First Day Done

The first day on low carb was not at all difficult to get through.  I had to go to the shops for a few items, and although ED tried to nudge me a few times, I was just not really under his spell.  I needed to buy the wine we drink at dinner, and I did longingly look at the cognac, brandy, dark rum and whisky, remembering favoured drinks.  If the price wasn’t so high I would have probably bought a bottle.  I know we are getting whisky closer to Christmas, so I reminded myself to just relax and get myself back to where I feel better and don’t let the cravings develop.  So I bought only what was on the list and I was fine. 

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porringer 2

Thursday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- remainder of Wed night’s dinner that I could not finish: minced beef and cauliflower, pot of tea
Porringer 3- 250g plain full fat yogurt, raw peanuts, pot of tea
Porringer 4- chicken breast, ham, swede, carrots in a carbonara sauce with a dash of cheese, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream

Dinner was fabulous, we both loved it.  Something about the mixtures of flavours.  I will make that one again.  I tried working on the holiday menus but I am sort of at a loss about whether or not to have desserts.  I think it would be fun to make one, but we have no flours, sugars or baking items in the cupboard and if I start investing in the items, it would mean leftovers which only perpetuate baking.  I had seen cakes in the bakery windows in small individual portions, I think that may be an option.  Homemade is always better, but I seem to be moving away from this more often than not.  We both are sensitive to the extreme carb intake of desserts.  So that is still in the process of being sorted.  I have decided to make a roast beef for Christmas, one marinated in Guinness and garlic, roasted root veggies and stuffed mushrooms.  For New Years, a lamb roast for husband and cod for me with creamed spinach.  I do limit the amount of time I give to these thoughts, as I know the dangers of getting too food involved.  A simple menu is best and let the holiday take on other meanings besides eating. 

I feel okay, although yesterday I did have tightening in the chest and difficulty breathing for awhile.  That came from being out in the cold.  It took me a long time to warm up after being outside.  My mood is also fine, not down in a depressive state.  I am not having any resentments about eating, not thinking restrictions or dieting or bingeing thoughts.  I good day I suppose. lol.

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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.

fall-photography-01 

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.

The Incredible Heaviness of Being

Not having much to say these days.  Not bingeing, but eating a handful of biscuits every morning with my midmorning pot of tea.  Today I also had eggrolls this afternoon and became sick from them. Since when do eggroll have corn in them? Terrible stuff. I tried to eat a few bites of dinner and pushed it aside.  Just not happening.

Longing to be back in ketosis and will be working on that pronto. 

I took a couple of walks this week and was upset at how I could hardly breathe in the bitter cold and how it aggravated nearly every muscle in my body when trying to walk on the icy ground.  I went to feed the birds this morning and I hurt by the time I got home and was wheezing.  It was cold!  I had to wear my rabbit fur earmuffs.  Yeah, that cold.

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I still need to work on our holiday meal plans, maybe I can get that done tomorrow.  Husband said he wants it simple and wholesome, so it will probably be a roast beef for Christmas and lamb for New Years.  We’ll see.  We have set aside a few bottles of really excellent wine and we need a bottle of good whisky so we can have Irish coffee’s with cream in the evening closer to the holidays.  If I can keep it here in this vein, I can keep it low carb.

I am back to feeling like a lead weight and tired all the time.  Once wheat and sugar get back in my system, I feel the incredible heaviness over take me.  My mood plummets and depression is knocking at the door.

I swore I would not do it, but jumped into my nutritional program to check on where I would be at with everything if I ate basically the same thing every day.  Since we always eat the same thing for breakfast, I could also eat the same thing for lunch and let dinner be some sort of half meat and half veggie.  This is still eating from the porringer, but I did measure and weigh the coffee and cream, and the wine to get the most accurate calorie counts.  I used the carrot as the veggie counts, as that is the highest carb count in veggies that I eat.  So I think for most days, I would be just under 1200 calories with a ketogenic 5% carbs, moderate 15% protein and high 70% fat intake.  This is considered the optimal levels for a ketogenic diet for weight loss.  The calories are the least important number, but I feel better when I stay under 1600 calories.

So the only change I would make from what I doing, is the consistent yogurt lunch.  In a way, this might help me from giving food too much thought during the day and the pro-biotics would be a tremendous help.  I found one that has live cultures in a local shop.  Tastes good too.

Perfect Diet Tracker - elisa is currently logged in_2012-12-11_06-07-05

So this is my plan starting tomorrow.  See if I can get back to feeling good again.  I am once again in the recovery period.  Drat it all to hell. Grains and sugar be damned.

Life in the Theatre

popcorn

Trigger Pops.

A trigger is like a pan full of popcorn kernels.  Once the pan is hot enough, the first kernel pops, then another and another until there is an explosion of popcorn.  One trigger begets another trigger.  It can get overwhelming.  I need to recognise it is part of the addiction, it is the first thing one gets before the play starts.

First pop: husband’s comments about wishing he didn’t have to go to work, he just wants to be retired. (I feel guilty not working, but my residency is not granted yet).

Second pop: I get on the scale wanting to see a loss. (I feel I am owed a drop in weight for being 13 days faithful to my porringer plan).

Pop 3-100:  Anything and everything that annoys, irritates, depresses me.  They come fast now, pop, pop, pop.

Yesterday I felt the popping of emotions that precedes a binge.  I was fine one moment, the next (the moment I stepped on the scale) I was plunged into the predictable darkness that a no-loss creates.  I was 17 stone 10 pounds when I arrived in Scotland, I am now 19 stone.  Panic sets, in and  ED perked right up, took his directors chair and started what he does best….direct the the play called THE BINGE.

DIRECTOR

Come on in, ED, take a seat and tell me how unworthy I am, how I should binge to enforce being obese as my statement against the world’s cruel requirement to be thin and beautiful.  Soothe me with visions of cream puffs and whisky.  Remind me of the heavenly tastes, the feelings of pure ecstasy that I will feel by eating or drinking.  Tell me that my need is easily fixed with self indulgence, that a little bit won’t hurt, that I can always offset the damage with a new even stricter diet the next day, maybe even a fast!  Yes, there is always something to wipe it all away, but for now…..just for now….cream puffs and whisky will make the world go away for a little while.  TELL ME WHAT TO DO…take over, I’ll take your lead.

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- duck pate, cheddar cheese with butter
Porringer 3- 5 jack maloney sausages
Porringer 4- 3 cumberland sausages, cabbage, carrot
Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 glass of wine
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

All that ED voice garbage all because I let a few triggers pop and then it became overwhelming.  Old issues were revisited, painful regrets tried back on, haunting images of an ugly pig was seen in the mirror, and I stayed once again in the flat because I knew if I went outside, it would be a shop filled with teacakes that I would mysteriously find myself trapped in.

over-acting

Drama.  That is all it is.  ED has become the director of my life and I am playing a cheesy unconvincing part on a stage.  I know all the lines by heart, I have acted this out so many times.  Still, it is a bad play and no one cares to see it.  ED continues to coach me like an understudy, but I don’t even need him anymore, he’s just been around so long, I am use to his company.  All it takes is the popcorn to start popping, the lights go down, the curtain rises, and I go and do what I do, over act.

Only, I am not doing it.  Day 14, and I have watched the triggers pop, I have heard ED go over the lines, I watched the lights dim, but I did not take centre stage.  It took a porringer filled with sausages to stop myself from bingeing, but my blood sugar stayed in the normal range and my weight has not changed since the last time I weighed earlier in the month.   Maybe it is time to give up the drama.  I wonder what would happen if I threw the script at ED and walked off stage?

Martini Please

martini-main_Full

Yesterday certainly was a mixed bag of emotions.  Nothing too extreme, but enough to cause me a bit of anxiety.  The curtains for the bedroom came and I busied myself with that, a trial run at hanging them yesterday to check the length.  I will have to hem and iron them today, but I am very pleased with them, they will block the cold coming from the windows this winter.  Still, the aftertaste of the store clerk incident, the pressure of being in the shops and preventing a binge, the irritation that this is still a huge deal and not subsiding all left me exhausted and wishing to have a couple of martini’s (or 4).

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- duck pate, cucumber, cheddar cheese, bleu cheese
Porringer 3- plain yogurt
Porringer 4- minced beef, cauliflower, butter

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Porringer 3 was my lunch.  I don’t always fill the porringer to the top.

Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 glass of wine
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

I struggled yesterday about the yogurt serving.  It had nothing to do with hunger, even though my stomach complaining.  Anxiety in my stomach feels like a big gapping exposed pit that yearns to be filled.  Not only filled, but needing an overfill and might as well pack it tightly to prevent it from being ever exposed again!  I stood there, in the kitchen, feeling the urge grow and the sensations in the stomach and personified it as a yearning pit.  I was amazed that the stomach was experiencing an emotion!  I felt I had to eat the yogurt or I was going to run screaming to the shops for teacakes.  The yogurt did help soothe it, perhaps the coating action or something of the sort.  But the ED (eating disordered) voice was ever present, and I caught myself looking at the clock throughout the afternoon, wondering if I had enough time to gorge on something (anything) before dinner and not feel sick.  I did not act on it, but ED was there, alive and striving to find a weak spot in my determination.

This is my 10th day away from the last binge.  ED is trying to find the weak spots in my vulnerability by attempting to convince me that there is never an end to this recovery period, that he will prevail in the end and that it is only a matter of time before I accept being obese as my fate and bingeing as my way of eating.  ED has the smug luxury of waiting, as I struggle to keep a distance from him and panic over my continuous weight gain. 

ED knows I feel vulnerable and uncomfortably exposed.  ED knows how to push me into the teacake aisle at the shops, or whisper sweet names of delicacies in my ear when I least expect it.  ED is stronger than I am and resides permanently inside me.  I cannot slay this dragon, but I can keep him asleep.  It takes a long time to get ED asleep, but I continue to hush the loud noises about binges, I continue to monitor how I feel and react and right now, I know the most important tool I have is the porringer.  The porringer confounds ED.  It doesn’t have any experience with it and that amuses me.

 
Lately my desire to have ED asleep is just keeping him wide awake.  I am going about this with the wrong mind-set.  Today, I will relax, stay with what I want to do and stop thinking about him.  Thinking about him keep me anxious.

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I have been mostly posting photo’s of my lunches because that is when I am alone and think of doing it.  This is breakfast I make every morning before husband goes to work.  His plate is in the back, warming from the pan in front of it.  In the large cast iron skillet I have already cooked 4 rashers and 1 lorne, when it’s done, I place the lorne with 2 rashers on top of the sliced potatoes I made for husband.  I cut the other two rashers up and place them in my porringer behind the large skillet to keep warm.  I then cook 2 eggs each, we like them soft cooked.  I suppose most people balk at the thought of a hot breakfast every morning, claiming they don’t have time, but this takes all of 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to sit down and enjoy, so worth it to us.  Now that I think of it, this meal doesn’t fill the porringer either.  The only one really full is the dinner one and that is mostly because foods like cauliflower take up so much room.

At least I feel better on eggs and rashers than how I use to feel when eating…..

Battles Won Without Victory

The illnesses seem to have faded enough for me to say today may be an okay kind of day.  As it is only 5am, it’s not a given quite yet.  No nausea, no pains, no digestion problems detected.

 

Yesterday was insane with the urge to binge.  I was fine the early part of the morning, writing in my journal, feeling confident.  I cannot say there was a specific trigger, nothing in particular happened to upset the balance.  But out of the blue, I had a strong compulsion to eat.  There was a feeling of anxiety in my stomach, not real hunger.  It felt as though I had to calm the anxiety, feed the beast.

 

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 2 small pieces of cheese with butter, a salad of lettuce with homemade bleu cheese dressing
Porringer 3- kebab meat with fresh cucumber and onion slices, curry dressing
Porringer 4- plain yogurt (double the amount I usually eat, the porringer was completely filled)
Porringer 5- pork steak, cauliflower with butter, 1 glass of wine
2 coffee with double cream

3 pots of tea during the day

 

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I thought number 2 was going to calm everything down.  It didn’t.  Then the insanity of needing more and fast, had me heating up the kebab right after the number 2, which made me feel more out of control.  It occurred to me I was in the middle of a binge even though the ED voice was trying to reassure me that it better to binge on real food than on grains and sugar.  The impulses were so strong about now that I began the contemplation of giving in, going to the shops to get the junk I usually binge on.  It was a pretty hefty fight going on for hours within me.  I needed to buy cream for our coffee, but so strong was the urge to binge, that I just stayed inside the flat and had husband pick some up on the way home from work.  This made me feel housebound, but safe.  This is not good.

 

When I stray, even slightly from my eating plan, it all unravels faster than I can control it.  I was able to prevent the carb binge, but I did not prevent the low carb binge.  I paused yesterday, recognising that a binge is a binge is a binge, the urge is the same.  It does not matter what the food is.  I need to remember NOT to think I am somehow protected by the aura of safe foods vs. unsafe foods.  No such thing when it comes to bingeing.  It’s the act that is the problem.

 

At what point does the eating plan disintegrate?  For me, it is when I eat in excess of the 3 meals a day plan.  This decision to appease an urge to eat when not hungry and NOT meal time is opening the door to the realm of bingeing.

 

 I never could control snacks like I can control a meal. 

 

It use to be the first 3 days that were so hard when coming off a binge, but it is now extending much longer.  Although I am now 8 days away from the last carb binge, it was a really rough go yesterday.  Another thing, is that for many years I really believed the hype about not having to worry about how much is eaten when eating low carb foods.  It is said in nearly all low carb writings that low carb is self regulating when it comes to eating.   I have to be careful not to let ED use this against me like it did yesterday.  My body really doesn’t know the score yet, and it is probably urging me to eat what it is use to getting along about now….the weekly carb binge. 

 

I did make some choices yesterday that helped me stay at least within the possibility of control even though it felt everything but.  I ate all of the food from the porringer.  Although I rarely confess, I told my husband of my wild urge to splurge on biscuits (I don’t use the word binge with him) and how I had to eat a lot of yogurt to offset it.  He understands, he goes through a similar urge it in the evenings.  While cooking dinner, I felt a camaraderie that we shared a weakness that we both seemed to overcome for the day.  At least it didn’t appear that he brought anything home for his own splurge, he must have set it aside from my mention of my own struggle.  But after dinner, after we settled down and his own struggle began, he went and pulled out a bag of candy and munched away.  I usually try to push these candy eating episodes he has out of my mind while they are happening, but last night I thought about how this takes hold of so many people and that I am certainly not alone with it.  And even with all I know and understand about the differences in people’s metabolism, I still feel envy over his ability to eat large meals AND candy and not gain weight.  I also admit I was envious that he felt no guilt eating in front of me when he knows how I struggle.   I admit that I wish not to have these petty feelings, it should not matter to me what others eat or why.  I make it an issue in my own head and create another negative thought I have to deal with.

 

004 Husband’s plate and my porringer.  I sat and looked at this yesterday morning while husband got dressed for work.  I usually sit and finish my coffee and give a thought about what to do with the day.  I kept looking at our plates, feeling resentment that he can eat as much as he does, but that wasn’t really the truth.  That is a relationship thing, not a food thing.  I really don’t want to eat more food.  He loves food and really enjoys it, I do not.  I often wish I didn’t have to eat at all.  Why I have such a strong compulsion to eat is that it is a surely a substitute for what I really want.  I tell my husband, if it came right down to it, it would be booze I would rather have than food, but I can’t stand getting drunk or the hangovers.  I stop there and don’t tell him that even the booze is a substitute for the desire for morphine, which is a substitute for feeling dreamy and floating.   

 

The envy I feel about my husband is in watching him grab what he wants and enjoying it without guilt.  Somewhere along the line, I developed disordered thinking about my needs and wants and it was easier to let weight and food be the culprit when it was not.  I believe women are taught to be obsessive about their bodies and their eating at a very early age.  It was much easier for me to blame my insecurities on being overweight and much easier to overeat than take drugs or drink to drown it out all the noise about it.  I have known this for a long time, but I still do not know what to do with it.  It’s still the major issue I deal with every day, unable to stop the whole thing, only able t
o manage it, keep it subdued as best as I can.

 

I made it through a tough battle yesterday, but I do not feel I have won.  My ED tells me that it is only a matter of time.

Separated

Not sure if yesterday was tricky because of feeling sick, but I did catch myself last night being determined to buy white crusty rolls today and eat them with lots of thick butter.  I laid in bed fantasizing about them.  I imagined them all crusty and tender inside, the taste of the butter and cheese.  I remember thinking that the last few times I binged, I made a note that the rolls were the best tasting of the binge and wondered why I just didn’t stick with that.  So in my fantasy, I was willing to just have the rolls.  Soon, ED started to slide in the idea of the caramel squares I also like.  I stopped and asked myself why was I doing that?  Here we go again!

 

 

It is as prompt as the evening news.  One week of eating well and the sly ED is ready to woo me right back into a binge.  When I think about it, it is really quite amazing how I can go from horrid regrets of making myself sick with too much food and then wanting it again the moment I feel better.  There is a disconnect that I just don’t understand.  It’s not logical to want to put myself through it again and again.  I forced myself to place my hands on my abdomen to feel how massive it is.  It is massive because I keep bingeing once or twice a week.  Why do I not connect how my body looks to how and what I eat?  Since I am not getting on the scale, I cannot connect the number with my eating.  It suddenly occurred to me that in the past I was always connecting numbers to numbers.  The number of calories or carbs to the number on the weigh scale.  One set tried to change the other by re-arranging and constantly adjusting the numbers.  Suddenly that sounds insane to me.   It’s disconnected, too far away from the body and the mind, the very parts of me that are affected. 

 

I am also disconnecting my eating experience from myself.  I eat too fast.  I eat apologetically, as though I have no right to eat anything, being this obese.  I eat defensively, hoping no one (especially myself) will think me a glutton.  What is this all about?  I slowed down last night when I noticed it.  I realised how nice the roasted carrot tasted and the leftover mince from the night before. The tikka masala paste had blossomed.  My body instantly seemed to relax when I slowed down my eating.  There is definitely a mind-body connection when I take a moment to notice it.

 

Did I spend 30+ years keeping my body and mind separate by disassociation?  It’s always been on my mind, that when I finally get the weight off, I can like my body again.  Until that time comes, it is something to loath and despise for being so ugly.  It’s a temporary state of being.  So temporary, it’s lasted over 30 years in various states if thinness and obesity.  My body is ever changing.  All this time I have tried to control it with formulas and numbers.  What kind of craziness is that?

So, today, instead of filling my head with visions of eating rolls with butter, I will fill my head with a re-introduction of my body to my mind.  My mind and body have been living together like a divorced couple!  They use to live in harmony and now they barely acknowledge each other. 

 

Separated

 

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- half filled with plain yogurt
Porringer 3- 2 cumberlands, fresh tomato slices, cheese and double cream
Porringer 4- small amount of left over minced beef tikka masala mixture, roasted carrot with butter, 2 cumberlands, 1 glass of wine
2 coffee with double cream