Saturday, April 23, 2011

What is Eating Me?

I am getting tired of watching the shows that deal with weight loss. They go on low calorie diets that are prepared for them, there is no other food available to tempt them, they workout several hours a day and lose huge amounts of weight every week. That is not real life and as I am often inspired by their stories, I also get discouraged because when I see those types of results it makes me feel inadequate when I lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. I am watching the show Addicted to Food on the Oprah Winfrey Network and it is very emotional. It is not an exercise show, they don't have trainers or are they taught how to eat. It is dealing with the addiction. The interesting part of this show is that there are not only overweight people but thin people that are anorexic/bulimic because they are addicted too. Food has become a symptom of the underlying disease. The basic belief is; it is not what you’re eating, but what’s eating you.

These last weeks I have been coming to terms with my addiction and the resulting health problems. I have often had controversial feelings in believing that addiction is a disease. Don't get me wrong, I am not minimizing addiction in any way. I have seen my share of friends and family members destroy their lives with addiction and I have watched many go through the difficult and painful process of overcoming them. It is no walk in the park. I have always felt that a disease is something you caught or developed like cancer or chicken pox. I have faced my own nicotine addiction and after several attempts I managed to conquer it but it didn't feel like a disease to me. Now that I am coming to terms with my food addiction I am re-thinking the disease factor.

I think it is more of a disease like Bipolar Disorder or OCD. It is in the mind not the body. There are feelings that come over me when I am eating for other reasons than hunger. I think it is the same feeling that "cutters" get when they cut themselves. An oblivion. An escape.

What are the attributes of one who self-mutilates? They are not generally trying to end their life but harming themselves as a coping mechanism to relieve emotional pain or discomfort. There is self-loathing and disassociation.

OMG! you could replace "self-injury" with "eating", follow it up with guilt and that is me in a nutshell! So is this the first step? Admitting I am helpless over my addiction? I think I have taken this step before but it didn't make a difference. This time it is. From what I have gathered by watching shows that deal with addiction, the addict doesn't want help until they reach a point where their addiction has caused big problems in their life, such as loss of job, home, legal problems and damaged relationships. Why would they? Up until that point, they are having a good time. That is when they realize what they have done to their lives and decide they need help. Well, that is exactly what happened to me! All this time I have been feeding my addiction and it was when a serious health problem surfaced that I realized I needed help. My name is Jamie and I am an addict. So, now what?

My doctor has sent me to a nutritionist to learn a whole new way to eat. Normally I would count calories and get more exercise, but now I have a diabetes wrench thrown in the mix. I have to, not only, be aware of calories I have to be aware of the foods that spike my blood sugar. Not to mention testing my blood, and logging the results along with logging what I eat and my exercise.

But what about the mental part? I go to t.o.p.s. which is a support group and that helps and pouring my thoughts out on this blog does too. I am learning to slow down and think about my food choices and I find that I enjoy my meals much more. I still have a long road ahead but I think I am finally seeing the big picture. Boy! it sure is going to be a lot of work to get healthy.

**My week in review:

*Tracking 6 - getting better!
*Exercise 9 - I walked most days but I think I need to incorporate a little more activity in my days
*Eating - 5 - I was good with the things I ate but I feel I still need to work on portion control

*lost .25 pound

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thank you Mr. Zuckerberg

I went on a weekend trip to San Francisco with my girlfriends and had a wonderful time. We have been friends since high school and I really love them and I am so grateful to be able to spend time together. I thank Mark Zuckerberg for this. If not for his social network I would not have reconnected with my friends and we would not have been back in each others lives. We still communicated though not as often, and definitely thought of each other but did not see each other on a regular basis and now we do. It is great and my hat is off to you Mr. Zuckerberg.

I learned two very valuable lessons on that weekend trip. 1) I can go on a vacation or go out for a special meal and make conscious and wise decisions and 2) If you drink really good liquor you don’t get a hangover. I didn’t do great with my food choices, but I was conscious of my decisions and I wasn’t horrible. We went to Ghirardelli Square and instead of the huge sundae that I would have normally ordered; I just had one scoop of ice cream which I completely enjoyed. Oh yeah, I had chocolate syrup on it too. Though their idea of a scoop and my idea of a scoop…2 entirely different ideas. I didn’t order the most healthful of meals, but like I said, I was conscious of my decisions and it was a special weekend and I went right back on track. We walked around a lot and I have been walking daily on my lunch hour. It paid off because I went back to t.o.p.s. with a 1 pound loss.

It was a major breakthrough for me. In the past I would have thrown caution to the wind and ate anything and everything and told myself that this was a “free day”. The problem with that is that the free day ends up being a free weekend, week, month or even year! I think I’m getting it! It is a lifestyle not a diet or weight loss program. When you go on a diet, it implies that you will go off the diet at some point which is exactly what I have done in the past. I want to change my habits and have a healthier life. I want to be able to have a taste of something that was always considered “bad” or “not on my diet”. Since I am no longer on a diet, I can eat everything I want! Well, not really. But the point is if I eat a healthy, well balanced diet all the time I can have a scoop of ice cream once in a while. I have to learn that ice cream, (or pizza or whatever) will always be there. It will never go away and I will be able to have another scoop sometime. That has been a problem for me. I seemed to eat like I would never get that yummy thing again. The vacation weekend was successful and I am going to go forward with that success under my belt in hopes that it will help me with future situations.

**My week in review:

*Tracking 0 - still sucking on that!
*Exercise 8 - I walked most days but I think I need to incorporate a little more activity in my days
*Eating - 8

*lost 1 pound