Friday, September 17, 2010

Easy Days, Hard Days

Some days I breeze through with perfect eating and exercise without even a thought. Sometimes I have days like that all strung together where I have zero desire to indulge in off plan stuff, or to binge, or to eat something I really should avoid. I can even go weeks like that sometimes, where it seems easy: I just get up, have my healthy foods, go about my day, stick my walking shoes on and do a mile, and feel completely 'normal' in my relationship with food. It's *just food* and nothing more, and I can have a life outside it. And the weight drops off, and I feel amazing. There are other days that every *moment* is a struggle with fighting the urge to eat more and more, or binge; the cravings are almost overwhelming at times. Those are the days I feel obsessed and wonder what is wrong with me as I pace the kitchen, opening and shutting the cabinets, telling myself to stop it, saying no, no, no! Those are the days I have all kinds of food on the brain and a trip to the grocery store is like navigating a mine field. I want everything. I cannot get it out of my head. And the worst part is that if I give in, even just a little bit, it gets worse. It can drag on for days, with my *trying* to eat on plan but feeling unable to resist that block of cheese or box of crackers. And once I give in my body fights even harder for more.

I've wondered for a long time why this is. How is it that some days, like today, I am so uninterested in food that I actually forget to eat? Yet other days it is a minute-by-minute battle not to inhale everything that isn't nailed down. I think it's hormones. At least, that's what I've come up with. I look at the calendar and I can predict the hard days in a month now. But there's more.

It's also what I am eating that seems to set me up for obsession or disinterest in food in general. If I eat something high in carbs, something sugary, or even something very fatty and salty, the craving switch gets tripped and it is *oh so hard* to turn it back off. It takes forever to get back out of the 'I-Want-Food' mindset. So I guess the answer is not to start on that path in the first place. I pretty much try to stay away from those kinds of triggers. Keeping the switch off is so much easier than TURNING it off once it's on.

Anyway, I am enjoying many obsession-free days now. I do remember how it was to have 100% Food Obsessed days for months. I remember when I was fighting every single day not to binge, and losing the battle every time. I remember sitting and crying after a binge because I was so ashamed and felt so out of control and wanted to stop so badly. I am very happy that I have experimented my way into an eating pattern that works for me. Small, protein rich, low carb meals every 2-3 hours seems to satisfy without triggering. I want to eat this way for the rest of my life. I do not need nearly the amount of food, sugar, fat, and carbs I was consuming before.

When you have an easy day, take advantage of it. Don't sabotage yourself by going and getting junk food. Use that one good, easy day to build another one, and another. After awhile you'll run into a hard day but it is actually *less hard* when you have a string of good days behind you.

There's just over 3 months left 'til Christmas. What gift will you be giving yourself? I am building my gift right now, every day, and I think with lots of work I will be able to give myself the gift of a body 15 or 20 pounds lighter than it is right now. I can't think of a better present! How about you?

11 comments:

Andra said...

"Easy Days, Hard Days"

That's life and that's life with an eating disorder. Enjoy the easy ones, deal with the hard ones.

I always remind myself, no matter what each day brings, I'm driving this bus and I'm going to make the ride as joyful as I can no matter what the road holds.

Angie said...

Boy I can relate to this post!Staying away from carbs, sugar, and salt is a is helping me to find peace in my life again.There is a movie called "Candy" with Heath Ledger. It's about drug addiction and the fight for recovery. The movie is extremely graphic, but there is a line at the end that really resonated with me...(I'm paraphrasing/trying to remember)"Those who are granted a reprieve would do well to remember just how thin that reprieve is." In other words, protect the flame...and let the healthy eating days add up just like you said.

I will have seven weeks of healthy eating under my belt tomorrow. I find this kind of movie helpful with my own tenuous recovery. It helps me to understand why I, and others, engage in behavior that is so clearly destructive (like excessive eating.

Glad your feeling so strong!

Anonymous said...

Lyn wrote, "I've wondered for a long time why this is. How is it that some days, like today, I am so uninterested in food that I actually forget to eat? Yet other days it is a minute-by-minute battle not to inhale everything that isn't nailed down. I think it's hormones. At least, that's what I've come up with. I look at the calendar and I can predict the hard days in a month now."

I think you're right that it probably is related to hormones. While I agree that often there is an underlying emotional/psychological reason for overeating, many times there is a physiological reason as well. I recently came across a review of this article, "Impact of the Menstrual Cycle on Determinants of Energy Intake – Research Review," at http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/impact-of-the-menstrual-cycle-on-determinants-of-energy-intake-reseach-review.html which address this issue of hormones and increased hunger. I think the section at the bottom, "Summing Up" well, sums it up.

I often find it helpful to be able to correctly figure out what is going on with myself in terms of hunger. Sometimes it's not emotional, it's just hormones.

Me said...

Hi,
I came across your great writtings as I sat here and surfed around. I looked at your pictures, wow you were 1 pound liter then me, when I started and I sat here and stared, thinking whoa that's what my body looked like.

You have a great blog and I am a follower now, your doing great!! I look forward to reading more.

Dinah Soar said...

The appetite is a complex animal. I too have days when I am much hungrier and since I started paying attention, when it happens I eat a bit more for a day or two and then I am back to normal. I think the reason mine only lasts a day or two is because I am not restricted. I can eat what I want. When I was restricted, the battle was daily and constant.

Practicing intuitive eating means I must listen to my body.

Avery said...

I stumbled across your blog more than several weeks ago whilst doing a search on weight loss...I took the time to read here and there through your blog, found myself engrossed and inspired and returned time and time again to keep track of your happenings.

Thanks for the great reading and inspiration!

Twix said...

That's so cool! Go you!!! :D

spunkysuzi said...

I totally know what you're talking about!!
I have come to the conclusion that although others may enjoy certain foods in moderation i just cannot. Your right it switches my cravings on and it's oh so hard to stop them again.
My gift for Christmas is to be the healthiest i can be.

screwdestiny said...

There's that quote..."An object in motion tends to stay in motion." It's like that. When you're doing well, you tend to keep doing well. When you do bad, it's easy to keep doing bad. So let's all do well. :)

I'm giving myself the present of great legs. Working on it!

A woman in transition... said...

I've discovered that when I'm having a hormonal week (which happens twice a month), I eat like crazy. I don't know how to turn that off yet. I think you're right about having a string of good days to back you up...that does seem to help. 15 lbs. by Christmas sounds like an excellent gift. Best of luck! :)

Thrift Store Mama said...

Totally, totally agree with these:

"If I eat something high in carbs, something sugary, or even something very fatty and salty, the craving switch gets tripped and it is *oh so hard* to turn it back off."

and

"I remember when I was fighting every single day not to binge, and losing the battle every time. I remember sitting and crying after a binge because I was so ashamed and felt so out of control and wanted to stop so badly."

The feeling after a binge was awful, just awful. I haven't thought about that in a while but am going to try and remember that awful feeling to keep me away from the binges.