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43 To do or not to do

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yesterday I read the "Fighting the urge" e-book by dr Amy Johnson

and afterwards went to an AA lunch meeting. Dr Johnson says that compulsive eating is neither an incurable addiction nor a compensation for deep inner needs that canīt be changed until you have defined and fulfilled those needs. Dr Johnson says that it i our lower brain being taught to answer the craving by giving in and that I "only" need to understand this and then use my front lobes to stay away from those learned behaviour. Maybe I should say that this is how I understand dr Johnson.

Sitting at that AA meeting I felt that I do agree a lot with Amy Johnson... because there are all sorts of weird signals and emotions flying around and there are certainly many people who have the solution - because it worked for them. And maybe I am the same because I have my own truth about this and it has worked for med for nine years. Yesterday was one of the first time that I did not feel "wrong" in that meeting. I often feel as if I donīt belong there because I donīt have the "right" reactions and I donīt do the "right" work. These thought make me think I have to be quiet or "they" will throw me out.

But yesterday I realised that my truth is as good as any other persons there. I was sitting next to a woman that has been sober form more than 25 years and say many wise things about the necessity to give in, to follow the advices of those who has gone before her and to work with the steps every minute and not to take it lightly... it was a little hint for me as my share had been sort of "unserious" and childish although very happy... but I also know that that woman last year embezzled the groups fund and disappeared for a while and this she did after all those years of sobriety,. It has not made her start drinking again but it make me feel a little doubtful to her "perfect" AA_ image... the best thing is that it helps me to realise that I am the only judge over my contribution.

I donīt know why AA worked for me in getting sober, it just did. And now when I have been giving up meat I have had great help from the experience of giving up alcohol, because I have had almost exactly the same mental process. I have been totally confused "what am I doing" "I can never do this" "why is this a help" "Better give up because it makes no sense" - the last pone has made it even harder than with alcohol because it made some sense to give up alcohol even though I had not experienced that many negative effects at the time I stopped.

But I do remember that all those confused thoughts was not making any sense and I could not handle them. But I realised that I did not have to, I did not have to think about why or how or the future or logic or anything, I just had to stay away one day at the time. And the attacks of grief ( "I will never more be one of the "normal" people that enjoys alcohol") was allowed to flow through me without me acting on them - just thinking if it was too hard "you know you can always start drinking again if you find this silly but just for today you don+īt have to.

And after a while the confusion calmed down. I am still - nine years later - not convinced that I really AM an alcoholic and that it really WAS the only sane decision - but I am very comfortable with not drinking and I donīt really care if I am an alcoholic or not. What I know is that I have a better life without having to deal with thought whether I should drink or not.

I can see the same process developing with meat - the grief and confusion is a lot less than a month ago but I am still very shaky about it and have to remind me that it is only a day-by-day- commitment and the future is what it is.

But now it is time for another kind of decision that I am puzzled with - of course I could make the same process with sugar or maybe cheese or maybe bread as I have done with cigarettes, alcohol and meat - but I donīt feel that it is the right path. What iI think I need to work with now is what I am doing, so far I have been working with not doing things - not smoke, not drink not eat meat.

So is not "not overeating" or "no snacking" or "no unhealthy foods" the same thing? Not really in my mind - I still believe that I am not addicted to sugar in the sense many spark friends define it and I totally agree with dr Johnson in that the method of trying to find all "triggers" and excluding them is not the best way for me - although yesterday I saw clearly that the bag with candy that I happened to eat was a combination of.

a) eating breakfast at six o clock, then going to an AA-meeting at lunchtime and after that going swimming for an hour - at 15.00 in the afternoon I was really hungry and had to go shopping before I went home for "lunch" - the only good thing is that I chose between a "big pack" and a normal of that candy and ended up with the "normal" Lunch was hard logistically that day but I would have been helped if I would have drank a lot of water because thirst was clearly involved.

This is somehow a question about conscious choices, to every impulse about what I want to do I will have to be mindful and think about what consequences lies ahead if I do what my impulse tells me.

Right now my impulse (and doggy) tells me that I better get out in the woods before the real heat slays me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INGMARIE 8/24/2014 9:44AM

    Interesting blog ,thanks for sharing, I will check out the books mentioned here also.

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AJDOVER1 7/24/2014 5:53PM

    Your blogs are fascinating to me. Women in AA have shared how they switched from one addiction to another. Compulsive behaviors, including eating disorders, are common in my immediate family. I have 9 years sober and haven't had an eating disorder, but it's interesting (and scary) to see the similarities.

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SIRENNEA 7/24/2014 5:51PM

    I loved both your blog and JOYINKY's response. I am working on identifying my trigger foods and situations. Unfortunately, for me much of it seems to stem from being unprepared. I procrastinate and then don't have good food with me while I'm out, so I eat fast food or I don't have food with me and when I get home I am so hungry I could eat the house.

I believe my body is addicted to refined sugars, carbs and the like, but I am having serious qualms about giving those things up completely from my diet. I like JOYINKY's idea about just not having the things at home and only indulging while out WITH OTHERS (not alone for I would definitely binge).

I need more tools in my toolbox to, and I am in desperate need of more preparation in all things.

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JOYINKY 7/24/2014 8:40AM

    As you know, I've eaten vegetarian for years now; I just like the way I feel and it's motivation enough. Never went through a struggle "missing meat". Good bread, cheese, sweets and many processed foods are another matter. Even some fruits act as trigger foods. In the case of fruit, I limit the amount I purchase at a time. I don't keep breads and cheese (other than shredded parmesan) in the house; ditto processed foods. But, I do enjoy them out. Having ice cream or pizza when I'm out with my kids or grandkids; or cake at a party is a treat and part of enjoying life. It doesn't trigger a binge because I don't keep them handy. When I have house guests and some of these things come into the kitchen; I keep them out of sight when they are not being served and out of the house when the guests are gone. May seem silly, but over the years i've found that works for me. I always keep a little bag (2 oz) of almonds and walnuts in my purse to get me past unplanned mealtimes. Eating out alone is not on my agenda. If I know I'm going to be out and about for awhile I may also take an apple. You are right, I think each of us needs to identify our particular challenges (demons?) and come up with a plan that works for us. I break a lot of rules, but make healthy choices MOST of the time and am committed to NO MINDLESS EATING. It's taken me years to get here. Life is good!

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FREGGIE 7/24/2014 3:30AM

    Thank you for sharing, these are very interesting topics for me.
I am beginning to think that, as there are so many perspectives and methods with regard to disordered eating, I need to create my own 'toolbox'. Using bits and pieces of different methods, those parts that work for me.

As you know I'm experimenting with Eat to Live, a plant-based diet now. So that is not about 'not eating x or y' but (as I perceive it) more about eating tons of nutrient rich foods (vegetables, fruit, beans).

That book 'Fighting the urge' is saying the same things as 'Brain over Binge' does (only BOB is more elaborate). I think that it makes a lot of sense - but reading the book and trying to practice it didn't help me stop the bingeing. So the insights are good but apperently for me they're not 'enough'. I think that it's very realistic for me personally to also take into account the addictive aspects of some foods (like sugar, fat, salt). The way eating them keeps me craving them.

Comment edited on: 7/24/2014 3:31:21 AM

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41 The heat is on

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Itīs hot again - the disadvantage is that I canīt play the accordioan as freely as before because the windiw is open and it will be heard out on the street which might be distrurbing late at night or early in the borning. Closing the window is a tricky thing because there is a flynet mounted in it and it is a cumbersome activity. The other disadvantage is of course that it is hard to move or get anything done - yeterday I walked in the woods with doggy and I was totally soaked with sweat although we certasinly did not walk fast.

Iīll be going to the indoor pool for swimming today - itīs funny that it is so empty but people probably prefer to go to outdoor beaches - anyway I am happy for the solituyde, it makes it easier and nicer to swim, quiet and no other people making waves...

Otherwise I am trying to declutter - realised that I have allowed the clutter to take over, you really have to work with it all the time and take things out when you bring things in - when I fail in this it soon gets overwhelming I use my timer, declutter for ten minutes, reward myself with accordian practice for ten minutes, another ten minutes of decluttering etc. It changes quickly and as the house gets more clean and airy my mood raises.

It is seven in the morning and time to walk the dog in the woods before the heat gets too heavy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 7/23/2014 12:17PM

    Using a timer is a great strategy! Best wishes to you.

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JOYINKY 7/22/2014 8:09AM

    I too am out to walk soon before it gets too hot! Then this afternoon working in the garage, decluttering will be part of that but today's focus is to paint two cabinets. Enjoy your day!

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INGMARIE 7/22/2014 7:37AM

    Want to de-clutter my house to? LOL emoticon
I have too many cameras ,so I am selling 2 back to, while packing them up I found more electronic stuff ,I have not used or need . emoticon
Goodwill will benefit from this.
Take care with the summer heat. emoticon

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FREGGIE 7/22/2014 2:21AM

    It's been hot here too. I like how you work with the clutter.

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39 The new passion...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So I got my accordion yesterday - wow! When I left if to this old man for repairing, he said that it would be a couple of weeks – thatīs why I went to the library and borrowed all the books about accordions to learn more while waiting...

And when I found that the first swedish accordion was built in my village, I had to phone this guy to ask if he knew – as he had read the same book as me, he did. But he also told me that my accordion was fixed and I could come and get it. We had a performance with the theatre yesterday and I just could not wait to be finished because I wanted to get home and start practising.

It was much harder than I had anticipated - I must laugh at myself because I am such an optimist! I had somehow imagined that it would be rather painfree - I would master it slow but steady.

And that is probably what will happen but I had not thought about the frustration when my fingers simply wont obey. My left hand behaves really clumsily and it will surely be a while before I can combine left and right hand in a good way. But I am lucky to be able to read notes because I found a very simple waltz in a piano beginners book - and after that I managed to pick out the waltz that every accordion player in Sweden plays - I understand why because it is really simple. My problem now is that I donīt know the name of the bass buttons, and my ear is not good enough to find the right ones all the time. I guess internet will be my saviour as always, I have already used a "Fast track accordion lesson" from Youtube - I think the gentleman who has made it is either australian or english I donīt think he is american.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 7/21/2014 3:52PM

    Best wishes with your new passion! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us.

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FREGGIE 7/21/2014 4:43AM

    I hope you appreciate your own wonderful capacity to be enthousiastic about learning and doing new things. This is so special about you.

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LJCANNON 7/21/2014 12:28AM

    emoticon What a wonderful way to stay Mentally Active!! And you give others a Great Blessing with the music. I can't wait to see your Video Blog!

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INGMARIE 7/20/2014 10:04AM

    emoticon that must be fun, and you can probably learn pretty quick too
talented as you are. emoticon

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JOYINKY 7/20/2014 9:46AM

    Some of my fondest memories from my childhood, before TV, were family gatherings at Grandma's or an Aunt or Uncles house, the Lithuanian side of the family. The rug would be rolled up and there would be dancing with Uncle Al or Cousin JoAnn playing the accordion. Such fun, EVERYONE danced and the adults were really good dancers! I loved dancing with my Dad. On the Irish side of my family, singing was the music of choice and fine voices were not in short supply. Alas, somehow those talents didn't reach me! I struggle to play the dulcimer! Your talents continue to amaze me. Have fun!

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KASEYCOFF 7/20/2014 3:30AM

    I took accordion lessons when I was in elementary and junior high school. I never advanced very far, but it certainly is an interesting challenge - and so much more portable than a piano, or at least than a piano used to be, lol...

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JIBBIE49 7/20/2014 2:08AM

    I had an accordion and took lessons when I was in the 5th and 6th grade, but then quit because my parents didn't want to keep paying $7.50/month for the lessons. My husband made me give my accordion away when I got married as he didn't see any reason for me to bother to keep it. (He is a man who wants to throw out everything and he could live out of a suitcase.) So, I was stupid enough to let my accordion go. I am going to be 65 and how I wish I'd never stopped playing and how I wish I'd have kept up lessons once I was able to pay for them myself. I am really happy for you.

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37 Plumbing and more...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Have not been able to motivate myself to write, and am not too enthusiastic about life in general either although I do try to make every day the best day of my life!

Last time I wrote I had this small anxiety about visiting bonus daughter in GOthenburg, in retrospect I realise that it was mostly about driving that far in the heat - but we were very fortunate and it was mostly cloudy or even raining. The drive took about 3,5 hours one direction which meant thast I spent seven hours in my car that day...

Little Lovisa was gorgeous - and far more developed than I had thought:

Doctors say she is completeloy deaf but that canīt be true, she obviously reacts to different sounds and forms the beginning of words herself too. She has hearing aids because it is really important to stimulate the hearing function in her brain but as my bonusdaughter said that she obviously hears, but the quetion is WHAT she hear, that will give the conditions for her ability to speak. But so far the sounds she makes is close to the real word so it will probably be fine. Her eyes are very present and intelligent and her ability to move is progressing - so it will be fine and I am happy that we are in Sweden were social security system has showed it best side - her parents has been able to stay at home as there is a special funding for parents having a severely sick child and they have gotten a lot of special help in rehab exercise, equipment etc.

Doggy went with us and even dared to be close to the baby....

This week the weather has cooled off a little, I have been trying to pick up my good exercise habit again. Bike is still not really fixed, have to do that... but yesterday, walking doggy in the woods I found the first chanterelles! Lovely!

AND motivating me to keep on walking the woods.

I have also been going to the indoor pool – that is also wonderful as it is hardly any people there at all, families go to beaches in the summer so it is nice and quiet and people on vacation probably ease off their indoor exercise...

My toilet started leaking four days ago, it is the tap for waterfilling that got too old which means I could not shut it off completely. My first try to buy a new and replace it did not end well, the new tap did not fit... another tour to the city yesterday taught me that I HAD bought the right tap but lacked one nut for it and then replacing it did not work perfectly either because now it does not fit completely... but the new tap is tight so I can have the main water to the house on without leaking water on bathroom floor... and as I do have one more toilet in the house it all works, but today I have to go and buy another piece of equipment to make it work and I sincerly hope I can install that without having to shorten a tube, a lot of work and I donīt work well crawling around the floors anymore it is very hard for my body... these are the times that I wish I was rich and could just livt the phone and call for a plumber!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREGGIE 7/19/2014 5:45PM

    WOW you are a feisty woman, doing your own plumbing. I admire you for it, be it that I too wish you had the money to get a plumber.
That is wonderful that Sweden allows it's parents of sick children to stay home to take care of them. Truly very good.

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NANCYPAT1 7/18/2014 7:30AM

    What a busy time for you - my niece was diagnosed as being retarded and then they realized she was deaf. My sisters and I all knew she was NOT retarded by the reactions to the world around her. She is grown and an amazing gifted young woman. She can do ANYTHING with the love and support of those close to her. You are blessed to have such a delightful bonus in your life.

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JOYINKY 7/18/2014 5:01AM

    Maintaining a house is a challenge and I really admire how much you tackle, successfully. I can do a lot but shy away from plumbing and electricity. Plumbing problems, if they are small, I usually end up living with for awhile; then calling the plumber when I have several small jobs and/or something I can't live with! Nice thing is he usually has all the supplies and makes short work of it in one trip.
You do fit a lot into your days, it's hard to believe that you don't enjoy them more than you seem to relate. I hope that changes for you someday.
Great find on the mushrooms! I envy your walks in the woods but am also thankful I have a walkable neighborhood and some really nice city trails. Life is good. Be well.

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KASEYCOFF 7/18/2014 2:44AM

    I hear you about being able to call a plumber: while there's a certain sense of accomplishment in doing-it-yourself, I will confess to an appreciation of the relief in having someone else getting it done. That I can do it is nice, but not having to - oh, that really is luxury, lol...

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32 Mood swing

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Today my mood is down - for the usual reason, it is all about the food. Had too much to eat yeasterday and suddenly everything is hopeless again.

Apart from food, it was a good day - we had that pirates party, I did not join in the battle but sat in the first row and looked at the children throwing water bombs and having fun. In the evening daugher and me once again visited that improvisations theatre and had really fun - and then we went home and spent the rest of the evening in front of the television.

This morning started cloudy – which I liked as we are driving down to Gothenburg today to visit daughters sister and her child that I have never seen. Little Lovisa was delivered in week 28 after having a tough time with a ded twin in her mothers womb. She has survivvide for 1,5 years now, needs hearing aids and is very late in everything, I do not know if she is going to be able to walk or talk but it seems that it i developing very slowly but good... Her mother and me had a close relation during the eight years we lived together and coninued after I broke up with her father. But then she got married and did not invite me to the wedding - on her fathers reuest. I could bear that, but I was deeply hurt that she did not talk to me and explain what it was about.

This is the first time in four years I will se my "bonus" daughter and it is the first time ever I will see the child. To be honest, I donīt want to - meaning itīs okay to visit them but it is a very long drive and it is still very hot and I have nowhere to leave doggy so he has to go with us. And after a cloudy morning, sun is up and the air conditioner in my car is broke... no, I am not looking forward to this day, but I will get on with it and just do it...

I worry about it all.

And will leave the daughter at her fathers place on the trip back, my summer vacation with her is over. And I will be very surprised if I donīt binge tonight... hehe making the excuse already. Only good thing is that it will probably be a binge without meat...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 7/14/2014 11:17AM

    Prayers for you!
I feel much of addictive behaviors are carried out in isolation. Just know you're not alone....

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KASEYCOFF 7/14/2014 2:28AM

    Hope you got through yesterday all right - it must've been a difficult day on several levels.

Re eating too much and "...suddenly everything is hopeless again": now, how do we address that all-or-nothing mentality? So far I've been working on it 60+ years - and not a lot of improvement... O.o

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JOYINKY 7/13/2014 9:10AM

    The choices are yours. I hope you have a good day. emoticon

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KITT52 7/13/2014 7:28AM


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2014TODAY 7/13/2014 7:03AM

    " Had too much to eat yeasterday and suddenly everything is hopeless again. "
Don't buy into the thoughts that are caused by the after-effect of eating sugar.

I hope your day with your 'bonus' daughter will go well. Maybe she didn't discuss her choice around the wedding because she felt sorry and didn't know how to handle it.
Have a good day today.

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