Thursday, July 11, 2013

Food vs Control

I have lost 49 pounds since last October. I haven't been denying myself good things, but by using portion control and controlling what I brought home, I have been maintaining a slow and steady weight loss. I've learned a lot about myself, my choices, and consequences. This morning the realization of using food to self medicate struck me like a hammer.

The facts:
1. My late father was part of an asbestos class action lawsuit. Over the years he received small checks in an ongoing settlement. I was notified of a payment and sent the NY law firm the proper documents.
2. A check was received and  deposited on July 1, but credit union would not accept it the way it was written. I spent the next ten days either trying to get them to accept it or in phone jail with the law firm.
3. I finally resolved it by going to a local bank who accepted the check as it was written.

During this time I was very upset. I felt like I had no control in a Catch-22 situation. I started craving ice cream and had some every time I was out. (I did not bring any home, phew, that's good.) I also wanted carbs all the time. I even bought a box of Entenmen's Rich Frosted Donuts and ate six in one day. As they say in Yiddish, nisht goot.

Yesterday I sat with a young man at Citizens State Bank and felt the weight lift off my shoulders. The funds will be available to pay some bills by Tuesday. I laughed with relief. Then I drove to the co-op to get an organic rotisserie chicken. Immediately I was back in control. I didn't think, "Oh, I feel in control of my situation, now I will eat sensibly again." It was that I didn't feel the need to make myself feel better with food. The crazy part was that while I was feeling so frustrated eating another donut did not help at all. Thank goodness I had healthy fruit choices at home because I ate everything that wasn't nailed down.

I am told that as a way of controlling their environment anorexics don't eat. They can't control what is happening around them but can control what they put in their body. But what do you call what I do? Damned if I know. But now that I am super aware of what causes me to do it, and what the effects are, such as bloating and feeling yucky, I feel better equipped to handle frustration next time it comes around.

Anyone who feels they have life figured out and all the answers is only fooling themselves. It is an ongoing journey with ongoing challenges and opportunities. I'm afraid I didn't do as well as I would have liked to these past few weeks. I can't change that and I don't know how I will deal with the next stressful situation. But I can and will do better today.

1 comment:

  1. Emotional eating! Ugh! I have dealt with this (and not) for a very long time. It's a behavior I learned at a young age. I can recall feeling sad and my Mom offering food as comfort "here honey, have a piece of cake, it'll make you feel better".

    The pull toward food when I am emotionally upset is strong!! Sometimes I am able to identify it and make the choice to not give in, but it is difficult. My body CRAVES satisfaction with food and I feel denied and frustrated when I limit my food intake and choices. At the same time I am frustrated and ashamed when I give in and indulge. Striking a balance, for me, is not an easy task. When I take the time to be aware and conscientious of the food I am eating and the motivation behind it I feel proud and strong making good healthy choices.

    Congratulations on your magnificent weight loss Carol! Well done!!