WRITER’S BLOCK

You know, I originally mis-typed that post title as “WRITER’S GLOCK.”  I wonder if that says something about my frame of mind.  (Or maybe it just says that I need to cut back on the episodes of “Criminal Minds” right before I go to bed.  Could be that, too.)

You know when you start to write things and then think, “well . . .  that’s not really EXACTLY true . . . ”  Yeah.  That’s kind of where I am.  I can’t get my thoughts to run coherently, and I think, “Well, it’s because I’m just really busy.”  But no . . . it’s more because I’m staying up too late at night, watching aforementioned “Criminal Minds” reruns, and now I’m just too damn tired to string words together.

ANYWAY.

I wrote a couple of posts ago about slowly phasing grains out of my diet.  Which I’m still kind of doing.  (With an eventual eye on “really” doing.)  The reason I say “kind of” is that it was (gently) pointed out to me by my awesome nutritionist that I need to be careful of the fine line between doing something because I feel better and doing something because it allows me to feel in control.  She pointed out that even though I’ve come a long way, I still tend to drift slowly toward Food Rules, the way a sleepy driver drifts slowly but inexorably out of her own lane.

I was SHOCKED.  SHOCKED, I TELL YOU.  What Food Rules?  I don’t have Food Rules!  “Well . . . ” she mused.  “You say a lot of things like, ‘No one needs that much sugar,’ and ‘If I’m hungry and want Red Vines, I should just freaking eat some lunch,’ and ‘Processed foods are just bad.’  And maybe all those things are true and maybe they’re not, but you seem very RIGID in those beliefs.”  Basically she said (and now I’m paraphrasing), ‘You need to be careful not to let reasons for taking care of yourself become rationalizations for exerting control.’  (I TOLD you she was awesome.)

BUSTED.

She asked me, as an exercise, how I would feel about eating a “bad” food as a snack, with another food, maybe a couple of days a week.  Eat a serving of potato chips with an apple in the afternoon, or have 3 or 4 Red Vines with lunch.  Not every day, but 2 or 3 days a week, in an effort to remove the stigma from them.

DUDES.  I.  FROZE.  You want me to what????  PLAN to eat JUNK FOOD???  WHAT KIND OF DIABOLICAL PLOT IS THIS!?!?!?!

Innnnnnteresting . . .  See, here’s the thing: I tend to eat sugar/carbs/whatever a few times a week, ANYWAY.  But it’s usually a mindless, spur-of-the-moment-oh-God-it’s 3-in-the-afternoon-and-I-need-a-Frappucino kind of thing.  It’s not PLANNED.  It’s almost . . . accidental.  And accidents are just anomalies, right?  Even if the accidentally happen a few times a week, RIGHT?  And accidents are totally forgivable, because HEY!  ACCIDENT!  Right?  But PLANNING to eat processed, junky, off-any-approved-diet foods?  HERESY, I SAY.  NO ONE NEEDS TO EAT THAT MUCH CRAP.  (See what I did there?  ;))

The funny thing is, I didn’t even really realize I felt that way until I was faced with the prospect of planning to eat chips/licorice/frozen yogurt.  And after my initial freeze-up, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Well, MAYBE I could do that on Tuesday and Thursday, since I go running those days anyway, and . . . oh, shit.  This is the rationalization she’s talking about.”  And even funnier? I’m already freaking out at the thought of planning for something like that twice a week, but it’s not like I’m not ALREADY EATING CHIPS, ETC. A FEW TIMES A WEEK, ANYWAY.  (That was thought #2, by the way: “Maybe if I have them 2 or 3 times a week I can eliminate them all the other days that I’m ‘accidentally’ eating them, and then . . . oh, shit.  This is more rationalization.”)

True story: I could not bring myself to pack chips for a snack today.  And then I was so stressed out because I was SUPPOSED to pack them, and I DIDN’T and I’M DOING IT WRONG that I ate frozen yogurt and 2 cookies in the afternoon, and then followed it up with half a bag of chips for dinner.  *sigh*  Good times.

8 responses to “WRITER’S BLOCK

  1. “I need to be careful of the fine line between doing something because I feel better and doing something because it allows me to feel in control.”
    AWESOME! That totally hits home with me too.
    I know having a “cheat day” a week with this Slow-Carb diet has totally helped me turn away from the usual treats. It’s amazing how totally denying myself puts me in panic mode and irrationally increases craving for an item. Tell me I can’t have ice cream, and that is the one thing that occupies my mind alllll month, and of course leads to a bunch of slip ups. Controlled cheating has made my life a LOT easier too.

    • LOL, yeah and it’s really easy to start out doing something because I feel better, and then end up enforcing it rigidly because I like feeling in control. Argh.

      It’s funny; I’ve always had the opposite reaction to anything with a “cheat” day – it makes me insane and actually more likely to eat crap on the days I’m not “supposed” to. (Mainly because I am 5 years old and just rebel at the thought of anyone telling me what I can or can’t do. And it doesn’t help to have a mental history that includes a tendency to binge like crazy, either.) The thing that fascinates me about this approach is the idea of putting “bad” food on the table with “good” food and just making them all . . . food. Not good or bad or on-plan or cheats, but just food, all on the same playing field. Oddly enough I feel MORE threatened by the idea of equalizing them all than I do by the idea of categorizing them – even though categorizing them made me crazy and fatter in the long run. Oh, yeah. I’m super-rational. *eye-roll* Clearly there is more digging to do here before I can be normal . . . ;)

  2. You crack me up. Who wants to be normal, anyway?
    I have been on a strict d….. (I hesitate to type the word)…iet for 8 days in an effort to shed a few pounds before going on a trip. We went camping the day before yesterday (but got rained out, so came home) and I had to go off the plan (really, who eats grapefruit and dry toast when she is cooking bacon and eggs for everyone else?) but when I stepped on the scale this morning, I was cursing myself. Sigh. Back on grapefruit and dry toast this morning, for sure! I still have 11 days to shed those pesky pounds!
    (When I started this comment, I had something relevant to say about your post, but I got sidetracked and it turned into a comment about ME. Now I have totally forgotten what I was going to say about your post! Sheesh – it’s hell to get old!)

    • Bag Lady, normal is *definitely* overrated. ;) And too funny about getting sidetracked; I do that all the time though, so if it’s a matter of getting old, I must have been BORN old!

      I do NOT miss grapefruit and dry toast though, I won’t lie.

  3. Heh…I hear ya. It’s been tricky for me to try and put snacks and stuff I love back into my diet here and there. Becuase, if I don’t…I will fail. And I can’t just “eat clean” for the rest of my life…I like food. I like beer…I’m just not happy when I’m all or nothing. It’s never good for me when I plan out things to the point where I obsess over getting them right, or feel oh so proud that I am doin them “right”…it makes me crazy about food or meal planning…yup. So tricky isn’t it…. a fine line. It sounds like you’ve got one good nutritional counsellor there.
    The fact that you’re on your way with this to me speaks volumes of how you are doing the right thing. It’s a process…I sometimes throw a tantrum like a 2 year old when I remember that :)

    • Ohhhhh, I totally, TOTALLY get the allure of all or nothing, and doing it “right.” There’s something almost addictive about doing it right: something that feels sort of virtuous and superior to everyone else, and that lets me live in my own little insulated bubble of “better-than.” It’s freakin’ evil, is what it is.

      It’s a process…I sometimes throw a tantrum like a 2 year old when I remember that
      You and me both, lady. You and me both. ;)

  4. I have a friend who is a therapist. He once told me that when he has someone who needs to lose weight that he often tells them to gain a few pounds intentionally to prove that they are in control. Now years later, he is morbidly obese with many problems. He may be a good therapist in other areas but his gain control idea, in my opinion, was crap!

  5. This is kind of interesting to me. I definitely gained a lot of weight in the last year, but ironically it was in an effort to RELEASE control. Coming from a crazy restrictive/bingeing/exercise-purging food background, it was super-important to my mental health to let go of the control. And I knew up front, based on my own research and what I was told by the folks helping me, that I would almost certainly gain weight – maybe a lot of it. And I further knew that it might or might not come off in the long run; that some of it almost certainly would, but that all of it might not. And I FURTHER knew that in the long run I’d be healthier (mentally and physically) even if I weighed a little more, but got some exercise and learned to eat in the most healthful manner for MY body (not necessarily anyone else’s, since no two bodies are exactly the same). In other words, better to be heavier, but mentally healthy and physically healthy, than to be thinner, totally crazy and starving/bingeing.

    Gah. I had a bunch more written, but this is getting WAY too long. I might have to expand in an actual post . . . . :)

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