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Archive for June 12th, 2009


As I shared here, here, and here, one of my focuses (obsessions??) over the past five weeks has been fighting my eating disorder (binge and compulsive overeating). I am happy to report that I am making good progress. I measure progress in two ways – by what is going on in my body as well as by what is going on in my head.

Let’s start with my body. Since I braved stepping on the scale five weeks ago, I have lost ten pounds. That averages out to two pounds a week, which is what, by all accounts, is considered a healthy rate of weight loss. I am feeling better about my body physically. My “fat pants” are annoyingly loose, and I am now wearing a pair of jeans that I have not even bothered trying to wear in a very long time. So, I am on the right track physically.

When it comes to an eating disorder, emotional progress is a completely different animal. You do not want to go from one extreme (binge eating) to the other (starving yourself). Instead, you want to find a healthy medium that enables you to feel like the eating disorder is not controlling you. I really battled the first couple of weeks, but I have now worked out a rhythm that is working for me.

Another part of emotional progress is how you feel about yourself. Most of the time, I drive a diet by degrading myself. I tell myself that I am a fat cow who does not deserve to eat, etc. I use my self-hatred to fuel the weight loss. I am not doing that this time. Instead, I am trying to listen to my body and feed it small portions whenever it is hungry. I might eat five or six times a day with most of those times being a healthy 100-calorie snack.

Another measure of progress is my reaction to messing up. Let’s face it – I have been binge eating since I was 12 years old, so I am going to “fall off the wagon” from time to time. That happened when I went to the movies last weekend. A friend bought a huge tub of popcorn for us to split since I paid for the tickets. I was only going to eat “a little bit” of popcorn. Uh … that’s not exactly what happened … the best laid plans and all…

Instead of getting angry with myself, I went to bed with a slight stomachache and began the next day back on track. I am coming to realize that one overindulgence from time to time is not going to make or break my weight. My body size is reflective of how I am treating my body over time, not one instance.

So, right now I am feeling pretty good about myself. I am eating in a way that works for me. It is not a “diet” so much as a lifestyle change. I am still very susceptible to feeling the pull of the eating disorder, but I am trying to meet those emotional needs in other ways. When that doesn’t work, I have a glass of wine or take a Xanax (this is mostly an issue in the evenings). If that isn’t working, then I’ll have a small snack rather than a binge. Then, I start fresh in the morning. So far, so good.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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