The child within

Thursday, April 5, 2012 Permalink 0

My last two posts have focused on my most recent appointment with my dietician/psychologist… during which I received some ‘instructions’:

  1. No ‘danger’ food, which for me is currently rice cakes (or corn chips now to a lesser extent) and Easter Eggs/ chocolate – because moderation is impossible I jump straight to over-eating or binge-eating
  2. Mindful eating – breaking some bad habits of eating in front of television and the like and a focus on ‘treats’.

DeprivationI had been meticulously planning my Easter Egg consumption so was less-than-impressed with the therapist’s edict. My response was obvious, although she pointed out that – in particular after the ‘no Easter Eggs’ announcement – I shrunk down into my chair and started chewing on my fingernails.

To me it was a nervous, contemplative habit – I was in shock and withdrawing into a little cocoon; but to her I was reverting to child-like behaviour. She even chuckled at how obvious it was.

I’ve already admitted that in disbelief I tried querying her (*possibly* in a whiny voice and with a pout), suggesting that I start “Monday”, or ‘tomorrow’. (After all, I needed those bloody Easter Eggs!)

When she refused this (perfectly reasonable) request  I shrunk in further down into the chair – *possibly* looking at her dolefully through wide innocent eyes – still in disbelief (and even more possibly, terror)!

She told me that my transformation into a petulant child was ‘most interesting’ (in the way a scientist examines a frog splayed on a cutting board!).

Hello. This is your life speaking. More treats please.Could it be that I let my ‘inner child’ influence my mad monkey mind? Could that same inner child, who is constantly screaming for treats, be manipulating my own inner critic – (the aptly named) Myra – who delights in dissing my dreams of eating healthily and stomping on my aspirations of normality, convincing me that I’m ‘allowed’ to eat whatever I want and there will be no repercussions?!

I have to confess I’m not sure how I will go on the no-Easter Egg issue. I LOVE Easter, in fact I actually wrote about my lifelong romance with Easter a couple of years ago here in my other blog.

But chocolate eggs and the like aside, I do intend to be more conscious of the whining ‘What about me?’ victim-like child’s voice that bleats constantly in my head. I’m a 44yr old woman for f*ck’s sake; and it’s time I acted like it!

19 Comments
  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    April 5, 2012

    You’ll be fine Deb. It’s just chocolate :) You really are celebrating “new life” with this Easter :)

    • Debbish
      April 5, 2012

      I think it’s the Red Tulip chocolate I love Liz… only available once a year…. *sigh!*

    • Angela
      April 5, 2012

      You took the words right out of my mouth Liz! Glad I read the comments before posting mine… I agree wholeheartedly. If you want to get into the theme of Easter a great one to choose to focus on is ‘new life’, regardless of your religious persuasions. How will you emerge from this long weekend Deb? Feeling strong and finding the fun in life? Or feeling less positive emotions than that? You can steer this ship.

      • Debbish
        April 5, 2012

        I’m thinking of giving myself a limited amount of Easter Eggs, so I don’t feel deprived, but so the ‘fun’ isn’t never-ending….

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    April 5, 2012

    Whoa.. how similar we are! In my book, I write about my many evil twins, who are basically various versions of my inner child. It’s really important to get to know those kids, how they came to be, and what purpose they serve, because they do, indeed serve a purpose. And once we understand them completely, we can choose to let them go…it’s a fascinating process.

    • Debbish
      April 5, 2012

      I hope so Karen (ie. that I can let it go…). It was funny, as I knew I could ‘play’ petulant pretty well, but I gather my whole demeanour changed. The therapist picked me up immediately on sinking into my chair and chewing on my nails…

      Deb

  • Angela
    April 5, 2012

    Had to pop back….. just had a thought I wanted to share… do you think your inner child would become petulant about the no easter eggs thing if your inner child was having tonnes of fun in other ways? The way you describe the scenario is like some big meanie taking away your favourite toy… leaving you feeling like you have nothing fun or enjoyable left in the universe. What if you shifted the focus to ways to increase the fun in your life so that your inner child has lots of opportunity to romp about and play?? Not sure how you define ‘fun’….. it’s different for us all. For me – my inner child loves being silly, being a clown… clowning about with friends, kids and family. Unleash your inner child Deb rather than coup her up and try to keep her quiet with chocolate ;) I am sitting here imaging Grown Up Deb being like that desperate Mum in the supermarket with the demanding child screeching from the trolley for chocolate. Sometimes kids are naughty and demanding in the shops because they’ve had the whole ‘doing grown up stuff’ up to the back teeth… that want something else. I don’t think your inner child wants chocolate Deb… she deserves more than that. Go find some fun for her this weekend! New stuff – ask her to re-define fun for you. xx

    • Debbish
      April 5, 2012

      Angela, you’re absolutely right about the ‘other enjoyment’ factor. I often say that about my evening eating behaviour… (or not at work eating behaviour, rather). I often say that the only fun time in my day is sitting in front of the TV with ‘treats’. I think I’m improving a bit though as once upon a time I was very hermit-like and refused invitations to stay at home, but have been getting out and about a bit recently without feeling resentful!

      I’m going to Melbourne next week and that will be fun. Am v.excited!

  • Satu
    April 5, 2012

    Ah, I think Angela is onto something here. We adult women in our 40′s probably need fun in our lives more than anything else! No vegetating in front of the telly….

    Well, you did plant the idea of eating an easter egg in my mind. :-) Easter has been the most boring holiday for me execept as a child when we put on easter witch costumes and got from house to house asking for treats! That isn’t possible anymore so I could at least have one easter egg. :-)

    • Debbish
      April 5, 2012

      You’re probably right Satu…

      Also, I hadn’t heard of the custom you mention for Easter – is it like the Trick or Treating custom at Halloween?

      Deb

  • Carol Hess
    April 5, 2012

    I would like to make an introduction. Little Deb, may I present Little Carol (aka LC)? I’ve written two blog posts about LC (they really are pretty good if I say so myself) — http://www.starpolisher.com/a-tale-of-two-carols-and-a-trail-of-tears-and-tantrums and http://www.starpolisher.com/the-dreaded-d. They will give you an idea of the petulant child with whom I share my life.

    I’m sure LC would scrunch down in the chair and bite her fingernails too if I denied her Easter eggs. Instead, she has eaten at least 2 bags of them because Mature Carol keeps buying them “for the next door neighbor kids.” Who the heck am I kidding? Mature Carol is nothing but a chocolate enabler.

    And, when I look at my thinking and behavior and self-talk, I find myself saying, “Really, Carol? Are you really going to be that insane and immature over a piece of lousy cheap chocolate that doesn’t even taste as good as the expensive stuff?” Sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes it’s yes. But I think the key is to keep asking the question and keep observing myself because there’s no way I’m going to let LC meet a therapist. I’m too afraid she would stick her tongue out at the nice doctor who’s only trying to help.

    • Debbish
      April 5, 2012

      Oh Mature Carol, I’m intrigued by LC! (And I’m going to go and read your posts – though am responding to this in bed, so will have to do it in the morning… different time zones and all of that!).

      I think it’s hard when we know ourselves and know the answers but still find it challenging to do what we ‘should’ do. But you’re right – at least we are aware and can observe what we are doing and I hope my self-talk and thinking is starting to improve and I can question what I’m doing before I do it!

      PS. Say hi to LC for me!

      Deb

      • Carol Hess
        April 5, 2012

        LC says hi back and wants to know when you’re bringing her a caramello koala? :) Sleep well!

        • Debbish
          April 6, 2012

          Ha! Will hopefully get over there at some stage… (Maybe a company will sponsor me to come over for a blogging conference… #ornot). (Am happy to send a caramello koala, for testing purposes!).

  • Kek
    April 7, 2012

    I’ve been expecting this moment to come …and Angela nailed it. When food has become your sole source of entertainment/solace/distraction, it’s time to look at your life and find some other ways to fill the various voids.

    We all have that inner brat who challenges us when we try to say no to the extra slice of cake or the ridiculous over-indulgence of Easter or whatever festive occasion we may be using as an excuse to overeat. At some point we have to start acting like a grown up and just say no. It’s not easy though, when the habit has been indulged for years.

    I like your therapist. She sounds like a no-bullshit kind of woman. :)

    • Debbish
      April 8, 2012

      Kerryn, yes… she’s definitely a take-no-prisoners sort of therapist and doesn’t let me get away with much.

      You and Ange are right… time to change my thinking etc. Just need to find those other things to fill the void!

      DebReply

  • jules- big girl bombshell
    April 8, 2012

    Love the comments just as much as the post!

    I’m little jules….the artistic little one that likes to paint flowers on the wall and who thinks that chocolate is the affection I deserve….and don’t you DARE take that from me….you big bully!

    Grown-up enabling Julie says yes honey I love you…don’t fret here is some chocolate, oh and cadbury and reese’s have come along for the party just so you KNOW how much your loved…..

    Perhaps this year…I will color a real egg to look like a chocolate one…have it hidden…and once I find it… cut it up into bite size pieces and add it to a salad with lots of color to say…”But, I love you more!”

    Have a great Easter!

    • Debbish
      April 8, 2012

      Lovely Jules… I was just talking to my brother and sister-in-law (here for a sleepover) about my conversation with the therapist… trying to convince her how much I love Easter and how I didn’t want her to take it away from me… I realise that I mentally go straight to: “What do I have left if you take it away?” which probably needs to be addressed.

      Deb

  • Lennie Otting
    July 17, 2012

    Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

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