Chocolate on Bread

I had a long hard emotional day yesterday. Ever since I started the group therapy, my obsession with the scale and my appetite have increased. I experienced the same thing a couple years back when I started seeing my regular therapist. I think what happens is that all of the issues of the past become so “in my face” that I just wanted to push them back down.  Though I am learning new coping skills that don’t involve eating, food is still one of my very best friends. The kind of friend that is there through thick and thin, the kind of friend that has caused heartache as well as the greatest joys.

I started the day on the scale. It showed me a number that I really didn’t like even though it was only slightly higher than the day before. Of course, in all honesty, it was to be expected with my love for chocolate and dessert lately.  After my “weigh in”  I grabbed my cafe au lait and tried to pretend that my battle with scale didn’t exist. I went to work as normal and ate a normal “healthy” breakfast. I had greek yogurt with berries and granola.

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Things became tricky around lunch time. I was feeling really wiped out when The Pro offered to pick up lunch from Panera. Feeling depressed and tired, I wanted something comforting. I ordered the tomato and mozzarella panini

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with creamy tomato soup. Once it arrived, though it was slightly cool, I devoured it with no regard to how hungry I was.

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Feeling stuffed, I wanted some chocolate. I bought this dark chocolate orange bar

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at the grocery store over the weekend and it was calling my name. I took one bite and it tasted heavenly. It was then that I saw the leftover baguette.

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I had only taken a bite and dipped it into my soup while I was eating lunch but it was calling my name. I wrapped a couple of squares of the chocolate in the bread and proceeded to finish off stuffing what I could down. By then end, I was miserably stuffed. I wanted to cry, even looking back on it now brings tears to my eyes. I got through it by chatting with my friend Sarah on Gmail and for a little while, my negative feelings subsided.

After work, I had a date with the dear husband at the gym; the plan was to run for 40 minutes on the treadmills. I got on the treadmill and started a 5 minute warm-up followed by about 7 minutes of running. I couldn’t do it anymore. My mind wouldn’t let me. I slowed down to a brisk walk and finally made my way back up to running for about 2 minutes. After that, I just didn’t have it in me anymore. I slowed down to a stroll and finished out the 40 minutes. Had the dear husband not been right beside me, I would have bailed after that 7 minutes of running. It felt so frustrating because, lately, running has been a freeing, mind clearing release for me and in those moments, it was mental torture.

We left the gym and came home to make dinner. I made orange peel tempeh from a recipe I found on Sally’s Blog. I made the sauce over the weekend and assembled it all last night over brown rice. It was way too spicy, I ended up not measuring the rooster sauce and over did it big time. I could only eat a couple of bites before calling it quits. The dear husband was a trooper and finished off his serving.

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I was still hungry. I decided that the safest thing for me to have was popcorn. I air popped a batch and we headed upstairs to watch Brothers and Sisters on the computer. We normally DVR it but for some reason, it didn’t record this week. Once the show was over, I found some leftover chocolate covered sunflower seeds from our wedding and proceeded to dive in.

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At the same time, I grabbed my copy of Eating in the Light of the Moon and sat down. Thankfully, reading the stories calmed me down. Enough so that I only ate a couple of tablespoons of the seeds. It felt good to finally stop eating but I am still ravaged with the shame of it. I know that doing this therapy is the right thing, if I don’t face all of “my stuff” I will continue to reach for “my log” for the rest of my life. In the end, it isn’t about the food and my only way to recovery is through it.

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The Log and The Shore

Yesterday was a really long day. I started out with a cafe au lait on my way to work and then had a bowl of cereal once I got settled in. In my bowl was shredded wheat, cinnamon, ground flax seed and milk.

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The day was really hectic and I felt as if I would never get it all done. I took a break for lunch around 11; I had the chef make me a small spinach salad to get in some good green veg

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and then I had my 4 second flat lunch. I packed leftover brown rice topped with a black bean and corn mixture from the freezer. I added in a little Cajun spice and olive oil and lunch was born. When I heated it up, it smelled like a Mexican restaurant. Sadly, it didn’t taste as good as it smelled but it got the job done.

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Around 2:30, I was hungry again so I had greek yogurt topped with thawed mixed berries and a few mixed nuts.

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I finally finished the huge pile of work that had been daunting me all day and then headed home. Once home, I did a half hour walk run interval program on the treadmill while watching Sex and the City. It was the episode where Mr. Big is leaving NY to live Napa. That episode always makes me sad, like Charlotte, I always rooted for Mr. Big. But I digress.

After the treadmill, I popped a frozen pizza in the oven and took a quick shower. Once I was fresh and clean, the dear husband and I had a very fast dinner. The pizza was the Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato made my Archer’s Farms, our favorite brand of frozen pizza.

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On the side, we had steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a sea salt sprinkle.

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I had to rush, rush, rush to eat dinner because I had to be at group therapy by 6. I arrived at group just in time for the opening music. I joined this group last week at the recommendation of my regular therapist. The group focuses on eating disorders using the book Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. The books uses fairy tales, myths and metaphors to aid in recovery from ED.

The group runs 15 weeks and last night was session 2 which focused on chapter 3. This chapter really spoke to me and I am still working through all of the ways that it hits home. The part that touches me so much is the story of  The Log . The summarize, the log represents ED, the shore represents a healthy, happy life and the rough waters represents all of the reason why we cling to our ED. We learned that we have to appreciate our ED for getting us through times that we may not have been able to cope with otherwise. Each time we return to our log, we have to realize that there is still something we need to learn.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have never appreciated my ED. For me, it has been a curse, a force to be reckoned with. But now, what I can see is that my ED helped me cope with times that were too overwhelming for me to handle. I never developed the coping skills I needed in order to survive without ED. I remember being a young teenager, hiding in my room with cake frosting. In my solitude of cake frosting, I was safe from the things that happened outside of those doors. I was child that only felt safe when I could stuff “it all” down and I am not a bad person for wanting to feel safe.

Now, in order to recover from compulsive/binge eating, I have to learn new coping skills. I learned in group that each time I reach for my ED during hard times, it means that I still have yet to learn everything I need to know to get to the shore. Ironically enough, once I got home, I wanted to binge. I wanted something chocolate and something crunchy.  I ate a few varieties of chocolates before realizing I was about to be out of control. So, I grabbed onto my log and made popcorn. The popcorn felt safe.

Thought Provoker: What do you think or feel about the log, the rough waters and the shore?

Another Binge

I started the day with chocolate cafe au lait again, for those who asked a cafe au lait is half coffee and half hot milk and I just add whatever flavoring I like. For the chocolate ones, I have been using TJ’s sipping chocolate which is much richer and less sweet than regular hot chocolate. Breakfast ended up taking much longer than I thought so I had a couple of hard boiled eggs to hold me over.

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My official breakfast was bulgur porridge made with milk and a dash of salt. I topped it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and half of a banana. I didn’t like this as much as I had thought I would, I think I like bulgur in savory dishes much better.

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For a mid morning snack,  I had this little tangerine. Citrus fruit is really the only reason I like winter at all 🙂

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For lunch, I was trying to use up some leftovers so I had a piece of roasted chicken and some corn chowder. The corn chowder was NASTY so I only had a couple of bites.

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It went pretty downhill from there. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed to try to “legalize” nutella, which in the intuitive eating world means to get rid of the “good” food and “bad” food mentality by making all foods legal. One of the ways to do this is to stock up on the foods that you consider bad and continue to remind yourself that you can have that food anytime you want. Well, for me, nutella has been the food that time after time, I end up binging anyway. And it happened again yesterday.

All weekend long, I had been thinking about Thanksgiving and how I needed to do my best to stay on track so that I could enjoy Thanksgiving without guilt. I developed a fever yesterday afternoon and was feeling pretty crappy. In my mind, I wanted a piece of bread with a nutella smear on it. Well, since I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t feel like heating up any of my frozen bread so I hit the jar of nutella with a spoon instead. I grabbed a bag of crackers and plopped down on the couch. I had a couple of the crackers with the nutella and eventually put the crackers down and just ate right out of the jar with the spoon. I polished off about 2/3 of the jar before all of the sugar caught up with me.

I ended up falling asleep on the couch and when I woke up, I felt terrible guilt about what happened. I had all sorts of thoughts running through my mind. First and foremost, who can I give all of this nutella to, I still have three unopened jars. Secondly, what would have happened had I just pulled a roll out of the freezer, heated it up and had it with a little nutella smear, would I have been able to stop? Another thought was about how this binge wasn’t like any of the others. Yes, I did sit there very aware of the fact that I “shouldn’t” be eating the jar of nutella but it wasn’t fast and furious as they typically are. I wonder if I was feeling deprived because I kept thinking about Thanksgiving and how weight watchers allows for any foods but not in unlimited quantities. This binge was so different than any other, I really wonder why.

My excessive nutella intake caused me to not get hungry for dinner until very late. I had been cooking pinto beans all day in order to make bean burritos for dinner. So, when I felt even the slightest bit of hunger, we ate dinner. I had the beans that I turned into re-fried beans wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla topped with a sprinkle of cheese and salsa. I ended up not eating very much of it because I was only mildlyhungry when I started. I also had a huge glass of grape juice in hopes that it would fight off my fever, yet another anti  weight watchers maneuver. 

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Thought Provoker: Do you binge? What are your triggers?

Old Habits Die Hard

Yesterday did not start off on a good note. I weighed myself and the number was above my “comfortable fat  weight”. Only by a pound but still not a number that I am comfortable seeing. As I look back on  the past month, I know why my weight continues to rise. I have turned intuitive eating into permission to eat whatever I want again. I also bailed on exercise on most days. This month I was filled with depression and anxiety and food is my greatest source of healing. Even if it only makes me feel better for a few moments, those moments are better than none.  I only had a few “happy” days though my therapy was productive and I developed some good coping skills.

When I saw the number yesterday, it set me up for failure. This is why I only weigh myself once per month, it has such power over me. I knew in my logical mind that I had gained weight without getting on the scale because of the choices I had been making. But still, I decided to punish myself and step on anyway. And as a result, the same thing happened that always happens when I don’t like the number. A food festival. No dosha balancing, no intuitive eating, no anything but letting the disordered eating mind rule. And while shoveling it in my mind tells me that I will start a diet as soon the “last supper” eating is through.

When I look back on the day, I realize that I have had many many many many “last supper” eating days that have been much much worse on the calories end of things but it isn’t the calories that bother me. It is the mindset and the disordered thought processes. I wish that I could look at my eating and exercise patterns and tell myself that this is a result of being taught that me and my feelings weren’t important. This is a result of not learning the coping skills needed to get through day to day life. Eating is the only coping skill that I know through and through. It is the only one that I can turn to and feel those few moments of pleasure. Well, sometimes, I do think to turn to a bottle of wine but then I might end up just like the person that led me here. So, I settle into the chocolate cake and ice cream and wear my suit of armour to protect myself from having to deal.

I often wonder, what does my fat get me? It gets me to a place that feels shameful about who I am. It gets me to a place that makes me feel safe from abuse. It gets me to a place that makes me feel like I won’t be hunted for my feminine wiles. It gets me to a place that tells me that at this point it is OK to just eat it all because it doesn’t really matter any more, anyway. In my eyes, my fat suit protects me from being hurt but the internal harm is so much greater than having to shop in the big girls section. It causes so much hurt to hear the comments people make and the assumption they hold dear because I am not a size 2.

I sit here now as I type this with the tears pouring down my face preparing to face another day in this world. It hurts so much that I have created a world for myself that just hurts and hurts and hurts. Why don’t I look at the bright side of things more often? Why can’t I see that I have a wonderful, supportive dear husband? Fabulous friends that love me for who I am and see through the fat to the inside of a person who just wants to be loved? A beautiful home that is the envy of the neighborhood? A sporty little car that carries me to my well paying job? The girl that has every material need that she could ever wants but really is just in search of that one thing to make it all whole. Love and acceptance.

Because none of this is actually about the food, I won’t be posting what I ate yesterday. Like I said, looking back my choices weren’t really all that bad and calorie wise, I probably only ate a little more than I truly needed. What this post and this whole blog IS about is my healing and a small glimmer of hope that my pain of writing this out and letting it be free into the world will help someone who struggles just like me.

I hope this whole post will thought provoke.

Grieving my Health

I tossed and turned all Sunday night, probably because of my long nap, and as a result did not wake up at 5 am as planned. I woke up with just enough time to get ready, eat breakfast and make it out the door on time. For breakfast, I had a bowl of shredded wheat with a banana, walnuts, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. I like the addition of the nutmeg, it added a little warmth.

Work was hectic and I got hungry early. I ate a colby jack cheese stick

and five prunes. This was my first time having prunes but for some reason I really wanted to try them when I saw the jar at Whole Foods. I was pleasantly surprised, they are nice and sweet!

I had some errands to run for work and had a handful of NUTrition nuts on my way out to stave off hunger.

While I was out, I picked up lunch at Firebird’s for The Pro, T and myself. I ordered the grilled salmon with plain baked potato

and a house salad. It was a great lunch and the salad was really good even though I have been feeling the salads lately.

The afternoon breezed by and before I knew it, it was snack time. I had greek yogurt with lemon curd and cherries. It was awesome, the cherry and lemon really complimented each other.

Shortly thereafter, I left work and received a phone call from the pharmacy to let me know that the replacement drug for the one I tried to get the other day would be $150!  I, of course, told them not to fill it and promptly called my insurance company. Apparently, my employer has reduced our coverage to keep the same rates. And since the insurance is completely company paid, they don’t have to let us know these things.

So, I stewed the entire way home and ended up in binge mode once I got home. I are ALOT of bread while I cooked dinner and then ate the dinner. For dinner I made open faced turkey meatball subs. The reason they were open faced is because I ate all of the tops.

After dinner, I ate three of the lacey cookies I bought from TJ’s.

I felt sick afterwrds. I was miserable and went to bed. I didn’t realize until this morning what sent me into a binge. I’m not sure if you have been following my medical problems but some of them are related to my job. I take allergy meds because of my grass allergy. An allergy that I didn’t know I had until I worked here because the only grass I am allergic to is the kind that covers 668 acres of the golf course. I have seasonal affective disorder which is complicated by working in a office that is the attic with no windows. I never had symptoms until my first fall/winter here. And now, I can’t afford the medication I have been taking for my chronic acid relux which is also the only medication that has worked. I have tried them all and the though of having to pay so much for it all of a sudden is sickening. Some might say I am blessed to have a job but at this point, it feels like a curse.

Thought Provoker: What would be your breaking point of job induced health related issues? I think I might be reacing mine.

And The Ugly

I guess it was only a matter of time before my disordered eating reared it’s uglyhead. For a couple of months, I have been floating through my blogging thinking I had found my magic pill. I thought a public account of my food and exercise would stop the madness. I have been in therapy for almost 2 years now, I had even contemplated not seeing her anymore. But then, last night happened.

Looking back, I saw it coming. A period of all or nothing in my life is generally followed by a binge. And last night was the night. On my way home from work, I had decided that I didn’t want to exercise. I was exhausted and I felt like resting was the right thing to do. In reality, this left me feeling very very guilty. Once again, my all or nothing thinking coming in to play. So, when my dear husband came home, instead of exercising like I told him I would be, I was cooking dinner. He said “Oh, I thought you were going to exercise” and the world as I knew it exploded.

The tears were pouring out, my head was pounding and I was overcome by emotion. After dinner, I sat in my emotional stew for a really long time, almost two hours. My thoughts were racing and every mistake I had ever made in my life was reeling in my head. I thought about my rough childhood, my failed relationships, my sad attempts at finding love, my past financial woes and even this blog. I thought about how it was so ironic that I had landed myself into a community of “healthy” eaters. Something I thought would help but has only left me feeling ashamed and guilty about the person that I really am.

Eventually, after I had cried so many tears that I think I was out of water, the thougths of food started to show up. I tried convincing myself that taking a shower or reading a book was the right answer. And before I knew it, I was opening the freezer and the next thing I knew, 3/4 of a pint of ice cream was gone. Was it good? I don’t know, I didn’t taste it. Did it make the awful feelings go away? No, it only made things worse but I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I put myself in physical pain in hopes that the emotional and mental pain would go away.

You see, in the midst of a binge all sorts of things cross through my mind. I am completely aware of what I am doing. I know that I am eating for reasons other than hunger or even pleasure for that matter. I am aware that every bite is making my stomach fuller and fuller and that the pain is coming. I am aware that I am consuming “way too many” calories. And even in my awareness of all of those things, I can’t stop. The urge is like an uncontrollable force. It hurts but the sad part is that at that time, the pain is what I think I deserve. A penance for all of the mistakes.

I’m not sure if you have read my “my story” tab where I touch on the binge eating and I’m not sure if you really knew what it meant. But this is it. This is my disorder.