So Here’s a Question for You

When I start trying to take better care of myself; when I start trying to rename/reframe/re-whatever things in my head, I run into the following internal conversations:

Tonight I’ll honor my body and take care of it by not eating an entire pint of ice cream.  I had a good dinner; now I’ll just go to bed.

Maybe a LITTLE ice cream.  Moderation is good, right?

No.  Right now I don’t have the control for moderation, so no ice cream.  I’m going to let my body detox from the sugar.

(Already on the way to the fridge)
A-ha!  You said CONTROL.  That’s a bad, judgmental word.  You’re supposed to take CARE of yourself, not CONTROL yourself.  Moderation!

Hey!  Knock it OFF!  *deep breath, calms down*  Put the ice cream back.  Just for tonight, let’s care for our body in a comforting manner.  Just for tonight.

Ice cream IS comforting.


(Already inhaling ice cream)


Um.  Yeah.  Leeeeeeeeetle bit of insanity there.  So what do you do?  Is my inner brat just over developed?  Is it just a straightforward matter of “suck it up and override the brat, NO MATTER WHAT?”  Or is there something bigger?  (Yeah, ok, there’s a lot of rage in there.  But WHY?  How do I find the trigger?)

SEEING the problem is only half the battle.  I can see it; I just can’t figure out how to fucking STOP it.  Any tips or hints or advice would be much appreciated.


13 responses to “So Here’s a Question for You

  1. Ok some of this Id feel more comfortable emailing you but for me it was age.

    Im stressed out over finals? SOOO WOULD HELP TO HAVE FRESH BAKED CHOC CHIP COOKIES as I stay up all night.

    that kind of thing.

    the DESERVING.
    the (as you so aptly put it) inner brat 🙂

    for me the shift came so slowly I didnt even notice at first.
    and then I did.
    It was, for me, a by product of aging.

  2. There’s some kind of role reversal going on. A character you have named “Sanity” is saying crazy things, and a character you have named “Insanity” is trying to be sensible.

    For example, “honor my body and take care of it” has nothing to do with ice cream. What is ice cream for, anyway? And again, “detox from the sugar” is nonsense. Sugar is not a toxin, and your metabolism can handle huge amounts of it.

    A Freudian (which I am not) might find it meaningful that one of the characters in the dialogue is later named “I”, and wonder who in your life “S” really represents. My approach might be to wonder whether a pint is really a fatal dose, and what “S” was really trying to achieve by ranting like that.

  3. AHA!!
    I just found out the difference between les Miz (sorry, couldn’t resist – I’ve always called her that in my head…)
    and myself! She has matured and no longer listens to her “inner brat”……
    I know that has to be the answer, because I am older than she is and I still have these struggles.

  4. I think a LOT of people go through the same mental battle you just described. I know I do! Quite a few people have told me the path to healing that is through Intuitive Eating. Although it hasn’t quite worked that way for me, it did offer some more insight. Have you read it?? Def. worth a read, at least!

    And MizFit just gave me hope!! Yay!

  5. Hm. Well, Miz, maybe I’ll age out of it. That’d be nice. It seems to be getting worse as I get older instead of better, though. Something to think about, though. I HAVE noticed that it CONCERNS me more as I get older, so maybe that’s the first step?

    CBTish, I can see where it would seem like role reversal on the surface, but to take it at face value misses the point. The crazy voice KNOWS that there will be no moderation: “moderation” is the bait to convice me to open the ice cream container. But that part of me already knows that once the container is open I won’t stop eating until I’ve finished it. It’s like the drug dealer who hands the kid “just a couple” for freee, and then the kid is hooked. “Just a couple” is a lie, and the dealer knows it. The Insane voice knows that “moderation” in that particular instance is ALSO a lie. The Sane part knows it too, and that’s why it argues so strenuously against opening the container.

    Likewise, “honor my body and take care of it” has EVERYTHING to do with ice cream in this instance. Eating a pint (or more) of ice cream EVERY night is straight-up bad for me. And honestly, to say that our bodies can handle a lot of sugar is a straw man for a couple of reasons: first, just because we CAN handle it, doesn’t mean it’s harmless. My body can handle a lot of alcohol every night, but in the long run, it will kill me (and recent research shows that large quantities of sugar also lead to liver cirrhosis). Second, the statement, “sugar is not a toxin and your metabolism can handle huge amounts of it” might be true in isolated instances, as applied to a theoretical person in good health. But to make statements like that without knowing the health of the individual involved is irresponsible: it may be that the person you’re speaking to has physical issues that you aren’t aware of (and they may be so far in denial about said issues that they believe a general statement telling them not to worry). As it happens, sugar IS a toxin in my body, and my metabolism CAN’T handle huge amounts of it. My system has a hard time even handling small amounts, so a pint of ice cream is indeed extremely bad for me.

    Hope that clarifies some things about the post above.

    Oh, dear, BL. I’m afraid I won’t mature, either! But I’m beginning to be MORE afraid that I’ll kill myself if I don’t mature. *sigh* And being an adult always looked so FUN when I was a kid! LOL!

    You know what, Charlotte, I had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN about IE. It actually really helped derail the Crazies a while back, but as I’ve gotten more “diet-minded” I’ve sort of forgotten the whole, “Food is amoral, I can eat whatever I want, so if I don’t want it now, I can always have it later.” Hm. I’ll have to remember to keep that in mind. Thanks!

  6. I tell myself, “wait 15 minutes. if you still really want to eat in in 15 minutes, you can.” that can help while the craving passes. or you could call someone, or clean something. Interrupting the thought spiral helps me.


  7. I hate to say, I kind of agree with cbtish here. Sugar isn’t toxic, and it isn’t addictive, though people may be compulsive about it. Eating a ton of it isn’t healthy, and not just for caloric reasons.

    An easy way out of this would be to not have ice cream in the house. I’m quite sure that if I allowed any dispute like that in my mind (and I don’t), I would eat the whole thing, just out of spite.

  8. Because I’m all about practicality these days, I would probably just second what Julie said and get the ice cream out of the house. Assuming you have some kind of ice cream place near you, let yourself have ice cream when you want it enough to go out and get it. Plus, it’s easier portion-control in terms of just ordering a small rather than just trying to eat less of a whole pint.

    I do think the eventual goal is to get to a place where your relationship with food and yourself is sane and easy-going. In the meantime, I don’t think there’s any problem with taking something that 1) makes you crazy and 2) interferes with your health/body goals out of the house.

  9. Sarah, I’ll try that, too. I used to use that method, and I found I ended up abusing it after a while (waiting to eat when I was genuinely hungry), so I’ve been afraid to go back to it. But then again, it’s been a while, so maybe it’s safer now. Don’t know unless I give it a shot, I guess.

    Julie, the thing is, given certain health conditions, it IS toxic. It’s toxic for me, that’s for sure. It might not be for you, or even for most people, but it is for me. And given certain chemical brain imbalances, sugar acts in some people exactly like alcohol, and it does in fact become an addictive substance. Lucky, lucky me, to have that same physical setup. *wrinkles nose* I guess where I part ways with the “never touch it again” crowd is that I don’t believe I can’t “recover,” so to speak. But in order to do that, I have reset my system. It can be done; it’s just damned hard, and the fact that I have the Crazies raging through my brain doesn’t help, LOL.

    Attrice (and Julie), the problem I run into is that it’s not just ice cream. If I don’t have one thing on hand, I’ll swap something else out and eat THAT in extraordinary quantities. I did get pretty ruthless about keeping things out of the house that I thought I might binge on at one point, but all that led me to was a fridge full of literally nothing but chicken and broccoli. And after a while of eating only that, I flipped from bingeing to starvation-based bulimia (where I didn’t eat for days on end, then would find myself at the grocery store in the middle of the night, buying EVERYTHING I could get my hands on, then feeling bad about myself, then starving myself again for days on end).

    I don’t know; I do sometimes feel like no matter what solution I come up with, I have a reason it won’t work. And in all fairness, it’s usually something I’ve TRIED. On the other hand, at some point I have to either suck it up and FIND A WAY, or shut the hell up about it, you know?

    I DO remember that when I was doing Intuitive Eating, I was better (in the head, anyway), so I’m glad Charlotte pointed that out. I’ll have to go back to doing some form of that, and incorporating it, I think.

  10. Marste-I binged on fruit for a while to get out of the habit. It just doesn’t give you (or me, anyway) what I was trying to get from the binge, and got boring and felt silly eventually, but it was a better choice than ice cream (or chips/fried chicken/bagels/etc) that I used to do.

  11. Ha! Julie, it’s funny that you’d bring up fruit specifically. I’m not a big fruit eater, but it’s on my grocery list this week – for exactly that reason. I’ve got to find SOMETHING, right?

  12. I’ve been thinking for the last few hours about how pissed I would be if I had nothing but chicken and broccoli to binge on. I’d probably end up having a tantrum and smashing it all over the floor, then would have to clean it up. I think the bingeing is an attempt not to feel something, so instead you stuff yourself and then are too full to care anymore. Like drugs. At least with fruit, it’ll make me feel uncomfortable (high fiber and sugar), enough to slow me down enough to try to face what is causing my out of controledness. Or something like that.

  13. LOL, yeah. I never had a tantrum, but I did get so sick of chicken and broccoli that I just stopped eating. Which led to a whole OTHER set of problems, of course. *Wry grin* And to this day I can’t eat a piece of chicken with a side of broccoli. I can eat them together in casseroles, in stir-fries, etc., but I canNOT eat a piece of chicken with broccoli on the side. It makes me gag even to think about it.

    But I really think the fruit bit is a great idea, especially now that it’s summer, and I like summer fruits (I’m not a big fan of winter fruits: apples and citrus). So I’m going to buy a bunch of fruit in various forms: fresh, frozen, canned (in juice, not syrup), because even the processed fruit is probably better than ice cream and vodka.

    Thank you so much for the suggestion.

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