Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Why I had to start over with my day count (164.0)

I've been 164.0 for two days in a row.  I wore my size 12 Levi's last night to my OA meeting.  They were too tight last week.  These jeans have either 0 or 1% spandex (I will look at the tag tonight, I can't remember).  They don't stretch at all.  I was happy to be in them comfortably.  They aren't loose, but loose jeans just make my butt look bigger, so I don't like them loose.

My dress pants in size 12's from Christopher & Banks are getting too big.  The waist has a "comfort band" that has two buttons at the waist. The inside button cinches in the waist so it doesn't gap (my waist is smaller than my bottom, being I'm a pear, and I have to be careful about the gappy-waist thing).  I'm on the inside button but they are starting to slide down my hips a bit and are very baggy everywhere.  A few months ago, I had the cinch waist on the outside button and they were tight in the rear. 

Last week I wrote about how I was getting my 30 day chip.  As is my pattern, as soon as I declare a success, I sabotage myself.  I lost my day count last week.

I had a couple nights of late TV (watching Sons of Anarchy on NetFlix) in the family room, and had a Cliff bar & walnuts around 10:30 one night, another night had yogurt & fruit w/walnuts, and another night had a Luna bar.  I didn't binge, but it wasn't abstinent. 

The kicker was dinner on Wednesday night.  We have friends who moved back to Evansville from overseas, and we went to visit them at their new (huge) house in the neighborhood next to ours.  We ended up staying for dinner and had pizza.  Pizza is on my binge list (the foods above are not).  I had three slices of thin cheese pizza from Dominoes. 

I could have chosen not to eat it.  I had had fruit and a couple of pretzels that our friend had set out for all of us, and I wasn't hungry.  I just didn't feel like explaining why I wasn't eating.

The wife is from Thailand, and she is a big "hospitality" person.  I felt like if I didn't eat, I would insult her.  And I was having a bad case of the envy's, after touring their home.  It's beautiful and perfect and a house we would love to have but can't afford.  Our kids loved it.  Eating the pizza was easier & I wasn't able to muster to courage to say no.

I called my sponsor & left her a voicemail the next day, explaining my week & the pizza night.  She called me Saturday morning and we talked.  She said she realized I just got my 30 day chip, but I should just start over.  I asked what start over meant--start my day count over? She said yes, start your day count over.

I did not binge after the pizza (it was a late TV/yogurt night, but I didn't binge).  I did not compulsively OVEReat.  But I did break my abstinence.
Abstinence means abstaining from compulsive overeating.  You define your own abstinence. Mine is defined as not eating foods from my binge list and eating 3 meals a day.  That definition may change over time, but that is where I am now. 
I was darn lucky I didn't binge.  I could have, very easily.

At first I was ticked off that I had to start over.  If I define my own abstinence, I thought, then why can't I include a small slip-up as part of my abstinence?  Am I expected to be perfect?  What happens if I mess up again 6 months from now? 

I understand why she had me start over, at this early stage.  I do feel more accountable.  She told me not to let my ego get involved with the number of days. To take it one day at a time.

I don't have answers to "what happens if I mess up again?"  I assume I will start over again.  That is very disheartening.  It makes me want to do everything I can to stay abstinent.

I haven't had any more issues since last Thursday.  I went to dinner & a movie with my girlfriends at Olive Garden on Friday night, and had no issues at all.  Did not eat bread.  Had salad and the apricot chicken which has broccoli, asparagus, and tomatoes & a very light sauce (which must have had sugar in it, but it did not set me off). I didn't have any cravings after. (We saw Pitch Perfect--such a fun movie!)

I am getting through the weekends just fine--which is a small miracle. 

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I have a ton of work to do on the house to get ready.  Lots of decluttering.  I cleaned out Luke's room & clothes Saturday, then took everything to Goodwill & my friend who got Luke's small clothes for her son.  It kept me busy.  I will be doing that every weekend until Thanksgiving.  Then I want to start on pictures and getting them printed & organized.  That will take me months. 

I'm thankful that when I'm not in the sugar, I have the energy and desire to stay busy.  My meds and SAD light are also working.

I'm on day 6 today.


Laura N said...

My sponsor also told me to call her the next time I feel like eating at night. She doesn't care what time it is--even if I just leave a v.m., to call her. It is hard for me to call people and ask for help. I have to get better at that.

Vickie said...

My suggestion is to create a plan, now/today, that is your "go to thing" when these situations arise.

Because they are going to happen.

Have several plans - running home to get food, carryout somewhere that is the same as grabbing from home, grocery store quick trip, whatever.

If you have a plan, then you will be prepared.

If you are somewhere with pushy food people (you can call them hospitality people if you like) then I think the easiest thing to do is tell them you have a medical issue with food and leave it at that.

Tell them it is much easier for you to handle your own food and tell them nicely but very firmly "to let it be".

I would not get into a discussion or an explanation that will lead to ongoing conversations or their trying to accommodate your food needs.

I think your sponsor was probably right in having your start over. She sounds wise.

Learning "to leave the ego at the door" is a valuable lesson.

I have written a lot of posts with those very words in them over the years. Parenting posts, yoga posts, exercise class posts. That concept applies all over our lives (I think).

On big houses - yes they are big, but it is a lot of room for clutter to accumulate and a lot of space to clean. And sometimes it means families are all separated in different parts of the house. There are times I dream of living in one room with two hooks on the wall like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Vickie said...

thought of a humorous way to think of your plan.

Think of it as touring the palace with the Queen of England.

And then she invites you to stay to dinner.

And what is your plan if she serves pizza - ?

Because if you think of it that way, with the queen, then anything that comes up in real life, is going to pale in comparison.

If you can say to the queen - "pardon me while I pop out for some ______, I'll be right back" - then you can say it to anyone in real life with a genuine smile.

One of the key things I have realized over the years is that what other people think is healthy, still does not always work for me.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: A luncheon after a yoga workshop.

And they were serving veggie soup.

Sounds okay - doesn't it?

It was all made from canned veggies which meant it was LOADED with sodium.

Which I can't do.

Laura N said...

Thank you for your comment Vickie. I KNOW all this stuff--I don't understand why I forget so easily. Food pusher--yes that's the word. Being prepared is everything, not just food but prepared responses.

On the house thing. I love our house. It's just the right size for our family. Except when we have Thanksgiving or family come in from out of town. Then it's too small. And mark wants a bonus room for when the kids are teenagers. Which is in 2.5 years! We are at the age when our friends are moving into 2nd houses--bigger and more. We are still in our first family house. We won't be moving any time soon. I get over my coveting thoughts when I get to my house but when I'm in theirs, it's bad. And our friends who moved back--the husband is an engineer who works all over the world. He's gone for months at a time and then is home only a couple of weeks. So I don't envy their life. We have a smaller house but a full family life.

Vickie said...

The Amish here have company sheds. Big shed/small barn filled with (nothing but) tables and benches for big dinners. Their big dinners are several times a week.

Is your garage of any use to you? Because with a good cleaning (windows, floor), I could seat a lot of people in my garage.

Vickie said...

The bigger house is only for a couple years and then truly you just start wishing for smaller and easier. I have known people who have moved when the kids were in high school and then in what seems like five minutes later all the kids are grown and gone. Youngest was 3 when we moved here. And even that seems like 5 minutes. I have a lot of empty beds these days.

Vickie said...

One of the old catholic churches rents out their whole convent for family events. My guess is 25 rooms with single beds, full kitchen and dining room. We have BIG families in this area (not just Amish). Some families rent the whole place for their overflow guests.

jen said...

I actually found myself envious of friends who were renting a cute, small apartment, because they have so much more financial freedom because they don't have a mortgage like ours and the energy bills a house generates. They also live in Ann Arbor and I'm in the boring 'burbs, Every situation has its trade offs. But feeling less-than is easy when someone else seems to have everything.

I am not sure I understand what the day count thing is all about. It seems punitive but I am not sure that is supposed to be the intent. And even if you had 300 days in your count, something like this might sideline you if you were feeling resentful and sad, right?

jen said...

P.S. maybe not acknowledging the jealousy might have been the real trigger here?

Laura N said...

Thank you, Vickie & Jen, for your feedback. I appreciate it.

Our garage isn't really an option. We've hosted several times in the past, and there's enough room to feed everyone--we set up tables in the formal dining room (which is currently a "dump" room & a mess--a lot of work in there to be done), and we have room at the kitchen bar for kids to eat. Our dining room seats 8.

It's more that Mark doesn't like that we can't house people overnight easily. We can do one couple with not too much trouble--we give them Luke's room. I, frankly, don't care and think for one or two visits a year, why the heck would I buy a bigger house?! But, anyway, Mark is suffering more from his sister leaving Evansville last year and he's here by himself now....that's his real issue. And he knows it.

He's not a material person by nature & doesn't notice his surroundings for the most part. Once I clean out the clutter, and I'll probably repaint rooms next year to more neutral tones in case we do move (every wall in my house is a color).

I will keep in the back of my mind the idea that we will "need" a bigger house for less than 10 years.

And I would SO love a condo in the small river town we work in. They are adorable (probably expensive) but the less upkeep, the better.

Jen, the day count is a thing AA type groups do--you've heard of the chip system. You get chips at 30 day intervals until 1 year, then you get yearly chips. It's hard for me to believe that the people with 20+ years abstinence have had ZERO slips. I have to ask Ami about how that works. Maybe they haven't, who knows. To make this thing work, I have to truly take it one day at a time. I can't wrap my head around never eating chocolate again. That would just be too hard.

Laura N said...

Gee whiz, I'm chatty. Thanks for the therapy. :)

Jill said...

If your sponsor says to call, then by all means call her. Even if it's just a text to say "I'm feeling pulled" that might be enough of a pause to get your back on your path.

You are doing great - keep on going!

jen said...

I know someone who is in a 12-step program. In that program, there are different zones of compliance -- you don't lose sobriety for slipping into the yellow zone, but if you do a red zone behavior, you start over. I'm not sure if I'm quoting exactly, because this isn't something participants want to discuss in great detail.

Some behaviors, like drugs and cigarettes, are "easier" in some ways, because you can just stop. Food isn't one of those.

I guess what I was trying to say is that resetting your day count doesn't seem like it should be punitive, it should be a signal that it's time to be more vigilant. You are definitely very successful. It sounds like you did make a conscious choice to eat the pizza rather than explain things. That isn't a binge -- but maybe the sponsor wants you to be more forceful in sticking to the boundaries you agreed on, and thinks resetting your day count is feedback to help you do that?

I can understand why you didn't. You were already feeling "less-than," and explaining that you don't want to eat certain foods that give you trouble might have made you feel self-conscious and even "defective." I would have probably done the same thing. I think one of the reasons I have slipped in my weight loss is that I want to fit in, and that doesn't always mesh with wanting to eat in the way that is best for me.

Laura N said...

You nailed it, Jen. That's exactly how I was feeling but couldn't name it. I like the idea of a yellow zone & a red zone. I am meeting with my sponsor this afternoon. I will ask for clarification of how she handles this. Because, yes, it is discouraging & punative, and I could see myself lying about it or telling half truths to her or myself to avoid the punishment.