Suck it up princess!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Permalink

In my last post I talked about the fact that I had to ‘ground’ my inner teenager who spent the weekend considering all sorts of unhealthy food options.

I have to say, the arc of my weekend thought processes – mentioned in that post – intrigued me. My reaction to being in my hometown and ‘shopping’ was pure habit: it meant fun and exciting junk food. Cos that’s what I do there. I have treats. But… as you all now know (the eloquent prose of that post being burnt into your brains!) I reminded myself I’d committed to being careful about what I eat for 21 days. I also reminded myself I’ve been feeling fat and bloated and yucky and was spiralling out of control.

So, I skipped the treats, sighed deeply and pouted like a petulant teenager who’d been grounded.

One of the reasons I decided to try the IsoWhey protein shakes was because I wanted to break a habit to which I was rapidly succumbing: I’ve been worried my increased ‘mindset’ focus resulted in me allowing my behaviour to get out of control. My not-dieting approach was starting to result in some weight gain.

The ‘shakes’ were my attempt to force myself to behave in a certain way.

Have you ever seen a cuter pout?I prepared to feel deprived (as is usually the case when I ‘diet’). I prepared to sit around pouting and moaning that life wasn’t fair. I prepared to have the occasional temper tantrum akin to that of a two-year old denied a chocolate treat.

Even worse, I must confess, I really didn’t expect to survive a week. I was sure I’d crumble and give up.

I’m not sure I really want to admit this, although I probably have done so less-bluntly in the past.

I believe I’m overweight (obese?) because I’m f*cked in the head for some unknown reason; resulting in my previous bouts with anorexia and bulimia and current disordered eating. Is that a cop-out? Is blaming my f*cked-up mind allowing me to not take responsibility for the decisions I make and for my own behaviour? Shit! Probably.

It feels ‘wrong’ to deprive myself of anything – even my binge foods / triggers which I know I can’t eat in small amounts. I tend to think that ONCE my mindset (and f*cked-up mind) is ‘better’ then I will be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want it, although there is some vague assumption on my part that I won’t want to.

A few weeks ago I was talking to an older work colleague about a dinner fantasy. I wanted frozen chips I told her, heated in the oven with chopped up bacon, onion and cheese over the top, served with sour cream. (which, if memory serves me, I probably did indeed have!) My colleague was agog at the concept of piling one unhealthy thing on top of another, and another. She doesn’t have a weight problem and doesn’t diet. “Why wouldn’t you eat that?” I asked her, saying I wasn’t suggesting it be eaten EVERY night. She was adamant, that it was too unhealthy and fat-laden.

I’ve thought about this a lot since then. I’ve assumed normal-sized people just eat healthily most of the time but splurge on occasions. But now I wonder if even those splurges have boundaries.

I know friends who’ve never had eating disorders and cannot understand one’s ability (or desire) to eat enormous amounts of stuff. 200g of chocolate or a 200g packet of corn chips may seem like a big treat to them. They appear to draw a line under the ‘treat’. They have limits.

Even if I succeed in intuitive eating and not-dieting, I WANT to be able to eat chips with bacon and cheese and sour cream sometimes. I expect to OCCASIONALLY have two large bags of corn chips rather than just one. I want to be able to eat until I’m beyond full, just cos I want to.

It seems I don’t want to tell myself ‘no’. I don’t want to NOT be able to have anything and everything I want. Argh! I realise how bad that sounds: I want what I want. Sort of thing. I don’t want to make the tough choices that grown-ups have to make. I want to live the life of an irresponsible teenager or toddler.

If I was anyone else reading this I’d want to tell me to ‘suck it up princess’.

I’d remind myself there are consequences to indulging in that sort of behaviour – and I’ve certainly been experiencing them over the past 20+ years in the form of unwanted kilograms, an unhealthy body, a depressing apathy and singledom.

Shit! Perhaps it’s time to grow up and tell myself ‘no’ more often.

Do you say no?

  • Char
    September 19, 2012

    No one gets to do whatever they want. That’s what I’ve had to tell my middle son who’s been the cause of all my angst lately. His poison is alcohol and he likes to drink till he blacks out. I know it’s different to your poison – you’ll never be pulled over for driving under the influence of a big Mac upsized meal or locked in the watch house to sober up after a Tim Tam binge. But I think there’s something similar in the mindset.

    But I do know that you can get past this. I was bulimic for three years and ate till my stomach was so full that it was uncomfortable. I can’t stand that feeling anymore. I don’t even like a lot of the rich, creamy foods that I used to eat and quite frankly if I ate as much ice cream as I used to (my go-to binge food because it was easy to throw up) I would blow a new hole in the ozone layer with my flatulence. (TMI?) It’s got to be just one day at a time that you make the change. Don’t look at the years ahead – just get through today.

    • Debbish
      September 19, 2012

      Like the ‘one day at a time’ approach Char. I also got to the point recently that I constantly felt bloated and uncomfortable from over-eating – hence the protein shake approach for a while. (I think I said in the previous post, it’s nice being able to lie on my stomach for a change when I go to bed, rather than it being too full!).


  • Lyndal
    September 19, 2012

    im still stuck on the deadset no to the cheesy fries as an indulgent treat… i am someone who tries to eat healthy the majority of the time, however firmly believe that if i label foods good/bad, or tell myself im not ‘allowed’ something then i will go crazy. I ate a whole giant box of nerds yesterday… and it was fabulous. I enjoyed that sugar high and rode it until i crashed at or around 5pm. It is what it is, i certainly dont do it everyday, but i felt like it so off i went.

    I do realise that sounds so simplistic. And maybe it is – maybe, that is the type of relationship i need to have with food to not go all or nothing and inevitably swing between the two. Recognising that if i do indeed, do waht the heck I want sometimes because i bloody well want to, then perhaps the trade off is an extra hour running, or the acknowledgement of how awesome it was, and to put the rest away for another indulgent time in a few weeks?

    Honestly, i think we are all just learning where our lines are and why they are the way the are. there is no concrete right or wrong.

    • Debbish
      September 19, 2012

      Thanks for your comment Lyndal. I’ve always been a bit all or nothing – I’m either dieting rigidly before crashing and burning and eating everything in sight. I tried the ‘not-dieting’ for a while, but don’t think I was quite ready for it yet. (Or maybe that’s just another excuse.)

      I probably need to be tougher on myself either way – minimise the things I should eat less of etc.


  • Jo Tracey
    September 19, 2012

    I wish I didn’t identify with you. But I do. I erect these boundaries and structures to stop the inevitable, but the eventual shift into occasional chaos is also inevitable. One day. then the next. and the next.

    • Debbish
      September 19, 2012

      Yes, I understand that. I’m hoping that some downward movement on the scale (and feeling less bloated) keeps me on track when I finish work on Friday and I don’t revert to old behaviour. I will seriously have to start putting my foot down. (Or something!)

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    September 19, 2012

    Your dilemma reminds me of Socialist Theory and the book “Animal Farm”. When there were no rules and no boundaries, chaos ensued and interestingly everyone was unhappier than when they started. I think the concept of socialism for this reason is fundamentally flawed. We thrive on boundaries in our life. Take your corn chips for example. Are you really tasting them by packet number two – or are they just an amusement for your pie hole?

    The underlying premise of a more intuitive style of eating is to honour and respect your body. That I don’t necessarily agree with other principles like eating all your binge foods in moderation blah blah blah, this premise underpins my nutrition philosophy, plus the personal boundaries I set.

    You’re having a temper tantrum because you’re choosing not to treat yourself as a garbage disposal for 21 days. In which case I’d be asking your petulant inner teenage what drugs she’s been smoking.

    Just a few strong, but loving thoughts 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 19, 2012

      Hee hee…. Must confess re the corn chips: Sometimes I’m so full by the end of the second packet (probably after I hit the 350g mark) I’m just licking the flavouring off and throwing the corn chip away. (Do other 44yr olds do things like that, I wonder?!)

      I’m pretty sure I always get to a point when I’m too full and sometimes I do stop. The point for me is when I’m making the purchases. So very often I pick up a bag of corn chips and put it in my basket but feel compelled to get a second packet, even though I know that one should be (more than) enough!

      I’m sure I’ve written posts about my fear of ‘running out’ or ‘not having enough’.

      I’m stoked I’m doing well on the 21day thing. Lost 2.1kg in week 1 and was disappointed with that given the reduction in crap I was putting into my body, BUT I’m reminding myself of how much better I feel. I can actually suck my stomach in. When I’m feeling bloated and yuck I can barely breathe in! I wish I’d done it WITHOUT weighing myself at all and focussed on how I felt rather than the numbers!

      And thank you for your thoughts, they’re always very much appreciated!


  • Miz
    September 19, 2012

    ok I LOST my comment after reading LIZ’
    DANG she nailed it and is smart AND made me wanna reread animal farm.

    • Debbish
      September 19, 2012

      Ha! Miz… am pretty sure I was supposed to read Animal Farm at school and skipped it. Oops! Perhaps that’s my problem!

  • Lou Lou
    September 20, 2012

    I act like a teenager most of the time. I agree, probably not the best way to act 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 21, 2012

      Unless dancing or dressing!

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga
    September 24, 2012

    I think for me it’s about respecting what my body wants and balancing it with what my mind wants.

    • Debbish
      September 24, 2012

      Yes I can certainly understand that, and I give into my mind way too often! (And blame my body for the results!)


  • Julia
    October 1, 2012

    Wow – it takes a lot to write such an honest post. The gist of the post, that I’m getting is “Life isn’t fair.” The way you are dealing with life isn’t fair is by eating. You could replace your eating treats with spending too much money, or not going to work. It is just another thing you feel limited by because of what you have/are supposed to do.

    I don’t know how you turn this around. Obviously you are trying to sort out the issues you have with food, as you are writing about them and going to talk with someone. For myself, I find when I feel down about the limitations of life, I think about all of the things I CAN do and have. My financial situation is dismal at the moment, but instead of thinking that I can’t go on vacation, I think about the lovely house I live in and so on. Life isn’t fair in so many ways, but we have to find a way to stay positive and work with what we’ve got.

I'd love to hear your thoughts