Something I have noticed since I got off the dieting crazy train is that there is a definite difference in my internal dialogue about food. In fact, that inner voice has changed several times over the last ten years. Some of the time, like when I was binge eating or when I was fighting myself to restrict, it was a nearly constant running commentary about what I should or should not eat, what I wanted or did not want, and how much/how badly I wanted foods. It could turn into a full blown obsession at times, and it was scary how out of control it made me feel. I wrote about this many times early on in my blog when I was still trying to stop binge eating; there were times I felt absolutely driven to go buy, say, a specific meal from a fast food restaurant, or a box of donuts, or a pizza. I knew I "shouldn't" but felt like I had to. This was definitely binge eating disorder with a high component of food obsession. But the interesting thing is, this crazy-making dialogue of what I wanted to eat, had to eat, needed to eat also popped up in my head when I was on certain diets. Even if I was not binge eating, I would sometimes go days convincing myself not to give in and go eat some food I "shouldn't" have... some highly caloric thing if I was restricting calories, or some days I just got obsessed with the thought of eating lots and lots of cake... even though I was outwardly sticking to my diet.
At other times that inner voice of food was almost completely silenced. To go from that constant food chatter in my head to total quiet was kind of startling; it happened most noticeably when I was on Medifast for quite some time. I found myself uninterested in food... sometimes wishing I could just drink my shakes and not bother to eat at all. Cravings were gone; I described food as like "a rock sitting on the table" and there was NO inner voice telling me I wanted to eat. It was a very strange feeling to me, but made sticking to the diet easy... until I ate something "off plan" and then the voices came screaming back like banshees.
There is something different going on now with my inner food dialogue. The obsessive voice is gone, and a more reasonable, calm voice is in its place. I think because I am neither bingeing nor restricting, everything has settled down. It feels normal.
I want food, I like it and enjoy it. Sometimes I see a food and want to eat it, and sometimes I see a food and don't care if I have any. I want to eat when I'm hungry and sometimes I want to eat for comfort or enjoyment. And since I am not trying to make myself NOT eat certain things, I am okay with eating what I want and not eating when I don't really care about it.
Binge/restrict dialogue: OMG that pizza looks fantastic! I wish I could have some of that but I can't, I'll get fat. It'll ruin my diet. It's not healthy. I hate this diet, why can't I just be thin? Oh that pizza smells sooo good. Ugh, how can I NEVER eat pizza again? I know I shouldn't but oh I want it. I am going to have a piece. Oh this is so good!! I want more. I will try again tomorrow and lose weight. I am going to enjoy this pizza. And how about a Coke and a Snickers bar too? I want cheesecake. Wow breadsticks sound great! I can eat more before I have to stop. I won't be able to eat this stuff next week so I am darn well going to enjoy it now.
Medifast/ketosis dialogue: meh, I hate having to eat. It's so annoying.
Current, eat what I want dialogue: What should I have for breakfast? Bacon and eggs sounds good. I'll add some fruit, too.
Oh hey, they have cake at this potluck. Oh, it looks okay but I don't really want a piece right now. Maybe later.
Oh hey, they have cake at this potluck and it looks delicious! I think I'll have some.
Notice there is no guilt or frustration in the current dialogue. I like it very much!
What's your internal dialogue sound like and how does your eating plan (or lack of plan) play into it?
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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