Friday, July 11, 2008

Food, unglorious food...Part 3


A Life Deferred

Definition of insanity:

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The thing is with most people who are not cookie cutter normal in the weight department and recognise that their food consumption is out of control - their lives become unlived. Everything is put on hold until that magical mythological day comes when, tar-rah, like Oprah in her size 7 jeans, life opens up afresh, life truly begins. All invitations now accepted, all courses now taken, all dreams now realized. Right.....

The problem is, of course, that it is that same person, the one who couldn’t look at herself in the mirror without grimacing, who occupies this now acceptable body. All the emotions, the feelings, the undealtwith baggage, are all still lurking inside ready to declare themselves at the first opportunity. And when they do, well, those niggling little voices have to be squelched real quick. And what better way than with a slice of cheesecake, or two or three. We can always go back to the diet tomorrow. But the monster has only re-awoken and the monster needs to be fed. Constantly. So the cycle starts all over again.

Obsession with numbers is also part of being an honest to goodness food addict. Calories consumed, calories expended. Daily, hourly weigh-ins, dress sizes, different scales, charts with graphs and goals on the wall monitoring the whole process. Tape measures applied here, there and yon. Total inches lost. Is that muscle? Maybe this could be a water gain. Yeah, that’s it, I should be on water pills. I retain too much water. Or back to Atkins and a steak for breakfast. Protein here we come.

There is no life being lived in any of it. Just a constant nerve-wracking state of anxiety, clothes that don’t fit properly, or clothes that do that look awful. Preplanning every excursion to the nth degree as walking anywhere can generate a sweat crisis or worse yet the need for a breathing break. Surveying restaurants so that getting stuck in a booth is not a possibility. Eating minimally and healthfully in front of friends and relatives with the thought of the private bags of food-swag stashed at home for later. As a reward for good behaviour. Pretending there is a glandular or metabolic issue with the body.

And then losing the weight all over again by sheer dint of will power. Don’t say that food addicts don’t have will power. They have it in spades.

The problem is with the weight off, there is nothing to replace all the food that kept those demons and monsters within nicely sedated.

And there’s the crux of the problem right there.

To be continued

10 comments:

  1. It's frightening isn't it, WWW, what the body and mind get up to, and against our will. It would seem impossible, but it happens.
    Your description "demons" is very appropriate. If the demons are seemingly controlled- they turn into something else - anorexia, bulimia (sp?)

    I had a brief spell of the latter once, but looking back, it was at a time when my life was an absolute mess, with no direction, no stability, and although I wasn't overtly miserable, deep down I was anxious all the time.
    It disappeared immediately my life changed, contentment and stability returned. It never recurred, thankfully, even in times of stress.

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  2. Yes I've had spells of anorexia, too, T. The high of fasting. the disease takes on different faces even in the one individual. All boiling down to a form of self-hatred and self flagellation.
    Like you, I'm on the other side of it too, but can never take it for granted. Ever.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Powerful post WWW, thank you. My weight goes up and down, but I have never beend drawn to dieting. Right now, my belly is heavy with stress and insecurity. It wil diminish over the weeks as I become more settled. There is a natural ebb and flow to my weight and my wardrobe accommodates this. The more forgiving I am of myself, the less I need to hold the weight. Right now the maternal separation issues I am navigating are severely challenging me, as you know.

    So sorry to hear what a difficult and haertwrenching journey you have had around food; something which is meant to be such a joy.

    {{WWW}

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  4. Thanks H:
    yes I agree, something that is meant to sustain life can take on a life of its own.
    all blessings go to you on your journey!
    XO
    WWW

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  5. I can't overeat with my gastric band, although i can eat the wrong food and not lose any weight. Chocolate melts in your mouth and goes down quite easily, so some self discipline is needed. Eating less is all that works and getting enough exercise, which I do with walking the dog 4 times a day and riding my bike every where I go. It is a life style, not a fad. It doesn't come fast and easy, but slowly with patience. And you have to love yourself all along, at any stage you are at, and dress like it too.

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  6. And eating the right kind of food Irene, I will be winding up the series with the next post when this week is behind me.
    it sounds like we have been on similar journeys with the food. Self esteem and self respect are so intrinsic in the recovery from the compulsive behaviour.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. If only I had a weight problem.

    Instead I've had lifelong skin problems, teeth that have tried to fall out and hair that has tried to fall out - all of which have been monsters to slay (albeit at least not emotional ones except for the emotional monsters these problems created). And all despite looking after myself, eating the right things, exercising properly etc.

    Swap you for a weight problem any day of the week as at least that's more straightforward to deal with.

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  8. Oh I'm so sorry to hear of all that has beset you Laura. Especially when your efforts have been for naught. My sympathies. How frustating for you!
    As to weight - it is just a symptom of far deeper issues and there's the rub, getting to the core of the behaviour, and the worst of all for an addict, changing reactions to people, places and things.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Well I've sorted the teeth and the hair problems out. I just can't afford to eat now as all my money goes on maintaining my hair and teeth (though I suppose that constitutes some kind of success keeping the waistline down by default!)

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  10. I guess this is called winning by losing, Laura ;^).
    Do you not have some form of health plan/coverage? From the sounds of it perhaps not?
    You may be a full time poet which begs the picture of you freezing in a garret for your art?
    I hope not?
    XO
    WWW

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