The Re-Ordering Has Begun
Friday, June 13, 2014
So I have been working on my journey pretty hard lately. And I can finally say that I feel confident in the part of my plan that relates to food. For the past three weeks, I have worked on setting myself into a routine that includes eating within an hour of waking, eating three meals and three snacks per day, timeed at intervals not to exceed eating every 2.5 to 3.5 hours, with each meal containing at least 20 g of protein and approximately 400 calories, each snack containing at least 10 g. of protein and approximately 150 calories, tracking every bit of food eaten as well as steps, exercise time (if any, that's another prong of the approach and not my priority right now), and tracking my perception of hunger and ability to stay on track each day. (This plan is mostly from "The Diet Fix," by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff). There are no "bad" foods in this plan, only worse choices than others. There is also no judgement in this plan. I have had much success with this plan, anf for the most part, am most happy to report that I have avoided the night time eating frenzy that has been part of my life for a long time, but most especially for the last 18 months or so. So this is all very, very good. And I am happy to report that the scale is moving. Ever so slowly, but it is moving. And I'm okay with slow progress, as long as it is progress.
Part of my journey has also been to do a lot of thinking about WHY that night time eating has been occurring. I have known for a long, long time that I eat on emotion, and though I have also known what that driving emotion has been, I have taken time to dissect and analyze a bit more. I have reached some very interesting conclusions. The underlying stuff goes back many, many years. I think I can boil it down to this: I have, for much of my life, operated under the illusion, (a mental health expert would likely call it a DElusion), that I am in control, and that I can not only make things better and right for myself, but also for everyone around me. And for many years, fate has conspired to feed into that illusion/delusion. So we can start by calling me lucky that much has gone right in my life and the lives of those closest to me over the years; but that lucky twist of fate actually made me arrogant enough to take personal responsibility (read that as credit) for it, even convincing myself, for example, that my personal prayers to God were the reason that people in my life did well with serious medical conditions. So when those medical conditions finally took their toll, and took those people that I loved so much, I viewed as both a failure of myself to keep that from happening, which of course I couldn't do, and as a failure of my God to listen to me and heed me, which of course is ridiculous. The toll was high: my faith, first and foremost, my sense of inner peace, and the feeling of disappointment in myself that I was unable to exert the control I was deluding myself into thinking I had. (I am not a nut, I intellecually know I do not control the world, or even my own little corner of it. But when you are going along and for years things go the way you want them to and you think you are taking steps towards achieving those ends, you do get lulled into a sense that you are playing a role in how things are progressing.)
An equally big toll, and the crux of my issue with the weight, is that all the energy I was exerting trying to exercise that perceived control and take care of those I love, took away from me taking care of...me. I was so busy trying to be all things to all people, to never admit that I could not do it and being too proud to admit when I was feeling overwhelmed by the real and imagined duties that had to be checked off my list, that whenever real life got in the way (that nasty reality), the frustration to me grew and grew and grew, because it would get in the way of my plans, it would get in the way of taking care of something or someone else. And I dealt with that frustration, as I have for much of my life, by eating, and eating, and eating, and eating. The eating began more than 20 years ago, when, after losing 80 lbs, going through therapy to get to the bottom of all this stuff, surviving surgery for a brain tumor, finally getting off my a$$ and applying to and going to law school, my dad died. I had all this figured out then, and thought now that I knew, I would not go back there. But I WAS WRONG. Slowly and imperceptively at first, and with some periods carved out where I was able to put myself on my list of people I needed to care for, the weight crept back up. And then, when my family suffered through it's most recent crisis and its biggest loss, that of my way too young brother in law, the floodgates opened, not just because of the loss, but because I then felt responsible for my sister and niece (all on me, no one made me feel that way). And that explains the last 18 months of my life.
And now here I am. I have spend much of the last month working very hard on finding a plan and implementing it. I am taking baby steps towards re-adjusting my life and its priorities. I have re-gained perspective on a proper approach to eating. And I am ready, in fact eager, to begin working on a pledge that "me" time, no matter how small, must be part of every single day. Today's "me" time is that I am going to a "31 Bags" party tonight. I need a new lunch box to bring my healthy lunch and snacks to work. And I will have some girl time, which is scarce in my baseball and hockey world (which I love very much, don't get me wrong). I actually do like to do the girly things once in a while, too!
My lesson in all this is to never say never. Twenty-plus years ago, I thought I had already dealt with this demon of an issue and it would never be able to hurt me again, but I was wrong. It has taken me a long, long time (and the suggestion of my doctor to consider therapy to figure out where all this was coming from), to sit myself down and realize that knowing about your own personal demon doesn't mean you've conquered it, that you have to keep your eyes open and be aware at all times. It doesn't stand a chance as long as you remain ever vigilant.
So my journey will continue with baby steps towards a fully healthy lifestyle. Thanks for listening, if you are still there.