So......here I am, still fighting. Argh. I just want to be done, be at peace, be normal. I know, I know.......Barb told me it could take 2-3 years after therapy to be healed, but every time I think, "Okay, this is it! I've been feeling great for weeks!", I backslide right into the giant pit of despair. Well, maybe not all the way back in, but at least several feet, or even yards, down toward the bottom of the pit.
I was cruising along, not overeating, exercising just about every day but not forcing myself, and making very healthy choices. I was eating lots of beans, veggies, fruit, whole grains....not so much meat, cheese, or dessert. I did completely pig out on desserts on Sundays during Lent, but didn't feel deprived (most of the time) because I didn't eat them during the week. THEN....my coworker mentioned that she had started a new diet the day before. DANGER! DANGER! This is the coworker who discussed food and exercise in minute detail with me when I was completely disordered in thought and deed, five and six years ago. She was doing South Beach, and I was doing "go around hungry all the time, limit myself to 1500 calories, and exercise two+ hours a day while obsessing about food", and we shared tips and happily talked about how bad we'd been for eating one Hershey's kiss the day before.
When this coworker mentioned her new diet, I said nothing and escaped ASAP. Of course, I should have known it wouldn't be that easy. The next day I was in the lunchroom with her, and she told me all about her new diet, which doesn't allow her to eat much sugar, etc. etc. I didn't feel particularly riled up at the time, but over the next few days, my thoughts began to turn more and more to restricting, to thinking I really HAVE to lose some weight, to imagining that my life would be so much better if I only lost 5 pounds. Naturally, that led to some calorie counting, some "should" and "shouldn't" thinking, and some bingeing. I think I probably gained 5 pounds instead of losing anything. Ay yi yi. I think that now, after about 3 weeks of this behavior -- that I KNOW is unproductive, unhealthy, and doesn't ever lead to anything resembling happiness -- I am finally getting back on track. I'm still struggling in the evenings, wanting to eat a bunch of crap like ice cream, cookies, or bread after dinner, even though I'm not the slightest bit hungry. When the weather is nice, I've been going outside to garden or have a quick bike ride to break my thought pattern, which has worked some of the time.
I was listening to a CD by someone -- a Buddhist nun maybe? -- and she talks about bad habits (like bingeing/overeating in my case) being like an itch. Say you have a rash that itches. If you scratch the itch, you are relieving the symptom of the rash, BUT you are making the actual problem worse, since the rash then spreads. The trick is to suffer through the itch, knowing that the rash will eventually clear up. Today, I was bored at work and just wanted to go eat some of the treats in our backroom. I kept telling myself, "Don't scratch the itch. Don't scratch the itch". I want the &($#&*# rash to go away!!!
Meet Hank, the Valley Bulldog
4 days ago