Friday, May 14, 2010

Again

I could write a book today - so many things swarming around in my head. I might add a page that deals with a certain personal issue from childhood where I've had some major insight, revelation and healing recently. But for now, I'll start with what I committed to yesterday - posting my weight. Gulp.

Monday I weighed 201.8. I've eaten pretty wantonly this week, though I can't say I was bingeing. Looking at the scale I have to wonder if I'm in a bit of denial, which in this case is a good acronym for "Don't Even kNow I Am Lying." I haven't felt out of control, but I've known I was in some sort of relapse state. I ended up eating out with a friend last night and had spaghetti and meatballs, a piece and a half of garlic bread that was crappy (so why have 1 and 1/2 pieces Leslie?), and a Caesar salad. I followed with a trip to the drugstore to pick up a prescription and got a Mr. Goodbar and a Reese's Crispy something or other. Today's weight: 209.1. The number of words between Monday's weight and today's is the classic explaining and justifying. I know there are liquid pounds involved here, but I've definitely relapsed.

Nothing like a relapse to whip one into shape. I hope. I contemplated shaving off a few pounds in my reporting to make it sound less stark and embarrassing. Classic addiction behavior. Dana at Fatty McButterpants wrote about adiction today in a very powerful post. Her post was one of the things that helped me just be honest and not sugar coat this (good heavens...no pun intended). An addict is an addict is an addict. I'm definitely one. Yes I have years of recovery from alcoholism, but I have really have flatlined in my food addiction recovery. And I've known it for awhile. And just kept doing the next wrong things related to eating.

I've done these confessionals so many times that I just can't do another. I know I can lose weight. I have countless tools at my disposal. I intend to regroup and start today. Again. All is not lost (in more than just the "pounds to lose" realm) and I am not giving up. But I hate really hate this and I'm very sad and ashamed to be here again. Again. I just can't say any more about this right now. It's all been said before.

One thing I will say is that on Tuesday afternoon as I was driving home from work after having total clean food up to that point for the day - the inevitability of saltines and butter settled in.
I said to myself, "Wait a minute. I don't have to do it. I don't have to eat that or anything else until dinner. It's only a few hours, and I ate lunch an hour ago."
Butter and saltines held their ground.
"Just put it off for an hour. You can do it. Take a deep breath, ask for help in putting it off."
And almost immediately I felt something very close to despair. Tears even.
"For God's sake, it's not the end of the world. You can do an hour at a time."
I was home by now, went into the house and buttered up some saltines.
That's addiction.

One of my favorite bloggers who's been amazingly successful with weight loss once said that now it really bothers her when she reads about people bingeing. She used to do it but stopped once joining one of the sanest and most respected weightloss programs. Her words have haunted me. Why can't I stop? I can for a time, but as soon as I introduce something normal like Chobani fruit flavored yogurt or a Luna Bar or a Yoplait Delight, I'm on a very slippery slope. I held ground for a while, but eventually lost total footing. Again.

That's addiction. And it pains me to say that when people come in and out of AA as through a revolving door, picking up again and again and each time vowing that "this time it will be different", I feel the same way that my blogger friend feels about people bingeing. Total disconnect, huh?

I'm not giving up, but one of these days I'm afraid I'm going to have to surrender to this food addiction that I have. It's got a tighter hold on me than the booze did, which is why I guess I was able to pretty quickly let booze go once I started earnestly attending AA. That was hard, but this is way bigger than the booze was for me. It's all addiction, but my first and worst substance of choice - the one that has never failed me and yet has brought me to my knees, again, is food. Can't live with it, can't live without it. Really live, that is.

Life doesn't have to be a series of coasting for awhile followed by shameful agonizing relapses. I heard a girl in Oprah's audience the other day say that the volume and vividness (my words, paraphrasing hers)in her life turned up once she gave up addictve food behavior. I want that. I have it at times. But this revolving door is killing my spirit and I know there's a way out.

17 comments:

  1. Part of breaking addiction is being honest with yourself and others, right? I'm so glad you were honest posting your weight. There's also an accountability factor, which I think this blog helps with somewhat.

    I too get frustrated that I can't seem to eat "normal" things that I see my own husband eating! Or even my beautiful thin (and yes, younger) sister eats. Do you know what she sent to my house on Wednesday? Homemade Granola. Homemade. Buttery. Luscious. Why can't I just eat some? My husband could probably pour milk over the whole container, eat it, not gain and pound, and never look back.

    It's definitely not fair and it sucks.

    I know there's not a single thing I do do or say for you. But please know I'm here. You've got my email address so use it if you need it.

    {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

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  2. Hugs and OUCH !! I don't know which would feel more uncomfortably- the way my body would feel with the sudden gain of 8 lbs ( liquid or not) or the slap in the face that seeing that number on the scale would bring !

    Reach deep within yourself. You have the strength. You can beat this !

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  3. What does a cure for food addiction really look like? Is it never, ever having the urge to eat in a disordered manner? Does it mean not having saltines in the house (my solution)? Or is it just constant vigilance?

    I don't know that one can compare recovery from alcoholism with recovery from disordered/addictive food behaviors. Do you keep bottles around the house? Do you shop in liquor stores a couple of times a week? Do you hang out in bars with friends? How much of AA recovery revolves around "out of sight, out of mind"? We cannot hide from food.

    I don't have any answers and I still struggle with this one day at a time, one decision at a time. I'm not cured and don't know that I ever will be. I'm just managing this addiction, making it as easy as possible to make good decisions. Today.

    For me, even allowing for the thought that I'm cured or that I have got this figured out sets me up for failure.

    As for the Oprah show the other day, the most important thing I took away from that was to treat ourselves with lovingkindness. Because if self-berating behaviors worked, I would have lived my life as a waif.

    Gutsy post, Leslie. I contend that "working on your stuff from childhood" while important also brings with it a torrent of emotion. So please don't feel shame or hate or any of those inner-directed negatives. Love yourself through it.

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  4. Thank you for joining my challenge. I do not have the addiction cravings you do...my binges root from sitting down with too large of a portion and mindlessly eating all the calories in the bag before I know it.

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  5. I, too, appreciate and applaud your honesty. Most of us, I venture to say, have been there, are there, or will be going back there. Might not be calling it an "addiction", but it is what it is.

    All we can do is our best to understand and heal ourselves, and to pump each other up. Please know that you're not alone and you have many supporters out here in this forum.

    Big hug coming at ya' through the cyberwaves.

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  6. I like Roxie's question. What does it look like?

    I know for one constant vigilance does NOT need to be on my list. I am a huge pusher of loving yourself as well.

    This is gutsy. You are great. Keep working.

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  7. Oh Leslie did you crawl into my brain and steal my thoughts. So much of what you said is what I deal with day and and day out - we know what to do and have the tools but why does it escape us?

    I am taking each day as a half day at a time and slowly working towards some degree of success - I just wish I was as brave as you are about getting on the scale. Yes if I don't get on I haven't gained right??

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  8. Roxie was spot on when she said she's just managing the addiction. Amen, sister! I finally accepted that I will always be a food addict...that's just my curse in life. I also will always have diabetes, according to my doctor....just because it's under control, or "managed", doesn't mean you don't have it. A month-long carb binge and I'd be right back on those medications I was taking and I know it.

    So that's it...we're addicts...so what. :)

    The best we can do is our best for the day....that will change and vary due to the circumstances going on around us...but if we keep at it, we will get better and better at managing our addiction, and dare I say, our circumstances, too. Priorities will change. What we're willing to accept and choose to put in our mouths will change, no matter WHAT'S going on around us. You know I got the job today....and my first instinct was to text Dwayne and tell him I wanted him to take me out to dinner to celebrate. ONE SECOND LATER I remembered that today was the day to get back on track...no restaurant food tonight, and I was actually happy about that. It felt good to make the "right" decision....one day at a time, and one choice (meal) at a time. Guess how we're celebrating? He's stopping by Publix on his way here to pick up some boneless, skinless chicken to grill, along with a lite Caesar salad and a big bowl of fresh cut fruit. MMMM. :)

    And don't fret like you're the only one who has relapses....you DID notice that it took me 30 days to lose 15 lbs, and only 9 to put it right back on, right? RIGHT???? We've BOTH got skillz. :)

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  9. when you were first in AA what did you do about putting/keeping yourself in safe situations?

    was it just what you had in your home (alcohol wise) or did you have to be careful when you went other places?

    And how does what you did then (with alcohol) relate now to what you expose yourself to (with food, actually I guess I should call it NON-food)???

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  10. Being honest is good. Keep it up. I am having such a hard time with my eating. I am hungry for,craving and wanting food all the time. I am never satisfied. I need a coke right now so bad it is driving me crazy.I am drinking water. But I want a coke. HELP!!!! I am addicted to coke,and cherry dr. peppers too. Good luck . I know you can do it. Can you join a AA type meeting for Overeaters I need to join on too.

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  11. Hi Leslie. Sadly, I have to say I'm totally with you. I can't let go of the food either. The tears at just the thought of not being able to have some food (some food which you and I don't actually need nutritionally speaking of course) are very familiar. Every time I "give up" food I spend a lot of time crying and feeling very depressed. By "giving up" I mean not being able to eat whatever I want whenever I feel like it. The first few days are the worst. But it's pretty bad for several weeks.

    Not ever having been an alcoholic, I liken it to coming off some kind of psychiatric meds. Which is really appropriate given that we are just self medicating with the food. And yes it only takes several weeks to get over the pain of not being able to have whatever I want when I want it - but those few weeks are a HUGE barrier. I KNOW I have to bust through that barrier - I've done it before, but I just can't seem to muster the strength at the moment.

    I feel like I've given up at the moment - and it's really dragging me down.

    Sorry I don't have any inspirational words. Truth is I need some inspiration myself!

    All I can do is send (((HUGS)))!

    Bearfriend xx

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  12. Hi Leslie. Sadly, I have to say I'm totally with you. I can't let go of the food either. The tears at just the thought of not being able to have some food (some food which you and I don't actually need nutritionally speaking of course) are very familiar. Every time I "give up" food I spend a lot of time crying and feeling very depressed. By "giving up" I mean not being able to eat whatever I want whenever I feel like it. The first few days are the worst. But it's pretty bad for several weeks.

    Not ever having been an alcoholic, I liken it to coming off some kind of psychiatric meds. Which is really appropriate given that we are just self medicating with the food. And yes it only takes several weeks to get over the pain of not being able to have whatever I want when I want it - but those few weeks are a HUGE barrier. I KNOW I have to bust through that barrier - I've done it before, but I just can't seem to muster the strength at the moment.

    I feel like I've given up at the moment - and it's really dragging me down.

    Sorry I don't have any inspirational words. Truth is I need some inspiration myself!

    All I can do is send (((HUGS)))!

    Bearfriend xx

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  13. Well you put it all right out there Leslie. I applaud you for doing this. I feel so bad for you and I know that feeling of losing control with food. I also know that you can control it, you can do what ever you set your mind too. Look at how you took control of the alcohol.

    Your dinner was one filled with simple carbs and that seems to be a trigger for you that leads to a binge. Maybe some less simple carb food choices would help you stay the course.

    Please don't give up and I encourage you to make a list of all the good things about you. You were created to be a whole and happy person, love yourself, decide to be kind to yourself.

    You deserve the best life has to offer.

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  14. What a heartfelt post and what great comments! I try to make my house a safe haven for me - I don't keep foods on hand that cause me problems. For example, my husband likes crackers. He can eat crackers. So can I - but then I don't lose any weight. So the crackers are here for the weekend, but if there are any left on Monday, they go to work with him. That's how I manage my food addiction - and yes, I do have one.

    Hang in there - maybe go back to the basics for a while. And make it easy on yourself by not having butter around. That way, you'd have time to talk yourself out of it if you had to drive to the store to buy some.

    I don't have any good answers. I do sympathize, though. Hugs to you, Leslie!

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  15. The key for me has been allowing myself the food in portions.
    I love saltines and butter. I have ten.
    But I know that it isn't really about the food, it's about the feeling the food gives.
    Hugs.
    I hope you can get a hold of the feelings.

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  16. Well, girlfriend, if you read my last post, you'll see that I have not conquered "the binge" either, but I have whittled it down to size. And I'm having fewer of them. And it's much EASIER to eat sane these days.

    My secret? No gluten. The cravings shrink to human size when I cut out gluten. I don't know what your thing is. It could be gluten or sugar--but it's something.

    Here's something that I found to be interesting--because it is not logical to me. My huge, super-human, monstrous cravings are for SWEETS. Not gluten. Not bread or pasta--don't crave bread at all. Never was much of a bread eater. I CRAVE SWEETS. BUT, sweets are not my trigger--gluten is. wierd, huh? Let me have some stuffing or pasta or cake and i am off to the races. Used to be for days.

    I can actually have a McDonald's ice cream sundae--and be done when it's done and not crawl the kitchen for something else "good" to eat. But, again, let me have gluten, and there will be nothing sweet left in the kitchen by morning.

    Until realizing that, I had always thought my trigger food was sugar.

    Anyway, I don't know what's causing you to crave fat and salt, but you'll find it. You will.

    congratulations on keeping at it--on getting up again and again. That's what warriors are made of, you fabulous blogger, you. :D

    Deb

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  17. Wow Leslie, I know where you are coming from here. I have had to realize that I have addictions to deal with in regards to food. I hate admitting that. Honestly, it makes me feel weak. Should it? No, but it does. There are things I am better off not eating because they spur on unacceptable eating behavior. For me, I have to walk a tight rope, otherwise, I fall.

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