I’ve Moved My Blog, Please Join Me at My New Site

Hey Everyone,

It’s been quite an ordeal, but I’m moved my compulsive eating blog to wordpress.org.  Please join me at my new site http://confessionsofacompulsiveeater.com/

I’m still working out the kinks on the new site, but I’m up and running and posting.  Thanks for sticking with me!

I’m Moving to WordPress.org

Please bear with me as I’m in the process of  migrating this blog to wordpress.org.  Talk to you again as soon as I can!!!!

23 Months of Binge-Free Abstinence!

I can’t believe it, two days ago I hit the 23-month abstinence mark.  For almost two years I have been binge-free.  I have kept off my weight loss for 14 months.  I am SO happy to be able to make both of those statements.  It has certainly been quite challenging, day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute, but  if I can do it, anybody can.

Looking back on these past 23 months… In the beginning, I enjoyed going to one certain OA meeting once a week for about a year or so, but then I found out that a friend was also a compulsive eater and my daily email shares with her took the place of the weekly meeting so I stopped going to the meeting.  While it would certainly not hurt to go to the meeting, my work load has picked up, I feel like between this wonderful friend, my husband (and now this blog!), that I am able to talk about whatever is on my mind and put it out there in the universe. As my blog tag-line says, “you are only as sick as your secrets” and I find that really holds true for me.  When I come clean about my thoughts and any little slips I’ve had, it makes it much easier to move on as oppposed to keeping them bottled up inside of me.  My honesty sets me free.

I did not work all the steps of OA.  For me, the first two were enough (for now anyway) to put me on the right course.  The first two steps gave me the ability to take ownership of this eating disorder, which for the past 30+ years I didn’t even know I had. 

I know that I will have food issues for life.  I am a work-in-progress.  I know that once you are a compulsive (over)eater, you can never totally leave the “title” behind no matter how many years you are in recovery or abstinent.  I think that totally sucks, but I have taken ownership of it.  I do hope that with therapy and whatever else I can pick up along the way, that in the future, easier days will become the majority, and the hard days, the minority.  That is what I’m striving for.   I want to turn 23 months into 23 years. 

I know that I may never have a normal relationship with food, but I want to get as close as possible, so that food, and thoughts of food, will not rule my world anymore.

Holiday Cookies

Warning: there are some graphic food descriptions here, so beware!

There is a man at my husband’s office whose wife every year bakes these huge, decadent, multiple- types-of-chocolate-chunk cookies and gives them out to everyone in the office.  The couple also happens to throw a holiday party every year.  When we went to the party a few years ago, I totally gorged myself on these cookies that she had stationed, along with other goodies, in just about every room of their huge, beautiful home.  I hardly knew anyone at the party, so after eating one of these delicious cookies, the whole rest of my evening there was devoted to eating as many cookies that I could find, they were that good.  Never mind that I was completely stuffed to the eyeballs with them and feeling sick, those little details were completely irrelevant, I just had to have more.  I really had no one to talk to, as I’m not comfortable going up and introducing myself to people, but alas, the cookies required no small talk.

Last year, as a work-in-progress trying to stay binge-free, we got invited to the party and I told my husband to go himself, that the pull of those cookies was just too strong for me and that I didn’t want to put myself in that position.  While it was a hard decision, I made it and was proud of myself for doing something that was in the best interest of myself for a change.

Yesterday though, my husband brought home some of the cookies, that the baker’s husband brought to the office, for our two kids to enjoy.  Just seeing them made my heart palpitate.  I broke off some chocolate chunks that were hanging off the edges of the cookies (they were just asking to be pulled off!) for really, while the dough is good, the chocolate chunks are better, and I was content to just eat that part.   So the cookies are a bit misshapen now, but hey, my kids won’t care.  One was eaten by my son last night, so there are three on the counter.  They are not calling me right now, but you can bet that I will try to get my kids to eat the rest of them today just so they will be away.

And yes, I may steal some more of the chocolate chunks off, but I will account for them with my calorie intake and I consider (after much therapy) that to be a normal behavior. : )

Dealing with the "Forbidden Fruit"

How can I better frame/label a dessert buffet, whether it is at a gathering at someone’s house or at a function, so that it is not such a big anxiety-ridden deal, that I don’t look at dessert as “forbidden fruit”?

What if at future occasions where there is going to be dessert buffets, before I even get there, gave myself permission to go over my calorie count that day by a few hundred calories?  (Logically, I know that if I go over my calorie count once in a while it will not be the end of the world.  I have proved that to myself in the past when I have had little slips.  Twenty pounds does not magically jump onto my body from eating 200 calories over my count once in a while.)  What if I allowed myself to have bits of desserts that I thought looked good and stopped making it seem like “forbidden fruit.”  Would it take away the yearning and compulsion to eat something  I know I shouldn’t?  If I were kinder to myself that way, would that be liberating and freeing for me? 

What if I stopped working so hard at being so disciplined with my eating at these ‘events’ and allowed myself to be free and human, and not make the desserts into such a taboo thing.  And while I prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking them, what if I had one entire drink with my dinner so I can relax a little bit and let my hair down, instead of having to cut out dessert or part of my meal to make up for the calories.

The million dollar question:  If I did these things, made the dinner drink and desserts acceptable, would it be the greatest, most freeing thing in the world, or would it lead me back to binging?

Is my strict, discipline (read: control) the reason for my success of almost two years  of abstinence and keeping my weight loss for over a year, or perhaps would trying to let go of my strictness going somehow free me and my mind from the angst?

Dealing with the “Forbidden Fruit”

How can I better frame/label a dessert buffet, whether it is at a gathering at someone’s house or at a function, so that it is not such a big anxiety-ridden deal, that I don’t look at dessert as “forbidden fruit”?

What if at future occasions where there is going to be dessert buffets, before I even get there, gave myself permission to go over my calorie count that day by a few hundred calories?  (Logically, I know that if I go over my calorie count once in a while it will not be the end of the world.  I have proved that to myself in the past when I have had little slips.  Twenty pounds does not magically jump onto my body from eating 200 calories over my count once in a while.)  What if I allowed myself to have bits of desserts that I thought looked good and stopped making it seem like “forbidden fruit.”  Would it take away the yearning and compulsion to eat something  I know I shouldn’t?  If I were kinder to myself that way, would that be liberating and freeing for me? 

What if I stopped working so hard at being so disciplined with my eating at these ‘events’ and allowed myself to be free and human, and not make the desserts into such a taboo thing.  And while I prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking them, what if I had one entire drink with my dinner so I can relax a little bit and let my hair down, instead of having to cut out dessert or part of my meal to make up for the calories.

The million dollar question:  If I did these things, made the dinner drink and desserts acceptable, would it be the greatest, most freeing thing in the world, or would it lead me back to binging?

Is my strict, discipline (read: control) the reason for my success of almost two years  of abstinence and keeping my weight loss for over a year, or perhaps would trying to let go of my strictness going somehow free me and my mind from the angst?

Compulsive Eating at Thanksgiving Dinner

*Sigh*  I knew going into the holiday that it was going to be rough.  I always have a tough time when  there is a buffet of some sort.  I’m pretty good with “meal” foods, but it’s the buffet of desserts that gets me.

The first step of OA is to admit that you are powerless over food. Well, once again I have proven that this is certainly the case with me.  I am weak.  It’s as if I can’t be trusted around certain foods.  It makes me feel disappointed in myself, that I don’ have the self-control to stay away.  I should never take the first bite.  I won’t bore you with the details of what desserts I ate, but suffice to say that I took the proverbial first bite, thought the bites were really good, and had some more bites.  This happened with four different desserts.  At home , on a regular day, I can take the first bite, but when I’m not in my home and it is some occasion where there is a lot of desserts, this sickness clouds my rational thoughts.

Now, the fact of the matter is that I only went over my calorie count by about 250 calories.  I could have done tons more damage, and in the past I would have in a heartbeat.  I consider myself as having kept my abstinence because even though I compulsively ate more dessert than I planned on,  because thankfully I was able to put on the brakes before it got worse, I didn’t continue the eating at home and today I’m right back on track.  But ugh, I still felt a little full after we got back home last night.  I never eat until I’m full.  For SO many years I used to eat until I was physically ill, but for close to two years I have not done that.  I did not like feeling that fullness I felt last night.

In the grand scheme of things, I know that going over my count by 250 calories is not the end of the world.  It was the compulsive behavior that was so upsetting to me.  It is just always a hair away from the surface and can easily cross the surface at any given moment. 

I have put Thanksgiving dinner behind me, there is nothing I can do about it now.  All I can do is make today a good one (which I did) and continue to take it one day at a time.   Still, it sucks to feel week, powerless and out of control.  I know all the tricks, made my plans, didn’t frame the desserts in some negative way and yet, I still succumbed to the compulsion.  It’s like I can talk the talk but I can’t walk the walk. 

I hate that I’m probably going to go through this for the rest of my life.  While I would love to avoid family dinners, special occasions, etc. and stay safe in my home cocoon, I know that that is not a reality.  I have to live my life, which includes these dinners and events.  I need to either find a better way of dealing with the compulsion, or just assume I’m going to go a little overboard, let it happen within reason, be kind to myself about it, then just get back on the horse the following day. 

This sucks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey all, Just wanted to wish you a happy, smart-eating Thanksgiving.  There is a way to not overindulge this holiday.  Try to stop and think before you start eating something that is going to get you into trouble.  We can all do this, although it certainly won’t be easy.  Good luck to us all!

Dream Dinner Out as Non-Compulsive Overeater

Man, what I would give to be able to have a normal relationship with food, instead of being a compulsive overeater, even just for one night out to eat. 

 Here is how this dream dinner at a restaurant would look…  (cue the dream sequence music…)  I would read over the entire menu and see what I was in the mood for, regardless of whether or not the food had a cream sauce, if it was breaded and/or fried, if it was healthy, or what the starch being served along with it was.  Of course I would be perusing this menu as I enjoyed an exotic alcoholic beverage.

I would order whatever I felt like, maybe even opt for a creamy soup instead of a salad, or oh my goodness, maybe I would even order an appetizer that was fried.  I would have a piece or two of the bread and spread some butter on it.  I would be served all of these foods and be able to stop eating them when I felt like I’d had enough.  I would leave the remainder sitting in front of me, no problem, feeling completely happy and satiated with whatever portion I just ate.

To finish the meal, I would choose any dessert that looked good to me.  I would eat some of it until I was satisfied, then simply be able to just move the plate away or sit with it right in front of me  and not give it another thought, have no longing for it whatsoever.

In this dream, if I perhaps felt I ate too much on this night out, I would quite simply eat a bit less the next day and it wouldn’t phase me a bit.  No hunger pains or obsession for the same decadent foods.  Ho-hum, just another day.

How I wish that this wasn’t a dream.  How I wish I could eat in a restaurant just as I described,  just like anyone who has a normal relationship with food, and that the above situation would just be a regular night of eating out for me.

What would your dream dinner out as a person who has a normal relationship with food  look like?

The Pediatrician Confirmed our Fears

My husband and I thought that our newly-minted 10-yr-old daughter has been looking pretty thin over the last six to nine months.  She had always been a picky eater (like her mom), but her zen for desserts/junk food seemed to be changing.  Whereas prior to that time, on any given day you could count on her to be into having junk food when it was offered, she started to decline such foods on a random basis. 

My first thoughts were of happiness – my daughter had a normal relationship with food and didn’t eat just to eat, and could listen to her body’s signals that she was full or just plain not hungry - woohoo!!!!  What I would give to be  be that way!

Quickly though, those thoughts changed.  As someone who started becoming a compulsive overeater at right around her age, my radar of course went up.  So my thoughts turned to – what effect me and my eating habits and/or the peer pressure at school were having on her.

Because of my issues and being acutely aware of all the body image issues out there for kids these days, my husband and I never used the word “fat” in our house.  You would never hear the words “do these jeans make my butt look big” or the like, because we didn’t want our kids to hear that kind of stuff.  Well, as much as we’d like to keep our kids in a bubble of our protected world, they of course heard those terms and phrases at school and on disney shows (!!), so those terms came into our home.

She had always been an average weight for most of her life, but now she was looking decidedly thin.  So at her 10-yr check up last week, our fears were confirmed.  Apprarently, at this age, kids are supposed to gain about 5 pounds a year.  Well, my daughter grew only 1-1/4 inches and LOST 2 lbs over the course of the past year!  So compared to last year, her height went from being the 45th percentile to the 30th and her weight went from the 50th percentile to the 20th percentile. 

So the doctor wants to see her back again in six weeks to see if there has been any change in her weight.  At that time, the doctor may or may not send our daughter for blood work to make sure it is not a medical issue.

Assuming there is no medical problem, as she is otherwise healthy, I can’t help but wonder what part of this weight issue is from what she mimics of me and what part is peer related. After the nurse weighed and measured her, and we were waiting for the doctor to come in, I was looking at my little record book of her heights and weights and noticed the drop.  I casually mentioned it to my daughter and she made a comment about not wanting to get fat.  I know that is not something ever said in this house, however, I am her mother, her main care-giver, and I’m sure some of my sickness is evident to her in some fasion.  *sigh*  I have not told her (or my younger son) about my eating disorder because I think she is too young to really comprehend it.  But I will definitely have a talk with her about it when my husband and I feel the time is right.

So my husband and I are supposed to, in a relaxed fashion,  encourage her to eat more, such as having a snack before bed, which we haven’t done in the past.  We are hoping that by her hearing from the doctor that she needs to eat more, and our gentle prodding, that she will put some weight back on.

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