Not being able to Taste

I ate more than usual because, with my sickness, I just couldn’t taste anything. Or if I could taste it, it seemed bad or off.

I kept trying to find things that I could taste and that tasted good. I did experience very spicy foods, but they scorched my raw swollen tonsils on their way down.

So, I kept trying and nibbling and sampling until, finally, I’d consumed way more than I do in my usual day.

How odd to me! Prior to yesterday I would have told you that I 100% eat from hunger alone. Food is fuel and nourishment – end of story. I prefer not to eat foods I actually dislike, but that would be my only stipulation

I didn’t realize how very much taste was part of the experience. Interesting. And how much lack of taste would affect how much and what I ate.

Today, everything still seems flavorless or ‘off’, but I am going to eat my usual way and just not mind that I can’t taste it. My body does need fuel and nourishment and as always, today I will provide it with both

🙂

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Do They Have to be Thin Too?

I was at a gathering recently with a woman, Margo, and her four nieces, who ranged in age from about 20 – 31.

When I asked Margo about the young women, her only comments referred to their weights. I learned that the eldest was thin before a terrible accident that landed in her a wheelchair for months on end. And she still battles chronic pain. But “wouldn’t it be great if she could lose the weight?”

Margo told me about the middle two girls – both very thin once but now getting bigger. She worried that they’d keep gaining. Why couldn’t they just get back to their old weights? And the youngest, still ‘thin’, but of course, Margo worried that she’d start gaining weight too.

To me, it was a truly odd and very unfortunate conversation, but I bet many people wouldn’t think it was at all.

What I now know about these four young women (from a family friend) is this; the oldest, Lizzie, is a veternarian who also volunteers her services at an animal shelter. The second child, Justine, is a an engineer who spends most of her free time traveling the world. Maggie, the third kid, is earning a PhD in psychology and helps care for their aging grandmother. And Jenny, the baby, is in college and doing very well.

May I also add that they were all very friendly and seemed happy and well. The four laughed endlessly together. Apparently, they’re the best friends, get along spectacularly with their parents and adore all their many animals. (As a side note, all four are very very pretty towheads.)

Isn’t that enough? Do they have to be ‘thin’?

Sick and Food

Just back from the doctor, who diagnosed bad tonsillitis that’s looking like strep. A sinus infection and fever. She looked in my mouth and said, ‘wow, you must feel horrible!’

Mostly, swallowing feels like daggers jabbing at my tonsils. Even tea hurts more than it’s worth.

Interesting position for a compulsive eater, right? Even if I wanted to eat, which I don’t, food gets stuck in my throat. I tried a soft boiled egg and OWWWWWW. Once again, truly hurts more than it’s worth.

I’m sucking on ice cubes, but even that still involves the dreaded swallowing.

I’ve had a history of tonsilitis and back in the (anorexic) day thought it was fabulous that I couldn’t eat. In my late 20s , I had tonsilities, followed by mono, followed by strep. Next , my wisdom teeth got pulled, and I suffered really really bad dry sockets, I could not eat. Eventually, I lost about 25 pounds and went from a little overweight to genuinely thin.

I loved it! I said, Thank you God for making me so sick for months that I couldn’t function in the world BUT I WAS THIN!!!!

Thus began years of anorexia. I thought i’d proven to myself that I really didn’t need to eat. And all the endless praise and reocgnition and accolades made it all seem VERY worhwhile.

I don’t remember tonsilitis during the bingeing years, but I vividly remember bingeing through numerous stomach viruses and flus. Didn’t matter that it made me so much sicker – I had not choice; I just had to eat compulsively. It certainly didn’t matter that I was sick and nauseous and could barely drag myself out of bed (see the word barely ) Somehow, I managed.

Today, I don’t care how much weight I might lose because it’s excruciating to consume.

I wish I felt better and pray I can make it to work, tomorrow, the busiest day of my company’s year, by far.

I’ve now taken antibiotics, Advil and Tylenol and if there is some relief, today I will drink high calorie orange juice and not diet soda. I will put honey in my tea – not sweet ‘n low. I will take care of myself.

Now, I’m off to bed for the remainder of the night. A fluffy feline is already in. 🙂

The Steps or Other Options for Overcoming Overeating?

I believe in the 12 Steps, when practiced precisely as prescribed, as the answer to addiction 100 percent.

In my own case, and in the case of countless others, the Steps are the ONLY process that truly works. Most of us have tried a zillion other ways to moderate or put down drugs, alcohol, food, gambling…without success or at least without long-term success.

Still, I come across a lot of people in OA who can’t quite ‘get it’ for any amount of real time. I don’t know if it’s because we can eliminate drugs and alcohol from our lives, but we still have to eat? Or maybe it’s because food is so integral to our existence and history and family life?

I don’t know the answer, but I have thought about trying a different approach with these women. Perhaps more of a coaching/counseling approach, with ongoing support and more conversation. And patience!

But when I really think about it, I know in my heart and gut that it just doesn’t work. It is my belief that if we are to be truly free of whatever monkey clings to our back, the Steps are the only way out from under.

overcoming overeating

It’s been such a busy week, as I am sure it’s been for everyone.

I do have many, many, many thoughts on the topic of overcoming overeating.

And I have a lot of questions about getting well – recovering from compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia, food obsession, low self-esteem,body hatred..

For some, it’s clear and simple. For others, I think perhaps, a work in progress.

More to come….

More Better

In my last post, I wrote about my friend, Karen, who is just about the loveliest and least materialistic person I know.

I am hoping to be more like Karen, to the best of my ability. Sooo, Karen never spends money frivolously – it just doesn’t make sense to her. Time for me to cut cut out the blow outs, do my own nails, tweeze my own eye brows, get fewer highlights….Generally, I need to spend way less on ‘beauty’. That should be…challenging. But, if I want to be like Karen….And to have savings – like Karen….

However, of course, being like Karen really has NOTHING to do with a beauty regime – or with anything external – it’s all about what’s on the inside. That’s what makes Karen, and others wonderful folks like her, beautiful. So, while I may think it’s important to spend less time on making myself look better, it’s a zillion times more important to work on making myself BE better.

To be like Karen, I have to be more patient, tolerant, kind and loving. AND GIVING OF MYSELF AND MY TIME – that’s a tough one for me. By nature, I am all about me. But, that’s not who I want to be. I aim to be less materialistic and more altruistic.

It looks so easy for Karen. Hmmm, probably not so easy for me!

Appearance

My dear friend Karen performed with her amazing choir today. Before the concert, I met Karen at her house. She looked beautiful in her black choir gown and pearls, all offset by her blonde waist-length hair and glowing smile.

When I arrived, Karen was still getting ready. For the first time since her wedding several years ago, Karen decided to wear a little make-up. Unfortunately, she doesn’t own mascara.

With serious doubt, Karen asked me if I might have mascara in my purse, assuming of course that I didn’t. As she looked down resignedly, I handed her three.

Karen laughed. “I just don’t care about my appearance”, she said. “I’m only concerned about what’s inside.”

And so she does. Whether she’s visiting her elderly mother (several times a day), or helping the aged, or single-handedly keeping her church running, Karen is always doing good. She’s a wonderful mother, wife, sister, friend…….. She’s truly about the best person I know.

Her inner beauty shines thru. Everyone loves her. And with or without eyeliner, Karen has a fantastic marriage to a wonderful man. They love each other madly and dearly.

I may have a lot of cosmetics, but I don’t have what Karen has. Something to work on.