Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Prestidigitation Necessary.

On a weight loss forum I belong to, someone made a comment in response to my food diary that made me stop and think. I'd mentioned how Alaskaboy's making of a big batch of cashew brittle would test my newfound abilities to eat intuitively, and meant in a good way. And then a few days later I'd posted that I'd eaten half a 4oz container of Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream with half an orange for dessert.

Both times the response was positive and helpful, but the wording struck a chord deep within me. Concern was expressed that there be healthy snacks around to ameliorate my chances of refusing to scoff the lot. And then I was congratulated on my self control in only eating half the small container. I remembered so clearly the times I'd said similar things before in response to other people. The person that would have said those things no longer exists. Why? Because I've realised that there is no magical self control wand to be waved. There's no amount of sorcery that will imbue a piece of chocolate or candy with Evil nor are fruit and veggies saturated with Virtuousness.

BUT! In defense of this other woman, who by the way has lost over 150lbs, I will admit that I am in a different head space than her at this point in time. Just like I'm in a totally different emotional and mental state of health than myself when I said similar things previously.

What is that difference I hear you ask? Well, lemme explain.

I must admit that sweets aren't as big a problem as they used to be, neither is cheese. But the only reason that they're not is due to the eight months or so of hard work I've been doing on impulse and binge control. Well, ok not control, but working to understand why I had the binges in the first place. And ways to stop the binges before they even occur. There are still some days when binges happen, but it's more about eating for mouth-feel now, than to suppress emotions. And if it is a binge, I accept it, and move on. There's NO beating myself up for it whatsoever. I did the best that I could in that moment, and moved on. Each day, each hour, each minute, is about doing the best I can in that given time. The present is what matters, not the past, not the future, only now. Funny thing is, what I would call a binge now... I would have called a snack beforehand!

The book Overcoming Overeating by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter has been extremely helpful in regards to this. I had also thought of buying their book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies but strangely enough, I don't think I need it anymore. I've very comfortable in my skin now. I love my curves, and am enjoying the strength, health, and fitness that I'm gaining day by day. Quite honestly this is the first time ever that I've loved myself... hell, I even like myself! LOL

Every morning and evening, and sometimes more times in the day, I say my positive affirmations into the mirror. Not always aloud, but I always tell myself "I love you, Kada. I am strong, healthy, happy. I am sexy and beautiful. I trust you." Plain, simple words, yet very powerful. I got the idea of affirmations from Louise L Hay's You Can Heal Your Life. It too has been a big help in finding the strength to discover my true self. Finding the right affirmations has helped as well. I'd had it for years and it didn't do much until I was capable of accepting the lessons to be learned.

Snacks! Sorry I digressed. Yes there are healthy snacks around, there are also unhealthy ones. No food is good or bad in my house anymore. This is what the eight-twelve months of hard work has allowed me to achieve. (And I do mean HARD.) The thing that helped me the most was taking a food bag (more on that in their book) of foods that I actually wanted to eat. Before I would take granola bars or other “healthy” snacks. But the problem with all those “healthy” snacks is that they were full of sugar and fruit and not much else. I need me some protein along with the fruit or veggies or carbs. Now, I'm down to knowing what nibbles I would probably prefer to have, so I take some of those with me, and some for my husband too, whenever we leave the house. I don't go hungry. I eat when I'm hungry, and stop when I'm full. Again, such a simple thing, yet so powerful. If I want fruit, I have fruit, If I want chocolate, I have chocolate (but the actual chocolate I want, not a substitute) same goes for pepperoni, cheese, bread, veggies, whatever! I'm finding that eating this way I no longer need the stuffed feeling to feel full. My body is satisfied, my emotions are, and therefore I am. Does that make sense?

I remember feeling how she probably feels: the fear of failure, the fear of losing control, the fear of ballooning weight. So much fear, and anger, and self hate, but mostly the fear. (And know that I just wanna reach through the computer and hug her tight whenever she expresses those awful feelings of fear and failure)

But, this year I was equipped to let go of my fear, and so I gradually did. Little bit by little bit, as I was ready. Some times it was two steps forward and six back, but the trend continued on towards better health... slowly and surely. It may take me ten years to get to my goal weight, but, even if I never make that magic number on the scale, I know that I'm healthier and will continue to be as healthy as possible for the rest of my life. I'm not a prisoner to food any more. Food is just food. Albeit some is more nutritious than others. Delicious and lovely fuel for the body. But still just fuel. It's not my friend, my confidant, my protector or my barrier any more.

Now, half the small container of ice cream? Nope no self-control there either. Alaskaboy ate the other half. But, if I'd wanted the whole 4 ozs, or even more, I would have eaten them. I choose the Haagen-Dazs ice cream because it's an ice cream I adore. It's something that I'm satisfied on with much less than with the lower fat products; light, low fat, or fat free ice cream I eat a whole pint and still feel unsatisfied. But some other things I actually prefer the lower fat products, cheese sticks and turkey pepperoni to name just two. It's taken me nearly a year to be able to eat like this though. And I admit it does feel strange still, good, but strange, to eat just until I've had enough and then stop.

Sorry I didn't mean to ramble on. I just wanted to share how good I'm feeling. How good it feels to trust myself to be able to stop eating when I've had enough. To eat only when I'm hungry, well, most of the time. Even "skinny" "normal" people have days where they eat too much. Alaskaboy and I have been talking about that recently, as well as with other friends who've never had addiction problems before. Fascinating stuff! It's amazing how I used to be so focused on being perfect. How I thought that normal people magically were able to eat perfectly all the time. Guess what? They don't! LOL But in all seriousness, they don't abuse food either. Neither do I, and I'm not a magician.

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