FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

A place for interested members to journal personal progress, ask questions, and offer support

Moderators: JeffN, carolve

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kirstykay » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:50 pm

Kelly, I'm so proud of you and so excited to see your progress and commitment to stay on plan!! I only have a minute to use this computer...dh is still working trying to fix mine...so far NOT good!!! But I wanted to pop in and tell you how great you're doing. Keep it up, sista! You Rock!! :-D
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wcjx234/]
Image

You are what you do, not what you say you'll do. ~C.G. Jung
User avatar
kirstykay
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:05 pm

Thanks Kirsty.

Not much time to chat but I want to make an effort to check in as often as I can so I don't get ideas in my head about straying from the plan.

I ran 8 miles yesterday. Got a little too much sun on my shoulders and I feel really tired today. I have a headache but I think my TOM is just around the corner!! Yay, no more pain and if I stick with the plan it should cease being an issue altogether.

I feel great. I've stayed off the scale. This is a record for me. In fact, I was looking for some spring clothes to wear today and dug through the dresser in the spare bedroom. I opened a drawer and there was the scale. I had totally forgotten about it. Only 26 days to go!

That's pretty much it. I want to peak into some journals now. Later!
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:45 am

Moderation: How do you define it?

I was at an AA meeting this weekend and one of the topics was honesty. Someone said, "I didn't lie to people. I just made up stuff they wanted to hear." It made me laugh because so many alcoholics (and probably non-alcoholics too) broaden or narrow definitions in order to fall or not fall under a particular label. Take the term alcoholic for example. For years so many of us changed the definition so we wouldn't have to admit we were one. We think, "I didn't drink before work" or "I never lost a house" or "I was never homeless." Every time we cross one of those lines we have change the definition of alcoholic again. Finally, it's "I never drank more than a 6 pack before work on Wednesdays." Eventually, if we're lucky, we realize what we're doing and accept that we are indeed alcoholic. Then we can begin to do something about it.

I signed up for "Daily Challenge." I pick a topic I want to focus on like self-esteem, exercise, organization, finances getting involved in my community or whatever and receive a challenge via email each day on the topic. There are a ton of categories and I need improvement on many of them. Anyhoo, the other day someone posted that they struggle with beating themselves up if they eat more calories than their calorie restriction diet allows. Then she quoted something from Buddhism about moderation bringing happiness. She concluded that it was unrealistic to expect she could follow a food plan all the time and that moderation was the answer. She needed to go easy on herself when she ate too many calories and not expect perfection.

I see this line of thinking a lot here. So often when we deviate from the McDougall plan we beat ourselves up and people post in our journals to take it easy on ourselves. Just do the next right thing and move on. I also see people make arguments for complete compliance and others who say that rigid attitude just breeds failure. Some people say one bite leads to a binge and others say people binge because of their all-or-nothing attitude. Sometimes I wonder if we're all saying the same thing but talking past each other. Other times I think people are just different. Some people really can have one bite and move on. For me one bite fuels an obsession that, even if I could fight it off, produces so much pain it's not worth it. When I eat off plan and then go on 19-day bender it's not because I thought, "Oh well, screw it. I wasn't perfect so forget it." I go on a 19-day bender because I can't NOT go on a 19-day bender. The obsession has been fueled and I can't shut out the voices in my head screaming for more. If I picked up a drink, even after 7+ years of sobriety, I expect it would be the same way.

Anyhoo, this brings me back to the issue of moderation. What was the Buddha referring to when he said only moderation could bring happiness? If I abstain from alcohol 100% or if I follow the McDougall plan 100% am I failing to live in moderation? Will I never be happy? Should I tell myself following the plan, as it is written, is an unrealistic goal and not even try to accomplish it?

I was describing to a friend recently how I feel when I am 100% on plan. Everything feels right. When I eat I eat to satisfaction and not beyond. Between meals I focus on in-between meals tasks like doing my job or being a friend or taking care of my property or training for a half-marathon. When I am on-plan everything else falls into place. I am able, by my definition, to truly live a life of moderation. I no longer spend all of my waking moments thinking about food. I don't think about when I can eat next, what I can eat next, or how much I can eat. I don't look at the calories on a box of high fat processed food knowing I will eat the entire package and curious what the total damage will be. I don't plan my runs around the number of calories I need to burn off because I ate an entire box of Nutty Bars at work. I don't feel shame over the choices I make that are lies against my own morals. I don't have to look at the cows in the Iowa fields and the chickens and pigs in the backs of transport trucks and look away because I know I am responsible for what is happening to them. I don't have to turn the channel when I see the starving faces of children who go hungry every day so the rest of us can be glutenous consumers with total disregard for how our actions affect others.

When I am on plan I am at peace. I am living a life consistent with my own values and in harmony with my own body. There is no battle. I believe that is what the Buddha was describing. I don't think he meant eating a candy bar because you're so hungry from calorie restriction and then telling yourself it's OK because nobody's perfect and you need moderation. I may be wrong but that's my definition.

I'm sure Dr. McDougall didn't intend for his food plan to be the answer to all spiritual, physical and societal maladies but that's what it is for me. I feel grateful today and at peace.
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby bunsofaluminum » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:06 am

does moderation lead to contentment? If I have a taste or two of a luscious dessert, will that be enough? Not for me. I'll eat a taste, and it will taste so good, I'll have another taste or two, until I've consumed half a cheesecake or whatever.

So, if that is moderation (the French seem to be able to do this: tiny portions, enjoyed over long, relaxed dinner hours, equates to being satiated with a small amount of whatever, and they don't deny themselves the luscious dessert...they don't eat half the cheesecake, either) then so far in my life, I have not been successful with "moderation."

But what if I came at it from a "be content with what I have" mindset? this meal of greens, rice and garbanzo beans, eaten with gratitude and contentment, can provide complete satiation. If I eat it slowly and savor each bite, it will fill my stomach (and I won't eat as much, as I would by bolting my food) and if I eat it with gratitude, my spirit will be full, too. (as opposed to huffing out a grumpy sigh and being full of complaints about it) I do believe, focusing on the flavors, eating slowly, eating with gratitude, stopping when full, would bring about a more moderate intake of food, too.

maybe moderation and gratitude go together.
The important thing is to make these choices one day at a time and the rest follows. If I do the right things, I don't have to watch the scale or agonize about whether it will work.
by figpiglet

I heart my endothelial lining
by red squirrel
User avatar
bunsofaluminum
 
Posts: 4305
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Ogden Utah

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:19 am

Exactly, Buns. And think about how long meats, cheeses and rich desserts have been part of a "moderate" diet. We have broadened the definition of moderation to include our immoderate American lifestyles. We've expanded the definition so much that nearly all behaviors (with the exception of those eating habits which existed throughout most of human history) can be subsumed within it. Now consuming low-fat, plant-based foods isn't moderate. It's extreme.
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby bunsofaluminum » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:26 am

Oh, very good. I think a lot of us McDougallers actually somewhat do moderation by that definition. At least, eating a rich meal once or twice a year would seem to fit.

not that I follow THAT either! :lol: but at least I'm not eating "Easter Feast for breakfast; Thanksgiving Feast for lunch; Christmas Feast for dinner; plus the Easter basket for snacks" every day and calling THAT moderation! :roll:
The important thing is to make these choices one day at a time and the rest follows. If I do the right things, I don't have to watch the scale or agonize about whether it will work.
by figpiglet

I heart my endothelial lining
by red squirrel
User avatar
bunsofaluminum
 
Posts: 4305
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Ogden Utah

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby bettina » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:47 am

Hi kkrithar

I really enjoy the insights in your posts.
I, too, have struggled with the idea of moderation.
Perhaps it is different for each person.
I come out of addictions and used either alcohol or food to get the same effect. No matter how much I wanted to believe and try to moderate it failed.
I like the following 2 descriptions in the bible "Temperance" (restraint) and also the saying "all things are permitted but not all things are profitable .
For me personally, freedom means that when I restrain from taking in stuff that ensnares me and make the choice to not use things that don't profit me in any way, I then have the freedom to make that choice again and again. When I choose the "just a little bit" choice , I only have the freedom to make that choice once or maybe twice. After that I become a puppet to addictions and my life disintegrates quickly.
I think perhaps we all know deep in our hearts when we have that freedom from bondage. For me it brings a regained peace and joy and slowly that pull to unprofitable food and behavior looses it's grip.
The hardest for me is too remember how horrible the bondage is and how quickly I can slide into it. Freedom is easier to maintain than to fight my way back to.

edited to correct who i addressed it to, OOPS, sorry
Last edited by bettina on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bettina
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:20 am

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kirstykay » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:08 pm

kkrichar wrote:Moderation: How do you define it?

When I am on plan I am at peace. I am living a life consistent with my own values and in harmony with my own body. There is no battle. I believe that is what the Buddha was describing. I don't think he meant eating a candy bar because you're so hungry from calorie restriction and then telling yourself it's OK because nobody's perfect and you need moderation. I may be wrong but that's my definition.

I'm sure Dr. McDougall didn't intend for his food plan to be the answer to all spiritual, physical and societal maladies but that's what it is for me. I feel grateful today and at peace.


Kelly, I absolutely LOVE your definition of moderation...you are talking about true balance in all of life! When did we turn this concept inside out and upside down to justify our desire for unhealthy foods??? I guess, WE didn't, it's more like that's what our consumer culture has done. As in, "Oh don't deny yourself, or you'll just overindulge later." As if we are incapable of finding balance in life.

Your perspective is so profound. When I am living in simplicity and not ruled by gluttony (or greed), I can find balance (moderation) in life. And only then can I live in a place of "enough" instead of always longing for "more." And yet, in all of it, there is room to forgive myself and move on when I'm not perfect...because perfectionism is bondage, not balance.

Great post! Thanks for giving me so much to think about! :)
"Transformation occurs in our willingness to continue facing the truth of who we are, regardless of how threatening or unpleasant the reality might be. It means hanging in there, learning our own mind tricks and how they defeat us, recognizing our avoidances, acknowledging our lapses, and finally, learning that we cannot handle ourselves." ~The Last Addiction
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wcjx234/]
Image

You are what you do, not what you say you'll do. ~C.G. Jung
User avatar
kirstykay
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby toadfood » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:22 am

I love your thinking about moderation. FYI, abstaining from intoxicants (including alcohol) is one of the Five Wonderful Precepts, so the Buddha absolutely did not mean people should consume moderate amounts of alcohol! Moderation in all things does not mean we should consume moderate amounts of poison, and alcohol is poison to an alcoholic.

I do think it's important not to beat ourselves up when we have a slip, because for me, beating myself up is not productive. It does not lead to improvement. It just leads to feeling bad, and looking for something to make the bad feeling go away. I need to come at this from a place of love and self-care, not punishment.
Image

Image

I have to stay with my turtle energy. Slow and steady wins the race. -- Letha
User avatar
toadfood
 
Posts: 1686
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:13 am
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby bunsofaluminum » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:55 am

learning that we cannot handle ourselves

LOVE IT!
The important thing is to make these choices one day at a time and the rest follows. If I do the right things, I don't have to watch the scale or agonize about whether it will work.
by figpiglet

I heart my endothelial lining
by red squirrel
User avatar
bunsofaluminum
 
Posts: 4305
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Ogden Utah

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:10 am

I agree Toadfood. I think some of the "disagreements" people have on the issue of compliance are not really disagreements. They're talking about 2 separate issues but not realizing it. There's the issue of setting 100% compliance as the goal and there's the issue of dealing with a slip if it happens. Some people state up front that they do not intend to follow the plan 100%. Others want to follow it but slip.

If you slip I think you should get back on the horse. There's no need/value in wallowing in self-pity, self-flagellation or punishment. Move on, get back on the wagon, whatever.

The first issue, I think, is where it's so important to honestly self-evaluate. This is where the debate of over addiction versus regular old biological response comes in. I don't think it matters that much which you believe because the solution is the same. If you believe you cannot stop yourself once you've eaten some SAD or VAD then abstinence is the reasonable approach.

Some people argue, any maybe this is where the addiction/nature people diverge, that any on-plan eating is progress and eventually we can work toward 100% or maybe never go 100% but be close. In AA, alcoholism is viewed as a progressive disease. By that they mean taking a drink, no matter how long you've been abstinent, causes you to rocket right back to where you were the day you stopped and, in many cases, worse than you were. It isn't a two-steps forward, one-step back kind of thing. It's a 1 step forward 5 steps back deal. At that rate you get nowhere fast (well, except death, you get there a lot faster). If you take this same approach to sugar, fat, salt then a little here and a little there is not only a) not practically possible and b) efforts to do so set you back not forward. Does this mean it isn't possible for any human being to slowly transition into the McDougall lifestyle? Absolutely not. What it means for me, and that's the only person I can speak for, is that I need to go into this WOE with the willingness to try to follow it 100%.

It is not helpful for me to take the approach that exceptions can be made. When I do that, and I have done that many times, the exceptions start right away and they keep going until I'm not eating anything resembling McDougall. I quit logging onto the forums. I go on weeks-long, sometimes months-long benders and come back 23 pounds heavier and sick. This I know to be true. I am no longer in denial about this. It does not mean this is true for any other person here.

Know thyself. Can you eat a "bite" or a meal or a weekend of SAD/VAD and not crave it (physically or mentally) afterward to the point of experiencing pain or discomfort in the struggle to resist? If not then perhaps 100% compliance is your way out of the food struggle. Going into it with a strong commitment to adhere to the plan is NOT a guarantee you will never slip. However, going into it with the intention of making exceptions guarantees you will eat off plan. How you address a slip is a separate issue from what you believe is the right path for you regarding your relationship with food. Likewise, assuming your experience is/should be everyone else's experience is probably naive/short-sighted/unhelpful.

That's just what I think. If it helps you to view the issue the way I do, awesome. If not, hopefully someone else here thinks about it in a way that will help you. I love this site and the diversity of ideas and experiences presented here.
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:11 am

Hahaha, that's a great way to put it, Buns.
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby Love » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:46 am

toadfood wrote:Good for you for getting back on track, and for stretching yourself to help those girls! It sounds like a wonderful program.

I know you're a 12-stepper like me, so I thought you might appreciate this writing exercise my sponsor gave me. It's called a Steps to a Slip Inventory. I hope I'm not being presumptuous posting this here; if I am let me know and I'll delete it.

1. Select lined paper and write on every third line. You will be putting in other details later. Write a story of what happened leading up to your slip, starting at least four hours before it
happened.

2. Write about the slip as if you were holding a movie camera on yourself. Your actions, thoughts and feelings should be included, right up to “and then I ate…”

3. Identify where the “emotional relapse” happened. When did you get angry, start obsessing, try to control a situation, feel overwhelmed by fear. Write the feelings on the empty lines. You may need another food addict to help you with this.

4. What were the lies you told yourself so that you could eat? “It’s only one bite.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “It’s my last chance to eat something yummy.” “Oh, screw it; I’m going to have what I want.”

5. After that, identify the spiritual disconnection. Did you have a connection to your Higher Power that morning? How long ago did you lose it? That’s when your slip really began.

6. Read this inventory to two other abstinent food addicts, in addition to your sponsor. You need abstinent people to help you through the blank spots and denial. People that are still in the food are not clear enough to help you.

7. Write out your plan for how to address the situation the next time it happens (AND IT WILL.)

8. Finally, what is the spiritual lesson in your slip?

I have to admit I didn't do number 6 -- I just read it to my sponsor, not to two other people as well. I did find it helpful though.


Wow, that's great. thanks for sharing that writing technique. that could really help me.
Love
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:59 am

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby kkrichar » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:49 am

Love, I was totally going to look for that post today to give to a friend!!!! Thanks for digging it out! Isn't it a great outline for working through some of this stuff? I'm going to use it.
Image

The delusion that I can eat like other people has to be smashed.
User avatar
kkrichar
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Iowa City

Re: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SELF

Postby Love » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:06 am

kkrichar wrote:Love, I was totally going to look for that post today to give to a friend!!!! Thanks for digging it out! Isn't it a great outline for working through some of this stuff? I'm going to use it.



Yeah, I'm an 8-year member of AA, and now new to OA. I don't actually want to get all militant with OA like I am AA. I want to do McDougall and keep working the 12 steps in the successful way I have been. Wait, that sounds bad......I don't know how to articulate this. It feels like this WOE has filled in some holes for me on the physical plane after I've already done so much spiritual, mental and emotional work. My body and brain just needed some healthy carbs to function without being clogged up with gross fat.

I'll definitely be keeping up with your blog!

Love from the Great Northwest
Love
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:59 am

PreviousNext

Return to Journal

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest