Wednesday, January 15, 2014


     Addictions - Do you have any? I surely do - the two biggies being ice cream (which my husband calls heroin) and chocolate. I suspect I am not alone in this. When I was a kid and we had ice cream for dessert, we usually got more than 2 scoops - we were BIG into ice cream in my family. I remember when I got married and served ice cream for dessert shortly after my hubby and I settled into our house, he was horrified! He said, "What is THAT?" I said, "Dessert!" "Are you crazy?, he said, That's enough for several people! I have never had more than one scoop, its a taste, not an overload." Truthfully, I thought he was nuts, but took his back and put the bulk of it back into the freezer. Mine, however did not get put back. As an aside, I find it interesting that all my kids married big ice cream eaters. At any rate, all through our marriage I
have eaten a lot of ice cream - sometimes in mass quantity. Why oh why does Ben and Jerry's always seem to find something I cannot resist? I thought when they did away with Everything but the Kitchen...Twisted, which was my all time fave, I would be better able to resist their displays. But I found NY Super Fudge Chunk and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch were quite tasty on their own...

     Do you try to hide your ice cream? You know, put it in the back of the freezer and cover it up so no one can find it. Or maybe you eat more than you expected to and you put the rest in a colored Tupperware container so your husband, partner, kid doesn't know you bought and already ate half of it. You have to find a way to hide the container in the garbage, which may or may not have you sticking it deep into the garbage underneath some messy stuff so it won't shift or show when it gets taken out - Or... you immediately put it in a bag and surreptitiously get it into the big garbage can outside. Perhaps you have actually washed it out and hidden it in a drawer or someplace it won't be seen till you can dispose of it. Or, you feed your addiction when you are out shopping by buying a pint and eating in a car (which requires you to have a spoon hidden in your purse). I have done these things and I am ashamed.

     Addictions seem to run in my family. There has been alcoholism and drug addictions, so I am well aware of the danger involved. I watched my grandfather battle it several times and he finally won it his mid fifties. My uncle was a drug and alcohol addict and sadly he lost his battle and died at 40. My father in law also suffered from alcoholism and had a period of recovery before he died. I never equated myself with these addictions. Never had much of a taste for alcohol or drugs, so I never considered that I had an addictive personality as well. But I do. So, now the question is how do I overcome these addictions. I have tried several programs over the years - Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach - all were great the first month or so, then I fell "off the wagon". I do this really strange thing - if I keep to myself the amount I have lost, I do well. The minute I say, I lost x amount of pounds, I go crazy and sabotage myself - I have no idea why.
     So, this year I think I really need to make this more of a priority and spend the time I need to make up a menu plan and stick to it. I have had some Overeater's Anonymous literature hanging around for 20+ years, back when I went to 3 of the meetings and went into a tailspin of eating everything I could because I might not get to eat it again. I never actually read the little books I had, but for some reason,  didn't get rid of them. The past few days I have been working my way through them. Last night I read this from Step 2, You are not alone
...Most of us will readily admit to using poor judgement with regard to food and eating. We may already be convinced that the way we eat is quite irrational, if not completely crazy. Closet eating, binge eating, spending more than we can afford for food, endangering our health by overeating - these are all indications that our behavior, when it comes to food, is not very sane. Since being sane means being healthy; practicing unhealthy eating habits is certainly not a sane thing to do.Realizing the insanity in other areas of our life may take a bit more time, but we eventually begin to see how interrelated it all is. The constant preoccupation with food and eating, the guilt and remorse after a binge, the fear of suffering because of one's inadequacies - these are all part of the insanity. So are withdrawal from those around us and feelings of depression. We get so used to the cycle of overeating, feeling bad, eating more to feel better, and feeling worse that we come to accept it as normal.

     Wow! How true! I never thought of it as being irrational, but certainly it is. A rational person doesn't eat until she feels crummy, she knows when to stop. The idea that there was more than just food to deal with was another shocker. When I started thinking about it, I have lots of irrational behaviors. It goes on to say...
...Another element of the insanity of compulsive overeating is fantasy . What do you think about when you are eating? Chances are your thoughts are not very firmly anchored in the real world....When we eat to escape reality, we often accompany the eating with fantasies of wish fulfillment. For a little while we pretend everything is lovely; dreams come true, until the pain of overeating brings us face to face with the here and now, and we have to go out to the store for more food, since "we ate the whole thing", and there is nothing left for anyone else.

     OUCH! I have a vivid fantasy world! I never connected it to eating or being mildly insane, but wow, this was killer for me. This pamphlet is really digging into some tough realities for me. I see how much work I have to do and its scary. I always thought I could manage "just a little" ice cream here and a little chocolate there, not considering that like the alcoholic, I may very well have to give these foods up forever. FOREVER!!!  I can't even comprehend this, but I guess this is how anyone with an addiction must feel - the scope of it is mind boggling.
      So, I have a lot of work and a lot of praying to do. Like anyone with an addiction, it has finally hit me that I cannot do this alone. I need help - and maybe need to join O. A. I checked their website and the closest meeting is at least a half hour away, in the evening and on my faovorite TV night - or on a Saturday at 8am. These are not the hours I want - see, its all about me - The first thing I guess I have to do is understand its not all about me, or my selfishness, but about taking that first step toward getting help.

     OA may not be your thing, but maybe Weight Watchers is...or some other plan. I ordered an OA app on - it was free, called My OA Toolkit and a booklet. There are othe weightloss web sites -,,, I don't know a lot about all of these sites, but maybe there is a starting place for you at one of them.
     Let's hope that next time I will be tackling some of these issues and you will too!

ice cream photo courtesy of by rakratchada torsap


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Once More With Feeling!

 The New Year has started and along with it the dreaded realization that, once again, I have not lost any weight, but in fact have gained 5 more pounds. If I continue at this rate, by the time my kids have to take care of me, they are not going to be able to move me! This horrifies me and make me incredibly sad. Why is it I can see other things to fruition, even obsess about things, and yet not be able to do something as simple as watching what I eat?? I think about this all the time. Every season I watch Biggest Loser and marvel at the way Jillian Michaels can get at the root cause of a person's problem. I even looked into being a contestant, but something was always more important to me than being a part of that year's season - a new baby in the family, a wedding...its just the way I am programmed. My family means more to me than anything on this earth, including me. I actually determined to try this year and of course, this year they are only accepting families of 4 more than 85 lbs overweight. I don't have anyone in my family like that. It's just me. I thank God every day they don't have this struggle in their lives, but I am sure they struggle with other things that I don't see. In truth, the show scared me because I was afraid that whatever it was that started this drop into the rabbit hole of food addiction, would be something that would hurt a loved one - and to me, having that come out on national television, well, that would be more horrible than dealing with this.
      I haven't a clue why I am doing this to myself. I was pretty normal as a kid. There was one time when I was 6 when the doctor put me on a diet as I was getting a little chunky, but my mom did a great job and I lost the weight quickly and never gained it back. Back in the '50's, we really didn't see a whole lot of overweight kids. You know the the summer we went out early in the morning after breakfast, came home for lunch, and went out again till dinner time. More often than not, we went back out again till bedtime. School season wasn't too much different...other than homework, we were outside. We were always busy - playing dodge ball, kickball, ringalievio, kick the can, red light green light 123, wolf, roller skating, bike riding, putting on shows - there wasn't time to get fat! As a teen I was normal, a little zoftig compared to the other girls, but wore a size 10/11. I never really worried about my weight. I knew I would never be a size 2, just wasn't built that way. As a young woman I was busy working and doing theater at night, no problems.

   After I got married, I had something called a pituitary adenoma - a kind of tumor in the brain. It did crazy things to my weight -especially after they put me on steroids. I gained 50 lbs in 3-4 months. After the tumor was resolved and some weight was lost, I got pregnant and gained 50 lbs. Thus started the nightmare every mom goes through of not quite losing the baby weight and getting pregnant again, thereby adding more to your frame with each pregnancy. By the time I was pregnant with my last child, I was tipping the scales at a bit over 200 lbs. A few short weeks later I ended up with an emergency gall bladder operation and that started this weird problem that gave me IBS which in turn gave me weight gain. It was a losing battle. I would get some off and put it back on with an extra 5 lbs. How often do we hear about yoyo dieting and think it will not happen to us? Because it does.
     So that brings me to where I am now...slightly depressed, way overweight and at a loss as to how to pull myself together. I am trying something new this time. I am going to blog this journey in hopes it will keep me on track - and maybe help some of you out there. I am going on a cruise next November, one that I am really excited about as it is a cruise with Celtic Thunder. The thought of being at the pool looking like this and having people see me this way - it's just not something I want to happen! So I have joined a group of ladies on Facebook who are also going on the cruise and are in the same boat - needing to lose anywhere from 25 lbs. to 100+. I keep thinking if we can just hold each other up and listen to each other, we can do this. So here's to 2014 and finally getting this monkey off my back!