Thursday, February 19, 2009

Processing the Problem


Thanks to all who commented in response to my post yesterday. I appreciate all the advice and tough love that came my way. I really needed a kick in the pants and some tips and I knew I could count on my blog buddies.

I wish that keeping junk food out of the house was an option for me. I live with my sister who is most definitely not on the same page as I am. She's shorter and is carrying a little more weight than I am. She also faces a lot of the same potential health problems as I do since we both come from a long line of tpe II diabetics and have a very strong family history of heart disease. However, while I bite my nails considering what could happen if I don't change my ways, she maintains a belief in her own invincibility that is as zealous as it is foolhardy. She loves fried food and chocolate and dammit, that's what she's going to eat.

I've said before that it wouldn't be so hard to change if I was living with someone who's not on the same page as I am, but the trouble is that she's reading a whole other book. She resists the changes I'm trying to make in my own life. She scrunches her nose about my attempts to eat healthier and she pressures me to eat things I shouldn't eat. I mean really pressures me. Last night, for example, she got out the Pazcki. She held the box under my nose and I said no thank you.


"Because I don't want one."

"Sure you do, they're good. I'll get you a plate. Here eat it."

I resisted and resisted and got angry and gave in. I wasn't hungry. I didn't want it. But I ate it. I was so disgusted with myself that I cried. I don't know why I couldn't find the strength to walk away. Afterwards, I confronted my sister about being a food pusher and she defended herself by saying that she didn't make me eat it. This was very true and I know that the responsibility for my decisions rests with me alone. Why shouldn't it? It's my knees that have to carry around the extra weight. But I haven't been feeling strong lately and living with someone who is threatened by the changes I'm trying to make makes life really difficult.

So keeping foods I have difficulty resisting out of the house isn't really an option and I obviously can't count on my sister to be supportive enough to keep her assorted goodies out of my sight, so I need to find a way around this barrier.

Ria's suggestion about journaling everything I ate struck a chord with me, mostly because I felt so repelled by the idea. My reaction seemed odd to me. I know it's good advice. In the times in my life when I've dropped weight, before my recent slow down, I always tracked what I ate. So why was I so resistant to it now? I think part of me is in denial. I recently read a post by Chubby Chick in which she talked about the fact that she was angry that she can't eat like a "normal person" and that her desire to be "normal" has quite ironically contributed to a 100 pound gain in the last 2 years. Her anger really resonated with me. I wish that eating properly could just be second nature for me. I wish that I didn't have to think about it. If I write everything I eat, I'm acknowledging that I must be constantly mindful. But not writing down points or calories, not acknowledging what I eat and how much of it I eat won't negate the consequences of all my munching. It will just enable me to avoid responsibility and awareness and will lead to unpleasant surprises and ultimately a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. I'm tired of that feeling. There may be a time in my life when I can "eat like a normal person" without measuring and counting, but as Yoda said, "you must unlearn what you have learned" before you can adopt a new way of being. ("Try not. Do or do not. There is no try." Might also be an appropriate Yodaism at this point.)

So thanks, Ria. It should have been so second nature for me to decide to return to recording what I eat, but it wasn't; I really needed someone to say it!

In addition, I think I can work to combat the temptation of living with a food pusher by being better prepared. I'm going to try to be proactive and have healthier options that we both like. The theory here is that she will buy less garbage and if she does try to push something that will break my day, I can have something else to turn to to stave off temptation. I've been kicking around some options. Sugar free Jell-O is like a Godsend. With only 10 calories a serving, I can turn to it when I'm having a sweet craving without feeling guilty. I also find the sugar free pudding helpful for the same reason. Fresh berries feel like a splurge since I'm on a budget, but they also make a delicious dessert when I mix them with fat free vanilla yogurt. Finally, I'm really digging on sorbet and No Pudge brownies. I just need to stock my shelves with these items as defense against all the other crap I might consider putting into my body.

Any way, that's where my head's at today. I'm journaling every bite and have been strong enough to resist the brownies in the office. I'm planning a walk on lunch though I'd much rather curl up and read.

Thank you all for being my Yodas!


Camevil said...

Oh, man. You have an Underminer in da house. No good, no good!

And I'm a little sad that she doesn't follow your example. Shoot, as a team, both of you would be unstoppable!

But nevermind. I have one of those underminers in my house. He is, though, finally getting the picture and has been a lot more supportive and keeps the junk food and wine to a minimum. Plus, he has been committed to his own workout plan for over a month now.

Eventually, this will sink in with your sister, too.

Keep at it!

elife said...

Wow, that is a big challenge. I think you should seriously consider a different living situation.

Otherwise, since she clearly didn't like being called a food pusher after the fact, I think you should call her a food pusher as soon as she comes at you with the food: she tells you to get a plate for something you've declined, say 'Food Pusher!" then she has to stop immediately or admit she is pusher!

Katie said...

Do you think you could persude her to join your weight loss campaign, I know you may feel it will be an impossible task at first but I am sure inside she wants to be healthy.

For a small starting step how about trying something like agreeing "food time" with ehr so she doesn't break out the snacks any hour of the day?

Ria said...

I'm glad that journaling is helping you! It sounds like your living situation is very difficult from a dieting perspective, and keeping healthier treats available is a great idea. I love brownies too, and have been experimenting with all sorts of lower-calorie versions - I'll have to try the No Pudge.

I also wish for a "normal" relationship with food, but I'm more or less resigned to the idea that I may have to be mindful for the rest of my life. If you haven't seen them, here are links to a couple of very interesting blog posts dealing with this issue.

Stay strong!

kristisummer said...

Why don't you try and convince your sister to join you on your fitness journey, having support is great. If not be strong and resist. I know easier said than done.

Anonymous said...

I think your sister is mean. I agree with elife, call her a food pusher, she didn't seem to like that. Even if she's not ready for a healthy lifestyle she shouldn't try to sabotage your attempts. I think she wants to keep you heavy like she is.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. I was determined to shift a bit of lard, but needed motivation to start a healthy, reasonable and slow fitness plan. I sent my fat photo to They basically create a thinner you from a digital photo you send them and give it the old celebrity airbrush treatment to show you what you could look like if you lay off the Lay’s and Chocolate (oh no, sorry, that's me). Anyway, I figure it might help someone else.