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Out of the Rubble

July 15, 2010

Monday night was a rough one.  After beating myself up all day for my lack of triathlon training, I headed to the supermarket to buy a few staples to get me through the week.  My supermarket sells pretty decent pizza by the slice so I was going to buy 2 slices for dinner but the pizza selection just didn’t seem appetizing.  What did I really want for dinner?  A large pizza from Papa John’s and an order of breadsticks with extra garlic sauce (ok, maybe 2 orders of breadsticks- they are my personal crack).

But I was trying to be “good” so Papa John’s wasn’t the answer, but the pizza by the slice at my supermarket wasn’t cutting it either.  For a split second, I thought about getting sushi (great healthy option)- but while perusing the sushi selection, I didn’t get that feeling I was looking for.  You know that feeling that food can give you?  I’m not sure how to explain this feeling in words for the non-compulsive eaters out there, but I’m gonna do my best…

When I make a conscious effort to overeat, something happens in the moment I make the decision.  I feel better.  I feel as if a wave of calm has come over me.  I feel alright… like everything is going to be o.k.  I feel a slight sense of euphoria with anticipation of the yumminess I’m about to eat.  I feel free and unhindered.  I feel good.

I didn’t get any of those feelings as I inspected the sushi… so I moved on because that’s the feeling I was looking for.  I ended up buying a frozen pizza with every intention to eat at least half of it that night.  When I chose the frozen pizza, the feeling wasn’t very strong… it was no Papa John’s, but it was there and it would do.

I went home, popped the pizza in the oven and started in on my usual routine-  I turned on my tv and looked to see what was on my DVR.  There was a new Oprah (and yes, I’m one of those women who tivos all the new Oprahs… you just never know when there is going to be a good one).   So I hit play while waiting for my pizza to be ready.

Coincidentally (if you believe in that sort of thing), this Oprah was with Geneen Roth who is the author of Women Food and God.  Within the first couple minutes, I thought to myself… here Oprah goes again with her fat hating and fat bashing… and since I’m all about promoting positive body image and my version of fat acceptance, I was certain this one hour show was going to piss me off.  But I continued to watch because I assumed if nothing else, it would be good fodder for a blog post.  I’m always thinking. 🙂

(Me going off on a tangent: Turns out that I was very wrong.  Women Food and God wasn’t about weight loss or another diet masked in positive talk.  It was purely about women’s sometimes unhealthy relationship with food and how to overcome it.  Now to be clear, I haven’t read the book so I’m not saying that it entirely purports a self love, positive body image attitude… but in that  1 hour of tv, it kind of seemed that way.)

Some powerful shit was said during this episode that cracked me open and forced me to look at my own issues and relationship with food in a way that I had not mentally or emotionally prepared for.  A few times, my eyes welled up with tears because of things being said.  The show made me take note of things I already knew, but sometimes try to stuff away and not deal with.  Here was one of the hardest things to hear from the show for me:

Overeating does not lead to rapture. It leads to burping and farting and being so sick that you can’t think of anything but how full you are.  That’s not love, that’s suffering.  And weight is a by-product.  Weight is what happens when you use food to flatten your life.  It’s about the fact that you’ve given up without saying so.  It’s about your belief that it’s not possible to live any other way and you are using food to act that out without ever having to admit to it.

The truth is a bitch.

Want to know what I did while watching this episode that was speaking my ugly truth in the clearest of terms?  Oh, I ate an entire Freschetta Brick Oven Pepperoni pizza.  huh huh… that’s what I did.  I literally watched a show about my compulsive behaviors while partaking in my unhealthy behavior.  The last 1/4 of the pizza was hard to get down… I physically didn’t want anymore… I could feel how stuffed I was but I needed to eat it hoping it would give me that feeling from before when I was standing in the supermarket deciding to buy it.  It didn’t (in case you were wondering).

A couple hours later, I went to bed feeling overstuffed and uncomfortable wondering how did I get here–  in 13 days, I’m participating in a sprint triathlon; however I haven’t trained in nearly a week  and I’m making conscious decisions to abuse food.  How did I f*cking get here?

I went to bed vowing that I wasn’t going to be angry, disappointed or upset with myself for my actions.  I was going to reflect on the Oprah show with Geneen Roth and take to heart many things that were said even if I didn’t do so that night.  I was going to really try and listen to my body and its hunger signs.  I was going to stop placing food in good categories and bad categories… and then beating myself up when I consumed food in the bad categories.   And by God, I was going to get back to my triathlon training schedule.

Although it has only been 2 days, I’m happy to report that it’s been 2 days of success.  In the last 48 hours, my triathlon training is getting back on track (although I’ve still got some work to do on this front) and I have had a healthier relationship with food.  And to be clear, I’ve eaten things that would send a dietitian into a tizzy but what makes it healthy is not what I’m eating but how much of it I’m eating.  And I know some of you may be saying, isn’t your “pats on the back” somewhat premature? what’s 48 hours in the grand scheme of life? Well, it’s 48 hours of my life where I’ve eaten well, moved more and been healthy… and still had that feeling I got in the supermarket on Monday night when I decided to buy that frozen pizza … all without ever overeating.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 11:51 am

    I think 48 hours of feeling good about yourself and healthy is awesome.

  2. July 18, 2010 8:46 am

    Thanks @SF and I’m still keeping the streak alive. 🙂

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