Monday, October 11, 2010

Caution: Whining ahead

It's 10:15 a.m. and I'm just finishing my morning coffee.  I took the morning off from my AA meeting today and hung stayed home getting stuff done before coming to work.  I was so into chores and tasks that it got late sooner than I realized and I hadn't even taken a shower, so the last half hour at home was a whirlwind of shower, blow drying my increasingly non-existent hair and getting out the door.  Once at work I kept thinking, "Why am I so fuzzy brained and sleepy?"  It dawned that I hadn't gotten my usual 20 oz hit of coffee at 6:30!  I ran out to the local Swiss Farms drive-thru for a cup and am beginning to emerge from coma.

My fuzziness may also be due to my funkiness - after having a nice weekend, I just didn't want to work today.  Poor me.  The weekend weather was lovely - cloudless days, slight nip in the air and leaves beginning to turn color.  I didn't exercise on Saturday because I stayed busy with friends, family and errands, but on Sunday I got a 4.5 mile walk in.  Today will do the same, whether I want to or not.  I haven't been to the gym in about a month, favoring the long power walks outdoors instead, but intend to go this week a few times to get back into that groove.  It's a very expensive gym I belong to to not be using it regularly, and since I'm locked in until March, I need to get back there.  I have some resentment about how a couple things were handled there, but I'm hurting no one other than moi by not going.

My funk is not major - I'm not depressed, but I am so tired of struggling with eating thoughts and desires.  My food was pretty good this weekend, but in my mind continually have been thoughts of food and bingeing.  It feels like I'm fighting it constantly right now.  Maybe because I'm not giving in as much.  But I'm not being perfect, for sure.

What comes to mind for me is something that Bar Mitzvahzilla said to me one day in a comment.  Her words have haunted me, and I need to thank her - which I will after I finish writing this post.  She's had over 10 years now of freedom from food obsession and compulsion.  She's been a kind supporter of me, gently responding when I make blanket statements about my brand of eating disorder.  Awhile back, after I'd written about this same thing...the ongoing urge to eat when I'm NOT hungry, she said "No one has to live like that."  BOINK!  Hit me hard. 

The reason it hit me hard is that it's true.  I know this because of my recovery from alcoholism.  My early months of not drinking were pretty hard because the obsession to drink didn't go away immediately.  For me it took abut 9 months.  For some, the obsession lifts immediately.  For others it can be years.  This is similar to any addictive substance, including food btw.  It's why addiction is such a bear of a disease - whatever your substance/s of choice is/are - addiction has been likened to a monkey that sits on your shoulder and calls to you continually.  "Come on, one more time.  You know you want to...".  It's tough.   

Living inside an obsession for a substance is really difficult.  It keeps harping at your conscious mind over and over, insistent for attention.  For capitulation.  It probably sounds like an excuse to say that sometimes just giving in to the substance is the fastest quickest way to turn off that insistent obsession.  And therein lies the problem.  So to hear Bar Mitzvahzilla say "no one has to live like that" powerful and TRUE.  There are options for me that I've talked about - a 12 step food program of one kind or another.  Perhaps a frontal lobotomy?  Jaw wiring?  I don't want to be a person who needs that (insert sound of toddler banging spoon on high chair tray).  ME NO WANNA!!! WAH WAH.  But I know there is a way out that works.  I've tried using my AA tools with food ---wait.  No, I haven't really.  I live those tools as they pertain to alcohol, which hasn't called to me in many years.  But I haven't truly applied them to food.  My food addiction is a different animal than my alcoholism - and has been with me since I was a little girl, at some level.

I don't always have the obsessive food thoughts when I'm eating clean.  Or they aren't as insistent and I CAN distract myself.  Yet over the weekend thinking of eating was always at the core; below my other interactions and activities.  It's ridiculous.  It feels mean.  Leave me alone binge thoughts!

So far today I haven't had any of them and I'm grateful.  It's a lot easier to ignore a sleeping dog than one who's snarling and growling at you.  But a lot times it seems I poke the sleeping dog with a stick when I don't mean to, and he starts in again, mocking me, tempting me.  And it just occurred to me that the obsessive thoughts are somehow protecting me from tender feelings I'd rather not feel but am unaware of.  How complex it all seems.

I apologize to all of you who've heard me rag on about this over and over. It's where my head is today.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a lighter note, next week I'm attending a conference on Monday instead of coming to work, then working only Tuesday and Wednesday before flying down to Atlanta for a long weekend to see my baby (the 22 y/o college senior) and in-law family.  I'm also going to FINALLY meet in person the dear Tammy, of From Fat to Fab!  I'm really excited that this is finally going to happen.  We've talked about it and planned for it several times.  This time is a definite as my ticket is paid for and I'm not wasting that money!  And for those perceptive readers who know that I get antsy and nervous about being with the beautiful thin in-law family and wonder if that is playing a role in my eating thoughts...yeah - probably so. 

Thanks for seeing this post through to the end, if you did.  Hopefully I'll be perky and upbeat tomorrow.


  1. I understand what you have said in your post today about almost everything! It's a "fuzzy Monday" for me too. I think I'm tired. Went to the lake and closed down the cabin for the winter. Had too many carbs--I have a hard time resisting when others are there and eating whatever they want. I also haven't been inside the gym for a while--weather is too nice. But most of all, food addiction is tough. Like you, I'm trying to keep the faith in the midst of a very busy lifestyle, but I believe we can figure it out--in our own way--but it may take some time and perseverance.

  2. Its starting to pour rain here day after day and I miss being is hard to want to go back into a gym, or indoors all the time.

  3. Oh you so often strike a chord with me! I have been steering clear of my blog lately because I have been in a funk myself and my writing was so depressing! And that food thing. Sigh. I feel like I think about it all the time too. And I am sure I was not always like this. And wonder if I can someday be like Linda (and others whose blogs I read). Right now I am taking it one day at a time again. And I hate that because I had thought I would be long past that by now and moving on to some other normal eating phase of my life. If that makes sense.

  4. I ranted today too. About marriage. Hey, it's your blog, rant, rave and whine all you want.

    I don't struggle with the urge to binge so sometimes it's hard for me to understand. Yet today as I was reading this post, a lightbulb went on. Right about the point where you talked about your alcoholism not going "away" for many months. Ding! All of a sudden I understood: that's exactly how I felt when I quit smoking. Probably took a good year before I didn't even consider cigarettes anymore.

    It's also how I feel whenever I start a new weight reduction plan or a new way of eating. At least it's how I feel for a few days, until I get used to the new normal.

    So while I don't want to binge, I do have a better understanding of those constant thoughts.

    Excited for you to meet a fellow blogger. Hoping there's lots of photos to share!

  5. Leslie, your post today was great - very personal and a meaningful message to all of us food addicts. The weekends can be hard or especially social situations. My biggest weapon at the moment is my goals which I look at often, my pictures and exercising (more to distract me from eating), I don't mean hard core exercise, just keep moving...

  6. Hey Leslie, good post--as always (tho' I do like the upbeat ones even more!). About that urge to eat or splurge. I read something that helped me this weekend. Each time you give in to the urge, you are reinforcing a BAD habit. Each time you resist that urge you are getting farther away from being in its thrall. Take stopping at the ice cream place on the way home from a regular stop in your (my!) week. If I do it once, I'll think about it the next time I pass that place. If I do it the next week, I'll begin to think it's part of my routine. It will be even harder to pass it by after each time I stop.

  7. I love how something another blogger says can help us have a "ding" moment!

    Your experience gaining victory over alcohol has certainly given you insight into your journey to health with food.


  8. If this was easy, dear friend, we'd all be size 2's, 4's, or 6's. It ain't. And, unlike alcohol, we can't abstain from eating food. And, I have to admit, I replaced my alcohol addiction with a chocolate addiction. Suckage. So I get it. I TOTALLY get it. The part about rapidly thinning hair, too. LOL


  9. As usual Leslie I love your thoughts on this!

    You are right it gets tiring thinking about food and having an inner war with yourself about it.

    I hated the feeling of being out of control with my eating. It is defeating.

    Once you take control with the food it starts to get better. Practice makes perfect!

  10. Wait. Somehow I missed the secret to how it doesn't have to be this way.....tell me again! What's the secret????

  11. I think you should take the sleeping dog for a walk, befriend him. The dog you sleep with is alot less scary than the dog you don't know... Does that make sense? Friends close, enemies closer-knowing your enemy-turning it into something benign-all those cliches...

    Polar's Mom

  12. Gosh, I'm glad I happened by here today, Leslie, in all my bleary-eyed exhaustion! Thanks for the quote credit but I think we all know who gets credit for anything that's happened to me in the now 10 years and 11 weeks of my program.

    I want to say this, that giving up the idea that I could control it, could bluster my way through it, could manage it, diet it off, use willpower, etc., was the key to never having the problem again. Like everything else in 12 step programs it makes no sense! Does it make any sense that I, who couldn't get through one day on Weight Watchers ever, who used to eat my week's points in the one day, and who weighed 211 pounds, have now weighed 135 pounds for over 10 years? And the funny thing is that I never wanted my binge foods again. So it wasn't that I gave them up, it's like they disappeared.

  13. Several things you have written lately have made me wonder if you are diabetic. Maybe you are and I just didn't remember, or maybe you have been tested very recently and are not. But I thought I would mention it.

  14. "blow drying my increasingly non-existent hair and getting out the door"...doesn't this aspect of being a woman of a certain age suck ??? The thinning hair almost seems like the universe's way of delivering a final kick with all of the other joys of life. Granted, it is a trivial factor, but it sure winds up part of the background music of life !
    I am sorry for your struggles. I cannot overcome them for you, but I do enjoy reading about your journey to get there !

  15. <3

    I love when you talked about clean eating and food not calling as loudly to you then. Me too. Me too.

    I hope you're feelin better today!

  16. A very meaningful post. I nodded thru it. Thanks.

    I've geen going strong for weeks--then this weekend, I thought I could do something I knew I could not do. :} For the first time in MONTHS, I had a serious binge. A two day binge. (The trigger event is in my last post.)

    So, as I read your post--my response was overwhelmingly, "I know."

    Yesterday, I decided that I could not live like this. Fooling myself that I can have gluten in moderation and not have what always comes next is ridiculous. It is enough.

    Like I said, thanks for this post.