Friday, November 19, 2010

Starting Over. Really? How Many Times Do I Have to Do This Before it Sticks???

I have now eaten myself back to my weight of three summers ago. Oy. I have run out of excuses for it, and I need to once again start the work. Not the work of losing weight -- though, yes, that would be lovely -- but the emotional work of straightening myself out.

I had surgery about two weeks ago, and told myself that once it was done, I'd be okay. I'd start eating more sensibly. I haven't really been bingeing exactly -- simply overeating and snacking when not hungry, especially on sweets. Ugh. I had the surgery, had a few days of normal eating, and went back to munching mindlessly. Then I told myself that it was stress over waiting for the results from the lab. Yesterday I got those results and everything is fine. I still wanted to eat today when not hungry. So....back to the starting line. Back to the basics that I learned in therapy.

I've actually been doing quite well with eating more slowly. I'm not usually the first one done at dinner these days, and I am realizing I'm full before my plate is empty, even when I take small portions. Sometimes I eat the rest anyway. So, back to trying to pause. Pause before eating when not hungry, and pause before eating more from my plate. Pause. Pause. Pause. And feel. Feeling. Yep, that's the hard part.

In pausing sometimes over the past few days, I've realized that I have a lot of anxiety over my surgery -- or rather the aftermath of it. I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed because I have one of the "bre*st c*ncer genes", which confers a 44% chance of ov*rian c*ncer by age 70, 20% at age 50. At 46, I was beginning to fear that every abdominal twinge I had was the big C, so I told my doctor I was ready. However, I wasn't really ready. I am scared that menop*use will mean that I will gain 30 lbs, grow a mustache, and lose all my sex drive, get wrinkly, and lose all appeal I have for my husband. Yes, part of me knows that is really catastrophic thinking, but even after six years (since our separation) I still feel somewhat raw when it comes to my dh's feelings toward me. The man acts as though he really loves me, but does he REALLY...(so goes my thinking) soon as our children are grown, will he suddenly announce that he no longer loves me and wants a divorce? Then I'll be a lonely 56-year-old fat woman with a mustache. I would feel comfortable sharing my concerns with him, but I don't want to hurt his feelings (that I am STILL insecure several years after we repaired our marriage), so I hesitate. I did tell him about my menop*sal fears, and it didn't really help matters any when he said, "Just don't grow a mustache". Thanks, honey. I can probably stop being afraid for a while anyway, since my doctor put me on HRT drugs to help me over the rough spots, but eventually I'll have to face it.

So, I'm working on just feeling my anxiety, and not eating over it. What will be will be, and eating everything in sight certainly won't help with that fear of weight gain. I'll let you know how it's going....