I’m Getting Grounded, in a Good Way, Part 1

I had such a great appointment with my therapist yesterday. I had sent him my last couple of blogs so he was prepared for me to come in ready to get down to business.

As always, I left his office with not with what I thought I wanted, but instead, with what I needed.

First of all, most of what I’m going to write about here, he has mostly already told me. As the days and months pass, (and hormones take over =)) I sometimes forget all the great things he has brought to my awareness, so I really needed this session to get grounded again in fighting this eating disorder.

So in no particular order….

What stood out to him from reading my blog and talking to me yesterday was that for me, the important things in my life, in my recovery right now, is that I give great value to the fact that I have been binge-free for 26 months and that after all of these weight struggles, I’m happy with how I look and feel and that I don’t want to gain any weight back. He told me that I should be really proud of my accomplishments and there is nothing wrong with these items being the things that I give value to and are of great importantance to me now.

He said that it was his opinion that I was not ready to totally follow the Intuitive Eating path. Quite frankly, this was a huge relief because I am currently only dipping my big toe into the Intuitive Eating waters (allowing myself to enjoy foods that are worth it and listening to my hunger cues) and was scared to jump in with two feet for fear of bingeing out of control, gaining a lot of weight and being back at square one.

He said that he knew that I was looking for the special “tool” for my belt that would take away the food-frenzy feeling I get around buffets. But like the awesome therapist he is, he said that I needed to get to the core of what was REALLY drawing me to the food and that would give me the tool I was looking for.

We talked about how it’s all in MY PERCEPTION of the food, not the food itself. I have made the food mesmerizing, I have created that in my head, I am the one who is allowing it to have so much of my focus and attention. He likened it to me putting this giant spotlight on the dessert table. I was putting the spotlight on it and that’s not where the spotlight should be.

He asked me why I would give my sense of power over to the food? The desserts can literally and figuratively make me sick. As he has thrown out there in the past – I need to ask myself – will eating the dessert do something “to” myself (that would be against my better judgement) or something “for” myself?

At a dessert table, the need to satisfy the impulse that we think is about the food, we’ve actually confused with love and self-soothing. He encouraged me to question myself – what is going on in my life that is not satisfying me? No amount of decadent desserts is going to satisfy what I truly need at that moment.

He said that food is just a moment in time that I make into a huge event. I make it bigger than the more important things like how I feel, that my body is healthy and strong, and that I’ve worked so hard to get to my current weight. THOSE are the important things in my life, not some silly food.

I’m going to continue this post tomorrow because I’m still processing the rest of what he said, so please stay tuned…

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

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Comments

31 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Biz
    10 March 2010, 5:53 pm

    Just found you from Roni’s blog. I am glad that you are seeing a therapist and have been binge free for so long – that is a huge accomplishment!

    And its hard because we need food to survive, it’s not like giving up smoking or drinking. Hang in there!
    .-= Biz´s last blog ..Best Spicy Thai Salad Dressing! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words, biz! i think food is the worst addiction, because as you said, it’s totally unavoidable.

    [Reply]

  2. Diana
    10 March 2010, 6:15 pm

    Yep, yep, yep.
    I need to find my version of your doctor! I need to hear these things too 🙂
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Colorado Bound! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    he totally rocks! and that is only half of my appointment. =)

    [Reply]

  3. Kim
    10 March 2010, 6:23 pm

    Oh, yes, I make food a big event too, when it’s really just a moment in time. Just one moment. Like you, I don’t know that I’m ready for intuitive eating. I have a general plan. I experiment with intuitive eating by seeing what snack I feel like, for example. I have a few that I choose between, to give me options. Not having the snack isn’t really an option at this point in time. I’m fine with that. I think you just have to know what’s right for you. My intuition tells me that intuitive eating could be a little too much for me right now 🙂
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Pet peeves, and movie fun follow-up =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    follow your intuition, kim, it will never steer you wrong. i don’t think there’s anything wrong with us applying some of the principles, but not all of them.

    [Reply]

  4. tanya
    10 March 2010, 6:27 pm

    “he said that I needed to get to the core of what was REALLY drawing me to the food and that would give me the tool I was looking for.”
    DID you figure out what was drawing you to the food?
    And if so, did you get the tool that was needed for that?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    great question! my answer is – i don’t know specifcially what it was that particular night last week. i have a lot of issues from my childhood, things that make me feel like i desire the instant gratifcation or comfort that the food gives me. it was/is a coping mechanism that i have used for over 30 years and i’ve only been in therapy since august. =) so i’m a work in progress.

    [Reply]

  5. Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42
    10 March 2010, 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel I should pay a co-pay or something for his passed-along wisdom.

    I could almost hear you breath a sigh of relief when he said to not totally follow the Intuitive Eating. (I’m so glad to have found your blog).
    .-= Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42´s last blog ..When a Spouse* Calls You Fat and Gives Advice =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol! i’ll be happy to take that co-pay, gina, for all the $$ i have put out to see this guy! and yes, i bet you could almost hear my sigh of relief when he said the intuitive eating wasn’t for me. =)
    thanks for the kind words, i’m glad that you read and leave comments on my blog.

    [Reply]

  6. suzanne
    10 March 2010, 7:53 pm

    What great advice!! I have to admit that i’m honestly scared at the thought of trying intuitive eating. I know deep inside i’m just not ready for that.
    I have to say i don’t remember a lot of my childhood and honestly don’t know whether it would be a good thing to know.
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Weekly goal update… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    definitely follow your intuition, suzanne. i think being a successful intuitive eater takes some guidance and support. i’m no expert, but i don’t think it’s for everyone.
    i’m sorry about your childhood.

    [Reply]

  7. Missa
    10 March 2010, 8:07 pm

    Just curious, but how did you find your therapist? Does he specialize in people who have issues with food specifically? I tried once to go to OA, but it was a very negative experience for me. I felt like the people there had much more severe additictions to food than I did and that my problems meant less for some reason. Maybe an individual counselor might be another approach.

    Cheers,
    Missa
    LosingEthel
    .-= Missa´s last blog ..Strive To Be Happy =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    a friend of mine in the medical field was kind enough to do a ton of legwork for me. he was on a mission to find a therapist who specialized in compulsive disorders. i figured out after a few sessions, that the therapist was a recovered compulsive eater as well. he confirmed this. i think that makes all the difference in the world, for me anyway, to speak with someone who truly knows where i’m coming from and has the education to help me as well.

    i’m sorry oa was negative for you, missa. the rule of thumb is that you need to go to six meetings to find one that is a good fit for you. i took me four meetings to find mine. i went to the meeting every week for a year, but i haven’t gone to a meeting in about a year, i left when i had other outlets for “sharing.” i still recieve monthly literature though and think it’s helpful. there are phone meetings too! just look on the oa website. bottom line, there is a lot of help out there, thank goodness!!

    [Reply]

  8. Lisa
    10 March 2010, 8:33 pm

    That is such a great way to look at it. I do make such a grand “event” out of the food, when it is just a moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us bloggers 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Faith in the process… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i know, it’s all in how we frame it. seems so simple, right? we all have it inside us, we just have to find a way to pull it out.

    [Reply]

  9. Jill
    10 March 2010, 8:38 pm

    That was so excellent! *hugs* I can’t wait to hear the other half of the appt! 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks! =)

    [Reply]

  10. Jody - Fit at 52
    10 March 2010, 10:32 pm

    Thx for sharing! Really interesting! I am not a compulsive overeater nor have I been BUT we all can relate to turning over our sense of power to food or something else. Why do we do that.. can’t wait to hear more!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Weight Loss Sanity! Happy Bday Sydney! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you are so lucky to be a “normal” eater! but yes, great point, jody, these principals can certainly be applied to other things in our life we give power to.

    [Reply]

  11. Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl
    11 March 2010, 7:01 am

    There’s some really good stuff here… I liked the perception part. I can relate to that. I give the food more power than I should. Way more. And the part about it just being a moment in time and making it a huge event. I cannot tell you how many times I have done this. I’ll think about it, and think about it to death. For example, if I were at a birthday party I cannot let go of the fact there is cake and ice cream there. It gets almost to the point of obsession.

    I can’t wait to read part two. 🙂
    .-= Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Happy and fat Q&A: please participate =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s all so true, isnt’ it? i’m the same as you, bobbie, i can hardly think of anything else while i’m at any place where there is a lot of food out. i think about the food for days before, and then during. all this negative energy i’m using and putting out there! =(

    [Reply]

  12. Lara
    11 March 2010, 11:06 am

    Great stuff there. I can so relate to giving food too much power and then feeling powerless to it. Changing that mindset has been huge for me (still a work in progress but defintely making strides) I have also used food as a soothing/coping mechanism for years and years and even though I have worked througha lot of the issues behind that it is almost like second nature to desire the food so much

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yes yes yes!!! i feel empowered knowing that i’m eating because of something in my childhood, that it’s not the food controlling me, it’s some coping mechanism i took on over 30 years ago, and that the desire for food has become second nature.

    [Reply]

  13. Holly
    11 March 2010, 4:45 pm

    WOW. I read over a couple of parts more than once – everything hit home for me! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    First of all, I completely agree about being PROUD of what you have accomplished. I don’t think I know even of “normal” eaters who would say they haven’t binged in the last 2 years. That is HUGE!

    I think learning what is making you – and myself, too – give food this power is key. Sometimes I actually know what it is (stress, loneliness, anxiety), but other times I haven’t a clue. It’s just SO difficult when you’ve used food for YEARS as a coping mechanism. Obviously we need to find other coping mechanisms, or deal with the issues at hand head-on. But that is scary, too! The good thing is that it sounds like your therapist has AMAZING advice to offer up. And I couldn’t agree more about the intuitive eating. It sounds terrifying to completely embody that principal right now, so why cause ourselves the stress? One step at a time….

    Can’t wait to read part 2!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Rock Climbing =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you are so welcome, holly! and thanks, i can honestly say that i don’t pat myself on the back for being binge-free and i probably really should for my own self-confidence level (which sucks).
    i think this learning/awareness is so key. i’m actually looking into other ways of re-training the brain and will perhaps write about it at another time, but for now, I’VE even printed out my own blog so i can take it out and read it before buffet events to help re-ground and re-focus. =)

    [Reply]

  14. Jess
    13 March 2010, 12:48 pm

    Oh Wow.

    Thank you for posting this. I had an enlightenment moment through this. Can’t quite put it in words, but I have that calm that something that my HP wanted me to hear at the right time when I’m open to it was just waiting for me.

    Everything you wrote spoke to me. Hope you don’t mind if I pingback to this and the next entry in my journal, because it’s something that I think will speak to people ready to hear this.

    Being a dessert-person myself (my trigger foods are the classic junk foods–chips, cookies, candy). That sense of being mindful of why I want a trigger food is huge. I love how you put the powerlessness over food into such great terms. When I am “in control”, I binge because I choose to put value into the process of eating–knowing full well that whatever is missing in my life will never be filled by cakes and candies and cookies and chips.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    so glad it hit you at the right time, jess! i know exactly what you mean.
    pingback away!
    i’d like to take the credit, but i was trying my best to regurgitate what the therapist said.
    it’s amazing how we play these games in our heads, isn’t it?

    [Reply]

    Jess Reply:

    I know what you mean about the games we play in our heads. It’s like we’re split-screening our lives sometimes–the sane life through abstinence and the craziness when we start overtaxing ourselves by micromanaging the past, present, and future. In compulsion, I build these huge scenes in my head where I am sure things will play out. I choose, often, not to act out of fear of those compulsive thought processes.

    Living in today is such a gift because I can focus on what’s happening right now instead of what happened yesterday. When I don’t project a broken view of the future and am open to what’s happening around me and to me, I find that things generally go really well.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i still get some anxiety with future eating events, but i’m trying very hard to take a deep breath and try to live one day at a time.

  15. […] I’m Getting Grounded in a Good Way, Part 1 […]

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