Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Week 15 Day 107: change, sabotage and control

Things have gone a bit askew in the last couple of weeks. For various reasons I'm back in the world of food - temporarily - and I'm really struggling. It's like everything I learned on LL, everything that made me feel in control, has disappeared in a puff of smoke. I'm slap-bang in the middle of old, bad habits and I'm closing my eyes to it - blocking my ears, going la la la, but every day is a new study in low-level, back-of-the-mind terror and shame, and to be honest I'm sick of it.

So how did it all start? Well, I got ill. I had a migraine that lasted 5 days and didn't respond to any migraine medication or any of my getting-rid-of-migraine tricks. It was utterly miserable. I was in bed all week, in constant pain - often severe - and I think I even forgot to have my packs on some days. Before this, I should mention, I was doing pretty well on LLL (although my water consumptions was a bit low still) despite my adventures in bread and cheese from the last blog post.

Now I've been referred to a specialist in January, and in the meantime my GP asked me to come off LLL for Christmas - then restart in January to see if either approach made a difference, and to keep a headache diary. I talked to my LLC and she said that this was absolutely the right thing to do, and to keep a food log, with these columns:

  1. TIME

And you know what I've done? Neither. No headache diary, no food diary.

It's partly because I felt guilty. I had been toying with (okay, I'd already decided) to go off-diet for a few certain days over Christmas anyway which - when I think about it - is actually an okay decision, but I guess I was feeling guilty about it and then convinced myself that I'd subconsciously engineered this situation so my GP would recommend stopping LL for a while, even though I doubt the diet's got anything to do with my migraines (I had fewer migraines in the first 6 weeks of LL). Although in retrospect I couldn't have. Even I don't dislike myself enough to bring about a 5 day migraine.

And - you see - retrospect! That's something you don't have when you mentally plug your ears and go la la la.

Also, I felt guilty because my LLC told me this:

"Remember that one of the key things that helps when managing your weight is to plan/be organised around what you will be eating/drinking.  However I know you will be fine as you are prepared to think about what you are doing!'

I felt guilty because by the time she told myself I already had gone wrong. It started off well enough - I feared, then thrilled in the novelty of participating in the weekly shop, loading up my trolley with stuff to make nice healthy but tasty protein and veg-rich meals for myself. But you know what offices are like at Christmas - chocolate and Krispy Kremes everywhere. I'd have "just one" here and there, but because my stomach's now so small that would keep me filled up all day, and my lovingly and thoughtfully prepared salad would go to waste in the office fridge. And the next day my opinion of myself would have dropped several notches - and with it my resolve - and I might have more than "just one" - even looking at my salads would make me feel guilty.

I mean, I haven't eaten terribly: I think I've eaten what everyone eats around this time of year: caution flies to the wind and you have a mince pie for breakfast, and pick at things you've baked, skipped meals entirely, eaten more than your fair share of biscuits etc. So I haven't binged in the physical sense: but the mental one, which is worse I think. I've been walking around feeling bloated and heartburny and guilty, and terrified every time I get dressed because I'm convinced I've put the 35lbs back on overnight. And it seems so wrong - so wrong - that my size 10s still fit.

Originally, I was thinking about coming off the diet for these days over Christmas:
  1. My team Christmas drinks
  2. A Christmas drinks/dinner with old friends
  3. Another Christmas party with friends
  4. Christmas Eve to Boxing Day
  5. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
And I thought I'm really going to enjoy these meals or drinks - they'll be treats - so I'll take small bites, chew slowly, really savour the flavour. Originally I thought I'd stay on foodpacks throughout, only "cheating" for these specific meals or drinks: I would come out of ketosis, but at least I'd still have my routine and my calorie count would stay relatively low. Even when my GP asked me to come off LL for a bit, I thought I'd at least eat healthily for the most part, then "cheat" for these special meals or drinks.

But I haven't. I've been cheating throughout. Which makes me depressed because these meals/drinks are no longer special, and they're tainted with guilt. Plus I've not been savouring anything - I've been wolfing it down because I'm scared and guilty and don't want to think about it.

However. I have been to all my Christmas parties and managed to have fun despite the guilt, and the immediate feeling of uncomfortable bloating afterwards. I went to a cocktail party in a SIZE 10 COCKTAIL DRESS half-convinced that I'd be laughed out of the building, but all I got were compliments (I spent the entire night telling everyone how uncomfortable my shoes were; I wasn't comfortable with being attractive, but that's another set of neuroses for another time) and lots and lots of male interest. It was most curious.

So now here we are in Christmas week. Today I'm off to my mother's - I might take some soups with me in case she tries to fatten me up. Tomorrow I have my LLL pop-in: I am PETRIFIED of being weighed, and petrified of feeling like a loser. I think I've put on at least 4lbs so far but I suspect most of that is glycogen, and just the weight of food. But I am going because I want to pick up my packs, and restart either LL or LLL in early January. My journey isn't over - I always told myself that this short break was a bit of an "experiment" with the safety net of restarting LL at the other end. I think I'm just sad and disappointed because the experiment failed somewhat.

But there's still time to salvage it. I'd like to say the novelty of food has worn off, but I doubt it has. However I know that eating that biscuit, or this bit of chocolate, on a day when I'm not planning to, really doesn't make me feel any better. I have a fridge full of healthy tasty food and days and days in which to eat it.

I'm not sure how successful I'm going to be, but I do know that the way I'm going is making me miserable, which is the opposite of the effect I wanted to achieve over Christmas.


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