Friday, June 06, 2008

My's A-Changin'

Here's my wonderful dh T running in a 5K. He's now talking about doing a triathlon, which made me mentally scratch my head. He hasn't been on a bike for at least 8 years and I've never seen him do anything in a pool but play around. I will be supportive if he wants to do it though.

I've been MIA because my life is still rather CRAZY these days. With t-ball twice a week, golf once a week, etc., I've been gone almost every evening for several weeks now. Thank heavens t-ball and school both end next week. We don't sign the girls up for evening or Saturday activities in the summer. I want my kids to have the kind of relaxed summers I had (sans wacky mother who thinks kids are the perfect manual laborers for her gigantic garden and grand landscaping projects).

Anyway, life is pretty good. I haven't had anything I could call a true binge in weeks and weeks and weeks. I've had some days when I've made a bad choice or two, but nothing worse than eating a few handfuls of chips when I'm not really hungry. I saw my therapist two weeks ago and I told her I was really struggling with wanting to lose weight versus trying to have a normal relationship with food. I think my self image has improved over the past several months, as I've stopped bingeing and worked on my destructive and irrational thoughts. However, I'm still not thrilled with my size. I confessed to her that I've realized through using the eating diary that I'm terrible at feeding myself at the first sign of hunger rather than waiting until I'm ravenous. I'm afraid of eating too much if I really allow myself to eat every time I'm hungry. We decided that I really need to trust my hunger and that I may end up eating less because I sometimes realize too late that I'm a bit too full because I was so hungry when I started eating. True confessions here...I still haven't been very good about it since then. There are a few days when I've had a snack at work when I'm really hungry between meals, but it makes me feel really anxious -- and I'm still super hungry at mealtime. So I think to myself, "WHAT in the heck is the point?!?" It doesn't matter what the snack is either -- high protein, high carb, mixture of both, fruit, veg...whatever. I've tried different things, but somehow I am still just as hungry when the next meal rolls around.

We discussed feelings and I told her I still have great difficulty pinpointing the feeling that underlies my anxiety or restlessness. I need to look at my feeling list more often when I'm having trouble. She gave me a really interesting sheet that shows how feelings change into destructive behaviors if you don't allow yourself to feel and/or express them. Anger, for example, changes into controlling behavior (among other things).

She led me through a visualization, which was really neat. I'd never really tried to do it before, but as she talked I really felt as though I was swinging softly in a hammock on the beach under a palm tree, feeling a soft breeze as I read a book. Ironic since I would never relax enough to do that, but she said that I could practice doing visualization to give me a little respite when I'm having a stressful day and can't actually escape. Of course, I haven't yet done it because I forget all about it when I really need it!

I've been trying to work on changing my irrational thoughts by asking myself what evidence I have for thinking _____________ (insert any irrational thought here!). It really calms me down when I take the trouble to challenge my squirrel brain. I have had many mornings lately when I suddenly think, "Hey! I'm not thinking about food!" If I start to have any weird repetitive food/weight loss thoughts, I immediately start reciting a nursery rhyme and my thoughts go away. It seems dopey, but it works.


a said...

Yeah, the always-eating-when-you're-hungry thing takes awhile....I'm at the point now where I always eat at any sign of potential hunger, which I guess is maybe progress? Who knows. Anyways, two things I've found:

1. Anxiety and stress are eating triggers for me....sometimes I don't notice that I'm tensing up my entire abdomen and I mistake that for hunger.

2. If I eat real food (not processed) every time I'm hungry (hunger meaning stomach grumbling or general weakness), no matter how often it occurs, I never end up eating "too much." Usually I find I'll eat a little less later in the day, or even the next day. And it never makes me gain weight. So I've stopped worrying about eating real food. It's pretty necessary.

a said...

PS: I deleted my blog for the time being.....I'm just not feelin the blogging thing right now. But I'm still reading and I'll definitely comment! :)

Emma said...

I have been told of 2 things that help the brain get back into order. 1 is meditation on compassion. and the other is exercise. Both raise seratonin naturally. It sounds like a good idea for me.