Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Running for 5 years & The Pizza Issue (162.8)

Yesterday I ran my first training run for the Princess Half Marathon in February.  As I did my intervals, I thought about how strong I feel when I run fast (fast for me anyway). 

And how I've been running for 5 years now. 

And how I've been unbelievably lucky, that my body has held up this long and I've not suffered injury (knock wood) and can still run fairly easily at age 42.

And how I hope I stay this fortunate well into old age.

The race in February will be my 7th half marathon.  Seven!  The fat girl I used to be would never believe I could run 7 half marathons, let alone one half marathon.

I can already tell it's easier to run at 163 pounds than it was training last year when I ran at 170-175 pounds.  I can't wait until I weigh even less.  Back in the losing-the-first-time days, I wanted to keep losing so I could run faster.

I want to keep losing so I CAN run faster.  That's a motivation to hold onto. 

I also want to get my legs back into shape.  I used to have gorgeous legs, when I was running & taking Body Pump classes.  I miss those legs.  I have middle aged mom legs now.  I can't wait to get some fat off & bring the muscles back to the surface. 


Day 21 of continuous abstinence today. 

I can't help it.  I can't stop thinking about losing my 30 days b/c of 3 slices of pizza.  To be fair, I probably would have put up more of a fight if I hadn't had 3 nights in a row of eating after 9 pm (Cliff & Luna bars, not a binge, just food I didn't need after 9 pm), before the "Pizza Incident."  So I started over b/c it's what my sponsor said I should do.  And I'm OK with that part.  What I'm not okay with is the feeling that pizza isn't really a binge food for me.

Monday night after my meeting I talked with a wise gentleman, who's been in the program for over 20 years, about my pizza episode/losing my 30 days.  He said the day count is about commitment. He commits to not eating binge food. There are certain foods that aren't binge foods but that he won't eat more than a certain amount. For example, on the rare occasion he eats pizza, he commits to eating only two pieces.  If he breaks his commitment, he breaks his abstinence.

Pizza is on my original binge list, but when I look back at how I behave around pizza, I don't have a relationship with it. 
We talked about what a binge food is at our meeting Monday.  If you dream about it, plan your life around it, eat a serving and need another serving right away, eat it compulsively until you feel sick, eat it and then are lead to eat another binge food, worship it and ultimately have a "relationship" with it--that's a binge food.
Sooooo many foods fit that description for me.

But, they don't apply to pizza.  Yes, if I let myself eat 5-6+ slices, I will likely eat something sweet to counter all the salt.  I think that yes, too much of a salty/carby food can trigger a binge for me. I have watched my reaction to foods that have a little sugar/a little starch, and have been very controlled in amounts I eat, and nothing has sent me into eating compulsively.
I'm not eating small amounts of junk foods--I'm talking about about things like 2 Tbsp coffee creamer, blue corn chips, a small serving of pasta, a frozen meal, a dinner entree at Olive Garden that had a sauce with sugar in it.  All things I eat with protein, never by themselves.
Important to note here that I SIMPLY CANNOT EAT "just a little" of foods like chocolate, pastries, candy, cookies, ice cream, pie, cereal, brownies, cake, bagels, muffins, white bread foods like rolls/breadsticks. And I can't eat ANY food in the family room after 9 pm.  These are NEVER AN OPTION. EVER.  Yes, I am prepared to never eat these foods again. But I don't have to think about never eating these foods again.  All I have to do is not eat them TODAY.
So back to pizza.  I like how the OA guy handled it.  I think I will have certain foods that I can have in small amounts, on rare occasions, that won't throw me into compulsive overeating.

I think my classification of foods will change over time, as I recognize foods that aren't a binge food now, but become a binge food. Or foods like pizza that I thought was a binge food but have reflected and decided it's not the food itself necessarily, but the quantity and situation.

I eat pretty much the same things all the time.  I don't need to have hugely varied food choices.  I just want to eat enough to fuel my body.  I don't need to entertain my tastebuds.  I have pretty much always been like this; this isn't something that has happened because I'm now in OA.  I am just boring when it comes to food.

I am choosing & praying & working hard to divorce myself from a relationship with food.

So why all the obsession about pizza?  That's a good question.  I think it's mostly ego--I feel cheated in a way, b/c I lost my 30 days on 3 slices of thin crust pizza.

But it's also practicality.

I have to find a way to work in some SANITY with the RESTRICTIONS of being abstinent. 

I have to work in a way to allow PROGRESS and NOT PERFECTION to drive my behavior and thought patterns.
And maybe I'm delusional and kidding myself and the queen of rationalization. I don't know.  I guess I'll see the next time I have the opportunity to eat pizza.
That does not mean I am going to think it's OK to have a piece of birthday cake at my son's birthday party in a couple weeks. I am programming myself to think about the above binge foods as an alcoholic would think about alcohol.  Other people may be able to eat those foods, but I can't.  I can't because I am an addict, and those foods will make me sick (mentally & physically) and one bite--just like one drink for an alcoholic--can send me into relapse.

I'm learning through prayer, reading, reflecting, talking, and writing, that it's not about losing a day count.  It's about doing everything I can to not lose my life to food addiction.


Laura N said...

"doing everything I can" mostly involves surrendering to my higher power. that is a post for another day. the spiritual aspect of OA is probably the most important part. I am just now beginning to work on surrender.

Kamran Ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jill said...

Congrats on the 5 years!! That's a really great accomplishment, Laura.


Anonymous said...

Laura, I know you're not alone - LOTS of people have binge foods that they can't eat at all. Even normal-weight people. I had to eliminate trigger foods entirely from my life, just the same way you talk about them being like alcohol.

The good part is (for me, I don't think everyone always has the same experiences I do) is that after a period of total abstinence, I don't crave them anymore. I'm not going to tempt myself by having them in my house, but I don't miss them and don't seek them out.

Vickie said...

Yes, I think you are right, your ego is all tied up in the pizza/30 day thing.

You probably need to really sit with that.

I understand about the whole counting days/stringing pearls concept. But I am not sure ego is supposed to be tied into that. How about thankfulness as a trade? Or concept of today?

And honestly, if your sponsor is spending time and energy and caring on you, when these little things come up, let them go with graciousness. Even if she is wrong about the 30 days or the pizza, it is kindness to just go with her on these things. Pizza is not more important than you. Pizza is not more important than her. Even if pizza is not a trigger, it is something from the sound of it. Maybe it needs to be let go.

Jill said...

Another thing to think about, in 2 years, are you still going to feel cheated about losing that 30 day chip? In a few months, I think you will be thankful that you lost it the first time because you are learning so much more than if you had gotten it. When you get further into your abstinence, I don't think you will regret losing it at all.

Laura N said...

Thank you, Vickie & Jill, for your comments. Very helpful & lots to think about.

Laura N said...

Hi Ginger. just checked out your blog--had to make sure you were real. :) Thanks for commenting.