Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking For Answers without Food

I had a good holiday weekend without inappropriate eating. I am still eating correctly today BUT I have thoughts that go the other way. Why is it the day AFTER the holiday, I find myself wanting to reward my successfully surviving the food minefield by eating things just one day ago I knew unquestionably, I could not have and still be food-sober?  

Question A: What is it about getting past an event without overeating that makes someone (me) want to eat more that usual and differently that normal?



Vickie said...

I think the AFTERS are harder than the durings for many things - hard times, happy times, holidays, busy schedule. They are a land mine all to themselves. I think many people do not expect THE AFTERS. Preparing for them can be a real step up. I have one blogger friend in particular that I am always leaving little 'beware of the AFTERS' notes for her as they are as strong for her as they are for me.

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

My guess is that it's about being "rewarded" for being "good." Even after all these years. That's how it feels to me sometimes. Do you read "Can I Learn To Think Like A Thin Person?" Kara has some interesting posts and today's resonated with me. Fact is, if I ate food that I used to eat, it would make me feel sick and I HATE to feel sick, so my desire not to feel sick really outweighs my desire to eat certain food. Or certain food in certain quantities. Here's a link:

Karen said...

Interesting post. Like Easter basket ghosts of the past. Perhaps it's all the eating we did after the event to sooth ourselves for all the eating we did on the day? Feeling the grief of not eating like we used to? I shudder to think how much I did eat around the eating holidays.

Good to be able to feel the feelings and not act on them. I was thinking today that we build up for the event, then that special time comes and goes and we all go back to our normal routine. Just feeling relief that the ups and downs are no longer, just normal eating. and clothes that fit week in and week out. Karen P

Anonymous said...

For me, it's the sort of let down now that the special day, holiday, birthday (etc.) is over.

There's a big build up for that day, and now that it's over and I made it through, there is a sadness about it all being 'done'. Which depresses me a bit and of course, what do I "think" will cheer me up? FOOD!

I guess that's a reason to make EVERY day as special as a holiday, but not with food!

Take care, HeatherInTX :O)

Caron said...

I have done that exact same thing. I avoid the main meal or day and am smug that I didn't cave. Then, I let down my guard with the leftovers or justify a treat I would not normally have. Our minds work in mysterious ways! Sigh.

Anonymous said...

You expend all this energy trying to maintain and focus and then after there is a let down. At least that is how it is for me. Like when you are at work and cannot get sick. You bulldoze thru and then after you get the flu. That is why I adore (and use) Vickie's "afters" it is the perfect word, we all know what she is talking about.

Anonymous said...

I have been away from this blog for a while and just started reading it again. Dealing with urges by making them public is so relevant. I think that is one point you get from this blog over and over again: secrecy is fatal, sharing is vital.

Here's an experience I'd like to share. A friend just came to visit me in Italy from Argentina (New Yorker by birth). He has been in AA for 25 years, sober for the same amount of time. I was so afraid to see him - not having seen him in 10 years - because of the weight I've gained since I last saw him. I used to be slim, and even attractive, and travelled with him as my "male escort" (protection, not romance) through Turkey, Syria and Jordan. He's extremely good-looking, which only made me more self-conscious.

Because of his experience in AA, I decided to talk to him about my overeating. He was so incredibly accepting and encouraged me to get involved with OA. I've rarely felt so much kindness, empathy and acceptance coming from another human being. He is someone very wise and his commitment to the 12 steps is total. For the first time in my life, I feel on the verge of getting involved in OA.

Jane, thanks for staying honest with us about your urges and your thought process.


Kelliann said...

I am finding the same to be true - and also finding that it seems to be the day AFTER a super stressful event that I want to cope with food. Just when I think I am safe! It's also "day 2" of being food sober after a slip that is the hardest. Day 1 feels almost EASY, then day 2 hits and BAM - it's a toughy.

Anonymous said...

For me it's simple food addiction. I control my eating by controlling my environment. If I go out to dinner or a party where everyone is eating the usual sugary, fatty, processed food that sends me over the edge, I think about the food for days and nothing else satisfies even if I never tasted it. The sight and smell is enough. It's like expecting a recovering crack addict to celebrate her birthday in a crack house. I don't know that I will ever be over it, so I keep managing.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie - Oh yes, the Afters. I really need to put them on my calendar! That would be a great reminder. Thank you for that suggestion.

KCL - I don't but I will check it out.

Karen and Heather - Finding the non-food rewards and festivities is a good key.

Caron - My mind is run by squirrels in my attic (head).

Christina - He is obviously someone who walks the walk, not just talks the talk. I am glad you found someone you could talk to f2f. I think a 12 step program can be a life saver. I love those AA traditions.

Anonymous - I know recovering alcoholics who can work in bars and keep booze in their house and not touch it. I believe it can be done with food. What I need to remember is this is not going to happen quickly. It is a slow process. I spent DECADES doing it wrong and not knowing how to change. It if takes time now that is okay. I will get there.