Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Apparently three people are still reading this

So this thing happened to me a few weeks ago, that belongs here.

I'm seeing a psychologist, because I'm in the middle ? at the beginning?  nearing the end? of recovering, as another friend who has been through a similar journey expressed it, "a seemingly inexhaustible supply" of repressed memories of severed, sustained abuse.  Very often, as in pretty much every time, the session ends with her asking me "And how will you nurture yourself today?", This is a gentle reminder not to skip meals, especially when I'm upset.  And then I laugh at her for thinking someone my size needs to be reminded to eat, and she smiles and the next week, she asks it again:  "How will you nurture yourself today?"

About a month ago, I made some comment about finding something to eat somewhere because I had an afternoon full of errands, and she said "How about eating something you'd like?" 

So I went to a restaurant I used to go to a very very wow-I-don't-even-want-to-think-about-HOW-long, long time ago, and had a lovely nurturing lunch.

A few whiles later, as I was cramming my breakfast into my face so I could be at work on time, I stopped mid-swallow and thought "There is not one nurturing thing about what I am doing now."  And there wasn't.  I was eating just to eat, just so that I wouldn't be lightheaded or short tempered, just because breakfast is what you're supposed to do if you're working that day.  And it dawned on me:

There is a difference between eating, and nurturing yourself with food.

I found this so astonishing that I'm going to say it again.

There is a difference between eating, and nurturing yourself with food.

So I packed the rest of whatever-it-was to finish on my break, and for lunch that day, I opened the fridge for something to stick in my face.  Because I'm a quick learner like that.  And then I whispered the word "Nurture" to myself, and took five extra minutes, and made myself something I would like.

I'm giving myself permission not to be perfect at this.  I'm just trying to pay attention.  But there's been this wild side effect.   Our church has potlucks several times a year.  I hate eating in crowds.  For one thing, I eat very fast, and then I feel silly, so I go get more, and then I eat that too fast, and then I just feel large and uncomfortable.  I lecture myself before I go and it's often just a  miserable old time until I feel like it's not early to take out my knitting.

We had a church dinner a few weeks ago.  All the self-talk I allowed myself beforehand was "Remember nurture."  So I held that word in my head when I got my plate full of food, and I held it in my head as I ate, and imagine my astonishment when half the table finished before I did.  I was too busy *enjoying what I ate* to inhale it.  And it's happened since, and I eat less and I often can't finish what I have.

I think - I am less hungry because I am letting my body in on the experience of eating, if that makes any sense.  (Even if it doesn't make sense, that's what I think.)  That the act of savouring our food does something for the body beyond straight fueling, and I'm finally tapping into that.

Have I lost weight?  I don't think so.  Will I?  I might, but in the meantime?  Dinnertime is a much more peaceful thing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

So here's the thing

I'm done with this.  Every single day I think "I'll eat better today" and every single day I don't.

But I found myself saying this to my psychologist on Friday, and what's more, I actually believe it:

"I'm astonished at how large I've become, but I refuse to obsess about it.  So many things that I have had trouble gaining control over have been solved as a side effect of the emotional healing journey, I fully expect that my relationship with food will continue to change as well, and that the key to solving it is not determination or strong mindedness - it's healing.  As I continue to heal, I would not be one bit surprised to find my relationship with food settling into a healthier place as well."

So there you have it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And there was evening, and there was morning, and a whole bunch of years flipped past.

Hey guess what?

I'm still overweight.

In the several years since I posted here last, I managed my weight to the point where I was almost 300 lbs. (I was very careful not to weigh  myself at night. I weigh less in the mornings.)

I now appear to be 25 lbs lighter than that.

This is the good part.

Want to know what I did?


Well not exactly.  Some life stressors showed up, and for the first time in living memory, I was too stressed to stress eat.  I started thinking it might be time to get some professional help in the form of a psychologist when the permanent stomach ache got to the point where all I could choke down was saltines soaked in milk.

I walked in to the psychologist's office and said "I've had a stomach ache for two weeks.  Help."

And that's when I started to learn how to move back into my body.  (check out Geneen Roth's Women, Food and God.  I read it after I'd started all this, but it lines up pretty much exactly with what's been going on here.)

I started with trying to think of my body as a child to be nurtured, not my mortal enemy.

I started walking, not because of the exercise.  I get a bit testy when people say "Good for you!" about the walking because, yes, it IS good for me, but I'm not walking to be healthy, I'm walking to stay sane.  When I started listening to my body, it started saying things "I love being outside.  Can we go outside?" and then I remembered that, wow, yes I do love it out here, and there are times, when due to the above-mentioned life stressors, the only way I can get to sleep at night is to take a long walk after dark and stare up at the stars and walk home slowly and carefully, trying not to jostle the peace out of my heart.

My body also says things like "Bread?  Ick." and "More water please" and "Diet Coke makes me retain water and it makes YOU feel fat."

I don't eat much sugar, not because Sugar Is Bad For You, but because sugar is kind of really bad for me, and when I walk into the kitchen IN MY BODY, and paying attention, I really don't want sugar.

So that's the "trick." 

Make friends with your body.  Life is so much easier when you're both on the same side.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't tell anybody but ...

...there is a chance I am actually losing weight.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"After all, tomorrow is another day"

Not so much day by day as hour by hour.

Made it through Hallowe'en with ingesting no more than half a dozen Tootsie Rolls and two mini chocolate bars.

There's baking on the counter, cookies for lunches, cupcakes a friend brought by, as I'm laid up with back issues (likely due in some part to obesity) ...I make sure there's a bowl of cheerful cherry tomatoes and bright green snap peas on that same counter so I have a chance to reconsider before having "just one" cookie.

Not that I couldn't have a cookie. It's just that losing 100 pounds will happen faster if I don't have one.

Favourite snack this week? Pickled asparagus.

I haven't been weighed in a few weeks - too many people doing my driving for me as it is, and the nutritionist is way across town and I am oddly reluctant to talk numbers yet, for some reason. That's not precisely true - I don't mind saying I started this journey at pretty much exactly the same place I started last time, which was still at least a dozen pounds lower than my highest ever.

Onward and downward. Pass the pickles.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the interest of full disclosure ...

I do over-eat. I have entire weeks where I do not, however, and I am still profoundly obese.

That word "glutton" though - that one's annoying me. You'd think a glutton would enjoy eating, no?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buckle up, this could be a long one.

Point the First: I just really really dislike anonymous comments. If you have something to say, say it. I'm almost 50. I can take it. Don't make me lie awake at three in the morning wondering if you're someone I know. When I'm awake at three am, I like to be praying for people.

Point the Second: I have no doubt that Anonymous had the best of intentions. Please refrain from comments addressed to Anonymous.

Point the Third : I am in no way arguing with the veracity of Crystal Munson's experience. She represents a percentage of people, overweight or not, who have a problem with gluttony.

Okay now the real point:

Someone left a comment earlier this week, that I will cut and paste here:

a message for any Christian woman who struggles with overeating ...

At the word "overeating", my eyebrows twitched a little. (My eyebrows had managed to overlook the word "woman" - is overeating an exclusively X chromosome issue? Je pense que ...non.) Then I hit the word "gluttony" and my eyebrows went way high up, and I closed my computer.

"God speaks to us through other people", I often tell other people. I thought about that as I took the dog for a (very short - see back injury) walk.
Later that night, when everyone was in bed, I clicked on the link and listened. I prayed to listen with an open mind. I prayed that if God had something for me to learn, that He would make that clear to me.

Here is my reaction.

Lie #1. Everyone who is overweight over-eats.

Lie #2. Everyone who is overweight has a problem with gluttony.

We make assumptions about people's eating habits based on their appearance.

We make assumptions about people's eating habits based on their size.

We are often wrong.

Regarding Lie #1 - sure, caloric input vs caloric output results in weight gain if input exceeds output. In a body that is working properly. I am NOT defensive here, I am using myself as an example because that's what I have to work with :) I am not even saying that I don't overeat BUT I eat less junk food than anyone else in my house, and I am the most obese, because if I don't eat the right kinds of foods, I put on weight. If I eat simple carbs as opposed to complex carbs, I will put on weight, because of what that makes insulin do in my body. If my diet does not have a high enough proportion of vegetables, I will gain weight, because of what that makes insulin do in my body.

Now, that being said, there are definitely times when I overeat. However, there are people who overweight who do not overeat. I've met them. And I can say with a clear conscience, at this point in my life, I am one of them.

#Lie 2 Gluttony.

What do you think when you think of gluttony? Eating too much, or, as some peope phrase it, making food more important than God. Obsessing about food, thinking about food, lying about food, hiding what you eat - the list goes on.

I think the weight battle is a process. I don't think about food much - it's likely why I'm overweight. I eat without paying attention. I snack while I'm making supper, because I'm in the kitchen, and there's food.

So is that sin? Is the fact that food was a comfort when I was a child, a comfort I am working to let go of, a sin?

I don't think so. I most emphatically do not think so.

When I was younger - maybe. Maybe I could have said food was a kind of god to me then. I thought about it a lot. I would eat before I left the house just in case I got hungry while I was gone. I couldn't walk by a plate of cookies without having one.

I have worked to lose weight, off and on, throughout my adult life. The reasons have varied - I hate the way I look, or I hate the way I look, or I hate the way I look :) but now it's health reasons. I am tired of hearing "it would help if you could lose weight." without actually losing weight. Every weight loss program I have tried has contributed to my current attitudes toward food and weight loss issues, and I am a work in progress.

I am currently, right now today, a fat person who does not overeat and who is not a glutton. I can't be the only one in the world.

And I thought maybe the rest of the overweight nongluttons who don't overeat could use a post written in their defense.