Thursday, April 30, 2015

This Jagged Journey

I have been off sugar for three weeks. And I haven't binged in that time, either, but the food feels messy. I'm battling my ideas of perfection or I switching out one comfort food for another. It's still amazing that I'm off sugar. This weekend, I produced an event called the 24 Hour Plays in which six short plays are written, rehearsed, and performed during a 24 hour period. We start at 9 PM on Friday night and finish at 9 PM on Saturday night. As the producer, I am the one who stays awake through the whole thing. I like it, it's an endurance test, and the project is always an inspiring demonstration of creativity, collaboration, and loving support. I was tired, someone brought warm bagels in the morning. Also, five or six dozen doughnuts showed up in the morning. I hadn't slept for 24 hours by that point, by 8 AM, and doughnuts are my go-to comfort food. But they didn't call to me, by some amazing stroke of luck. I had really healthy food packed. Yeasted baked goods tend to give me a stomachache, but I did not resist the bagels and cream cheese. I ate three over the course of the day. 

I'm trying to let go of issues of perfection, but I'm looking in the mirror at these thirty extra pounds. I had lost forty pounds between June 2014 and January 2015, and then I gained thirty of them back between February 1 and March 30. I'm trying super hard to not worry about the weight--it's been steady the last few weeks, but I am just so vain. My boyfriend posted a photo of us on Facebook, all aglow and happy on a hike at Vernal Falls in Yosemite, and I had a meltdown saying I looked "horrid." 

I'm sure I look fine. 

I did, however, in the post-project exhaustion of this week, find myself going to my number two comfort food again and again: nachos. The first thing I ate so much of I had to vomit (not self-induced vomiting), was chips. I really have no business eating chips. But I'm having this feeling, I gave up sugar, do I really have to give up anything else? I guess I have to give up anything that causes me suffering. But the suffering has got to be pretty great, I think. Am I suffering over the nachos (a too-full belly, weight creeping up, a feeling I'm being controlled by a compulsion to ingest a substance rather than making a choice about what I eat) or does the suffering come from the ideas of perfection (a weight on the light end of the height-weight charts, wanting to prove, like my dad said it would prove to theater directors, that I have "discipline," or wanting to please all the people who have shared their nearly religious beliefs about certain food guidelines). Who am I trying to please? I guess that's a question for me to muse over. It's not that part of my life shouldn't be devoted to being of service to others, but what I eat and my food guidelines and the shape of my body should not be dictated by a chart, or someone else's ideas. I need to start trusting my own expert opinion about food and my body--what it likes, what it doesn't like, what weight feels right to me (and whether I'm willing to do what it takes to get to the weight that feels right for me). 

For example, I know that yeasted breads give me stomachaches, but I had trouble getting off of them this week after the bagels. I finally did, by choosing nachos over sandwiches. So, I'm finding my way. It's not a straight line, but it's my line. I've never been one to follow a straight path or anyone else's path, so why do I feel compelled when it comes to food. 

I hope you are all finding peace with your own Unsugaring journeys, your own food and weight paths. Thank you for reading. 


  1. As ever, I appreciate your honesty and detailed account. There is definitely more freedom and spaciousness in my food path than ever before.

  2. Not sure why I couldn't finish the thought there, my device got screwy. Anyway, listening to myself has been very key for me too. Keep us updated. Your courage lends strength and the most service we can be is by being ourselves and listening to ourselves.

  3. Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you share about how listening to yourself has been key. So many food programs are about listening to other people. I finally felt that nothing would stick unless it was an inner journey.