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Old 01-26-2019, 10:23 AM   #1
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Trig Bad advice from family and others

Putting in a trigger icon just to be safe, but I'm not completely sure it's needed.

I have been deceived.

Many years ago, during an attempt to lose weight, I was recounting to another family member what I'd had for breakfast that day. We were discussing various options for future meals, and what would or wouldn't be healthy. My uncle, overhearing, told me that this was an unhealthy practice. By food journaling, giving account, menu planning, or basically discussing it in any way, this is just another way to obsess over food. I believed him because he had successfully lost weight. (But one single solution doesn't work for everybody, does it?)

Similarly, going to support meetings was supposed to be a bad idea, for the same reason. Sitting around talking about food for an hour is the last thing I need. I'm fat because I enjoy food too much. I should get my mind on something else instead. (By this logic, alcoholics shouldn't attend AA.)

So for years, I resisted the idea of going to support groups, keeping a food journal, menu planning, or anything like that. I don't want to talk about food! I don't want to *think* about food! I'm supposed to be thinking about ANYTHING besides food!

I did eventually lose some weight, and in so doing, discovered that going without eating is the worst thing I can do. I build up so much hunger that I can't stand it anymore, and I'll eat anything that doesn't eat me first. Having small amounts, more frequently, stops the hunger from building up, and my total overall intake is lower. Which is what I was about to tell my sister, when that same uncle happened to be walking past us. As I told my sister I think I've discovered a secret to losing weight, my uncle tossed in a smart-aleck "Stop eating?" Notice he didn't say "Don't eat so much." He said, "Stop eating." As in, at all.

All of this culminates in my husband and I being approved for bariatric surgery. Yesterday we both attended the required educational class beforehand. Surgery is not a quick fix. We have to drastically change our eating in order to prevent injury to our digestive systems afterward, and we have to get started on the new eating patterns now so that they are already established habits after the surgery.

This requires food journaling. This requires menu planning. This requires discussing it with others. This requires support groups. This requires weighing myself every day, something else I was told is just being obsessive.

In other words, they want me to do everything my uncle told me I shouldn't do.

It finally dawned on me that my uncle is an (insert sound effect of braying donkey here). In the general family dynamic, he's the type who, no matter what you do, is going to tell you you're doing it wrong. He's heavily sarcastic and mean-spirited, besides being an active alcoholic and drug user. Overcoming food addiction is no different from any other kind of sobriety, and he's not qualified to give me advice about sobriety.

In order to overcome an addiction, we *do* have to think about it, talk about it, pay attention to it. That isn't obsession. That's focus.

Why should I listen to an (insert sound effect of braying donkey here)?
I have written the story of my life and recovery, and was given permission to place the link in my signature.

Please be warned that parts of it can be triggering if you are sensitive to descriptions of abuse. I'm not using anybody's real names, including my own.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bad advice from family and others

There are several of us on this journey in various places on PC. I can relate to your story about the bad advice. It seems like the people with the worst advice have the loudest voices!
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