Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Food Police, Give Me a Break

Police signMany of Us know all too well the long-term problems we’ve had dealing with our weight and food issues.  We don’t deal with those in isolation:  we have families, friends, work colleagues, doctors, WW leaders, casual acquaintenances, and strangers on the street who all feel it’s their right and responsibility to show us the error of our ways.  Sometimes it’s done with love; other times with harsh words of judgment and failure to live up to expectations – often of things we set for ourselves.  The same comments mean different things depending on whether we’re in the zone of sticking to food plans and eating “good” food.

My experience has really only been as the fat person being criticized, er, supported by the healthy perfect person reminding me that chocolate is bad, that my portions are too big, that I didn’t have enough fruits or vegetables, that eggnog is full of fat, that candy canes are pure sugar, that I should drink water instead of soda, that a cookie will destroy my food balance for the rest of my life.  Okay, they don’t say that part, and usually the statements are made one at a time.

But honestly, do the people saying things to the fatties not realize that we’re not stupid and that we already know that stuff?  We’ve heard it most of our lives and it’s as though we put hands over our ears and sing “la la la la la la” while they say the same thing over and over. It’s not that they’re wrong.  It’s that it’s a judgment and a reminder that once again we have failed.

Which, in my case, usually means I reach for another cookie, tho I’m trying not to.

I do understand that people who are in a healthier place than I am do not want to enable me or those like me to continue eating to our destruction.  I get it, really I do.  At some point, though, your words to prevent enabling simply become thorns in the side or ignored completely.  The epiphany to change happens inside and rarely in response to a same-old same-old “you screwed up again” comment.

I love you heartsSo if I may make a suggestion going into the holidays — try just loving the person as they are right now, warts and all.  Just for a little while.  Without constant criticism or judgment, without reminders of failure, without suggestions that now would be a good time to go on a diet.  Have healthy options available, from small yummy clementines to lean proteins and fresh veggies.  Note that low-fat ice cream is a healthier option than the full-fat kind.

But also remember that, for most people, a Christmas cookie or two won’t kill us.  And often being able to eat something tasty in public, without evil eyes being cast, means there’s less of a craving to sneak into the kitchen when everyone is occupied to stuff the face with half the cookie jar just to prove that we can eat what we want.

Of course we could overdo things.  Trust us, we’ll know it when we do.  Love us anyway – and tell us so.


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Happy 4th

This being July 4th and a day for picnics and parties and fireworks in celebration of our nation’s birthday, I was invited to a picnic by a buddy from the morning bus.  She asked me to bring a dessert and in my laziness, I decided brownies were the way to go.  Open a box, dump in some eggs, oil and water, stir, bake, and voila! Brownies.

Feeling virtuous, I didn’t even buy the box until this morning and whipped up a batch when I got home from the store.  Unfortunately by the time they were cooled, the picnic was cancelled because of expected thunderstorms.  Which meant there was a box of ready to eat brownies sitting on my counter.

Did I do the smart thing and demolish them in the disposal?  No.  Did I smush them up so they were unrecognizable?  No – and anyway, that wouldn’t change anything because they would still be brownies, just in a different shape.  Did I pour dish soap or some other revolting (and sick-making) substance on top?  Yes, but not until I ate about 1/4 of the pan.  Okay, maybe 1/3.  No, 1/4.  I made myself sick overeating something I didn’t even expect to have in the house and wouldn’t have bought or eaten if I’d been anywhere else. The remains of the pan are now in the trash, liberally squirted with Dawn and worchestershire sauce, but the damage is done.

The bad news is that I ate them without listening to my body enough to know that it was saying, “This is enough, you can stop now.”  The good news is that they are now in the trash, I have healthy groceries in the fridge, and tomorrow is another day.  And there is WW on Sunday morning, where I will step on the scale and hold myself accountable.  I don’t have to wait until Sunday to be more in controlle tomorrow.

Since I didn’t go to the picnic, I worked on The Closet Project today and have now successfully weeded through the closets and cedar chest. I still have the dresser and a box of reserved smaller things to evaluate.  I must say it’s pretty liberating to use the lens of “would I buy this again?” instead of “would I wear this again?”  My bags of clothes will go in the car tomorrow and popped into clothing donation boxes so they don’t get in the way.  Someone else will be thrilled to have the things that have no more value for me.  A Win-Win situation for everyone.


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Let’s Get Real

Wakeup ButtonWhen I eat too much and exercise too little, the inevitable results will be weight gain. With a few rare exceptions, that’s what’s been happening to me since I moved in June. As of tonight’s weigh in, I’m higher than I’ve been in a long, long time. Something about recracking a particular ‘decade’ number made me wake up and pay attention.

I haven’t been working hard at weight loss or taking it very seriously and it shows. I’ve let the portions get sloppy, my food choices become unbalanced, and my exercise practically disappeared. What did I think would happen? That I had some invincibility and could eat whatever I want and have it not show up attached to my hips with superglue?

I was actually pretty shocked tonight when I got on the WW scale because the scale at home, which usually at least lets me have a heads up on the official weigh in, didn’t indicate that this was coming. I stayed for my meeting and we talked about winning outcomes. Specifically, how to manage to get through December and reach January having achieved the outcome we want – whatever it is.

I have no illusions that I will lose weight between now and New Years. My real goal is to lose one pound and break back through this unhappy place where I find myself. Frankly, staying basically in one place will be an accomplishment.

Losing weight takes a lot of energy and I haven’t put much into my process since I moved. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important; I do, and I know that I would both feel and look better with even 10% of my current weight gone. But I haven’t cared enough about it to do the work that’s felt more like punishment at a time when I was already scrambling to learn a new place and establish a new life.

I’m not giving myself permission to be lax. Being “kind of on program” shows me that just letting go completely would mean regaining it all, as I’ve done before. I just can’t go there again. I’d rather stay fat but smaller than risk gaining it all back and then some, which is my usual pattern.

For now I’m holding on by the skin of my teeth. I’ve planned my food for tomorrow and will try to get in some extra walking, though my knee gets very unhappy when I do that. I haven’t been to water aerobics in six weeks “because the water was too cold” which is a pretty stupid reason, although the water really was freezing. I don’t promise that I will go to class tomorrow but I will be back at the pool within the next two weeks because the water exercises were the only things that helped without pain.


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Overeating Member of Red Sox Nation

Red Sox LogoRight now I wish I was back in Boston. Back in the heart of Red Sox Nation, to celebrate with a whole city and state full of excited happy people, dancing in the streets over last night’s World Series win.

Instead, I’m here in Connecticut. There are Red Sox people here, too, of course, but we’re dangerously close to Yankee territory and we’re definitely outnumbered. Larry Lucchino said three years ago that we were the point of the sword deep into Yankee territory – but we were still part of Red Sox Nation. Last night was a late night and when the game was over, everyone was too excited and happy to sleep. That’s not a good plan when we have a whole work week ahead.

I’m trying not to think about all the food I’ve consumed in the last three days. Everything not nailed down that had sugar and fat managed to find their way into my mouth – cookies, Halloween candy, ice cream. I didn’t journal, I didn’t drink my water (well, some but not all), I didn’t get enough veggies or fruit. I was totally out of control.

It didn’t help and probably was exacerbated by the fact that I was home doing as little as possible. I felt totally drained and mindless, without energy for doing much of anything. Those days don’t come often but when they do, I just need to recharge. Usually I can do it without stuffing my face the whole day. I’m not really sure why this time it was bad, perhaps because I’d forced myself not to snack while my parents were here and it blew out in bad ways.

I know that I’ll be up at the scale on Wednesday and I really don’t care. Actions have consequences and when I eat more of the things outside the program, I gain weight. That’s actually a cautionary truth, a hard reality that I see with my eyes as much as I feel it in the tightness of my pants.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and I’m going to water aerobics after playing hooky for two weeks. I need the workout and hope the water isn’t freezing. My new car heating pad is here and I’ll give it a whirl out in the parking lot before class.