I thought this was interesting, and I especially liked this portion of the last paragraph, "...the damage is reversible only if you don't get down on yourself and go on another eating binge. "If you had a flat tire, you'd simply fix it and continue on your journey," Beck said. "It's important to take the same approach to your diet..." Nothing I haven't heard before, but it's a good reminder. I'd change it to say the damage is more easily reversed if you don't get down on yourself, instead of, it's only possible if'.
As a reliable source of health and fitness information livestrong.com is kind of frustrating. They've got a huge library of articles that are merely an aggregation of conflicting ideas about important issues. Like, breakfast is the most important meal of the day or eat breakfast if you want to, don't if you don't want to.
Nice. I have some portion control issues when I cheat on my usual diet and indulge in something I really enjoy. I find it hard to stop at "just a little" and use the "cheat" as an excuse to indulge even more. Sigh. Thanks for sharing.
I have also struggled with thought patterns that would move me from eating a few french fries to wolfing down an entire large order of onion rings and a burger to match. I'm getting better about realizing that I can eat whatever I want, but I only need to eat a little. I'm working hard on eating intuitively.
I'm really debating sharing this, I may come back later and edit. But maybe my experience will help someone who struggles with binging and portion control.
As an infant, I experienced failure to thrive. I lost over a pound as a newborn, having been born under 7 pounds. For several months I was floppy, had splotchy skin, and was "too sleepy" to eat. I didn't gain weight, and was diagnosed as failing to thrive. My mother ceased to nurse me and instead force fed me bottle-fulls of a wheat soy blend. (I was not born in the developed world.)
As a child, Mom rationed food. I was given an amount of food, expected to eat it all and no more. If I didn't finish, that was a problem. If I finished and was still hungry, that was a problem.
I used to try to "move past" my childhood experiences and eat "normally". I would starve for days, and then eat too much, desperately. I would beat myself up about what I was eating constantly.
I don't think moving past my childhood is helpful. Lately, I've been doing well with intuitive eating. I'm actually losing the pregnancy weight without counting calories, as I've always done in the past. The extra weight is just kind of leaving... slowly, but surely. Same way it came on. I find myself realizing that I'm hungry. I eat something healthy, that will make me feel good. If I want a treat, I have it - just a bite. I've eaten a single square of chocolate after lunch almost every day for months now. Not the whole bar - just a square or two.
I really think just accepting that my body was never allow self-regulate, and realizing that if I want to learn to self-regulate I'm going to have 1. try it and 2. be prepared to screw up a lot has really helped me just relax and realize that if I'm hungry, food is the answer. All the rest is just drama.
I have 2 more months before I see my mother again. Usually, this results in some kind of odd food behavior. I am not expecting myself to "make it through" my visit without starving or overeating this time. My whole life my mother has either starved or stuffed me. It's OK. I'll figure it out. I'll eat normally when I'm out of her orbit again. Revolutionary.
ETA - I have a long history of hiding the food I haven't eaten as well as hiding the food I have eaten. I can still remember excruciating moments as a teen when my mother would discover rotted food in my room, hidden because I hadn't eaten it and hadn't been able to sneak away from her or my father to discard of it at another home (if I pitched it in our trash they'd have known I was skipping meals again).
So a big trick I've put into play is, I try to eat with people as much as possible. And I've started screening out people who judge me for either eating "too little" or "too much".
Hard to find people who mind their own dinner plate, but completely worth it.
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
Mrs Gregory, I'm so glad you shared! You have an exceptional issue to deal with, and from my admittedly limited perspective, you're handling it really well. What do you mean by intuitive eating?
Right on. Binge eating isn't my issue, but I'm very familiar with the results of refusing to do something for fear of screwing up.
Thank you, journeymom.
Intuitive eating is any number of schools of thought about eating, apparently. I take the meaning as eating when I'm hungry, eating what my body needs, and not eating mindlessly, or far too much.
I'm reading a couple books from Amazon on the subject.
I'm mainly working on myself for my daughter's sake. Today I realized that I keep thinking to myself: "I want to model normal, healthy behavior for her." but consistently labeling my own behavior "abnormal" is probably not OK. My behavior is probably perfectly normal for someone who has lived as I have.
So I guess I'm working on modeling the behavior I think will be best for her to imitate.
I can completely relate to not wanting to do something for fear of screwing up. I think a lot of people feel this way. I think there are a lot of pep talks about how to "Just do it!" and a whole bunch of stuff like that. Mainly generated by people who are not afraid of screwing up, I suspect. I'm a perfectionist. I try to steer it in such a way that allows that tendency to improve my life (Yes, my grout is clean, isn't it!), and if it interferes with my life (I can't go out, my grout isn't clean enough!), I take that opportunity to improve. I feed into my need to only achieve, but in the gentlest, most progressive way I know how. Does that make sense? Otherwise, you wind up at home, only doing what you are already good at.
What are you trying to improve but nervous to fail at right now?
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
Isn't that just it? My friend and I were discussing this the other day. It's like if I'm going to fail, I'm going to really enjoy my failure. I try to intercept that thinking by remembering to 'do the next best thing'' at any point during a 'food failure'. It helps me a lot. It doesn't matter how much chocolate you've eaten, you can start doing the best thing for yourself (which is to stop) starting right now!