Category Archives: Emotional Eater’s Books of Inspiration

The Miracle of Me

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My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.

I found a little assignment at the end of today’s reading in The Emotional Eater’s Book of Inspiration that I actually think would be a good thing for me to do. OK, so in all fairness, there is an “assignment” at the end of each reading. I normally do them, but this is one that I think I should post here.

The assignment is “write down 10 things that you are grateful for about your body.” Ten positive things about my body. Are there really ten positives about this body of mine? I could easily name ten negative things, ten things that I would LOVE to change. But I am supposed to focus on the positive for today. So, let’s see what I can come up with.

  1. My thick, curly hair that I have never had to have permed
  2. The smile I’ve often been told is warm and friendly
  3. My ears that can hear my children say, “I love you, Mommy”
  4. Arms that are strong enough to hug all of my children
  5. A brain that is wired for creativity
  6. A heart that beats without effort on my part
  7. Lungs that breathe without effort
  8. A waist that is 5 ½ inches smaller than it was just four months ago
  9. Muscles that burn when I exercise, letting me know that they are working for me
  10. My entire body, which my husband thinks is sexy

Garbage Disposals and Cheerleaders

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

And I am not a human garbage disposal.

That is what I read in The Emotional Eater’s Book of Inspiration today. It might sound funny—and I’ll admit that I did giggle when I first read it. But there is a lot of truth in that sentence. And sadly, I can think of a lot of times when I have acted like a human garbage disposal. One of my sons will decide he is full and I will empty his plate for him. I rationalize that even if those few bites go straight to my hips, it’s better than putting the food in the trash. Anything is better than adding something to the trash.

Funny how if it is a vegetable the kids don’t want I have no problem throwing that away. If I throw out the veggie but eat the meat and carbs, it must be something other than not wanting to add to the trash that makes me want to eat it.

This morning, I started my liquid only diet in preparation for surgery. My surgery is scheduled for May 23. For the next two weeks, I get nothing but non-alcoholic, non-carbonated, non-caffeinated beverages, Jell-O, pudding, yogurt, and runny mashed potatoes. Let me tell you, this is not going to be easy! It is worth it, though. My ten-year-old is already teasing me when he eats, making exaggerated noises, telling me what he ate for lunch, and reminding me about the left over birthday goodies in the fridge and freezer. My almost-four-year-old is worry that I am not eating anything and keeps offering to share his meals with me. It’s nice to know that I have at least one compassionate child!

When I posted on Facebook that I was started the liquids only today, I was touched by all of the support and well-wishes I received. One message really surprised me, though. It came from a woman named Jaye who I have known since middle school. Jaye was smart, pretty and popular. In high school, she was a varsity cheerleader (and yes, I used the words “smart” and “cheerleader” to describe the same person!) Today, she sent me a little note of support and said that she understood what it was like to have a weight problem. After high school, her weight climbed up to 250 pounds. She said she was so embarrassed and ashamed of her weight that wouldn’t leave the house. I have to say, Jaye is one of the last people I would ever expect to hear something like that from. I do appreciate, though, that she felt comfortable enough to share that with me.

Blame Responsibly

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

And today I am in a bit of an argumentative mood!

Can’t say that I woke up that way. No, I was actually in a pretty decent mood when I got up this morning. It wasn’t until I started reading today’s bit of wisdom in the Emotional Eater’s Book of Inspiration that I got into a fighting mood. Here is the particular sentence I read that made my blood boil: You are not to blame for your weight problem.

Well then, who is?

Should I blame Ben and Jerry for making all of those delicious ice cream flavors?

Or maybe Sara Lee and Little Debbie for making so many varieties of snack cakes?

Or perhaps the blame goes to Wendy, Ronald McDonald, The Dairy Queen and The Burger King for making it so easy to get unhealthy food without even leaving my car?

No, they didn’t do it. They are not the reason I have a weight problem. How can I blame them for finding a way to continue making money in such a tough economy? Just because they make it doesn’t mean I have to eat it. They haven’t forced me to hand over my money or take that first bite. They haven’t forced me to continue eating long after I was full. Nope, that is all on me.

So how can anyone say that I am not to blame for all of this extra weight?

This particular reading was very confusing to me. It started with that sentence above and ended with, “take responsibility and watch your life change.” But how am I really taking responsibility for anything if I refuse to realize that I am to blame for the choices that led to this extra weight?

Now, I can understand not dwelling on my guilt. That is just going to make me want to eat more. But to deny that I am the cause of the weight? That doesn’t make sense.

Yes, I realize that I have a disease. I realize that it is moments when the disease is at its worst that I eat more than I need to. But that’s not an excuse. By not getting help, by not following the 12 steps as I should, I allowed the disease to gain the upper hand. If my addiction was to alcohol and I caused the death of another person by driving while drinking, would I get out of trouble by saying, “I am not to blame for this; it is the disease that did it?” No way! And I just don’t think that that I can ever take responsibility for my actions if I don’t accept the blame for my weight problem.

Food Lies

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Hi. My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.

Make a list of the food lies you have told yourself. Then, turn those lies into truths. (Paraphrased from The Emotional Eater’s Book of Inspiration, page 7.)

(The lie will be in bold. The truth of the statement will be in plain type.)

Just one bite won’t hurt.

Just one bite will turn into the whole package. One little bite will only fuel the addiction.

If I hide the receipt and no one knows what I bought, no one will know what I ate.

Hiding only postpones facing what I have done.

If no one sees me eat it, it doesn’t count.

Eating in private doesn’t take away the calories or fat and won’t keep the food from showing up on my hips. Eating in private does mean that I am probably eating more than even I am able to count.

No one will know what I ate if I hide the packages.

If I have to hide anything, then I am doing something that I know is wrong. And if I am doing something wrong, someone, somewhere, sometime will find out about it.

It’s just food. It’s not like I am smoking or drinking or getting high.

Overeating is just as deadly—if not more so—than nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs. The more I stuff into my mouth, the closer I move to death. And all the while, I am forcing my friends and family—the people I love more than anything—to watch me slowly killing myself.

I have to eat to live. Everyone does. So why is it such a big deal?

Yes, everyone does need to eat. But NO ONE needs to eat food in the large quantities that I do. They way that I eat is not eating to live—it is more like eating to die.