Monday, November 30, 2009

Anti-progress or Fear of Success?

"Overdue Business Part 2 - the second award", will have to wait until tomorrow because I have other fish to fry here today. God, is there no end my food metaphors!? Maybe my eating/bingeing defect really is an entity physically embedded in my brain, given how everything I say seems to contain ladles full of food words! See? There it is again.

I got on the scale this morning to survey the damage sustained by my body during the 6 day trip to Chicago that was peppered with several binge days, 2 clean food days, and one marginal food day. I expected it to be bad. I even told myself I may have lapsed back into the land of 2s - hundreds that is, but didn't really think it possible, as I was 193.7 the morning of the day we left. But I was preparing myself for a worst that was surely impossible, so when the number was bad, (but not THAT bad), I'd be relieved. Does that make sense? Well, hold onto your hats...

Here it is: 201.4. I've had been in onederland since... (long trip back through my archive to discover when it was I officially left the 2s "for the last time")late August. Boy, the reality of my situation is unfolding for me as I sit here typing. Not just for this return to the larger century (which I expect will turn around overnight or in 2 days at most if I keep on track now), but also the jolt that though I have been 192 at the lowest, for most of the 3 months since dipping into onederland I've been between 195 and 198. So this reflects virtually no real progress. No continued movement in the right direction. A lengthy plateau clumsily crafted by repeated bingeing, or on my better "bad" days, simple overeating. Bottom line - what the fu*k am I doing?

I've glibly posted about the self-designed plateau many times, always determining to blast through with steely determination and hard work. But when it comes to those attributes, I've missed the boat. Hell, I haven't gotten to the pier. Please don't tell me to not beat myself up about this. I'm not beating myself up. I'm facing the stark reality that when it comes to enduring the uncomfortableness of food obsession and compulsion when it hits, I cave about 3/5 of the time, or 3-4 days a week on average. My brief dips into the lower 190s that happen when I have just a few sane consecutive days clearly illustrate that I CAN lose weight. My body performs well in this realm, when given the chance.

I saw a comment Vickie (from Baby Steps V) wrote today on Diane's (Fit To The Finish) blog about 3 questions she asks herself when moving through the world trying to eat and live sanely with food: 1)"What do I mean to be doing?" 2)"What am I doing?" 3)"Is it working?" These are fantastic questions, and what comes to mind is that what I am doing works when I work it. But I have to work it, do it, stay the course every day. Not 3-4 days a week. In AA literature there is a statement, "Half measures avail us nothing." Damn straight, and the textbook object lesson of that statement is evident in reviewing my status since late August. Half measures = no, or at best, marginal results.

I freaking want to stop this bullshitting around. Right now I want to stop it. I won't have a food obsession today most likely, and if I do I know I can get through it because of what the scale revealed to me today. But that pattern of eating to the scale has plagued me, and been written about a lot by me, for months. I have to stop it. I want to stop it. The harsh scale reading calls me to determination and strength of purpose today. But a couple days in, the scale goes back to acceptable territory and I start getting fuzzy again about what I really want. To be lean and healthy, or the Tastykakes that are screaming out to me from the grocery shelf. WHY??!! I truly don't feel I have deep dark pathologic secrets buried within that make me psychologically unable to persevere through tough food obsessed days. But I can't seem to do it over the long haul. At least not yet. I'm sick of confessing this shit over and over and then doing the same things over and over, necessitating more confessing...what an ugly and scary conundrum in which I find myself - again.

Is if fear of success? Fear of the unknown? Weak will? How many times have I asked myself these questions on this blog? I feel like the poster child for "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU". I HAVE gotten through tough food-obsessed days. Why not every tough day? I really wonder about my motivation and determination. When I read other blogs, it seems other folks are doing this, and with gusto. With excitement and enthusiasm that sustains over the long haul. Longer than over the 2 days it takes to knock off a few pounds from the last "episode".

I'm up for suggestions or even tough, mean love. Or tough mean like, if you don't know me that well. What am I missing here? Referring back to Diane's blog again today (Fit To The Finish)(, she writes about "How did you decide"...regarding not just what plan to use, what program, or book, or method, or brand of elliptical trainer, but also how did you decide to finally do it? Lose the weight. Once and for all. And stick with it. Maybe I haven't done that yet. I feel like I have, but when I decide to eat 2 scones from Starbucks and a grande pumpkin latte in one sitting (in the car on this recent trip), where only my husband is there to notice, though if he does he doesn't say anything, being the good Alanon-er he is), fully aware that I'm choosing to go "out of control" for the rest of the day; I have to think that I really haven't "decided".

For the 17 trillionth time, I'm saying this is it. Today is the first day of the rest of my better self who acts on her own behalf and always with her well-being at the forefront of all decisions and actions. I want it now. I'm just starting to wonder if I want it later.

Sorry for another ever so slightly toxic brain elimination. One thing for sure, I feel humbled by my seeming powerlessness about this, even though my heart of hearts is crying out to me that I'm not powerless. And I'm humbled by all of you who are doing it each day, and bouncing back after backslides. I guess in that sense, I'm doing it too; but it seems I'm backsliding way more than stepping ahead. So I must keep my focus on this day only. No despairing thoughts to the food laden month ahead. My AA sponsor says to me that even Christmas is just another day. Of course it is, so why self destruct for the entire month, and beyond. Each day is just another "one day at a time", and will bring unknown delights and struggles. Victories and defeats. Disappointments and happy surprises. And sometimes just mundane work-a-day stuff.

Once again I say, Heaven help me.


  1. The scale reading is not going to be a 'true' reflection of your weight because, if you've been eating rubbish, you'll be retaining a heck of a lot of water... Please try not to stress too much about a number that will be history tomorrow.

    I'm not sure what you've been eating, but I've been posting on my blog a lot over the past few days about my body's reaction to seemingly innocuous foods...

    Bye for now

    Patsy x

  2. For me, in general, I have been having to admit what a sense of purpose and focus I have been aware of this time in my efforts to achieve fitness.

    These feelings are huge and as I was walking the other day I realized that once I achieve my goal, I will need a new mission-- and I had apprehension about what that might be.

    When I no longer have fat as an excuse, will I be able to step up to the plate and go where I am direceted to go, help and give comfort where I am directed to do so?

    I pitied myself for a long time over my weight problem and recently I am seeing that holding onto it as a form of self-centeredness and fear. So long as I am unfit to serve as an instrument of my higher power, I can politely give myself a free pass in that regard and never work to achieve any mission except losing weight.

    Anyway, I don't know if these thoughts will strike a chord in you or not. It's where my mind has been lately. I'm just trying to figure out where the Creator may lead me and the good I may do for others if I ever get past dealing with my own sh*t in a never-ending and pointless circle. oxoxox

  3. hang in there leslie... the difference of success and failure is determined ONLY by our determination to endure

    many are beginners but finishers are few

  4. Leslie I don't even know what to say. Your pain is raw and literally leaks out through the words you've written. I don't even have any advice. I have fallen so far and so hard sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get up. All I can offer is that I'm thinking of you, appreciating the things you share, and hoping and wishing and praying for the best.

  5. I wrote this all out once, it looked like it posted and then simply wasn't there.

    I do not think you are beating yourself up or doing a 'poor me'.

    Yes, what you write is raw - but it is also your reality.

    when I read, it sounds like you are really looking at what is there.

    it makes me think of what I used to call 'chasing my own tail' and my point (when I wrote that) was no matter how hard I ran - I still ended up back in the exact same place. No progress. A lot of effort and tears and anxiety, but still in the same place. And sort of tasting butt. . .

    I suspect this is going to sound like I am simplifying too much. And also (perhaps) like I just keep repeating myself.

    But it sounds to me as if you can't trust yourself around surprise foods.

    It sounds as if you just plain need to keep clean foods in your home and eat from home. period.

    Plan and Pack.

    So you are either eating at home or packing and taking from home.

    But either way - it is clean and it is planned.

    No drive thru, no carry out, no dashing into stores, no eating at meetings, no eating at meeting based get togethers, no restaurants.

    there are a lot of NO's in there.

    If you want to look at the YES's - it is yes to clean, healthy foods, yes to mindfulness, yes to peace of mind, yes to seeing what is REALLY going on.

    We all have to learn to stand on our own feet around food. We have to learn to trust ourselves around food.

    I am quite sure you went through this very same process with alcohol.

    Eventually you undoubtedly earned your own trust with alcohol. You knew what you could and couldn't do.

    We (mostly) all have done some level of acting out with food.

    sometimes it is ignorance, sometimes it is self sabotage, sometimes it is trial and error.

    You have to figure out what is really going on with you and the food thing. Are you squashing down feelings? are you self protecting?

    And I think you have to take food out of the equation in order to figure out what you are doing. If you plan your food and you eat from home and you are eating balanced meals - it sort of takes food out of the equation.

    And then when it isn't meal time and you realize you are reaching for food - you deal with WHY you are having that responce.

    Why you are Pavlov's Dogs (that is how I think of it) - what bell is ringing for you -?

    if you spend all your time thinking about what you did (food) and not being happy with what you did (food) - you are doing a lot of busy work (chasing your tail) but you are not getting anywhere (in my opinion).

    And that might be in order to avoid real issues.

    or it might be pure habit.

    or it might be pure impulse. SEE food, want food, eat food. (a lot of us have impulse issues - like we didn't learn something when we should have as children and have to learn it now.)

    yes, I get that we all still have to eat. but we do not have to eat junk and we do not have to eat impulsively. and eating clean/planned/meals does allow an amazing amount of clarity.

  6. I don't know what's wrong with our wiring that lets us slip off track like that. I really don't. All I know is that when, in the past, I've jumped the rails, it's like I have no idea of the relationship between food and weight.

    I'll skip the "get after it" talk because it sounds like you've already righted the ship. Good luck keeping your focus on your return trip to Onederland.

  7. I think it is a combination of several things: Fear of success, complacency, and a little bit of loss of focus. I realize from reading your post that you are 100% ready to move back down into the 100's and onto your goal weight. That is half of the battle, but as you know, certainly not the whole thing.

    People say it's a journey, and they are right. But it's also a never ending road. Not the weight loss part of course, but the day to day choices that bring us closer to our goals, or farther away from them.

    You can do this - you ARE doing it. Stay strong!!

  8. Leslie,
    I am going to write a whole post about this tonight.
    I have been planning it for a while.
    I am sure it must be annoying to read my endless optimism in post after post....I will tell you this...That is how I talk in my head. That is the key.
    my verification word is yehear lol
    what are you saying to yourself to make it okay to overeat. If you can expunge that, dig it out, burn it and eviscerate will conquer it.

  9. Hey, Leslie. I always get a little wacky when I go on vacation (foodwise) - it's hard being out of routine. My question to you is not what you're eating, but what's eating you? Think hard about what else is going on in your life that might cause you to reach for food rather than a nap, or a bath or anything less destructive. Even if you can't change what's eating at you, acknowledging it can help.

  10. Leslie, I know exactly what you mean. I want this, so why do I keep relapsing and reclaiming the same territory over and over? All I can say is, if we keep after it, it has to eventually stick, right?! I sure hope so! I'm in pursuit and all I can do is keep trying...Hugs!
    P.S. Thanks for the award!

  11. Hi Leslie. I think you have some great comments here! I think Lori-Ann's comment is very important about worrying how you will live your life as a thin person and connects with your oft noted ambivalence about whether you really want to be thin and not knowing what it would be like and the challenges it would throw up for you. Obviously you have to address those issues to move forward.

    But Vickie's idea also struck home about removing temptations altogether and really taking control.

    I think maybe a combination of these - to get on top of the chaotic eating in practical terms by total planning and control, and also continuing to work on the head issues regarding body size and finding alternative responses (rather than eating) to emotional states.

    If you resolve to eat to plan then you will will have no alternative but to face all the other things that eating is covering up.

    Eating to plan of course could mean eating for "maintenance" rather than weight loss. The main thing here is to cut out the bingeing. It comes with so much negativity, it's so destructive. Eating for maintenance would separate the bingeing from your weight issues. I think you would feel much calmer and also have the time and space in your own head to address the issues that are being covered up by the constant chaos of disordered eating.

    Hope today is a sane day for you.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  12. Leslie, sometimes people really want to hear what they want to hear, and sometimes they want to hear what they need to hear. I think you are in the latter category. You haven't failed here, but you are in a dangerous place. Don't stay here. A slip like this can either push your back into your old ways of doing things, or it can propel you to success. Don't let it push you around, make it a propellant. So many people waffle around at a comfortable weight, not the weight they want to be at, but one they can live with. They do this so long they end up convincing themselves that it is where they are meant to be. Don't let this be you. It is time to see 192 again. It is time to see the 180s. It is time to leave the 200s behind forever.

  13. Leslie, it sounds like you've got a lot of good advice already. I haven't been reading your blog that long, so I am wondering if you have a balanced food plan. I wonder if you have a group for encouragement and accountability. And I wonder if you are limiting high-carb foods--rice, grains, etc. I have found it much easier to NOT overeat when I am limiting those foods. It is really hard for me to do at first, but then it is a peaceful feeling to not always be wanting more.

  14. It's great that you have your focus back. It seems to me that it sucks to go about weight loss half-assed because you have maybe half of the week where you're doing well, you're working hard, maybe depriving yourself of some of the foods you like, and you're doing this because you know that the result, the pounds lost, will be worth it. But then you go and screw it up with the other half of the week so those difficult days were for nothing. And like you said, who wants all their work to be for nothing? We're all here to support you and want to see you succeed. You can do it.