Friday, July 30, 2010

WFG Workshop Week 3: Ending the War

It's been a very busy week.  I've tried really hard not to stress eat (or drink) but yesterday was tough.  I had to decide what I was going to do about my relationship with my parents and after talking to a friend in the mental health field....I decided that tough love was going to be the way to go.

I find it interesting that this week's chapter is called Ending the War because I feel like that's what I'm trying to do with my parents too. I'm tired of fighting and feeling badly.  I think this book came along at the perfect time for me because I'm learning about my relationship with food and also my family.  They go hand in hand.

1. Author Geneen Roth begins the chapter telling her students that their relationships with food are the greatest blessings in their lives. That they are not going to fix this relationship, but should walk through the door and see what's behind it. When you think about this—that what you thought was a curse is actually a blessing—how do you respond? Do you feel like throwing the book against the wall or feeding it to your dog, or does it make you curious about the possibilities of using your relationship with food as an opening to the rest of your life?

I already feel like I've opened a door to the rest of my life since reading this book.  I'm facing my fears and the demons from my past and letting them go.  I've realized that many of my food issues go back to things that happened in my childhood and the fact that my relationship with my parents has been going through changes right now has allowed me to really take a hard look and be honest about that.  Doing this is hard....but necessary.

2. What would it mean to see your relationship with food as the greatest blessing of your life? What would need to change in your thinking? Your eating?

I would need to think of food as fuel and not has a drug.  I would still want to enjoy food...but not overdose on it.

3. Geneen describes her struggle of gaining and losing 1,000 pounds, loathing herself and becoming suicidal. She came to the realization that she had two choices—to stop dieting or to kill herself. Ultimately, she writes, it's about not fixing yourself. In Women, Food and God, she urges readers to end the war with themselves and with food. How long have you been fighting with yourself about your relationship with food? And…has fighting with yourself ever led to truly changing yourself? Are you willing to stop the struggle? What do you think you'll find? How would giving up this fight make you feel?

I think giving up this fight with food would feel freeing. That I would be letting myself off the hook for years of abusing myself with food.

4. Do you believe that engaging in the endless loops of gaining and losing weight keeps you connected to your friends and family, who are also engaged in the diet-binge cycle?

I suppose it does.  Weight has always been a topic of conversation with my family and my husband's family.  Every time I've ever lost weight people notice and comment on it. 

5. On page 29, Geneen mentions the UCLA study on the effectiveness of dieting. Among those who were followed for fewer than two years, 83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost. If you were ill and the doctor suggested a cure that would make you worse, would you follow it nonetheless? How does it affect you to see that diets are not a cure?

I wish someone had told me 20 years ago that dieting was not a cure.  I also wish that my parents had taught me good eating habits so that I wouldn't have to be like this.

6. On pages 30–31, Geneen writes about a woman who focused on her desire to feel lean and trim rather than feel the loss of the love of her life. She confessed that she "always" gets abandoned, and in her mind being lean enough meant being strong enough to face the feelings she does not want to experience. What have you always believed you will have if you finally lose the weight? What power have you given away to being thin?

For years, I've struggled to make friends and I'm always the *big* friend.  I've always thought if I was thinner...people would like me and want to be my friend.

7. On page 32, Geneen writes that "women turn to food when they are not hungry because they are hungry for something they can’t name." A connection to the sacred, to what they find holy in their lives. If you had to define what is sacred or holy in your life, what would that be? What do you cherish most of all? Can you remember a time when you just the way you are, regardless of your size, was enough?

It all come back to being loved and accepted. I don't know that I've ever felt like I was good enough or that I could tear down the walls that I use to protect my heart. If your own mother doesn't love you...then why would anyone else? Food has always been there for me....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chocolate Donut Epiphany

My stress level this week is at an all time high. I'm packing to move, cleaning for house showings, my Dad got drunk and threatened to kill himself and my Mom disowned me in an email.

And there is now a box of little chocolate donuts sitting in my pantry that will make everything better. NOT!

The funny thing is that I've only had a couple (okay 7) of the donuts because I realized that even if I ate the whole family was still going to be broken.  I'm tired of feeding his whole in my heart because it never makes me feel better.

I really wanted to have a drink but drinking alcohol to deal with stress when your Dad is an alcoholic just seems wrong.

I wish right now that I was a runner because I bet that would really help. Instead...I'll wash the walls and windows of my house....funny how cleaning makes me feel better.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WFG Workshop Week 2:About God

Week 2 of Geneen Roth's 15 week workshop on Oprah's website. I'm trying to catch up since they seem to be a little ahead of me. If you want to follow along...go here to find the list of workbooks. If you are doing this too...and blogging about it, I'd love to read your answers.

1. On page 22, author Geneen Roth writes that she turned to Hostess Sno Balls the same year she gave up on God. Do you turn to food for comfort, sweetness and the feeling that you matter?

My Sno Balls were butter cookies....but now they are M and M candies.  Or a pan of brownies. I think I've always associated food with comfort.  I recently remembered that when I was a kid my Dad would stop to buy a newspaper on the way home from work everyday and he'd bring me a candy bar. Every. Single Day.  I know he was trying to show that he loved me or was thinking about me....but I still associate feelings of being loved with sweets. 

2. What does going on a diet mean to you? Does it give you a feeling of taking control and doing something for yourself? If you have been on many diets, do you honestly believe this one is different, or do you diet because you are discouraged and don't know what else to do?

Going on a diet means depriving myself and controlling everything that goes into my mouth. I'm excellent at keeping track of my calories and I've been on so many diets that I've lost count.  hCG Diet was different for me because it actually worked!   Plus, I grew up watching my Mom diet and her weight fluctuate up and down. 

3. On page 23, Geneen describes dieting like praying and that "making the decision to stop dieting was like committing heresy, like breaking a vow that was never supposed to be broken." Are you ready to stop dieting? What feelings does thinking about this bring up for you?

I'm pretty sure that I've been dieting so long that I can't quit.  The idea of not being on a diet makes me feel uneasy.

4. From page 25: Geneen writes: "I don't believe in the God that most people call God, but I do know that the only definition of God that makes sense is one that uses this human life and its suffering—the very things we believe we need to hide or fix—as a path to the heart of love itself. Which is why the relationship with food is so important." What do you believe about God, love and your life?

I believe that God loves me no matter what size I am.  But I believe that I must be thin for other's to love me...including myself.   

5. Do you believe you deserve kindness and beauty? If other people deserve it—if your children deserve it—why not you? Why is it so hard to treat yourself lovingly?

I have just recently realized that by eating food that is fattening or not healhty is treating myself badly. I used to think that I was *treating* myself and I deserved what I was eating.  Now I know that giving these things to myself...and my children isn't doing anyone any favors.

6. In Women, Food and God, Geneen says your relationship to food is a doorway to your true nature, your deepest self. Do you believe you have a true nature and a higher self? Are you willing to use your relationship with food as the doorway to that?

I think that as I approach my 40th birthday...I'm am as true to my nature as I'm going to get. I like myself so much more now than I did 10 years ago. If there is more to me...I'd love to find out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

WFG Workshop: Week 1

Week one of the Women, Food and God Workshop contains questions relating to the Prologue (and apparently...I'm behind because the questions for chapter two have been released already). You can find them here

1. The prologue begins with "80 hungry women" sitting in a circle together, waiting to eat and pay attention to how they use food. If you were one of those women being asked to be silent and pay attention to themselves, their hunger and their many feelings about food, how do you think you would feel?

I am a very visual person.  If I see a KFC or ARBY'S commercial on TV...I want to get some.  Immediately.  I think I would have become somewhat agitated and felt irritated with Geneen like some of the women were.

2. From page 2: "Our relationship to food is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself. You are a walking and talking expressions of your deepest convictions; everything you believe about love, fear, transformation and God is revealed in how, when and what you eat."

What are your deepest convictions, and how do you think they show up on your plate every day?

If I am completely honest with myself...I believe that I am only lovable if I'm thin,  men cheat and leave and people don't really change.  This is what I've learned from my childhood and first 12 years of my adult life.  The thing is...I found an amazing man and I know that these things are not true anymore but I still act like they are.  There were many years that I ate my feelings but I'm in a good relationship now and I don't have to do that anymore.

3. On page 5, Laurie says that things are hard, but at least she has food. Do you relate to her? Do you use food when things get hard? If so, does using food make things easier?

Before I met my current husband I was married to people that made me feel terrible about myself.  Our life together was extremely hard, lonely and I spent a lot of time filling the hole in my heart with food.  Sadly, I'd feel better for a short amount of time and then I would still have the feelings to deal with.  I also started to medicate with alcohol and made stupid decisions.  I still find myself turning to food when life gets hard but I'm getting better about it.  Wine is still a good friend....

4. On page 13, author Geneen Roth writes about her many diets and her weight history. Take a moment to consider your own food and weight history. What has it been like? Did the ups and downs of it correspond with particular events in your life? As you begin to read Women, Food and God, notice the feelings you have about what has and hasn't happened in your relationship with food. As you enter a brand new process and start a new journey, do you feel discouraged? Hopeless? Excited? Does a part of you believe that nothing will work? It's good to name those feelings so that you don't sabotage yourself with them.

1987...first serious relation with a boy.  Weight Gain of 20 pounds.
1990...first marriage. Husband had alcohol and anger issues.  Weight Gain of 20 more pounds. 
1994...divorced and lost 30 pounds...finally taking care of myself.
1995...married an alcoholic.  Gained 60 pounds over 5 years.
2000...escaped with my life and 20 boxes of belongings. Divorce.
2001...single, lost 50 pounds and really worked on myself. 
2003...found the love of my life, bought a house, planned a wedding.
2004...married, trying to get pregnant, lost baby, gained 20 pounds.
2006...gave birth to baby boy, happy
2007...gave birth to baby girl, happy with 2 under 2 is hard...gained 20 pounds
2010...lots of stress, hcg diet, lost almost 30 pounds, struggling to keep off.

I am a stress eater, especially when I'm having problems in my relationships.  I also eat for just about any feeling...sad, lonely, bored, mad...and I eat when I'm happy to celebrate! I think if I could get the stress and bored eating under control I'd be on my way to stopping my compulsive eating. 

5. From page 16: "Not sure what you really believe? Pay attention to the way you act—and to what you do when things don't go the way you think they should. Just for today, pay attention to what you value. Reflect on how you spend your time and your money. Pay attention to what you eat." What do you do when things don't go the way you want them to go? What do you really believe about your place here on earth? Do you think your life has meaning? Do you believe you are doomed to fail or that you are worthy no matter what you weigh?

When things don't go my first instinct is to eat cookies. This started in high school when I started dating boys and I would hide boxes of butter cookies in my closet.  This is when I started to gain weight. I feed anxiety.  And I do feel better...for a little while. 

I do feel that I have an important place on earth but I've also struggled with my weight for so long that I thought I was meant to be a heavy person. I don't want to pass this on to my children.  A couple weeks ago when we went to Denver, my daughter told us that she wanted a big belly like Daddy, her Uncles and Grandpa!  That's what she saw....and she wanted to be like them!

6. How has food served as a source of punishment and/or shame in your life? What do you think it would take for you to really change your relationship with food?

I suppose one could say that I punish myself with food.  When have been single and taking care of myself and paying attention to my emotions...I don't medicate with food. I think for me to change my relationship with food I'm going to have to find other ways to deal with emotions and let go of things that happened in my past that started the ball rolling. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Women, Food and God: 15 Week Program

It all boils down to one thing. Your relationship to the Source. The relationship to that which we call God or don't even know is God is all that really matters. The thing is, when you surrender, and stop resisting, and stop trying to change that which you cannot change but be in the moment, be fully open to the blessings that you have already received, and those that are yet to come to you, and stand in that space of gratitude and honor, and claim THAT for yourself, and look at where you are, and how far you've come and what you've accomplished, when you can claim THAT, and see that, the literal vibration of your life will change.  

Did you watch Oprah a few days ago when Geneen Roth was on?  I'm going to rewatch it because I think there was a lot of good information there and I want to make sure I caught it all.

I was thrilled to see that they are offering a 15 week study guide to go with the book so I'm going to post my answers to some of the quetions each week and see if I can't get back on track with my eating and weight loss.

I encourage you to join me!

Week 1...Prologue

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Following Your Dreams

By some miracle...I'm down to 194.8 pounds.  I'm still 5 pounds more than when I went on vacation last month to San Francisco but I'm hoping to be back to 184 by my birthday (September 11th).

That's the plan anyway.

There was some discussion the last few days that we might NOT take the new job in Denver because the prospects at iKeith's old job are looking up and if he stuck it out he could end up a manager making lots and lots of money.

We went to our favorite bar last night to hash things out.  We talked about following dreams and taking risk.  I've always been a risk taker and iKeith has always been a play it safe and don't rock the boat kind of person.

I told him that I would sacrifice anything to follow his dream.  I told him to pick the job he'd rather be doing and we'd make the rest of it work out. I told him that I needed him to live for another 35-40 years and that this job he has now is going to send him to an early grave.

And then I told him what my friend Barbi told me....that this would be a good change for us.  We don't NEED to eat McDonald's and go out to eat so much.  We don't NEED to drink so much wine, eating only when you're really hungry is cheaper and walking/hiking and parks are FREE!

This is an opportunity for us to change our lives for the better and for him to pursue his dream.  How can that be the wrong choice?

And so...after 3 beers, 2 shots of tequila and a taco....we decided to take the job.  And then we needed a ride home.

In other Oprah tomorrow if you are interested in the book I read and reviewed last month called Women, Food and God.  They are having the follow-up episode and will be discussing the book with women who have read it and are applying the principles.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why I Can't Sleep

It's been 10 days since my last confession....

Am I the only weight loss blogger that feels like their blog is a confessional? 

It's 3am and I can't much going on and so much to do.  I should have taken a sleeping pill but by the time I thought about was Midnight. Oh well...I see lots of coffee in my future.

Let's see...since my last confession post, I've gone on a whirlwind trip to Denver over the 4th of July, where I ate and drank too much and gained a couple pounds.  1.5 of those have disappeared since being home but I've been doing a little bit of stress eating because....

My husband got a job offer in Denver yesterday and we have 23 days to move.

Now you know why I can't sleep.

I'm stressing out. Not just because of the huge amount of work I have ahead of me but because we were figuring out our finances last night and it's going to be in no dinners out, no coffee at Starbucks and no WINE!

Now you know why I can't sleep.

On Tuesday I was all set to post about how very close my weight keeps creeping up to the 200 mark and that I'm disgusted with myself for letting this happen.

It's time for me to get serious and make sure this DOES NOT HAPPEN.  Plus, I NEED to lose this weight I've gained because some of my new clothes aren't fitting anymore and I DO NOT have money for new ones.

So there you have it.

Why can't I be one of those people who loses weight when they are stressed out?