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Archive for November, 2007

Every day I focus more on things that are important and less on the trivial

Fear of rejection is a strong emotion that often caused me to binge in the past. The cycle would be: a perfectly normal event occurs – I twist it into a rejection – decide to binge – blame the fantasized rejection on my fat – eat even more.

Mostly now I choose not to binge over those things. Now that I’ve got binging under control, I notice that I still have some irrational fears around rejection.

“I tentatively accepted this meeting, but since I’ve been away for 2 days, I have to make sure there aren’t emergencies of a higher priority.” Look at that. Perfectly normal statement from a perfectly normal person. But I found myself turning it into a medium-sized rejection.

This time I caught myself before I let it completely go into a panic or depression. As I went to bed, I wrote the following affirmation to guide my thoughts around this non-rejection:

I don’t have to take the worst point of view for every thing that happens. It is not a rejection when this guy doesn’t have time one day. Both you and he know that you are working on a very important project – it just isn’t always the most urgent thing on his agenda. That’s a fair and reasonable perspective to take.

That made me feel much better, and I was able to sleep without worrying about this, without feeling like a failure, and without binging.

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Play with your food. You will get more in touch with what you really like and really hate to eat.

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For breakfast today I ate a half a bagel with peanut butter. This peanut butter, however, comes from The Netherlands and isn’t very sweet. Not as sweet as my local Barney’s Best, and miles away from a sugar bomb like Jif, my favorite.

So I decided to add some honey. That’s the best sweetner that brings most any peanut butter up to “American” standards of sweetness.

I managed to get good portion control because of the boney’s packaging. The silly thing has a nipple, for goodness’ sake. I turned it upside down, like in the picture, and squeezed and squeezed, but hardly a drop came out. Finally I collapsed, exhausted, accepting that my bagel would only be medium sweet today.

It was still tasty though. Yum!

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You Are Enough

That’s a great affirmation, isn’t it? Simple, applies to everyone and everything, sort of the earth mother of all affirmations. Sigh. If only it were made of chocolate, then it would be the perfect affirmation for the normal eater.

Er, um, it seems that you can get it in chocolate: http://affirmationschocolate.com/ Too funny.

It’s morning, it’s snowing, DH is sick, and I’m headed off to work with a great idea in my head. I’ve been playing my positive motivation songs to give me the best possible attitude.

Last night late I ate a piece of chocolate cake, even with a spoonful of ice cream.  Now I’m not hungry for breakfast, so I’m going to take some mandarins to help out if I get hungry mid-morning.

What does “not hungry” feel like? In the morning, I can sense that my body isn’t ready for food because it feels a little sluggish, and I can also feel yesterday’s food still in my system. Both of those things combined make me think “yuck” when it comes to eating more food. Do you call that intuitive eating? I guess so.

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How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful? (Libby Roderick)

Overate at Thanksgiving? I didn’t, because we didn’t celebrate it here in Germany. But sometimes I do eat past full, and getting back to normal can be hard.

The most successful technique for going back to normal eating after a large meal (or several large meals) is to stop thinking about what and how much I’m eating.

Yes, that’s right, stop beating yourself up over the burger, fries and chocolate cake you wate when you weren’t even hungry. Stop criticizing the fact that you ate not only a nice slice of pumpkin pie, but also a slice of pecan pie AND a big piece of Aunt Virginia’s coconut cake. It’s over and done with. Go listen to Michael Buble singing “That’s Life.” Then get on with your own life.

If you really want to discover why you ate too much at a particular moment, don’t look at the food, but rather inside your brain. What were you saying to yourself as you decided to reach for that bite too far? What were you saying to yourself once you realized that you were eating past full?

Write those things down, because these words are your real enablers. They cause you to eat more than you really want to, and these words are what you will change to create a permanent healing from compulsive eating.

Here are some examples of mine:

Ohmigod, I can’t believe I ate that. And I wasn’t even hungry.

  That’s ok, at least you’re nicely full. Now you get to find out how long this food keeps you from feeling hungry again.

Geez, I didn’t need to eat that, and I certainly won’t lose weight eating every meal that way.

So what? It’s just food. You clearly had a reason to eat it, and every day you are getting better at recognizing these moments and changing it.

Recovery comes one bite at a time, and requires plenty of practice.

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Sometimes enough is enough. Sometimes too much is enough. And sometimes half is enough.

Marzipan used to be the thing that laid in the bottom of the box of cookies until it got so hard that no one would eat it. Then I would taste it, confirm its ickiness, and go find some chocolate.

Until recently. Now Marzipan is one of my best food friends. It adds moisture to muffins, and surrounded by puff pastry and fresh from the oven, it’s a delight like no other.

Today I also discovered that more chocolate is better than less chocolate. After interviewing a promising housecleaning candidate (hallelujah!) we drove her home and stopped for coffee and cake at our local Konditorei, Cafe Frech.

One of the first great pleasures at the Konditorei is to gaze at all of the cakes in the displays and order the piece I want to eat with my coffee. The second great pleasure is actually eating it, and drinking the coffee poured from the tiny silver coffee pot.

Cafe Frech does a great business on Saturdays and has lots of fresh delicious pastries available. Today I chose not a slice of a Sacher torte cake, which can sometimes be dry, but an individual Sacher torte, which was heaven on earth.

Rather than being sliced and drying out in the case, the individual torte is totally covered in chocolate, so it stays moist. For those of you who don’t know, the Sacher is chocolate cake made with ground nuts, drenched in apricot glaze, and layered with raspberry jam. After that’s all assembled, the bakers at Frech place a thin layer of marzipan on top, then pour a chocolate couverture over everything.

It was so delicious I almost finished half.  DH had to step in and help me out after he had finished his orange cream cake, which is sponge cake layered with an orange flavored whipped cream.

Because it was perfect, I stopped when I had the perfect feeling of satisfaction. Today half was enough.

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Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words are the tool I use to inspire myself.

A week of normal living is experienced one bite at a time.

My work this week was both wonderful and overwhelming. I did notice, however, that I ate normally the whole time, and food took its rightful place. Work is never going to always be this good and absorbing, so I’m starting up affirmations again to keep me on an even keel. I don’t promise them every day, but I do intend to keep writing them.

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Did you ever deny yourself a food until you simply couldn’t stand it anymore, then eat it way past full? Yep, me too.

What I’ve noticed, however, is that denied foods often disappoint, and I eat them way past full because I’m not willing to acknowledge that the denial was worth it.

You may have starved yourself in the days before Thanksgiving, so you could stuff yourself like anyone else. Pay attention while you enjoy your meal today, and ask yourself occasionally if you’re really still enjoying the bites you’re putting in your mouth. If not, then take a break. You don’t have to decide to stop eating, or declare Thanksgiving over. You can just say to yourself, “Ick. This doesn’t taste good anymore. I’m going to do something that’s more fun until I want to eat again.” Then honor that decision.

You don’t have to make up for a lifetime of deprivation with one Thanksgiving meal. You can eat anything you want, when you want, in any quantity you want. Give yourself the enjoyment you deserve, even when it’s not food. And thank yourself for it.

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