June 14, 2023
Jun 14, 2023
Have been struggling for the last few weeks with my eating behavior. It is odd after doing so well for so long--including while in Italy--that now is the time my behavior reverts. It just confirms that obesity is a life-long disease for me and not a "lose the weight and all will be good" point in time.
I listen to a vlog by Jackson Galaxy (about cats) so wound up also seeing an interview with him and Myiam Bialik. Both of them have had disordered eating and addiction issues. For some reason much of what they said resonated with me about the childhood eating patterns being triggered by anxiety. And to be truthful, I really hadn't heard people speak openly about some of the disordered eating behaviors I also had. I have never really "owned" that I had an eating disorder as I think of that as more severe and clinical (for lack of a better word) than my behavior. I am more comfortable with "disordered eating."
But back to anxiety and eating behaviors. I'm not sure why I perceive "anxiety" as something different than "stress." Maybe stress is more external? Stress from turmoil at work--because of how someone else behaves or a project due date. Where as anxiety seems more internal--a personal physical response that may be more generalized? And there is a bit of a more negative association with anxiety as people are labled as being an "anxious person" or having an anxiety disorder. Does anyone have a "stress disorder"?
Now I think about the generalized anxiety in today's culture due to Covid, the political fiasco called Congress, climate change, etc. and how just reading the news can generate a low level anxiousness. So while I've never considered myself a particularly anxious person, I am seeing how some of my behaviors in the last couple of years really can be an expression of anxiety.
So what have I been anxious about the last few weeks that might be triggering my disordered eating? There are some financial committments that, while I have budgeted for them and aren't a problem, they are more of a committment than usual. So that is new.
Also, I have been successful in losing most of my excess weight regain, just about 20 pounds left to go, so even the pressure of success and "will I reach goal" can be a self-imposed source of stress.
And I've been dealing with low-grade chronic pain in my left leg due to a sacral joint issue that physical therapy is helping but not resolving.
So, okay, I've got some anxiety. How can I manage it with something other than disordered eating (which just adds to the anxiety)?
I need to start a knitting project that is small and transportable--socks? a camisole?--that I can use to focus my thoughts, use my hands, etc.
I have signed up for a sewing class online that will give me a new project to focus on--creative, can't eat while doing, etc.
I can work on my garden when the weather is good and decluttering when I need to stay in the house.
I can review my budget to continually reaffirm that things are okay.
And I can set a different eating goal not about weight but about behavior--excluding all highly processed foods. More than half-way there normally so not a big change.