I Need to Get Serious (A Little Rant)

I feel, especially after Friday night with the dinner/dessert buffet, that I really need to get serious again about dealing with this compulsive overeating of mine.

My therapist totally rocks and we talk about tons of things that are very meaningful and I know it makes up the pieces of the puzzle that make me who I am. I know that all these new awarenesses I gain via him are making me grow as a person and I am so grateful for that. I know that these new awarenesses are helping to allow me to expand my life and LIVE, which will help reduce the compulsive eating part of my life.

However, when I go to my monthly appointment tomorrow, I feel like I need to do some hardcore therapy about this eating disorder because I HATEDHATEDHATED that frenzy that took over my body in the room / near the dessert buffet. I have lived through the eating frenzy more times than I can count, even while I’ve managed to stay binge-free (thank you, “forces of good,” that kept me from crossing the line!)

I’m at my ‘happy’ weight and I’ve been maintaining it for about 17 months. I feel good in my skin. I don’t hate myself or my body. However, I want this struggle to stop being so damn hard when I’m faced with buffets.

When I’m home, I’m pretty much fine most of the time. When I eat at a restaurant, I’m mostly fine. So, OK, I admit it, I’m looking for the quick fix. These frickin buffets are so troublesome before and during the event, and I want SO badly for that frenzied, out-of-control feeling to stop, like, yesterday please!

I know that that is what separates me from being a “normal” eater. A normal eater doesn’t have a tangible, physical yearning at the mere site of a dessert table. A normal eater certainly overindulges sometimes, but this palpable yearning is a special feeling that, well, I believe comes from my ED (I can’t speak for all compulsive eaters), I have that I REALLY want to kick to the curb.

While I have gone over 2 years without bingeing and have managed to put on the brakes somehow when the frenzy for food clicked on in my head, I want to get rid of it entirely. Is that too much to ask?

I admittedly follow the intuitive eating to a point. I’ve let go of the reigns a bit and allow myself more treats than I have in the past and I have no regrets when I do. So that is a big step. However, intuitive eating (and it’s way too much to get into here) says you should totally go for it and eat everything you want and once you allow yourself to have them, they will no longer be a big deal because they won’t be forbidden.

Well, to be honest, I’m afraid of gaining weight from doing that. I’m afraid that if I let myself go like that, I will go back to my old ways of bingeing/compulsive overeating and that hunger cues will fly out the window. I’m also afraid to give up calorie counting, another intuitive eating recommendation. I don’t want to have to go by myself a whole new wardrobe as I experiment. I want to have my cake and eat it too dammit!

So I’ve been taking baby steps. As I said, I’ve loosened the reigns on having some extra treats and feeling no regrets. On Friday I will get on the scale for the second time in two months. As a once-, or sometimes twice-a-day weigher for decades, that is huge for me.

I just feel like I need some more tools in my tool belt on how to better deal with the buffets/parties/events. I’m pretty much ok when I’m just at home on my own or just having dinner out with friends where everyone is given a single serving of something. I need more hardcore tools to deal with time when I’m faced with multiple foods laid out in front of me.

I hope my therapist is ready for me.

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

32 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Jill
    08 March 2010, 7:16 pm

    Good luck with your therapy appointment tomorrow, I will be thinking of you and please let us know how it goes! 🙂
    *hugs*

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, i sure will!

    [Reply]

  2. Diana
    08 March 2010, 7:18 pm

    I always read the intuitive eating and think it’s not meant for us compulsive eaters. But, maybe I’m wrong.

    I hate that other addicts can avoid their addiction all together, but we HAVE to face ours every single day (multiple times per day). It makes me want to scream! I also think it’s depressing that we never recover as well.

    I hope you get some great tips from your therapists. Do let us know what (s)he says!
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Hiya =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    do you think the intuitive eating is meant for chronic dieters, diana?
    i have said that many times too, that i think this eating disorder is the hardest to overcome because we must eat in order to exist. drugs and alcohol, imho, can be avoided much more easily.
    i will let you know what the therapist says once i, (pardon the pun), digest it all. =)

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  3. suzanne
    08 March 2010, 8:18 pm

    I can totally relate to the buffet. I have a meeting i go to every month and it’s a help yourself buffet. During the entire meeting all i’m thinking about it whether or not i can go back up to get more food! I’m a lot better regarding food than i used to be but i’m far from perfect!
    Will be interesting to find out what your therapist says.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oh man, suzanne, you are put to the test every month! i would probably lose focus on the meeting and just think about the food. however, if i didn’t like the food, i would probably be ok. please share how you deal with it better now.

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  4. Michelle@Sugarwand
    08 March 2010, 8:22 pm

    I think for me I am going to start approaching all food situations like this:
    1. I can eat healthy
    2. I don’t need to binge
    3. I want to get to know people
    4. One bite of something is enough to get the flavours

    I am SO over food running my life. I want to run my life through the relationships that I have, the social interactions that I have and the exercise that I do.

    Good luck w/ your appt. Can’t wait to hear about it.
    .-= Michelle@Sugarwand´s last blog ..Day 6: Do you eat like you’re going to a fire? =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    those are some great mantras, michelle! your outlook is great.
    i’m so over food running my life too, but i need a new spark or something to help me get over this last hurdle of buffets/parties/events. i know that i should be more into the people, but my wiring needs to be tinkered with. know a good electrician? =)

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  5. Kim
    08 March 2010, 8:28 pm

    Good luck with your therapist! Have you read the book “Making Peace with Food”? It pertains more to recovery from anorexia, but it talks a lot about how to incorporate foods without that fear of overdoing it. Intuitive eating is such a tricky thing, especially for people who have had food issues. Try to be patient with yourself. I’m not always great with this for myself, but I’m working on it!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, kim! i haven’t read that book, but i’m jotting it down right now. did you find it helpful?
    day to day, i really am ok. but having that same old frenzied-feeling experience on friday night (plus, well, i’m a bit hormonal right now =)) made me feel like i need to get down to business again. even binge-free for over two years, i know that i can’t get complacent. unfortunately, this disease is always looking for a little crack in my armor so it can come out and pounce.

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  6. Alicia
    08 March 2010, 8:31 pm

    It’s funny how simple intuitive eating sounds – just eat. It’s not that easy. My first therapist told me to “just eat”. That night, I had one of the worst binges ever. Ahhh the mind of an over-thinker…

    I think that baby steps are the only way to go. That’s how I lost the weight, slow and steady. Maybe that’s the secret to beating ED – one step, one day at a time.
    .-= Alicia´s last blog ..anthony bourdain =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yes, it seems like it would be so simple, right? i’m the queen of overthinking as well, so i’m sure i would do the same thing.
    i agree, alicia, baby steps are the way to go and i’m certainly doing that (trying to follow hunger cues, weighing myself once a month instead of every day, letting go and enjoying foods w/out guilt once in a while). every day binge-free is an accomplishment. right now i feel like i need a fresh, new strategy for dealing with the abundance of food at outings. i feel like the strategies i use now are tenuous.

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  7. Suzy Q
    08 March 2010, 8:36 pm

    I can certainly relate. And I have no cure. it is certainly an experiment to give up the weight desires and to let yourself have what you want. I think it does take some time. When I first decided to do it I went back and forth. i binged and I gained weight. Now I’m finally levelling out but I realize the reason I was still bingeing was because I was letting myself have what I want but I was still so afraid of gaining weight so I would feel guilty when I did. I think it just takes time to get to a point where you’ve really gotten rid of all the old behaviours and thoughts. It’s certainly a process. You are doing great. I don’t think it’s something that can be rushed.
    .-= Suzy Q´s last blog ..great night =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    wow, so you’ve really been through the intuitive eating thing, huh?
    i think i would binge and gain weight and feel guilty/terrible as you did. i know this sounds horrible, but i’d rather not go through that because i don’t know how long/how many pounds it would take for me level back out. it’s like when you go into labor with a baby — if the dr would say that it would take three hours to have your baby, most of us would be like – ok, three hours, i can handle that. but how long would this process take me? no one can say because it’s very individualized, just like having a baby. if i knew it would only be a few weeks and a few pounds, i could deal with that. but what if it was six months and 60 pounds? yikes!
    you were really brave to take that leap of faith and i’m so impressed you made it to the other side. maybe one day i can take that leap of faith too…

    [Reply]

  8. suzanne
    08 March 2010, 8:41 pm

    Honestly some months i still focus on the food and not the meeting and everything goes downhill from there, but for the most part i try to focus on picking healthy things to eat and i go up to the table once and that’s it.
    Last month, in case they didn’t have fruit and the only choice was unhealthy desserts i packed a nature’s path granola bar and stuck to it and yes the only dessert they had was butter tarts!!
    I have also found that if what they have really isn’t healthy at all i simply wait until i get home and have something quick and simple to prepare.

    My hubs loves going to a Chinese all you can eat buffet once a month. I’ve decided that choosing seafood (which i love) and loads of vegetables and a big pot of green tea satisfies me without guilt.

    Like i said it doesn’t work all the time but i seem to be getting stronger at being able to do so!
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Weekly goal update… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for sharing that, suzanne. it sounds like you are a work in progress, definitely headed in the right direction with these great strategies you are using!

    [Reply]

  9. Lisa
    08 March 2010, 9:43 pm

    I have often wondered if I will ever be totally “normal”. It does seem like a stretch. My birthday is on Mother’s Day this year. I love really good brunch buffets. I really don’t know if I can do it and not binge. The very thought of a buffet sends shudders up my spine. My husband (normal eater) doesn’t think twice about it. I’m finding with my intuitive eating that sometimes it feels like freedom and other times its feel like anxiety on a platter. Where is the balance?? I haven’t figured it out yet.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Which one was the truth? =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i so hear you about the shudders up your spine, lisa. i don’t think i will ever be a ‘normal’ eater, but i want to try to get as close as possible. i think an alcoholic, no matter how many years sober, always considers themselves an alcoholic.
    i agree with you about the intuitive eating too – freeing on the one hand, but damn scary on the other. i really want to find the balance. i hope we all can.

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  10. Victoria
    09 March 2010, 8:52 am

    I have not reached the intuitive eating yet so I am a little behind you on the path but i have to agree with Suzanne, it is a process and one that cannot be rushed. I compare my addiction to food to an addiction to drugs or alcohol or anything else. A drug addict can and does get that frenzied feeling even after being clean and sober for 20 years. I think that there will be times that i will get that frenzied feeling in front of a bag of potato chips or fresh baked bread even in 20 years! Especially during times of stress. This last week has been one of the most stressful weeks i have had in a long time and I feel lucky that i have gotten through the weekend without binging!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i agree, victoria. i have been a compulsive overeater/binger for 30+ years so it’s going to take a lot of time to un-do that. i do agree it’s a process and i need to be patient. i think my issue (at the moment!) is that i’m really ok in all situations except those where there is an abudance of food in front of me. i’m sure you are right, that that frenzied feeling will always be there no matter how long i’m binge-free, but i need more tools to deal with it better. i hate that it gives me anxiiety before and during the outing, and that i can’t focus on the people because my head can only think about the food.
    on a high note, congrats on getting through your crazy, stressful week w/out bingeing! that is a great accomplishment!

    [Reply]

  11. Lara
    09 March 2010, 9:14 am

    I think that is a very common fear about IE (weight gain). That was my fear as well but totally suprised myself when I finally gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, how much I wanted, etc. I had one very indulgent day (but totally not a binge) and then realized how much better I felt when I was eating mainly healthy foods. That realization was so amazing to me you might really suprise yourself.
    One thing I found so important in my journey is not to fear gaining weight. That is not to say go out and gain weight but we give that “fear” so much power and we dread it like nothing else in our lives (for many they dread that more than death!) I think letting go of that fear is a key step in becoming a normal eater/getting rid of the obsession.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oh lara, you give me hope, but i just don’t have that kind of faith in myself just set. i’m so impressed that you were able to get to where you are!
    you bring up a great point, i do fear gaining weight. i like where i am now, weight-wise, and am afraid that if i let go and indulge then i won’t be able to stop, the pounds will keep adding up and i’m back at square one, being miserable and disgusted with myself.

    [Reply]

    Lara Reply:

    the chances of that happening are so unlikely. You need to remind yourself of that. Those of us with compulsive issues tend to focus so much on the “what if’s”. You have been binge free for 2 yrs. That is HUGE accomplishment. You have obviously learned a lot.

    To play devil’s advocate a bit–worst case scenario so what if you were to gain a few lbs? Would your loved ones stop loving you? Would you lose your job? Chances are the answer would be a big resounding NO. You would not keep gaining and gaining and not able to stop because now you have so many more tools plus your support system from your couneslor. Just some things to think about…

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for your faith in me, lara, but my fear is that i will all too easily slip back into my old ways of bingeing. you are SO right, that i’m totally focusing on the “what ifs”. you definitely have me pegged!
    i appreciate your playing devil’s advocate and you are right, no-one would stop loving me and i wouldn’t lose my job and those things are huge. however, depending on how much i put on, i would cause an expense to have to buy new clothing, plus i would feel unhappy with myself. this is so hard!!!

  12. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin'
    09 March 2010, 10:59 am

    Oh, I can relate to the feelings facing the buffet! (Esp. a dessert buffet!) I’m not sure how to get over that, since I still struggle with it myself, but you’re definitely not alone! I’m hoping the anxiety around food will go away over time, but I’m also experimenting with changes in my diet to see if that helps. I’m convinced that processed foods give me anxiety– withdrawals and cravings– so I’m cutting them out (in a very non-restrictive feeling way) this month to see if that changes anything for me.

    Good luck!!
    .-= Megan @ Healthy Hoggin’´s last blog ..Mommy & Me Weekend =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for reminding me that i’m not alone. megan. knowing that brings some level of comfort and/or normalcy to my feelings.
    i hope the changes with your diet help you find your answers. good luck!

    [Reply]

  13. Holly
    09 March 2010, 2:30 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what your therapist says. I think it’s big that you want to work on this, rather than accepting it. Sometimes I wonder if it’d just be easier to accept I will never be “normal” with food? This saddens me, of course, but I just hate that there never seems to be a solution. Or if there is, I need to hear it!

    I think like any addiction, to some extent, it will always be a struggle. However, I TELL myself that over time it will get easier. For example, I used to have trouble when I met up with a certain group of girl friends. Most of them don’t work out, and they’d pick on me if I didn’t try the junk food they’d all bring. And recently almost every time we’ve gotten together, I’ve not binged or been tempted to binge. It’s HARD, but sometimes not as much. I hope it gets easier the more I’m able to do this!

    As much as I try to eat intuitively, it’s hard 100% of the time. And I definitely don’t trust myself to eat what I want when I want it – my teeth would rot from all the sugar! 🙂
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Rock Climbing =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for your support, holly. i really do want to work on it.
    sadly, you are right, we will never be “normal” eaters, but we can try to get as close as possible i think. however hard or easy it is, is all inside of us. we are the ones that give the food the power, just like alcoholics and drug addicts give their drugs of the choice the power.
    it’s a shame that that certain group of friends would pick on you. 🙁

    [Reply]

  14. Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl
    09 March 2010, 5:52 pm

    I look up to you so much. You’ve DONE IT and you’re DOING IT.

    Sometimes I think I’ll never be able to be around buffets without either (1) thinking about EVERYTHING I wish I were stuffing in my mouth or (2) stuffing everything I can in my mouth.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get over that. Please share with us what your therapist recommends to you (if it’s not too personal) because I could really use some pointers. 🙂
    .-= Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Excuses & MAKING IT COUNT in the gym =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    wow, bobbie, i don’t look at myself that way, but thanks! i had no idea that so many people struggled with buffets like i do. though i wish so many of us didn’t suffer, the blogosphere is an amazing place to find a degree of normalcy, which is comforting.
    i will definitely share what the therapist and i talked about it once i process it all.

    [Reply]

  15. Jess
    12 March 2010, 5:31 pm

    Good on you for hitting one of those growth moments. I bet your therapist helped a lot (I’m looking at this before I go to the next two entries, about the appointment) with directing the focus in a way that makes you free to enjoy your abstinence.

    And yes, I have the same problems sometimes. I went shopping for groceries after I left one of my OA meetings this week, and the siren song of the cookies and crackers and candy (which they put above the frozen foods I buy like fish and fruit vegetables) made me shield my eyes. As in, I literally was walking down the aisle with a hand at one side of my face or the other (like horse blinders) when I passed my trigger foods.

    And, HP knows, the whole aisle was a minefield of trigger foods. But I got out with my fruit and fish and vegetables, and I am thankful for it.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    ahh, the siren song of trigger foods! i have a visual of you walking through the aisle with your hand up so you truly wouldn’t be able to see the stuff above the fish and veggies. =) and btw, that is a really dirty trick for the market to set the store up like that! good for you for getting out there with only the foods you needed!

    [Reply]

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