Sunday, September 29, 2013

Three Steps towards recovery...

Remember the first two steps of my EDNOS/diet addiction recovery plan?  They were No More Guilt and Total Body Acceptance.  (Please check out the links for the posts regarding these two steps, if you missed them!)

I'm happy to say that I'm doing fantastic with both of these things now.  They are actually just my new normal at this point.  I (almost) never feel guilty about food or exercise decisions, and I (almost) always love and appreciate my body exactly as it is.  I say "almost" because I'm not perfect yet, but seriously it's rare when I feel food/exercise guilt or have negative self-talk about my body.

What progress that is for me!  When I wrote those posts, I was still engaging in both of those behaviors all of the time.  Practically every time I made a food or exercise decision, I would regret it, and beat myself up over it.  Every time I looked in the mirror at my body, I cringed, and dreamed of a day when my body would be smaller and therefore better.

I'm  super happy to say that this is no longer the case.

It really did just take practice to master these two steps.  

For "No More Guilt", just a constant reminder whenever I started to feel guilty about food or exercise to step back and remember that those decisions are MORALLY NEUTRAL and that they should elicit NO GUILT and to in fact feel guilt about those things is DISORDERED THINKING

 Eventually, I believed those things, and now I don't assign moral values to food or exercise.  Food is food, exercise is exercise, and no amounts or types of either define me as a person.  Really, they don't!  I'm so much happier without that constant guilt hanging over my head.

Some random self-love at Walmart!

For "Total Body Acceptance" I just started to love my body more.  In order to do that, I spent more time with it.  I did things like take baths without bubbles, walk around the house naked sometimes, pamper my body by always keeping it clean and moisturized, and being in more full body pictures.  I stopped avoiding mirrors and cameras.  I really learned my body.  After spending years avoiding body acceptance, this has been extremely enlightening.  

I also bought plenty of new clothes to fit my body.  Cute stuff from my new favorite clothing store: Torrid.  (sidenote: If you are a plus size woman who does not like her body and has refused to believe in the possiblity of cute plus size clothes, please do yourself a favor and check our your local Torrid!  I hope that you have one.  I adore mine.)  Cute clothes that fit my body really helped me in this step.

Just stopping avoiding the reality of my body's appearance and feel has made me love it.  Seriously, I used to be disgusted with my body when it was this size.  Disgusted.  Like, I would cry when I thought about it, and get angry when I saw pictures of it.  It was really messed up, how much hate I had towards my plus-size body.  Really.  Messed. Up.

I accept my body now.  And it feels great!

Now, all that being said...  Even though I'm no longer guilty or body-hating, I still recognize the need to change my eating habits and to lose some excess weight.  But these needs do not need to be met with guilt or body-hate.  Really, they don't!  Those two things have NEVER helped me to eat healthier, exercise more, or lose weight for the long term.  So I gave them up, and I won't be getting them back.  

The third step in my recovery is Intuitive Eating.  And I already told you guys a couple of weeks ago that I'm working on it again, so step 3 is on its way.  This third step will be broken down into several tiny steps.  So let's say that my EDNOS/Diet Addiction Recovery Plan is an outline, it would look like this:

I) No More Guilt.
II) Total Body Acceptance.
III) Intuitive Eating
        a) Eat only when hungry
        b) Stop eating when satisfied
               i) Stop eating when full
I'm at IIIai right now.  It's always been very difficult for me to stop eating when satisfied, so for now I'm going to do baby steps and stop eating when full.  To me, these are two different things. Once I'm "full", I know that I've gone past "satisfied" a bit.  But it's an easier sensation to recognize.  So I will start there. 

My next entry will be about the half marathon training!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let's try this again!

By "this", I mean intuitive eating.  I'm ready to give it another go.

The difference this time is that I am not going to be strict about it, and also that I am officially using it as a technique to get beyond my EDNOS.

I have always known that the day would come when I would need to go back to intuitive eating.

Since I have gone back and forth so many times, and shared pretty much every experience with my eating behaviors right here on this blog, I'm not too embarassed to let you all in on my return to IE.

I have tried and failed at Intuitive Eating several times.  Why have I failed?  Hmmm.  For many reasons, but I'm going to talk about the biggest reason for now.

I was looking at IE as another diet plan.  The "Eat When I'm Hungry, Stop Eating When I'm Satisfied Diet".  When I got sick of doing those things, or when I wasn't losing weight (or even when I was gaining it!), I would either give up on the IE "Diet" completely and lose myself in the world of binge eating again, or I would go back to tracking regularly so that I could eat until stuffed so long as I tracked it, and could still lose weight if I stayed under a specific calories or Points number.

Intuitive Eating should not be looked at in this way.  It is not a diet.  It is not a "lifestyle change" (which is really another word for diet in my opinion).  It is just listening to my body.  Giving it what it wants: no more, no less.  It is asking myself these questions before I eat:  "Am I hungry?" and "Is this what I want?" and giving myself  unconditional permission to eat when the answer to those two questions is "Yes!".  And of course, asking myself those same questions every few bites in order to figure out when to stop eating.

But even that ONE rule is enough to send me spiraling into a diet mentality sometimes.  

Like "Fuck you, Intuitive Eating.  No, I'm not hungry, and no this is not what I really want, but it's here and I want it, so I'm going to fucking eat it.  Stupid IE, making me only eat when I'm hungry and only eat what I really want, and then WTF making me have to stop every few bites and ask myself those same questions again?! Ridiculous."

Because I know this about myself and my past attempts at Intuitive Eating, I'm going to be gentle with myself regarding this rule.  I am going to think of it as a  healthy guideline, not a do-or-die absolute must RULE.

And I'm going to assume that if I practice this skill for long enough, eventually I won't have to be all "Okay, Self.  Are you still hungry?  No?  Okay then, pack it up until you're hungry again."  Eventually it will come naturally.  And that's when I will have fully recovered from my weirdo dieting behaviors once and for all.  But this will be a process.

There will be times when I binge.  There will be days when I wake up after a night of binge eating when I decide to track on My Fitness Pal for the week, the day, or even just for breakfast.  There will be times when my pants feel tight, and times when my pants feel loose.  As long as I can accept these things, then I truly believe that I will be okay with continuing on the path of becoming an intuitive eater who is recovered from EDNOS.

It may take years.  I can accept that.  I'm done with quick fixes.  All of the quick fixes that I have tried have exactly one thing in common with each other:  They didn't work long term.

Meanwhile, I still have many other way more important things going on.  One of which I have to get back to right now!  Time for class.  :-)

I hope that my random midday rambling about Intuitive Eating made sense to you guys.

Have you ever tried intuitive eating?  Why or why not?  
Did you like it?  
Are you still an intuitive eater?  
Please let me know in the comments, or on my FB page. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some thoughts...

Since losing my mom almost 15 months ago, I have gained 59 pounds.

A lot of it is what I call "grief weight", because I gained 40 pounds in about 2 months immediately following the sudden death, with a combination of overeating and sitting around crying... and trying to connect with Mom somehow by eating all of her favorite junk foods.

But the rest of it?  I have basically been yo-yo dieting this entire time.  Going from one idea to another, trying to get this weight off.  Even since I've committed to leaving dieting behind, I have still been obsessed with losing this weight, or trying to at least not get any bigger.

I have dieted for the last time.  Mom wouldn't want me to diet anymore.  She also wouldn't want me to obsess over my size, my eating, or my exercise.  And neither do I.

It's time to leave dieting behind FOR REAL and to give myself a chance to live life without the obsession.

That being said, I'm not comfortable at this size.  I would rather be the size that I was before Mom died, which would mean that I need to lose 59 pounds or so.  But this cannot be a focus in my life right now.  There are more important things.

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to give intuitive eating another go, but this time without the obsession.  No more focusing on it to the point where it becomes the non-diet Diet.  No more focusing on it at all, actually.  It's time to focus on the things that really matter.





and my new blonder hair!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

EDNOS recovery while losing weight update...

Yes, I am still working on writing my very own diet addiction recovery plan.  And yes, I am still trying to lose weight.  And yes, I am still a recovering EDNOS-er.

And I recognize the fact that these three things don't always mesh.  Really, when one is struggling to recover from an eating disorder, the last thing that one needs to be focusing on is weight loss. 

But I am not a newbie to recovery.  This is not my first rodeo.  And every time that I have recovered from my disordered eating in the past, I have not fully recovered from the addiction.  I have been recovering from this since I was 19, and now I'm almost 29. 

And yet I still don't have a grip on my addiction.  My relationship with food and my relationship with my body are two parts of my life that I still struggle with daily.  I am working on this constantly.

I'm working on becoming a "normal" eater, whatever that is.  I have had many ideas of what that meant in the past.  Right now, I just want to focus on getting rid of my disordered eating thoughts.

Every time I eat or drink something right now, I ask myself "Is this something that I would eat or drink if I never had an eating disorder?" And likewise, before every workout, I ask "Is this how I would exercise is I never had an eating disorder?"

And because I will never truly know the answers to those questions, I just guess.

Here are some new recovery goals of mine:

1) Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  Make these meals substantial.  Make them exactly what I want to eat at that moment.  Actually MAKE them sometimes.  No judgments about the quality or quantity of these foods, just be sure to eat them and enjoy them.

2) Before every food, drink, or exercise decision, ask myself if I am making the decision that a non-ED person would make.  If the answer is "yes", go for it.  If the answer is "no" think about it further.  If I'm not sure, the answer is probably "no".

3) Challenge myself to take risks.  Eat foods that scare me sometimes.  Drink a real Coke or a real pumpkin spice latte every once in awhile.  No judgment.  Just enjoy it.

4) Get off the treadmill if I start focusing on the calories instead of the distance.  It is so much more satisfying to accomplish distance goals than it is to burn calories!  The half marathon is coming up fast...

5) Track only when or if I feel like it.  It is not a requirement.

So as you can see, I'm still focusing on my EDNOS recovery.  I'm sick of being in this rut, with thoughts about food, exercise, and body hate taking up so much space in my brain.  My brain space needs to focus on more important things, like school...

How am I going to lose the weight while recovering?  I fully believe that I can lose weight by just being more aware and enjoying my foods fully.  I believe that if I eat what I really want at meals, I will snack less.  I also believe that focusing on non-weight loss goals in the gym will help me to lose weight as a side effect.  And I believe that it's okay to lose the weight slowly this time around.

Meanwhile, I'm still loving my body.  I love it for what it can do.  I love it for the way it looks (yes, even though I want to lose weight, it is not all about appearance!).  I love my body for how it feels.  I love it for everything it has brought me.  Mostly, I love it because  my mother gave it to me.

Thanks for my pear-ness, Mom.  :-)