Saturday, May 16, 2009

(19) It's Okay To "Feel"

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help my cousin, Myranda. A few days ago I inquired on how she's been doing with 0-5 eating. She's struggling and told me, "It's harder now, when I get sad, I get distracted from goals a little easier-and I sort of 'took a break', I am mustering up the tenacity to get back on".

This is my reply to her, and to anyone when you've hit a slump or feel like you've lost control of your life and your eating.
Sometimes it is hard. We can't go through our lives without ever having off days. That is part of life. Even people who have no issues at all with their weight have bad days, weeks, months, even years. We're all going to feel bad and depressed sometimes. We're all human with human feelings and emotions.
One giant difference between a regular diet and 0-5 eating is that with a diet you're given a specific path to follow. All you have to do is stay on the path this, don't eat that, do this, don't do that... All of the emotions and feelings that cause you to overeat in the first place are not dealt with, they are ignored and pushed aside for the duration of the diet. Unfortunately after the diet is over those buried feelings and emotions will still be there waiting to be felt. If you can't deal with them you will revert back to food to cope with them.
With 0-5 eating you actually have to face your feelings and emotions and sometimes it is SO overwhelming. How do you cope with an open wound that wont heal? How do you face the emotions that you've been hiding from for so long?
This is hard for me also. Even just last night I felt panicky and anxious due to unresolved family issues. At first I didn't think at all about my real issues. All I could think of was to run to the kitchen and eat everything in sight. I wanted to stuff myself full of food until I felt sick, until nothing else would fit and the food would just ooze out of me, until my issues would be buried so deep I wouldn't be able to feel them even if I tried.
Luckily I recognized what was happening after eating only a little bit too much. I knew that even though I didn't want to deal with my issues, I had to. I had to face my problems and let myself feel anxious and panicked.
Instead of eating I ran to the bathroom and brushed, flossed, and mouth washed. All night the urge to binge was still there. I wanted to go eat but I didn't. I concentrated on the movie I was watching, I got onto Facebook and talked with friends. I pulled out my cross stitch (I didn't actually work on it but it was there just in case I needed it). I kept telling myself over and over "Don't eat! I'm not really hungry. I don't have to hide from my emotions. Just feel them and let them be what they are. I'm okay".
I made it through the night without binging. It's a step of progress for me but I know I'll have more overwhelming feelings and issues again soon. That's life. It's okay to feel uncomfortable. It's okay to feel period.
If you just can't handle it and you have to binge, then do it. Let yourself have a conscious binge. Get the best binge food you can think of and attention to the binge and try to eat slowly. After a few minutes see if you can stop. After you're able to stop, don't beat yourself up about it. Yes, you just binged. You truly felt there was no other option. It happened now let it go and move on to the next moment of your life. Keep on trying to eat 0-5. Again and again until it becomes natural to you. Eventually you will be able to recognize when a binge is about to happen. You'll be able to feel your emotions, as uncomfortable as they are, without binging (even if the urge to binge is still there).


  1. Don't ever give up! Life is a symphony of emotions and feelings and choices. Every one of us make a choice of how we will look at the day. Every morning you have an opportunity to be optimistic about YOUR life. Every single human person has some sort of struggle or addiction they are struggling with. Those who choose to look at the glass as half full will find the strength and the will power to not only make progress but to see their "set backs" as a learning opportunity and a positive experience. Rule #1 Don't get down on yourself. Take a deep breath, pick up the pieces(Don't dwell on it!)and take another step forward. If you can't seem to move on call someone. Find a friend who is working on the same type of issues. Help each other get through these rough times. Only after you reach a hand out to help someone else will you find that you will free yourself of these demons that plague us all. Please Please, Never give up on yourself. Take courage and take another step and move your life forward.

  2. The deeply personal stuff is the hardest... and most essential to deal with. I'm a good example of a long term off day -It's sad that I struggled for so long, and now I have so far to go to get back to my natural size. But it's ok. I'm lucky to be at a point where I can recognize my eating and destructive patterns for what they were, a crutch to get through a difficult time.
    I legitimately needed eating to deal with a difficult situation. My body paid the price by packing on lbs and being the scapegoat for my unhappiness. Now I'm thankful to my body (even though I'm up a couple of sizes) I'm thankful because it took the abuse I poured upon it, so that I could handle my problems. Now that I'm at a point where I can look at my life, and recognize my true problems. My body will slowly melt back down to it's regular size. It's ok that it won't happen today or tomorrow, I abused my body for a long time I can give it a long time to heal. :)
    The key for me has been to realize my real problems and to learn to deal with them without a crutch... like you said to feel without forcing the pain onto body by eating till I'm sick.
    Thanks for sharing your "hard stuff" with us.