Thursday, January 7, 2010
So, here I am not a week into my new diet plan, and my resolve to be perfect is under serious assault. It’s true, my approach as usual, was slightly fanatic, I want to do everything perfectly, though I have found, more than once, that’s just not possible. Yet still, I try. I set out on a stringent diet: no fats except for flax seed oil, no carbs, ridiculous, right? I know. But I was so freaked out about that weight gain, that I was determined to have results, and fast.
It was all fine and good for about the 1st four days, I strictly followed the plan, I weighed, I measured, I counted; nothing went in my mouth that wasn’t sanctioned by my current diet guru; but by the fourth day, plain and simple: I was hungry, I could have just eaten, and yet I wasn’t feeling satisfied. I struggled through the fourth day, but when this building anxiety started to climax on the fifth day, I had to take a hard look at what I was trying to do.
Although when I’d committed to the plan, I’d convinced myself that it was nutritionally sound, I now began to question its, and my, wisdom. Certainly part of my craving could have been simply about feeling deprived, but I think I was definitely feeling nutritionally deprived, as well. So, the first thing I did was to add a healthy carb, that helped immediately, but I found I needed to modify in more places, as well, and then, lo! And behold, my diet plan wasn’t looking a whole lot like the one I’d started out on.
Now because I am a control freak, letting go of even just the slightest bit of control can send me into a tailspin; I tend to have an all or nothing attitude: like if I let go even just a little bit, I am afraid that all hell is going to break loose. It goes back to that lack of trust in myself; I fear I will let myself down. I fear if I loosen constraints in one area, I will lose my resolve in another.
And while it’s true that making these changes has shaken me up, I am not running out eating gallons of sticky frozen treats. It is scary to trust myself, and scarier still to treat myself like a normal human being. I’ll never forget the first time I read Geneen Roth’s writing on the subject of compulsive overeating; unlike every other philosophy I was adhering to (‘as an addict you must abstain from the substance – forever – there is no success with-half way commitment’ yadda yadda yadda) but Geneen had the courage to say, “no” to that; in fact, she was a proponent on learning to trust yourself with all foods. She believed that telling yourself that you can never eat sugar, for instance, again, is only a guarantee that you will binge on sugar, probably repeatedly.
At the time, her philosophy was far out of my realm of self-trust. To be honest, I thought she must be crazy. But today, many failed attempts at perfection later, I am beginning to see my way toward a future that might just include a little bit more self-trust, and maybe even some more self-love thrown in for the bargain.