Sunday, February 13, 2011

If not now, when?

I can't believe I haven't posted since Wednesday!  I've read blogs and commented, but my job is getting continually busier, and I'm just not having the time to sit and write  that I used to have there.  Actually it's good, because being busy makes the day fly by, but I have to figure out home time where I can sit and ponder and write.

First - I weighed in this morning and lost another 2 pounds!  I'm very pleased with that, esp. since there were 3 days when I borrowed heavily from my 49 points weekly allotment over the base daily points.  Weight Watchers says that even if you use all 49 extra points in a week and stay on plan otherwise, you'll still lose, but I've been skeptical.  I have such a black and white mindset when it comes to food.  The 49 extra points are great, but they can make me feel like I'm cheating, which sets my obsessive mind into motion and if left unchecked (the mind, that is) can ultimately send me down the garden path to overeating. 

I see that working this over the long haul, which is a lot longer than I've been doing it thus far, can definitely simulate a moderate eating intake that allows for occasional extras and "off plan" items - like cookies, or a bagel.  Because truly, nothing is off plan as long as you tally in the points faithfully.  I think it will take a long time for me to relax into a rhythm of reasonable eating with occasional splurges that don't start my eating disordered thoughts churning. 

Here is a confession that will likely seem really nuts to some of you, and is the reason I will never again do a rigid  12  step food program...I don't want to live a life where I can't have an occasional off day where I enjoy more food and some of the wrong things than I do most of the time.  I really believe that if I do well 80 % of the time (or more of course), I will be successful in the big picture. 

Actually maybe I believe that in general about all of us - but maybe I'll find that my unique brand of eating disorder will never allow indulgences without triggering my own dreaded binge behavior.  Overeatears Anonymous tells me that if I'm a true food addict, eventually I WILL return to compulsive and binge eating.  I don't want that to be true.  I want to make peace with food.  I accept that certain foods are likely to trigger the inner binge-er and I get that I probably can't safely eat those things. 

All this reflection is making me think of intuitive and mindful eating that I read about so much in the blogs.  Truly I'm not sure I will ever achieve either of those states.  I certainly hope so, but I'd say I have a very long way to go to get the weight off and maintain the loss for awhile before I can even comprehend the possibility of that.  Peace with food sounds so appealing.  And so elusive for now.

I am definitely seeing improvement in my eating, my attitude toward the scale and my baseline of optimism about sticking and staying on this journey.  I'm tired of backslides and being the poster child  for "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU".  I'm weary of losing the same pounds over and over.  I'm no spring chicken and in my desire to become even less of one (translate:  live another 30 years or so) it seems to be my time.  If not now, when?  I'm more hopeful and calmer about this matter of weight and food than I've ever been. Please may that translate into lasting results and the deep psychic change required to sustain the results.  I'm grateful for the relative peace I feel today.  If not with food, then with myself.


  1. Well. First, Congratulations on the loss! AND I'm glad you're feeling more optimistic and hopeful.

    As for me--well you were able to write what has been going on in my head for some time.

    I have the reluctance to do a rigid program for all of the reasons you listed and the fear and the questions. None of the hope or optimism.

    Shrug. It is what it is.


  2. Leslie, it sounds like you have found something that will work for you on the long haul. If it doesn't feel particularly restrictive and you are dropping the pounds you want to, then you've already won.

    Do your trigger foods trigger you in all situations? Just curious as to how this works for you. For me, it's not so much the food as it is the quantity. When a lot of food is available, then that is where I stumble. I can order and eat pretty much anything at a restaurant or in someone's home and be just fine. It's only when I have control of the whole bowl, bag or vat that I get into trouble.
    So when I talk about trigger foods, it's primarily foods that I will not bring into my house.

    Again, it is so nice to see you being optimistic, successful and experiencing some peace. Awesome.

  3. And I feel peace when I read this! For you. For me - I'm still figuring it out. But I like the picture you paint. And I'm thrilled you are doing so well:)

  4. Hooray for your loss of two pounds! And it sounds like you are working out what works for you, which is the most important part, I would think. If you can't follow the program, you can't keep up with the weight loss... At least that is what I have found.


  5. Yay for another 2 pounds!

    I LOVE that you're finding your way and making peace with food. So inspirational to me my friend.

  6. Wow, 2 lbs, that's great. From one not so spring chicken to another, I believe that one day I will get more comfortable with food...little by little. I find that I am better when I eat mindfully and keep out the bad sugars and work on keeping a positive mind-set.'s a beautiful thing.

  7. I love that you are finding a balance Leslie. I too had that black and white thinking for most of my adult life.

    The 80/20 works for me without sending me into an all out binge. It takes time to adjust the thinking and of course I have to be aware of what I am eating.

    Some foods just trigger the desire to eat more of them so it isn't all about will power or the right mind set.

    Peace - isn't that a wonderful feeling.

  8. I believe you are 100% correct on that 80% thing. Definitely. I'm starting to obsess less, too. It feels nice, and a couple of lbs actually fell off last week. That's encouraging, and hooray for your 2 lb loss you girl. :)

  9. Well, here I am, feeling like an eavesdropper on this post! Here's what I have to say as a 12-stepper: if you can still diet and not obsess, then you aren't a compulsive overeater and you don't need OA! Look at Jennifer Hudson! But if you can't and if eating whatever your trigger foods are sends you back for more trigger foods, then remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

    The new WW program sounds incredible and scary. I use a 10-year-old version for my food plan and can't even imagine eating 49 extra points ever! I think that if you don't ever want to go back to 12 step then you should take what you heard in the rooms and use it within WW - like avoid the foods that clearly make you nuts, even if you have 49 extra points. Does that make sense?

    I'm rooting for you!

  10. Great post, Leslie. Reflects many of the same things I've been feeling and writing about. I also agree with Roxie. For me, it's often more about quantity and can be controlled by what I choose or choose NOT to make available to myself. Keep up the good work - both physical and mental! Two pounds is a great loss!

  11. Nice loss, Leslie, and even nicer comprehension of how we older folk need to get it together before our time runs out. I refer to this sometimes on my blog. This has to be the last time for me, 'cause I just don't have the time, energy, or stamina to keep starting over every Monday.

  12. I believe the best program is the one YOU choose and design for yourself. And that sounds like what you are doing. I like the direction you are going, and am glad about the Peace... and the loss. :-)