Strip Me

My title is so named because I was listening to this song by Natasha Bedingfield when I started writing this post and it kind of fit. Although, the song and my post are not exactly about the same topic, maybe they will be eventually. Let me explain.

This song is about power. About a woman knowing her power and calling on it. And truthfully, I'm just realizing that I have given my power away. But listening to this song gives me hope that someday I'll get there. She's saying that even if you stripped her down, you couldn't take her voice. My post is more about the fact that I am starting to strip down layers of... protection that I have built up. I am stripping myself down in a lot of ways - I feel very exposed.

Abstinence for me right now means not binging, And I have been abstinent 13 days.

I have been really emotional lately. Today was kind of an up-down-up-down-up day. As I thought about this, and the last week, I realized what might be going on. For the last 12 years or so I have used food (in the form of a binge) to cope with... everything. Sure, I've had moments of sanity. But a good majority of that time I have been hiding. I have buried myself in food (and books, TV, and spending money). I haven't faced my life honestly, or those around me really. It has been my way to
get by. To hide from my feelings most especially. So... this last two weeks I've taken that away. And my feelings are raw and exposed. And honestly I haven't managed them in the best way. I think the Lord knew I just needed some time letting go of the binge (which is far from complete - but it's a start), and that I wasn't ready to face this. But tonight it was put in front of me that just not binging isn't enough. I also get to start learning how to manage these feelings so they don't come out exploding on anyone standing within 20 feet!

Like I said, I am stripping myself down. It hurts and it feels right. It's difficult to take a hard long look at yourself and to learn a new way to live. But I just know that the outcome will be well worth the effort!



Lisa said…
I am sooo proud of you. 13 days is amazing! I know how hard that is.

- Lisa
Anonymous said…
Thirteen days is awesome! I sort-of remember it, definitely a white-knuckling period as a lifetime of eating had to be re-learned.

I remember the clarity hitting around that time, too. It was quite a shock to be able to think clearly after numbing out for so long with the food. All of the stuff does come up, but, in my recovery, it was pretty kind. The rough stuff didn't come until much later. I did a lot of praying and listening at the time, trying to understand.

And, as long-timers will tell you, it does get easier to maintain abstinence after a while. At the beginning, it really is One Day at a Time. Heck, even now I think about that one day at a time when I look too far forward to the chip I may or may not get in October. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that I am abstinent today, and I would not exchange the clarity for any binge food . . . if I could even get a binge going any more!

My only real advice is that if you decide to change your food plan, do it mindfully. Consider it, set it up, then decide the day before what constitutes adhering to your food plan when you start your next Just for Today. I got dangerously close to becoming underweight and had to add calories. As I work on implementing my action plan, that caloric intake will increase if I start dropping weight again--though after praying and meditating on it.

The best part is that you have a Higher Power as your food-buddy, and despite the ego struggles I've had over the last 2 years over this all, surrendering the desire to emotionally eat became a habit, too. You're not alone in this . . . and my hand (as well as thousands upon thousands of others in and out of OA rooms today) is outstretched for you to put your hand in.

Together, we do get better.
Brett Thompson said…
Hey sis. I have been thinking about you lately. Reading your post helped me realize I should share something that has helped me through some struggles with health & fitness recently.

Good job on your 13 days by the way. I noticed your choice of word "abstinence" and I thought I might suggest a better description.

A book I have been reading recently suggests words like "willpower" (to abstain) might be good short term but long term could be a losing battle. This is because you are suggesting to yourself that you do something you don't really want to do; abstain from something you like.

Instead it suggests to focus on the positive reasons you want to abstain: better health, be stronger, feel happier, fit into those jeans, do that marathon, avoid diabetes and heart issues etc. Replace the drudgery of willpower with the joy of what you are trying to accomplish.

I recently put this into practice when faced with a choice to eat food that I knew I shouldn't. Rather than flexing my willpower muscles, I reminded myself of why I WANT to choose something else to eat; I want to look and feel great! I want people to gasp when I take off my shirt at the pool, not in fear but because they get a funny tingle inside. You know what, it worked great. The only willpower needed was to remind myself of why I was making a choice to eat better.

Good job, keep up the good work. I am glad to see you started blogging again. I think you are an inspiration to many people, including me.
Joy said…
Sam you are doing amazing!! It's a tough place to be, but if you keep at it, it will get easier. Situations will come and you will see you can handle them without food. First time it happened for me, I was so amazed. Never thought I could do it. Now things happen and I think about turning to food, but I seem to divert myself away from food and choose healthier ways to manage the stress. I think I may always think of food first, but it seems for just a moment now. Maybe it will go away..that would be great!

Keep up the great work and stay focused my Friend!!
Joy said…
Thinking of you today my Friend. Hope you are doing well!!

Keep focused!!!
FrogiNater said…
Face life honestly... I like that... I had to buckle down and make a decision for me, and facing my life and being honest. It's hard work without a crutch. I admit, some days I still do it, but I'm trying.

Glad to see you post more.. I found you "late" and I love your way with words.
I just wanted to say thank you for the support you gave me on my blog! :D

Jan Mader said…
I am so inspired by your blog.
Joy said…
Hi Friend, Wanted to let you know that I gave you an award. Check it out!

Stay focused!

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