It’s not easy to keep what’s best for me in mind at all times, nor is it easy to avoid getting frustrated and lazy when life gets hard. We’re surrounded by fast food advertisements on a daily basis, and sometimes it seems perfectly reasonable and rational to have a bag of chips and a diet pop for lunch or supper.
At the height of my depression living on delivery pizza and family sized bags of chips seemed like rational choices. It’s taken me all of this time to figure out that often the things I used to consider an occasional “treat” are little acts of self-hate. I’m not talking about the occasional cookie or bag of chips, I’m talking about all out binges and really unhealthy food choices. One of the tools which has helped me is learning to use http://healthiestregards.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/hunger-scale.jpg as a basic guide to help me determine when to stop eating as well as when I need to eat. For those of us with food addictions, not knowing it’s time to eat is as big a danger as just outright over-eating is as one tends to over-eat when one is far past a healthy hunger level.
Another thing which has really been helping me is reading the book http://www.amazon.ca/Pleasure-Trap-Mastering-Undermines-Happiness/dp/1570671974 by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhammer. It’s been profoundly reassuring for me to learn that most of my disordered eating is a result of modern society’s extremely processed diet not registering correctly with my body’s satiation mechanisms rather than some fatal flaw in my self-control. This knowledge combined with my basic knowledge about natural, whole foods (which oddly enough I’ve been interested in and learning about for most of my adult life) is making it considerably easier for me to get past the disordered parts of my eating.
I do have PCOS, which makes maintaining a healthy weight much harder for me than it is for your “average” person. I’m also very realistic about losing weight at a gradual HEALTHY pace. I’m losing between 3 and 6 lbs a month which is the sort of weight loss which will last and won’t trigger any of my old, obsessed with my body size, starving myself and screwing up my metabolism tricks. Being self-aware and conscious of my emotions and motives when it comes to eating and health at all times is HARD work.
Part of my recovery includes giving myself permision to indulge my sweet tooth with a piece of chocolate or a cookie on occasion, while being in touch enough to know when to stop. I had dinner out with my boyfriend and his parents the other night, I had the veggie burger, minus the cheese, mayo and had a side salad rather than fries, so I allowed myself to have a sweet treat (chocolate) later that night as I knew that my overall fat consumption for the day was well within a healthy range. It’s the ability to make these choices which is such a HUGE step in a healthful direction for me, as in the past I would have felt compelled to over-indulge.
I LOVE the fact that I can now listen to my body much more effectively. I am still not “normal” in this respect and need to keep safeguards in place (eg not keeping peanut butter or cookies or chips in the house) but, more and more I find myself making more loving choices for myself.
My goal is to be healthier on my 45th birthday than I was on my 35th. I’m well on my way for sure.
ps. Hyperlinking is not currently working for me, please be patient while I work to resolve this issue.