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Posts Tagged ‘overwhelmed’

Since lockdown began, I have lost and gained the same seven pounds. Well, I cannot be absolutely certain that it is the SAME seven pounds. Let’s just say they’re not far away from my body at any given time. I am walking every day. I am stretching, eating mostly good food, and spending time outside most every day.

I have tried changing what/when/how I eat. No difference.

I’ve tried intermittent fasting. No difference.

I have tried two different “eating plans”. No difference.

If I read or hear one more time that I need more “willpower” someone will get hurt.

The reality of the situation is this: I am an addict. I have very poor impulse control. I cannot eat one cookie or one potato chip. I eat them all. Maybe not in one setting, but most often. So I try not to keep junk food at home. The cravings get awful.

I have made the conscious decision not to drink alcohol. I used to love drinking alcohol. Like, REALLY enjoy drinking. And, like junk food, if I opened a bottle of wine I would drink all of it. Sometimes I’d open a second bottle. I’d buy a growler of beer. Then I’d drink most, if not all of it in short order. Then I decided I didn’t need to do this to myself…so I stopped.

When I was recovering from surgery at the beginning of the year, I was offered a glass of wine. I agreed. It tasted awful and it wasn’t the wine, it was me. I went out for dinner and ordered a beer. And again, it tasted awful. Ick. So I made the decision to stop drinking, aside from communion.

I’ve not craved alcohol since. Yay!

Before lockdown, I had significantly lessened the amount of sugar/stevia/aspartame that I consumed. I would have a small treat every now and then. I was on the way to kicking the sugar habit. And was really proud of myself.

Then lockdown happened. My grocery bills started increasing because I was determined to eat healthy foods; fresh foods. No processed food. No junk. Excellent plan, not fully realised.

The problem with being a food addict is that you cannot abstain from food. You will never hear at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting: “Hello, my name is Andrea and I’m an addict. It’s been 45 days since my last bite of food.” Food is a very social part of who we are and what we do. If we don’t eat, we die. It will take a long, harrowing time, but we will die.

Eating is a central part to the sacrament of the Eucharist. We gather to share together in the body and blood of Christ. Not literally the body and blood, but a small, round wafer and a sip of red wine. Or a cube of gluten-free bread and a Jesus-jigger of grape juice.

I say often, of the Church, that we gather at the table; either the Lord’s table or the kitchen table. Except right now we can’t. We are unable to gather in our buildings and share these expressions of sacrament and commitment, because it simply isn’t safe to do so.

In the grand scheme of things, being addicted to food isn’t the worst thing, right? Wrong. You can eat yourself to death. You can damage your body, mind and soul from eating the “wrong kinds” of food and abusing food. Many people laugh when I tell them I’m a food addict. Because it does sound funny. How can you be addicted to something that is meant to fuel your body? Impulse control…or lack thereof.

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and we were chatting about how I’m struggling with the food addiction. Food carries a tremendous amount of shame for me. I have difficulty eating in front of other people. When I go out to eat, which I haven’t done in a long time, I carefully manage how much I eat.

I am capable of eating mindfully, and when I do, I feel great. Yet when I am under stress I “fog eat” when I sit down to eat something and before I know it the bowl is empty, the container is empty and I have no recollection of refilling the bowl or emptying the container.

Almost immediately I feel profound shame for my lack of control. Why am I so weak and powerless to food? When I keep junk out of my house I’ll be fine for a few days to a week, and then I’ll start craving and it will be horrendous. I can’t function until I tend to the craving. I try all the tricks; drinking water, counting to 10, breathing deeply, having something as a substitute. But none of these tricks work, especially when I’m craving mashed potatoes or cheezies or chocolate cake.

Mashed potatoes are comfort food to me. I make really good mashed potatoes. And I can portion control them, most of the time. But when it comes to potato chips and sweets, I will crave and eat them until they are gone. I’ll make a list and stick to it at the grocery store. I’ll be really disciplined, I’ll be really “good” and then I find myself waiting in line…and the craving begins…just a small bag of chips. You’ve been good. Oh go on, get the big bag, you’ll have a serving and put them away. You can do it.

Except I can’t.

No matter how well I justify “earning” the treat, I cannot stop until they are gone. Not all at once, but within a 24 hour period I will continue to go back to that treat until they are all gone. More shame and self-disgust.

My friend told me, in the grand scheme of things, that overeating, at this point in time, is not necessarily a terrible thing. Yes, it’s self-soothing. Yes, it’s not ideal. But we are living in a time of heightened stress. We are living in a time which is unprecedented for most of us.

I’ve decided to keep a food journal. Not to judge myself, not to punish myself, but to see if I can find a pattern to the cravings and overeating.

So, to that seven pounds that I keep losing and gaining, I say this: “it’s been a slice. How about you go away and stay away? I have no further need of you.”

If only it were that easy…

Wish me luck. Imma need it.

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Those eight boxes arrived late last week and have been sitting in the front room…untouched.  I’ve been reflecting on moving day and it was absolute and utter chaos.  I intended to finish packing, but ran out of steam.  It was more important for me to spend time with my Beloved and engage in conversation with him before departing.

I intended to get up early and finish packing, but I couldn’t rouse myself early enough.  I completely forgot about packing my clothes (duh) and when my traveling companion arrived at 9:00 she pointed out that it wasn’t all going to fit in my car.  Panic.  Don’t forget to breathe.  We are not going to be away on time.  I’m throwing us behind schedule…ARGH!

I had a deep breath, she took my car to go get breakfast while I packed my clothing and when she returned we ate breakfast, and I pulled the boxes out that I would ship…8 in all.  A lot of stuff got left behind because there wasn’t time to pack and ship and there wasn’t room to bring it.  I spent a week trying to remember what I was shipping in those last 8 boxes.  I remembered two.  The other six were a mystery.

Today was family day in BC.  I woke up late, did a load of laundry and kept looking at the trunk in the living room.  It contains icons, pictures and art that I wanted to bring with me.  So tonight I unpacked it and put some of the art on shelves.  The icons are waiting to go in my office.  A few other things are on the dining room table.

I was looking for my mortar and pestle as I’ll need them on Wednesday when I burn the palm crosses from last year to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.  I checked the boxes…it didn’t make the cut.  So tomorrow I will try and find one in this town.  And if not, I got to Plan B.  For the record, I have no idea what Plan B is.  And that’s okay.

I have five boxes waiting to be unpacked.  And I will unpack them…but not today.  I think I’ll unpack the oil lamps and accouterments that go with them next.  Then the box of pottery and other breakables that survived being shipped by mail.  Then there’s the miscellaneous box of stuff.  And the hastily packed “I have to bring this stuff” box.  It contains mostly cards, gifts and things from the community and the congregation.  Fun, to be sure.

This week is a very busy week, with Aretha receiving brake work so she’ll pass inspection and I can get her registered in BC.  Next is Shrove Tuesday supper at the United Church where I’ll make my first “public appearance” in the community.  Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, then Music Selection Thursday night and my Day Off on Friday.  In the midst of all this I need to arrange a meeting with a parishioner, work on my homily and write a Bible Study for Lent.  Piece of cake!

I don’t like chaos and clutter, so for now it’s being maintained on the dining room table and in the front room.  And if I don’t get to it until next week, that’s okay too.

As the saying goes…one day at a time.

 

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