Food is the Only Thing I Can Control

I have been calorie counting for well over 20 years. During binges, the numbers I counted to were outrageously high. During good days, the numbers were on target. High or low, I have always felt the need to keep count.

I understand that control is a big part of being a compulsive eater. For me, the way I look at it is, how much food I put in my body is the one and only thing in this world that I can control. I can’t control things going on in the world, I can’t control the ding dong who I’m driving behind and I can’t control what other people say or do. Keeping count of the one thing I can control seems to be very important to me.

Some ‘experts’ say that keeping track of everything you eat is the best way to lose/maintain weight loss. Others say that you should scrap the counting and listen to your body’s signals. For me, counting my calories is my way of making sure I stick to my food plan. I don’t mind going over a bit sometimes, but I generally don’t go under because, well, I love eating and if I’ve got the calories to eat, I’m darn well going to eat them. I really do not want to lose any more weight, so I really try to hit the allotted amount for my food plan that helps me maintain my abstinence.

I’ve been asked at different times in my life – what would happen if you didn’t count your calories? I guess the answer is that I’m too afraid to take that leap of faith. I would be afraid of gaining weight and at the same time I would be afraid of losing weight. Keeping count, having that control, is a comfort for me, a security blanket I guess. Does it make things a little tedious sometimes? Yes. Looking through calorie books or calorie counting websites can be time consuming, but to me it’s worth it. Perhaps one day I will be able to let that security blanket go, but not just yet.

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2 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Lara
    08 January 2010, 10:00 am

    I am in the same boat. Been counting for years and years but I know deep down that NEEDING to count is just as an unhealthy/pathalogical behavior as binge eating/compulsive eating. They both stem from the same place and this really bothers me because I know I am not really even close to true recovery if I still cling to needing to count and the anxiety that comes from not counting some days.


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    wow, we really are on the same page. the counting is like a lifeline. i probably could let it go, but wow, it would be hard. when i think of how much time i spend jotting everything down, looking everything up and how better spent that time could be…


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