New direction

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I decided that OA wasn’t for me.  I’m seeking outpatient help from an eating disorder clinic.  Just had my first intake interview.  A lot of tears thinking about much of my now 38 years has been spent thinking about food, weight, and my body size.  Since the crane collapse in Tribeca on my old office block in February I’ve been eating with abandon.  A man my age died, and my friends and former co-workers were traumatized.  I felt horrible because for years when I’m unhappy I wish I’d get hit by a bus.  And now a crazy accident did happen…and I was so sorry that I’ve wished to be killed so many times.  I don’t really want to die, I just don’t want to hate myself.

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OA Step 4

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

I feel like I’ve been doing this for 20+ years.  I know my faults to a tee; however, I don’t seem to have been able to do anything about them.  I think they’ve even gotten worse since I’ve become a parent.

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I think I’ll still cry a ton when I actually sit to write down my inventory all at once.  I like to think that I’m generous and empathetic, but with each passing year I feel like I get more and more selfish and insecure.  I still feel anxious around people, which keeps from from making or maintaining meaningful connections.

At Friday’s OA meeting (my first in several weeks), I shared and felt like no one really shared in my pain.  But one woman wrote that she was available to sponsor, so I texted her.  After a day she wrote back that we could talk about her sponsoring style.  I’m curious what it will be like.  I don’t think I’m ready to email someone about my food every day.  I think I need to focus on my spirituality and faith in my HP.  Because I don’t see how I can abstain without some sort of HP…

Right now I just feel like I want to eat myself to death.  I’ve also been drinking more.  I really am struggling with taking care of the kids and chores after work.  I just want to eat or drink and make it go away. I hate having to sleep on a camping cot in my daughters’ room to help my youngest go to sleep.  I hate that my oldest has eczema in her school pictures.  I hate that my hips and feet hurt so much, four years after starting PT for plantar fasciitis and one year after starting PT for a labral tear and 9 months after arthroscopic surgery.

I got a new job that relieves my financial anxieties and difficulties, but I’ve been in a 5-week limbo before I start.  I’m mostly excited, but also sad and scared.  I’ve been at my old job (3 positions) for 12 years.  Like a cocoon, while I dealt with my mom’s suicide and my not wanting to have a wedding because of my size and weight.  But of course I’m still not happy, and most days I still want to die…

Sugar Addict

I met with a nutritionist on Monday since OA literature writes that you can choose a plan of eating with the help of one, and I really want to get going with this.  Although my therapist says I should take it slowly and not jump in and then run away. Key takeaways:  food has been my most enjoyable pastime since I don’t know when, and it seems like I’m addicted to sugar.  The nutritionist recommended that I remove added sugar from my meals and snacks as much as possible, but that I shouldn’t see it as all of nothing.  I’ll take it one day at a time, and get right back on the horse if I fall off.  Ah, cliches.

She also recommended that I write a list of things that I like to do other than binge and eat sugar-laden foods that make me feel good for a minute or two.

So far here’s my list (seems pretty solitary):

  1. Biking
  2. Knitting
  3. Reading the New Yorker
  4. Reading OA stuff
  5. Blogging

Then I just read on Ashia‘s blog Save Yourself Serve Yourself that an OA member recommended that she do a doing a red/yellow/green light food list.

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Here is the start of mine:

Red: Chocolate, Candy, Hazelnut wafers, Cookies, Nutella

Yellow: Chips, Rice & beans, Pasta, Cheese, Hummus

Green: Vegetables, Quinoa

Seems a little unbalanced, huh?

Atheist, Agnostic, and Humanist 12 Steps

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I have a hard time picturing a higher power (HP) while attending OA and learning about the steps.  I was thinking that my HP could be the OA fellowship, since I really can’t believe in a higher power, other than the laws of physics.  I think I like these versions of the steps better that the ones that actually mention God or a Higher Power (compiled from the blog of Bellwood Health Services):


Agnostics AA 12 Steps

Roger C. (2012). The Little Book. A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps, (11)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
  7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Humanist Twelve Steps

Roger C. (2012). The Little Book. A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps, (13)
Renowned behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner’s 12-Step version first published in “The Humanist” (1987).

  1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop drinking have failed.
  2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.
  3. We turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have struggled with the same problem.
  4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to drink.
  5. We ask our friends to help us avoid these situations.
  6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.
  7. We earnestly hope that they will help.
  8. We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we hope to make amends.
  9. We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause further harm.
  10. We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed.
  11. We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.
  12. We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way.

So re-written for overeating the agnostic OA steps would be (based on Roger C (2012)):

Agnostics OA 12 Steps
  1. We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
  7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the OA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other over eaters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

what a long year it’s been

So last fall I was doing physical therapy (PT) as a sort of “pre-hab” to see if I could avoid having arthroscopic surgery on the labral tear on my hip.  I also started my MS program.  I still managed to go to weight watchers but didn’t achieve my goals.  I ended up deciding to go off Zoloft in September 2014 to see if that would help with my weight loss.  Took one class two nights a week.  I did manage to lose a a few pounds, even after having my surgery in February.

My spring semester was really busy: classes four nights a week, plus working full time, doing PT and spending time with my husband and two girls.  I managed not to binge too much.  But then my therapist started mentioning that I seemed depressed and anxious and recommended going back on meds.  I was really scared to because I feared I would gain weight.  I tried Brintellix (vortioxetine) , which isn’t supposed to affect your weight, but I felt worse.  Really stressed out with all the kids’ whining.  Then school ended and I had to go home every day instead of getting to go to class and stimulating my mind.  I signed up for some free online classes to try to get ahead.  I also applied for a few new jobs and did one round of interviews before pulling out because it’s not a good fit.  I ended up officially quitting weight watchers because I only went a few times in the Spring semester, and I feel so stressed about money.  Thinking of seeing a financial counselor.

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I ended up stopping Brintellix and trying Viibryd (vilazodone).  I’ve been on it a month and now I’m at my highest non-pregnant weight since 2011: 158!  I’m thinking of joining a Binge Eating or Eating Disorders support group to try to improve my body image.  But then part of me just wants to lose weight so I feel better about myself.  I constantly feel judged.  By my co-workers, friends, strangers, in-laws.  What can’t I like me the way I am?  Should I just go back to Weight Watchers?  I’m crying all the time, and officially you’re not supposed to do Weight Watchers if you have an eating disorder.

But I really want to lose weight before my 20th reunion in 2016.  I also hate being so fat and ugly in all our family pics with the kids.

I’m trying hard to not feel like this year has been wasted, but that’s kind of what I feel like…

processed foods

Related to my quandary over artificial versus natural foods, I’ve been trying to eat fewer processed foods–specifically vending machine junk! The problem is, I buy fruit and yogurt and it sits in the fridge–sometimes it just doesn’t cut it.  So then I had the bright idea of buying “healthier” snack food to keep at the office.  But…I ate the whole box in one sitting!  Individually wrapped things don’t seem to deter me from scarfing them down.  So, any ideas on what to do?

disgusted but still not motivated

I’ve been reading about emotional eating in this book, but still do it anyway.  I notice myself craving the numb, mindless feeling I get when scarfing three Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip bars, or two Yolatos, or half of my daughter’s birthday cake.  Why can’t I have just one thing/bite/piece?  I get so disgusted with myself, but I realize that I really don’t like some things about my life right now.  Feeling like I don’t have time to exercise because of the constant chores, work, pumping, and breastfeeding.  Feeling like my husband and brother are just as overwhelmed as I am.  I think that’s why I crave the happy, numb feeling I get from binging.  I think I’ll have to find a way to make myself feel happier at home (or at least distract myself from high PPV foods and have 0 point options instead!), otherwise I’ll just keep binging like this and make myself more unhappy.

Today at my weigh in I was up 2 pounds.  At least it took me a few days to go through my 49 extra points instead of just one day like the week before.  I went to Century 21 afterwards to get my husband a replacement shoulder bag/briefcase and saw two handbags that just screamed “buy me!”  But instead of getting one, or both, I’m using them as motivation, since my goal of getting back into my 135 lb clothes doesn’t seem to be motivation enough.

I saw a pool blue version of this one from Foley+Corinna and this one from Gryson.  I love getting bags discounted at Century, even if they are from past seasons.  As a reward, I’ll get one if I lose 5% and the other when I lose 10%, which will also bring me to my goal weight.  I find myself getting a little more materialistic as I’m getting older…I wonder why that is.  But, maybe it will motivate me more than just “being healthy” and “being a good role model” will.

What do you do when you’re unhappy but unmotivated?

meal planning

Had a rough beginning to the week–our 13-year-old dog died.  But she was a great dog and lived a good life.

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After a month of plateaus or slight gains I was actually down 1.4 at my meeting this week! Yay! I’ve been trying to do better at prepping vegetables for dinner the night before. My brother helps out by cooking, and I think he appreciates having the veggies prepped and labeled. Since we belong to a CSA, we get lots of veggies each week and my husband and brother aren’t always sure what they are.

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In 2012 we tried using the Fresh 20. The meal plans help you save money and plan meals using mostly fresh ingredients. I liked it but found it didn’t really work out when we get our CSA veggies or when I had a newborn at home.

I’m still struggling with finding the time to prep and cook while working and mothering two kids under 5 (my daughter turns 4 on Sunday!).

Any advice?

artificial vs natural

Part of the problem I’ve had with commercial weight loss programs over the years is their emphasis on substituting “light” versions of products to reduce their points or calories.  These products aren’t natural and there was a time when I didn’t want to put anything artificial in my body.  Although both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig do recommend many naturally light and filling foods, such as broth-based soups, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, they also sell and recommend a large number of processed foods.

But, I wasn’t successful at losing weight on my own, even when I was eating healthy, organic, whole foods. So now I’m doing a bit of both.  I still like to drink organic milk and use real sugar in my coffee, but I also eat artificially sweetened reduced fat yogurt since I would tend to go overboard on the kind with real sugar and no fillers.  But is this stimulating my sweet tooth and making me want more super-sweet things?  There have been many discussions and research done about whether or not diet soda helps or hinders weight loss.  I strive to eat naturally and belong to a CSA to support local organic farming, but I also drink diet soda at lunch every day and eat too much reduced fat cheese.  But I’d eat too much full fat cheese, too…

I guess until I get to Maintenance I’ll keep it flexible, and then when I get to Lifetime again try to eat fewer artificially sweetened and processed foods.  Or I could try the Simply

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markdodds/3168680926/in/photolist-ag6rPE-dYProu-9Wjzjo-93o2xp-qRw789-qWLDpB-pRkiNY-4Ub4sf-6HNmNj-4P5rpR-fqxFhM-kbprNP-8YTLje-dTrLWo-9dCnC7-8YXBAA-e1ev3Z-8gRntq-f8bqR5-bHoqnH-bZ7CKm-e1kdk5-9h7pEs-bGppRR-bBheEa-64MevZ-3xXusC-bZ7yUU-so59Wf-js9BwE-7RgDz3-98HThW-bZ7HQq-bZ7JdL-osfrjH-dKoCQY-btuv3J-98EKnt-bGpqbp-98EKvn-pnsnJ-9nPRhH-7RdnEc-8CvLTC-4x8VYJ-e1exn2-62MY1s-5Q1jrL-9uJ89j-bnroqD
Bubblegum Breakfast by J Mark Dodds

Filling technique and just eating Power Foods for a day or a week.  I still haven’t given that a try because I crave snack foods so much right now, and I feel like my family won’t like meals cooked only with Power Foods.

What do you all think about artificial versus natural foods and losing weight?