Well said. And another thing that helps me when mine comes out and I do engage in the occasional act of defiant self-hatred is remembering that there's nothing about it that stops me from going back to normal the next day. If I hate myself for last night's gluttony, another act of self-hatred is just that much more likely; if I treat it as just a thing that happened, without moral dimension, it's easier for me to get back on the horse of moderation. (YMMV, of course.)
That's an extremely good point, and one that it's important to remember. Thank you.
Yeah, right now I'm so embarrassed by my weight. I decided that today I'm going to make a huge effort not to go overboard with the sweets, which are the main reason why I'm overweight. I also know that beating yourself up is counterproductive and takes too much out of you. I'm just going to focus on giving myself positive reinforcement when I do well. I'm proud I was good about not overboard yesterday.
Sweets aren't my main problem. Continual noshing is. Leftovers that could make another whole meal being nibbled away over the course of an evening. Eating just because other people are eating. Eating because I have a boring task to do and eating makes it easier. I gained back a big chunk of this while studying for the bar exam, and it has just continued slowly upward for the years since.
i think my biggest issue with losing is that all through high school and college i was anorexic - right up until i got pregnant with thomas. and now, i'm terrified of letting it go? maybe? that's all i can figure out.
Anorexia was NEVER my problem. I can't really help you with that one.
I'm focusing far less on "losing weight" than I am on "getting healthy" and "being able to do things." I think that really helps.
I learned to refer to that as She Who Does Not Love Me.
Most days, I can shove her out into the Lobby and make her do her nails and take a load off. I have real work to do.
Other days I can hear her whispering in my ear that no one really likes me, they just pretend and we should eat to feel better and money management is stupid...
If I let her in, she wrecks everything. I don't like her.
That's how I learned to deal with it. And SWDLM is a sneaky bitch. Some days I don't even hear her come in and it takes me forever to notice her and throw her back out.
See, I don't want to think of her in that way. I don't look at it so much as telling the person inside me to pipe down. More like putting my arms around a sobbing child and soothing her until I can calm her down enough to find out what's really wrong. I'm working to remember that she is not my enemy, but a part of me that needs understanding.
...But what if she does love you?
Maybe you should ask, "How is she trying to keep me safe? What does she fear? What does she need?"
She sounds scared (i have a similar girl inside me who feels the same!). I find talking to her helps. Offer reassurance, but still do what you need to do. ("No, see, x person loves us and we are fine. I love you. No cookie now. But I love you.")
The answers she gives me are sometimes surprising and helpful.
I think tossing parts of ourselves out the door may work for a while, maybe years, but we may never find out what they could teach us--and they will always have power over us if we ignore it.
(This is all my opinion, btw. YMMV).
Interesting. Your entire commentary about eating could, with a few word changes, be applied to alcoholics. I might argue there are differences but from what you say they are few and far between.
Food is quite a different story for me. Booze, give me a drip and I'll take the bottle. Food? I'm usually reading or typing and neither external device is happy being stained, so abstaining is quite easy. Plus I do not keep many snack foods around, so having to prepare for twenty minutes just to have food is a bit of a pain. (this was not true in childhood, but I had the metabolism of a running horse back then)
The major difference is that alcohol is binary. Are you drinking Y/N? If Y, then bad.
Food, you don't get to make that simple distinction. We all need to eat. So it's much easier to lie to yourself about how much you've eaten than to lie to yourself about whether or not you had that whiskey sour.
Not to diminish the difficulty of alcoholism, or any addiction. It's just that food addiction has this unique and difficult additional dimension.
Love isn't always giving yourself what you want; it's taking the time to really understand what you need.
What an awesome quote : ) I need to really think about this in my own life.
From my honey to my friends to my family members - I have never seen a physical thing (food) and human emotional health so intertwined. I've had friends (and family members) enter recovery from addiction, yet maintain life-long battles with food.
Part of the problem is that we need food to survive. It's not like alcohol or cocaine where one can (hopefully) stop using and avoid their former drug dealers and using friends.
I have one dear friend whose self-esteem was so battered down by a fucked-up family with an amazing dark talent for using words as weapons - that after 12-Step and almost every religious/spiritual path I can think of, as well as extensive therapy - he still fights an endless war between food and his health.
I'm an ectomorph, so some people think I don't understand, but I do. I grew up around people waging the war and the man I love still wages it. I've had friends with eating disorders, and I've met diabetics fully educated about their condition who still make all the wrong eating choices.
And I too have that little voice. Right now it keeps telling me that I can smoke a cigarette without becoming addicted again. I've tried to be that person many times in the past, and I know that person does not exist. Instead it's the same small voice that has tried to bring me down in many ways, like trying to boost my anxiety level with dark thoughts.
Thankfully, I've found that focused meditation can bring me back into balance and chase that dark side back to the silence that it deserves.
I hope that you can find that precarious balance between who you want to be, and the healthy, happy person that feels good inside her own skin.
95% of people who lose weight gain it back again.
Those are huge odds to be playing against. That's why I can't diet again. I have to concentrate on health and fitness. Yes, weight is coming off, and yes, I want more to come off. But the place my head has to be is health and fitness.
I have to take the time to love and understand her, and give her the things that she needs that aren't food. She is empty and aching, and food is her methadone for what she honestly needs.
I too could have written this, if only I could write that well. I do realise that sometimes I'm so hungry for something, but I have never been able to find out what it is, and food is often the only substitute I can get my hands on in the moment.
One sign of progress for me - I have only just recently been able to truly love myself. And that means all of myself. I no longer have those internal arguments where one voice is hateful and scathing. And it's not that I've banished that voice, it's that I learned that it - that part of me - had believed in lies it had been taught from the outside. Now "we" have learned better.
That is HUGE progress. Good for you.
Learning not to try and eat my problems is never going to end. It's a lifelong habit I must continually watch.
I also commend you. Learning to truly love oneself, especially in an environment where you receive all kinds of negative messages from the media if you aren't rich, young, have a perfect BMI, and look like a runway model - is a very difficult thing to do.
Our society is so fucked-up, and we pass along these fucked-up messages as if they were healthy. (Pardon my vulgarity.) We give women negative body images and we have record amounts of eating disorders. We sexualize children and are surprised when they get molested or raped.
I found that a lot of peace comes from turning off the TV, (except for DVDs,) not reading American newspapers, magazines or listening to NPR. Our so-called journalists don't truly inform, and the web allows me to filter information I'm looking for.
Keep loving yourself, because you are a person who deserves love, and when that negative voice pops up just say to it what I say to mine: "Back in your box, you!"
This made me feel so emotional. You put words to an emotional battle I am currently ingaged in.
You are not alone in that battle, if that is any consolation.
I started almost a year ago, by promising my lj friends that I would do a 20 minute walk at least three times a week. It sounds like nothing, now, but it was a huge commitment for me then. Now? My hubby and I walk three or four times a week, for an average of an hour each time.
It's amazing how that changes. As sick as I have been, and how slow my recovery has been, I still had to start exercising again because it was driving me crazy.
GO GO GO YOU!
This is wonderful work you are doing. (Sounds like someone's been reading Evolutionary Witchcraft? :))
I am also going to be working on my exercise and eating, so this is wonderful to read and remember--thank you!
Thanks! And yay for you, too!