Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unhealthy food obsession creeping back into my life?

I really hope not...  but I'm starting to feel that need to be "in control" of my food intake again.  I haven't felt this way in years, and it scares me.

I am thinking about food way too often.  I think about how much I've eaten, how much I have left to eat for the day, when my next meal or snack will be, what my next meal or snack will be, whether or not I was "good" at my last meal or snack, whether or not I "deserve" a treat, etc.

These are not healthy thoughts!

I am starting to think that my eating disorder thinking is starting to creep back into my head, and THAT IS NOT OKAY WITH ME.

Repeat:  Not okay.

The good thing is that I have recognized that it's happening, and right away.  The bad thing is that I have no clue how to fix it.

I guess that I will just try to focus on the other things in my life, and to listen to my hunger signals and track my food with the Simply Filling Technique of Weight Watchers. 

I am embarrased to come on here and admit to this, because I like to think of myself as a good example of someone who is fully recovered from disordered eating.

But I guess that there is a reason that they never gave me a completion certificate at the end of my recovery program in 2005:  There may not be a completion date for this illness.  In times of extreme stress, my brain's first response is this-

"Must have control!  Must control something... I know, I can control my FOOD!!!  Time to start restricting and being obsessive!  That will solve my problem of feeling out of control, right?!  RIGHT?!"

And that is WRONG.  And I know that.

Since I've recognized the cause of this momentary relapse in healthy thinking is STRESS, perhaps I should start with that.  Deal with whatever it is that is stressing me out.  Practice relaxation techniques.  Say my affirmations and do some meditation.  Take a bubble bath.  Yoga.  Pray. 

Also, I believe that I'm stressed because I feel as if I'm behind at both work and in school.  If I focus on getting caught up, one task at a time, and on studying, on chapter at a time, then I should (in theory) begin to feel that stress melt away.

Thanks for reading.  I will not be doing a Tasty Tuesday tonight, but those should resume next week.

P.S. I should mention that I have not acted on my thoughts to restrict, I am still eating a healthy amount of food (following WW guidelines) and exercising a healthy amount (30-60 minutes a day, most days) and will continue to do so.  Just scared of the thoughts.  And yes, I added this disclaimer mostly in case my family is reading this and terrified!  Mom, don't call the hospital, I'm fine.  :-)


LabelSnob said...

Hang in there Leah. Do whatever helps you get through this. YOU are stronger than those "bad and harmful" thoughts.
Stay strong, this too shall pass!!!

Leanne said...

My old WWers leader used to say "Feel you feelings, not eat them." Maybe in your case you need to just deal with what is stressing you out rather than controlling your eating. I wish I had something better to help you with other than I know that you are a strong person and you will achieve anything you set your mind to!

Jennifer said...

thanks for your transparency here. So true about controlling food. When life is out of control, you have to find something you can be the boss of. I can relate!

Thin Lizzy said...

In Alcoholics Anonymous there is the idea that you are always in recovery. We learn from the past and I can definitely hear that echoed in your writing. You have recognized a past activity that leads to more unhealthy activities. Good on you. Stress seems to be in the air all over lately. Hang in there.

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Leah, although you might not realize it, catching yourself before you start spiralling into your ED is MAJOR!

What you're working through right now is at the heart of a lot of eating problems...being able to pause before acting on the impulse to overeat or restrict...and then figure out what is really going on.

Most likely the old "restricter" in you would have just dove into controlling the food without delving into why you wanted to do that. Now you know that it's probably your stress that is driving you to want to restrict.

I think that is REAL progress. It is almost as if this is a little test to see if just maybe the old ED might still work when things are troubling you...but your new way of dealing with your triggers has made you pause.

As someone who's dealt with the other side of the same coin (overeating), I think we can shrink the ED behaviours until they lose 99% of their power. But once in a while, they creep back in just to test us - just to see if they might work in helping self-soothe or handle frustrations, etc.

I know you'll be fine, Leah. You ARE a recovered disordered eater - this was just a little check-in to make sure that old way of doing things doesn't work anymore.

Studying and work - one small step at a time - will help your stress levels.

You've got this!

Amanda said...

I'm so proud of you for being honest and sharing what you are going through. Is there anyone you can talk to about this that is a professioanl? Maybe that would help so that you don't go back to what you did in the past.


Lindsey said...

I think it's absolutely beautiful and brave of you to come on here and admit this. You're a wonderful example for other people who may find themselves in your position, and you offer a lot of inspiration. Have you thought about reaching out to a counselor about it? Or, you know how recovering alcoholics have "sober buddies" to turn to, maybe you can reach out to a friend and ask them to be your sober food buddy in times of need? Just some thoughts. I'm really proud of you!!! *hug*