Monday, July 21, 2008

Food, Unglorious Food Part 4 - FINAL


Until I finally surrendered to the fact I was a food addict, there was no way out. I had struggled far too long, hoping at the end of each diet that I would then be normal. I could then get control of this never ending hunger and be able to mete out my treats, become a salad lover and run 5 miles a day. A magical new person on the outside.

I forgot or chose not to think about the inner me. The one who needed to change. I had been far too busy in changing the outer me, every single time.
Remind me. What was the definition of insanity again?

And I also knew I could not do it alone. Oh yes, everything was great for a while, charts on the wall marking the progress, calories eaten calories expended, measurements of right thigh, etc. Numbers. Meaningless numbers. That always brought me back, eventually, to the same person who needed to embark yet again, on the latest diet. What on earth would be a permanent way?

I had to let go of all the numbers. I was not a weight on a scale, or a dress size. I had a wardrobe of clothes that went from size 9 all the way to 24. Every morning I opened that closet and was reminded of what a failure I was. So everything that didn't fit me got thrown out and donated. Eight bags. I wept, but I threw. I was left with only clothes that fitted. And the most important thing of all. Underwear that fitted.

An aside

I've conducted self-esteem workshops on weekends with women and always ask the question, "Who's wearing lovely well-fitting underwear?". Inevitably, the answer is 3 or 4 out of 10. Only 35% of women honour themselves with nice underwear. Think about it!


I also had to recognise that the weight was only a symptom of underlying emotional issues. And believe it. And work on it.

I also had to really imagine how a person of my height would eat and behave, consistently if she was within the correct range of weight for her height. How would she eat, what would she eat, what kind of exercise would she partake in?

I then had to define a method of eating which would work for me. What particular foods seemed to trigger me? I was surprised when I wrote the trigger foods down:
Any kind of soft drink whether diet or not, cookies, cake, icecream, pastries, candies, popcorn.

I recognised that, for me, I could never use food as a reward, I could never take even a bite or sip of any of the above substances as I never knew what kind of binge would be set off. I had to be clear about my food intake. Weighing and measuring was not for me. But I learned from what others did. They had 3 moderate meals a day, no seconds, no snacks, and the meal had to fit on one plate, no piling.

I wanted to be relaxed around food and to do this I had to have clear boundaries. Breaking those boundaries would set me off again. I had to make exercise part of every day. I had to go to bed on time and get up on time. I knew I was not a gym person, though Maude knows, I tried. Walking or jogging does it for me. Gentle. I turned the old Nike ad on its head and said my motto is "Doing it. Just".

I needed to monitor my emotions meticulously as building up any kind of anger or resentment resulted in trying to stuff those feelings down. I needed to talk to others who understood, who were travelling the same path as I was. And I found them.
And the compulsion was lifted. And the food is peaceful now, way in the background of my life. Beyond anything I had ever hoped for.

I wear the world like a loose garment. I don't weigh anything including myself. I don't measure my journey in tape measures or scales or calorie counters. And I am living my dreams. Really and truly.

And if you're interested in more specifics on what I have done to bring me to this space and having this magical freedom from the food that enslaved me:
You can email me directly at: wisewebwomanathotmaildotcom and I will gladly answer any questions.

16 comments:

  1. I didn't have any problems with food and overweight until I became a mental patient and started on medication at the age of 40. Suddenly, I started to gain weight and eating became very important to me. It became a medicating thing of its own too. I medicated myself with food, to make myself feel good for those few precious minutes. Of course, I wanted it to last longer than that and started to eat more and more often, until I had gained 40 kilos.

    What amazes me is how not only I accepted this, but the world around me did also. I went from being a very smart looking woman to being a fat blimp. Nobody was concerned enough to step in and do a rescue attempt. If it had been alcohol, someone would have.

    In the end, I saved myself. Isn't it what it always comes down to?

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  2. Personal responsibility is the only way, I so agree Irene. You have done so remarkably well on your journey by taking ownership of your life.
    Keep on keepin' on!
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing with us - a really inspirational journey :-)

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  4. Funnily enough, I've never really thought much about emotions affecting eating, as I've never had the urge to use food as an emotional remedy. Maybe that's a male thing or maybe I was always taught to deal with my emotions in other ways.

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  5. A happy ending~! Good. And I'm very happy for you WWW.

    I love the idea of you "wearing the world like a loose garment".
    :-)

    I don't weigh myself now, or measure myself. I've probably put on a pound or two in the 4 years I've been in the USA, but nothing I shall worry about. Life's too short!

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  6. Thanks Jo. I knew I just had to put it out there as it affects so many.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Nick:
    That's a common misconception. I've met many men who suffer from it too. My father did (though not self-admitted)and two of my brothers are self-admitted foodies.
    I think many of us have escape routes from our unmanageable feelings, some more visible like food addiction (anorexia, obesity), some hidden like behind-the-lace-curtains alcoholics or pill-poppers.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. T:
    It seems like we were on similar journeys but took different routes to the freedom.
    Numbers freedom (and I'm an accountant, go figure, no pun intended!)has been such a gift. The scales and tape-measure would literally own me and tell me what kind of day to have. ;^)
    XO
    WWW

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  9. i found this all fascinating. we all have ways of coping and there is a whole raft of unhealthy ways out there...

    and i have had my share.

    i am glad to read how you came to peace with all of this and reined in your demons. i wish we all could.

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  10. I am a great believer in the good matching well fitting underwear. Nobody else knows but it certainly makes you feel good, a real ego booster.

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  11. Laurie:
    As you say, we all have our demons and it is our way of coping that can kill us or cure us as my granny used to say.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. GM:
    I have the wildest underwear but it all fits well and matches. Our own little secrets. I agree it makes us feel good.

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  13. I'm with Grannymar: nothing like good fitting underwear. I threw away the Y-fronts years ago and went for nice, loose, boxers.

    The Y-fronts were dreadful.....like a low class hotel......



    What.......?






    .....no ballroom!

    ;-)

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  14. RJA:
    I think David Beckham has given a brand new definition to the ole "Y's".
    Curb appeal.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. I used to be a starve myself sort of person whenever I was upset, but seem to have stabilised now & think looking after oneself IS the best revenge on a cruel or indifferent world that might prefer to watch you sink.

    By the by WWW, you have won an award over @ mine.

    :-)

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  16. Awww Laura:
    I am so touched and honoured!!
    Thank you!!
    XO
    WWW

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