Monday, November 21, 2011

Takes more than HOPE to help this Food obsessed girl!

Last week I wrote about the return of hope into my mental and emotional landscape that abstaining from bingeing was affording me.  It's still helping me keep a lid on my still frequent (though sometimes they feel constant) food obsessive thoughts.  And this morning I'm realizing something else that is helping me - reading blogs of others whose weight loss journeys are not a linear process from weighing too much to weighing "just right".  For whatever reason (misery loves company?), it really helps to see that even people who have had a lot off success in the weight loss arena still struggle, often mightily.

It also helps to read others' comments to frustrated bloggers lamenting about following their plan 98% of the time and having marginal weigh ins, close feeling snug - whatever.  This morning I just read Helen's post, which was great and REAL as always - and then read the comments people had already posted.  There I found a golden nugget to help me keep on keepin' on...Shelley had  pointed out that even on The Biggest Loser, week 2 weigh ins were usually crappy.  Not being a TBL watcher, I didn't know that, though my 50+ years of dieting has certainly sent me some major clues of that fact.  Anyway, I'm grateful for whatever can lighten my mind and reinject me with determination for just the day - TODAY - to stay the course.

My weigh in today was 206.  Down a pound.  (Actually .8 of a pound as last week's was 206.8 which I rounded up for reporting because I knew when I inhaled the .2 would would probably attach itself back to my waist.)  Anyway - I was not impressed, expecting something more substantial.  Why I don't know because I was anything but perfect in my low-carb eating for the week.  I continue to do better, but feel myself slipping up and thinking about just taking Thanksgiving week off.  WHA?????????????????Am I freaking kidding myself???

And therein lies another benefit I got from reading blogs and comments...maybe I can take TG day off instead of the whole week?  What a concept!  I can honestly say my mind was all over the map this morning, contemplating whether I was just going to surrender to the dark side today.  Reading those comments and Helen's post really helped turn it around for me.  For today.  Tomorrow isn't here so I can leave thoughts of that for when it becomes today.  In the meantime I'm grateful for whatever and whoever helps me stay sane in the only place I can - today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's the HOPE that's helping

Last week at my work was utterly crazy and as busy as it's been in my 7 1/2 years here - thus minimal posting.  By the end of the week as I was driving to my early morning meeting before work, I gazed into the sky and got a clue as to why things were so bonkers with my clients (they'll always be patients to this nurse!)...there was a full moon in our neck of the woods!  I swear that darn astral orb really does exert forces and influences that we aren't aware of.

But I digress...I'm mainly checking in on how I've been doing since restarting, or continuing , my neverending journey to health, fitness and wholeness.  Recall when last we met (last Tuesday), I'd strayed off my very low carb combo of South Beach Phase 1/Atkins Induction, and managed to actually gain 1.6 pounds for the Monday weigh in.  Since that post, I've been mostly on plan, with a few deviations over the weekend, like splitting an order of world class onion rings with hubby at dinner Saturday night, and another bowl of ice crean that somehow found it's way into my belly.  But truly, honestly, I was much more on plan daily, and had zero incidences of bingeing.

The zero bingeing is a biggie for me, because as I've shared with a blog friend who has been so kind and gracious to offer additional support via email (like a therapist!), I haven't abstained from bingeing because I've got this thing licked.  Every afternoon and especially after dinner, my obsessive and addictive brain starts sending me messages to eat one of my favorite "whatevers"...and each afternoon and evening I find myself back in the boxing ring with the obsessive food thoughts.  It's really exhausting mentally and emotionally, and I see (when I'm not instantly acting on the desire to eat) that often I cave because it shuts up the obsessive thoughts.  But caving to the one thought by eating the one "whatever" ALWAYS, repeat ALWAYS (that means every single time) leads me to the next whatever.  Repeat ad nauseum. 

I've said it before - I don't have to refrain from eating a sleeve of cookies; I only have to refrain from the first bite of the first one, and the binge doesn't get started.   How many times do I have to prove this?...well, I'm not going to self flagellate as that doesn't serve me well at all.  But what has helped this week as the thoughts have hammered at my consciousness - mocking me, wooing me, luring me, tempting me?  It's been the sense of hope that I found back a few weeks ago when I emerged from a long period of out of control eating and confessed it all here.  At that point I was 215.8 and had been feeling hopeless about ever getting back the desire to stay in this arena.  Seriously.  Within several days of clean, on-plan eating, the biggest thing I felt was the return of hope and the loss of the daily remorse and misery of putting on something that was getting more snug by the week.

Hope.  I didn't realize how much I didn't have it until it resurfaced.  And it felt glorious and still does.  I'm grateful that God is giving me a glimpse of that contrast between hopelessness and hopefulness, because when the thought of going stark raving binge crazy comes up, I know I don't want to go back to the absence of hope.  Yet I didn't even reconize its absence before during those rough months.

So - while I haven't been perfect, I've been doing so much better and not getting hung up on sharing onion rings and deciding I have to come home and "finish the job" by eating all that isn't nailed down.  Because once I do that one time, the hope begins to dwindle as predictably as sand flowing down through an hour glass.

My weigh in this morning was 207 - down 3 pounds from last Monday.  I'll take it.  I was delighted, surprised and disbelieving when I saw the I told my blog therapist friend, I actually got off and back on the scale 3 times before believing it.  I was praying I hadn't gained, and yet knew I'd doing pretty well and exercising a lot. 

That's where I find myself this morning, and it's a hell of a lot better than where I was a month ago.  Thanks, universe!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The worst laid plan

We have an in-service day today because my workplace happens to be a polling place on this election day.  So not much time for me to craft a prosaic piece of literature for my post today.  Mainly I just wanted to update my progress.

I made the dubious decision to come off very low carb eating over the weekend because I was craving an apple.  Hahaha - as I told a blog friend via email...of all the things I DID eat over the weekend, not one molecule of apple passed through my lips.  I didn't go totally bonkers, but I ended up having ice cream twice, 2 slices of pizza, and several other decidedly OFF PLAN items.  So after my weight last Wednesday being 208.4, it was 210 Monday morning.  But not to worry...I'm back on plan and have already shed the extra poundage which was most likely water weight.  Seems I'm not ready for a weekend break yet so I'm back to South Beach I, and no matter how intense my "apple" craving gets, I'm not coming off Phase I for 2 weeks.  Hopefully.  That's my intention.

Exercise is good, and I still feel the more clear headed benefits of cutting way back on sugar (was 10 days clean and then had the ice cream over the w/e, plus other carby things that surely got my blood sugar reeling).

That's it for now.  I'm feeling a trillionth Day 2 in the works here, and grateful for it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Give me patience NOW

I logged Day 8 clean and still spot on with reasonable eating.  I'm feeling a bit euphoric about this and am striving to remind myself to just stay in the day and not get ahead of myself.  I haven't strung together 8 days in a loooong time.  Eating in this very low carb manor has really put the cravings and food thoughts to bed for now, but I'm wise enough to know that they can be awakened very easily and so am figuratively tiptoeing around myself and my eating disordered tendencies.

Case in point:  As I lay in bed this morning , I was aware of my stomach feeling nice and empty.  Not in an uncomfortable way, but in a "surely this is a good sign" way.  The expectation of another pound down was great, so I decided to get on the scale even though I'd told myself that I should only weigh once a week, or at least no sooner than 4 full days apart.  On Tuesday I was 208.4.  Today I was 208.4.  Huh?  What the.....???  Immediately I felt disappointment, frustration and fear.  My mind flashed me the message,  "well this is lowest I'm going to get, unless I start eating a lot less!...".

About 30 seconds after my visions of weight loss grandeur drained like sand in an hourglass and my crazy thinking went into overdrive, another voice came up and urged calm.  I know I need to keep doing what I'm doing.  No starving, no saying "eff it", no giving up.  Just keep doing what I'm doing.  Pray for patience.  Pray for help. weighing more than every 4 days.  I have committed to not weigh until Monday morning, no matter what.  The scale can become a mood ring for me very easily, and it's verdict on any given day can make or break my mood.  This thinking is part of my eating disorder, and the only way to address it is to regiment it to once a week.  Monday mornings will be good because it will help me stay mindful of my eating over the weekend.  Once a week is reasonable to map progress, and see where I may need to make adjustments.

That's it for today.  I'm 14+ hours into Day 9, and I'm sure I'm going to make it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

There's light in the distance

I sort of left off that last post in cliffhanger fashion.  My intention was not to divide this saga into chapters (boringest book ever), but this is what happens when blogging at work, and then trying to hornswaggle my own laptop away from #2 son who is currently living at home and recently experienced the sudden and total demise of his own computer. 

So - when last we met I'd just had the jolt of scale trauma/drama/oh!mama! and was suffused from within with the deep knowledge that I couldn't continue in the destructive eating pattern I'd been in for months - and if truth be told...for years.  I felt done.  Scared.  Using my knowledge of hitting bottom (and hoping for no trapdoors in that bottom), the first thing I did was literally pray to whomever/whatever is controlling my personal marionette strings and asked for help and for willingness to accept and receive whatever form that help may manifest.  As I told a blog friend - I was hoping the divine source would not send me to a 12 step food program but was/am willing to try again if that's where I feel led.  So far, that hasn't come up at all.  (In fact, it seems just the opposite...)

I just knew that the best action plan for myself was to go cold-turkey on sugar, flour and aim for low carb eating.  This has always been a good plan for me - and I've been doing a sort of merging of South Beach Phase 1 and Atkins Induction.  I began last Wednesday morning, and so far I have stayed true to the plan.  No sugar at all.  No flour or products with flour at all.  No highly processed junky stuff.  Within 48 hours of this my head was clearer, my cravings were gone - caput - and I was stunned that I'd actually been able to get those 2 days.  And I've been on plan since.  Today is Day 8 - a full week under my belt, and my weight was 208.4 yesterday morning - a loss of 7.4 pounds.  I feel better in every way, and it's remarkable how I'm not constantly thinking of food.  Clearly, with my Type 2 diabetes, the whole insulin mechanism is out of whack, and I'm terribly triggered by even one bite of "contraband".  As I've said here many times before, I don't have to resist a whole cake, or a bag of candy - I only have to not take the first bite, and that will greatly help the biochemical piece of my overeating.

So - I'm feeling much better, and the biggest change I am seeing is the restoration of hope.  I'd actually been thinking that I was not going to be able to get my eating under control again and that I should work on accepting myself as a fat person who struggles to be "only" 50 pounds overweight.  I was really mired down in negativity, fear, muddled thinking from endless sugar intake, and inertia.  It feels miraculous that I have a full week clean!  And I feel just the slightest bit optimistic that I CAN get better, find healing and ultimately, peace with food.

But - the BIG BUT...the part that will be the most difficult will be the emotional piece.  Just last evening for the first time I started having food thoughts - no cravings, but just the desire to eat something.  So I had about a 1/4 cup of nuts and went to bed.  The thoughts passed, but not before I sat and reflected for a little while - trying to breathe into that desire to eat and see where it took me.  I didn't unearth anything of import, but I know that there are feelings and thoughts and maybe memories or fears that I've been stuffing.  They will emerge if I don't restart the stuffing process, and it's my fervent desire to not return to that living hell of out-of-control eating.

I'm perfectly content for now with the way I'm eating, but I'm not even having fruit for the first 2 weeks.  I don't trust myself, and since I'm not missing it or craving it, I'm going to take it a day at a time and see if I want to continue with this or add in a few more carb items like an apple, or dried beans or something.  But the biggest thing is that I'm going to stay accountable to a friend in my real world, as well as to a virtual friend who extended herself and her support to me.  And I'm going to be honest.  This current burst of truth telling by me has been motivated by a very courageous blogger, Lyn at Escape From Obesity, who has always role-modeled honesty on her blog.  I'm done with glossing over reality.  It wastes your time and mine, and affords me nothing.

So here is trying to get this 8th day in the can!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The slow and steady decline

If for no other reason than to stop having to see the non-word "supah" in the title of my last post - which was a full month ago, I'm finally feeling like reinserting myself into the blogosphere.  I've been reading my faves and commenting occasionally, but emotionally I've been on a roller coaster of the self-induced kind.  Whoever first said, "Our misery is generally 97% of our own making" was a wise soul indeed.  I've felt out-of-control with self care and thus my self respect has been lower than a snake's belly.  Old shame has been percolating, rendering me vulnerable to even more bad choices regarding self care.

Things at work, home, family life, friends, AA - you know, the surface stuff - have been fine.  But in my own little world, I've been struggling with old behaviors (read: bingeing) for awhile.  I haven't done well really all summer with keeping my food in check.  And of course I didn't write honestly about it here because I was certain I could get a hold of it and turn things around.  What a crock'o'crap.  I'd been relying on my old faithful "Scale Roulette" as a means of "controling" my eating.  If the scale was up a couple of pounds, I tried to rein in my after work and after dinner eating.  When the scale dropped back down the couple of pounds to the less but still horrific # of around 210, I'd relax a bit and fall back into the "eating whatever isn't nailed down" tactic.  Realize this was basically all summer long when wrote here I was doing okay but could be doing better.  Liar liar pants on fire...

In September I tried not buying much in the way of junk food and highly processed stuff as a means of helping control myself.  Well.  It's amazing how creative I can get about concocting bad food choices from relatively few blatantly bad "foods".  Think healthy whole wheat bread with ice cold butter sort of sliced into thin pats to cover the surface and eating that - delicious.  So good in fact, that I'd go back for another.  This while virtuously avoiding peanut butter.  I'll spare you the details, but Scale Roulette got harder, and the required weigh-ins to play the game became fewer and farther between. 

About a week before before we left for California, I white knuckled some semblance of "improved" intake and managed to get down to a lithe 208 before we flew out on September 30th.  (Like 208 is my goal!)  I was relieved that I was back in reasonable territory for the trip.  Good grief.  While there, we literally ate 3 meals a day out - lots of good stuff, but also lots of bad choices (for me - not my skinny husband or skinnier son).  Not to mention a few clandestine forays to local grocery stores or Starbucks for scones, M&Ms (which I honestly don't usually like that much).  It was vacation, and I knew I was "probably" going to gain a few pounds, but figured I'd get back on track (you know, the track I hadn't been on in months) and get it off once home.  By far the worst day was the flight home - 2 stopovers before landing in Philly, so a long day in airports, all equipped with various and sundry eateries of questionable nutritious purveyance.  Over the course of that day, I had 2 different Starbucks scones, 2 different fast-food meals (which I literally hadn't had in several at McD's, one at Burger King - both with fries but NO SHAKES because I was being careful!)...and other assorted candy, cookies (Biscoffs on the flights - I might surrender an arm for a lifetime supply of those)...just totally out of control.

The first morning home, I stepped on the scale after mentally preparing myself for a "possible" gain  (I just laughed out loud as I wrote that!).  What to my wondering eyes should appear but the number 215.8, the highest I'd been since starting this blog.  The date was October 9th, and I immediately set out to turn it around.  But I couldn't.  I'd do well for several hours each day, obsessing all the way about what I couldn't shouldn't mustn't eat, and eventually succumb.  I did get down to 212.4 after the first week, but never got on the scale again until Wednesday, the 26th, last week.  In those days prior to weighing, I was really kind of crazed.  I bought big bags of little packs of Brach's candy corn (for trick or treaters), thinking I'd have 2 little bags each night.  More like 8-10, which probably totalled 80 candy corn - after other late afternoon and evening junk.  I knew I was out of control - a terrible feeling - but I couldn't stop and began to get scared that I was never going to be able to rein myself in again.  I felt pretty desperate and depressed, and getting dressed in the mornings was becoming a huge nightmare because everything was tight.

I could go on describing this - and already have for too long.  Finally last Wednesday I weighed myself and saw 215.8 again.  It shocked the shit out of me and I knew I couldn't continue. 

**This is where I stopped writing yesterday at work (Monday) and was never able to return.  I'll continue now but am going to post this first part of my neverending story's next chapter.**