Sunday, October 02, 2005

An interesting observation.

Friday night, as I munched my way through my massive salad, it occurred to me about half way through it, that I really wasn't hungry anymore. Not stuffed, or even full, just not hungry anymore. So, of course, I stopped eating, right? Well, hell no! I just kept right on chowing down. Why? Well, a few different reasons, I think. #1. It tastes so damn good! #2. I told myself, it's not like it was a big ass bowl of ice cream, this stuff is good for me so I might as well keep eating it, right? It couldn't hurt. Hmmm, let's come back to that one, 'cause that's just too effed up for one obligatory statement to cover. #3. I reasoned with myself that I needed the calories, which were no more than usual, but as I've mentioned before, I feel as though my body fat percentage has gotten too low, and I don't particularly like the way my bones seem to protrude from my too thin, saggy skin. So, I've been consciously trying to eat a little more, especially more good fats, in an effort to "fill out" a bit. Because of this, I certainly didn't want to eat any less than I normally would, so I finished the damn thing off even though I knew I was no longer hungry. So, that got me thinking, (oh-oh, here we go again!) wasn't the point of this whole thing (besides losing weight and saving my life) to learn how to effectively manage my messed up relationship with food? Here's where we go back to #2. My body clearly let me know that I didn't want or need any more to eat, and I recognized the cue, which I know is major in of itself, yet I chose to ignore what my body was telling me, and finish the bowl off anyway. Why? Because it was "good" for me? Because "it wouldn't hurt"? WTF! It's still the same 'ol bad habits, even if it is with healthier foods. So, yeah, it does hurt because it contradicts the new, good habits that I'm so earnestly trying to follow, regardless of what kind of food it is. It's like I've moved my focus from junk food to healthier food, but the underlying issues that contributed to my obesity in the first place, are still ever present. I can and do still binge from time to time, but more often than not, it's on something like strawberries or cucumbers. Not saying that I don't also still binge on the same 'ol junky food, but I purposely limit my access to those foods simply because I still have trouble controlling myself around them. But the "healthy" stuff, I have unlimited access to, and allow myself more freedom with because of their good nutritional value. But that doesn't change the fact that when I overeat or binge on them, that's it's still an unhealthy manifestation of my messed up relationship with food. So, in my almost 2 years of maintenance, (OMG, it is almost 2 years! This month in fact!) I still haven't resolved some pretty major factors that go directly to the core of why I became and remained fat for my entire life.

Hmmmm, thinking again... oh-oh! I realize that I'll never be "cured" of my addiction, but I guess I thought I had, or at least, should have, made more progress with the "head stuff" by now. Or, perhaps, just the fact that I can recognize these tendencies for what they are now, (well, most of the time anyway!) means that real and meaningful progress has been made, but my propensity towards perfectionism clouds my perception of success. I guess the idea that these issues can or should be resolved at all is ridiculous, since resolving them would, in essence, be curing me of my addiction, which is in complete contradiction to what I know to be true. This disease is something that I will be dealing and living with, day in and day out, for the rest of my life. Plain and simple. Losing the weight has not changed my core being; the way my brain processes impulse, desire, and control. It has only changed the way I manage these issues. I will always be a "fat girl" at heart, mind, and soul. But the fat girl just happens to come in a smaller, healthier package now. Yeah, I guess I can live with that. After all, I am still, and perhaps always will be, just a work in progress.


Blogger Amy said...

My focus for the past month has also been on my relationship with food. I've been trying to teach myself that I don't HAVE to finish things, even if it will go to waste. Case in point: Cold Stone Creamery. I got a small ice cream for $4.75(!) I could have upgraded to a medium for only 25 cents more, and added a topping for free. But I knew I wasn't very hungry, and I even realized I was full with a spoonful left. It was tempting, but I didn't eat it. A little easier to justify not eating it when it's bad for me; I probably would have been like you and finished your salad becuase it's HEALTHY VEGGIES, etc.

Hang in there, you'll get rid of the bad food relationships and form new ones. I'm sure it will take time, but we'll get there.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Jilly said...

As far as I'm concerned, you can't be "cured" of an addiction, you can only learn how to control it so it can't control you. You've done an excellent job in that regard. Yes, there are issues you still struggle with, but you think about how to adapt and manage them, rather than leaving it to "fate" ;)

I was watching a documentary yesterday ("Half-ton Man") and one of the subjects was discussing how food is the only addiction he knows of where the sufferers must subject themselves to that which they're addicted to in order to stay alive. He pondered how successful alcohol, gambling, smoking or herion cessation programs would be if addicts were told "You MUST continue (drinking, gambling, smoking, shooting up, etc.) for the rest of your life, but in smaller amounts!"

I'll be celebrating 5 years as a non-smoker in November after having been a heavy smoker for over 30 years and I KNOW it would be so easy to get back into that nasty habit..its just one cigarette away, so I know I can't have one, plain and simple. You can't do that with food, though, so have no choice but to adapt. Yes, you ate when you weren't hungry, but your justifications were clear, rational and sensible, rather than binging on junk because you don't think you're worthy of being slim and healthy, so to me that indicates you're adapting for the greater good.

You're getting there. It took you a year to lose the weight and you've kept it off for two. That's so freaking impressive and you've come a long, long way in learning to live with an addiction of well over 20 years!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

I was hoping you would be able to tell me that it goes away with time. :) I would run into this problem when I was counting calories and would have say an 1100 calorie day. It would lead up to a binge because it wasn't "healthy" for me to have that few calories, right? I think you did great by at least realizing you did it instead of just mindlessly eating away.

4:13 PM  

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