Wednesday, April 1, 2009

EvoMe Check In #2

So back in January, I proposed this EvoMe challenge, with all sorts of benchmarks and measurements to show my progress. Well, that hasn't panned out very well, most importantly because I have decided to try a different tactic as far as the dieting goes. Because a year of concentrated diet, personal trainer, half marathon and triathlon training, and my weight was up. And I was eating out of control. So I found a couple of new ideas in the following books: Shrink Yourself by Roger Gould and Overcoming Overeating by Hirschmann and Munter and Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch. The basic premise of all of these books is that by restricting your eating, you automatically set up rebellious binge overeating. It's a cycle: feel bad about how overweight you are, start a diet, eventually get tired of the restrictions and someone else telling you what to eat, overeat, feel bad about how overweight and now out of control you are. Repeat endlessly until you feel crazy.

They say people who are overweight do not have a food problem, but a calming problem. Eating for comfort is a learned activity that has been the only way to calm yourself in the past. It's the equivalent of applying ice cream to a scraped knee. Some people drink, some people yell, some people curl up in a ball, some people eat.

And then, once you get good at that, you learn to translate all your problems into eating problems. Have a hard day at work? Come home and overeat, and then beat yourself up about overeating, vow to get back on the diet, etc ad nauseum. When really, the problem was work. It just got translated into food, because that's a known problem, not the uncertain and more difficult work problems. Those can be completely avoided because your focus is on food.

And the answer they propose is to be a better caretaker of yourself. Accept who you are right now because that is not going to change this second. Be gentle with how you talk to yourself. Wear comfortable clothes and get rid of all the skinny clothes that don't fit. Throw away your scale. And most importantly, legalize all food. Eat what your body wants. Eat how much your body wants. Stop eating when your body is satisfied. And with time, you will stop using food as a calming device and only use it for fuel, and you will find your natural weight.

So I've been working on these ideas for the past month or so, and I think it's working. I'm calmer and more accepting of where I am right now. I'm trying to treat myself like a friend. I legalized all food, and after three days of pizza and chocolate chip cookies, I was craving tuna fish. Sometimes it's lunch time and I'm not hungry, so I don't eat right then. And it's surprising and a little sad when about five bites into a nice dinner, I'm full. Now I have to recognize and honor that, just like I recognize and honor that biscuits are what my stomach wants for dinner. And, no, I'm not miraculously at my natural weight, and may not be for some time. That's okay. And what if where I am right now is my natural weight? That's okay too. And I still have moments of mouth hunger that I don't feel like working through to get to the underlying emotion. But I feel like I'm in a better place now than I've been in for a long time. And that's more than okay.

1 comment:

F said...

that is more than ok, that is beautiful. I love you cousin!