Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dodging a Bullet

Good morning... I'm Charlie, a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

Well, friends... I'm doing OK today. I am sitting in a Panera Bread restaurant drinking coffee and working/blogging.

I walked in, though, and the smell about knocked me off my feet. I am a big fan of bread, so why I would choose to surround myself with it when it's not in my plan right now is a mystery to me. Damn, it smells good in here. My addict started whispering in my ear: "One bagel is NOT going to sabotage your food plan. You can get a whole grain bagel with no butter or cream cheese. You are on Day 26 of your food abstinence. You're going to add in whole grains in four days anyway. No one will know. Just do it."

And by the grace of God I opened my mouth and said, "Just a small coffee please."

This feels like it's taking a long time. But the miracles of recovery are already all around me. I don't have the crazy cravings I had just a month ago. There's a sense of peace around my eating. I am committed to this, one day at a time, for the long haul. I'm actually at peace (today, anyway) with the idea that I might never again, for the rest of my life, eat sugar. I still am compulsive about my weight, getting on the scale several times a day. And I want results faster, even though I have seen a 15-pound weight loss in less than a month (remarkable by any standard), I am not satisfied. I seem to remember a faster loss before, but I think I'm imagining things. I think I'm not satisfied because this is the THIRD time I've seen significant weight loss... and I'm not convinced I'll make it this time! I've done this so many times, lost 15-20 pounds and then put it back on and then some... But this time feels different again... I'm committed to my food plan. For Today, I'll make it... I'll make it...

I wonder if I need to make fewer weigh-ins part of my abstinence. That scares me, and I'm not willing to do it yet. But I'll think and pray about it - really. And if you have any feedback, I'm happy to receive it.


legally_barb said...

I've had sponsees wrap their scales up like a birthday present and give them to me for safe keeping. To me, the number on the scale is the outcome, which is not only none of my business, but also not within my control, and the more I focus on those things that I can't control (somehow thinking that I can), the more crazy I become. I've heard it stated as "outcomes are God's job", but as an agnostic, I had trouble with this, so to me it just because "outcomes are not mine to determine" or "I have no control over the outcome." I can do the work, but I'm just going to have to accept that I simply cannot force any particular outcome.

Another way I think about it is that I have a finite amount of "effort" inside of me, and where I allocate that effort is totally up to me - I can allocate it towards things that I actually have no power over (eg. my weight), or I can allocate it towards something that actually makes a difference (eg. stepwork, meetings, service, sponsorship, etc.). If I put my efforts towards things that I cannot change, then nothing comes of it except I'm all pissed off because I put all this effort towards something and it didn't go my way. If I put my efforts towards things that I can change, then what do you know - good or bad, change takes place.

And, one final thought - I've been told that for every action we take, it is with some sort of payoff - ask, what am I getting out of this? For example, if you're checking your weight several times a day, what is it doing FOR you? A sense of accomplishment? I've told sponsees before that if your mood or feelings (including feelings about yourself) are dependent on what that number on the scale says, then you do NOT need to be stepping on that scale. If how you feel before you get on the scale is different than how you feel after you get on the scale, then you do NOT need to be stepping on that scale. A scale is meant to be informative, not mood/feeling-determinative. Ultimately, the question is, does knowing the number change what actions/decisions you may or may not take/make? It shouldn't!

Don't know if any of that helps, but those are the thoughts I had. :)

Oh, and seriously ... GET OUT OF PANERA!!!!! What are you thinking??? There's a reason playgrounds are built in the middle of freeways! :)

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Thanks, LB... I appreciate your very thoughtful and thought-provoking words. I am thinking and praying about giving up SOME of the weigh-ins. But you're right, I need to at least take a good, hard look at where I'm finding my self-worth.

For Today, I'll commit to a once-per-day weigh-in. I know that still sounds crazy and compulsive, and it is. But it's better than the 5-7 times a day I currently do it... It's right there in the bathroom and I work at home...