As you can tell from the comments and the posts, there has been much food for thought. Literally and metaphorically!
I have been all over the place with food, more so since Development and even more so in the last week. All my buttons are being pressed. Big time.
Tiger Girl wrote this (see below) in response to a little e-mail exchange we had when I 'fessed up to having the worst day ever on LighterLife. The reason it was the worst (and maybe with the insight gained it will prove to the best, ha ha!) was because it was proper bingeing - something I haven't done on this diet. It involved purposely buying something that was off limits and eating it anyway, even if I knew, full well, that it was a very poor food choice and not going to do me any good whatsoever. There was none of Mrs Jupiter's enjoyment in consuming those crisps.
Hey Mrs L
Was it the crisp incident that was causing the problem re "today is the worst day I've had on LL"?
My question for you is not why you ate them - definitely understand all of that! But what was going on in your head when you bought them? i too have found development very very tricky. If ever there was a real danger point around buying some food on the premise that 'I'm only going to have a bit'it's in development!
I remember reading a post over at Mini's about The Golden Period, ie the time you spend in true and complete abstinence. I always describe myself as in complete abstinence, but that's because I can't see chewing gum, or an occassional skinny cappucino as a fall from the wagon or a 'cheat' of any description! Maybe I'm just kidding myself - LOL. But if I bought crisps on the understanding that I would only have a few, I know really I would be giving myself permission at that stage to have the lot. And I really believe there is a good dose of self torture here.
Catching up on your dips from abstinence from your blog entries, I'm wondering of the frequency and the circumstances? Any patterns here?
It sounds like you've worked out the crisp situation right through to a fantastic conclusion - no more crisps!
Development sucks. We all need to be much much kinder to ourselves in this stage and remove as much temptation as possible. It's hard enough.
And then Mrs Jupiter wrote to me again (we are old friends, not even living on the same continent!):
"So many questions to ask you about the crisp situation... Please, please stay away from them. That was sabotage. No other word for it. Unless, subconsciously, celebration?? You need to accept that even when you reach your target weight and you have finished Management, you can never buy crisps again. I'm not saying you can never eat crisps again - you can eat a few when someone else has bought them (although not your husband - too easy). Also, I think it's interesting that when you choose to break the diet, you choose to eat things that are essentially fast food/junk food. Maybe next time, choose a salad from M&S, or a sandwich, or even a ready meal to help you through. If those things don't appeal to you at the moment you need the "treat" (of course these things are NOT TREATS), then it's not the food you need. But I know that you know that - just reinforcing."
On Thursday, the day of the crisp binge, my thinking went something like this...I finished work (we know I felt lonely!) and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the walk to our temporary home (uphill, lugging laptop, work stuff, shopping) via our house (seeing the builders who have been pressing me for decisions) and the prospect of having to work when I got there (up the hill). The work filled me with dread (something I should not have committed to doing) because it's not an area where I shine. As it happens, it has proved to be easier than I imagined but on the day of Crisp-gate, I had built it up to be a huge, problematic mountain to climb. In the past, I used food to cheer myself on/keep myself motivated and I was often worried that I wouldn't have enough energy to finish the task in hand. Thursday was a bit like that too; I knew my husband would be late and all I had to look forward to was...work! I bought the crisps because - I reasoned - if I had them at home, I would feel less restricted (ie anticipating rebellious child's resentment). I would feel less compelled to binge, IF the food was available. God, that is crooked thinking.
Tiger Girl's comment, "But if I bought crisps on the understanding that I would only have a few, I know really I would be giving myself permission at that stage to have the lot." is spot on. I think that's exactly what was happening at a sub-conscious level. As she observes, "And I really believe there is a good dose of self torture here." Absolutely. Mrs Jupiter asked me if I was celebrating my weight loss here - no, I definitely wasn't. Quite the opposite. I think I was punishing myself for deliberately putting off work, punishing myself for eating last weekend, punishing myself for succeeding. I know that sounds absolutely barking but that's how it is.
What is so interesting about all my dalliances with food is that none of them have been with healthy options. That can't be coincidental, can it? I think I am testing myself and making it as hard as I possibly can to lose weight. If I am honest, so many of my cheats haven't been taste sensations. If they are taste sensations, I find I am able to enjoy them...and stop. Last weekend we ended up in one of London's oldest pubs and my husband ordered some chips; they were big fat chips, twice cooked, served with all the trimmings - mayo, ketchup, salt and vinegar. Now they were gorgeous BUT I had about six or seven and they were enough. When I was eating the two family-size packets, I probably enjoyed the first few crisps of each flavour but that was it.
Last weekend I also had a carrot stick (provided by healthy friend) and it was gorgeous! I said it was the first carrot I had eaten since January. That seemed shocking, I must say. Tonight I saw an advert for British strawberries and I thought, wow! I bet they taste truly wonderful - sweet and refreshing.
And I find myself thinking about the phrase used by LighterLife (you get to have a clean slate with food). As I have abstained from abstinence, I feel I have blown my chances but, but, but I haven't blown my chances with HEALTHY options, have I?
Apart from not having ANY alcohol, I haven't had any fresh food. It somehow seemed wrong - not because I am anti-healthy options but because I know, deep down, this will be what and how I will be eating when LighterLife is over. However hard it is to acknowledge, I know that if I want to stay slim, I won't be able to return to my old ways of eating - overloading on carbs (bread and pasta), accompanied by high fat vegetarian options - cheese, butter, olive oil in abundance. I am beginning to see my fallings off the wagon as last-chance thinking - ie this is the last chance I will get to eat this because..when LighterLife is over...I won't be able to! This is the all or nothing thinking that got me almost reaching 17stone (more of the all, less of the nothing!) and then having to resort to doing something as radical (and at the nothing end of the scale) and hardcore as LighterLife.
I wonder if this all or nothing thinking is typical thinking of an addict? If LighterLife is rehab (for fatties), then I really do have to accept that certain foods are going to be off limits - for a reason. This goes against Paul McKenna's approach to intuitive eating but maybe it's no longer enough to say, yes, I am addicted to junk food. Maybe I need to feel it too and by feeling it, I can begin to accept it and act accordingly. That's pretty scary; all other substances, legal or otherwise, I can take or leave them. I really can.
Just as an alcoholic can't "just have one" nor a reformed smoker, then there may be things that I can't "just have one" of either. What scares me is that apart from crisps, I think pasta may also be in the running. That is a food I can eat without control. Oh no! No pun intended but that's a sobering thought.
So, I need some strategies for those junk food moments when I am far from home and can't console/distract myself with a bath, some flowers, a magazine, a DVD, etc, etc.
Any suggestions for those moments of urgency and compulsion? What has helped you?