Walking on the Chinese Walls

I really admire those people who can compartmentalize nearly every aspect of their lives.

Separate personal from private, groups of friends, love and loss from their everyday exterior.

I know people who are masters and mistresses of this. Slicing up portions of their lives, erecting Chinese walls around them for protection or just because that’s how they are.

That, I cannot do. I would make a terrible poker player. I wear my feelings on my face and so it seems everywhere else on my body.

I have read many times that people who have weight issues eat to numb pain/emotions/issues. I don’t think I do that people I actually FEEL everything. As i have said recently, I am a crier.

I feel everything said and done to me as well as around me so acutely. From personal slights to even world events.

I know I need to learn to get that in check. In the meantime, anyone know a good builder, I need me some of those Chinese walls.

Girl Meets Wall

Girl Meets Wall

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Just Say No, or Maybe Not

theeverygirl_sayingno

I realized recently that my editing skills extend to my own thoughts and words.

My interior dialogue (for want of a better word) is a rich stream of consciousness. But when it comes to articulating, I choose my words very carefully.

This may come from being an only child and spending a lot of time wanting to please my parents, teachers, friends and society as a whole.

Meanwhile, when I do say what I’m thinking outside of a work context, invariably it offends someone. Be that on social media, in person or on the phone.

An extension of this is not being able to say “No”.

That word is hard for me – in relationships, work and social situations and of course, food.

Saying “no” has the ability to upset people. To let them down. To disappoint them.

It often causes me pain, overloads me and basically makes me miserable. Yet I still do it without even thinking.

And when you throw food into the mix, you get an even more emotionally toxic concoction.

*Progress update: Another 1.5kgs lost this week. Have had a couple of great training sessions as well, smashing my previous personal bests. But as for food, will get back to you on that.

 

Changing the World One Mouthful at a Time

So I survived the first buffet of 2014 unscathed food wise, though a little tipsy.

No adults were harmed in the making of that afternoon of food and friends but silently I was aware of every mouthful I was eating.

A friend sent me this interesting link to a recent article in The UK Huffington Post:

How A Mindful Eating Class Stopped Me From A Lifetime Of Overeating

What was interesting about yesterday and a meal I had on Friday was that there was, for the first time, a point where I actually felt full.

That’s when I stopped.

It’s not earth shattering but it is a start…and I am saying nothing about the champagne that was doing the rounds!

 

 

The Buffet Zone

Be honest, everyone loves a buffet. Even those food snobs out there who only profess to dining in Michelin starred pantheons of gastronomy.

And where I live, the buffet is an art form which is usually enhanced by copious amounts of alcohol and foolishness.

But for someone like me, the buffet is also a war zone (with booze).

Glistening piles of prawns, tables laden with cheeses and meats, swathes of sushi, fatty fois gras and even the odd lobster all add up to a mountain of food I want to eat…now.

I have a BBQ today and there is a buffet involved so already I am thinking of strategies to cope and to look inconspicuous while obsessing.

The Worrier Princess

My parents claim I have never been a good sleeper and the evidence does bear this out. As a baby sometimes the only way they could get me to sleep was to drive me around the streets of Merrylands. The motion of the car (a Datsun) would calm me down.

I am still a light sleeper. The slightest noise will stir me. I fidget. I routinely wake up at 4am, then have a conversation with myself that I still have 90 minutes of time to sleep. Naturally I don’t.

I attribute this to my propensity to worry. I don’t know why I am a natural born worrier. I also can’t remember a time I didn’t worry about something.

Some people call this people neurotic. Or more kindly anxiety. It’s my natural state. I remember when I was in high school, they made us read the truly bleak book Z for Zachariah about a nuclear apocalypse. I was 13, it was the early 1980s at the height of the Cold War and I was convinced this would happen.

Someone suggested my propensity to worry could be attributed to being an only child, bearing the brunt of our parent’s anxieties and overwhelmingly love. This could be true as another only child friend has what she calls “World Sadness”, that is, she occasionally gets sad about things happening in the world, big and small.

My worrying topics range from trivial to the serious to the self indulgent. Currently I am worrying about (in no order):

  • I have a new job and there is a lag in my salary being paid. I am worried I will run out of money before I am paid again;
  • About my job generally (as someone who lost their job twice in 18 months at one stage, justified I think!);
  • I said something stupid and mean and it caused a problem with someone I love. This is my major  source of worry, regret and grief for me at the moment;
  • That I will die poor (recurring see above);
  • What I will wear tomorrow;
  • That my car will break down again (continual);
  • About my aging parents generally;
  • About a friend having a difficult time with his work and of course
  • My weight

Those are just a sample of things that cross my ind every day. I’ve tried all manner of techniques to stop it, from distraction to hypnosis but haven’t managed to come to grips with it. I just live with it.

As my father calls, me, I am the Worrier Princess.

*Weight and food check: I am more than 4kgs down from 10 days ago.

When an apple a day just won’t cut it…

As I write this I am thinking about what I am going to have for my next meal, I have been thinking about that for some time.

All the time in fact. When I will eat next? What I will eat? Will people notice if I eat early? What will I cook for dinner? Should I eat before I go out? Does anyone have any snacks?

Let’s be honest here. I am a food addict. Pure and simple and I probably always have been.

Of all the addictions I wish I could have had (shopping, sex, shoes…hell even substances), I guess I could have chosen something more glamorous…or frankly acceptable.

See, I think one of the main reasons why I haven’t accepted the reality food addiction is frankly, it does seem a bit lame.

Another excuse for gluttony.

Or lack of will power.

Or being someone who just enjoys their food.

Someone who I care about and I have a little schtick where we send each other media links about the new fad diet, the latest in research on healthy living etc.

They know intimately my issues with my weight, with food and generally my struggle to be healthy and have been supportive beyond words.

I sent them a piece earlier this week and the response hit me hard. I was told my problem was that I read all of this but never do anything about my own eating issues.

When the reply email landed I felt as if I had been slapped.

Hard.

I locked myself in the bathroom and had a cry (I cry a lot, it’s reflexive), but I couldn’t hide from the fact that it was true.

I hated it but knew I had to accept it.

I digested this for a couple of days. Cried some more. Checked out the cost of weight loss surgery and whether that would fit in my holiday schedule. Remembered my fear of needles and promptly dropped this idea.

Then I made a decision.

Yesterday I had a workout with my personal trainer. A workout that had be a sweaty and crumpled mess in my car afterwards. Best workout in ages. He had weighed me and we discovered I was 3kgs down from last week which was more a relief than a cause for celebration.

I showered, went to a media dinner (oh the irony – I am a food blogger!) and when I came home, perhaps fueled by a couple of glasses of red wine and a belly full of Singaporean food (I agonized over every mouthful), I registered this blog.

So here I am. Doing something about my “eating”, about my addiction, ugly and as deeply unsexy as it is.

This is not going to be the prettiest blog and I will confess I am prone to the odd maudlin dramatic turn, but at least it will keep me honest.