My most recent episode has really pissed me off. Four weeks ago, I decided to stop losing weight and deliberately gain, with the hope that I would also gain muscle with my weight lifting regimen. The goal with bulking is to gain slowly. My goal for my 12-16 week bulk was 10 pounds (and with luck, 2-3 of that would be muscle). In the first four weeks, I gained 11 pounds. It was my fear that having to eat "so much food" would make me lose control. Having to eat more than I need is a fine line. I should have been focusing on protein but, for many stupid reasons, I didn't. I overate carbs, and not even good carbs. There was a lot of sugar, HFCS, and fat consumption. And I gained weight quickly. But even after getting on the scale and being, once again, totally disgusted with myself, I still did. not. care. Last night, I continued to eat badly. The ice cream is finally gone, but there's always Nutella and a spoon. I still have cookie dough from our fundraiser.
Get rid of it? I could, but that would not stop me from going to buy more junk when the fancy struck. Not having garbage in the house is really only half the problem. Sure, it helps when it's just a passing craving but if I really want something, not having it won't matter. I'll go get it.
But that's not the point of this blog entry. I've addressed it to death in my fitness blog. There is nothing anyone can tell me about food choices that I don't already know. People say, "Oh, you're choosing food with no nutritional value. Eat some protein and fiber." No. Fucking. Shit. Sherlock. It's not as easy as just eat some fucking chicken & broccoli.
So anyway, I'm pretty desperate at this point. Not desperate enough to seek therapy or resort to chemicals to address the problem. I am desperate enough to try alternative techniques, such as meditation and self-hypnosis. Naturally, I asked the same group of people I run to whenever I have a question - my Babycenter spinoff board. I got a few good suggestions: Glenn Harrold, Paul McKenna, Marianne Williamson, and Erick Brown. Also recommended was Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping)*. Tapping involves tapping (duh) on certain points of the body to affect energy flow throughout the body, releasing negative or disruptive energy to alleviate whatever problem one may be having (releasing negativity, anxiety, emotional eating, whatever). I told you I was pretty desperate! I am not really one for hocus pocus. I've tried meditating before but really, it was just an excuse to daydream and take a nap.
But I decided that I need to try all this voodoo with an open mind. So last night when I went to bed, I listened a couple Paul McKenna tracks - the craving busters, both very short exercises. The first one I listened to (actually the second exercise on the CD dealing with cravings) is for dealing with instant cravings, and involves tapping and humming to remove the craving. Really, I didn't see how that was any different from any other distraction technique. Maybe the problem was that I wasn't really craving anything at the time of the exercise. Next time I get a craving, I may have to try it and see if I still roll my eyes. Yay for an open mind!
The second exercise is more for reprogramming to stop eating a particular food. Think of your most tempting food. For me, as I said, it's chocolate. Picture it and image it moving through you. Not digestively, but more like that scene in Poltergeist when Carol Anne's spirit went through her mother's body. And if I gave anything about the movie away right there, I'm sorry. If you haven't seen a very famous, almost 30 year old movie by now, that's your problem. Though, I have never seen Footloose. Please, no spoilers.
Imagine everything about your food - texture, smell, appearance, taste. Now associate it with a specific gesture, something that doesn't occur by accident. Paul suggests squeezing the thumb and pinky finger together. Okay, I can go with that. Then, think of the most disgusting thing you can possibly imagine eating. Think of how it tastes (or might taste) and smell and feel in your mouth. Perform your association gesture and continue thinking of that disgusting food. Finally, imagine eating your trigger food with the the disgusting food, all while performing your association gesture.
It took me a while to come up with something so disgusting, it makes me gag just thinking about it. I was going to go with eggplant, but eating eggplant is something I'd like to try in the future. I had it as a kid and was not impressed, but eating it again is on my sand pail list. Finally, I remembered something I saw in the luncheon meat section of the grocery store. Every time I walk by it, I want to vomit. It was labeled souse, which I have recently (as in this morning) learned is another name for head cheese. Why the fuck it's called head cheese when there is no cheese in it is beyond me. According to Wikipedia:
Head cheese is not acheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow), and often set in aspic. While the parts used can vary, the brain, eyes and ears are often removed. The tongue, and sometimes even the feet and heart may be included. Head cheese may be flavored withonion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt, and vinegar. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat. It can also be made from quality trimmings from pork and veal, adding gelatin to the stock as a binder.
Do you see that? Meat jelly. MEAT JELLY!!!! Made with the head parts of a pig. In meat gelatin. Sometimes tongue, feet, and heart are included! Quality trimmings? I'm pretty sure the 99 cent pack of souse at Food Lion is not coming from the quality parts of the pig or calf. It's okay if that doesn't sound appealing because spices are added!!! Spices make everything taste good, right? I will eat hot dogs, but that's totally different!
I can't even eat Jell-O because the texture bothers me. I can't imagine eating a meat jelly, much less a meat jelly with visible pieces of ick in it. OMG, I wouldn't even eat that if it were covered with Nutella.
Okay, so back to the exercise. I imagined eating my beloved chocolate with this nasty pig-ass-in-jiggly-goo. And I gagged. I was pretty tired, but I'm pretty sure I heaved and wretched, as well. And I didn't get up in the middle of the night to sneak some chocolate. I haven't craved chocolate at all, so I haven't had a chance to test out the exercise in the real world but pretty much every time "chocolate" pops into my head, so does "head cheese" and I immediately find something else to think about.
Now this is meat I would eat with chocolate!
I don't want to give up chocolate completely. At some point, I would like to be able to enjoy it in small amounts, once in a while (as in, less than moderation). I'm really hoping this doesn't bite me in the ass and I'll never be able to eat chocolate again. For now, I'm going to continue with the association gesture and tapping. If this doesn't work, I'm going to give up because I don't know what else to do.
Oh, there are chocolate chips in my freezer and I don't really want any, but even when I try to force myself to eat them, I just can't. Gag.
World Center for EFT
The Tapping Solution