Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mar 10 Pain and Pounds

Hello Journal & Friends,

First I want to thank you for all the kind, tender and encouraging comments, prayers and good thoughts in regards to my Daddy's passing. I appreciate it more than is possibile to explain here... just know that to me, it felt like a bunch of warm and friendly hugs. :-)

This week has been hard, obviously. For so many reasons. One thing I wanted to share was an interesting experience from the viewpoint of a recovering food addict. 

You know how we have those old tapes in our heads?? Those thoughts that automatically start playing, and if we aren't aware and careful, off we go, acting on them like little robots.

Well, Monday, shortly after I got the news that Daddy had died, as the reality of it started to sink in, I went into the kitchen. My Dad had just died... and what was I thinking?? Loud and clear in my head: MACARONI AND CHEESE.

 I didn't even have to hit "Play" on that tape. It turned on all by itself, instantly, loud and clear. Yes, the tape was still in there, alive and well.

And I saw it... hot and steaming and ooey gooey and cheesey. Big, huge, heaping, gigantic bowlfuls of it. 

And I knew without a doubt it WOULD make me feel better. Absolutely it would, no doubt about it... temporarily. 

From long years of practice, I knew just how to plan my "escape". I had it perfected! I would get my "drugs" all prepared, and it would be when I was alone, of course. And I would find something on tv to complete the "zone out". And I would eat and watch tv until I was forced to stop, simply because I could not possibly stuff in one more bite. 

So... back to the kitchen. I sat there, with visions of mac n cheese dancing in my head. And then I asked myself one question: THEN WHAT??

After I had eaten enough to bust a gut, then what? 
After I was forced to stop and come back to reality, then what?
After it was all gone, and there was no more "drug", then what?

Then... I would still be left to face the pain, and I would have the pounds to go along with it now.

Pain and pounds.

So, I mused... if I had to face the pain anyway, sooner or later, then I just didn't want the pounds TOO. 

I was only making it worse. I was only DELAYING the inevitable.

And I realized I just wasn't interested this time. No thanks.

I wish I could say that insight carried me all week. It did not. Oh, there were no binges or blow-outs. But I have been grazing, and eating when not hungry. I didn't have the fire, the spunk... I felt deflated, like the fight had gone out of me. I just didn't feel like putting up the needed resistance. And I gave in and pampered myself. 

Yet I hadn't forgotten what Jules at Big Girl Bombshell had cautioned me that first day. She had gone through something similar, and even though you handle it well at first, "It" will try to sneak back in later, so be on guard.

Last night I finally admitted to myself that I had allowed "It" to push me around all week. I had listened to the excuses, and had not fought back. I had felt like an orphan, and let that oh-poor-me attitude influence my choices to pamper myself.

My Daddy was a strong, opinionated, hard working man. No way would he sit around feeling sorry for himself. He lived in charge, and he died in charge. He was never a victim! He always met life head on and didn't hide. 

Today, I am going to draw on Daddy's spunk. His feistyness. His fire. His determination.

No more excuses. I'm back.

From Dr Phil's book: "Whatever the situation, you can choose your reaction."

My verse for today: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

My quote for today: "If you are going through hell, keep going." --Winston Churchiill

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 573


Anonymous said...

How great that you were able to pause long enough to keep the mac n cheese out of your mouth and then to think about the consequences. What an accomplishment!

Feeling like an orphan - I experienced that after my Mother died this past year (and my Dad is still alive). Irrational, you bet. Grief is what it is. It will come and go in waves. For me it was sometimes a tsunami, sometimes just small tides. After almost 8 months my grief still pops up unexpectedly (like when I was on vacation at the beach last week, Mom's favorite place), but it no longer provokes child-like emotions. I miss her just as much. I appreciate her even more. But, I no longer feel the need to celebrate her memory by eating her recipes or her favorite candy bar. (Sorry for so much personal reflection...)

All that to say that grief adds unique stressors to those of us (OK - me) who manage emotions with food. You seem way ahead of the game.

Retta said...

JAN: Oh, I appreciate your reflections. I can see you understand. Back on 2004, when my Mom died, I gained around 20 pounds. So it's kind of like... been there, dun that. I am so aware that I am a "user", and food is my drug of choice. Even so, it still sneaks in under the radar. Especially when I am not actively making an effort to resist.

I soo know what you mean about the grief coming in waves. Yes, it's just like that, for me, too. And all mixed up with thoughts of not getting to see him recently due to the weight, not getting to say goodbye... missing out on his funeral... all that.

Feeling like an orphan... that's a new one for me. Now they are all gone... my Momma, my Dad, my Step-Dad. And it hit me hard this week. I'm 60...yet feeling like an orphaned kid. Weird...

Thanks for your understanding,

Sheilagh said...

Loretta, I am so sorry to hear your sad news. Your dad was a very handsome, strong looking man. Being orphaned hurts no matter what age it happens. Be gentle with yourself my sweet friend.

Big Hugs


Anonymous said...

Yeah Loretta is back.

bbubblyb said...

Glad you're hanging in there and not letting the food have control of you just remember you are in charge always of YOU. Hugs

Anonymous said...

When food has been our tried and true go to solution for EVERYTHING, no matter how many other tools and coping skills we've developed, no matter how long or hard we've practiced them, no matter how skilled we have become--when a primal, gut-wrenching, life-changing event occurs, we will instinctively revert to what was our first-learned line of defense and most familiar way to comfort ourselves.

That was a rather long way of saying that when we hurt badly enough or are frightened enough, our anguished child wants what has always soothed her.

It just is what it is. You have done a masterful job in overcoming that as well as you did! Shows how deeply you've imbedded your new way of looking at food.

Good job, WLW, under the most difficult of circumstances--well done.


Anonymous said...

I think having that sense of awareness that a binge is not going to help is a wonderful thing.

This must be a very hard time for you...stay strong.

Hugs to you.

debby said...

Oh Loretta, I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. Your tribute to him was just beautiful. thank you for sharing him with us. I will keep you especially in my prayers this week. That Jesus will be enough for you. That he will give you extra comfort, and extra joy and strength and peace.

Christine said...

It's hard on good days...on days or weeks like the one you had...even harder. Glad you have pulled it back and are using your dad's memory as inspiration. Hugs loretta!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Many of the others have said it so well, so I will be brief here:
When we know better, we do better and it sounds like you have really gotten the message loud and clear if you can do so well while I know you are hurting much.
I too have taken note of the automatic responses to stress that I have relied on in the past and boy was I surprised when I realized what one little phone call can do to me, so I really do see what a courageous woman you have become.

MizFit said...

Im with yellow rose.

and am glad to see youve shifted your mindset yet still feel called to remind you this is YOUR PLACE.

vent share moan lament---we're here to support and listen.

M Pax said...

Wow. You never cease to inspire me.

Grief goes on for as long as it does. It does sneak up on us. It's all right to feel sad and deflated and like you've been kicked in the gut. That's how it always feels to me. And you do miss them. But realize you also always carry them.

Hugs to you, and I am duly impressed by your dedication and turn of mind on old habits.

Weighing Well said...

So powerful! I love this. I bet your daddy would be proud of that thinking and glad he influenced his daughter in such a way.

PeacefulBird said...

You seem to have your Daddy's eyes as well as his spunk and determination. I LOVE the mac n cheese "What then?" question. Must try to remember that question.... You are an amazing person, Loretta. I admire you so much.

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