Food Avoidance

By Laura Moncur @ 9:07 am — Filed under:

Food is everywhere.

Food Is Everywhere from Starling Fitness

All over my FaceBook and Pinterest boards. I can’t seem to avoid it. But that is EXACTLY what I need to do. I saw this quote today and it really reminded just how great Jennifer Hudson is:

Avoidance is a great tool to get away from food in my face all day long.

  • Jennifer Hudson, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, 2012

When I read that book, she really inspired me and I feel like I need to go back and read it again. YES! I CAN avoid food. I can scroll past those posts on Facebook. I can unfollow any boards devoted to food that my friends create. I can excise the food porn out of my life and keep my mind on the important things.

Image via: Food | Deccan Chronicle


I Am No One Else’s Higher Power

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This quote brought up a truth to my mind that I continually have to remind myself.

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself. Elie Wiesel from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

  • Elie Wiesel

One of my biggest character defects is a Controlling nature. I want to fix everything. I want to help everyone. If they would all just listen to me and do what I say, they would have an easier life.

The problem with this defect is that it pisses everyone off. No one wants to be lectured to. No one wants to be told what they are doing wrong. It just drives a wedge between me and anyone who I want to “help.” I don’t end up helping anyone, just making them hate me.

I am no one else’s Higher Power.

I think I repeat that phrase to myself several times every day. For example, when I see someone smoking too close to the door, I feel tempted to tell them that they should move. Smoking that close to the door is against the rules. It could mean that the building owner is fined. It’s kind of irritating to have to walk through a cloud of smoke on the way into the building. All of these thoughts go through my head and then I need to remind myself.

I am no one else’s Higher Power.

I’m not the smoker’s Higher Power. It’s not my job to tell her the rules. I’m not the building owners’ Higher Power. It’s not my job to rescue them from fines. I am not the Higher Power of any of the people walking through the cloud of smoke on the way into the building. It’s not my job to protect them. I’m not even my OWN Higher Power.

Suddenly, the urge to castigate the smoker is alleviated. I don’t need to tell her to stop smoking so close to the door and have that weird conversation. I don’t need to stew about her if she doesn’t stop smoking so close to the door. I don’t need to complain to the building owner about the smokers. I don’t need to waste any of that energy on them because I’m not in charge. I don’t have to “fix” it. I don’t need to “help” those poor people who are entering and exiting through air pollution.

The MOST important part of all of this is that my urge to “help” or “fix” that problem could have sent me into a binge. After an antagonistic conversation with the smoker, I might have been so upset that I all I could think about when I walked into the building was finding some food to binge on. Instead of that unpleasantness, I can walk through the cloud of smoke and be happy. I can be content. I can be joyful in the knowledge that I dodged a bullet called “Controlling Nature.”

I run into tiny incidents like that SEVERAL times a day. Before I learned that Controlling Nature was a problem for me, I had SEVERAL incidents a day that sent me wanting to eat more than I should. It’s no wonder that the compulsion to overeat has been lifted. It’s because I’m not trying to rule the world anymore.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

  • William Shakespeare, “King Henry IV Part II”, Act 2 scene 1

I had to take off that stupid crown. It wasn’t mine anyway…


Donut Nite: When Social And Food Are Synonymous

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

My neighbor is hosting Donut Nite. She’s really excited about it and handed out little flyers to everyone on the street. She has always been really nice to me and I’d really like to get to know her better.

But I do NOT want to go…

Donut Nite - When Social and Food are Synonymous from Starling FitnessThe flyer is stuck on my fridge with a ladybug magnet and I know that going to the party is good for me, but I just DON’T want to go.

Part of the reason I don’t want to go is because of the food: donuts and ice cream. Two foods that are guaranteed to give me gastrointestinal distress. I don’t want to eat them. I don’t want to go to a party devoted to them. I don’t want to explain why I don’t want to eat them. I want nothing to do with this.

But I really like her. I want to get to know her better. She seems REALLY nice and she lives just down the street. I have the time to go to the party. It doesn’t conflict with any familial or work obligations. I just don’t want to go to the party because it’s a party DEDICATED to food that HURTS me.

This is one of those striking intersections of our lives when social and food mean the same thing. It’s not Game Nite. It’s not Movie Nite. It’s Donut Nite. I don’t want to go to Donut Nite, no matter how enticing the people are. If I go, I will be forcing myself because I REALLY want to get to know the people in our new neighborhood. The social will win out and I’ll have to have those awkward conversations about how gluten and lactose affect my intestinal health. Or, I’ll have to play all those anorexic tricks and pretend to eat the food I’m not going to eat, hoping no one notices that I’m not actually putting the food in my mouth. I’m just breaking it up into little pieces or stirring it with my spoon until it melts into oblivion.

And ALL of this forgets about the fact that I used to REALLY LOVE donuts and ice cream. Before I realized they were causing me pain, and even AFTER I realized they were causing me pain, I used to love donuts and ice cream. Sometimes they are still a temptation to me. This week, that’s not the case, but if it was, then the decision about whether to go to the party would be even MORE loaded.


Why does it have to be this way? Am I making this too hard? Am I thinking too much about myself when I should be thinking about my nice neighbor, who goes to all this trouble every year? She didn’t even ask me for an RSVP. As a hostess of a very popular yearly event, I know that she won’t even care if I show up or not, but I CARE! I want to get to know her. I want to get to know everyone else in the neighborhood. When Social and Food intersect like this, I feel very pressured by my own desires and social norms.

All I know is that I don’t want no donuts…

Here’s the rub. I am scared of being judged because I don’t want to eat the donuts. The REASON I’m scared is because I’m the kind of person who HATES people who won’t eat things because of allergies or dietary restrictions. So many of them seem like they are almost BRAGGING about their inability to eat whatever it is that the rest of us are eating. I don’t want to be that person. That person is a dick.

Wil Wheaton Says - Don't Be A DickOnly a dick shows up to a Donut Party and complains about donuts.

I don’t want to be a dick. I don’t want to eat the donuts. I don’t want to play anorexia games with the food, hoping no one notices.

I DO want to meet the people.

So, here’s the plan. I’m going to the party. I’m not going to eat the donuts. I’m not going to play anorexic games with the donuts. If anyone asks why I’m not eating, I’m going to say that I’m here for the people, not the food. And if anyone is rude or pushes food on me more than two or three times, I’m politely leaving.


Halloween Temptations

By Laura Moncur @ 10:55 am — Filed under:

I did a Google image search for the phrase, “Halloween Temptations,” and this a snapshot of what I got:

Halloween Temptations from Starling Fitness

I really don’t know how I feel about this. The sexy girl costumes outnumber the candy images about three to one.

What does that mean?

Honestly, I think they are both related. We are tempted by Halloween candy, but we are also tempted by that idea that we could be the sexiest girl in the room. BOTH of those ideas are a problem. The first is misusing food as a recreational device and the second is feeding pride instead of humility.

There is nothing wrong with sexy Halloween costumes. It’s the feeling of wanting to be the cutest girl in the room that sets up a judgment that is unfair both to us and everyone else in the room.

For me, the Halloween candy and black spider cupcakes are a far less temptation than that desire to be the girl that everyone notices. Wanting to be the best has hurt me so many times that I have learned that it’s an indication that there is a problem in my life. Wanting to be the girl in the black cat costume is DANGEROUS. Ironically, it will MAKE me eat.

The next time you have the temptation to be better than the people around you, take a moment and remember that we are all the SAME. No one is higher or lower than you. We are all on equal footing and every time we try to prove that isn’t true, we are treading on dangerous ground.


Hoping for a Taco Truck

By Laura Moncur @ 1:52 pm — Filed under:

I saw this screenshot from the video game, Animal Crossing on redribbonpresents and it made me laugh out loud.

Hoping for a Taco Truck from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I think I’ll just sit down and hope that a taco truck drives up and serves me delicious tacos.

That’s not a really good food plan, Ankha.

Then again, how many times have I done the EXACT same thing. I refuse to plan my meals because I want the “freedom” to eat what I feel like. That’s EXACTLY like sitting down and hoping for a taco truck to come along. If I want to eat what I feel like eating, I have to PLAN it! Why did it take a screenshot from a child’s video game to remind me of that?!


There’s No Pumpkin In Pumpkin Spice Flavoring

By Laura Moncur @ 1:55 pm — Filed under:

I knew that there couldn’t possibly be actual pumpkin in Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin M&M’s, but this video made that stunningly clear to me.

So, pumpkin flavoring is made from a concoction of chemicals that mimic the taste and mouth feel of pumpkin. Even the option that I suggested in my entry, Beware The Pumpkin Spice Latte, is the same concoction of chemicals, they’re just provided in a sugar-free format that is much less expensive than the coffees at Starbucks.

More importantly, is the manipulation from the food industry with LTOs. Limited Time Offers are foods that are only available certain times of the year. This is NOT a new thing. Cadbury Creme Eggs and Peeps during Easter, fruitcake during Christmas and even turkey and stuffing during Thanksgiving are all foods that are only available for limited times. How many times have I overeaten because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get that food again for a year?

Too many to count.

The problem is PERCEIVED SCARCITY. We could cook a turkey any time, but we only have them at Thanksgiving. We could buy that Torani Pumpkin Pie Sugar Free Syrup for our coffee at any time, but Starbucks has somehow convinced us that it is only available in the fall. None of these things are actually scarce. The food manufacturers use marketing and self-imposed limits to make them scarce and even create hoarding.


There is no pumpkin in pumpkin spiced lattes. There is also no limit in Limited Time Offers. Cans of pumpkin are available ALL YEAR LONG. Don’t fall for their marketing techniques. Make yourself a REAL pumpkin pie with this recipe and you’ll be out only 170 calories, as opposed to the 510 calories in a Starbucks Venti.

Wouldn’t you rather have the REAL thing? Then don’t settle for the chemical concoction.


Constantine: Father Hennessy’s Death Scene Is What Bingeing Is Like

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

At some point, not even the best food in the world could appease me. I couldn’t stop eating. Nothing satisfied me and I was hungry ALL day long, no matter what I ate. I recently rewatched Constantine and Father Hennessy’s death scene is exactly what it was like for me with food.

It’s a wonder I didn’t end up dead, just like Father Hennessy, covered in creamy filling and salty crumbs instead of drowning in alcohol. I am so grateful I found OA. It took me ten years of suffering to get there, but I got there alive, despite Balthazar on my shoulder at every moment.

Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.


Don’t Change Be Yourself Unless You’re A Jerk

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

There is a more vulgar version of this floating around Pinterest, but it wasn’t that pretty and I really wanted one that didn’t swear, so I made one.

Don't Change Unless You're A Jerk from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Don’t change so people will like you.

Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Unless you’re a jerk. Then you should change.

Sure, we get a little laugh from this, but the truth is, I am a bit of a jerk. I’m probably a colossal jerk, if certain people are to be believed. When I went through my Twelve Steps, I was brought face to face with exactly how much of a jerk I really am.

And I had to APOLOGIZE!

Not only that, I had to make it right.

There were some people on my amends list whom I couldn’t contact to apologize. They were the hardest people to work through my amends. In the end, my sponsor had me write a letter to them.

Then she made me write ANOTHER letter, because I was STILL a jerk in the first one.

Inside my God Box from Starling FitnessWhen I read her the second draft, she said it was acceptable and to put it in my God Box. I folded it up as small as it would go and it’s still in there, tempting me to pull it back out and read it. But the guilt from all my jerky behavior is gone. I did the best I could to apologize in the situation I was in.

And honestly, I’m still a jerk.

I’ll probably be a jerk for the rest of my life, but I’m doing the best I can to not be a jerk. And I’m apologizing quicker when I am.

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

I haven’t binged since I wrote those letters freeing me from the past. Despite my lack of belief in a god, writing those letters and handing them over to my God Box helped me. I have no idea how the act of folding those letters up into tiny rectangles and hiding them in a discarded Pringles can released me from my past jerkiness, but they did. Not only have they helped me keep my bingeing at bay, they have helped me to be a tad less jerky so I don’t have new situations to apologize for.

So, given the option to be myself and be a jerk or to change, I chose to change as best as I can.

Image via: Hunington Sunset by jonashaffer | Flickr


I Was In No Mood To Eat One

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I Was In No Mood To Eat One from Starling FitnessMy friend, Roland, and his wife did some service for the local boy scouts and manned the Tiger Ear Booth to help them earn money. He wrote about it here: Magic Number: 7 — Eastern Idaho State Fair | Roland K. Smith’s Weblog

The Tiger Ear Booth was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event (that is, you only want to do it once). Both Nina and I spent the four hours shaking cinnamon-sugar on the Tiger Ears. About a half-hour before we were finished, I finally found a stool to sit on … but by then my feet were definitely done for the day.

Tiger Ears are some kind of a scone with the dough squashed flat then fried in a deep-fat fryer, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon-sugar, and sold for $3.00 (extra honey-butter 50¢). The squishing process takes place in a hydraulic press with blobs of dough soaked in oil, then fried in oil. It is an oily, greasy process. By the time we were finished, I was in no mood to eat one!

Elephant Ear Stand at the Fair from Starling FitnessAt the Utah State Fair, they call them Elephant Ears. I have never in my life been in “no mood to eat one.” In fact, the ONLY reason I went to the fair for the last seven years was to binge on the food there. The fire-roasted corn, funnel cakes, fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, elephant ears, huge corn dogs and anything else sold to me out of a little traveling food trailer. I didn’t go to pet the goats. I didn’t go to look at the booths. I went for the food.

I didn’t go to the Utah State Fair this year. It lasts until the 14th, but I just have no desire to go to it. Despite listing all my previous binge foods from the fair, I don’t really don’t want to binge. Could it be that for the FIRST time in my life that I’m in “no mood to eat one?”

Images via:


Not Worthy of Something So Delicious

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I haven’t played Animal Crossing in quite a while, so when I saw Tank, I was so happy to help him. He said he was hungry and wanted some fruit, so I grabbed him a perfect pear. Perfect pears are worth A LOT of money in the game, but I have so much money that I don’t really care and I really missed Tank, so I gave him one. After he ate it, this was his reaction:

Not Worthy of Something So Delicious from Starling Fitness

He said,

I feel like I’m not worthy of something so delicious!

Then he cried profusely.

It felt so sad to me to think that Tank didn’t feel like he was worthy of a perfect pear, but honestly, I have felt the same thing. When I am deep into the facet of my disease that makes me limit my food too much and exercise too much, I have felt unworthy of delicious food. I truly believe that feeling of unworthiness is an aspect of my eating disorder. It’s why I restrict my eating so much.

At the same time, it is also the reason I binge. I may feel unworthy of such delicious food, so when it is offered to me, I eat it to prove that I’m worth it. I’ve been a good girl, so I DESERVE this food, don’t I? People who are good get to eat delicious food, right? So, I must be good if I eat it, aren’t I?

The truth is, I am worthy. I AM a good person. I don’t need to eat a perfect pear or any other food to prove that I am worthy. I don’t need to refrain from eating a perfect pear or any other food to make myself worthy. In fact, whether I FEEL worthy or not is irrelevant. I might ALWAYS feel unworthy, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am worthy.

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