Her guest was Geneen Roth and she has a new book called Women, Food and God. I immediately tried to download the book to my iPad because if Oprah found the answer to weight loss then you know this shit is good! Note: the book is not available on iBook or Kindle.
I bought the book and it's taken me a few weeks to get through it...mainly because every time I'd start reading it...I'd want a snack. Reading about compulsive eating makes me hungry. It just does.
Finally, yesterday I committed to finishing the book and really understanding what I was supposed to get from it. I had several A-HA moments as I like to call them. The biggest one was this.
I eat when I'm not hungry because I am trying to numb my feelings.
Geneen dismisses the idea that there is an inner child in some of us that have experienced a trama as children and instead says that there are frozen places in ourselves...pockets of pain that need to be recognized and welcomed. I honestly believe that there are certain things that my brain won't allow me to feel anymore and it all started when I was 7 years old. The Voice tells me that I need to eat.....the stress is too much and the pop tart/cookies/candy bar/ice cream will make everything better.
A-HA moment number two....Restrictors and Permitters. When I'm trying to lose weight, I'm a classic Restrictor...I believe in control and operate on the idea that chaos is imminent and steps must be taken to lessen the impact. (i'm actually like this in every aspect of my life) Restrictor's can never really relax since they are fighting to stave off the inevitable. And if it's not hard...it's not worth doing.
I know people that are Permitters...they hate rules and being on a eating program equals misery for them. They prefer going through life in a daze with the idea that if they aren't aware of it then it doesn't exist. They don't want to try...because if they don't try, they can't fail.
The problem here is that when you live with a Permitter...they turn you into one. Being around them gives you permission to binge and bury your head in the sand.
After reading this book, my goal is to quiet The Voice and try to understand why I'm eating when I'm not hungry and what I am trying to numb myself from. What emotion or feeling am I trying to escape from. It's not about the food....
The Eating Guidelines
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
- Eat without distractions...radio, TV, iPad, iPhone, book or magazine.
- Eat what your body wants.
- Eat until you are satisfied.
- Eat in full view of others.
- Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
I have many bad habits....eating while reading, eating at my computer, hiding and sneaking food and eating too much sugar because that's my drug of choice.
I have lots of work to do and I'll be documenting it here.
I just took the Restictor/Permitter Quiz on Oprah.com and here are my results.
Out of a possible score of your 10, your score is:
Your Restrictor score is 7.
Your Permitter score is 3.
Your Healthy Awareness score is 0.
What does it mean to be a Restrictor?
You believe in the need to control—yourself, what you eat and your environment. Things could turn bad at any moment, so you're going to take action now to minimize the impact. If you had your way, you'd probably run the world a little bit better too. Dieting is comforting because it provides a sense of control. You like to think less is more. If you reveal less of yourself, there is less of you to get hurt. You know how many calories are in an Oreo cookie. You follow the advice of the latest research and take immediate steps to modify your diet once you are told what to do. You love to follow the rules. You may even feel like your life depends on it. You work hard. So hard that you secretly believe if it's not hard, it's probably not worth doing.
What does it means to be a Permitter?
You are the life of the party. Or at least, people think you are. You think rules are meant to be broken. Dieting for you is miserable and not worth it because you always gain the weight back again. You are suspicious of programs and the latest eating guidelines and research—maybe even this quiz. You find yourself grazing at the refrigerator again and have no idea how you got there. You don't want to your feel pain, or anyone else's for that matter. You would prefer to walk through life unconsciously because then you won't be disappointed if you fail. You don't see the point in taking control, so you've decided to join the party and hope for a good time.
What does the Healthy Awareness score mean?
You incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine. You understand the connection between your emotions and your food choices. You listen to your body's cues for when you are hungry and when you are not. You make your decisions consciously based on those cues. While you may not make healthy choices all the time, you are aware when you are falling into a pattern of behavior because you feel it in your body and you make changes to get back on track. You understand that the goal isn't perfection—it's the journey to knowing yourself that really matters.
A few words about labeling yourself
While this quiz is a fun and helpful way to begin the process of identifying your eating tendencies and behaviors, it's important to note that everyone is both a Permitter and a Restrictor. The minute a Restrictor binges, she turns into a Permitter. Every time a Permitter decides to go on a diet, she becomes a Restrictor. While assigning labels to complex human behaviors is convenient, it can become an easy way to distance yourself from thoroughly understanding your pattern of behavior. The purpose of this quiz is to help you understand your relationship with food a little better than you did before. But, if you find yourself feeling confused, rationalizing and justifying what you eat, or forcing your behavior into one label or another, then forget you ever heard these words.
This quiz revealed to me that when I'm in the company of other people...I become a Permitter! Ironically...all the times in my life that I've been single, I lose weight and become excellent at following a strict diet and exercising. When I'm in a relationship...I gain weight and eat to numb my feelings.
AHA MOMENT: I suck at relationships and I struggle with feelings of being loved, protected and appreciated. If my Mom doesn't love me...why would anyone else? Men can't be trusted because they cheat and leave. I live my life in fear.
Goal for this week:
- Listen to and be kind to my body.
- Write in my journal about the feelings I'm escaping from and why I struggle with my relationships.
- Start recognizing signs of hunger and only eating when I feel them.
- Stop eating in front of the TV/Computer and no iPad at the kitchen table.