Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Old Ways

Today is a slow, sad day. It is raining outside, adding to the dreariness of the moment. I am dealing with a lot of stress lately and feeling rather alone. It seems like the old thoughts and desires are still there, even though I have been trying to bury them under lots of vegetables and bike rides. When things get difficult, it's hard not to want food to fix it. Yeah, I know food isn't really fixing it, but while it is going into your mouth, it seems that way. It's like all the world is right for that few moments. The taste, the smell, the whole self-absorption into the experience of eating is, I guess, like getting high. I have never been a druggie, but I imagine there is some similarity. When I am eating junk, I zone out. My brain goes on static mode and nothing exists but me and the pizza rolls.

Oh yeah. Me and the Pizza Rolls. When I was morbidly obese, I used to go buy a big bag of those supreme Pizza Rolls... the kind that's like a little egg roll filled with pizza stuff... and bake them on a cookie sheet. I had to bake them to get them just right... microwaving them just did not create the same intimacy. I wanted them crispy on the outside, but still chewy, and the fillings had to be JUST starting to ooze out and bubble onto the cookie sheet. And when they were perfectly done, I would slide them onto a big plate and squirt a puddle of Ranch dressing on the side, and sit down with a Coke to burn the hell out of my mouth on the pizza rolls because I could not stand to wait one more second before eating them. It became some kind of transcendental experience. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING else existed from the time I bit into that first pizza roll to the time I scraped the last bits off the plate. God. It was like going to heaven. I had no problems, no sadness, no anger, no fear. Just pizza rolls and ranch. Who wouldn't want a world like that?

I guess I decided *I* did not want that world anymore. Because the thing is, when you are enraptured by your food that way, it isn't just the sadness that goes away. Everything good goes away, too. No happiness, no pride in one's self, no thoughts of friends or children, no love. Just you and the pizza rolls. And who wants a world like that?

So life has changed, and I have not had a pizza roll in probably 10 months. And there is, I believe, very little danger of me actually going off the deep end and going back to that way of life, because I really do have something better now. But on the rainy, lonely, slow days when everything feels so dreary, the pizza rolls sneak into my head. I close my eyes and I can almost taste them. I miss the grease and the salt and the moments of *not feeling.* But it just is not worth it to do that to myself anymore.

I think a key to keeping off the weight is finding new ways to deal with our feelings. I rode my bike today; that helped some. I have a fridge stuffed with vegetables that will rot if I don't eat them; that makes me more likely to choose wisely. But maybe what I really need to do is nurture relationships in my life. A friend to talk to, a shoulder to lean on. Someone to put their arm around me and let me cry a little when I am sad. It's not good to stuff your feelings, with food or otherwise. Perhaps the first step is simply admitting them, as I have done here.

I will keep on doing what I need to do. When I miss the pizza rolls I might close my eyes and zone back to that place in my head and remember eating them. But in reality, they have no place in my life. Because I want to live, and part of living is feeling. Rain and all.

19 comments:

Ryry the Adventurous said...

Amen Lyn.... amen.

Mehler Family Blog said...

I just cannot believe how often I read your blog and feel like I could be writing it! You put words to what I've felt for so long...I completely feel like eating for me is an adiction. I overeat because it erases the feelings, it makes me feel better for a moment, it's just "one" treat, I deserve it, and the list goes on! At some point, I need to realize that the treat I really deserve is a healthy lifestyle! Keep sharing!

Faith

Ceres said...

I really hope you feel better soon. Only a short time ago, when I felt under the weather, my body just gravitated towards the kitchen, I'm not sure why. Before I knew what I was doing, I had opened the cupboards, the fridge, as if what I was missing were hiding there someplace :-) I think you're doing a great job dealing with your feelings in ways that don't involve a trip to the kitchen. Keep up the good work!

Allison said...

That was a beautiful post, and something I really needed to read. I have a headache and am feeling depressed about my job, so I go to the grocery store and buy a piece of cake. I'm not quite where you are yet with not letting old food habits get the best of me, but I'm getting there. I bought a piece of cake instead of a whole cake! :) But thanks, I really needed that kick in the pants. Just wish I had read it before the cake.

Lauren said...

this is a beautiful post. I feel lonely too sometimes. I'm struggling with the food right now, and I'm also working on meeting new people and cultivating friendships.

Dinah Soar said...

Congratulations on winning the best blog award!!! You have a great blog and surely do deserve it.

Food most definitely does comfort us...that is what we are usually seeking in situations like you describe in your post...maybe we can find a different way to comfort ourselves, eh?

My life has been pretty much food oriented because it is a basic necessity and it is a need, so it is always there while other diversions are not...that, and the fact that maybe I never learned any other dealing mechanisms besides food.

Perhaps we could develop some comforting rituals that involve food that won't fatten us...hot tea, candlelight, uplifting music... or an icy cold beverage while sitting in the cool of some shade with a slight breeze blowing on us looking at a magazine we enjoy...or just doing the next thing that needs done...scrubbing the floor or catching up the laundry...that may not be as soothing but it will occupy our mind til the trial passes.

And those dreary melancholy days...some days they uplift me others they get me down...on those days I tell myself the feeling will pass--- as in "this too shall pass"--- and I'll feel better later... or tomorrow... and then I try to find something to do to take my mind off of it. I used to bake but I don't dare do that now! :-D Decorative painting is a good hobby I was able to do until recently and it is calorie free.

We are all learning aren't we...thanks for sharing your experiences with the rest of us...we all identify in one way or another and perhaps we can help each other find better ways of coping.

Heather said...

I definitely have foods liek that too, that used to be my "go to" foods and I know I just have to stay away from them now becuase I cant resist having them around. you are doing great resisting them because you know where it will get you.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Congratulations on your win, you must be delighted. I made it to 1st runner up in the funniest blog so am pretty chuffed with that. I am a woman who has put on a great deal of weight after giving up smoking thee years ago, gettig lazy and eating too much. You are doing so incredibly well. All the best, I'll be back to see how you progress.

Lynne said...

I love your honesty. It's a lesson I can learn a lot from. We know we eat too much, but we rarely stop to question why, much less do anything real about that WHY to change the situation. I guess that's what lasting weight loss is all about --- getting the pounds off and figuring out why they were there in the first place!

Thanks for sharing! You ROCK!!

new*me said...

congrats on the best blog award. You have inspired others with your raw emotion and success. I too, am learning to stop "self-medicating" myself with food. It's a hard addiction to break but without overcoming it, the obesity battle will never be won. Thanks for continuing to inspire all of us on this journey we share with you.

Jules said...

Thank you for this blog. There are many days for me like this, when I just didn't want to feel anymore because all I could think about were bad memories and feeling sad about myself. I did everything to drive those feelings away. I still don't know how to live with those thoughts and feelings. But I think I should focus more on the future, new friendships, and building better memories. Music helps! I hope you feel better soon.

elife said...

you continue to be such an inspiration to me. I love that post about the good days as well as the bad.

a public diet said...

You will feel better soon. Its only rain after all. I used to walk in rain when I was still skinny. It just felt sexy somehow. maybe because my clothes were clinging to curves which are much much bigger now. A cup of coffee always does it for me on a rainy day.

Fab Kate said...

With me it was chicken taquitos.

Honi said...

DO NOT DO THIS but I bet you if you were to eat just one you would gag like you put a magot in your mouth.. .. it would not taste near as good as you have made it taste in your mind.. trust me I know these things from experience.. and chances are you would get sick too.. your body does not know those foods anymore nor need them.. YOU ARE ROCKIN ALONG TO A HEALTHIER STRONGER YOU and thats all there is and all that matters!.. :-) and you my dear friend can handle it all.. including the rain!!!!

aerorunnergirl said...

Thank you for saying all these things out loud. For so long, I've wanted to say them, but I am not brave enough. I'm too scared of what everyone else will think (stupid, isn't it?); I'm scared that people will see that I'm not really invincible (that's really stupid). So I just poke fun at myself and try to laugh away my weight problem. I'm working on my weight problem, but I'm not being as honest about it as I know that I should. I have a problem, and instead of being ashamed of myself, I wish I could be as open and honest about my problem as you are. Thank you again.

deanna said...

Thank you for this post. I just discovered your blog and love it. When I read this sentence "... microwaving them just did not create the same intimacy" it was like reading a page from my book, however pizza rolls weren't my thing, but that doesn't matter it could of been anything, it was the word intimacy that struck a chord about my horrible relationship with food and my body. My bingeing was very intimate, and I never knew it until I read your words. Thank you for bringing me to a place where I just needed to be - to help me succeed one more day in this quest for good health and a healthy relationship with my body and food. Thank you.

KLK said...

Hey, I found this link via the 3fatchicks forum -- it's REALLY great and I see why you won best blog! :-D I just wanted to say that though it has been YEARS since I had a real sit-down-and-eat-the-whole-box-of-pizza-rolls-by-myself binge (though I have had smaller, more controlled binges, rest assured), I can REMEMBER SO CLEARLY that feeling of intimacy and urgency you described right before getting the coveted food item. The memory is so vivid, I got chills reading this.

I STILL get quite excited at meal times, though I have managed to lose and keep off a lot of weight in the past 4 years (working on losing the rest!) and I do still reward myself with food. And despite almost 5 binge-less years, I'm STILL afraid the day will come when I will be secretly shoving 3 chocolate doughnuts in my face in 50 seconds and then arranging the remaining doughnuts so it looks like I didn't just have three...

Mal said...

The thing that helps me when I come here is how plainly and openly you confront the emotional issues of changing these habits. You, like most of us, have a history of using food for comfort and that is a much more difficult habit to break than going from two lumps of sugar to one.

Thanks for sharing.