Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is what I've had the most trouble with....

... in my struggle to not use food for anything other than fuel for my body. I tend to feel a binge coming on and say to myself, "Ok," instead of having a conversation about the possible consequences of going through with the binge. Sometimes I don't even think enough to get to the "Ok" part. I just do. And that leads to a pattern of hours and sometimes days - at the worst times, months - of out-of-control eating with no regard for what it does to my body.

I came upon what you see below in my new book, and it was like the heavens opened up and put a cheat-sheet in my pocket. Actually I put the cheat-sheet in my pocket. Marked the page, highlighted around that bulleted list, and ran off a copy, and laminated it. I take it everywhere with me now, and it got me through a Memorial Day cookout pretty painlessly. Rather than having seconds and thirds of everything as I usually do, followed by a "taste" (yeah right) of the many dessert offerings, I had grilled chicken, beans, asparagus, and for dessert... one cookie. That, my friends, is progress. What was more amazing about it is that I was thoroughly satisfied and felt absolutely no stress in saying no to additional portions, even when cookie cake was waved in my face by a hostess anxious to get rid of the sweets. It really did give me hope once again that I could do this, and that every day didn't have to be a struggle.

Here is what I am carrying around everywhere with me: (from page 77 of Tom Venuto's book, The Body Fat Solution)

  • Am I thinking about eating because I'm physically hungry or for another

  • If it's not for physical hunger, then why I am thinking about eating

  • What will be the immediate consequences if I eat this?

  • What will be the long-term consequences if I eat this?

  • What will be my rewards for saying no to this?

  • Is eating this going to move me closer or farther away from my

  • Is eating this worth it?

  • See what I mean? It's so goddamned simple, it's stupid! I've gone over this sort of thing in one form or another in therapy for the past year and a half. But, there it is, conveniently on a page, all in one place, worded just the way I think my therapist intended when she urged me to have a conversation with my self (or my inner child) while considering eating mindlessly.

    So far, all I can say is that little laminated piece of paper has freed me. Thanks, Tom.

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