Monday, February 1, 2010

Self Help Aisle, Party of One...

I am one of those people. Before I tackle any major change in my life, be it a break up or new relationship (back in the day), pregnancy, parenthood, etc., or need to overcome the hurdles that keep me from happiness, like depression, self-esteem issues, blah blah blah, I tend to wander into a book store, touch the spines of every book that might possibly have an answer and then choose one to take home with me.

Since I am a diligent little student, I tend to buy self-help books of the "workbook" variety, complete with brain-probing questions and spaces to write in my very own responses. Oh excellent. Time to try to figure out why I'm such a fatty fat fatty.

So this is the book I am currently working with to try to tackle my inability to manage my food intake:

The Appetite Awareness Workbook by Linda Craighead isn't a book that really probes all my deepest darkest issues with food. It's not about why I eat too much or what triggers me to go face down in a pile of spaghetti and meatballs, or to walk through the bakery section of the grocery store just to smell the donuts. I already know those things. I know that I eat when I am stressed or frustrated or overwhelmed or depressed (but not too depressed, or I stop eating). I know that I eat as a means of filling spaces in my psyche that are not accounted for by the emotion that should be there; I know where that emotion should come, but doesn't. Years of therapy (especially the last one in Los Angeles) really gave me those answers.

But sometimes having the answers to the "why" questions don't address the practical application of how to change that behavior. Knowing that I eat to soothe whatever happens to be hurting inside me? Well, that doesn't stop me from eating. Knowing that I should be asking for help, for hugs? Well, I've gotten lots of help and lots of hugs. Things still hurt. So I eat.

So this book is intended to pinpoint the type of "disordered eating" that floats my boat and to give me a strategy to retrain my eating habits in a way that brings me to a peaceful place in my relationship with food. In other words, the holy grail of weight loss.

We'll see how it goes. She talks about my biggest downfall---the tuning-out eating. Even when I can say to myself, "you shouldn't eat that. don't put that in your mouth," I still find a way to shut my brain down as the food hits my tastebuds, to pretend for a moment that whatever it is I'm about to eat isn't actually the thing that's going to keep me from losing weight or make me heavier. You know, because that is logical. Um. Hear that sound? That's me banging my head against a wall. When you see it written down, it's hard to believe. But it's true.

Also? I started the 30 Day Shred again today. You know, Jillian Michaels? The pain monger from the Biggest Loser? It's her 20 minutes-in-hell work out and I started it several months ago but never quite got back into it after taking a couple weeks off because of a cold. I hated her slightly less this time. Felt like her "you can do its! I'm right here with you" weren't quite as snide and condescending as I felt they were the first time. Like she really did care about me, even though she was torturing me to my very core with those last two minutes of cardio. Perhaps a Stockholm effect for personal trainers instead of kidnappers? Perhaps.

It's all about baby steps. And deep breaths.

1 comment:

  1. oooh - I'll start The Shred again too. Funnily enough, we were both doing it at the same time the first time around, and quit because of colds at the same time too. This was right as I started reading your first blog - so weird we were in sync despite not really having met yet!