Friday, August 31, 2012


Well, hi there.

I didn't realize I could be avoidant. Normally, I am not a head-in-the-sand kind of person. At least, I thought I wasn't.

As I've mentioned before, life has been pretty crazy lately. When this happens, I tend to back-burner myself and not focus on my own needs. And, like most people, I revert back to bad habits. This includes restriction and diet mentality. I tried to "give up" sweets again because I felt like I was overeating them (probably true due to emotional/stress eating).

The other night, I had a really strong craving for cake. I was physically hungry and really wanted cake, which we had in the house. However, I was avoiding (see: restricting) sweets so I tried to make do with a bowl of cereal. It sated the hunger but I felt totally dissatisfied and was in a crabby mood the rest of the evening. I became even more frustrated that I was spending so much time perseverating about freaking cake! I feel like there are so many more important things I could be focusing on and enjoying instead of ruining my night talking and thinking about dessert. I haven't wanted to look at my feelings and sit with them but I also haven't wanted to take care of myself. I "feel fat" and like a failure.

Hiding is much easier and avoidance keeps away the uncomfortable feelings. It's much easier to focus on food and weight than possible job loss and family stress. My poor husband has been so sad for me that I'm in a bad place, practically and emotionally. I feel like I'm stuck in a tar pit and, to some degree, am comfortable there. I am not sure why it's so scary to think about just allowing myself to be happy and fabulous. Outside the box is a terrifying place.

I am hoping to get through the next week or so, when a lot of my external stressors should resolve to some degree. I need to give myself a break, move my body more in a positive manner and not worry so much about my eating habits.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Feeling good enough.

I have struggled with depression on and off in my life. Bipolar disorder runs in my family. I have a running thought process that tells me I'm a bad person. Rationally, I know this is not true.  I am a good wife and mother, a good daughter, and a successful career woman. But sometimes, it's hard to feel good enough.

As I've mentioned before, I have a fear of being "too much". I know this lends itself to minimizing my good qualities or accomplishments. As a child, I was only ever praised for my intelligence. Not for my humor, or beauty, or kindness. Success was what seemed most important. Even that, however, I did not boast. You must appear "just right", not too loud or too proud or too vibrant.

That makes me really sad. As my emotional eating falls away, my feelings are a lot more prominent and these are at the forefront. It's important to feel your feelings but no one said it was pleasant. Growth sometimes comes with pain.

Sorry for the depressing post! I think we try to shy away from unpleasantness and darkness in life but, well, it's there. I also find that, through the darkness, we find the light.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eating freely: an update

I have continued my little "experiment" over the last several days. Yesterday was a particularly stressful day and I had what I like to call a mini-binge. It started in the afternoon and continued a little bit after dinner. I was having some pretty strong feelings of guilt at first but, as I reached into a box of candy, I thought to myself, I am eating my feelings.


I also thought, This is no fun.

I realized that I wasn't even enjoying the food I was eating. I was eating to help fill an abstract need and numb out uncomfortable feelings. I then sat down and told my husband about my feelings and talked it out. I felt silly because I hate talking about my emotions but I actually felt better (if a bit tired) afterwards.

Allowing my emotions to rule my eating actually ended up helping me realize that my emotions need more than food.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Eating freely: a journal entry

warning: this post may be disturbing or triggering for some folks. Heck, I might find it weird or triggering myself!

Today, I am working on just letting myself eat what I crave and not focusing too heavily on the cognitive aspects that can make me obsessive. This is going to be a purely emotional, gut-driven day.

Arrive at work, VERY hungry. We have free bagels and cream cheese every other Friday so I partake in an onion bagel with garden veggie cream cheese and a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. The bagel is just okay; I should have toasted it but was being impatient. I eat it all primarily because I am hungry.

I am not really hungry but not full either. I remember I have a chocolate snack cake and decide I want to eat it, primarily just "because I can". I think this is kind of an exploration of "naughty" behavior. I actually greatly enjoy it, taking the time to eat it mindfully (I am notorious for eating while doing other things). Yum! I definitely still feel a little "naughty" and rebellious but am happy I did it.

I realize I don't want anymore of my coffee. I have had about 2/3 of it and just dump the rest.

Realize I'm hungry. I feel like this is a little early considering my morning eating but I trust my gut and go ahead and have lunch. I have a leftover pork chop, parmesan noodles, and applesauce. I love leftovers for lunch. For dessert, I have some swedish fish candies and open my Pepsi. I have a little feeling in the back of my mind that I'm not really hungry or that I don't "need" these things but I am honoring first cravings today. I feel like I need to work through these things and let my body understand that I will always feed it when it's hungry or care for it asking for something, even if that's a little off mark from where I am now.

I am realizing that my "treat" was not terribly satisfying. I think there is a really fine line, for me, between choosing to eat what makes me feel good and not feeling deprived from items I don't want to restrict or eliminate.

Headed down to the gym for a quick jog.

Feeling a little hungry but my stomach also hurts a little. I make a cup of hot tea with a touch of cream and sugar. I am having carby cravings. Even though it seems weird to me, I grab another bagel to munch on (half blueberry, half cinnamon raisin, technically). Comforting snack. I also decided to finish off my candy. It seemed I did this more so because it was there than any sort of craving. Frustrating, to say the least. It's almost like I have to eat it if it's there; I am thinking the old fear of deprivation/restriction is still hiding in there.

Dinner. Ravioli planned. Not terribly excited or hungry, so I eat a bit of it.

Dear husband made a cake and offers me some with a bit of ice cream. While I am not totally wanting it, I eat it anyway (even while I'm eating it, I think this is stupid). I totally don't enjoy it and eat it fairly mechanically.

Later in the evening, I have extreme feelings of anxiety and urges to restrict/diet. I process these feelings with dear husband and decide I need to really push through this.

Update: I have cake for breakfast the next morning, totally unapologetically. I also have dessert after every meal. The next day, I have one small dessert after dinner and feel satisfied. Hmm.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Normalizing food.


I have written two other blog posts, one of which I already deleted. They were about a perceived need to eliminate food groups in my diet and had a restrictive tone when I reviewed them. I then read a great article by the lovely Katie Paul about one of the more ignored aspects of IE: allowing yourself to eat freely and without judgement. The quote by Geneen Roth was especially compelling to me. I do have this fear that if I let myself eat whatever, whenever, I will eat cake and ice cream all day, every day until I am as big as a house (to be dramatic).

Unfortunately, the only way over this difficulty is through it. Otherwise the binge/restrict cycle continues. This makes sense to me but is utterly terrifying. I'll get fat! I won't stop eating sweets! I'll never be better!

Speaking of dramatic.

It's funny how scary it seems to let myself be and really trust my body. I do understand that Edie will probably want to go on a little spree, but I need to let her. I need to let her understand that eating is okay, whatever the food, whenever the time. Eating when I'm not even hungry is okay too. No food is forbidden. Eventually, she will calm down (and probably get sick of cake). If she still wants it though, that's okay too. I may do a post on a day of "freedom". I expect it may be a little disturbing or embarrassing but I am going to go with it and explore the relevant emotions.

How do you deal with eating fears?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back from the great beyond.


Here I am again.

I've been a little busy (and maybe a tad avoidant). Sometimes, this blog is like looking in a magnifying mirror and I haven't been in a place where I've wanted to peer in lately.

I'll give the quick rundown of all that's been going on and then dive back in!

  • On a sad note, we had to put down my 17-year-old dog. Obviously, he's ancient and was in pain and was starting to lash out at family members. We had him cremated and I have his little remains box on my dresser. I am still grieving but it was the right decision.
  • On a much happier note, I bought a house! It was a tough process and the closing was a nightmare but it's done and we are (still) in the process of moving in.
  • Back down the rollercoaster, there are some organizational changes at work that may affect my position. It's all very up in the air and extremely stressful. I am doing my best to do what I can and just make peace with it until I know more.
A short list but heavy enough! Stay tuned for an IE post.