Where have I been?
In a deep, dark, depressed hole somewhere binge eating and searching for motivation. That's where.
Then a friend told me I'm being selfish because I've been letting my readers down. He said: "Think about all the people who find motivation in YOUR blog?" He's right. And I apologize.
One day recently I woke up, looked at the evidence of the previous night's binge... the leaking soft drink cup on my nightstand, the mess in the kitchen, the fast food bag on the stove, the messy house... and I just got... over it all. I got over waking up to a belly full of undigested food, feeling like absolute crap all day, being grumpy to my co-workers, letting the laundry pile up, letting my house look like a hoarder lives there because it's so messy, and STILL BEING FAT.
I just got bored. Bored with repeating the same patterns over and over again and getting mad at myself for the same exact things over and over again.
I've said this before: having a consistent schedule has allowed me to pinpoint exactly when I binge and why. It helps me to be able to say: "Okay Lori, now why do you want to order pizza? The last time you binged on pizza, you had a really crappy day at work." Then, I can say: nope. Not gonna happen. It also helps me to realize certain habits at home have been formed around binge eating. For example: Sitting on a certain section of my couch watching a certain show at a certain time of day is always paired with binging on something. So what do I do when I watch this show now? Something else. Even just something as simple as moving to a different side of the couch can make a huge difference. Or making myself sit in a chair instead of the couch. I trick my brain.
Speaking of brains, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Ralph Carson a few weeks ago. He is a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of binge eating disorder. It was so refreshing to hear that he ACTUALLY understands that binge eating is a disorder, and not just something that common sense tells you not to do. If it were that easy, there wouldn't be so much obesity in the world. I also loved that he confirmed my belief that it is NOT a "choice." I had a friend tell me the other day: "Lori, I know you know HOW to eat right and exercise, you just choose not to." Really? You think I CHOOSE to look like an elephant among mice in every social setting? I don't choose to feel like a fat disgusting blob with no energy who had rather stay at home than hang out with my friends. I don't choose to stuff my face until it literally hurts. Dr. Carson believes that your gray matter can be changed, once you get serious about wanting to make a change. He also agrees with the research I have been working on the past few months on addiction. Addicts are addicts, no matter what their substance is. A food addict is just as powerless over food as a crackhead is over that rock. Addiction is not something that can be taken lightly, and intense treatment is usually the only means of recovery. Once someone gets deep into an addiction, they will never truly become "un-addicted," no matter how long they have abstained from their drug. This is why an alcoholic refers to themselves as in "recovery" long after they've had their last drink. Those same powerful thoughts will always be there, but by re-training your brain, you can manage the urges and continue to abstain.
Food addicts get such a bad rap because losing weight is so very easy. It IS easy. Think about it: eat sensibly, exercise, limit alcohol, drink lots of water. It truly is as simple as that. There's no special formula. Why can't all these fat people just get off their lazy asses, put the chips down, and workout? For people who don't understand it, it's not their fault. They've never been in a position where they feel like a second person has literally entered their body and made the decision FOR them to eat an entire bag of chips in 60 seconds flat. This second person gets to have all the fun of chowing down, then leaves when it's over. The real you "wakes up" and is hit with a whirlwind of emotions wondering: "what the HELL just happened?"
Addicts are powerless over their addiction. It's the first step in any anonymous 12 step program. "We admit we are powerless over.... "
I have caught myself halfway through a meal, without even realizing how much I had already eaten. None of my senses were involved in it. I wasn't tasting it, feeling it, or smelling it. So of course my brain doesn't know I'm full when I eat the other half and reach for seconds.
Lately, complete and total abstinence is the only method for me that yields results. I just can't drink when I'm out. I just can't do it. When I do, second Lori enters my body and turns my steering wheel towards the closest Taco Bell and orders enough food for an army. I can't eat anything that is REMOTELY similar to my "binge-ables." When I do, the first bite triggers a race to end of the world's supplies of that item. I have to completely abstain.
Since I had my "eureka" moment, it has been so easy for me to turn down a binge. Because my binges come in patterns, I am quickly reminded of the last time I binged that exact same way. It's Sunday night, I'm bored, I'm sad the weekend is over, I'll order Chinese. Nope. Remember when you did that last time? You woke up Monday with self-loathing that weighed 2 tons, and your entire week was crappy because you continued to remind yourself how stupid you are. Or...I'll tell myself: Remember how good I felt the morning after I turned a binge down? That works, too.
Binge eaters and food addicts don't get the luxury of putting the bottle down, walking away, and never touching it again. We have to abstain from certain foods, certain social situations, certain drinks, etc... We obviously can't quit food cold turkey. We would die.
I think the reason so many people succeed in losing weight is because they, too, had some sort of eureka moment. Once people give themselves a genuine reason to shed the pounds, there is nothing that can deter their desire to succeed. It could be that they've been diagnosed with diabetes, or fired from work because they became too unreliable, or busted a knee cap... whatever the reason... it is powerful and it is enough. Like I said, my moment was just plain boredom. I get bored easily with pretty much everything in life, so it's a wonder it's taken me this long to get bored with binge eating and the consequences that come along with it. I've also been dealing with scary high blood pressure, so my health is playing a huge role in my motivation.
The good news is that I haven't gained any weight, so I've got that going for me as I discover new things that will entertain me, and keep that second Lori out of my life.