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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Royal Fatfighting Tournament Tools: #4 The Pause that Empowers

After several good eating days, I had a setback at dinner Monday. I ate decently at breakfast. I ate well at lunch. I went to town at dinner. It was a slowly progressive binge.

So, I started reading A Cyberguide To Stop Overeating and Recover from Eating Disorders by Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C.

As we all know by now, the only way to successfully lose weight and maintain the loss is to implement strategies from the start that bring new protections and better habits into our lives. Learning these strategies is easy for some, harder for others, but we all have to learn to eat differently and how to behave when we are tempted to return to old habits of overeating or bad eating.

In my case, even though I know I should at minimum STOP and CONSIDER what I am doing or am about to do, I didn't.

And I should have gotten the warning alarm the moment I woke up:

I slept badly. I felt tired from the moment I got up. So tired, so heavy in my bones, that I almost cancelled my Pilates session. I drooped. I ate and felt no pick-me-up from the coffee. I did breathing exercises. I talked positively to myself in the shower about having energy, being energetic, being UP.

It took all my strength to get through the Pilates session, and I couldn't do one of the exercises I had done in previous sessions (the side bend on the barrel). The oomph was gone by the time we got to it. I felt like crying. I was THIS near tears, because I felt like such a failure.


1. I woke up tired from a bad night's sleep.
2. I felt massively disappointed by my exercise performance (despite my trainer's great reassurances that I did great and worked hard.)
3. I came home feeling even more drained.
4. Because I was tired, I burned hubby's dinner, which I let unduly upset me, and then I had to quickly think of an alternative.

I should have said, "Princess, you are having a bad day. What do you do when you have bad, tired, draining days. You eat. And then you eat some more. Time for a strategy, like a big bowl of a lite soup and extra water. Like a fiber drink to make your tummy feel expanded. Like a nap. Ask hubby for a massage. Something..."

I didn't stop and assess my feelings about my day. I just went with every impulse except one initial thought--I shot down the persistent urge to order a pizza. But after that, I went with the impulses, which were to lay on the couch between trips to the kitchen, where I had 2 huge bowls of arugula with tomato and Annie's Goddess dressing, a cup and a half of split pea soup, three ounces of asian pork tenderloin with a cup of fruity rice, a half cup of granola with non-fat milk, a single-serve organic cherry turnover-pie with coffee, and just barely manage to fight off a baked potato chips craving. That was the second time I fought off any eating cue.

Now, a year ago plus, I would have ordered that large pizza and garlic rolls and a Caesar salad, maybe some wings or fried zucchini. The very fact that I mostly had healthful stuff on hand is a testament to better food shopping choices. (That cherry pie, organic and single-serve--was in the freezer since February! I went and dug way in the back to find it.)

But it was still bad day, a setback, because I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW that I need to use the strategies, use the tools, and it starts with: SELAH. Pause and consider. Be aware. Self-examine. So I can choose better.

Had I taken 10 to 15 minutes to think and self-talk, I could have stopped after the first bowl of salad, the small piece of roasted pork tenderloin, and the fruited rice, and had a good night. It was the chain reaction, the thoughtless one that got me.

Hence, the tool of the pause for awareness. The tool of the awareness for a better selection of course(s) of action.

The Cyberguide I linked to above has exercises for overeaters (look at the links on that page and scroll to "Exercises to Avoid Overeating" in 10 parts).

I may have to create a chart for my fridge door. I had intended to print out a STOP AND THINK poster for it, and this is something for me to do TOMORROW!

I'm gonna have bad days--little sleep, low energy, depressive episodes. I need to get the tools ingrained to handle them.

Have you used the pause/self-examination to stop binges? Are they habits yet?

I'm working on it.



MizFit said...

Ive use the literal SHOUTING of the word STOP when I head down the path of negative self talk.

works for me to JOLT me outta my negativity rut.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had such a bad day and have been feeling so down! =( I wish there was something I can do or say to make you feel better!

One good thing, is that even though you felt so crappy, you still worked out! That was great, a true testiment to your willpower! You have it in you to overcome the negativity, its just super hard.

Its like a boxing match. You opponent, negativity induced indulgences! You may get beat up a little, maybe even knocked down for a few counts, but there's always the next round to TKO your opponent! Remember he doesn't fight fair, so you have to be on your toes! But you will win this battle!

I literally picture my bad food choices, my emotional eating, my laziness, and especially my negativity as my mortal enemy. I refuse to give my enemy what he wants, that will only make him stronger. Instead I fight!

I hope that came across right and it doesn't sound to silly, but maybe it will help!

Good Luck sweetie! And start sharpening up on your right hook!! =)

spunkysuzi said...

I'm so going to look at that cyber guide!!
Sometimes once a binge starts i'm just on auto and if you ask me the next day what i ate i honestly couldn't tell you.
I too want to get to the point where i can simply say stop, enough already!
I'm working on it ;)

Chrissie said...

I have the same issues. Once I get tempted by something I just keep eating. It is very disappointing to me. The Stop and think idea is great. Hang in there.

Heather said...

I think its great you are taking a look at the WHY. that is definitely key in being successful at losing and maintaining weight. so often before, I would just act and not really think about why I was acting. I would reach for the food and not really think about it. its important to look at the why and then also remember that the next time when you dont want to think and just act.

Joanna Poppink, MFT said...

Congratulations on your determination and perseverance to improve your life. I'm happy to know my cyberguide, a workbook to stop overeating is helping.

Since I wrote that workbook I've developed a website and now a blog dedicated to eating disorder recovery.

Please let us know how you are doing and how we can support your efforts.

warm regards,

Joanna Poppink, LMFT California
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapy
blog: stopeatingdisorders.com