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Archive for February, 2007

Addicted

so i recently re-started weight watchers (which i so wisely started for the first time last fall, about two weeks before thanksgiving- not the best idea), and it is really making me examine how and why i eat. i am doing the “points” system, which i really love because it does not make any food totally off-limits, just insists that if you’re going to eat pizza or have a few glasses of wine you must watch portion sizes or limit what you eat before or after your splurge. on the points system you must write down everything you eat over the course of a day, in order to make sure that you are sticking to your allotted daily points allowance (mine is 23). i am and always have been a major fan of list writing, so this is very effective for me- i automatically feel accountable for anything that is written down. you also get 35 “bonus points” which you can use at any time during the week for occasions like going out to dinner, or giving in to a chocolate craving after a day of normal eating. i love the bonus points, and tend to hoard them until the end of the week , so that by sunday i have most of them leftover and can park in front of the tv with some cheese and crackers and wine. i have also been exercising more, since that helps you earn more points, or at least cancels out a few if you happen to go over by a point or two one day.

the thing i love most about weight watchers though is how it has helped me recognize my eating habits. i have always secretly known, but now there’s no denying it- i am a totally emotion-driven eater. food is my ultimate comfort and reward and special secret grown-up splurge for myself. i eat when i’m bored, when i’ve had a bad day, when i’m having a low self-esteem day, or when i’m feeling sorry for myself. when i have a friday night home alone, all i want to do is eat a whole pizza and drink four glasses of wine while watching tv. even though the food does not make me feel better, truly, but more often than not just makes me feel worse the next day- which just starts the cycle all over again and gets me back on the phone to Chicago’s Pizza.

last night this became particularly clear. i came home from work and spent a quiet night in with J, fixing a nice healthy dinner and drinking a little of the leftover champagne from our tiny oscar party. we also happened to have some of the most amazing homemade chocolate almond pudding left over from the party, and i had been planning to have some (specifically saving points) after dinner, but after i ate found that i was perfectly full, so i had another glass of champagne instead and figured i was done eating for the night. we started watching a movie and that was that. but i couldn’t stop thinking about that pudding, right there in the refrigerator, waiting for me. several times i almost got up to get it, rationalizing that i could just dip into some of my bonus points for the week. then i checked in with myself and recognized that i was not hungry, but i still wanted that pudding. even knowing it would make me uncomfortably full, or at least not make me feel any better, i still wanted it. that’s when i realized- i am addicted to food. weird. i never thought of it that way. my dad was an alcoholic, and i do like a good end of the day cocktail or glass of wine (or three), so i often wondered if i had inherited his addiction. but apparently i have my very own. i have no problem going several days or longer without a drink, or cutting myself off if i feel like i’ve reached my limit of drunkenness, but i lack that natural self control with food. i can’t even count the times i have continued eating when i knew my body was full, even to the point of discomfort- just because the food was there. and it really was a struggle to talk myself out of that pudding, even though my body didn’t want it. it’s a habit, eating, treating and coddling myself with food. it was a snowy night, i was cuddling with my husband, what better to fill out that scene than some cozy pudding?

it’s official: my name is Julia, and i am a food-a-holic.

so i am glad to be back on WW, monitoring my ideas about food, changing these emotional habits, and facing my addiction. i really do feel like knowing is half the battle. i will always love and enjoy food, and there’s no need for anyone to worry that i will swing to the opposite side of the spectrum and dabble in the dark side of food obsession (i may be controlling and obsessive about many things, but i’d never have the delusional self-control to be anorexic or bulimic). it’s just nice to actually slow down and enjoy my food now, instead of eating so much and so fast, “as though someone’s going to take it away from me”(as my mother always said). and to eat for physical and sensual nourishment, instead of emotional comfort or consolation. it’s nice to see food as a fun, good-natured friend, and not a secret, co-dependant relationship.

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My Infrared Debut

Here are some videos that someone shot of my band’s regular Tuesday night gig this week. It looks like they were shot with an infrared camera in a dark cave, but the sound quality is not bad. Of course this was shot on a night that I was exhausted and especially pissed off to be there, so I don’t actually look or sound my best (Why was I wearing a scarf that made my boobs look even bigger than usual and swaying like a hyper-active monkey that has to pee? Perhaps in hopes that the videos would end up on YouTube and I would look like Mama Cass on Ritalin?), but here they are anyway:

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