I’m Angry

Remember the scene from Pretty Woman where Richard Gere is saying how he paid his therapist tons of money so that he could finally say he was angry with his dad? That’s how I feel right now..but about that ‘diet’ industry and society in general.

I came across the following image on Pinterest through someone I know on Twitter, which was based on the original article at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679717/you-eat-worse-than-you-think

 

My comment on that site is also pasted below and I think makes for a good blog entry today…

 

 

Being restrictive because of health reasons (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc) is one thing. Being restrictive with what you eat in general because you think it’s ‘healthier’ is NOT healthy.  It’s what leads to eating disorders. The fact that foods are labeled as ‘healthy’ or ‘not healthy’ is a problem in and of itself. Yes, some foods have more nutritional value than others, but there is a place for all food in our lives. If we listen to our bodies and eat what tastes good to us without restricting or creating forbidden foods and stop when we are satisfied, we are healthier overall. Sure, when someone is following a ‘diet’ and ‘thinking about food’ they may guilt themselves, force themselves, bribe themselves, or whatever into eating more nutritious foods, but it will only last while they are on the diet. As soon as they go off the ‘diet’ they will binge and/or have other unhealthy issues with food or exercise. Where the people who are eating normally are likely making some unhealthy choices, it balances out over time and overall they are healthier in body AND MIND. Diet’s don’t work! If they did it wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry!

Think of a baby. They know when they’re hungry. They cry. We feed them…when they have had enough they turn away, or throw the food away. They won’t eat no matter how much you try to force it down their throats. They haven’t been brainwashed by society into thinking they need to eat less to be thin, or eat more to make someone happy (or because there are starving children somewhere.). We get bombarded with messages about thinness, and dieting disguised as health. We have been led to believe that certain foods are ‘good’ and others are ‘bad’. We have built up food to be our enemy. And we have stopped listening to our bodies to tell us when we are hungry.

Can you imagine the relief of not obsessing about food 24 hours a day? To eat naturally, the way nature intended us to eat? To be able to go to a restaurant without wondering if you will be able to find something that meets your diet criteria (of course allergies and legitimate health reasons aside).

Can you trust your own body to tell you what it needs? Try paying more attention to what it’s telling you instead of what the media, friends, family, and heck.. even doctor’s sometimes, are saying. You know what’s best for you..not someone who is looking to profit off of your insecurity and vulnerability.

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Day By Day

I’m so annoyed I lost my last post.

Well, at least I got a lot out.

So, this one will be shorter because I’m supposed to be going on a date with DH, but it’s almost 7…don’t think I’m getting my movie…

Anyhow… I had been talking about recovery.

I feel so much more free and ‘lighter’ now that I’m doing better with my eating disorder. I’m not afraid to be around food, or go out to dinner (if we ever get there..) or get together with friends. I’m much better at listening to my body and being mindful.

It reminds me of “You have no power over me” From the Labyrinth movie…. Maybe I’m dating myself..oh well.

But it’s really how I feel now. My weaknesses were chips, cheese and my parents’ homemade sausage. I don’t remember the last time I polished off a whole bag of chips. And my parents gave me a bunch of sausage last week and I’ve only had half a piece so far.

I can keep all of that stuff in the house now. And if I want it, I eat it. And I stop when I’m full. Most of the time… the odd time I still relapse…but I don’t beat myself up over it.

It’s a similar feeling/relief to when I stopped smoking. It was good, it was positive, it felt great. And I’m not just saying that. My original post said it much more eloquently, but now I’m getting tired of writing.

One day at a time is all we can do. Food isn’t a source of stress for me anymore. I don’t have to think about it or worry about it. I eventually want to get to eating healthier and exercising more, and I’m slowly on my way. I just know that I can’t rush it. I have to let my mind get healthy and be happy before I can take care of everything else, like my body and everyone else who relies on me.

I’m getting there…day by day.

Dear Person in my Life

Dear Person in my Life,

I have an eating disorder.  I use food to cope with emotional stress.  I use food as a way to avoid awkward or uncomfortable situations.  I eat mindlessly. 

I have been a disordered eater for a very long time.  I always thought that it was just because I lacked will-power.  I wasn’t trying hard enought to stick to a diet.  I wasn’t eating the right foods.  I wasn’t exercising enough.  I was a failure.  I wasn’t worthy of being thin.

This all probably started around the time I was healthy and happy and didn’t think about food.  Until someone maybe pointed out I should.  Or maybe the media did.  Or maybe it was one of several stressful situations in my life I couldn’t handle. 

But you thought I was handling everything fine, because I always ‘stayed strong’.  I was always positive.  I always pulled through.

The only thing that made me appear strong, determined and composed on the outside, was the fact I would eat when no one was looking.  And eat, and eat.  But it pulled me through whatever it was that was going on.  It could have been something as simple as a store clerk making an off-hand comment, to dealing with the death or sickness of a loved one. 

Having an eating disorder is not about food. It’s about emotions.  And not dealing with them in a healthy way.  On many levels it’s similar to being a drug addict or alcoholic.  But it’s not as easy to avoid food.  It’s always available and necessary to life.

I am a super-feeler.  Even small things make me feel big emotions.  Good or bad.  So that little comment you make, that you think is a joke, may not be interpreted as funny by me.  I care deeply, I love deeply, I feel pain deeply, I hurt deeply.  It’s exhausting.

I can’t use food to deal with this anymore.  I want to be healthier and more active.  I want to be able to chase my daughter around, play in the snow and do so many things.

So, I’ve started getting better.  I’m seeing a therapist who is wonderful.  I’m learning how to be more mindful in my eating and all the things I do.  And I have gotten much better at not using food to cope. 

Until I didn’t.  Without turning to food, all these emotions are crashing down on me.  Some days are good, others aren’t.  Everything feels like a chore.  Everything seems to stress me out.

I’m following the Intuitive Eating principles.  I eat when I’m hungry, I eat what I want, no food is forbidden, I pay attention when I eat and listen to my body.  I stop when I’m full.  If I slip up, I don’t beat myself up over it.  I have rejected the diet mentality.  Diet’s don’t work.  Don’t talk to me about dieting or that this food is bad for you and that one is good. 

I’m working on getting better, but I can’t do it alone.

I need you to understand what I’m going through isn’t easy.  I can’t just pick up and move on.  I need a break.  I need to find myself again.  I need to figure out what I want and how I want to live. 

I don’t need suggestions.  I don’t need recommendations.  I just need support.

I need you to understand that I’m under a lot of stress, and that I may say or do (or not say or not do) things that are not about you, or what you just said or did.  I am learning new ways to react to situations that cause me stress.  And it may be as simple as you making a comment about the weather.

Please be patient with me.  Please be kind.  Please just love me as you do and understand I love you too regardless if I may seem like I don’t.

I just need time to get sorted and find a new way to deal with everything.  It is not going to be easy and I’ve only just begun.

I love you.

 

Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

It’s midnight on Sunday. The streets are quiet. I see a few people leaving a closing restaurant and a couple of cars heading home. I can’t quite decide if the mood is peaceful or creepy. I’ve been walking for 20 minutes and still have another 40 to go before I get there. “There” being the gym. The only 24 hour gym in the neighborhood. Once there, my plan is to do an hour of cardio activity, followed by an hour of strength training. I’m not looking forward to it. I’d much rather be in bed, sound asleep, like the rest of the civilized world, but I feel compelled. Earlier in the evening, I had let my emotions get the best of me..again. I can’t remember what did it this time, but whatever it was, sent me right to the kitchen to eat my feelings away. So here I am, alone…

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