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Knowing and still not doing....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

So I have been abstinent for four days, starting the fifth - or have I? Yesterday evening my daughter left some popcorns, maybe one dl, and I pondered it for a while and then gave in and ate it. Not a big deal, but the thing is that as I am a very obsessed compulsive overeater I do know - from lots and lots of previous experience - that any small chew outside my plan will start me obsessing "all is lost, might as well eat" And of course my brain knows that it is ridiculous, of course I know that 1 dl of popcorn does not make me a "failure" or the day a "failure"... but this is the disease, it is like an alcoholic taking that first glass thinking "i can manage..."

That one dl led me to eat two rye breads with ham and then I managed to stop and go to bed. I was still well within my calorie range so I will count yesterday as an abstinent day but I know that it might come back and bite me in the butt this evening... because that same insane mind will start to argue "you had some popcorn yesterday and managed to stop before bingeing, you can have something out of plan tonight as well, because you can do it..."

The alcohol and me worked exactly the same - I had been sober for about three months without any effort when I suddenly had a bottle of champagne (not really, it was southafrican brut but anyway..) one evening. Woke up the next day and did not think that much about it until the next saturday - one week afterwards. Then my mind told me that "ok, you had that bottle and it all went well, so you can have some wine tonight..." I heard the alarm go off inside and knew that if I had some that evening I would soon be back in the anxiety that made me want to give it up.

So it is important not to have any popcorn tonight, it is important not to continue slipping just a little. I need to stay abstinent to succeed. I know that "healthy" people - many of spark coaches - does not recommend this "fanatic" perspective as it is black-or-white, all-or-nothing.... and I agree. But I also agree with "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result"

I discussed this with my brother yesterday (who, by the way, phoned to tell me his was sorry for rambling so much without listening, we had a better conversation than the day before, although I realised that none of us really respect the others opinion. We try to persuade the other of our own perspectives, interesting. I will work on it.

Anyway I told him that I cannot have rye crisp bread in my house, I will eventually eat it. When I was drinking it was the same with red wine, eventually I would open that bottle, not day one and maybe not for a week, but eventually I would do it although I did not really want to. It is the same with rye crisp bread - if I start eating it I have big problems stopping. I have tried many times and it might work one time and it might work two but in the end I will lose control and overeat. I am (for today) helpless. But I am not helpless in the store, I can manage not to buy it so that i my strategy. If I don´t have it in the house, I can´t eat it.

My brother thought that was the wrong way to go. You should be able to control it... and I asked him if he thought the same about alcoholics - they should be able to control it and drink "normal" - he said that it is a completely different thing... well I don´t think so. I think that there are some foods and behaviours I will have to stay away from, because I can´t handle them. It is not enough staying away from trigger foods, because I also agree that overeating is "only" a symptom. If I take the symptom away without changing the cause, it will only pop up somewhere else. That is why I work with changing my attitude and taking care of myself, that is why I tried so much to stand up for my opinion towards my brother the day before...and that is also why I got so much anxiety for that although it was not a big deal in reality, it was an earthquake inside me, but not so much outwards...

For today my abstinence requires rigidity in food choices and meal planning. It might change tomorrow but today I need it. And I cannot allow myself any popcorn tonight...

Stay tuned for the drama!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SILLYHP1953
    I totally agree with your thoughts on food abstinence and somehow I have to get my plan back on track. Reading your blogs really helps me.
    3465 days ago
    Meddy, your frankness is heartwarming. I have not been able to rekindle abstinence in food for sometime, though maintain sobriety in alcohol for 16 years now. When I was abstinent (183 days), I released 60 some-odd pounds and never felt so in-control, so human. The pounds came back on as meno approached and now it's a not-so-new battle. Abstinence in food worked back then. I had not hoped to find a group online, and here, even, but am awed at God's generosity in this; there is not so much an opportunity to find a face-to-face meeting here. Journaling, praying, listing food? Thank you for this entry. You wrote on my birthday this year, one that has had me reeling and thinking how to go forward...
    3466 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    This is something I have pondered and struggled with for many years. I have been sober 26 years. I often said "I eat like I drank." It was not until recently I realized this was a limiting thought for me. In my case, it backed me into a corner where I thought, for one thing, I would need a miracle to stop bingeing on food, and, for another, I thought I would have to be as vigilant about food as I am about alcohol. For me, I have had to realize that while there are definite similarities, I have to let my recovery from bingeing have its own identity, not expect it to mirror my sobriety. I have found that H.A.L.T., (Hungry?Angry?Lonely?Tired?) is definitely as important to freedom from overeating as it is to maintaining sobriety, but stopping food bingeing has required more vigilance about Hungry & Tired and alcohol sobriety required I focus more on dealing with Anger and Loneliness. I preach this so often, I am sure people who read my posts get sick of it, but for me it all starts in the morning. Eating protein first thing, and then throughout the day, and paying more attention to sleep and rest in general, strengthens me and greatly reduces the food crazies. Thank you for your blog - it helped me (and thank you for reading mine, I appreciate it). Take care. emoticon emoticon
    3477 days ago
    Oh how we recognise ourselves in your blogs, Meddy.

    I never buy biscuits because to eat one is to eat them all. If I succumb to any ridiculous two for one confectionary loss leaders in the supermarket, they are both/all eaten before I have the chance to tell myself 'No'. In fact, any 'naughty' food simply glares at me (even from inside the fridge) until it's eaten. I can't throw it away, (other baggage forbids this) so the only way to rid myself of it is to eat it. As soon as I have bought it, I am undone.

    Forewarned is forearmed, so they say, so...

    3478 days ago
    Hi, I just finished the book "Why Cannot I stop Eating" so it sound like you are on this plan. I am going to give it a try. For me it will invvolve moving more food (calories) into breadkfast and lunch; eliminating the afternoon snack; and making a raw salad for dinner. I have not committed to eliminating popcorn. It is a main stay food in my house. I probably average 2 times at week. I do not think it necessarily triggers other over eating. But I am going to have to monitor this. Good luck staying abstinent each an every day.

    3481 days ago
    Very thought provoking blog - thank you. Based on many years of experience, I know I have to have tight control also. I think that is why honest and regular food tracking works for so many. emoticon
    3481 days ago
    I can't control it either... one bite is too many and one bite is not enough... so I abstain. It is not hard at all with the eating plan I follow. I found it through someone here on spark.. God led me to it.. and it has been just what I needed.

    It is balanced and so simple it is not even funny! After 2 days.. no more cravings AT ALL... I am very satisfied with all the food and it is so easy to prepare... eeezy peeezy is what I need... LOL

    I blogged about it 9-17 and some blogs after that too...

    You are doing good... stay the course!
    3481 days ago
    I can identify, there are certain foods I have banned from the house, good job on knowing yourself so well. emoticon
    3483 days ago
    This is such a delicate and individual thing, I believe. I, too, have the situation where I can be "safe" and abstinent even with danger foods in the house... for days, weeks, months... but eventually, my diseased mind knows they are there, and when my program gets stressed or weak, I will consume them!

    Here's to knowing ourselves AND acting on that knowledge. If it means keeping rye crisps and red wine out of your home... do it! I have kind of backed into the same way with ice cream, chips and sugar for baking... if it's not here, if I have to make a special trip, it is an added element of safety for me. Because I don't want to be who I am when I'm letting the disease of compulsive eating have its way with me!

    - Barb

    3483 days ago
    I've been working on this issue myself. (See my last two blogs) I'm trying to find alternatives to certain foods or reasons to avoid a food altogether; it's a real challenge! I have a very close friend who's been sober from alcohol for almost 20 years and I'm always asking him questions about addiction to try and understand myself better.

    It sounds like you are heading in the right direction, have a great day!
    3483 days ago
    I can really identify with what you say, Meddy. Myself, I think 'It's okay to have walnuts... walnuts are good for me.' And they are, but not more than a handful. Going overboard there all too often leads to '...and since I've already gone over my calories for the day, I might as well go ahead and have more, then start over tomorrow.' And so it goes. Really proves the saying about 'One day at a time,' doesn't it?
    3483 days ago
    I hope there are alternatives for you. If you have to ban certain foods because of your condition can you get the nutrition elsewhere? I know popcorn isn't particularly nutritious but it is part of the carbs group and maybe you need carbs in your life.
    good luck with the weekend plan
    best wishes, Sandra
    3483 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I think you are right that you should not have the popcorn again. It's not that it's some terrible sin, but it is very easy to get caught up in anything as a habit. I think like me you'd rather make a habit of eating in a sane, non-random way. I think there are definitely similarities between eating issues and alcohol issues, although I don't think it is not a life sentence. I think we can change our relationship, but just as if we had a problematic relationship with a person, we might limit our interaction with him or her until we felt we knew how to deal with the situation better. I know my relationship with food has improved a lot and I am hopeful for even more peace. I affirm it for you, too. emoticon
    3483 days ago
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