Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Young man at large

I'll be brief here for now, just to check back in with my blog friends after the long holiday weekend.  Hopefully I will be able to do a better recap of the weekend and my food progress tomorrow.  It was a wonderful weekend.  I spent much of Friday just hanging out with our youngest, as planned, before he settled into full on preparation for his trip.  Many laughs, and even better...some serious conversation too.  And here I go getting misty eyed - again!

Thank you all for your kind comments after my last post about our son Mark leaving to go to the Republic of Georgia.  He actually left yesterday for this adventure, midst tears (mine), jokes (his, hubby's, brother's, and mine) and excitement.  He flew from Philly to JFK yesterday afternoon, and was going to be on a "red eye" flight from JFK to Istanbul at 9 p.m. last night.  It was to be a 10 hour flight, and Mark felt certain he wouldn't be able to sleep, given his very long legs and seating placement in the center of the tourist section.  Imagine his agency not purchasing Business Class tickets for these 20-somethings!  His biggest concern was hoping he wouldn't have to use the plane for the more solid aspect of human elimination, which cracked me up.  (I tried to make that sentence not too gross!)  Claustrophobe that I am, any kind of human elimination on a plane is unwelcome, but beyond a point, the body's gotta do what it's gotta do.  Or poo.  No pun intended.

Anyway - I'm not sure what time his flight from Istanbul to Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, was, but I'm thinking he's probably there by now.  Or not.   And that is what is so hard as a parent right now...not knowing where in the world is Mark Erickson!  Once we actually get an email and know he's on solid ground and been given a phone, it'll feel better, I think.  Right now it's as though he's out in the ether somewhere and I have no ability, in any way, to know anything about what's up.  Been through this with kids before and it'sreally not so bad.  Just strange, when you consider that you used to control at least some aspects of their experiences.  At least when they were babies!  HA!  As I learned in AA, any idea that I have control over anything but myself is pure illusion.  But the awareness of it right now just feels odd.

I'll check back in tomorrow and report on some good vegetarian dishes I made over the weekend to remind Mark what a nice place home is!!  In the meantime, starting a 4 day week beats the heck out of starting a 5 day one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy trails to the baby

Very quick post to update couple of things...I did go to the work-related dinner and did fine.  The food was good and I didn't overdo at all.  I couldn't eat the salad because if was swimming in vinaigrette dsg - bummer.  Salad dsg is one of the few things I never struggle with because no matter how good it is, I only like about 2 tsp  max.  More than that and the salad is too wet, or worse - vinegary.  Anyway, the dessert was about a 1/3 of a cup of raspberry sorbet, which I did eat and felt not one drop of guilt.  It was okay, but I'm not gonna lie...cheesecake would have been nice!  Hard to resist, but better than half melted sorbet.

The other news is the our youngest son finally got all of his dates and flight information, and he is leaving this coming Monday, Memorial Day.  He's pretty excited.  I'm pretty nervous and torqued up, but really happy for him.  It's just such a long way away - much farther than the Dominican Republic where his sister has been, and even farther than Buenos Aires, where this same son spent 1/2 of his junior year in college.  On my flat world map in my office, it's 6 inches from Philly to Buenos Aires, and 7 1/2 to the center of the Georgia Republic.  Don't know how that translates in miles, but it will be the farthest I've ever been from a child to whom I gave birth!

Besides being ready to get on with his and this great experience, I think he's totally ready to be away from home, and the 'rents.  We have a great relationship, but 23 year olds get testy when their mommies and daddies try to offer life suggestions and advice.  I'm sure many of you know this all too well!  He's also ready to be closer to his girlfriend, who has been in Georgia since early May, training with the Peace Corps.

So with Mark's imminent departure, the time until he leaves is all about him.  He's a vegetarian, so I'm already on cooking detail, having made a scrumptious vegetarian lasagna last night.  We'll do a dinner out between now and then (if he wants - he told me he really wants to see me slaving in the kitchen!), and I'll make his favorite carrot cake tomorrow.  I took Friday off after finding out he's leaving Monday, so I can hover and annoy him, and take him to lunch and generally soak up his essence.  We're so lucky with our kids, and while I'm ready to be an empty nester, I miss them like crazy when they're gone.  And this will be REALLY gone.  And no, he hasn't started packing yet!

Our older son is waiting to get word that he's starting on a job in Big Spring, Texas, working on a railroad that my husband and business partners are engineering, no pun intended.  He isn't sure exactly when he'll be going, but it will be in the next 2 months.  And like baby brother, this guy is also ready to move on to his next thing.  I'm not sure there is much going on in this place in Texas, but he'll make some good money, and hopefully figure out that he's ready to finish college.  This son left college after 2 1/2 years because he really wasn't feeling it.  He's stayed employed and done great stuff since, but of course his dad and I are hoping that he'll finish his degree eventually.  He's very easy going, affable and not moody at all - unlike certain other family members who shall remain nameless!  Yes, me.  And Mark.  And Jean.  This son is like his dad in temperament!  What a mixed bag we are :)

Well - more ramblings about my family, and not much about eating less and moving more.  I'm still plugging away with that stuff - never will give up on the doable dream of fitness and leanness.  Have a good holiday weekend all - the unofficial start of summer is here!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An unexpectedly delicious salad

I wasn't planning to post today, but as I sit here eating a salad that is stupendous tasting, I thought I needed to share it.

I was out of regular leaf lettuce today and so I used a mix of baby spinach and arugula, 3 scallions, about a 1/4 cup sliced black olives, and 1/3 of an avocado.  The only dsg I used was 1 scant Tbs. of olive oil, and some salt.  To quote Biz, Holy Shizz (sp?)!  This is a wonderful simple mix that took no time to assemble, (avocado added at work just before the olive oil), and the flavor is amazing.  Must be the extra fresh arugula!  Took a picture that in no way conveys the deliciousness of the mix, and is crappy because it's from my iphone:
By the way - I do have cottage cheese and cooked veggies to go with the salad.  This salad combo will be a staple for awhile, until I get sick of it!

And another picture of my precious Grandson Wally:

That's it from me.  Oh - tonight I have a "Members Dinner" for the place I work.  The dinner will be at a local country club where I'm sure that the banquet food will be entirely ho-hum.  But because it's a work function, I'm anticipating the possibility of some emotional eating rearing its ugly head, so am striving to be on guard and just let the emotions enter and watch where they go and how they make me feel.  Crap dessert won't change the impact of any feelings I don't want to deal with, so hopefully I won't go there.  Who knows?  Maybe it'll be fresh fruit or something not awful, though I doubt it.

Oh - one more thing I might as well say while I'm posting...I talked yesterday about some big transitions happening in our family coming up.  Besides the daughter coming home in June, my youngest son is waiting daily to hear when he will be leaving to spend a year in the Republic of Georgia, where he'll be teaching English as a second language.  He knows he will be in Georgia by June 1, but has not yet received his official date of departure or his airline arrangements.  We're about 9 days from June...do you think they could let him know when he's leaving?  Or at least let ME know?  Gheesh!  He was told he might not get his info till 5 days before.  My daughter, with her Peace Corps experience, quipped, "Well, that sounds like a 3rd world government to me!"  Haha.

The boys and I were hanging out in the den over the weekend, and I asked Mark if he didn't think it would be a good idea to start packing.  Well, both sons looked at me like I'd suggested they drive metal stakes into their eye sockets and said, "Why?"  I suggested that he could find out he was leaving in 2 days, and he answered with, "well then, I'd pack tomorrow night."  For a year.  In Georgia, on the Black Sea.  A half a world away.  Oh well, what do I know?

Next post I'll report on the middle child/oldest son and his upcoming transition.  It's all enough to make my head spin.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday musings

My weight this morning was 213.8 - which is 1.2 lbs down from last Monday's weight.  I'm satisfied with that, given that I was not sticking to the pretty stringent food plan I'd written out a couple of posts ago, which I'll talk about in a minute.  I got a lot of exercise this weekend in the form of gardening, mowing, and 2 long walks.  In anticipation of a forecasted rainy week ahead, I rummaged around and found two good work out dvds for after work if it's raining.  I have a Pilates vid I've done inconsistently over the months, but the two others are cardio workouts.  One is by The Biggest Loser, and the other a Leslie Sansone walking one.

The reason I've eased back from the strict food plan I wrote about is that it turns out I'm totally out of the oatmeal mode.  My daily breakfast was to be 1/2 cup oatmeal, a cup of plain yogurt and a fruit - everyday until further notice.  I ate oatmeal for months at a time, every day, and continued to enjoy it plain.  But in the last 10 days, the 3 times I fixed it, I didn't want it and couldn't finish it because it just didn't taste good.  I can't jazz it up with all kinds of binge inducing extras like other bloggers, so it was tasting and going down like cement.  So breakfast had to change.  The yogurt is always a go for me - now that Greek yogurt is on the menu, I never get tired of it.

What I've changed is that I either have 2 eggs with veggies along with the yogurt and fruit, or a cup of plain cheerios.  The cheerios taste great and have never (as yet) catapulted me into binge mode.  Other cereals absolutely could.

The other change I mentioned the other day is that I'm not doing 2 salads daily either.  I love one - 2 is overkill and unappealing.  Probably because the one I have at lunch is BIG.  Poor hubby - he loves salad every night and I'm just not on board.  Lucky for him he's an excellent salad maker, and fines chopping, slicing and dicing therapeutic.  I wish his food prep expertise extended beyond raw vegetables, but alas, tis not so.  He did dinner Saturday night and cooked hamburgers that were pretty dried out and tasteless.  I didn't complain, though, because it was more than I was in the mood to do.

So I'm jumping on the bandwagon and starting to read the first Shades of Grey.  Anyone read it?  A friend at work described it as compelling and smutty.  It's definitely not my usual genre of choice, but I'm curious about all the hype.

Big family transitions are just ahead - our daughter who's been in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic for over 3 years is finally closing her service and will be home June 18th.  She'll be with us for awhile, and then I suspect she'll end up in Atlanta where we have a lot of family.  She's looking for jobs in Philly and Atlanta, so a lot will depend on where she finds work.  Another complicating factor is that she now has a pretty serious Dominican boyfriend, and they are already trying to figure out what's next.  He's on the the waitlist to get into an MBA program at Northwestern in Chicago (he already has a Masters in Econ but wants the business piece too), so if he actually gets in this summer, that will likely change her plans.  Stay tuned.

More news on the "sons" front, but it's time for me to pass medications - so off to work I go.  Happy Monday, all.   I'd sure like to get that scale back to 210 by next Monday, and I'm going to try.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still hanging on and in

True confession:  I got rid of that chocolate my son brought me that I mentioned in the last post, but that's not what I'm confessing.  I took a knife and cut off a tiny piece to just taste it (didn't put it in my mouth until after I pushed the rest down into wet garbage to be on the safe side), and it was flavorless.  It basically tasted like wax.  What a waste that would have been, yet in another frame of mind, I would have inhaled it and all it's tasteless sugar, fat and calories, and not even noticed that it wasn't good.  Yay me, for once!

I'm still doing well - sticking with the modified food plan of only one big salad a day at lunch time, and yesterday I substituted the yogurt in the morning with 2 eggs scrambled with onion and asparagus.  It was raining the last 2 afternoons so I didn't walk.  Today I have a dentist to begin the process of having a 15 year old crown replaced, so I won't get home til close to 6.  Tomorrow is the appointment with my primary doc that I put off for so long due to fear and trembling over my weight and blood work.  I'll get the slip for the blood work at tomorrow's visit and hope to go Friday morning to get it drawn.  I'm just doing it even though I don't want to.  You know, like a grown up.

Lots of big stuff coming up for the family with transitions of kids from one place to another.  I'll talk about it all more tomorrow.  But I wanted to check in and say I'm actually hanging in there for now.  I just keep picturing that horrific scale reading last week and that seems to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I know that won't work forever, but I'm grateful it's working for now.  Happy hump day, everyone.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crazy Monday

Once again I had a longer post in mind, but my work day started out with a bang and has kept on banging Since!  Things are starting to calm down so I'll try to knock out a fast few words here and an update.

This morning I got on the scale and was 215.  Terrible, but a whole lot better than the 219.2 I was on Thursday.  I did eat according the to the plan I used in that Thursday post on Thursday and Friday.  Over the weekend, I didn't adhere to it exactly but did keep my eating in check and entirely sane.  No bingeing at all.  One thing I was reminded of by Friday night was that when I eat 2 huge salads a day, I seem to experience some intestinal disquiet (holy CRAP!...pun intended), so I'm modifying the plan back to 1 big salad a day and substituting a starch at dinner time with the cooked vegetables (over the weekend in was 3/4 cup of brown rice last night night and a small sweet potato Saturday.  Plus the 6 oz (or more) of steamed vegetables.  When I did this plan several years ago, I didn't put it together until I actually scheduled a doctor's appointment about the GI symptom, and when she heard the amount of salad I was eating suggested that I cut back.  HAH!  Asking to cut back on salad...that's a first.  Things have normalized again with the change.

I also got a lot of exercise each day, and these changes have been helping me sleep better.  Overall, I'm feeling much better and hopeful that I can keep this up a day at a time.

Mothers' Day was something of a non-event in our house, because hubby has been gone since last Tuesday, and doesn't get home until late tomorrow night.  Younger son went to NYC to visit some college friends, and older son worked some extra time and had some other stuff going on.  He and I did have a nice breakfast together yesterday morning that also varied from the plan but was fine in that it was an omelet with onions, asparagus and a smidgen of low fat swiss cheese.

In a way it was fine that it worked out this way, because it gave me the opportunity to not have to navigate restaurant food at all.  Hubby wants to do a Mothers' Day dinner out after he gets home later in the week - we'll see.  Oh - and the son who went to New York brought me a beautiful chocolate "plaque" from some fancy place that said Happy Mothers' Day.  I set it aside - wasn't tempted, but probably I should pass it on to another household, as when I get into an emotional tizzie about something, it could very likely be a go-to option.

That's it for today.  Better continues.  I just have to keep it one day at a time.  Easier said than done, but doable.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Hi everyone - Thanks for the kind support blog friends are so wonderful about.  This will be pretty short because I haven't had lunch yet - at 1:20, and I still have some meds to give at work as well.  I was going to post longer this morning, but little things kept pulling me away from the keyboard.

First - I stayed exactly on plan yesterday.  3 meals comprised of the categories I wrote out.  I did have one diet coke, and gobs of water.  Also got in a long walk.  I was up about 6 times in the night (not kidding!) to pee - so I expect at least a drop or two of that awful weight yesterday (no pun...) was water.  But no excuses - weight is weight.  Bingeing is bingeing, whether I call non-stop eating throughout the day grazing or anything else.  Yesterday by the time lunch rolled around, I was empty stomach hungry.  Same with dinner.  A familiar old feeling I haven't experienced in a long time.

I am going to start doing a 4th step about food and eating.  I'll talk more about that process in another post - but it's one of the 12 steps that is really important in terms of facing the truth about oneself and trying to gain perspective and understanding about the nature of our struggles and disconnects.  I did one years ago as part of AA recovery, but food is the behemoth now, and if I want to find recovery from overeating, it's clear I need to use tools that helped me find recovery, and peace, from food related issues.

I'm on track today so far.  I intend to see this day through as cleanly as I was able to get through yesterday.  The horror of the scale seemed to stave off any food thoughts or cravings, but I know all too well how quickly that can pass, and it gets harder to sit through food desires.

I'm going to close with a few pics from my front yard garden that has been gloriously in bloom this last couple of weeks.  I plan to touch base in the blog each day to report my previous day's success, or lack thereof.  Hopefully I can continue the rigorous honesty that it took to admit my weight yesterday.  Have a good weekend, all, and Happy Mothers' Day!!!

And my first grandchild:


Thursday, May 10, 2012

So sick and tired of being sick and tired

I'm going to try a pretty modified food plan for a few days, starting today.  I'm going to write about it in a sec, but wanted to come clean (God knows my food hasn't been) first.  Turns out my triumphant "no, thank you," that I wrote about on Tuesday did not immunize me from overeating later in the day.  I thought it might, but as any food addict knows, one tiny step for the woman does not equal a giant leap in the battle against bingeing for humankind.

Here it is:  It's been a bad couple of weeks, and on Tuesday was determined to have a clean food day from start to finish.  Not having the cake and ice cream was great.  I didn't feel particularly deprived.  After I got home I wasn't able to do a long walk because we were in the midst of several days of rain.  Now I could have done any number of the aerobic walking and/or Pilates videos I have, but didn't.  Food thoughts started wafting in, and I was able to identify I wasn't physically hungry.  But I ate a "safe" and "not terrible" snack, and that just opened the flood gates.

You've read this from me before.  I'm sorry to repeat myself, so will do my best not to.  The details aren't important, but I sort of grazed the rest of the evening.  Relatively little junk, but calorie/fat dense stuff like nuts and cheese.  I think butter may have been involved.

Yesterday I was all determined and intentional about eating.  That lasted until about 9:30 am when some very annoying and difficult stuff went down at work that I had to get heavily (no pun intended) involved in, and as the  situation started to settle, my emotions were varying between anger, extreme frustration, resentment, and on to rage.  I maintained my professionalism by keeping it to myself mostly, but the thought came that I wanted to eat to feel better.  I saw it for what it was and did it anyway.  My thought to self and pronouncement to a couple of work friends, "I'm in a mood here."  (So much for not repeating myself as I promised above.)

I've had sporadic days for the aforementioned couple of weeks.  Some pretty good but still containing more food than I was hungry for, and many bad choices.  Other days worse.  With little exercising except for the weekends due to busy-ness laziness.  I knew I was sucking wind, and emotionally spent over any number of NOT catastrophic things.  A major key in all this is not having weighed since (just looked back over my posts to even know when) April 27 when I was "maintaining" at 210.

This morning I got on the scale and it was bad.  I guess I should just fess up and say it was 219.2.  That is no lie.  I wasn't going to add the .2, but there I go again with dishonesty.  I was not surprised, but I was very upset.  I can't keep doing this to myself, yet I do.

When I wrote that 12 step post the other day, it was in part due to wondering if going back is what I need and fervently not wanting to re-enter that arena.  I know the nature of my eating disorder qualifies me as a food addict.  For sure.  Can I do this alone?  I want to think I can, but that may be denial.  I think it is.

While I cogitate all the above, I'm going to return to the food plan given to me by my joyless FAA sponsor when I did that program a few years back.  It works, and I'll write it out here in a minute.  One thing I hated about the program was that each person's food plan was different, according to what their sponsor gave them to eat.  Obviously there were certain taboos - sugar, white flour, wheat products - I don't know what else.  But one person might get one fruit a day (me) and another (of equal or higher weight, btw) might get 3.  Kind of weird.

The broad plan is below.  I'm going to do it today.  To the letter.  I will post tomorrow whether I stayed on it or not.

B:  1 cup plain low fat or non-fat yogurt; 1/2 cup (uncooked oatmeal); 1 fruit (or 1 cup of berries, excluding cherries or bananas).  Artificial sweetener okay, limited to 2 packets, if necessary.  I used and will use Splenda because for now, with plain Greek yogurt, it's necessary.

L:  4 ounces plain lean protein (any beef, poultry, fish, pork) that is baked, dry broiled grilled, roasted; 6 ounces cooked vegetable with no added butter, sauce, or anything - preferably steamed, or if frozen then simply cooked in small amount of water; 8 ounces salad (veggies only, no olives, avocado, etc...) 1 TBS olive oil.

D:  Same as lunch.  Exactly.   Free items include mustard, vinegars, fresh or dried herbs.  No dried beans, grains of any kind (other than morning oatmeal).  When I asked her if there would be brown rice and beans in my future, she said, "not anytime soon".

This is it - obviously one loses weight on this.  When I did this, my sponsor told me that any variation required a phone call to "discuss" and get approved.  For instance, if I was out of plain yogurt, I had to call for her to tell me a substitute that was acceptable - in the case of yogurt, 2 eggs cooked in no oil or butter of any kind.  I won't be doing this kind of phone call stuff, obviously, and it was this approach that helped me to hate both that sponsor and the 12 step program and rendered it unsustainable.  However, I think the basic food plan is sound for a start, if for nothing else than as a detox.  I can keep track of what goes in much more easily that with WW or other plans.  For the short haul only.  In fact, just for today.

Oh- I forgot to add that liquids are water, coffee black (not happening for me - skim or 1% milk "necessary"), tea.  Diet soda and diet drinks (Crystal light) discouraged not prohibited.  It's funny that when my food is in check, I have no desire for carb. diet drinks, and I never drink real soda.

Obviously this is rigid.  But I know I need some thoroughly clean eating for a few days.  I will stay honest and accountable here while I do this, and I'll be talking to my AA sponsor who's done the food stuff many moons ago.  And BTW - I'm interested in opinions on the food plan itself if you have one and have the time to comment.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No, thank you

I'm back to work today after taking vacation days on Friday and Monday, thus giving me the coveted 4 day weekend.  I had no plans but knew I needed a little mental health respite from work.  It was great - I hung out with hubby on Friday morning, then lunch with a friend.  The whole 4 days were unstructured but with enough of the usual and pleasant aspects of my life incorporated to ease me back to my usual (mostly) grounded self.  I was actually looking forward to getting back to work!  Now that proves some solid rest, relaxation and renewal happened!

Upon returning, I remembered that today is the birthday of my very favorite client here, a dear now 46 y/o names Mary Agnes.  She's no bigger than a minute with a bright face, great red hair, and an infectious laugh.  She's non-verbal, but in her 46 years, she's become quite good at conveying her needs and wants without having to use words.

Anyhoo, her sister had planned a birthday party for Mary in the gym, and most of the staff and some of the other consumers were invited.  Having forgotten, I brought a jumbo salad for lunch, as well as a Chobani Strawberry for dessert.  As soon as I got here, I remembered the party and the voices in my head started chattering about what I'd do about the inevitable ice cream and cake.  I'm not kidding, I was in constant mind flux over "yes I will" or "no I won't", regarding my participation in the traditional birthday foods.  It was as if a board meeting was going on in my head.

When the time came and I was sitting in the gym with everyone, eating my salad, I was offered cake and ice cream.  Guess what I said???..."no, thank you."  "Are you sure?"  Yep, I was sure.  The cake combo was proffered 3 other times before the party was over, and my answer stayed the same.  And now I'm so glad.

During the mental voice confab in my head this morning, I reflected on the fact that if I had the cake and ice cream - no matter how much or how little, I'd want more.  I wouldn't have more because I wouldn't want to seem greedy and piggish in front of all the folks.  But I always want more, no matter how much or how little...see above.  And it would only be a matter of time before I'd get "more" of something - either later at work, or when I get home.  That's how it is with me.

So I successfully dodged the first food bullet of the day, and that increases my chances of dodging the next one that comes along, whenever it does.  And it will.  It doesn't have to be a party.  I can't count the number of parties for one I've had in my life.

As I type this, I'm enjoying my Chobani, which wouldn't be the least bit enticing had I had heavily iced birthday cake and ice cream.  But because I left that stuff out, the yogurt tastes like a decadent treat.  Imagine that!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A 12 step apologetic

I've been doing some thinking since Monday about the nature of food addiction.  Actually it's always on my mind at some level, but Monday I read Karen's post that included her review of Diane Carbonell's  just published book, 150 Pounds Gone Forever, as well as a very good series of questions that Karen posed to Diane about the weight loss process.  I was really struck by Diane's answers to questions, and how she was able to slowly but surely drop so much weight without a rigid program with rules, sponsors, etc.

I guess my mind gets twitching because I've done 12 step food programs a few times, and every now and then I think I should try to go back.  Except.

First of all, I will say that when I attended 12 step food programs, I lost weight.  Because I stopped overeating.  Not because of loving support, working the steps, following a magic food plan.  Simply because I stopped what I was doing that made me gain weight in the first place.  Guarantee that works every time, unless one has a medical condition or a biochemical imbalance that prevents one's body from responding to eating less while moving more.  Truly no magic. Support, yes; but in a way that always felt a little barbed to me.  I acknowledge that the barbed edge I felt was likely in my head, but I've experienced it every time I've tried the 12 step food meetings.  As long as I was following the plan to the letter, all was okay.  But if I even asked about adding in another fruit a day (for example), I felt the vapors of judgement and frustrated sadness from the sponsor du jour.

I've never felt at home or even really honest in either Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts in Recovery, which is 12 step based and very regimented about their requirements for what they consider abstinence.  Not feeling at home is one thing.  It took awhile for me to feel at home in AA, but once I did, a few months in, I've always had a safe haven at any AA meeting.  I never felt (or feel) judged in the AA rooms - to the contrary, I've always been aware of fellow recovering alcoholics reaching out to give to me, and all who come into the fellowship, what they have found as they worked the program.

But not feeling honest is a different thing altogether.  Especially given what I've come to KNOW from AA.  Honesty with oneself and others is vital.  Yet each time I'd get going for several weeks or months in an anonymous food program, I'd be thinking the whole time that I had no desire to have what the other members had, other than the ones who'd lost weight and improved their health.  I didn't want a requirement of making 3 phone calls a day to different members, to have to call a sponsor every day at a certain time to talk about feelings, to have to attend at least 3 meetings each week or else "lose my clean time", or to someday have 10 years worth of every tracked day written down stored away in a closet (to name a few).  And also, I don't want to have a goal (or a prayed for desire) to never eat a piece of cake or some other treat again.  But I could not say that to anyone in those programs without being met with looks of shock and dismay.

So all that I've written is background for where I'm going with on this thought train.  Reading Diane's answers to Karen's questions (and hopefully I'll read D's book shortly), I started thinking about what is different about Diane and me, that she was able to get a grip and begin a steady forward moving journey to leanness and fitness without a rigid program telling her what was okay to eat and what wasn't.  Then I thought, "Well, maybe Diane isn't/wasn't a food addict", but it seems that any of us who get into the upper 200s and beyond in the weight realm probably have more than an occasional bad food choice driving our eating habits.

I don't know - I think I might actually email Diane and ask her her thoughts on this.  Because when asked if there any foods that Diane simply avoided, she named Snickers, Goldfish Crackers and Oreos, as they still had the power to induce her to overeat.  Besides those three, other treats occasionally find their way into her diet.  And this is where my inability to be truly honest, and I said a couple of paragraphs up, manifest.

I'm not sure if this is making any sense...I sometimes think I must have been humiliated or shamed in the food fellowships.  My experiences in them - 3 separate times where I really stuck with them for several months, always felt like temporary respite.  I had no desire to stay there.  Maybe I just encountered the wrong people - I know they exist in AA, so why not in one of AA's spawns?  But the nature of the rigidity of food programs felt very dysfunctional and uncomfortable to me, and other than weight loss, I don't want what they have.  And I'm convinced I can find weight loss and fitness without having to attend their meetings.  I can use what I learned there, as well as what I always get from AA, and navigate this damn twisty turny bumpy HARD road.