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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
    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
    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
    emoticon and we simply do what works for us, don't we? .......... Best of luck!
    2356 days ago
    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
    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.

    2357 days ago
    Make your own rules, stick to what works for you.
    2357 days ago
    This is a great blog. Thanks :)
    2357 days ago
    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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