Saturday, April 20, 2013

Telling ED No! - Reflections #2

I'm reading a self-help book called "Telling ED No!". It's a book that helps you work through your thoughts as to why you have disordered eating. I definitely do. At the end of each chapter, there are reflection questions which help you overcome your eating disorder. I am going to answer said questions here.

You might think the rituals and behaviors of your daily life are "normal", but whose normal are they? They may look and feel normal to you, but upon reflection could they really be coming from Ed? Is he telling you to do them, is he giving you direction?

Also, what triggers your eating disorder and throws your behaviors into high gear? Is it emotional, physical, or social factors, or a combination of all three? Write down three scenarios where you find yourself turning to Ed for comfort and list the behaviors and rituals he instructs you to do.

I guess most people probably assume their life is normal... I don't imagine many people think that their life is abnormal... I am among those people. *I* think my life is pretty normal. I suppose that in actuality it isn't. I mean, my thoughts are usually overtaken by food. I think about food a lot... almost all the time actually. I am usually thinking about what I can eat and when I can eat it... What is the maximum amount of whatever we're having that I can eat to still be under my calorie goal? Do I have enough calories to eat some ice cream or cereal? If I cut down my portion size at lunch, I can probably grab a candy bar out of the vending machine... Oh, but I would really like an ice cream cone... Hmmm... Well, if I make this for dinner, I won't have any leftovers for lunch tomorrow so what will I eat then? These are random thoughts that I usually have on a daily basis. Are they normal? I doubt it, but they are normal for me. Now that I've got a rein on Ed, I do believe these thoughts are him "helping" me through my day. 

All sorts of different events throw my disordered behavior into high gear. Honestly, I think boredom is probably the number one reason as to why I overeat or binge eat. During one serious binge, I ate about 6-8 cups of sugary cereal, two ice cream sandwiches, and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In the most serious binge I can think of having, I ate 6-8 cups of sugary cereal, four blueberry waffles with butter and syrup, and an entire box of macaroni and cheese. During both of these binges, I ate an incredible amount of food in a short amount of time. I think both were about two hours long. I definitely wasn't hungry. I was bored... and home alone. I remember feeling miserable after, but I'm a binge eater who doesn't purge. I hate vomiting and I have never been bulimic or even had bulimic tendencies. This means that I'm stuck with over about two day's worth of food stuck in my stomach until it digests. It's horrible and it makes me feel helpless and out of control when it happens.

I also think that stress and emotions (usually sad) also lead to my binge eating... though boredom is the number one reason. I think that stress and emotions usually lead to me overeating more so than binge eating, but if I'm bored and stressed/sad, I eat a lot worse than if I was just eating because of boredom.

My Three Scenarios:

1. It's late evening and I'm home alone. I'm just relaxing on the couch watching some of my beloved television. I have already eaten dinner (probably something healthy to boot), but I want something sweet. "There's a whole bag of sugary, sweet cereal in the kitchen. All you have to do is get up and go pour yourself a bowl," Ed informs me. I try to stay strong and say no to him. He doesn't like when I tell him no and keeps pestering me. "You need the cereal. It's not a want, it's a need. Just go get some. You won't regret it. It will fulfill your sweet tooth. Just do it. C'mon. It'll all be okay. Just get up and pour yourself some." I'm strong for a while, but he eventually talks me into it. I grab one of our enormous cereal bowls and fill it to the rim with children's cereal... Something like Cap'n Crunch Berries or Lucky Charms or Cocoa Puffs or Apple Jacks... My bowls are ginormous and hold probably three to four cups of cereal. After I finish the cereal, Ed points out, "Hey, you still have some milk in there... another half a bowl of cereal would use that milk so it won't go to waste." Sometimes I will go pour another bowl and sometimes I don't... Ed talks me into eating the cereal... even when I don't need it or particularly want it.

2. I've had a tough day at work. By the time my workday is over, I'm physically and mentally exhausted...
I don't feel like doing anything... let alone cooking. Before I leave work for the day, I think of things I could eat for dinner. Oh, I do have the stuff to make salads... maybe I'll eat one of those... or maybe I'll take the leftover shredded chicken and make a yummy quesadilla... Oh, but then I'd have to go by the store and get some cheese because we don't have any... Ed butts in and says, "Did you hear? Dominos has half off any pizza right now. You could get a pizza for cheap." I tell Ed that I don't need to go get a pizza, I could go home and make something healthy. Ed says, "But you don't really want to clean the kitchen, cook, and then clean again... Do you? I know you want something easy and so do you." I eventually cave in and order a large pizza . I tell myself that I'll only eat two or three slices, but when the delicious cheesy goodness arrives, I can't stop myself and eat almost the whole thing by myself.

3. It's a special occasion of some sort and I'm going out to eat at a restaurant with the rest of my family.
No one else in my family really has to worry about their weight... maybe my mom does a little bit, but no one else does. Before we go, I make sure to Google the restaurant. I look up the nutrition facts and decide which meal would be the healthiest for me to eat. I decide what I'm getting and it's healthy and sounds delicious. When I get there, my family is all excited to be eating in public instead of their house. When we arrive, the waitress comes to take our orders. She asks if we're interested in appetizers. My mind says NO!, but Ed says, "Why don't you wait to see if anyone else is interested in an appetizer??? It wouldn't hurt to share something with someone." My family decides on an appetizer. It's fattening and greasy like fried mozzarella or spinach artichoke dip or something like that... Then Ed says, "Well, Crystal, since you already blew your diet by eating the fried mozzarella, you might as well order what you really want off the menu... You know you don't want the tilapia with rice... you'd rather have the chicken covered in parmesan cheese and breading with the tortellini on the side." I end up giving into Ed and order the dish I like instead of the dish that keeps me on the diet track. I eat way too many calories for what I was planning and get angry at myself for not sticking to my plan to begin with.

1 comment:

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