Some people have asked me how I started my weight loss. My first few months in the blog archive explain it all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Game

6 years ago yesterday morning my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism. Shock, pain and grief cloud my memories of the day. Halloween for me is a time of mixed emotions. I have many wonderful memories of trick or treats but one big cloud. The day my dad died I went shopping, trying to find some food to feed my incoming family. I couldn't believe that there were people dressed up and celebrating. I wanted the world to stop and acknowledge the passing of this great man.

During that time I used anything and everything I could get as a outlet for grief. That included sleep, tears, food, anger, humor, loud music, prayer, scriptures, friends and family. I tried to tap off some of the pressure I felt from the fullness of pain. I was willing to try anything.

I came up with a subconscious game. It is a game of sabotage, it only requires one person, one temptation and a pain I want to be distracted from. It is played like this: While alone I think, "I am not hungry - I don't even want to eat cake, I have no desire for that chocolate cake sitting on the table," After awhile my thoughts change to, "I am going to eat it, I am going to take a fork and eat the whole idea why, it just seems like the wrong thing to do and I am going to do it." Then the cake disappears. The next stage in the game goes like this: Guilt and pain say "You are such a fat cow, I bet you will even eat those tortilla chips won't you? You know you aren't hungry but you will..." and then I do. The game goes on and on until sick, disgusted or both.

A thin beautiful friend told me once that the rules to losing weight are simple. Eat less and exercise more. She told me that she didn't understand why people had such a hard time with it - they should just stop putting food into their mouths. The game isn't ingrained in her head.

I still catch myself playing the game when bored, lonely, sad, overwhelmed or exhausted. I don't want to, it is not a conscious decision - I am playing it before I even realize it. That is why I teach sabotage. When I get to the stage where the first bites are taken it is almost too late. Sometimes I can catch myself and destroy the enemy washing it down the sink, other times I am helpless.

To sabotage the game routine is important: I exercise every morning. I try to only have things on hand that I can eat. I try to protect myself by not having a cake on the counter. But the most important step for sabotage is to be aware of the thing I am distracting myself from. It could be something simple like procrastinating paying bills or cleaning house, or harder like an unresolved fight, hurt feelings, or guilt. Each thing usually has a better solution than shoveling food into my mouth. Being aware of what I am hiding from can be the first step to fixing it. Asking Heavenly Father for help is the second. I have now asked for things some may think silly, help with house work, help to get the desire to apologize, or help to want to read the scriptures. Each time I pray I am answered. The list of things that Heavenly Father can fix is endless, but not always instant. Sometimes he won't fix the problem, sometimes he will just offer me peace. If I am willing to take that I can be changed.

I was blessed with a wonderful father. I am blessed with a perfect Heavenly Father. Each want me to be happy. When I was a girl I fell a lot. If I needed a band aid I could always count on my dad to have one in his wallet. He would pull it out, place it on my wound and I would feel better. Now I am a woman and my dad isn't around. I still have a father who is willing to soothe me with a band aid of peace. He will come to my aid if I but ask. The help he gives is a million times greater than the distraction the game gives


Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

... as I sit here eating last night's leftover Kit Kats....

I love it. :) You have taught me a lot about praying and being more specific and asking for things I wouldn't think of otherwise. This is another great post.

Amy said...

You hit the nail on the head (hence my post today). Onward and Upward!

Marc and Megan said...

I love hearing stories about your Dad. I have always felt like he was the one responsible for bringing Marc and me together... and for that I'm eternally grateful. He is on the top of my list of people I'm excited to meet after this life. I loved hearing what you had to say about him - thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

I hate that game. I know all about how it's played, and anyone who hasn't played it can't understand how hard it is to win.

I'm with Millie, you remind me to pray for things I wouldn't think of otherwise.

The thing we always say is from Veggie Tales..."Keep on keeping on!"

Lucy said...

I kind of feel a little emotionally wrung out. How do you know me so well? I wish we could have a conversation. That didn't involve word verification.

Someday, when I visit, I'm taking you to lunch. And it'll be good and healthy and I'll let you know about your bishop;)

Heffalump said...

I remeber Carrot writing a post about your Dad's death last year. I wished I had known him then, and I wish so even more now. He certainly did a good job raising wonderful children from what I have seen of them.
Thanks for being you.
I have been praying a lot lately to just endure things. Maybe I need to pray for more than that.

Tara said...

It's so fun to see a picture of your dad and I love to hear your wonderful memories of him. You're such an amazing person and that, naturally, is a reflection of the kind of man he must have been.

You have such insight. I know that game very well but I don't think I've fully recognized that I play it until now.

Calamity Jane said...

millie, thanks!
Amy - I loved that post. Good attitude!
Megan, I think he picked you for marc so I know he will love you.
Rebecca- I am glad to know I am not alone in playing the game. There is strength in numbers!
Lucy name the time and the place I will be there!
heffalump, thanks. I pray to endure too - but I am starting to pray to triumph if it is his will of course!
Tara you say the nicest things. You are pretty amazing yourself. Who would have thought we were gamers?

Deborah Gamble said...

I wish I could think about food like your thin friend thinks. Your dad is a handsome man!