Fear Laced Binge

Yesterday’s Meals:

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream
Binge- pot of tea, 3 plain rolls with butter and cheese, 1 full size bag of crisps
Porringer 2- glass of wine, beef and carrots, sauce

Evening coffee- 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream, 2 mint humbugs (hard candy)

The binge yesterday was unexpected, meaning that I did not struggle with the thoughts beforehand, and I did not want to…but did.  Underlying emotion was probably resentment as husband is stepping up his campaign to get me to work because he highly resents having to work himself.  I refuse to tell him that I already bought a calendar to keep track of all the jobs I apply for so that he can see I am productive.  Because he does not know my intention of starting to look in the new year, he feels it necessary to talk around the subject by mentioning how much nicer it would be to have more income, or how we can’t afford something or like this morning, go on about how he cannot wait for retirement because he hates working.  I let him talk it out and then like a dutiful wife, I burst his bubble.

He droned on about how far away retirements is, how he’ll have to suffer another 11 years.  Out comes my pin, and I remind him just how short 11 years is and exactly how close to 70 he will be.  His face fell and shock overcame him as I continued to point out how these are the golden years, the years we can still function, have our health and in 11 years we may very well be wishing we were still in our 50’s and working.  His bubble busted, he admitted I was right.  Off to work he went a bit humbled.  But these feelings he has about work, I too share.  It is triggering me too.  The problem lies in that we both had circumstances in the last couple of years that allowed us to not work  for a short period while the other did, when both of us never had that concept or luxury before.  We both started work in our teens and NEVER had a period of unemployment.  So now that we have a taste of it, we certainly cling to the idea of retirement like it is some kind of golden ring almost within reach.

My own resentment about returning to work is causing me to have insecurities and puts me into a vulnerable place with bingeing.  I went for the usual food shopping and without so much as giving it a thought, picked up three rolls.  I did notice I had not desire for anything else, although ED was urging that I might as well make it a proper binge, I wasn’t really interested.  When I got home, I realized I had forgotten the wine, so went back and saw the crisps on sale and grabbed a bag of those.  Once again I thought, geez, I am here, I might as well get something sweet and it sounded awful and I didn’t.  I almost put the crisps back on the shelf.  This isn’t want I wanted at all.  I did not want to binge, but I did not want to sit with the feelings getting all stormy within me either.

But here I go again, drenching my gut with wheat and the expected result happened and I sit at the table this morning with my pin ready to burst husband’s bubbles but it is my own backside I really want to stick the pin in.  I am wallowing an whining in my own self pity and wasting time because the very thing he wants to lunge for is scaring the hell out of me.  I sat in the doctors office on Christmas Eve and was asked if I still had a womb.  This question was asked because of my age, no other reason.  It was one of those defining moments that make one so acutely aware that they can no longer get away with being thought of as an adult, now it has all crossed the line over into the old people’s court (people without usual body parts).  No so long ago, no doctor would have asked me that question.  But at my age, it is common to be wombless I suppose.  So between the fast foreword my husband wants and the fast back into the past I want to go, stuffing 3 rolls into my mouth to prevent screaming seemed the right thing to do. It wasn’t, of course.

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The crisps I ate.

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Three of these I ate (about the size of a hamburger roll).

And I also bought 5 pate’s as they were on sale:

pate

The ones I bought were the brussels cranberry and port, which is a lovely deep colour, unlike the photo above (which I grabbed off the net to show the brand and size).  My plan was to have one for lunch each day.  Remembering that I love low carb foods pushed me into considering how far away from what I want to do I have gotten.  Sometimes I feel like seaweed caught in the ocean tides, washing up on the shore and being pulled back into the sea, over and over again, endlessly hooked in the scheme of how life works whether I want it to or not.  Is it better to fight hard to get back to the deep sea or go with the flow and see what the beach has to offer?

Oh, and while I am calling this eating episode a binge, is it really?  It is not how I imagine normal eating to be, it is not extreme by past binge standards.  I usually gauge a binge as more of a behaviour than the actual amount eaten, but yesterday, I didn’t want it.  There wasn’t an urge…so was it a binge or a frustration spelled out in overeating?

I am pretty sure I can stop it today.  I want to do the major cleaning before the New Year tradition, so I will be busy enough to not think of eating, there is nothing in the cupboards that can call my name and husband will be off the next 5 days.  Hopefully he’ll stop the retirement/money talk so I don’t have to ride into the New Year on the guilty charges of not working.

Rich Foods?

When I was a little girl, I can remember when an older person would make the comment, ‘’I can’t eat that anymore, it’s too rich and doesn’t agree with me’’.  I remember pondering over that and wondering why anyone would think that about food.  Just what was ‘’rich’’ food anyways? Didn’t make sense to me until now.  Now, when I am 57 years old.

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I am so sick. UGH.  Christmas foods have torn up my entire digestive system.

Good Things About this year’s Christmas Foods:

  • I did not bake cookies or desserts.
  • I did not make side dishes.
  • I did not crave any whisky after the bottle was opened.  A first.
  • We chose small packages of sweets and treats and kept to one serving.
  • We did not eat seconds of anything at a meal.

Not Good Things About this year’s Christmas foods:

  • Husband felt ill from the sweets.
  • I felt ill from the grains.
  • Foods we use to love hurt us physically.

Husband and I had a long talk this morning.  It was not very easy to admit defeat for either of us.  Husband felt he ate too many sweets (he had bought wine gums and liquorice)  I was in major gastric distress this morning as the grains that I cannot digest built up to the critical point and exploded.  Both of us knew this would be the potential consequence and thoroughly believed that moderation was the key.  This year, we did not succumb to debauchery, bingeing or over eating.  Yet, the very nature of the foods chosen with care all conspired against us, and our bodies are suffering today as though we had been on a bender.  Aging is the pits.

We both said in eerie harmony:

‘’I can’t eat that anymore, it’s too rich and doesn’t agree with me’’.

Has this not happened in some form or fashion, every single year?  Have we not all made loads of promises to never eat what we know will not agree with us ever again?  I am admitted angry at our deliberate restraint this year and had the same exact result as though there had been no restraint.  This meant dealing with aging issues when we are not wanting to.  I am angry I need to have these thoughts of negativity so soon after Christmas.  I am feeling sick, angry, frustrated and urgently feel the need to get back my wellbeing.

I really hate this.

Unbalanced but Not Unhinged

I really hate acknowledging that I am back here in the recovery period once again.  It feels like I am unbalanced and I need to find that equilibrium I feel comfort in.  At least I am not in the war zone, just on the outside edge of it. I do feel the carb muck though.  Damn it.

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Husband finished off the last of the Christmas goodies (the ones I had bought for family presents and could not afford to mail) last night and I was so relieved to know they were finally gone and our cupboard is healthy again.  He commented on the fact we can’t seem to leave anything in the house of this nature alone, but when I thought about it, it was not necessarily true.  This time around, we had those goodies for more than a day or two.  They lasted 12 days!  And as I mentioned yesterday, each day I ate a reasonable amount and not anything related to a binge.  Still, the carb muck has caused me illness once again.  I hate how this feels.

I have to be careful though before thinking I ought to pat myself on the back for keeping reason present, because this is the slippery slope of an eating disorder.  It is false illusions of grandeur.  I was heading straight to the hell pit, it was only a matter of time.  For those of us with disorder thinking about food, it is no different than an alcoholic having a bottle of wine and thinking they are in control because they used to drink 4 in one sitting.  I was not having 2 biscuits with tea, I was having 6 and that deludes me into thinking I am eating normally.

It’s a self depreciating joke, thinking we are cured of the desire for excess just because we exercised a modicum of control in one particular moment.  Those moments do shift and change in circumstances.  The next moment may open the gapping hole wider and another bottle is reached for and we drown ourselves trying to fill the hole that cannot be filled.  Whether food or booze or drugs, we will never have more than a modicum of control and it cannot last forever.  Addiction doesn’t happen to just vanish over night no matter how badly we want it to.  It is always present within.  Always there waiting for another chance to bring us back to the hell hole of excess.  The only thing we can control 100% is not taking the first bite, sip or hit of the substance that takes us down that path.

But changes are happening.  I am routinely experiencing a delay between the urge and the consumption which helps me chose to stop before consuming.  There is a longer process to the point of an actual binge.  The pleasure factor is no longer present, not even slightly.  That lure is broken.  I certainly cannot consume what I use to be able to (thank you porringer for that!).  That is definitely a life saver for me right now.  I get sick sooner and on smaller amounts.  But I also know that it is a matter of time before I slip back into the ability to consume larger and more frequent quantities.  I am quicker to respond to the need to return to feeling better than ever before, but I understand that I will never be cured. 

I am also returning to managed eating without dieting even those I still fight the intense urge to fix my problem with a weight loss diet.  I caught myself considering whether to use my diet software again when I was checking my overall balance of food intake yesterday.  I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that once I know the general intake amounts, I have an idea of where I am at with nutrients and I can then proceed from there.  I do not need to monitor every bite, weigh every morsel because I eat the same foods and the same amounts every day.  Changing up the meat or the veggies will not matter.  Too much reliance on numbers makes for disordered thinking about food.  Been there millions of times, I know where it leads.

I expect this recovery period to take about 2 weeks, or basically to the end of the year.  While this is about the most difficult time of year to manage eating, I think with a few wise selections I can be perfectly happy with the season’s offerings and not set up my other nemesis, deprivation.  We have no parties to attend to, we have no family dinners to deal with, we are just home alone and I can provide good healthy meals and we can limit the treats to the Irish whisky’s and I plan on making marzipan pigs for the rice porridge gifts (our Danish tradition).  In the meantime, it is back to managed eating.

Recovery is Awful

Not a good day.  Mood has plummeted down, my breathing is difficult and the headache is building momentum.  Irregularity is making it’s contribution and when that happens, nausea sets in too.

 

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I have some new connections that have occurred to me lately.  It’s so easy to blame the binge as the culprit in how poorly I feel afterwards, but it is Saturday and the last binge was on Tuesday and I am feeling the sickest today of all the intervening days.  Why?  Shouldn’t each day be an improvement?  Not with my digestive tract!  I have been purposely increasing the fats in order to knock down cravings and return to a very low carb diet.  I think this may be also irritating my gall bladder and causing this nausea and ill feeling.  Just a thought.  The breathing problem is left over from the cold.

The point for me is to connect just how bad this can get when I leave the working method and the low carb foods I eat for even one meal and the resulting disaster even one small binge can create.  The illness doesn’t last just one day but haunts me far longer than it did when I was younger.  Right now, it is easy to swear off ever doing it again, but addiction has it’s own voice and cares nothing for the end results.  It’s up to me to remember how this feels the next time I am tempted to leave the safety of the porringer.

 

Yesterday, I ate too much food.  Or, my illness is making me feel as though I did.  This is why I often take photos and write it down, I have a hard time with comprehending how much is too much in the moment before eating.

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- kebab meat, cheddar cheese with butter and bleu cheese, pot of tea
Porringer 3- 150g liver pate with butter mashed in, pot of tea
Porringer 4- plain full fat yogurt (less than half the bowl)

( the above all eaten before noon)
Porringer 5- cabbage and 3 cumberlands, 1 glass of wine
after dinner coffee, 2 coffees with 4 chocolates

 

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Cheddar with butter, bleu cheese

 

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I added kebab meat on top of the above image.

 

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Liver pate with butter before mixing it in better.

 

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The chocolates.  I really like these, especially the ones with cognac. 

Very rich in taste and do not cause me to want more.

 

I am not sure why I ate so much, there was an anxiety or sorts, but I wasn’t feeling well and eating didn’t help.  Number 1, 3 and 5 would have been the normal selection the rest was excess, low carb or not.  The chocolates were a treat and I do enjoy them, but felt 2 would have been enough, but husband encouraged more and I did not say no as I should have.  He’s been on an eating kick lately and I am not sure what his anxiety is.  Work is going fine from what he tells me.  It could stem a bit from feeling resentment of having to work when I am home, especially coming right from having a 9 day break.  Honestly, he doesn’t have enough to do when not working, no hobbies, no interests that get him involved.  He sits at the computer reading politics and watches quick videos and takes an afternoon nap.  He managed only one full film while home and didn’t get any book reading done, as he so wanted to.  He ate more treats during his stay home and it extended into the return to work week too.  I think it may just be the party mode, the lets have fun desire that eating can provide. 

 

He had a craving for a soda late last night and as it sounded wonderful to me too, he went to the shops to get some, but they were closed and he stopped instead at the fish and chips shop and came home with the soda and chips.  He hasn’t done that since the trucking days, to eat another hot meal so late at night.  I was surprised and it made me think about my own addiction and how there is no difference between us when it comes to the food crazies, the only two are:  that he does not gain weight as fast as I do, and his are at night, while my impulses are in the morning.

 

Watching him, watching the documentaries on compulsive eating and disordered eating make me really turn these connections of my own behaviours over in my mind.  Sometimes I think I should be seeking help and support, but then I remember something that struck me many years ago.  I knew about AA and those disease and spiritual based recovery programs, but when I first learned of the secular methods, I read something that always stayed with me.  It was a fabulous book I found in a thrift shop and I cannot say it often enough, I do not remember the title and I no longer have the book and wished I did.  The author wrote that millions of alcoholics quit on their own and do so for the rest of their life with no fan fare, no sobriety pins, nothing but the inner determination to stop the drinking.  On their own, they figured out what worked and what didn’t.  They made their own guidelines to navigate the pitfalls.   They don’t attend meetings, they don’t seek help.  We do not hear much about all the ones that just stop and carry on because they are not in and out of rehab, they are not talking about it or writing about it.  They just do it.  We are sometimes made to believe we are powerless over our addictions but
I don’t want to believe that.  I want to believe that practicing a gentle way of eating by using the porringer will eventually take me further away from bingeing and disordered eating.  It’s a tool, I realise that, but one that gives me a sense of nurturing and not one of restriction.

 

So as much as I am watching the videos on addiction and rehab, I am also noticing a trend that the shows seem to think there must be a dramatic epiphany for the person to change their eating habits.  Shock is the most popular method, either by having the obese person see how much they eat by putting a weeks worth in front of them, or making the anorexic draw their imagined body shape on a piece of paper and then outlining them.  The UK shows love to make people wear nothing more than their underwear to fully expose their body shapes on the telly.  I am all for tools and methods to work through, but the one thing I keep wondering is, that the very nature of an eating disorder is avoidance, so shock only has a minimal impact.  That initial shock is what addicts quickly repress and avoid.  It’s not an epiphany that bolsters change unless one is willing to work it through all the upcoming difficulties that life brings.  It’s really about how to manage every day that is the true tool needed, not the OMG I eat that much shock wave.

 

Husband will have to work through his own deal, I continue to make the healthiest meals I can with our limited budget.  Today it was so nice to find a bag at the local green grocer filled with a large onion, 2 mega large carrots, a half a swede, 2 leeks and a bunch of parsley for £1.50.  Enough to make a lovely lentil soup for husband and enough leftover for another meal.  Today, I plan on knocking my meals down to three and see if I can get my nausea to leave.

Carb Muck

I really need to write, but I am feeling sort of wordless.

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Between feeling sick and feeling better, I am smudging through mucky carbs which is only making me stay stuck in the awfulness of it all. I am in a precarious mood, mostly because dear husband is home for 9 days and that just has it’s own life that sometimes wears me a bit thin.  More awareness, more thoughts, more needs, more of just about everything converge into a creeping exhaustion.

 

The carbs.  Well, I bought a bag of potato crisps, a package of shortbread biscuits and a small package of oatmeal-fruit cookies on Friday.  It wasn’t planned, it sort of sprang into existence just thinking about a homebound husband.  I think there were about 6-8 cookies (normal, not large) of the oatmeal things, chewy, not one flavour detected to pull the cookie into an interesting mouthful.  Shouldn’t there have been at least some cinnamon?  I notice when I eat stuff like this, I continue to eat it, expecting it will taste better at some point, but of course, it doesn’t.  I think that is really strange behaviour on my part.  The shortbread was better but only because it is suppose to be plain and I expected the blandness and appreciated it for the nice crumbly texture.  I got wild and added butter and cheddar slices to it, but that really wasn’t the taste combination I wanted.  I would have preferred crusty bread.  I ate about 1/3 of the package and shoved it aside.  The crisps, well, they were overly hard and condensed rings of extruded potato mash and had the predictable plain potato and salt flavour.  I ate perhaps 1/3 of the bag as well.  That was Friday, and I suffered horrible gastric distress by bedtime, being sicker than I should have, complete with a writhing gut, heartburn and nausea.  I had had a normal low carb breakfast and dinner in my porringer. 

 

Saturday I was still sick, so I skipped breakfast and could have skipped lunch, but having discovered that husband found my hidden stash of junk food, my determination to finish it off while he was gone to get a haircut was irrationally overpowering.  Getting rid of the evidence already discovered made no sense, but like the little rat sneak thief that I am, I devoured it until I felt sick again, although  not as acutely.  Thinking (as binge eaters do in their warped rationales) I figured I was now safe (no junk food within reach) and could get back to my porringer and my redemption would involve worshipping the LCHF shrine with a guilty vengeance. 

 

That was fine, until Sunday evening when I mistakenly mentioned how I wished I could have a lovely brandy with after dinner coffee and husband magically appeared with his own hidden stash of Baily’s filled chocolates that he was saving for Christmas.  Damn it.  I had 4 -5 of those with my coffee and what the hell, ate the last 4 shortbread biscuits that were missed on Saturday.  Saying no did not enter my mind.  It did later, but that always happens after the fact, when I am powerless to do anything about it.  (yeah, I know).

 

I hate writing out these mundane confessions just as much as it pains anyone to read them without yawning.  I read other people’s rants and confessions on their blogs and I shake my head and ask them mentally why the hell don’t they get their act together?  I should be asking myself that question.  Instead, I rant and throw my hands up at my own behaviours and as we all have in common, we desperately hope some thing will happen to awaken us from the nightmare of it all.  We all know there is an easy fix, but we all feel it’s hopelessly complicated.

 

I have gained weight and I can not only see it, but feel it in the most unpleasant ways.  How does a person lose 88 pounds and gain it all back?  By doing what I am doing.  All these little mini binges are thought of as being a one off and will soon stop, but the reality is, they build up a pattern of behaviour that continues on and the weight all comes back on.  I know I hit 19 stone last week, that is a 37 pound gain!  

 

all-you-can-eat

 

Yet here is where I need to stop the rising panic and grit my teeth.  I can stop this progression and to do that means accepting discipline as a pattern of behaviour until I am firmly back into ketosis and that sorts itself all out.  My BG is 101, 6 hours after a egg and rasher breakfast, that’s not good either, when completely low carb and I am down in the 70-80 range. Today will already be a challenge as I have an unpleasant task to do and I am dreading it.  I would much rather drink whisky, pull the duvet over my head or eat fish and chips, any of those ideas are far more appealing right now.  Sigh.

 

Friday:
Breakfast: 2 rashers, 2 eggs, 2 coffee with double cream (porringer)
Tea: pot of tea, shortbread, cheese, butter, oatmeal-fruit cookies, potato crisps
Lunch: none
Dinner: chicken breast, cauliflower, butter (porringer)
After dinner coffee: 2 cups of coffee with double cream

 

Saturday:
Breakfast: 2 rashers, 2 eggs, 2 coffee with double cream (porringer)
Tea: pot of tea, shortbread, potato crisps
Lunch: 2 ryvita, butter and cheese
Dinner: minced beef, 2T sauce, roasted carrot, butter, onion
After dinner coffee: 2 cups of coffee with double cream

 

Sunday:
Breakfast: 2 rashers, 2 eggs, 2 coffee with double cream
Tea: pot of tea
Lunch: none
Dinner: pork steak, cauliflower, butter, 1T sauce, onion, carrot (porringer)
After dinner coffee: 2 cups of coffee with double cream, chocolates, shortbread

 

Monday: (EFFORT TO GET IT RIGHT)  All in the porringer
Breakfast: 1 rashers, 2 eggs, 2 coffee with double cream
Tea: pot of tea
Lunch: 1 pot liver pate, mayonnaise
Dinner: 2 cumberlands, savoy cabbage
After dinner coffee: 2 cups of coffee with double cream