Monday, December 10, 2012

More on legalizing junk food

Right after I wrote my last post about legalizing junk food, I discovered I had even more junk in the house than I had listed; I had forgotten about several items.  There were other cookies and a jar of chocolate-almond spread that had slipped my mind, and most of a cranberry-orange cake in the freezer that I didn't realize we had until my husband threw it in the yard for the birds yesterday.  It was several weeks old and neither one of us were interested in finishing it.

To have these things in the house and completely and utterly forget about them is new and amusing to me.  I typically know EXACTLY what I have, EXACTLY how much is left, and EXACTLY how badly I want to devour it all the moment I have a bit of privacy to do so.  I even forgot about a pint of Limited Edition Ben & Jerry's this week, and that speaks louder than me forgetting about cranberry-orange cake, believe me.  I opened my freezer and there it was in the door and I was all "Hey!  Forgot this was in here!"

What's more, it took me three different sessions over the course of the week to finish that pint.  There are four 1/2 cup servings in a pint, but throughout the past many years of binge eating regularly, a pint of ice cream has been one serving to my mind.  It is (was?) one of my most common binge items.  I can't remember the last time I didn't finish a pint either in one go or in one day.  Again, eating mindfully really helps: the ice cream tastes divine, and then my mouth goes numb from the cold and I can't taste it as well, so I decide to stop.

Tonight, I had to throw away the Breyer's mint chip that I mentioned in my last post.  Too freezer burnt to eat.  The candy in my purse has been there the longest out of any of the candy I've kept in there since the beginning of this experiment.  It's just not that compelling.

It is no exaggeration to say that this last week has been the worst week of my life.  My entire future has been called into question.  (I wish I could elaborate further, but unfortunately cannot at this time.)  No matter what happens next, my life is not going to unfold the way I had been planning and hoping.  That's jolting.  And this is happening just before the baby is due to arrive.  What should be a happy, exciting month of final baby preparations has become a time of deep sorrow, fear, anger, and anxiety.  Much time has been spent crying, writing, talking, researching, arguing, looking for a way forward.  I'm worried about the effect of this stress on the baby, and I'm worried about the baby in general; I'm scared she is not going to have the happy life I've tried to secure for her, all for reasons outside my control.  It's a horrible feeling and I have learned what it is to be heartbroken, really and truly heartbroken.

I bring this up to give context to the following statement: my eating didn't change this week, and that's incredible.  I didn't binge, and it wasn't because I was exerting effort to avoid a binge.  The urge to binge was not there.  I didn't overeat more than usual or eat more sweets than usual or anything.  Somehow the food and my life circumstances were not so closely yoked together, mentally or behaviorally.

Something really is changing.

I'm headed into my 38th week and I'm still at 260.


  1. I'm glad that you're still healthy in your pregnancy and doing well on the eating front, but sorry to hear that things are not going as planned otherwise. I know that feeling all to well. Things are not going as I'd planned on my end either. I hope that it all sorts itself out for the best in the end, or at least is not too bad.

    Take care!

  2. Thanks for your well wishes, SFG. I know you're going through quite a transition too. Has your eating evened out since your last blog post? Been thinking about you.

  3. I really hope that you successfully navigate whatever is going on. Life can be truly difficult.

    Have a safe delivery and a healthy baby. I'm thinking of you and wish you all the best.

  4. It's nice to know someone cares. Thank you, NewMe. I hope you're doing okay too--how was the Kabat-Zinn MBSR program? Did it help?

  5. Wow, thanks for remembering! I didn't actually do the Kabat-Zinn program. I did an 8-week meditation course for women that was based on the Kabat-Zinn approach. It was good, though very basic. I was probably the most experienced meditator there. I did learn a few things, however, that I do put into practice.

    I think the most important thing for me is that for the past year I have meditated almost every day (I sometimes skip Saturdays), usually for 30 minutes. I started at 10 minutes and find that 30 is now about right for me. Sometimes, I can do it all in one sitting and sometimes I have to split it up, depending on what my work schedule is.

    I am feeling much, much better than I was a year ago. This is definitely due to the thyroid medication for hyperthyroidism (Graves disease) that I am still taking, though at the lowest possible dose. Though the medication has been essential to my recovery, I feel that the meditation is also extremely important. This is something I am working hard to continue doing. It's a lifetime commitment.

    Hope you are well. I look forward to hearing how you're doing.

  6. VERY cool, glad to hear about these developments.

    I am very inconsistent when it comes to meditating. I just started this year and have found I enjoy dharma study, reading about mindfulness and neuroscience, etc. much more than I enjoy meditating. Because it's easier, of course! But I know full well that I won't reap the benefits until I put in the time meditating.

    Hats off to you! Keep it up!