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Majority Rules

Friday, December 17, 2010

The big picture. My friend WalkingAnnie is still inspiring me, and her blog from the 15th www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3846033
spoke to me again.

It is an interesting trick of mental balance to keep the focus on the "Big Picture" without having those days of panic over a "bad" day. What qualifies as a "bad" day in my mind has changed, over time... and what I do about a "bad" day has changed, too.

Still, I do feel an urgency about diligence in keeping the overall balance. For while being kind to myself about "slips"... I cannot let the "slip" days become the majority of my week or worse, month.

Balancing this is the comfort of knowing that even if I should do that... there is a new emoticon available. Right now. Today. This moment. And once you're on the balanced life cycle, the majority behavior will rule.

We're worth it! And we *can* do this!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 12/17/2010 4:21PM

    Hello. emoticon

I really like the idea of a new day 1 being available.

Like many others here, we're both in the situation of having lost weight before and then regained. We both know the bad things that can happen when we go off plan. In the past, my bad days would gradually become the normal days and I would move from initial guilt to longer-term denial. Weight gain would be inevitable.

For me I think that the difference with Spark is that it is available as a support mechanism 24/7 with people who understand the challenges. I've never had that before. If I log in every day, or as often as I can, then I can't go into denial because the awareness is always there. I'm also aware that I'd be letting the side down as well as myself.

I'm very proud to be your friend Barb and to keep on learning so much from you. Getting to know you has helped me to get to know me - and you rock.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/17/2010 1:58PM

    Very true. emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/17/2010 1:59:21 PM

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KATHRYNLP 12/17/2010 9:28AM

    Great Blog.. thanks!

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J-ALEXIS 12/17/2010 9:04AM

    What a wonderful post!! How many of us slip and then let that slip turn into a week or even a month of overeating--always thinking we will begin again on Monday or at the start of a new month. You are correct in saying, "Right now. Today. This moment"

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Warm smiles,

J.Alexis

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/17/2010 8:47AM

    Bravo! Well said. How easy it is for us to dwell on the negative rather than the positive. Is it human nature or just a common personality flaw? It's kind of like the theory that it takes more facial muscles to frown than to smile. I think it takes a lot more energy to focus on the negative than the positive. I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, but perhaps "Focus on the Positive" and "Just for Today" should be my two.

As always, thanks for the blog and food for thought.

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MEDDYPEDDY 12/17/2010 7:51AM

    I have that problem...the slip days tends to become majority because I use them to feel like a failure.

Good blog, thanks!

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MSLZZY 12/17/2010 7:48AM

    It is all about balance! You are worth it and you deserve it. HUGS!

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FCARMICH 12/17/2010 7:43AM

  one day at a time


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Recovery tools: just for today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hi, my name is Barb and I am a compulsive overeater.

Well, as many comments posted their anticipation of success for me yesterday, based on my "preparation" blog to myself pep talk... it WAS a good day, neither deprived nor excessive. One day is all we can really expect of ourselves.

One day. No promises for tomorrow. Just for today. For me, it is the only way to get through a holiday season laden with temptations.

For today... "normal" foods and "normal" activity.

Speaking of activity: my Christmas present to myself showed up on my doorstep yesterday... which is why you saw the nostalgic status about Richard Simmons yesterday evening. I remember watching his show in the 1980's. I remember the inspiring success stories. I remember the workouts that even I could do.

After getting his Sweatin' to the Oldies 2 as a Netflix selection last week, I decided to check out whether anyone was selling the collection, and I found it... and that's my gift to myself. Last night I popped in the first one and while Richard led the workout to the music of the 1950's, I was on the treadmill (no, not dancing yet, and maybe never). It felt good and uplifting.

And it got me to thinking about all the role models, all the inspirational gurus have had the right idea over the years. Listen to them. They all have the same message: you're worth it and you CAN do it. Some of us have to hear the message over and over and over again before we act on it. So, if that's you (me), keep listening!

They all pretty much have the same mechanics: eat right, in the right portion sizes and proportions of nutrients, and exercise. Their ways of counting may differ, but it doesn't matter: whatever we use to keep track and stay motivated is A-OK by me.

Today's gurus HAVE to include Chris Downey and this wonderful tool called SparkPeople.com. It has all the same elements, right here, and for that matter, for free.

Each and every one who reads this is worth the effort to take care of him or herself today. Just for today. May it be a good one... for you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 12/16/2010 2:39PM

    I was reading something the other day that said 'All diets can work, but the best diet is the one that you can live with.' I think you're right on the money with all of them having basically the same info. There's the tools - including SP. It's what we do with them that makes all the difference, ain't? One day - and one pound - at a time, hon. :-)

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/16/2010 10:57AM

    I need to put a little note next to my bed (perhaps cover up the clock/radio with it!) that reads: "JUST FOR TODAY". Such a simple concept, and something I need to focus on more.

Congratulations on taking it one day at a time and experiencing great success yesterday!

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MSLZZY 12/16/2010 8:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Recovery tools: what if the moth stayed away from the flame?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hi, my name is Barb, and I am a compulsive overeater.

When I intone that phrase I'm admitting that I'm powerless over food. I'm reminding myself that I need the help of a power greater than myself to live an abstinent lifestyle.

I know that some of my Spark friends do not suffer from this disease and may be puzzled by my posts that reference it. But truly for a portion of the human race, some kinds of food can be addictive substances. There are scientific brain studies that show the pleasure centers of the brain lighting up in some people and not in others in response to the stimulation of sugar, for example.

It is not the scientific studies that convince me; it is the empirical evidence of my own life. It's the moth-to-a-flame reaction I've seen in myself over and over, across decades.

So, for today, when I have a work party to attend, my spiritual readiness is important:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (including that I am a compulsive eater), the courage to change the things I can (including not starting on trigger foods), and wisdom to know the difference.

One day. Today. Let it be a good one.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 12/15/2010 6:24PM

    Very wise, Barb! Sometimes it is easier just not to start and it sounds like you know when those times are! Hope you enjoyed the party and feel very proud of the way you handled the temptations!!

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KASEYCOFF 12/15/2010 6:11PM

    I've known for a long time that food can be (not to everyone) an addictive substance. To me, the difficulty is having to control the portions of the addictive substance. While I would never say having a drug addiction is easy, at least if an addict can 'kick' their addiction, all they have to do is avoid getting caught up in it again. Same with alcohol, or gambling. But we need food to live - which means we have to find a way to control the addiction. Hence the 'higher power.' God bless Bill W and the granddaddy of all 12-Step Programs, AA. The powerful good they do is truly amazing. One day at a time, hon. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 12/15/2010 6:04PM

    You are also a serial winner in your battle with compulsive overeating.

The photographic evidence of your daily victories is compelling and all the more remarkable because you keep overcoming temptations along the way.

The fact that this journey can be very challenging makes success all the more sweet - and definitely sweeter than trigger foods.

You have proved again and again that you are very far from powerless. You have had many more powerful days than not.

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REJ7777 12/15/2010 4:43PM

    I have no doubt that the pleasure centers of my brain light up when I eat carbs! emoticon Knowing that we can call on a higher power for strength in those crucial decision-making moments is wonderful! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 12/15/2010 10:49AM

  This is a difficult time of year for all of us human beings that love to eat! Best wishes! Hugs!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/15/2010 10:48AM

    That is my all-time favorite prayer! I love your honesty and insight into the disease. I believe too, that I am addicted to food and a compulsive eater. I can go months and months and months without eating chocolate, but give me one little taste and I'm a gonner. Good luck staying away from your trigger foods today. I know there are some who would say "just take a small taste," but you and I both know that one little taste will lead to a much larger portion (and worse). You've got the right mindset and attitude, so I won't be surprised when you report back about your success today.

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ELSEEBEE 12/15/2010 9:27AM

    You can do it! You have the perfect attitude for heading into that party!

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LJCANNON 12/15/2010 8:03AM

    emoticonHugs and Turtle Prayers will be following you today!! emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/15/2010 7:46AM

    It will be a good day! Make healthy choices and do your best! HUGS!

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ANGELOO29 12/15/2010 7:44AM

    Good way to go into it! **And I am right there with you on being a compulsive eater**

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Recovery tools: knowing better and attitude adjustment

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What is this "knowing better"? Experience and education lead to knowing better than to indulge in self-damaging behavior. Even more, knowing better than to set oneself up to enable that self-damaging behavior. But sometimes knowing better, we still make poor choices.

I know better than to purchase baking supplies without a specific target event/recipe... but I bought them.

Rationalizations, for your entertainment:
"It was a good sale."
"It's only once a year."
"That impossible custard pie had four eggs in it... that's protein, right?"
"I'll just keep craving it until I do it and get it out of my system."
"I'll know how bad I feel... this keeps it green."

For some of us with physiological reactions to fat and sugar and flour, "once" presents a true danger of slipping into the abyss. As PennyAn pointed out in a comment yesterday, "The difference between being on a binge or having one day of indulgence is all about what you do the next day."

Attitude adjustment:
Past is past, can't fix that. Can make better choices today. Can keep this memory green by writing about it, not re-enacting it periodically!

I know that restricting in response to a binge just sets up the next binge. So yesterday I did not restrict, but went back to "normal". Today's plan is for more of the same: "normal". Tomorrow is another work luncheon, and I'll just have to try my best and NOT give myself a hard time over how perfect or imperfect that "best" is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 12/14/2010 10:26PM

    Your mentality is right where mine is!! Keep doing your best and so will I!!
emoticon blog!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/14/2010 10:27:14 PM

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REJ7777 12/14/2010 9:33PM

    Sounds like a winning mindset to me! Isn't it great when "normal" becomes normal. It results in a normal weight. I'm learning from the fact that you're not "punishing" yourself today, but that you're just getting back on track, back to normal. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 12/14/2010 5:29PM

    Ah yes those rationalisations......

PennyAn's comment really spoke to me as well.

I always fall into the emotional trap of thinking that a binge will mean a gain of 2-3lb but I'm beginning to learn from tracking my overeating. Working on the basis that a calorie differential of 3,500 would lead me to gain a pound, things are often not as bad as I have feared after a binge. This helps me to get things into perspective and to realise that all is not lost (or gained!) In fact my binges are much less calorific than they used to be.

Together we can...



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Comment edited on: 12/14/2010 5:30:17 PM

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46SHADOW 12/14/2010 12:03PM

    always a new day .

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/14/2010 11:34AM

    "The difference between being on a binge or having one day of indulgence is all about what you do the next day."

Wow -- that says it all, doesn't it? I never actually thought about it that way before. Rather, I'd fall into the pattern of bingeing, restricting, and re-bingeing. Great food for thought here, Barb.

You've got the right attitude and a plan to go with it. No doubt in my mind that you'll do very well.

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BAILEYS7OF9 12/14/2010 11:33AM

    You can also figure out the calories and determine how much of that fits into my daily intake. Sometimes just a bite is okay. Show your inner strength and just take one bite.


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BESTSUSIEYET 12/14/2010 9:23AM

    You Can Do It! A splurge does not mean you are "off the wagon". Enjoy today's healthy choices and plan to make the best ones you can tomorrow. You're doing great, Barb, so Keep it Up!

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Knowing better doesn't always protect me

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hello. My name is Barb, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

Pay no attention to the slim body that's currently presenting itself. That's a sham. Being this size means I've worked hard over a couple of years and committed myself to an active lifestyle and I like myself that way. I've made it to my "home weight" range.

But there are days when I am dangling over the abyss. Yesterday was one of them. Let's see:

emoticon I wasn't feeling particularly great, physically, in that my sinus was bugging me. The problem with this is that I am tempted to self-medicate with my favorite drug, food.

emoticon The grocery store had a bunch of sales on baking ingredients... you know, the 99 cent coupons that only come out this time of year. Of course if I'm going to have company... and baking is a part of the holidays, right?

emoticon The weather was colder than it had been so far this season... wouldn't it be nice to warm up the house with the oven?

emoticon I have had my sister's recipe for impossible pie sitting out on the counter since Thanksgiving and only I like this (the kids coming for Christmas dinner don't care for it).

emoticon Work is very busy and stressful and it was a Sunday, my most dangerous day of the week.

emoticon My monthly maintenance consultation and weigh-in was on Saturday. It was done, and successful... and it's four weeks before I have to face the scale again.

emoticon Social anxiety and to-do list size for the next month are growing. Lunches and people coming over.

Why this FEELS like hanging over an abyss? Because of past behavior and because of the nature of the disease. It is like stepping outside my body and watching the battle, point, counterpoint, rationalizations flying between the disease and the defender. In short, the disease took over yesterday, and I let it. Sugar, fat, volumes, the whole bit. And I didn't even enjoy it that much (beyond the first cookie and first piece of pie, what's the point?)

So today? Treat myself gently... look at those triggers, and figure out what's going on in my head. Pray for the lifting of the obsession and the return of abstinence. One day at a time. Because that's the only way this disease can be managed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTULLY 12/14/2010 12:47AM

    This time of year is just one land mine after another in terms of challenges to your healthy lifestyle. I just had one of those days myself. The key is not to let that day slide into another and another and another. Do treat yourself gently and continue to take it one day at a time. Hang in there!

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MSLZZY 12/13/2010 11:35PM

    Been there, done that! Hope it turns around for you because it is one very uncomfortable feeling! HUGS!

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REJ7777 12/13/2010 7:35PM

    I hate it when there are days like that! When it seems that the eating is almost automatic. emoticon emoticon

Other days, I feel energetic and on top of things. I enjoy staying on program, both what I eat and exercise. But at other times, it's a catastrophe! I want to eat junk and lots of it. And I do NOT want to move! It's usually when my emotional and physical energy are being drained by something (like the examples in your blog).

The only thing to do is to be gentle with ourselves, and get back on track as soon as we can! This is a lifestyle, not a diet! emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 12/13/2010 5:47PM

   
Dear twin! All the while I was reading this I was thinking, wow, it sounds like me. All but the "reaching the goal" which you can be very, very, very proud of. The holidays will be over in a few weeks.....and when they are, and there isn't that temptation to bake, bake, bake, we'll be better off. But that lull in January is kindof a let down when the tree is gone, the decoration put away and the family is all settled back into a daily routine. So I say, throw a net over the abyss, hang on with both hands and remember, we are here for you Barb.

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LEANJEAN6 12/13/2010 5:36PM

    You put this very well-I guess we have all been in your position, ---but--you recognized the trigger foods, and tried to overcome the obsession--I say, ""Yeah for you!"''--Keep it up----Lynda emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 12/13/2010 5:15PM

    I hear you and I understand because I'm sometimes in a similar place.

PennyAn's words are wise:
"The difference between being on a binge or having one day of indulgence is all about what you do the next day."

I keep trying to eat like a naturally slim person and to get used to the fact that indulgences are allowed but I sometimes find it harder to have treats than to go without entirely.

Finding moderation is my next big goal.

Hope you had a better day today.

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BUGGYS 12/13/2010 3:49PM

    Your one day binge should not negate the positive things that you have achieved this past year and the fact that you have dealt with the triggers and are starting again today just shows that you are in control!

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TURTLETALK 12/13/2010 12:38PM

    I see why it is called "impossible " pie. It is impossible to stay out of it and impossible to quit feeling guilty about eating it. I think we will always have days when we struggle with this eating disorder but awareness makes it easier to get back in focus after a rough day. Good luck in your journey.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/13/2010 10:47AM

    I love to bake and especially on these cold days. I'm heating the house AND cooking. It makes me feel smart to be so economical. And it makes me glad to see people enjoy my culinary creations. It gives me feelings of self worth as I hear the compliments. Polly Perfectionists can relate to what I've just written. Self worth is the driving force behind much of what fuels them. It's no small stresser when Pollys are faced with emotional packed seasons and trying to figure how to balance how they've done things in the past with who they are now. It helps me to know it is not the ocassional fall but the trend of our life that shows which direction we're moving. You, my friend, are holding the torch for the Pollys following behind. We see your success and it gives us great encouragement. emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 10:49:02 AM

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PENNYAN45 12/13/2010 9:33AM

    The difference between being on a binge or having one day of indulgence is all about what you do the next day.

In the past - this may have been the start of a binge period.

Now - this can be one day of indulgence.

What you do today is what will determine that.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 9:34:19 AM

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DEBRITA01 12/13/2010 9:14AM

    Hi, my name is Debbie, and I'm a compulsive overeater, too... I am not on maintenance or even close to my goal, but I share your struggles and so do many here on SP. Always one bite away from a binge, it seems.

I can also relate to that out of body experience... when you know what you're doing, but don't stop. It can be frightening. Why do we do that? I guess pinpointing your triggers is a good start. I always wonder, what was I feeling before it began? What was going on? For me, it's usually not about the food. I am looking for something...

That is the hardest part for me, trying to figure it out...and maybe I never will, but I will keep trying and so will you. It IS a disease and there is no magic cure, so we will keep managing it the best we know how.

Glad you're starting again today... treating yourself with kindness and being gentle on yourself as you deserve.

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SHARON2014 12/13/2010 8:13AM

    You have identified the issues and shouted it out! You have reinforced for me that achieving a specific weight or BMI is not enough -- this is a battle for LIFE!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

HERE'S TO LIFE!
HERE'S TO FRIENDS!
HERE'S TO SPARK PEOPLE!!

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 8:14:11 AM

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