Declaration of Hostilities

So last night descended into another binge (sorry, Julie Ramage but I didn’t see your very helpful advice until after the event, so didn’t document it).  It was pretty nasty.

Nonetheless, I got on the scales this morning and discovered I am now 3lbs heavier than when I began trying to lose weight.

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The weird thing is, I wasn’t angry with myself.  I felt sorry for myself, like a friend stood next to myself wanting to give comfort.

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I think that’s really positive.

It was though a real lightbulb moment. It made me really take seriously how much trouble I’m in.

I think I have two problems – sugar addiction and binge eating disorder.  I think they’ve happened through a complex blend of physical and psychological factors – physically, I think my gut is over-run with sugar-loving microbes (see my post Guts, Ice Cream & Love) and the only possible response to that is

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I’m gonna torch the little b*stards.  We’re talking a scorched earth policy here.  I refuse to feed them their candy anymore and if they start complaining, the bear gets busy until every last little one is a charred cinder.  One day, when all this is long behind me and it’s safe, I’ll let 85% dark chocolate and fruit back into my life.  But that’s it.  No more sugar, ever.

As to the psychological, writing my post yesterday Poisons & Plan B really brought home to me, in a real face-palm moment, that the seeds of my binge eating were sown in my childhood.  Sometimes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and categorically refusing to let a child have the edible jewels that other children routinely enjoy makes them glitter all the more brilliantly.

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As Middle Aged Warrior pointed out to me, society really skews our relationship with food, endowing it with qualities of celebration, love and approval.  From childhood, we are rewarded with food.

reward

As to the binge eating, I replied to a comment by Julie Ramage yesterday and it really made me think – she asked how I felt when I was bingeing.  I replied that, amongst other things, it was great to be feeding unfettered whatever it was inside me that was so hungry.

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And that’s a question I really need to answer.  What is it inside me that is so hungry?

I think also that once again, I was taken in by the flirtatious winking of a celebrity diet.  Every modern woman is surrounded and serenaded by the host of celebrity diets that prop up this billion dollar industry, and which flaunt their charms to us to seduce us;  like sirens luring us close with their soft song, secretly smiling when we break ourselves on their rocks, because that means their billion dollar industry still stands safe, because we’ll need it to fix us even more badly now.

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I had given alot of thought to my dietary life, behaviours and experiences, and put together a plan that covered as wide a range of foods as possible – because I knew I had a propensity to binge, which had lain dormant for a decade but which I sensed was reawakening.  I reckoned that if I fed myself a very wide range of foods the sense of deprivation wouldn’t be sufficient to properly awaken the Bingemonster, and he might decide to just roll over and go back to sleep.   However, I found myself distracted by the shiny promise of surefire weight loss (see my post Elle Macpherson made me do it, Miss) rather than trusting in my own wisdom about my own body.  I sleepwalked into the worst thing for a binger – a diet that discourages a whole family of foods (pretty much all animal products).  Exactly what I had been intending to avoid.  So I’m abandoning my Alkaline Experiment, and going back to the diet I’d worked out for myself:  Defatting: The Principles (and why your body will always win in the end).

How prescient of me that bracketed subtitle was.

I’m going to arm myself with as many psychological weapons as I can while I’m unravelling the strands of my sugar addiction & disordered eating.  The first new addition to my arsenal will be watching the TED talk Julie Ramage very helpfully recommended to me, Judson Brewer’s  A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit  because that might just be the Kalashnikov I’ve needed.

Lock ‘n’ load, Ladies, lock ‘n’ load.

 

 

11 thoughts on “Declaration of Hostilities

  1. Good luck!!! So pleased to see your response was not one of bitterness and self-hatred. I worry that the scorched earth policy may be difficult to stick to and that if you do eat sugar you will be really hard on yourself, but whatever works for you! How often do you weight yourself? Weighing yourself after a binge is good because it keeps you focused on the effects of overeating but remember a lot of that 3lb will be water retention caused by the extra salt content of your binge. I shall continue to follow your progress with interest! Also, it’s always so much easier to stick to a food plan when you see signs of spring… chin up, my dear

    Liked by 1 person

    • The scorched earth policy isn’t towards me – it’s towards the sugar-demanding microbes in my gut. According to Eve Kalinik in ‘Be Good To Your Gut’ and Guila Enders in ‘Gut’, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar loving microbes will thrive and the more sugar they will demand. My aggression wasn’t directed towards myself, but towards them. I need to kill them off so they don’t kill me!

      I was thinking about this: if someone is trying to give up smoking we don’t say ‘don’t do that, just cut down’; nor do we say to an alcoholic ‘come on, one won’t hurt’. And yet we take a different view on sugar at the same time as increasingly acknowledging it as addictive. People (my mother included) eat themselves to death, and ask just about anyone overweight and they will tell you about their sweet tooth. I’m acknowledging I have a really serious problem with sugar and in a family riddled with Type 2 Diabetes I need to take whatever measures necessary.

      It’s gonna be tough at first I know, but once the sugar microbes are cinders, the cravings will be go and a huge part of this very distressing problem will be sorted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I function best when I weigh myself daily. Sometimes I think I should stop doing that, maybe it stresses me – but I’m going to be reintroducing alot of foods I had previously eliminated, and I want to be able to judge their impact on my weight.

      Lyn Genet (?) in The Plan (yep, I really do read a huge amount about nutrition) said don’t think of your weight on the scales as a value judgement; think of it as data by which you can assess how your eating is affecting your body. That makes sense to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie says:

    I agree with a lot of what middleagedwarrior said. It’s great that you’ve started seeing yourself through a compassionate lens (as a friend). What would that kind friend advise you to do re eating? ‘Scorched Earth’ doesn’t sound very friendly or compassionate!

    I was going to ask you the question about what you are hungry for earlier, but I thought I’d written enough. And you picked up on it yourself. I think you are on to something there…worth investigating but again, try be kind and patient with yourself in the process. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve now watched A Simple Way to Break A Bad Habit and I think being ‘curiously aware’ will be a great tool, as much as anything so that I don’t need to fear cravings, rather I might even find something in them to enjoy i.e. the exploration of them. I can see how over time it’ll also be a great way to form new links from the trigger to a productive habit. Thanks for alerting me to it.

      I let the next talk, Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong, run on and continued watching as it was so fascinating – there was a moment I wanted suddenly to cry, because he answered that question we’d both wanted an answer to, “What is it that I’m so hungry for?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie says:

        Ok so you made a breakthrough- well done for even asking yourself the question. In time you might start to make changes so you ‘feed’ that ‘hunger’ more effectively. That is a very good TED talk too – just watched it

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Julie,

    To explain what I meant about ‘scorched earth’ policy, please don’t be offended by my copying and pasting what I said to Middle Aged Warrior above –

    “The scorched earth policy isn’t towards me – it’s towards the sugar-demanding microbes in my gut. According to Eve Kalinik in ‘Be Good To Your Gut’ and Guila Enders in ‘Gut’, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar loving microbes will thrive and the more sugar they will demand. My aggression wasn’t directed towards myself, but towards them. I need to kill them off so they don’t kill me!

    I was thinking about this: if someone is trying to give up smoking we don’t say ‘don’t do that, just cut down’; nor do we say to an alcoholic ‘come on, one won’t hurt’. And yet we take a different view on sugar at the same time as increasingly acknowledging it as addictive. People (my mother included) eat themselves to death, and ask just about anyone overweight and they will tell you about their sweet tooth. I’m acknowledging I have a really serious problem with sugar and in a family riddled with Type 2 Diabetes I need to take whatever measures necessary.

    It’s gonna be tough at first I know, but once the sugar microbes are cinders, the cravings will be go and a huge part of this very distressing problem will be sorted.”

    I’m glad that you think exploring what I’m so hungry for could be the right path; I suspect so too; and I will take care to be kind to myself throughout this process.

    Thanks again for commenting, I do value it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s weird huh, how much we reward ourselves and children with food? I’ve worked in high schools for 15 years and I’m shocked to see teachers using sweets as a motivator for students. It’s everywhere! And I’m terrible, I now realise, for rewarding myself with food – and expressing my love for others through food 😕

      Like

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