There are rules attached to this one:
Each person who receives it must link to the person who gave them the award
They must chose 5 deserving bloggers to pass it on to
They must display the award and link to this post which explains the award
They must add their name to the Mr Linky list on the above link so the originator can keep track of everyone who has received it
They must display the above rules
So many of the people who deserve this award have already been given it, so I have chosen people who to my knowledge have not received it yet. I would like to pass this award on to:
Green Stone Woman who posts at least once a day and is always a good read,
Amy at The not so secret life of a not so super together mom - who has raised many interesting food issues on her blog and written beautifully about her mental state,
Sean at The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser - I admire his determination to post every day whatever, and how does he find so much to say?!
Wendy at New Me: A Fresh Start - I might not always agree with what she says, but it's always interesting and challenging (for me) and highly relevant for anyone dealing with their relationship with food.
Jogging Auburn at Quest for a Mile - her posts are just so beautiful! She hasn't posted for a little while now so I hope she'll start again soon.
All the above are in my bloglist. And I have still not passed on my Best Blog Award! Next time ...
So, about the diet. I have completed day 16 and all is going well so far. I hit my target of walking 4 times last week and have 1 walk under my belt this week, done on Sunday (my diet week running from Sun to Sat). I had a very active day today walking and actually running part of the way to my healer (because I was late!) for 35 mins and then I walked for an hour afterwards. But I don't count it as an official walk unless it's at least 1 1/2 hours continuous walking. My eating has been spot on and despite many times over the past week when I felt very down I haven't even really wanted to "depression eat". I have had occasional bingeing thoughts but have dismissed them quickly from my mind because I know so well how "fantasy bingeing" has a tendency to turn into the real thing. The only thing I am still struggling with is getting to bed on time. It's certainly much better than it was but I have still had a couple of 2.30 bedtimes and one 3am which is obviously way off what it should be. But I'm going to continue trying on that one. I also haven't yet built up my toning exercises. I'll get there!
But overall I'm very happy that my good eating and exercise routine is nailed in place. It feels so much better waking up after a day of clean eating compared to the horror I have felt every morning for the past few months of waking up after another day bingeing. Literally horror. I have of course still felt very depressed and low during the last 2 weeks - because I'm suffering from depression aside from my eating. But I don't feel I'm in chaos anymore because my eating is not chaotic. I don't have that circling, behind the scenes terror about what I'm doing to myself with eating ridiculous amounts of food. I'm not filled with anxiety about being out of control and not knowing how I'm going to stop it. So the difference in my mental state is dramatic. I feel so much calmer.
And I am just so grateful that I'm not really struggling to stick to my healthy eating regime. It is not a battle. If it were a battle then I wouldn't be succeeding. I don't have very much willpower at my disposal as concerns my eating. I do and can force myself into doing the walking. That does require quite a bit of determination - just to get out there due to my agoraphobia, and in the cold windy wet weather. I have willpower there. But I don't believe I have that much with eating.
For me there are two states of being with eating (since I had a breakdown) which are eating in a very repetitive rigid pattern or eating totally chaotically. I seem to have moved from the latter to the former. But I don't know how.
Today I read on Leslie's blog about her desperation to pack in the bingeing that's been plaguing her weight loss efforts for some while now. She asked for suggestions on this and several people have written interesting comments in response. Vickie's suggestion was that Leslie should only eat at home or if out, only eat food she had prepared herself. So to keep complete control over her eating. I had made a similar suggestion to Leslie the day before about nailing a healthy eating pattern in place and not deviating from it except for the coming actual holiday days. What I was meaning was something very similar to what Vickie suggested ie to 100% plan her eating - what to eat and at what times, and stick with it no matter what. But I didn't push the idea because I was worried that what I was suggesting was as much disordered eating as her existing bingeing pattern.
Keeping to a very rigid repetitive structure is the only way that I myself can cope with food, and I'm very aware that this is not "normal". It is the flip side of chaotic eating - total rigidity and routine. It also has many problems associated with it - such as never being able to have any spontaneity, never being able to eat out, the tendency that if I do step out of my pattern I'm in real trouble - I can't handle it at all and may end up bingeing/ compulsive eating for months before I regain control. I wouldn't want anyone else to suffer this of course.
So how can I make such a suggestion? Shouldn't we all be aiming for sane eating? Is it wrong to aim for anything other than that? On the other hand, sanity for me can only be found in sticking to my trusted routine. That is where my safety and sanity exist. And what is normal eating anyway? I saw an obesity surgeon on TV not so long ago and when his team stopped for lunch everyone got out their tupperware boxes and tucked into their sandwiches. He pulled a can of tuna out of his pocket and that was his lunch. His mantra was "Never eat anything beige!" ie no cakes, biscuits, pastry etc. He was very thin of course, but judging by the faces of his colleagues, they all thought he was nuts. I have to say that seeing this man eating a can of tuna for lunch everyday to the derision of colleagues made me feel that my eating wasn't so weird after all. This guy was essentially saying that what we consider to be "normal eating" is the reason why 2/3 of adults in this country are overweight or obese. He was unashamedly abnormal in his eating.
So to come back to Leslie, is rigidity the key? A zero tolerance approach to eating outside of set meals she has prepared herself? I honestly can't say. It would be great to get the weight loss going again, for sure. But what about all the socialising involving food? With buffets one can just abstain, but sit down meals with friends and family? Work socials? Also, how long would it last? This is something that needs a solution for life, not for a few months.
But this is the stuff that everyone who wants to lose weight faces. Saying no when other people are gorging away right in front of you. Saying no to yourself when you want to eat chocolate cake (I'm even frightened to type that food!) Saying no to yourself when you are hungry. In other words, taking control. Generally you only get to have a serious weight problem by being out of control so the only way to rectify it is to be very much in control.
So it's all about finding a type of control over your eating that you can live with. For Sean for example it's about eating all his favourite foods whether healthy or not so healthy. He eats it as long as it's within his calorie budget. For me it is about eating the same food at the same time every day.
Of course control over your eating is only tackling one end of the problem and Lori-Ann made a great comment to Leslie's post about thinking how she would deal with life after she had lost her weight - what would her mission be then? And the anxiety that accompanied these thoughts.
Eating to plan in no way addresses issues such as how you will live your life as a thin person, fear of change in body size or any emotional issues that keep you clinging to your extra poundage. But if it means you can live less chaotically then you might just have the time and space in your mind to address the other issues rather than have your life dominated by bingeing hell.