Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One down!

I got through last night without eating anything after dinner! Shazam! I was greatly encouraged by some blog friends who posted suggestions and support. Thank you so much!! I started feeling "empty stomach hungry" about 9:30, but I didn't have any desire to put anything in my mouth. Which brought up an interesting issue.

I can tolerate an empty stomach without panic or discomfort or fear. It actually feels kind of pure and real (and not too familiar!) and noble; but it doesn't stir the the obsession to binge. The obsession of the inner binge-er is an entirely different phenomenon than an empty stomach, and it is much harder to withstand and sustain through. Very interesting. Last night I simply did not have a desire to start shoving in the groceries but I did feel hungry. The preceding 4 nights were the exact opposite. So while I'm delighted to have a clean day on the books, I know it was a freebie of sorts. The kickass obsession/compulsion will come along eventually, and I'll just meet it when it does with the best I can muster.

What helped last night (besides absence of feverish compulsion? I went to an 8 p.m. AA meeting, before which I brushed and flossed (thanks Jodie!). It was great, hilarious, moving, and distracted me from food thoughts. When I came home and the hunger pangs began, I wrote another blog entry about pros and cons of being fat. I noticed the hunger pangs a lot and breathed into them, knowing they were reminding me I am doing the right thing (thanks Amy H!) Then I went to sleep and woke up feeling cleanly virtuous and without an iota of remorse.

And it occurs to me now that a more relevant list of pros and cons would target the eating, rather than the being fat. I'm clear there are no pros to being fat. But I know there are pros to the overeating, and not all are "bad".

Pros to Overeating

1. Food/eating promotes stress busting and relaxation. Overeating even moreso.
2. Food/eating is a true pleasure. Sometimes more IS better. Occasionally.
3. Overeating definitely crowds out feelings of anxiety, apartness, lonliness.
Think comfort food and self medicating.
4. At certain levels, it provides a level of numbness and relief from what my
drama du jour happens to be.
5. The numbness bingeing provides isn't selective. Good feelings are also
6. Overeating becomes my identified "issue", allowing subtler and more painful
ones to be back-burnered.

I don't want what overeating offers. I don't handle benign overeating well. Rarely can I eat something off my plan and not be triggered into a binge. Usually the first "off" bite flips the switch. Basically I can't affort the luxury of occasional crazy eating. I'm not ever going to be rigid. But I need to know what I'm dealing with and these last couple of days have helped me figure it out..

One final thing. My blog buddy, Friend of the Bear, suggested weeks ago that I needed to stop weighing myself everyday because I either felt justified to eat if I was down, or motivated to tow the line if I was up. The scale calling the shots. I think she's right, so this morning I didn't weigh after my clean day yesterday. And I'm not going to weigh until Friday, when I will post my next weekly weigh in related to my goal of hitting 190 by Nov. 2nd. It's clear that the blog community is a major source of support, and I'm so grateful.


  1. Congrats on getting through the night without snacking. I'm the same way, the first bite flips the switch and there is no stopping me after that.

    The only pro I can think of about being fat is that fat doesn't wrinkle. ;)

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Leslie.

    I was really concerned about you when I read (2 posts ago) that you were feeling separated from the binge-er. I thought either this is a very good thing ie that you are ready to jettison that destructive part of yourself, or it is a very bad thing ie that your psyche is splitting apart in the effort to deal with the bingeing. I'm so happy that it is the former and not the latter!

    You've been doing a lot of writing and a lot of work on this issue recently and it sounds like you're really making huge progress. To be able to sit with the hunger and be OK with that is a huge step forward. To be very clear in your mind about all the negatives of continuing to respond to life by bingeing is really great.

    I'm so impressed by your progress! You sound like you're starting to get the upper hand; like you are taking control. You sound extremely motivated to sort this problem out and you're getting there.

    And I'm glad you're getting so much support now and so many good suggestions! And that you're able to put them into practice and they're helping so much.

    I think weighing once a week is a good idea so you don't get caught up in daily variations and that single focus on a number that determines your mood and behaviour for the day.

    You sound REALLY good and I am really happy for you!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. Yea! Glad my comment had an impact. If bingeing weren't so destructive in so many ways, I'd do it all the time. I sorta miss my food comas. But the resultant horrible not worth it.

    Stay strong tonight!

  4. Hi there! Thank you for the comment on my had me confused for a said to check out your blog and I was like what?? I already read your blog Leslie!! So I clicked on your name and realized it was a different Leslie!! lol

    So glad to meet you. I see you're a recovering alcoholic....GOOD - FOR - YOU. I've never had to deal with this addiction personally, but I have members on BOTH sides of the family that have suffered, and are still suffering from this. It rips apart lives and tears down families. I'm so glad you climbed on the wagon. :)

    Bingeing is a nightmare, isn't it? I was laughing at Amy H.'s comment above...she and I really "get" each other. I love that girl! I thought I missed my food comas, too, until I ate myself into one on Mon and Tues....her ending comment of it being "so not worth it" is so true. I'm glad I recovered so quickly, after only 2 days. I was truly scared there for a little while that the weight loss was over for good and I'd never recover...thank God I was wrong!

    The blogging communnity is an AMAZING source of honest, so real...not always pretty, but so often it's just what you need. Welcome to Blogland Leslie!! I'm signing up as a follower so I can keep up with your progress...and keep going to those AA meetings girl! It's the best thing you can do for yourself to keep those demons at bay. :)

  5. Tammy - Thanks so much for commenting. I've been a "meeting maker" in AA for 18+ years - it's awesome and helps me more than I can ever say. Best people in the world are in AA rooms. I hope some of your relatives find the fellowship some day.

    I ended up bingeing last night again, but I'm so over whining about it. It was a pathetic little binge, not like the mammoth ones I'm capable of. So onward. Thanks so much for your inspiration.