Food without Thought

I have lost 14 pounds in 14 weeks. I would have lost a lot more than that if I could get control of my binge eating. I just don’t know how to stop. I desperately want to stop. But when I start eating I just can’t stop no matter how much I want to even while I do it. I try to tell myself as I’m doing it that I need to stop. I try to tell myself not to start when I have a bite of a trigger food. I try to not buy the stuff and have it in the house. But I fail at every step when it comes to all of this. I hate it.

The weird thing is that I don’t understand a lot about binge eating. I’ve googled it. I’ve briefly talked to my old therapists about it. But none of the explanations ring true for me. It feels like this is one of those things where understanding why I do it is the only to help me stop doing it. But I just don’t know why. I have done it for so long and done it so mindlessly. I never thought it was a problem until about the last 10 years or so.

I have come to realize that I have some big trigger foods: breads, crackers, candy, soda (even diet), simple sugars. Basically everything I love. But I cannot stop when I start eating these foods. It is like they don’t taste good unless I eat all of it. I know that doesn’t make logical sense, but it is not logical at all. But the good news to me is that none of my trigger foods are essential to survival. I have given up these foods before and I lose a lot of weight very quickly. Problem is that when I give those foods up I become super moody and bitchy and physically ill with headaches and general malaise. I’ve done it for 14 days and I was miserable to be around. Many of those foods are everywhere, especially when I am feeding my children. It feels ridiculous to give my kid a graham cracker and be resentful that I can’t have one too. Then that makes me irrationally angry that they get to eat those foods and I do not. I feel like a horrible mother when I resent my children for the food they get to eat. I don’t know how to do it and not be bitchy, but I know I need to try. I’m thinking I need to do some meditation or yoga or something to help with that (hahaha, in all my spare time!!).

So for now, I am going to try to just be more mindful of eating and try to curtail the binge eating of my trigger foods and try healthier substitutions. My hope is that by not quitting cold turkey, I will be able to gradually cut back on them until the point I am at least not binge eating them and hopefully barely eating them at all. I need to eat more thoughtfully to stop this eating without thought. This is the hardest part of my journey.

If Mama is miserable…

This is a hard one to write; to even admit. I am miserable all of the time. LITERALLY. It has gotten to the point even that I forget what happiness feels like. Let me tell you a little secret: Being miserable is NO WAY TO LIVE. (Duh, right?)

The saddest thing about the above paragraph is the effect on the kids. I am fully aware of our sad household. I am fully aware that I set the dial on the happiness meter in our house. It is a huge responsibility and I have failed miserably. I hate myself for it, more than I can even express.

Oh, our family can fake it like the best of them when we are with other people. But the kids don’t know anything else. Owen and Easton sometimes say something to someone else that embarrasses me because it points to our unhappiness, but I think most people don’t really understand the implications of what they are saying. Macy, sadly, is old enough to not point it out to others.

This miserableness has also taken a huge toll on our marriage. Scott hates it and fights against it as best he can by throwing himself into the kids, but it is not enough. I truly hope to repair our marriage someday soon.

About now, I am wondering if someone reading this can really comprehend the true miserableness I am talking about. Because, even describing it, it doesn’t sound real. I mean, how can a family of 6, with both parents and beautiful children who seem happy and well-adjusted, be that miserable? Trust me. It is possible and it is just as sad as it sounds.

I shoulder the responsibility of it. I really do. The saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody is happy” is even more true in the reverse: “If Mama is miserable, everybody is miserable.”

As an example, Macy is actually quite a joyful person, miraculously in spite of her negative home environment. One of the things she likes to do is whistle. All-the-time…. whistling. But it is like nails on a chalkboard to my miserable soul. And I can’t listen to it. It is the saddest, most miserable thing I can think of, yelling at a joyful child to stop whistling. And so I try to handle it and breathe through it and marvel at her happiness, but I can only last a fraction of a minute. So I bark at her to stop and then I hate myself for it. It is like I cannot stand her happiness in the face of my miserableness. It is me bringing her to my miserable level.

Why am I miserable? <Sigh> That is a complex thing. If I had to point to a single thing, it would be because I hate myself and have hated myself for so long. But it is more than that. I am tired all the time. Depressed. Short tempered. Significantly obese. I feel like a failure in motherhood, marriage, friendships, and all other relationships in my life. I feel stupid. I feel like a waste of space. I feel helpless. Without hope. Despair.

How can I not feel miserable when I am feeling all of those other things?!?!

But, I am done with feeling these things. Done. Because I want more. I want more for myself. More for my kids. More for my marriage. More for my family. More for our future. I want more than just existing. I want to contribute to life. I want to participate in life. I want to live life. I want joy. I want hope. I want to dare to make the world a better place.

Starting Over…. AGAIN (redux) & THE HATE

I don’t know what number time this is for me starting over. But the great thing is that it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m just going to start over and be thankful that I’m starting over.

I’m at 264lbs again. I hate that number. I hate how easy it is to gain weight and how difficult it is to lose. I hate how much I hate myself, if that makes sense. I hate that I am so very tired all the time. I hate the kind of parent I am. I hate the wife I have become. I hate my messy house. I hate my lack of patience. I hate our lack of money. I hate. I hate. I hate. HATE!

As I’ve been in therapy and trying to come to grips with my depression and other issues I commonly say that I don’t know what I am feeling. I think I’ve realized why. I don’t feel anything but hate. But I don’t like feeling hate. In fact, I HATE hating. I know it is not normal to HATE everything, so therefore I don’t acknowledge it. But I think if I acknowledge it I can move past it. So I’m going to acknowledge the HATE in an effort to feel other things.

Unfortunately I haven’t been to therapy in a couple weeks (a variety of reasons, all boring), so I don’t know if this is an “approved” technique. But, one thing I do know is that I’m ready to move past THE HATE and on to LIVING.

Sending Ed Packing

I’ve been in weekly talk therapy for almost 3 months now. I love my therapist, even though I can’t believe I pay so much to see her. I really feel like she gets me and is in my corner. Yet, at the same time, she can get tough with me and say things to me that I don’t really want to hear. That is a good quality in a therapist.

At my most recent session, I was telling her that I’m really motivated to get healthy & get down to my “perfect” weight. She asked me how much I wanted to lose. I told her at least 114 pounds. She said, “Wow, that’s like a whole person.” Gulp, that was not such a pleasant thought, true, but a yucky thing to think about. She kind of casually threw out there that I should name these 114+ pounds as a way to visualize and communicate better about what it means to me. So I said, “How about Ed?” Yes, I named my fat Ed. I don’t really know why, but it was the first name I thought of. Judy was a little surprised I think of this excess weight as male, but as any good therapist would do, she asked me if there was a reason for that.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized Ed was a perfect name! I think Ed is an appropriate name for my excess weight because with him here, I DEFINITELY don’t feel very feminine. I haven’t for years. In fact, the most feminine I feel is when I’m pregnant. Also, with this excess weight, I know I have extra testosterone in my blood from recent blood tests. Also, being this heavy causes me not to have periods and to have excess facial hair and acne. In short, Ed is messing with my hormones. I fully anticipate that once Ed is gone I will feel feminine again and I can’t wait!