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Food for thought

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yesterday I had that sensation again - I really really want to eat something - but I am full and if I imagine stuffing more food in I would feel uncomfortable. That kept me from eating obsessively but it makes me really sure that my food compulsion is very little about the value, amount and time span I eat in - it is all about my mind. Correction - of course t might be easier to tame the tiger if I am not hungry and there are many practical ways I can help myself to a better eating but in the end it is not about the food, it is about my obsessive state of mind.

I am experimenting with a very laidback plan this week - I can eat whatever I want except pork and I will try not to get nauseated full.... sounds simple? Not if you have a lot of brainghosts twirling around saying mysterious and unspoken things...

My attempts to lose weight has mostly been about control – plan, weigh and measure. The fast diet was a different approach - I just stayed away from food for a time and then ate freely in between. To me it was easier to handle the fasting than the free eating.

I do not know if it is possible for a compulsive overeater to handle food without weighing and measuring - or should I say I don´t know if it is possible for me.

I will repeat what was so good about "The fast diet" and the BBC documentary with Michael Mosley - they killed a lot of "rules" I have heard for years and years:

1. You HAVE to eat breakfast... backed with a lot of scientific results about how people who had breakfast lost more than those who didn´t. Mosley did the lunch-to-lunch fast for a while and had no problem. A friend of mine skipped breakfast after hearing about Mosley and has lost a kilo in a month...I like my breakfast and will probably want it in my plan but it is liberating to know that there is no MUST there, it is a preference on an individual level.

2. You HAVE to eat three meals with two snacks a day - this I disregarded some years ago when I realised that this "snack" idea is very modern, and people seemed to survive before it was becoming a "rule" - and I have even read that the snack thing is a conspiracy from the snack producers... I only know that I don´t need any snack at all before lunch. I also tried for a while to eat one meal a day and I think that it is something I could do if I only get rid of the ghosts that tells me that it is SO wrong, SO unhealthy and to extreme.

3. Sugar and white flour are the crooks. Sure, don´t disagree that that is a fact for some people, not for me. Pork and fat is my downfall, of course I can´t overindulge on sugar or bread - but to me it is not trigging that obsessive craving, I like it but can stay away ... not so with pork shoulder or bacon... I could get very fat on icecream and salty chips - and probably pizza too - but they are not irresistible in my fridge as a piece of pork shoulder or a packet of bacon is...

4. Exercise is the solution. Not to weight loss. It is the solution to a healthy life overall and does a lot of good to you but I can exercise a lot and still gain weight if I eat obsessively. While I can lose weight from my sofa if I just eat healthily. Therefore I should not prioritize exercise when the weightloss is threatening to kill me - first lose weight and then trust that it will be a lot easier to exercise when mobility is better.

5. Without 100 % control and tracking I will not be able to eat and lose weight. This is about my inner demon that says that I am a cheater and a liar and have no good judgement - that means that if I can´t prove to myself that I am eating right by showing a list with everything tracked in detail I will eat too much. There is SO much talk about "denial" in twelvestep communities. In my case my "denial" is that I always assume that I am a failure that can´t achieve things without rigorous control. The worst brain ghost of them all.

I went to my university page the other day and discovered that I had gotten extra remarks for my singer-songwriting course. I think I have written earlier that I was the perfect student in that course - attended all lectures, did all assignments, delivered the exam paper at the scheduled time, did my practical examination with the others... but as I can´t play any instrument well I thought that it would only get me a flat approval and I would not mind because I have no use at all for any extra remarks. But I felt very happy for the recognition. And try to learn that I was the perfect student without any big effort, I just loved the whole thing and the eagerness to learn overcame all the resistance of going to eveningclass although I was tired etc.

Lust is surely a better motivator than must.

Clouds are hanging low today, my lawn need to be mowed and I am waiting for the time to pass nine - would be cruel to the neighbours to start earlier. Hope the rain stays away until I am done...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • AJDOVER1
    Thanks so much for this blog. It helped me to better understand the issue. I learned the hard way that general rules about alcohol consumption DID NOT apply to an alcoholic. Now I can see that general rules about food can't work for someone with an eating disorder.
    2355 days ago
  • PEGTIGER
    Glad to have a different perspective to read. I must say, a lot that I do, I do because someone else it was what "had" to be done to lose. Thanks for the info.
    2356 days ago
  • 2BDYNAMIC
    emoticon and we simply do what works for us, don't we? .......... Best of luck!
    2356 days ago
  • CRAFTSFAN1
    This was a very thoughtful blog. And it is pretty much the way that I think is. Why do I have to change my habit of enjoying TV while eating?
    2356 days ago
  • JLWOF1
    Lust is surely a better motivator than must.

    Love that. Has me thinking. Thanks for sharing!!!
    2357 days ago
  • JOYINKY
    Lust is surely a better motivator than must.

    I love this! I lust after good health and continued independence!

    That said, I have to agree with you on much of your analysis. I don't follow the rules. I'm a grazer, I do eat breakfast, but the rest of the day is as I am hungry. I do eat in other rooms than the kitchen. I do eat while watching TV or on the computer, I do eat late at night. That said; it's never "mindless" eating. I don't weigh and measure but I can estimate close enough and do count calories; keeping them under 2000 calories on most days and shooting to meet my fitness goals daily. No forbidden foods for me but there are foods that I now consider not worth the calories and other foods I know I can't control so I don't keep them in the house. I will enjoy them when out. I weigh only once or twice a month. I use a calendar book and track my food there in a form so abbreviated it would fit on a post it. I track my fitness minutes and miles on SP; but keep a chart by my computer so I can do it all at the end of the day. Or days later if I'm away from the computer. Because I value my health I try to make healthy choices but I also enjoy birthday cake at a party, pizza with my grandkids, a beer with a friend, etc. I count protein grams because when I stepped up my protein I found that I felt better. Today I am highly motivated by feeling good. I like the way hooping and yoga make me feel too. Sugar makes my walks fun. I'm working on filling my life with things that I enjoy more than food. Be well.
    2357 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    For me, rules for losing weight are equal to a diet and diets are one thing that, as a compulsive overeater, I cannot do. I've proven that to myself as I dieted my way over several decades from being 20 pounds overweight to being 120 pounds overweight. What a horrible and contrary result from trying to follow all the rules of the various plans that promised instant and long-lasting weight loss.

    On the other hand, as a compulsive overeater, I believe I must give up my binge foods. For me that is most candy and other sweets. What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for another person, so I cannot advise anyone on their plan of eating, but I think your exploration of the way that suits you best is a good way to go.

    emoticon
    2357 days ago
  • LADYRH
    Make your own rules, stick to what works for you.
    2357 days ago
  • THE_SHAKESHAFT
    This is a great blog. Thanks :)
    2357 days ago
  • AKELAZ
    RULES - OH - RULES! I can't tell you how tired I am of 'Oh - but you MUST eat breakfast' Well - actually - I DON'T have to - in fact I have a better day if I start with early lunch. And the same for exercise - I too can lose weight 'from my sofa' if I eat carefully. At the same time if I move more in the day I feel better in myself. I dislike strength exercises intensely - but there are some that I do to keep my muscles in some kind of shape. As a friend here says - 'I want to be able to bend down and lace my shoes when I'm 80'. That's far more motivating for me than a Six Pack.
    My brain ghost is cheese. I love cheese but feel endlessly guilty if I eat it. Where does that come from? I don't know but I totally agree with you that rules - self imposed or not - are NOT the way to eat healthier and therefore lose weight in a long lasting way.
    GREAT blog MP - not only made me think as your blogs always do but confirmed a lot of my own feelings about eating less and living healthily. Thank you.
    2357 days ago
  • _VALEO_
    I have always wondered about those "rules" too... I am really not a morning snacker either. Besides, "snack" is used in my language (borrowed from English), and it has a negative ring to it. For some reasons, I feel guilty when I "snack." We all have our brain ghosts.

    Rain is already here for me, I will try to keep it a bit longer before it reaches you up in the North! emoticon
    2357 days ago
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