Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Now the real work begins (149.0)

I ran the OA meeting last night, which means I gave my "lead" (I talked about my story for 40 minutes). 

It was the second time I'd given my lead.  The first time I gave it, last November, I told my story at a high level, getting in as many details of my life as possible.  This time, I still gave details but not as many and they were more in depth. 

I talked a lot about my life between 2007-2012.  How I'd lost and gained.  How I felt when I'd lost weight the first time.  How I did the outside work but not the inside.  How I still had a "fat head" at 146 pounds.  How my life wasn't perfect when I got thin.  And how when life hit me in the shins, I went right back to food.

At the end of my talk, I said I feel like the first 6 months of OA have been a honeymoon phase (which is a term they use) and it has been a blessing to be free from the power of food.  I couldn't have done it by myself; only through meetings and the program have I been able to lose 25 pounds and become free of the prison of sugar.

Now, the hard work begins.

I didn't do the hard work the last time.  The hard work is the inside work.  It is working the 12 steps.  It is examining those parts of myself I'd rather ignore (that's what the 4th step inventory is mostly about--which I'm not working on yet).  It's acknowledging every single day that I am a food addict.  It's identifying foods I think I can eat safely, but when they become a problem, eliminate them from my diet (like fried foods---fried anything makes me think about more food).  It's reading more OA lit and writing more often about my feelings.

I read this weekend in one of the OA books (on my Kindle) that simply overeating is a pathway to compulsive eating.  I have noticed this, as well.  I have overeaten several times, and each time was because I subconsciously wanted the comfort food offered.  I have eaten other than meal times, mostly on the weekends, out of boredom or for distraction.

I have to be honest about these eating behaviors, or I will slip back into compulsive eating.  Addiction is insidious that way.

To help me keep a journal, I downloaded an app on my phone called Daily Diary.  I love it.  I hate to write long hand.  It takes too long and my hand writing is atrocious. I don't have the patience to write neatly.  Plus, I don't have a big purse so I can't carry a journal around with me.  I always have my phone.  I can type pretty quickly with my thumbs (I always wonder what kind of damage we are doing to our thumb joints?  will there be an abundance of thumb arthritis 30 or 40 years from now?).  I typed out my notes for yesterday's OA talk on there.  I also journaled on Sunday, after I'd had three days of not so great eating, to work through WHY I was eating the way I was.  The diary is just one more tool in my arsenal.

Tools are how I stay even.  I think of all these as my tools: meetings, my sponsor, my OA friends, medication, abstinence from sugar/fat/flour foods, my SAD light, exercise, reading and writing, my therapist, acupuncture, my blog and all of you. 

If any of these tools aren't being used, I can slip and get out of balance.  I've got plenty of proof to that effect.

Sleep needs to be a better tool--I still don't have a great bed time/wake up time habit.  I like to stay up late and I don't like mornings.  This may forever be a challenge until I learn to accept what is good for me, instead of wanting things my way (kind of like with food, no?). 

Random news: I did something to my knee yesterday.  I sat on the bed for a few minutes with one leg folded underneath me.  When I stood up, the tendons on both sides of my knee hurt.  Felt like I'd strained them.  It's hard to describe, because I haven't felt anything like that before.  I stretched it and elevated it for about 30 minutes.  It got better, then when I stood up after sitting for about 20 minutes, it did it again.  I wrapped it last night in an ace bandage and slept with it elevated on a pillow.  It still feels weak this morning--not the same pain as last night, but I can tell it's not right. 

It didn't hurt to walk up stairs this morning at work, so that's a good sign.  I'd planned on working out tonight (run or walk or class).  Not sure if that's going to happen or not.  I think walking might actually be good for it, if I don't push too hard.  We'll see.

Kids are at my mom's today and tomorrow.  I have a free night for me! I'm going to a concert at the university where our church choir director teaches. He's conducting a Bach concert with his university choir and the Bach Singers group he put together a couple of years ago (the Bach Singers perform at our church twice a year).  I'm so stinking excited to have a night to myself and to support his efforts.  Unfortunately I'm going by myself.  I asked Mark's cousin to go with me but she's busy. All my friends have kids and can't go.  Mark has a meeting tonight.  I'm okay with going places by myself, but it would have been nice to have shared it with someone else. 

It snowed here all day yesterday.  No accumulation other than a dusting on our deck and fence (didn't even stay on the grass).  But it was totally bizarre to see blowing snow on the first day of the kids' spring break.  I am so winter weary.  I'm not alone, I know.  Last March was the warmest we'd had in over 100 years.  I'm guessing this is one of the coldest in years.  Ah, climate change.  I'm sure we'll have more extremes in the years to come.


Laura N said...

The knee that hurt is my right knee. The left knee is the one I usually have to baby--can't keep it straight when I'm doing side angle stretches and have to be very careful with it in yoga. Getting old kinda sucks.

I'm assuming I need to strenghthen the muscles around my knee? Any ideas?

Vickie said...

In PT knee strengthening was all about strengthening the quad (lunges and squats, walking lunges), but I am not at all sure that would apply if it a sideways thing. I think I would ice it and stay off it.

Vickie said...

I read your note on Jen's blog. And thought I understood you to say that LAST TIME everyone still sort of had everything to do with your weight loss and that was part of the problem. And this time NO ONE has anything to do with your weight loss and that is working. Is that accurate?

Laura N said...

That's a good question. The first time I guess I let other's reactions to my weight loss--whether positive or negative--influence the way I processed the loss. I was in a place where I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not eating what they offered. I was also concerned about what people would think about was on my plate (or wasn't on my plate). I would often feel bad about being thin around people close to me who weren't, while at the same time feel superior to them. I talked about my weight loss a lot more, too (because I was asked about it and didn't know it was better to NOT talk about it). I craved the praise and approval.

The external rewards/acknowledgment were important to me, and they aren't now. And the external (perceived) criticism messed with my head, and it doesn't now. And if/when it does, I talk to my sponsor or take a God break, and get focused on what's important again.

This time....I think approaching it from the direction of this is an ILLNESS (addiction), and I'm not on a diet, has made all the difference. I don't care what people think if I say no to food I can't eat. Because my health and my sanity are much more important that what anyone else thinks about me or about themselves. I don't need the compliments and I don't need to talk about my weight loss.

I like how I look, and I'm not comparing myself to others anymore. Sometimes comparison still slips in, but honestly I can look back at the weight gain in 2010-2011 and I'm just so thankful I am healthy and thinner. I accept that this is the body I have, and it doesn't have to be perfect for me to be happy. That wasn't the case before. I was never happy with my body. I always wanted to be thinner & faster & better. Nothing was ever good enough. I'm working hard on elimintaing that kind of thinking from my life.

This is just who I am now. I'm addicted to food, I can't eat what I can't eat, and the body I have now is the body I'm meant to have.

And, it's not about ME. I am not doing this on my own. I truly believe I could not have made this shift in thinking without OA and without God's help. I have a lot more (very powerful) tools this time around than I did last time.

Does that make sense?

Vickie said...

It does make sense. It could have been a whole post. You might want to add to the post title so you can find it again. Well written.