Since I haven’t chewed or spit, I’ve felt pretty darn awesome and proud, in case you can’t tell. 😉
But in spite of this awesome progress, I’m not walking the talk 100 percent just yet.
How so? Well, I still struggle with impulse buys and impulse eats, often the very same things in my pre-chewing-and-spitting days I shunned … and then later chewed and spit. Stuff like chocolate, or Chex mix, or Luna bars.
Like a friend said, I was fooling myself all that time … thinking it was doing no harm when in fact it most certainly was. Maybe I wasn’t gaining lots of weight by actually digesting everything I put in my mouth, but I was “beating the system” and that is not healthy.
I don’t like to talk in “shoulds” or finite things because often it’s counter-productive, but this isn’t a gray issue: it’s a black and white issue. Plain and simple, chewing and spitting is not healthy — it’s disgusting, it’s guilt-inducing, it’s hurtful to myself … and I finally realize all of this.
Plus, it was fueling my disordered behavior even more; allowing myself to think I could “get away with it.”
But in reality, I didn’t get away with it. I did see it on the scale and more importantly, in how I felt about myself: GUILTY.
And though I feel I’ve nipped that ugly habit for now (and hopefully forever), I still need to work on impulse buys.
Though sometimes I can buy a trigger food and eat a portion and move on, I still sometimes buy Luna bars and eat the chocolate bottoms (the part I like best). Or take a bite of a chocolate bar (or eat the outside) and toss the rest. Or eat the chips from a chocolate chip cookie (my fave part!) and chuck the cookie.
I’m not spitting it, no … and I’m still journaling it … but the thing is, I’m wasting food and wasting money on things I don’t need … or if I do want them, I ought to be eating in their complete entity, as they were made to be enjoyed.
The truth is, I’m still mutilating food … just not in as grotesque a manner as chewing and spitting (though I’m sure if anyone saw me do it, they’d be grossed out).
And now that I have put the nasty c/s behavior behind me (hopefully forever!), my friend said it was kind of natural that now I’d struggle with the buying, which fueled the problem in the first place … to go with my analogy from last week, the act of buying is the head of the weed … not the root.
I still don’t always know what the root is: anxiety? hormones? stress? discomfort? boredom? feeling happy/ carefree/not wanting to be always watching it? Whatever it may be … it seems to change daily.
All I do know is that impulse buys don’t help my wallet or my waistline.
That said, I know rationally if I were to sit down and eat a real meal, most likely I wouldn’t mindlessly snack or give in to impulses.
Like on days where I eat lunch and then run errands at work, I don’t tend to buy anything I didn’t need (versus mindless snacking on things I bought at Target or Walgreen’s and then having to reconfigure the lunch I brought or balance it with a lighter dinner).
So to combat this temptation, I am working on eating first, or not going into trigger stores at all if I have the urge for XYZ.
Dinner-time in particular is hard for me lately. With my husband in business school, he and I really only get to have dinner together on the weekends and maybe one night during the week … so I usually end up packing my nights he’s in class with plans/activities, to keep me out of the house (so I won’t turn to food for comfort).
But then I’m not really having a proper dinner on nights I’m flying solo, which sets a bad precedence. I mean, I eat, but it’s usually grazing in between my workout or running errands–it’s never savored, and it’s never made with love … like if I were preparing a dish for us to share.
(But I deserve to have love put into my meals, no? Don’t we all?!)
And when I do sit down and have a proper dinner, I feel significantly better. Case in point: Sunday night we cooked a beautiful dinner in our new stove: baked BBQ chicken, sweet potato “fries,” roasted asparagus. It was delicious, and we both loved how the new stove cooked. I had some pudding afterwards for dessert, and felt totally satisfied, no urge to snack afterwards.
In Why French Women Don’t Get Fat, the author stresses the importance of sitting down to a meal … even if it’s something quick like cereal or eggs.
And so I am going to make a conscious effort this week to not eat standing up. Sounds so obvious, but I totally do it all the time! Sitting down really makes a difference in how I treat the meal, and how I treat myself.
If I’m going to talk the talk about wanting to truly have a healthy relationship with food, then I need to treat my food — even if it’s just muesli and a banana — like it’s worthy of being eaten at a table and on a placemat. Like I’m worthy of a table and placemat.
I tried it last night when hubby was at class: sat down at the table with my dinner. It was quiet and a little weird, but better than sitting in front of the TV or standing at the kitchen counter.
I feel like I have made lots of progress the past two months with respect to my disordered eating (and since therapy ended, ironically enough), and I’m super-proud of it.
But I’m not out of the woods; many thoughts are still there and though I’ve been able to brush them off, it’s hard to just change who I am. That said, I’ve been put in various situations that might have made me uncomfortable in the past … and handled them like a champ.
I’m learning to roll with the punches more, which is not easy for me to do. It’s not how I’m hard-wired to be, but I don’t want to be ‘that girl’ any more, who is uptight about food and annoying to be around, annoying to go out to eat with.
I just want to be me, Melissa, who can have fun on a moment’s notice, and isn’t preoccupied with thoughts of food. I think she’s in there, somewhere, clawing her way out.
So for now, in baby steps, the best I can do is take care of me … even if I’m alone at dinner-time.
I think this behavior modification (saying I will not eat standing up) will eliminate my mindless munching and will force me to make proper meals, versus raiding the fridge or cabinet when I get home famished after the gym or work.
Wish me luck; one day, I hope to be walking the talk day in and day out. But sitting down, of course.
How about you? Do you struggle with eating while standing up? How did you train yourself to sit down? Is there one meal that you find more difficult to balance than others in your day to day routine?