This reminds me of obsessing about alcohol when I first stopped drinking...I actually ranted at a meeting one night that I felt wackier than I was when I was drinking, because at least THEN I wasn't utterly tormented by thoughts, plans and fantasies of drinking. I also told THEM (those other drunks!) that I wasn't NOT drinking for myself...I was not drinking because they'd been nice to me, and I didn't want to dissapoint them...and furthermore, I knew that was the wrong way to be trying to stop drinking because I was supposed to be doing it for myself. You bet I gave them a piece of my mind.
(Looking back, it's clear that I was hoping they'd kick me out, so I could go back to drinking, "sanctioned" by the recovering folks who told me I didn't have the right attitude and shouldn't be there.)
Guess what - the first thing I heard was, "Thanks for sharing! Keep coming back!" What a bunch of losers, I thought. At halftime a few minutes after my share, I was inundated by kind understanding folks who told me a couple of important things that really helped me that night, suggesting to me that perhaps THEY weren't all a bunch of losers - rather that they'd been just where I was and were certain I could find recovery.
Important thing #1 was that it made perfect sense that I was aware of the obsession to drink screeching at me from inside my head and from every cell in my body. I felt the obsession because I wasn't drinking it away. No anesthesia from emotional withdrawal that didn't show up until I was several months without a drink. They assured me the obsession would lessen and encouraged me to keep
Important thing #2 was that the obsession and compulsion couldn't get worse unless I fed them...with booze. They suggested that if I fed them, not only would it get worse, it would stengthen the obsession and lengthen the time it would take for it to dissipate the next time I tried to quit - that is IF I still had the desire to quit. Having a desire to stop is a gift, and if squandered may never return. Then it becomes near impossible to stop drinking.
Important thing #3 was that it was okay that I wasn't trying to not drink for them, or for anybody else. It was okay if I was doing it to save a marriage or for my kids...and it didn't matter if it wasn't for me. Why?Because for an alcoholic, THERE'S NO BAD REASON TO NOT PICK UP A DRINK! And if I didn't drink a day at a time for whatever reason, eventually I'd discover I was doing it for myself.
Yep, those damn "losers", of whom I'm one, gave me some fantastic food for thought that night that continues to inform me today. I can apply all those important things, along with volumes of other wisdom I've learned over the years in AA, to my struggle with food addiction. I swear, sometimes I end up eating a bunch of crap after dinner following a day that was entirely ON PLAN, because the food thoughts and desire to binge start intruding. Once I have "one compulsive unplanned bite" of anything, the thoughts diminish and I feel the volume in my addicted brain turn way down. And I've fed the compulsion, strengthened it, and lengthened the time the obsession will persist the next time. Eventually, one has to sit through an obsessive thought without feeding it in order to begin the process of emotionally weaning from the behavior.
The reason I'm saying all this today (some of which I've said before) is because last night, after an excellent, on plan day, I "decided" to have some ice cream. Had I stopped at even a medium dish and nothing else, it would have been fine. But after the cold, creamy and sweet, I "decided" to go for crispy and salty in the form of a flavor of potato chip I don't even like...because it was there. I had 2 napkins full of chips. Gheesh! All I had to do was not have the first bite of the ice cream.
And it's okay that I want to lose weight to look better and wear great clothes...right now more than I want peace with food, freedom from compulsion and the prison of overeating. Because when - NOT IF - I put together many days at a time of abstinence from overeating, I suspect that I'll find enough rewards that are internal, as well the external ones.
The food program I did a few years ago had a saying I liked: "I came for the vanity, and stayed for the sanity." Sounds pretty good to me.