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.


Isabelle said...

I love the finality of that last sentence - as if it were a story and this was the end. Good for you!

Andrea K said...

You wrote: "I actually felt as though I had the little devil and angel from the cartoons on my shoulders -- Yes, you DESERVE ice cream!"

I deal with the "I deserve this" situation a lot, and just last night I came across this subject in the book "The Rules of 'Normal Eating'" by Karen Koenig that really shed a new light on this problem for me:

"Yes, you deserve that cookie/cake/candy, etc. You deserve seconds, fifths, everything on the menu or in the bakery. If you defend your eating by saying that you deserve something to eat, you will never say no to food because you will always be deserving... The question isn't 'Are you deserving?' but 'Are you hungry?'... Keep reminding yourself that if you deserve anything, it's to be healthy and feel safe and comfortable around food."

It sounds like you've already figured this out, but I thought you might appreciate someone else's thoughts on it. I know I have to constantly remind myself that there are non-food ways to reward and comfort myself. Keep up the great work!