Tuesday, June 26, 2012

one meal at a time

I'd like to say that the overeating has stopped, but it hasn't.  However, I've eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch the past two days and I've been taking my vitamins.  This may seem like a small accomplishment, but sometimes we have to celebrate the small successes.

I think I'm beginning to finally realize that the continuous diet-for-a-few-days/weeks/months/years-then-binge-for-a-few-days-months-years cycle that I've been in for at least twenty years is not just about my weight.  Yes, I probably knew that on some level but I think I need to explore that more.  Excess weight is simply a by-product of some internal work that I need to do.

It's mostly been about the weight for me.   Sure, I've examined some things over the years but it's always ultimately been about the weight.  If I'm honest with myself, if the disease of food addiction didn't lead to obesity I would probably give up and live with the other side effects.  It's not just about weight, though.

For now, I'm celebrating a few days of eating two healthy meals each day and taking the vitamins that I need.  I'm also celebrating the fact that I've continued to go to a support group.

Sometimes slow progress is lasting progress.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

not alone

I haven't been able to bring myself to post because I have nothing to say.  On second thought - that isn't entirely accurate.  I probably have plenty to say, but nothing that I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to share.

I've mentioned before that I am an "all or nothing" type of person.  To the extreme.  I'm either staying on plan, exercising, making healthy choices about everything from food to vitamins and losing weight or binge eating on a daily basis and gaining weight at an amazingly rapid speed.  Unfortunately, I'm in the binge-eating-on-a-daily-basis-and-gaining-weight-at-an-amazingly-rapid-speed mode.

No one wants to read about that.  I certainly don't want to write it.  However, I know that there are many people out there just like me.  Whether you label it food addiction, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating.....it doesn't matter.  I recently read that binge eating disorder is more common than anorexia or bulimia.  But no one talks about it.

So......even though I don't want to write about how I'm struggling and the light at the tunnel is very dim right now, I'm doing it anyway.  Because about 4% of the population struggles with this too.  Hopefully there will be people who will read this and not feel so alone.

I have not lost hope.  I have not given up.  It may seem that I have based on the fact that I've admitted to binge eating on a daily basis, but I haven't.  By this point in my many, many cycles of "all or nothing" I have usually made a decision (sometimes conscious sometimes not) that I will not even try anymore.  I haven't done that this time.

One day at a time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Burger King's new bacon sundae

When I first saw the news headline about Burger King's new menu choice, I thought it was a joke.  Then I read the article and realized that it was legitimate.  A bacon sundae.  I can't begin to fathom the thought process behind offering this.  It sounds absolutely disgusting.  Yes, I completely understand the appeal of the sweet and salty combination (unfortunately). But bacon and ice cream?  Yuck!!!!

There is headline after headline about the obesity problem in America.  Then there is the bacon sundae. The news report stated that this lovely treat  has 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.  Wow.  

What saddens me more than this being offered as a menu choice, after all what can you expect from fast food, but that it obviously must appeal to enough people that Burger King made the decision to offer it.  They're in business to make money, so I assume there was plenty of market research done prior to introducing this item.  

I realize that I probably look at things with a different perspective due to my food/weight issues.  I know that there are plenty of people who are capable of having an occasional treat while maintaining a healthy diet.  In fact, most nutrition experts recommend doing this.  But 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar?  Ridiculous.  

Ok.  enough of that rant from my soap box.  As for me, I'm doing better.  Tuesday and Thursday were binge free days.  Wednesday night I didn't do so well - I wouldn't label it as a binge but there was definitely some overeating.  Today was rough, too.  Back on track tomorrow and praying to stay that way.  One day at a time.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No vs Stop

A friend who also struggles with compulsive overeating recently told me that it is a lot easier to say "No" than "Stop".  At first, I disagreed.  When I've been binge eating on a regular basis, like I have been recently, saying no seems almost impossible.  I get to a point where I don't really even try.

Then I began thinking about how difficult it is to stop after I've begun eating certain foods.   After pondering, I decided that my friend is right.  While finding the motivation to say no to taking that first bite of a trigger food can be terribly difficult, once I've taken that first bite I can seldom stop.

Which is easier for you?

On another note, I'm proud to say that I've been binge free today!!!  This is the first day in quite some time, and I plan to continue this trend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

puzzle pieces

As I've struggled with my weight and with unhealthy eating patterns over the years, I've often berated myself for moving from one "solution" to the next, and seemingly failing at every one of them.  After all - I'm still overweight and I still have a lot of food issues, so I've failed right?

The next logical step in this thought process is the "why bother" way of thinking.  Since I always regain the weight and return to unhealthy habits, why bother?

I've begun to think that perhaps there are puzzle pieces of what I've learned from these experiences that can be maneuvered together as part of the journey to a solution.  If I can put the small nuggets of wisdom that I've gained from each experience together, perhaps I will ultimately be successful.

Let's take a look:

First diet in 9th grade - I learned that cutting calories extremely and exercising several times a day will equate to weight loss.  However, these habits can't be maintained over the long haul so the weight is quickly regained.

Six years later I tried Weight Watchers - I learned that if you stick with your allotted daily points, you can lose weight even if you eat junk that you shouldn't.  However, it gets progressively harder to control the junk food intake.  Eventually that junk food will equate to more points than necessary to lose weight or even maintain.

A few years later I happened across a movie about the gentleman that started AA.  I related so well to his story, but with food rather than alcohol.  I did some research about OA.  There weren't meetings in my area, so I purchased literature and tried online meetings.  I was still in denial, chose an ineffective meeting filled with enablers and quickly lost interest.  Lesson learned?  If the message of a program resonates strongly, try again.

Next, I went to a counselor who specialized in eating disorders.  I didn't relate to her well, and ultimately after spending probably 6 months going to her I gave up.  Looking back - I gained something very important from this.  In the process of food journaling, my anxiety and depression became evident.  I eventually began to take medication which has helped tremendously.

When I expressed to my internal medicine doctor that the counselor didn't seem to help, he recommended a psychiatrist.  I saw him for a while, but didn't really relate to him either.  Another failed experience.  But wait - he suggested an adjustment to my medication that helped quite a bit so all was not lost.

Fast forward past multiple diet attempts that typically resulted in weight loss, but then regain.  After recently reading several books about sugar addiction.  I was reminded that this is not my fault.  My issues are a result of a biochemical issue, not a character defect.  I'm still struggling, but this is a valuable piece of information.

I went to my first OA face to face meeting tonight.  I'm still processing this in my mind, so the jury is still out.

Most importantly - I'm not giving up.