September 9, 2008

My little grey cells

Posted in general dissatisfaction tagged , , at 2:00 am by foodaddict

Eventually, I think we all go mad, from staring at walls too long. For most people the body gives out before the mind… but some of us just succumb to the madness too soon. We let the little shadows flitting across the brain take root, grow and flourish.

And who can we blame, really? The mothers who didn’t love us enough? The fathers who never gave us tools to fight back against the world? Or our own neurons, teaching themselves like an orchestra without a conductor to continually play movement 3, adagio in B flat minor, over and over.

But they are so innocent, these tiny cells. They don’t know that they’re the cause of our agony. How could you possibly find fault with them? They are wondrous little angel gumdrops, an electrochemical repository of all our memories. A lifetime stored in gelatin. I cannot hate them.

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August 13, 2008

The world outside my head

Posted in solitude tagged , , at 11:23 pm by foodaddict

So maybe this blog doesn’t just have to be about food anymore. After all, there’s more too me than just whatever I shove in my mouth, right?

I’m taking this class about organizational behavior and we’re learning about motivation. Some people, the authors say, are naturally very goal-directed and highly motivated to achieve. I started thinking about my boss, a high-powered upper-management type. He’s a very smart, well-educated, well-connected guy and also very interested in money. It’s fascinating for me to observe him in his “natural environment” because I come from a very middle-class, civil-service family. He’s a great talker and schmoozer. He and his wife seem to have a personal relationship with his business colleagues. That’s such a foreign concept to me, for a couple to have a friendly relationship with another couple, and actually know stuff about their lives and their children and send them gifts. I guess that’s how things work in that world. All my life I have lived so much by myself, so cut off from other people, and that’s the only way of life I know. But of course that’s no way to “get ahead”, not in the real world (that’s the one outside my head 😉 where people care about status and money and fancy cars and pricey diplomas.

I know that there’s a world out there where people have relationships and networks, but it all just seems so foreign to me. You might as well ask me to build a rocket ship and fly to the moon! My husband and I are both loners in a way. You’re more likely to find us in front of our respective computers than socializing. But humans are social animals…. how long can you go on living alone until you start despairing? I’ve lasted about 32 years so far. 😉

August 12, 2008

My head = black hole

Posted in general dissatisfaction tagged , , , at 11:21 pm by foodaddict

My head is not doing too well right now.

Started a new job last month. I can’t eat my “special” food any more because it makes me pass too much gas in the office and people comment about it. So I eat shit and have started gaining weight.

It sucks to work all day and then go to grad school at night. And there is no end in sight to that lifestyle. I have at least another year and four months.

It seems like working has no point, either. My husband is incredibly lethargic about the remote possibility of looking for a house. He is extremely pessimistic about that and his pessimism has rubbed off on me. I told him if I have to stay in our shithole neighborhood indefinitely, I might as well kill myself. But unfortunately I can’t really kill myself while he and my parents are still alive. So where does that leave me?

June 18, 2008

Uh-oh

Posted in changing habits, managing food addiction tagged , at 9:31 am by foodaddict

I am losing the battle against the rising tide of poundage. The scale clicked up another pound this morning. I guess the excesses of the past two weeks are catching up with me.

Not that that’s supposed to matter, of course.

Numbers are supposed to be irrelevant. This is not about the weight. I keep asking myself, how do I feel? Do I feel like my eating is getting out of hand? Or am I just freaking out because of a stupid number?

Well…I did feel the fat cells on my face expanding last night…and my hips have been looking a little wider lately…and I’ve stopped running almost altogether….and I have been overdoing it on the cheese, chocolate and wine. I still haven’t lapsed into full-scale binges. No tubs of ice cream, no boxes of cookies, no large pizzas, no loaves of bread and sticks of butter. So I guess this is only cause for mild concern rather than major panic.

I was really happy with my non-eating. So happy that I guess I started to celebrate…with food. Plus I guess I was a little afraid of getting “too” skinny, so I stopped exercising. Hmmm….

June 17, 2008

Backsliding, thanks to family

Posted in binge triggers, changing habits, managing food addiction tagged , , at 8:46 am by foodaddict

This week wasn’t great. All because I actually listened to people who told me to eat.

Went on a two-day vacation at the beach, hosted by my stepmother and dad. Of course, stepmother insists on feeding everyone 18 hours a day. OK, so it’s a vacation, I can relax a little, right? I was just repulsed by all the processed food. Immediately upon our arrival: “Who wants a tuna melt?” A tuna what? Ugh. White bread…haven’t had that for about five years. But I acquiesce, for the sake of good family relations. Fine, I’ll have your ?*#@$ tuna melt.

Then we sit down to the table, and someone asks the hostess which tuna melt she’d like….to which she calmly replies, “Oh, I’m not having one. I’m having a salad!”

Un-freaking-believable. Here I am, blowing my food plan, and you’re having a salad. Not cool.

So anyway, the next 36 hours were more of the same. Pita chips. Hummus. Nuts. Hot dogs. Cookies. English muffins. In other words, bad shit. I guess I need to practice saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t eat that. It’s not part of my nutritional plan.” I’m so afraid of not upsetting people. So instead, I let them upset me.

Now I’m back home, and all I can think of is cheese. I bought a big wedge of Asiago at the grocery store two weeks ago, and have made short work of it in the past three days. And I’ve crept up 2 pounds on the scale. Not fun. I really don’t want to throw all the cheese in the garbage. But unless I can get things under control TODAY, I might have to do just that.

Oh, and no thanks to husband, who over the weekend kept suggesting I should have lunch. I have to work up the courage to tell him that I don’t do lunch any more.

June 9, 2008

My one-night stand with pizza

Posted in binge triggers, managing food addiction tagged , , at 8:34 am by foodaddict

The old me — the eater — used to have pizza at least once a week. And the new me? I had been dreaming about pizza for months…that crispy, crunchy, cheesy old friend of mine. I was making all sorts of deals with myself. Pizza was going to be my ultimate reward for good behavior.

And finally, the opportunity arose. A night out with friends (coincidentally, a group of girls going to see “Sex and the City”). A movie, followed by dinner at an Italian restaurant. Ah, heaven!

Manna from heaven

They ordered a pie with pepperoni and peppers. I hate peppers, but who cares? It was PIZZA! It arrived at our table and I dove in. The first slice was truly heavenly. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a piece of pizza quite so much. I savored every bite. The second slice, also very good. The third slice…ummm…I didn’t really want that one. Fourth slice: well, the food was just sitting there; how could I let food go to waste?

By the end of the night, I felt a little…icky. And the next day, all I could think of was that glutinous mass sitting in my stomach.

Was it worth it? Yes, I’d do it all over again. I wish I could stop at the second slice, but that just doesn’t seem possible for an ex-eater like me. Guess I’ll wait until the next night out with the girls…in another eight months or so. Although oddly enough, I’m not craving pizza any more.

May 24, 2008

A change in cravings

Posted in changing habits tagged , at 10:02 pm by foodaddict

The strangest thing has been happening over the past few weeks. I’ve stopped craving junk food. One night last week, I was tired and hungry, and I actually wanted to eat — gasp — a vegetable! Something inside me was craving a substantial, nutritious meal.

Where the hell did that come from?

A voice inside my head was telling me that ice cream would not make me feel any better. I heard it clear as a bell and I believed it. Amazing. Never happened before in my entire life.

The truth is, when I eat any dessert now, I usually only want half a portion. I haven’t succumbed to the siren call of a bag of cookies and a gallon of ice cream in quite a while. Maybe it’s partially because my stress level has gone down with the end of the school semester. Plus, I have a new, better-paying job on the horizon.

Of course, I do have urges to binge. Typically when I start eating too early in the day — like today, when I had a sandwich and a hot dog and ice cream at a Memorial Day picnic lunch — I just want to continue eating like an “eater” when dinnertime rolls around. But I feel confident that I can spend a little extra time at the gym tomorrow and work off the holiday excess.

The good news is, I’ve stopped losing weight. I didn’t want this to turn into anorexia, and I seem to have found a happy medium where I do eat foods I like (just not three times a day, as an eater would), yet I don’t feel “fat”. On the down side, I’m not pleased that I’ve gotten into the habit of weighing myself every morning. That was not supposed to be the point of this change in lifestyle. The point was to change my lifelong unhealthy eating habits, stop binging and stop feeling so out of control. The weight loss was just a fortunate side effect. Nevertheless, I do feel this secret guilty pleasure knowing that I’ve lost 10 pounds over the last few months. How clichéd can you get?

May 9, 2008

Getting better (?)

Posted in managing food addiction tagged , at 9:55 am by foodaddict

I think I have this new not-eating thing down. I eat whenever I’m around people, whenever we have a meal together, I eat normally, and when I’m by myself, I can just forget about food, or just eat minimally.

The best part is, when I do eat, I can eat the foods I really enjoy, like cheese, or bread, and I don’t feel guilty about them. I even have dessert.

Most importantly, I haven’t binged at all in the past several weeks — mainly because I don’t keep my “trigger” foods in the house, not because of any newfound willpower. Also, I’m starting to master the art of only eating until I’m not hungry, rather than stuffing myself until I’m overfull.

Also, food is just less of a concern overall. I feel like not-eating has freed up my mind to concentrate on other things. I’m not always thinking about my next meal.

On top of all this, my doctor suggested a new treatment for my allergies, which is working wonders. I wake up in the morning not feeling like my head is full of cement, and I actually feel like doing things I’ve been putting off for months. Wow! I think the spring weather and sunshine may be helping my mood, too.

My only concern is that I don’t want to take this too far. I’ve reached a weight I’m comfortable with, and I’m happy with how I look. I don’t want to let this slide into anorexia….mainly because I don’t want people to start giving me a hard time with my weight loss. My mother has already made a comment that I’m almost “too” skinny. Then again, there’s no pleasing one’s mother, is there? 😉

April 27, 2008

Looking out, looking in

Posted in causes of food addiction tagged , at 12:45 am by foodaddict

I am surprised, and encouraged, that there are so many blogs out there written by women (and men) with eating disorders. I realize that I’ve just begun to scratch the surface in the past few weeks. It is comforting to read words written by people who’ve gone through the same craziness as me.

And even though I distrust anything “inspirational”, because it connotes a Hallmark card, I’m comforted to know that there are people out there who have a positive attitude about “overcoming” their eating disorder. My own mindset is so dark.

I have spent my entire life dealing with this, and all my problems, in private. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever discussed eating troubles with anyone. It is really a relief to be able to “talk” about these things “openly”, even anonymously.

—————–

I’m beginning to realize that this food problem has a lot to do with feeling out of control, and my need to be able to control everything in my life. I’m a little surprised, because I had started this blog intending to take a very dispassionate look at the “causes” of food addiction — I was going to look at this problem as an impartial observer. I didn’t want this to be a rehash of therapy and a discussion of all the imperfections of my childhood. I had a dozen explanations for my food problem — none of which had to do with me, of course. (“It’s because of this modern life that’s been thrust upon us, it’s because of the television, it’s because of the junk food companies selling us crack in the form of cookies, it’s because my family has drifted apart, blah, blah, blah.”)

But in the end, it looks like I’ll need to look inside myself after all. And it doesn’t even have to be about the past. All I have to do is look at what’s happening in the present moment.

April 26, 2008

Quote of the day

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 1:07 am by foodaddict

“The thin person inside me finally got out — it just turned out she was actually a fat person. ”

Kate Harding, “The Fantasy of Being Thin”, 11/27/07

Am I that way? I am I putting my life on hold until I’m thin? No, not completely. It’s not even that I care so much about my weight. Yes, I could stand to lose 20 pounds. But it’s more than that. I just hate the feeling of being out of control and stuffing food in my mouth for reasons other than hunger. I hate being overstuffed, I hate nearly passing out after a sugar high. I just know something is wrong with that behavior. It’s more like, I feel like most of my life is so out of control, and eating is one part of it. Deep down, I want to live this highly regimented life, where I go to bed at the same time every night, I wake up at the same time every morning, and I exercise every day, and where there’s not so much uncertainty about the future, and I am more productive and my career is moving ahead and I’m making more money and I’m not feeling like I’m stagnating. Partly, I just have no clue about how to function in the outside world, I have no idea how to make connections with people, so I get crazy about things I can control in my little world, like food.

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