Saturday, August 4, 2012

Exposure Challenges

I've eaten out three times in the past three days. Lunch on Thursday, dinner on Friday, and lunch today. Anyone impressed yet? Anyone? Oddly, I'm feeling guiltier about the money part than the calories part, although I'm definitely struggling a whole lot with body image and gross fat feelings right now.

As my weight gets closer and closer to a healthy number, I feel myself wanting to tighten the reins. Can't let your guard down, now. Don't want to overshoot your goal. I'm still a ways from the final target, according to J's calculations, although I am pretty close to a minimum healthy BMI. And that scares the crap out of me. It's as if I'm thisclose to being not underweight, which means I must be thisclose to being fat. Because there's nothing between underweight and obese, right? ;) I'm actually bouncing right around this threshold that I mentioned a couple weeks ago, and it's seriously messing with my head.

Anyway, my instincts are screaming at me to RUN RUN RUN AWAY CRAWL IN A DARK HOLE AND HIDE AND STARVE AND DIE. But if anything, I'm being more adventurous, putting myself out there, telling myself why restrict? Cheese is good for you. Upping your cals is the whole damn point. Dinner out last night was totally my idea, and it was one of those meals where my friends and I spent half the night gabbing away at the table long after the waitress cleared our plates. This morning, my roommate suggested lunch out, and I stressed a little about whether to adjust breakfast accordingly in anticipation of a bigger lunch. Then I decided that was pointless, ate my normal breakfast, and tried not to worry about lunch until it happened. Lunch came, I ate, it was delicious, story over.

When I saw my dietician yesterday, we talked a little about how the only way to overcome anxieties is through exposure. Scared of restaurants? Eat in one. Still scared? Do it again. According to J, the key to exposure therapy is confronting the source of fear over and over again until it isn't scary anymore. To which I wanted to be a little smart ass and respond: "But playing with spiders or jumping out of airplanes won't make you FAT!" Just kidding.

Eating out still scares me. It's the unknown calories, the unknown ingredients, the pressure of eating in public with other people, the scrutiny, the spontaneity, etc. But I can do it. I'm trying so, so hard with food lately, even though I'm still pretty miffed with R and I may have burst into tears with J yesterday about my weight.

As for the rest of my dietary appointment - J was an absolutely sweetheart and didn't make fun of me for getting upset. She implemented a change of strategy: I now a minimum calorie goal of XXXX to hit every single day this week. I guess she has finally realized that I wasn't kidding about the automatic and obsessive counting, and that trying the hide the numbers from me is futile. So far today, I'm on track to hit XXXX. I'll keep ya posted!


  1. 1) woooo hoooo!! Sooooo awesome that you've been living a life guided by your VALUES (of being a friend who eats out, of being with people you care about) and not living by fear! Awesome!

    2) I totally agree with J about Exposure being the answer!

    3) You don't want to always be on a "calorie counting meal plan" b/c it IS possible to stop counting even when you do it automatically and constantly (yes, this was the BIGGEST problem for me EVER - and, if you can believe it, I actually NEVER count anymore. I still know the calories of everything, but the # doesn't pop into my head everytime I see a food anymore.). but, I did want to say that I have been on a calorie counting meal plan and it can go both ways in terms of increasing stress vs. not - but I've definitely had it work for me, so I hope it works for you too.

    Keep going and KEEP KEEP TALKING about the fears, the anxiety, etc. You are in the shit of it, but you're doing it! Keep talking, keep using J and R and blog and roommate etc. etc. etc. and keep going!

  2. Also, it was awesome how you decided to eat your full breakfast and then deal with the lunch out when you get to it! That's exactly what you should keep doing! Stay in the present - not in the future! You go! Keep it up!

  3. this makes me soo happy =] awesome job! makes me want to try my hardest too!

  4. Congratulations on all of the exposure work! I'm so incredibly proud of you for dealing with the feelings and not compensating at other meals. I'm with you on the fears, I always tell my D that I'm so afraid that one more meal or snack is going to launch me right from underweight to morbidly obsese. He seems to think this isn't possible. Go figure.

    I'm so glad that J was understanding about your fears and that you guys are using calorie counting as a tool for good instead of evil. Keep up the awesome work!

  5. That's funny cuz I just commented on your most recent post and basically told you to expose yourself to new situations. Your dietician is right, though. I am sure you know this.
    I just wanna tell you.. as someone who was in the EXACT same situation.. when you get to your goal weight (at a healthy BMI) you will love life SO much more. I swear to it.
    You will look better, you will be happier, the colors of life will be more vivid. I'm here for you if you ever need me, darling.