Thursday, May 03, 2007


My trip to the eating disorders therapist was a disappointment. Since I have my cranky old broad pants on today, I can say that she was a child who seemed to have insufficient experience to deal with a hard core low bottom food drunk like me. Nevertheless, it inspired me to try to look at this chronic problem with new eyes.

I am rereading It's Not About the Food and praying for an open mind. I am a diet addict. It scares the shit out of me to not be actively dieting, though that is ridiculous in itself. I have gained 100 pounds while dieting every day. The key to that accomplishment is to start over every day or two. Starting over requires a last supper the night before and so it goes.

Not dieting is scary, but the interesting thing is that in trying to change the voice in my head, the shrill constancy of that bitch with the whip, I've been having moments of quiet in there. There have been moments of not thinking about food or dieting or my body or eating, weight loss, weight gain, exercise, fitness, food food food food food. One memorable day this week I went an entire afternoon without even thinking about food. That is a miracle. Could it really not be about the food? Really?


Blogger Debra said...

Oy vey. Dieting and bingeing just two different sides of the same coin -- obession with food, preoccupation with self, needful of a plug for the void. They do seem to go together like, um, a burger and fries, don't they? I never thought it was about the food, but the food kept crowding out thoughts of what it might be about. Every attempt to focus on food created the exact opposite result of what I "wanted." Now that I've identified what I want, i.e., to be able to walk upright for the rest of my life, food was the first thing to go. I remain fairly unobsessed, except for super high pressure moments. Plus, bonus time, without the food, eating clean, I am getting to what it is really all about.

I so completely sympathize with you in regard to meeting with a "specialist" that doesn't seem to know as much as you do, who offers you the weak solution you discarded a hundred years ago and becomes baffled by your not swiftly enough look of contempt.

Or, maybe that's just me. :)

May 03, 2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

That should have been "swiftly hidden quickly enough" look of contempt. Man, I really have to slow down on the keyboard. I think I set a small blaze in response to your post.

May 03, 2007 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Tater said...

I am sorry that your meeting with the specialist wasn't what you were hoping for. I have a friend who is an addiction counselor, that I poke fun at because he is too young and inexperienced to understand a hardcore addict. College textbooks and a brief history of binge drinking couldn't prepare this young man adequately for the beast of longterm addiction. Most of us are very clever, and our addictions morph and grow stronger just like HIV.

Perhaps this is where you need to be though, despite your dissapointment. Recent posts seem to be coming from a very healthy perspective, and perhaps this new line of thought and acceptence is one that is a sign of positive change. In any case, the worst case scenario is that you discover that it isn't working, and you alter your outlook again. "It's about progress, NOT perfection" rings a familiar bell in my head. I have to constantly remind myself of that. In any case, know that all your friends have your back and are rooting for you.

May 03, 2007 10:46 AM  
Blogger Beula said...

As a vereran of the therapy wars it is easy to spot the caliber of the therapist. Congrats. Only people of who have won a Purple Couch have this insight. Bless the child who was trying to help you, thank God you now know more than she does, and move on.

You and Andrea are both doing the non-diet thing. Scares the crap out of me. The time I tried to eat intuitively I lived on Cadbury eggs for the whole month of April. I learned to cluck like a bunny and gained ten pounds. You must have to be at the end point of weight loss before you can do this? By end point I mean really ready to let go of excess food as part and parcel of your identity? Explain more. Like what started you on this path. If this info is in past blogs I must have missed it.

May 03, 2007 11:56 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

Debra, I caught the whiff of smoke on this end :-)

Tater, her practice is primarily young women 12 and up. I think I kind of scared her :-) Thanks for the encouragement.

Bea, I call it nondieting and it may be different from what Andrea's doing. It is wholly different from what I have done. That's not to say I'm eating hell for leather all the time, thankfully. I did have a craving for rice pudding last night and so I had some.

It's really more that I just don't know what to do anymore and the realization that after five decades, 4.25 of which have been spent dealing with this shit, I am fed up, so tired of it.

I really think that I have resolved so much of the grief and sadness and violations that seemed to fuel the dis-ease in the earlier years ~ 20s, 30s. That's why I thought restrictive dieting would work ~ I'd just get the weight off and that would be that.

It just hasn't proven to be the case. It is constantly with me. I think about food and eating and dieting and how to restrict, improve, show results etc etc ad nauseum to the extent that it makes me crazy. I have found myself wanting to eat and throw up again.

More than anything I want to have my head back. What I'm finding is that the things which drive the urge today have more to do with what I have always considered to be superficial things ~ working too much, not taking good care of myself in terms of sleep and breaks from work, letting things go until they become huge deals instead of taking care of things timely.

You wouldn't think those little life things would drive a binge like losing a parent or being raped or other serious events. But what I'm finding (and this will seem like one of those yeah, dummy aha! awarenesses to regular folks) is that I have a one note response to unpleasant feelings. One note. Eat. Restrict. Fix it by getting on a diet.

The only way I know to change how I feel is to do something diet-food-body related so I can think and feel about that rather than the real problem. That allows the crazies to build up until I can't stand it anymore and a binge releases all of that pent up feeling.

I guess more than anything I'm just aware that I really don't know and I am not sure anyone else knows and each of us have to find a way that works for whatever period of time it works (did that sound "California" ~heh).

The other thing I'm thinking is that I am the boss of me and there is nothing and no one who can tell me what to do with my own personal body, so why can't I stay right where I am? I feel great, fit, sassy. If I am not model thin, so what? The health problems that got me started on that liquid diet two years ago have resolved. I am in great shape, so what's wrong with this??

Obviously I could go on and on an ON but I am really going back to work for a bit.

In a nutshell, what I am doing is eating what I want and writing it down. I am weighing occasionally without getting freaked out about it. I am trying to shut up the bitch in my head who screeches if I eat rice or an avocado or a banana instead of an apple or bread or even (horrors!) chocolate. I feel almost schizophrenic because I have been so insistent that I am an addict and cannot eat certain foods ever ever ever but I've reached a point of that just flat making me angry. Maybe the craziness has more to do with the restriction and the punishment and the woulda shoulda coulda than it does with the actual food?

I just don't know, so that's where I am and so far I've lost a couple of pounds and I'm just saying that without attaching any good or bad to it (despite being pleased, of course, because it truly never ends).

May 03, 2007 12:56 PM  
Anonymous lynette said...

by the way, i know that writing it down sounds kind of punitive, but it helps me with a guideline to regular eating. i don't get freaked out if i go over the maintenance calorie level and i don't obsess about staying 1000 calories below it. i am just trying, trying, trying to be as normal as possible. sigh.

May 03, 2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Beula said...

Thank you. I am at the same pissed off place with food. I saw a reflection of myself in the sliding glass door yesterday, and was surprised. I look okay. I did not look as huge as I do in the bathroom mirror. Maybe 181 really is normal for me.

What if the whole thing turns out never to have been about food but to have been about self acceptance? Will I feel silly. Here's to a life with the right amount of chocolate in it. By the way, I could/can never get totally comfortable with the whole addiction model for over eating. I do not want to trade in my food obsession for a Meeting obsession. I want Recovery to be one of the things I am doing, not something I am. So there.

May 03, 2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Miss Lynette - my friend Kim is young but has sweetness of soul, a great honest laugh, and a steady gaze. She just left running the Washington Youth Garden to start her wellness practice. I just received her newsletter which has this link to her site.

There are no coincidences ...

May 03, 2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger lisalgreer said...

Lynette, just swat me like a fly and ignore me if you want to. Hee hee. My therapy for eating disorders... bingeing insanely all my life got me zilch. I know that feeling. I also tried every diet. Then, I non-dieted for 1.5 years. I finally realized that I do not have a diet addiction. :) I really do have a biochemical imbalance that can be handled with eating in a balanced way for addiction. Namely, I am a sugar addict. It works! Really, it does. I committed to do RR the minute I read the site because I knew it was what I'd searched for after bingeing, starving, dieting, non-dieting... those things were me: gifted, talented, smart, funny, emotional, sensitive, overweight, loved sugar. It was me!! Finally, someone knew who I was.

I initially cautiously, though my heart knew better, committed for 3 months :). I am now 7 months in and will never go back to what I was before. I felt horrible; now, I feel like I'm actually living... it's not easy, but it is simple. I still think about food. And most addicts do LOL. And I probably will for some time, but I hear from many, many who have been successful at kicking this addiction to sugar and balancing themselves that they DO NOT think about food all the time. It really is fuel now and life is center stage. I have almost all days now where I do not obsess over sugar... I just eat a bit or not. And that's half the battle, I think. Add to that the feeling of abundance, not deprivation. No dieting or waiting until I'm huuuuungry (with non-dieting and like I even knew hunger) to eat. No more beatin gup on myself. Just good, solid nutrition to whip this thing. Love ya, Lisa

May 03, 2007 6:41 PM  
Blogger lisalgreer said...

I also read the boss of me comment above, and that's what I struggled with. Again, it's typical addict stuff. I have surrendered to just doing the steps at a deeper level, and it's paid off bigtime. With all I thought I knew about eating right and whipping sugar, I knew very little, and that's okay...

May 03, 2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger Da Nator said...

Sorry the therapist was a dud, Lynette. Boy, do I know how that goes.

I also know how it feels to want to just stop thinking about it. I've been there for a while. Unfortunately, eating "right" doesn't do a damn thing for me. I eat less than "normal" people and more healthily, and I still gain weight. I am highly skeptical about all diets and... well, most of everything by now.

You sound like you're getting into a good space, though. Glad you feel sassy. You go on with your sassy self!

BTW, did you see the PBS show "Fat: What No One Is Telling You"? It both traumatized and thrilled me. I want it to be required viewing for the entire American public. And then I want someone to tell me if I should really be considering surgery.

May 03, 2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

I hear you and affirm you, Lynette. Oftentimes, I'll be thinking about what I'm going to have for lunch on a certain day and it'll hit me that I finished my breakfast less than five minutes ago -- what the f@%k is up with THAT??!! Isn't there more in my life to spend my mental energy on??

And so it goes ...

May 03, 2007 10:07 PM  
Blogger angelfish24 said...

My sister and I were talking about this, this thinking about food all the time. And when is our next meal and what are we having for dinner? We noticed that thin people like my mom or by hubby just don't think about what they will have next to eat. We call it the 'fat gene' like my dad has. But, it's got to be deeper than that. Why only us 2 in the family besides my dad's up and down 20 pounds, have the wt problem. I'm still searching for the answer. Is it unresolved feeling towards my alcoholic (former) dad? Is it unhappiness in my life path? Is it all the love I didn't get or guidance? I don't know the answer. I just remember when I was young and it wasn't like this. I didn't think about food 24/7 and was active and thin. Argggghhh. Just letting you know, that I am in the same boat and I will lose quite a bit of wt and then get sidetracked and bam! I am back in the food addiction thing. Sometimes I think it's not about the food as I will eat even when I'm not hungry. It's insane but going cold turkey and eating veggies and chicken just doesn't work for me in the long run. I need to enjoy the food too. Anyways, I'm rambling on.

I'm sorry the therapist didn't work out for you.

May 03, 2007 11:58 PM  

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