Friday, August 26, 2016

Wellness plan FAIL

Thank goodness I've been able to stick at my sobriety because I don't seem able to stick at any other sort of wellness plan.

I'm doing this thing with my family (3 sisters, one brother-in-law and Mr D) where we all set a personal wellness plan for 8 weeks and we email each other on Monday to update how we are going. It's extra motivation for us all to work at eating healthily and doing exercise for 8 weeks before we all go on a beach holiday together.

Anyway I set my own plan which was to eat mostly only real foods, avoid wheat and sugar and allow myself only occasional treats. Walk the dog for 45 minutes every weekday and do the 7-minute workout 5 times a week (it's an App, high intensity exercises for 30 seconds with a 10 second break in between-hard work and good!).

So anyway Week One and I was a machine.. doing all my exercise and eating well. Week 2 was also good and strong. We're now in the middle of Week 3 and I have completely lost it! Not on the exercise front.. I'm still doing the dog walks and the 7-minute workouts.. but the food has gone to shit.

I'm eating cheese and crackers before dinner.. buying deli treats to eat in the car before school pick-up, buying chocolate to share with the kids at night.

What the hell am I like????!!!

Like a bloody addict that's what.

I'm even planning that I won't confess to all the bad food when I do my Monday update. Like I want to keep it my own nasty little secret. Nice dishonest (alcoholic) behaviour there Mrs D. (Hoping none of my family are reading my blog at the moment.. this is one way to find out!)

Like I say it's a good thing I've been able to stick at sobriety because I find it really hard to stay consistent at any other 'healthy' plans. With food I'm stuck in a binge cycle where I have periods of great healthiness and periods of utter pigginess. Piggy Mrs D re-enters the building and has a ball. Nom nom.

Quickly cram a couple of crackers and cheese in your mouth while cooking dinner - why not!

Buy that sugary treat and eat it moaning (literally moaning out loud with pleasure) in the car waiting for the school bell to go - hell yes!

Yuk. Yucky yucky yuckity yuk.

And then I get the same reoccurring early-morning guilt that I used to get when boozing. Lying in bed beating myself up for being so weak and dysfunctional. It's a horrid reminder of how I used to live when boozing.

I wish I could stop this binge cycle. I hate this part of me. I hate the weak, unhealthy, secretive, indulgent part of me. I want her to piss off forever!! Why can't I stick at the healthy regime? Why do I fall furtively and lasciviously back into piggy ways?

I know the answer. Because I'm human. Because I am an alcoholic. Because I am very susceptible to getting hooked and experiencing cravings for substances that trigger pleasure receptors in the brain (sugar is as addictive as cocaine they say). Because I still have treat/reward messages in my brain that tell me fatty & sugary foods are a good thing.

Will I ever stop being a flawed person? Maybe not. Maybe this is ok and the fact that I'm wrestling with it constantly is enough. Maybe I should just embrace myself warts and all and keep on striving to be healthy forgiving myself when I fail.

And maybe I should always remember that if nothing else I am sober - nearly 5 years sober! - and that alone makes me an incredibly cool specimen.


Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Have you ever read Isabel Foxen Duke's blog?

    She talks a lot about the diet/binge/repent cycle, and how restricting food eventually leads to feeling out of control around "bad' foods. I've been the same way as you in terms of my eating for years - I'd be "good' for awhile, then I'd rebel, then I'd eat all the things, then I'd feel bad and be "good" again - and it was exhausting. Isabel's blog really made me see things differently - I realized that in order to step out of the cycle, I hard to start thinking differently about food and eating. It's so similar to getting sober - changing the way you think about alcohol and your relationship to alcohol is so important.

    I read the book "Why Diets Make Us Fat" by Sandra Aamodt and it was soooo helpful. She also talks about the relationship between dieting and bingeing and it made me feel a lot better. I always thought that binge eating and unhealthy eating was this horrible character flaw - I didn't think that 15 years of either being on a diet, or thinking I should be on a diet, might have messed up my relationship with food.

    Ultimately, all of this food stuff is a process - and one that really requires a ton of self compassion and love. But at least now I'm excited about the journey - of really understanding my relationship with food and how I can make it better. And that feels much better than trying to eat a perfect diet - because I never end up following that diet long term.

    Good luck with your own journey - I'd love to hear how it's working out for you.

  2. Maybe you are obsessing too much over things. Obsessing in itself can be addictive!!!

  3. rosaleen2310@gmail.comAugust 26, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Total empathy, Mrs D! At 55 I still have the running commentary in my head , mentally listing what I've eaten, what I should eat, what I can "allow" myself. I generally aim for some kind of balance or "payoff"- late dinner = no breakfast, one indulgent day requires one light day etc. I just think that's how it's always going to be for me and , as I prefer to maintain a certain weight ( tho always wanting to be slimmer, natch!), then I'm prepared to put up with it. That said, for the first time in many years I actually put my bathroom scales out of sight at the beginning of the summer holidays (UK) because I felt absolutely tired of the continual monitoring. I will get them out again the Autumn I expect. Like the above comment, I have found many useful books out there on this fascinating subject of food and eating in our over-provided Western world.
    So, keep being kind to yourself, Mrs D, and have a great holiday!

  4. I think you shouldn't be too hard on yourself about it. I can totally relate and I have my addictive tendencies just as you do. I got some scary diagnosis recently about high cholesterol and blood sugar. This spurred me into action as I have 4 months to get those levels down or they want me to take medication (which I will refuse). So I have been doing more healthy things than ever before. Walking group, Zumba, dancing in the dark, and I've started private yoga lessons. I have cut out nearly all sugar and very nearly all diary, and I am eating a lot of lentils, legumes, nuts, fish and trying to be as good as I can. But I am not perfect either, and I am human too, and I am not beating myself up about that. Coz I "HAVE to have 4 pieces of sugar free dark chocolate every night, and sometimes oops it's 6, and I HAVE to have my sugar free icecream and not sugar free chocolate sauce at least 3 times a week (in a very small plate). I am taking an approach where I am not dieting, I am changing my consciousness around the food I eat, to try to make it my lifestyle to want the healthy options. It is easier for me being on my own. I'm trying really hard to see if it will make a difference over the 4 months. It's been about 2 so far. I haven't even lost any weight and that pisses me off!! It's easier to embrace it all as a lifestyle if we are not too strict or fanatical about it. We are heros anyway, lets go easy on ourselves. xo

  5. I think, but what do I really know, that because we worked so hard at getting sober (3 hrs for me now) and we still work at staying sober, that our brains say we deserve a pass on healthy eating and exercise. I, too, struggle with both those things. As misery loves company, you are not alone. I wish to be addicted to exercise and healthy eating instead of Mocha lattes, but alas, it just doesn't work that way. I keep trying though, downloading the 7 minute thing right now!

  6. Mrs. D, I quit smoking and drinking at the same time. It has been a joyous healthy ride so far. I was a hard binge drinker. Over thirty years of every other day(except pregnancies and nursing) of almost close to or blackout drinking and hangovers. So with that said, I decided to tackle my growing weight problem about three weeks ago. Went totally low and no carb, which sounds like what you are doing. The only way I have done well, because I, like you, just pleasure myself with certain foods and feel like I can't live without them. So I truly threw myself in this time. Went to to all of the diabetic, low carb, keto, paleo, no gluten and no carb sites. I used their recipes and made the "tools" that keep you from falling back into the bad habit. And by tools I mean I made low and no carb crackers. Low and no carb desserts. Low and no carb pizza crust...etc. It has literally saved my brain and my body this time around. I have always abhorred artificial sweeteners, but there are finally some decent ones. Swerve for one. Stevia for another. Meathead's pizza dough, cracker bread and all purpose dough are also lifesavers. I highly recommend making some of these things in your kitchen and having them on hand. By using the dessert and snack recipes I am down 8 kilos in three weeks. Just like tools for sobriety, these things are invaluable. My favorite things are a no carb chocolate mousse and lemon bars. Good l

  7. You are not alone!The only way I can manage sugar/carbs/other addictive foods is the exact same way I manage alcohol. There is no moderation - I don't have that switch. It's the way I'm wired. The brain lights up at those foods the same way it lights up with other brain altering substances. I envy the folks who have found a way around it just like I envy those who can have half a glass of wine and be done. All I can offer is that the cravings DO go away over time but the tendency to think ..well, I can just have a WAY more dangerous because these trigger foods are everywhere and much more acceptable. Try telling your mother in law you REALLY DON'T WANT DESSERT. LOL. Tons of good reading material out there on the subject and it is most definitely worth it. I had to learn that numbing is numbing whether with alcohol, sugar or carbs. Onward!

  8. Mmmm well, at least you try, and it lasts for ages. I think I am too scared to even try ...

  9. Thank you for this Mrs D. I'm the same. I've been thinking that it is the addiction in another guise but whereas I can abstain from alcohol and cigarettes I have to eat. So it all seems impossible.

  10. Wellness plans are just deprivation. One of the major turning points of sobriety is realizing that it isn't about deprivation, it's actually about enjoying life clear and unaltered.
    Food needs to be enjoyable. When we start demonizing it and having goods and bass it becomes in internal conflict.

    No one needs that.

    Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Enjoy what you eat, even if it's cake and chocolate.

    Do what makes life easier.


  11. I am sorry to say that cake and chocolate are not the answers. Actually, they are a prescription for relapse.

    After years of struggling with alcohol, I finally found the truth about alcoholism, especially the role of sugar in so-called alcoholics.

    All the best,