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Getting Healthy and Obsessions

April 18, 2008

I am taking steps to getting healthier and am feeling confident about that. I am being more active and paying attention to what I eat. I tend to eat very poorly. Oftentimes, I won’t even eat my first meal until late morning or into the afternoon. That is not good. Oftentimes, I don’t eat enough. OK…let’s get honest here…typically I do not eat enough. And I tend to eat the wrong things. But there are also days I know I eat too much.

Lately, I kind of got a scare as I found myself eating a meal rather compulsively. I definitely overate. That is always a red flag for me. It is so easy for me to slip into ED behaviors if I am not careful. That is one thing that makes it difficult for me to do the things I need to do to get into shape. I do not want to start obsessing about food…or about my own forms of purging…which involve calorie counting, extreme exercise and/or fasting.

I used to be an extreme compulsive eater. I binged like crazy. But I never got fat and always wondered about that. My weight did fluctuate and there were short periods of being a bit overweight…but not that much. It just did not make sense to me. I was very obsessed with food and knew I had to do something about the bingeing. I knew it was not healthy and I was totally out of control. I hated myself for what I was doing with my compulsive eating.

I finally got to the point of being able to accept that I was just totally powerless over it and cried out to God for help. He gave me ideas on how to stop the bingeing…and I did it. I conquered it…with His help! Another miracle in all of this was that I was smoking pot at the time. I even learned how to conquer the “munchies”. I also learned how to turn off the hunger…something I still struggle with to some extent.

Although I was not fat by any stretch of the definition, I was a bit overweight and wanted to lose some. So, as I dealt with the bingeing, I added calorie counting, Herbalife and aerobics to loose the bit of extra weight I had. I was between 130 and 135 at the time…if I remember correctly. I think my original goal was to get down to 120 – 125, which I did. I thought…hey, why stop?

My overweight mother was telling me I was too thin. I do actually have a picture from that time period. I am not sure how much I weighed…but I was definitely thinner. My then hubby just said that my mother was jealous. He liked thin and encouraged me to keep going. Since I was not doing it for him, I did not really care what he wanted.

I was kind of curious, though, about how far I could go. I was still sugar bingeing, but I always countered it with eating less of something else or working it off through aerobics. I watched the calories I ate and the calories I burned. I made it down to 115…then 110. That was still in the range given at that time for my height. I kept going. I made it down to 104.

At 104, something happened. I did not think I looked bad at all. In fact, I liked how I looked, but I knew that in all the charts I had seen…that was about the bottom of the weight range given for my height at that time. I was beginning to realize that FELT better more around 115. Plus, I did know about anorexia and the long term damage. I wanted to avoid that.

Everyone fluctuates in their weight between 3 – 5 pounds, so I decided I wanted to go between 110 and 115. If I remember correctly (this was only about 23 years ago) I ended up fluctuating between 120 and 125 for quite a while. I felt really good about how I had conquered my overall bingeing through the diet and exercise.

I was kind of in denial, I think, about the fasting. It was not really something I consciously tried to do, other than trying to eat later in the day or work out and drink water instead of eating. I did not think of fasting as a calorie intake balancer. I saw it more of simply being when I ate. I felt good/healthy in my body and good about myself at that time…other than the sugar bingeing that I continued to do.

Then I saw an interview with a doctor about bulimia. When he talked about other forms of purging beyond the typical well known ones…I listened. When he mentioned calorie counting, extreme exercise and fasting…well, the light bulb went off. I began to look more at my patterns and the answer to why I had never gained a lot of weight became clear. It was the fasting.

So, it all came together at pretty much the same time. The crying out for help with the bingeing…the calorie counting…the extreme exercise. But the fasting I had been doing all along. I just never really saw it. I would wait as long as I could to eat…whether I was bingeing or not. It was a habit…a long time entrenched pattern. I still tend to avoid eating.

I eventually dealt with the sugar bingeing, too, through a recovery program. The realization that bulimia could take the form of what I was doing…and where it could lead if I did not watch out…was a very sobering thought. I had enough presence of mind to see that…something I believe was strictly a gift from God.

Ever since then, whenever I have thought about working out or watching what I eat, I have felt the spectre of obsession rearing its head in the background. It has helped to keep me from doing what I do really need to do.

So, now I am working on paying attention again to what I eat, when I eat it, how active I am, etc. and praying that it will not become an obsession. I really need to get into shape, especially now that I am perimenopausal. I know I do not need to eat as much as I did before. I can actually feel it in my body. I also need to drink more water, so I am paying attention to that. That is another thing that I am horrible about, even though I know that not drinking enough can cause all kinds of things from headaches to actually feeling sick. I have gone back to fitday.com to help me keep track of it. Although not a perfect site…it is pretty good…and it is free…within my budget!

I am confident in the positive changes I am making for. It is very important that I keep an eye on this and not let it turn into the obsession that I can feel lurking close by. These positive changes don’t change the fact that I still have to deal with the aftereffects of having survived really bad things. However, I do believe that anything I can do for myself like this will help me to deal with those aftereffects better.

I am also taking SamE again. I find that can really help, too. People can say all they want about how we feel not ever being a chemical imbalance, but I know that what I eat makes a difference. That is “chemical”! When I take SamE when I am struggling with depression…it helps. In fact, I feel it helps a lot more than the antidepressant I used to be on. Plus, I can take it as needed instead of constantly pumping drugs into my body.

So, there you have it. I am working on eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right times, being more active, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, etc. I feel really good about doing this and will keep a watchful eye out to make sure it does not become an obession. I already know that I can get down to at least 104. That is not my goal. I think I have a realistic goal…at this point. Whether or not I will keep going once I reach that goal remains to be seen. When I really focused on doing this before…my goals kept changing as I reached each one. We will see what happens.

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2 comments

  1. Hi Friend,

    all this makes such good sense to me. I call follow it all in my head but then when it comes to doing it, i fail. My struggle is binging food, and chocolate. Since I have back problems at the time, exerecise is a very slow progress so calorei count has to be really low. hubby and i talked today about chicken, veggies (dark green) and fruits.. we both are going to work hard at cutting out red meat. Lord Jesus We need your help on this. You know the struggles of my heart and my hubbys so this will only work with your help. Teach us to bring glorly to you in all things we do. each little step makes a difference. Im so gratefull to you for yesterday when I was able to Praise you in this pain Im struggling with. My heart feels a bit chanched.

    ((((I LOVE YOU ABBA< IN THE GOOD AND THE BAD))))))))))))) have a gret day my Good Frindd Hugs to you. Pam


  2. Hi, my dear friend,

    you are going through so much. I am so glad that your hubby is working with you on this. I know how hard it is to really try to eat better when not everyone in the house is on board with that.

    I add my “amen and amen” to your prayer. I know that I need His help, too. I just cannot do this life…or anything in it…on my own.

    Hugs to you, hon.



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