Calories Down for the Count – Robot Aliens Pay a Puzzling Visit

Laurie looking puzzled in the kitchen
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I’m wondering what’s up with me food-wise? Calories aren’t right, I felt COMPLETELY satisfied, and then had a mini Robot Alien visit wtf?

Alien Robots are attacking me with bags of chips

My fun graphic of the robot aliens – they stand for my weird eating or binge behavior

Calorie Counting Report

Ok, I let you all know in Bonus Day 104 that I was going to *gulp* count calories for one week under the guidance of my therapist and see how that would feel for me. I did it primarily to find out what foods were causing intermittent digestive distress AND to explore the idea of limiting calories again. How would that feel? Is it something viable to lose weight?

It’s no secret that I am disappointed that my progress has been to pretty much maintain with slight upticks from time to time. The good news is that so far, the dreaded upticks, downtick again and here I sit in my skinny-for-me 18W pants once more. A bit tight, but zipped and fully sitable.

Sigh

Calorie Counting? Not for me. I did discover that I’m not under estimating very much. What I guessed I’ve been eating is close to the tracked amount. I did discover that a few nutrients are lower than I’d like, and so will make some adjustments there. But overall, one big *YAWN*.

Didn’t discover the digestive culprit. I ate my usual, I ate some unusual, and nada, nothing, big zero in digestive attack.

Here’s the weird part. I didn’t feel threatened, I didn’t feel dieting’s siren call. I felt bored and annoyed. As if I was returning to 4th grade, not as the teacher, but to study. I didn’t like having to bother to enter my food. It felt extraneous. It didn’t change my eating. I just didn’t care about the numbers all of that much. I TRIED to whip up some enthusiasm and even found out my losing range via online calculator (even though I have THESE all memorized) and thought about how wonderful it would be to finally fit in chairs again.

Another big *yawn*. Why did fitting in chairs not motivate me? Why can’t I care more?

Can the Leopard Change its Spots?

I was absolutely bored from this visit to the diet mentality. I didn’t want to take time to track, I wanted to spend time on my voice acting and singing. Voice acting and singing don’t have much to do with my weight.

This whole darn last year has been all about FREEING myself from food and diet obsession and integrating, IN MY SOUL, that I am fine at any weight, chairs or no chairs. And I guess I have! Counting calories feels as natural to me now as if I slapped training wheels back onto my road bike. In the way and no longer needed.

A miracle meal

So yesterday, I went to therapy, learned a lot about my rage volcano and where that comes from. I then went to Trader Joe’s and bought ingredients to cook some delicious and nutritious foods that I have been hungry for. Came home, being hungry, made lunch. It was the PERFECT lunch. I loved its taste, it felt good in my tummy, AND it was just the right amount. Without thinking, I was absolutely SATISFIED.

Wow! So THIS is satisfied.

This is the elusive feeling I’ve been chasing. I almost danced a jig I was so happy and amazed. I had made progress, I had learned emotional truths, gone about my day, and cooked myself a darn great lunch. I didn’t gulp said lunch, didn’t artificially obsess or put down the fork between bites as an exercise or anything. I naturally ate my lunch in an intuitive manner. Hooray! Then…

Why the F are the ROBOT ALIENS here?

Next thing I know I am in a trance… no thought, no consideration, and nachos on the plate with NO HUNGER and no real desire for them. I eat these homemade nachos all of the time. The Robot Aliens are controlling my arms again! It was even a fairly moderate amount. And I ate slowly too! Dang it. Why? Why? Why? All this accomplished was to take my Satisfied feeling and turn it into an OVER FULL feeling. Not even binge full, not even compulsive ‘go for some treats’ full, plain old garden variety – opps, I ate too much full.

Now I’m getting pretty pissed at myself.

I wanted to next go practice singing and voice acting, and as I’ve told you, HARD FOR ME TO USE MY VOICE WHEN FULL…..ah HA!

Eureka!

Sneaky Robot Aliens! They were providing an excuse for me to lose focus and not succeed at my voice goals today. I have been REALLY WORKING on doing these things for real, and I have been improving. If I KEEP improving it will be time to make my demo and audition. Scary! The robot aliens knew I was freaking myself out unconsciously, and so, gave me an excuse to skip my progress that day.

Thanks, but no thanks Robot Aliens!

I gave myself an hour to digest, drank water, then PRACTICED ANYWAY! I did my best and made progress. I then went to the Voice Actors’ social group, networked, and told the truth about where I was in my progress OUT LOUD. I expressed that I wasn’t ready for my demo yet, but was making good progress and was working toward the goal of making my first demo THIS YEAR.

Funny.

I didn’t eat again until I got home from the social group. Wasn’t hungry there, so just ordered mineral water. Once home, I was hungry, so I ate a small dinner, including a small dessert, and guess what, I felt satisfied.

Comments box:

23 thoughts on “Calories Down for the Count – Robot Aliens Pay a Puzzling Visit

  1. dawny

    wow… Truly interesting..

    VERY proud of your findings here miss Laurie, seems your onto some ‘natural’ life living, too sad that it’s not taking you into the chairs you want to fit into better tho.. *sigh* it’s exciting to me that youve seemed to have found your ‘nitch’ in the food/eating etc. tho =-)

    STUPID aliens… sorry you experienced that, but seems you used it as a life lesson, and I really like how you investigated it…

    heres to a super better forward….

    Reply
  2. Cheryl

    You know I so get the being bored with it all. I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I’ve not been counting calories either, just trying to eat healthy and know when I feel enough is enough. And though I wouldn’t call it intuitive eating in the sense that you’re doing, my results have been the same as yours. I’ve stayed pretty much in the same place. Between my last visit to the diabetes clinic and my visit yesterday (6 months) I had gained 3 lbs. I was actually good with that — unless it’s a trend that continues.

    It just feels to me like there comes a time when after logging for years and years and knowing what’s what, I just have to put my money where your mouth is and go for it. I realize this is MY journey, not anyone elses. But I think I will stick with this for awhile. If I need to do one thing different, it’s get off my arse and move it!

    Just thought you might be interested in my results since they were much the same as yours.

    Reply
    1. dawny

      seems im in the same club as the both of you.. doing the same thing, getting so far the same results, however, my duration isn’t as long as either of yours..

      im feeling good tho so there’s that.

      Reply
        1. dawny

          no… Cheryl, Im REALLY loving it, it feels so freeing, admittedly im not in it 100% ((((YET)))) im still logging my food in a journal and assigning ww ppv to the foods HOWEVER, when I get full and decide to quit eating I am NOT going back and ‘trying to regress’ the ppv etc..
          slow and baby steps for me, im VERY resistant to change.. so i have to do things in small steps, I will tell you i am LOVING LOVING LOVING the power, the success and accomplishment Im feeling from this new adventure for certain =-)
          Im a person that eats based on what some-one else (a plan) says I should NOT listening to my body.. I also am one to eat whatever is there because it’s there, either I cooked it, ordered it, was given it etc. paying no attention to my hunger/full/satiety..

          Reply
    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Wow, Cheryl that’s HUGE that you are trusting yourself with your eating. Brava! I am interested in your results, but more about the results in how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. I think the weight stabilizing is gravy, really. Our bodies are probably shocked we’re not throwing wildly differing amounts of food at them as we used to! They are probably hanging out to see what happens ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply
  3. Carol

    You ladies nailed it. I’ve been counting calories in various forms for 20 years or so and I’m TOTALLY over it too, hence how I found this community. Laurie totally nailed it though, I use eating as some kind of crutch.

    I actually use eating as my out to commit to do something. To share some personal things, since my divorce a few years ago my self-confidence and image of who I am (or who I thought I was) has been completely shattered. Some days I literally canโ€™t even commit to taking off my jacket (like today). I sometimes become paralyzed and I just wonโ€™t do anything, so counting calories is WAY WAY WAY WAY off the list, down the hall and in the trash! Oyyye I have so much work to do on myself.

    Thanks for listening.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl

      You know, the sad thing is that research shows that tracking your food IS the most effective way to lose weight. It’s been proven over and over again. And yet, in some regard, it’s not real life for me. There just has to be a compromise that doesn’t tie a person to a log book. This is a big deal for me as I’m type 2 diabetic. But like you, I am SO over the logging everything.

      Reply
      1. Dawny

        I believe logging your food has a place. I agree it’s very beneficial. It is something I probably will continue to do forever. It offers a great insight and feedback.

        The problem lies in attaching a number or value to the food that you’re logging. I’m so excited I’m getting closer to releasing that value. Once that value is gone logging my food is nothing simply writing down what I ate even a guesstimate of how much is nothing. It means nothing it is what I consumed I can only use that information and feedback.

        I’m very excited because I believe that is very close in my near future to release the value I place on food as in a numerical value being a calorie a point or whatever it is I think that releasing that is going to be super huge and monumental for me.

        Reply
    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hey Carol, wtg for bravely sharing your thoughts! I so get the paralyzed feeling. I am in the ‘shut the door’ to the guest room mode – because it totally gets thrown full of the stuff I don’t want to deal with. Problem is, it is the space I want to start fitting as a home studio for my voice auditions. So I am literally STOPPING myself from progressing by not dealing with my ‘mess’. Some physical mess for me = mental mess. Procrastination is a biggie. Mostly I don’t respect myself, feel that any good thing is a false mask, and that I don’t want to admit this to myself, so I keep myself from ‘trying for real’. Phew. But NOW I know this is BS. I, and all of us, have talents and virtues and the ability to give our dreams a respectable shot. Why not? But knowing is NOT the same as applying. Food/diet obsession was SO HANDY for diverting my attention from emotional or physical mess. I am pissed that I now have to actually deal. Oh well, I do have that volcano of rage inside that needs a safe place to go, may as well be directed toward the junk in my room. When you are working your own things through, I hope you are gentle with yourself, and do not expect perfection. It is ok to try one thing and then change your mind. It is how we explore our path and is all part of the process. Thanks again for sharing, it is wonderful to have more thoughts to ponder. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
  4. Fionna

    Laurie, thank you for writing this post! Sounds like you’re becoming even more aware of the role food plays in your life. I frequently eat to procrastinate. Lately, I’ve been eating out of boredom and loneliness. It’s interesting though – since getting into intuitive eating, the act of eating for entertainment just isn’t as entertaining. I have this thought cycle: “I’m not happy. I know! I’ll get some ice cream. Wait, this isn’t working. Why isn’t it working? Because food is fuel, and you’re all fueled up! What else would be fun? Well, I’d really like to hang out with some friends. But you don’t know anyone who lives close by and would be available to hang out. What about calling someone and having a chat? No, I’m too afraid I would be bothering them. I’m all alone and my life is empty. Why am I alone? Why don’t I have friends around me? Look, I get it, you’re upset, and no wonder, because the thing you need to do to help yourself feel better (reach out to others for support), you’re too afraid to do. You MUST step out of your comfort zone if you want this situation to get any better. There’s no point in eating this ice cream. It’s not working anymore.”

    But then I STILL eat all the ice cream because…I don’t know, it’s a familiar thing to do? I get a certain sense of accomplishment when I finish it all. Plus, I was told to “clean your plate” as a child. I really think this is an ingrained habit that I’m going to have to break, but the thought of throwing away food or even saving it for later gives me anxiety. Some days I can do it. Those are really huge moments for me!

    I’ve gone off of my low-carb diet and am now eating “whatever” again. I just don’t feel motivated to go back to dieting. The challenges I’m facing in my life right now involve me actually going after my dreams (like you, Laurie!), and my size just doesn’t seem to matter that much anymore. In the past, I have foolishly believed that my social anxiety would go away when I reached the perfect weight, and from experience I know that it won’t. Having that awareness is so important, but then we have to take that awareness and make good decisions – like your decision to practice anyway despite your brain’s unconscious ploy to sabotage you.

    This is one heck of a journey! If feeling everything, pain and pleasure, is what truly living life is, well, I’d say we’re living one heck of a life!

    Reply
    1. Dawny

      GREAT dialogue Fiona.!! I love how you reminded me how life didn’t change when I was ‘too skinny’.. I still have/had all the same ‘issue/prob/situations’ that I had at 415#, just a smaller body..

      it’s true, skinny doesn’t equate happiness..

      I traded one obsession for another literally, well wait, I turned a food obsession into a compulsion, and although I lived/breathed orthorexia (food, eating, diet, exercise) when I could not eat, I utilized my addictive-compulsiveness to shop.. to do things that created a different problem.. WOW

      Now im trying to dig myself out.. financially, mentally, orthorexically… and food obsessively.. wowsa!

      Im getting there.. there is surely more to life right?

      Reply
    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Ahh Fionna, it is great to hear from you. Congrats on your opening night as a vocal director! I bet that was more satisfying than any amount of ice-cream. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, as I have been writing about today too, awareness is just one step. Without awareness we can never change our default behavior, just because we know, doesn’t mean we apply. But like you, I have found there are reasons when I don’t follow through with maybe the best food choice, or practice choice, or call a friend choice etc. Also, I put you on the bravery report for sharing where you are in your diet choices. It is tough sometimes to say I’m doing this now, instead of this. And then to say, Ok, I’m doing THIS now. Around here, it’s all the same. Whatever you, or other BCs are trying, it’s all about your journey and discovering what is right for you. I recently tried tracking calories again for a week. Bleh. Not for me. Part of me is thrilled, but the other is sad. If eating in a calorie range was good for me, then I had a path to sitting in chairs. Sigh. Chairs will have to wait. Counting calories not good for me. Not adding to my mental health journey. Not making my body have days of feeling energetic, powerful and great. That’s my compass. What things, activities, foods, make me feel energetic and great? Do more of that! For me, it is when I *am* brave, as you are being following your teaching dream, when I eat as my body wants vs. my robot alien mind, when I sleep enough, when I cut myself slack and allow for the possibility that I am actually worth knowing. I have social anxiety too. I sweat bullets to meet new people as me, and not with the guise of teacher or business person to fall back on. It has taken much practice to go to these meetup groups and new classes and to follow up with folks who ask me to meet for coffee on FB etc. In fact, I have two folks I need to reach out to for that. I will do that as soon as I have finished my book club book today. See Fionna? By writing, you have inspired me to be brave today! I’m glad you are feeling everything. Weird no? But wonderful. Someday, maybe you would like to come down my way for a walk in Descanso or a hike to the Zen places. Let me know, as you are NEVER bothering me. xoxoxoxoxox

      Reply
  5. Cassie

    I keep trying, but tracking anything but how I feel about the food I just ate triggers every eating disordered issue I’ve ever had. I need to just focus on the foods that I love…that love me back that are of the best quality I can afford. My biggest and probably only rule is to only eat the BEST version of the food I’m jones’n for.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hello brave Cassie! I think that is a wonderful plan to focus on food you love and that love you back. Can’t go wrong that way. Good nutrition and high enjoyment! I too like quality over quantity. I have to be in the biggest binge mood ever to eat Hershey’s milk chocolate. I don’t like it much. However, I love artisan dark chocolate and small amounts of that give me such pleasure. I LOVE my own cooking, and I cook pretty nutritiously. But sometimes, I get in a funk, and it just feels too much to go to the store to get ingredients, let alone all of the chopping and prep that goes into cooking. But when I do I am SO HAPPY! I love how my body feels when *I* feed it. It has to be pretty fine dining for me to be happier with a meal out than what I can make myself. Bragging huh? No, I just cook with really fresh, organic and yummy ingredients that exactly suit my taste. No chef can match that! And no Lean Cuisine or bag of chips either. xoxoxoxoxox

      Reply
  6. Dawny

    thinklings.. ala Saturday….

    Happy Saturday.,

    Tis a rainy day here, but… I wog-a-bout-ed with delight.. =-)

    A day with my lil 7yo bestie a show and stuff.. woohoo.. let it rain! lol who cares right? when you got the love.. lol

    feeling good, and confident, that’s important..

    I realize and accept today.. that it’s not about being better than anyone/anything.. it’s about being better than I used to be.. a minute ago! an hour ago! a day ago! a week ago! a month ago! a year ago!

    I am me, and Ive what Ive got so I will honor myself, my feelings, my dreams and my desires on this ever so happy Saturday..

    Self love-care is IMPORTANT yes.. please =-)

    Working thru the food greiving process, ive talked a lot this week about food, and honoring hunger/satiety etc. it sure doesn’t allow me to eat what I want as in quantity, or volume LOL I REALLY need to put my focus now on making smaller foods, and accept that if its not enough I can go back for more or make something else, as opposed to causing myself such greif and distress with having to ‘stop’ and put food away or toss it.. DOH! what a concept! eliminate a problem.. what?? ha ha.. imagine the possibilities LOL.. my eyes, and head are ‘habitually’ bigger than my hunger/tummy.. weeeee concepts.. LOL just saying..

    I have this FOMO with food.. fear of missing out.. like I have to have all this food or something.. part of my obsessive compulsiveness maybe..

    not sure..

    I’ll get there.. im sure of that!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Wow Dawny, you are really working through a lot. I too have FOMO with food. But as time goes on, it lessens as I realize in my gut I can have all I want later on. It’s just in smaller batches vs. all at once. Let’s take chips as an example. When I used to binge on them, the entire bag would often go down the hatch, because I KNEW chips would be thrown out or not purchased as soon as I was “good again”. Now I can eat them every day, at every meal. I don’t need to eat them all. It is sinking in that they are not special. Some days I feel like chips, most days not. But it did take me legalizing all of my binge foods for me to get to this place. It took much time and was tough. Legalizing often involves weight gain from rebound overeating. It also often means a tummy that is NOT happy. My tummy prefers chicken, rice and broccoli to chip overages. It’s all tricky stuff for me. Now my challenges are more emotional. I have pretty much eliminated the food deprivation triggers, but I still have emotional triggers to spare! I hope you have fun with your 7 yr old bestie! xoxoxoxox

      Reply

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