Monday, May 21, 2007

Letting Go: Stinkin' Thinkin'

Taking a break from house cleaning. I've got my friend SS coming to stay this weekend, and I want the place to look at least halfway decent and livable.

Of course, our chaotic life isn't helping matters. My friend is coming Friday night; on Thursday morning a crew is invading my house to fix our leaky basement. They claim they will be done and everything will be cleaned up by the end of the day Friday. I sure hope so. Talk about cutting it close.

After a quick lunch I had to empty said basement of our canned goods and other pantry items and lug them upstairs. One of the reasons we're fixing the basement is so we can build a big pantry down there, because my kitchen just can't contain all the items my husband must buy in bulk at the mega-mart. So where to put everything, you ask? My downstairs shower stall is now packed full of cans and other miscellaneous foodstuffs. Thank goodness we've got another shower upstairs.

I threw one of my martyr fits this morning as I surveyed the clutter and garbage strewn around my house, 80 percent of which was dumped by my loving family. I told Hubby last week I'm going to have "She picked up other people's socks" carved on my tombstone. He laughed, so I know he heard me, but it still didn't stop him from leaving various socks lying hither and yon throughout the house.

Anyway, I grumbled and cursed under my breath this morning, not sure how in the span of two days our house can get so disheveled when we spend half the weekend running all over the countryside and aren't even here! I think when we do get home everyone just dumps everything on the floor and goes to do their thing -- mainly, watch TV. Leaving me to put everything away, clear up dishes, you name it.

The one good thing my martyr routine and my subsequent "suck it up and clean the place already" plan this afternoon did was distract me from the worries I've been having the last 24 hours. I guess it's fallout from the Saturday binge which has let the diet mentality creep back into my head, but I don't like it. Like the TV news shows, I have this scroll bar running underneath my regular thoughts that keeps repeating "You're gaining weight. With all this eating you're going to gain it all back." I felt out of control and sad, and with that came the anxiety.

It didn't help that Hubby announced to me he's now lost 12 pounds on Meridia. This got the diet mentality really revved up. "He's losing weight and I'm going to gain, and before you know it he's going to weigh less than me," the scroll bar said in an update. I don't know why the thought of that horrifies me so, maybe it's a gender stereotype that men should be bigger than women.

Plus I went blogging yesterday afternoon and found myself reading about people reaching or getting darn near their "goal" weight, and it just made me feel awful. "Why can't that be me?" the little brat in my head whined. "Why do they get to be 150, 180, etc., and I don't? It's not fair!"

So then the doubts started creeping in about IE, that maybe I was just kidding myself that this would ever work. "I'll just wind up gaining 20 or 30 pounds (or more!) and have to go back on another diet to lose it, only this time it'll be even harder!" I bemoaned. I couldn't believe that I would ever be able to get sane around food; I was sure all of my bad habits would come back and I'd be right back where I started.

To add fuel to the fire, this weekend in the middle of all this running around I took all my fat clothes to the Salvation Army and gave them away. Everything in sizes 22, 24, 26, 28, and even those dreaded 30/32s, is now gone. And my thought last night? "Oh no, what have I done? Now I'm going to gain a ton of weight and won't have any fat clothes to wear!"

As Stuart Smalley would say, "That's just stinkin' thinkin'!" I let every negative thought and belief invade my head and send me into one of those catastrophic tirades (again, to quote Stuart, "I'm gonna die homeless and penniless and twenty pounds overweight!").

I guess the good news is, as bad as these thoughts were, and as bad as they made me feel, I didn't for one second seriously consider stopping IE and going back on a diet today. The rational part of me knew that I needed to hash out these doubts and fears to get rid of them. Just like I am finally letting go of those fat clothes, I'm learning to let go of the diet mentality. And like letting go of any important thing in our lives, there's usually a grieving process involved.

In amongst the stress and the cold and the time of the month, there was one thought that also helped to trigger the Saturday binge and subsequent anxieties on Sunday: I remember thinking on Friday that I am saying goodbye not only to the dieting, but to the bingeing, too. And that thought scared me. Because there is a part of me that still enjoys escaping into food. It's a coping mechanism I created as a child that got me through a lot of difficult times in my life, and letting go of that is frightening. It was my main means of self-comfort and nurturing for many, many years, and giving that up makes me feel scared, and surprise, surprise -- deprived.

So it isn't shocking that the little rebellious child in me said, "Oh no you don't! You're not taking this away from me! I'll show you!" Hence my binge.

Today, with the sun shining and a clearer head on my shoulders, I know that it is extremely early in my journey, and these second thoughts and the inner turmoil I'm going through as I enter new and uncharted territory is probably very normal. I'm going through some major changes, and that's not easy. I'm going to have emotional days, even painful days as I adjust and adapt. But I'm also going to have wonderful days, moments of victory and elation as I grow and learn.

And it helps to write all this down. If I hadn't been writing throughout this weekend and today I may have never made the connection between the binge and my thoughts of saying goodbye to my emotional dependence on food. I would have just written it off as being stressed, sick and being hormonal and not realized what else was going on. When I write down my thoughts and feelings I can look at them with a more objective eye and spot what's irrational and uncover the wide range of emotions I'm experiencing, not just the anxiety.

So I apologize if this post wearies you with its load of stinkin' thinkin' and feeling sorry for myself. But I needed to let go of it, and this was the best place I could think of to deposit it.


Beula said...

Must have been something in the air this weekend. Have ordered a couple of IE books. Hope they help. Cheers.

Jen said...

How insightful. Overeating has been your friend for such a long time, and it is hard to let that friendship go. I understand completely.

Way to go on getting rid of your large sizes! Once you got past the panic, I bet that felt really great!

Tree Lover said...

I love your last two posts. It's great how you were able to "disect" your binge. And I can relate to everything that went through your head today. Insightful as usual!

Joc said...

Good on you for finding out what was behind your binge, and good on you for deciding to stick with IE.

Mostly well done on getting rid of your fat clothes - they are your past, not your present, not your future, remember that :)

Jenny said...

I love the way you can analyze things.......I almost feel like I am reading about myself. Good on you for continuing with IE.

Ty said...

I have to tell you that you really inspire me. I too am tired of the diet mentality and I want to get out of it. Today!!

Lori said...

Really, this was a very good post. I had a hard time disposing of my clothes and so I compromised. I got rid of everything except for my favorites. I don't want to wear them again ever but I've gotten rid of the extraneous junk. I know that had to be hard for you (it was hard for me) but you will space for things now.

I know what you mean about weighing less than your husband. One of the things that makes me feel good about where I'm at is that I'm considerably lower than the Idiot Man (unless he has managed to lose more weight in the meantime and I doubt that).

I hope today's better for you