The last couple of weeks have been less than stellar food-wise. Either I’ve been overeating at dinner, not planning/preparing my food for the day or eating chocolate. Not one or two chocolates. A LOT of chocolate. My weigh-in on Thursday was kind enough to remind me of just how not-on-plan I have been, with a gain of 400 grams.
Week before last I already started in on the chocolates. I started eating like crap and gave myself the excuse that I was preparing for my 12K, so it was all right. I should already state that I do not usually have junk food in my house. We don’t buy it, we don’t keep it and if it’s given to us we give it away or Hubs takes it to his office. There is hardly anything in this house that I can binge on, should a binge-feeling arise
At work is something totally different though. I am literally surrounded by things I could lose control around. Several times a week is a birthday or a celebration of some sort, a coffee tasting (I work for a coffee company and we taste, compare and contrast coffee all the time, and often have food pairings), free samples, samples of products that we are considering bringing to the markets, that sort of thing. That’s just the basics. In my department people bring candy, chocolates and stroopwafels (little waffels bound together by caramel) on a regular basis. A colleague of mine, fills the candy jar every Monday, to the rim. I can not escape it.
You know, this is not really a huge problem. Most days. I should be able to handle this. This is real life. The world is never going to adapt to me and what my needs are as far as food goes to I have to accept and handle.
The problem is – I have no idea why this is such a problem! I can not have just one chocolate. I can not have a bar on my desk and just take a square. I can not eat only one stroopwafel. I can’t even take only one chocolate at a time, I have to take two or three and then I go back to the jar. Similarly at home, peanut butter is another one of these things I can not just have a little bit of. I have to eat enough tablespoons full until I either feel guilty about it or sick, whichever comes first. But why??? WHY IS THIS?
Mish asked me the other day “what’s the emotional connection to it? What is it enabling you to do?” and I honestly do not know. I can think of a few things, as far as the emotional connection, but I don’t know what it’s enabling me to do.
When I was a kid we were not allowed to have sugary things. My brother had some issues and back in the 70’s we didn’t have diagnoses such as ADHD or ADD, there was no Ritalin, they didn’t even consider things like Bi-Polar right away. My mother was told to eliminate sugar and white flour from his diet. That meant it was eliminated from mine. I don’t recall it being horrible or something. Not at all. We didn’t have the money for junk anyway but I do remember switching from sugary cereal to Cheerio’s and we definitely ate brown bread a lot rather than Wonder White.
But it wasn’t like we never had sugar. Oh boy did we. Since we weren’t allowed we literally spent our daily summer money or our allowance on junk. Back then we still had the penny and nickel sweets, but I personally remember going to the bakery to buy Little Debbie’s, Ding-Dong’s, Ho-Ho’s and Twinkie’s. Sometimes the mini-donuts would be on sale and we’d buy boxes of those. Then the procedure of shoving it in and getting rid of the evidence would begin. (My brother has a weight problem too by the way, at least he did the last time I saw him – we don’t talk much, but that’s a whole other blog)
And I remember specifically, doing this alone, often, after the event that turned my body image negative, when I was molested in the park. After that happened I felt dirty, weird, confused. I didn’t talk about it much and I didn’t get any counseling for it until much later on in my life (and trust me, it’s OK now, for the most part, and that’s why I’m open about it – obviously this happening to me was not my fault as I once thought it was and we could go on forever about how the sick mofo who did this to me should actually be shot and point blank range but, whatever.) but this was most likely the turning point for me. (Note: I did mention this on my About McPie Page as well, which means I really am open to talk about it)
But binging doesn’t make me feel good.
And being out of control doesn’t make me feel good.
So why do I do it?
I can do what I want and I can have whatever I want. No one is telling me that I can’t have something. So why can’t I just have one chocolate. Or one slice of toast with peanut butter. Why does it have to be more?
I also thought perhaps it was because in my mind I have this “poor pitiful me” attitude. Look at all those people in the world that can eat whatever they want and they don’t have a weight problem. They are successful. They probably have enough money. They get to have their own children. They don’t feel mentally and physically effed up about food (how I know that??? I do not know! I’m assuming!). All those other people in the world are “normal” and I’m not. If I eat chocolate people will look at me, judge me. “Look! Fattie’s going back to the jar again!” And I prove them RIGHT! What the hell am I getting out of this?? I have NO IDEA.
So Mish, I wish I knew. But I don’t. The only emotion now that is attached to these binge foods are negative emotions. How can I remove them then? How can I possibly just be “normal” and practice moderation? I have never (it seems) been able to be moderate in anything. Not with food. Not with drink. Not with emotions. Not with people. Everything is over the top with me, everything seems to be all or nothing.
What is it enabling me to do? Maybe I don’t believe in myself enough – it’s enabling me to not be successful. That’s all I can think of.
How does one start to just “be” a person of moderation?
Why? For me: 1) I feel safe when I see a guy walking down the street towards me and I think “Oh he won’t be interested in me, I’m so fat, I’m safe.” 2) I use being fat is an excuse not to try and do things. Not to take that chance on myself. 3) I can blame others for my failures as in “I failed because I have no confidence, I’m so depressed,etc and it’s all because of how fat I am and I’m fat because someone molested me, someone didn’t stop my eating habbits, someone pushed me to food,etc.”
That’s my honest truth.
I thought about this too. Being fat is safe. In a twisted way. Being out of control is what I know. Being in control is doing something different, something I am not familiar with for long periods of time. Being overweight gives me excuses. To keep myself in that place is wrong but yet feels right in some very strange way.
Wow, I feel really privilaged to have sparked something like this. I remember, so much, of feeling like this. Of feeling like ‘well, how the hell can I EVER get out of this negative thinking pattern?’
I have had heaps of dietary restrictions and coupled with a horrible break-up I started bingeing. Boy howdy can I pack away food if I want to. The thing which I have had to learn and start with is myself. Food is a coping mechanism, if used for these reasons, that result–in my opinion–from restriction, lack of self-love and addiction.
I can tell you that I still struggle w/ restriction issues cause i want to have a bowl of ice cream and I want to have a piece of bread. but really that’s the emotion speaking ie: rebellion, tired, hormonal, depressed, stressed, angry etc.
The other thing is, and I have actually researched this and it’s proven, is that for some people sugar can interfer with the dopamine receptors in our brains. Ie the mimic them and thus cause a dependancy on sugar to increase the feeling that we have when your dopamine receptors are hit. Researchers have made rats addicted to sugar and they show sings of w/d like drug addicts.
I try not to eat sugar. It literally pulsates up my brain in 5 minutes and I have to be really careful with it.
So, I would actually say to you, in this long winded response, that you have to start with you. Why are you so up and down with food/alcohol etc? What causes you to binge? Are you happy with yourself?
THIS IS NOT EASY. and truthfully you may need to go to counselling to unravel it all. But I will tell you, that I could have written that post 1 year ago verbatium.
Hand in there.
a ha. now I know what you mean with the emotion. I have a lot of emotions brewing under the surface. Next time it happens I’m going to have a quick chat with myself and see what’s really going on. Then I’m going to walk away from the candy jar and take 2 minutes to just breathe and calm down. Usually it’s stress. Sometimes it’s other things.
Wow, this was an intense entry.
How DO we learn to be a person of moderation?
I don’t know for sure. Obviously we are all different and have our own issues to deal with. But I was curious if you’ve ever looked into cognitive therapy things, like the Beck Diet Solution. I read that book a few years back–it’s basically supposed to teach you to think like a “thin person.” Like a person who enjoys food in moderation and eats to nourish his or her body. Basically, like a person who has a healthy relationship with food.
I did not complete the program delineated in the book, but it made a lot of sense. I think that if I had completed it, a lot of the things I would have learned would have become habit and would have helped me…maybe they would help you.
I’ve read quite a few books, and I can do the techniques learned for a period of time but I always seem to revert to old habits. I think that’s the hardest part of all of this. How do we take something that we’ve learned, something that feels way better than the old way, but still go back to where we were when it wasn’t an ideal way of being?
I have a book that I’m reading right now called “The Body is Perfect” (well, it’s in Dutch) and to be honest I haven’t picked it up in a couple of weeks because it’s hard to be confronted with this stuff.
If only losing weight were just about losing weight!!