Monthly Archives: April 2006

Will it ever get any easier?

I was sick the past two days, just a flu. As I was getting better, it hit me that I had never once considered food to “soothe” me or as a “comfort”. It didn’t even occur to me. That is a complete departure from my former self, who self-medicated with food on a regular basis: for feelings, for physical discomfort, anything would do as an excuse. Whether or not I gave in, the point is that my mind went there automatically. I couldn’t prevent it from going there, it used to be such a long-established tought pattern. So the fact that it didn’t happen filled me with immense gratitude to Greysheet, and made me think of how much I’ve changed since getting abstinent.

Someone called me the other day about coming to a meeting, but she didn’t want to weigh and measure without exception. She thought that would dominate her life. Ironically, my life has been set free – un-dominated from food – by Greysheet: the exact opposite of what she feared! The truth as I see it is that as a compulsive overeater, which I will never NOT be, food will always have more of an influence on me than on normal people. It will dominate my life. However, on Greysheet I learned that I can confine its dominion to three meals a day, rather than having it take over my entire thought and emotional life. If I have no boundaries around my food, or if I have to determine them myself, I have to dwell on it and think about it, which means that I compromise my freedom by giving food much more time of day than it deserves, certainly much more than “normal” eaters will. The only way for me to have a relationship to food that resembles that of normal eaters is to be Greysheet abstinent.

And this recent experience of not even considering food for comfort is a direct result, which I appreciate, yet with I can’t take for granted or use as an opportunity to become complacent. It is only because I am vigilant about weighing my food that I find my mind falling into “normal-eater-like” patterns.

So because there have been quite a few posts lately about the difficulties and white-knuckling abstinence, I just want to offer the perspective that yes, it does get easier, and no, white-knuckling isn’t going to be your day-in day-out experience on Greysheet. It may be necessary on occasion, especially in early abstinence, but as they say: if you find yourself in hell, keep walking. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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A week away

I was at a conference last week (a church thing). Food there was a challenge sometimes, but mostly it was fine. A bit repetitive: there were only two choices of raw vegetable, so I had that as my salad twice a day, every day! Ah well: because I don’t normally deprive myself, I could deal with it and know that I’d come back home into abundance of choice.  

Interestingly, it was breakfast that was the last meal I thought I’d have trouble with: but it was actually the most difficult! Because they served either full English breakfast (fried-to-death foods) or grains. We tend to take fruit for breakfast for granted, at least I do… don’t most people eat some sort of fruit for breakfast, I mean, non-Greysheeters? Anyway, there was ONE kind of fruit provided. The first day that was a Greysheet-
approved fruit that I used to hate as a child and hadn’t tried since. But since it’s allowed, I figured I’d give it a go, so I ate it: and I LOVED it! Here’s a case for trying again what you think you don’t like! The next day, though, the fruit was not Greysheet approved. Among all the busyness, I did what I had to do (ask for help), and though it took them 10 minutes to find me a Greysheet fruit, they were helpful enough. Thank Goodness I had backup proteins and everything, because I couldn’t even use any breakfast proteins they’d provided.

Apart from breakfast, though, all other meals were fine because it was buffet style, so I could go to the buffet and get as much as I thought I needed (somehow that was always more than my scale allowed! My eyes are still broken, and always will be), go back to my table and weigh it, and just discard what I’d got too much of. The weighing was actually no problem at all, nobody really asked me about it. A question every so often, a quick answer (“I’m in eating disorder recovery”) and that was that.

I loved how I could be fully present and concentrated there, the food being in its place! And I was being very social, which is normally a bit of a challenge to me (meeting new people… I’m a bit of a hermit by nature). Met lots of people.

So I just wanted to share this as an encouragement… I didn’t have to hide what I do with my food, I didn’t have to be ashamed, and because I did what we all do, I had a wonderful time: food being rather mediocre, but I was able to be present and when I got home, I had something to look forward to as well. 🙂

Greysheet is my lifeline!