hunger does come and go until the feeling is so insistent that I know I have to eat. I have become more able to wait for food if I know we're going out to dinner or I know I am going to eat in an hour or something. I'm just keeping a careful eye on myself to see if this leads to unhealthy thinking, a big power struggle with myself, or shoveling in large quantities of unhealthy food because I am so ravenous. So far, so good. Hunger is definitely not an emergency.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

It was (not) one of those days...

Yesterday I felt the urge to binge from the moment I woke up. Why? I'm still not sure. Perhaps because in spite of eating really well these days my pants are really tight and my wedding ring will hardly fit on my finger since we got back from Chicago on Monday. I don't really know. I ate a smallish but filling breakfast, didn't feel particularly tempted by the doughnuts at our staff meeting, and had a Subway turkey sub for lunch. I didn't even finish my 100-calorie bag of chips, though I did eat 1 2/2 cookies. I started on a project and around 4pm got really restless. I was a tiny bit hungry and gave in to the urge to eat a doughnut and another 1/2 cookie. Then I really, really had to fight the all-or-nothing beast and not hoover up the entire plate of cookies.

Arriving home from work, I was really restless. My dh was sleeping because he's working 3 nights of security at our local arts festival and I had the girls. I didn't have any idea what I wanted for dinner. R requested french toast and I had four bites of hers, but didn't want to eat it because I stressed about the calories/carbs/blood sugar/you name it. C wanted a pb&j. I cut up a bunch of raw veggies and they ate a LOT of them while I cooked, as did I. Even though I only felt a tiny bit hungry, I had a piece of pb toast and some Sun Chips. After a Hershey kiss for dessert, my brain was screaming "BINGE! BINGE! BINGE! You know you'll feel better! Just think of those graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate on them...think of those Pop Tarts...think of that cereal and milk....!" I, however, gave myself a stern talking-to. I thought, "Okay, this is it. You are NEVER going to stop bingeing if you don't stop. You can't just keep having one more binge and thinking you'll stop the NEXT time. The next time is right now". OMG, it was hard to walk away. Hard, hard, hard. I did it though. I went downstairs and got on the computer for a while. When it was time to put the girls to bed, I had more thoughts, but put myself to bed too. I lay (or is it laid? I never did learn that rule correctly) in bed and felt so calm and good about my decision.