A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Chains of Addiction

I started counting calories yesterday for the first time in my life. I'm using this website: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/mysparkstart.asp. I found out about it on Lyn's blog Escape from Obesity. She's listed on my blogroll, and behind Pam, she's my #2 inspiration on this journey. She was the 2008 Best Blog winner for the weight loss category....you MUST check it out. She is sooooo real. She doesn't sugar coat anything...just tells it like it is....the good and the bad. I only hope my blog will turn out to be at least a quarter as good as hers is and I'll be happy.

So anyways, this is day #2 of counting calories and I'm ready to quit. I'm not going to, but I very easily could. Change is hard. Actually counting every calorie that goes into my body is making me painfully aware of how much I'm used to eating, and now how much I'm not eating. It's making me feel like I'm missing something. Boy am I missing something.....another 2,500 calories a day!!! I know that my stomach is stretched from the ridiculous amount of food I was intaking up until this past weekend. But I also know that most of it is psychological. A friend pointed this out to me today. I'm very well aware. The reason I call my problem with food an addiction is because there are some very REAL physical things that I feel when I decrease my intake.

I feel real anxiety when I think about the foods I can no longer have, like the fast food junk. I have literally fought off the urge to go to a fast food restaurant every 2 hours for the last 2 days. This has been a real battle. Or when I'm used to eating 3x as much meat PER MEAL as I've been eating in the last 2-3 days. One of the things that comes along with calorie counting is findng out about correct portion sizes. It makes my chest tighten up just thinking about it. 3 oz. of meat??? Are you effin' kidding me??? You're talking to the girl who could eat 6 pieces of fried chicken in one sitting w/o blinking. When I think about these things, my chest tightens, I can't get a good deep breath...the longer I think about it leads to an eventual headache that follows me the rest of the day. Now I know some people say when you get like this and feel like you're about to eat something you shouldn't, occupy yourself with something else. One of my "favorite" suggestions is taking a walk. I got news for ya'.....if I was in the habit of taking a walk every time I got stressed out while tryinig to lose weight, I'd weigh 100 lbs by now and wouldn't have this problem in the first place. I think Lyn on Escape from Obesity is more realistic. You've just got to suffer through it. Just sit there and think about it. Think about your goals, short-term and long-term. Think about why you want to lose the weight in the first place. Just sit there and suffer through it. That's what I've been doing for the last 2 days.

Now, if you're at the point where you know you are going to eat something you shouldn't, then at least make it an informed fall off the wagon. Again, sit there for a minute and think about it. You know you're fixing to eat something bad. Or you know you've already eaten your calories for the day and you're still truly hungry, so you're going to eat something else. This happened to me tonight. I had like 10 calories left for the day and somehow I just knew 2 cucumber slices weren't going to satisfy my urge to take a head dive off the wagon. I knew I was fixing to go get some fast food. I live in the city and have every single fast food restaurant you can imagine all within a 3 miles radius of my apartment. The possibilities are endless. I went through several choices in my head. Arby's roast beef, Burger King Whopper....double Whopper is more like it, Big Mac from McD's, double burger w/ everything from Wendy's, fried chicken from KFC, 3 burritos w/ sour cream from Taco Bell........what was it going to be?

Guess what I ended up with. A sub from Subway. Cold cut combo (turkey-based meat), whole wheat bread, no cheese, light mayo, spicy mustard, all the veggies, no oil or vinegar. Whew!!! I would say instead of a head dive off the wagon, it was more like one leg and maybe a butt cheek. Yes, I stumbled. Yes, I went over the 1600 calorie limit that I set for myself (as of last week I was eating at least 4,000/day). But as a food addict, knowing the damage I could have done, and have done so many times in the past, I'm proud of my choice.

I was trying to think of an example I could give you of what the addiction feels like. I watch a show with my boyfriend called The Tudors. It's on Showtime and it's about King Henry VIII of England, period dresses, castles, all of that. On one of the shows they were torturing a man for being a traitor to his country. They wrapped him in chains and left him like that for a couple of days. The chains were so tight that they cut through his skin, causing blood to leak out all over his body and soak through his clothes. That's exactly what it feels like to be addicted to food for me. Being bound by chains and it's hard to breathe. I'm going to take each day as it comes, slowly trying to make better choices. When I stumble, I pray I do it as gracefully as I can. As I press forward, I know that the chains of addiction will slowly loosen. I just have to keep looking ahead. Sometimes even one day at a time seems too much for me.....sometimes I have to take it one hour at a time. But I'll get there......I'll get there. I'm not giving up this time. That's what I've always done. I'm going to do something different this time. It's all about choices and I choose to stay the course. I choose to drop this weight and I choose to do it at a healthy pace. I choose to replace old habits with new ones. I choose to replace bad food choices with healthier ones. I choose a healthier, thinner, happier me.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post. It's great that you are exhibiting a large amount of willpower, and even when you do cave, you are still making much better decisions. A really good quote I read a while back was, "The reason most people don't achieve what they want, is they let what they want right *now* get in the way of what they want the *most*." That was really eye-opening for me because it's very true, and I try to remember that whenever I'm reaching toward a goal. Maybe it'll help you, too.

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