Friday, April 03, 2009
This is what the park outside of my house looks like today. The drizzle is not offensive as a downpour might be; it's a very light April shower- the kind that brings May flowers.
It's been a very pleasant spring, in stark contrast to the brutal ice-filled winter we just endured. It was so bad that my next door neighbors made the decision to sell their house and move to Florida. There were quite a few days this past winter when driving was outrageously dangerous. I have a problem with that, although I'm basically a tolerant individual.
Spring's renewal has inspired me to take inventory of my life. I happened to spy a copy of a book that I found really helpful a few years ago: Life Strategies by Phil McGraw. The book spelled out the importance of looking at each aspect of one's life and determining where the shortfalls lie. I made major changes after reading that book- hopefully they were wise ones.
Using the technique outlined in the book, I re-evaluated my life. Most areas are OK, with 2 areas standing out as needing improvement. One is clutter control. I'm so much better than I used to be, but I still have the problem of being too quick to let things go. And the other has to do with eating.
This photo illustrates my primary problem right now. Ever since leaving home for college, I've developed a habit of improper use of food. Instead of nourishment, its use in my life seems to be distraction, comfort, pleasure and numbing.
It seems like an addiction- the drug is food. Sometimes I control it to one degree or another- sometimes the best I can do is starve myself for a few days between binges. And I actually do experience an occasional period of "normal" eating, usually not for long.
I can't explain why the problem didn't surface until I moved away from home. I remember once when I was about 8 years old, I was alone in the house and I took a package of Chips Ahoy cookies into my bedroom to eat while I was reading a book. That was my first binge. At age 8, I was revolted afterwords, disgusted by my gluttony. I did not want to be fat- I vowed never to do it again.
And I didn't- not until college. That's where I was at my worst. I used to buy huge bags of candy to eat while I was studying. I'd scarf down ice cream by the half gallon. I'd eat entire cheesecakes. I didn't become obese because I also ran everyday, as I still do.
I have been to various types of counselors, ranging from a psychiatrist (who thought I was fine) to a social worker most recently. None of them focused on the eating thing, and when I brought it up, they offered no insight as to why it was going on or how it might be dealt with. I guess I do it to escape from life, which I apparently find scary. Lots of people escape in one way or another- it's not exactly uncommon.
Right now I am thinking of a friend of mine who had a hard time quitting smoking. When he finally did quit, he replaced the habit with long-distance running. I suppose I too would benefit from finding a replacement habit. An exercise addiction is not in the cards for me, in fact it's fairly amazing that I've been able to keep jogging for all these years, so I'm going to have to come up with something which would be suitable for me which is healthy or at least not damaging.
Maybe I should become a workaholic.
Do you have any suggestions? I really don't want to live on Peanut Butter Eggs and potato chips.
Posted by B.S. at Friday, April 03, 2009