Friday, August 21, 2009

Deprivation vs. Abundance

First off...I am now hovering one pound above my pre-vacation weight. I might just get back down to the same place for my next vacation (Burning Man) in a week. It's going slowly now, but I'm not being perfect and not doing formal exercise (although biking, beach walking and Burning Man packing definitely count as exercise!). DB is now down about 24 pounds and is also longing for that "virgin territory" below the lowest he's been. We're both hovering. He's just hovering at 5 pounds more lost than me! ;-)

Last week we were at dinner on my carb-up night and DB said something that kind of made me go "aha!". Here's the idea: people approach life with a perspective on a continuum between abundance and deprivation. I immediately identified in my gut with deprivation even though my head knows abundance is mine. I have been thinking about this off and on...and how it impacts on my approach to food...and maybe everything else. DB said that about 15 or so years ago he switched his outlook from deprivation to abundance. I think it would help if I could do likewise.

Why do I feel deprived? Was I ever really physically deprived? NO. Food food food and more food was mine. As I've said before, in my family growing up, food was LOVE. "Here, have some ice cream" was pretty equivalent to "I love you, you have value". I've always said this in a joking way, but I've just realized that, at least on some level, this is no joke. I probably will need more therapy to figure out just where the feeling of emotional deprivation comes from. I truly have had so much love for so much of my life, it's hard to understand. But the place where my gut really identifies with feeling emotionally deprived is when it comes to romantic relationships. Until I met DB, I just wasn't too lucky with that. And I'm sure that being overweight and downright FAT a lot of my life probably added to that. Vicious cycle, eh?

So what do I do? If I have something delicious in my mouth, I want MORE. I want MORE because maybe there won't be any later. My tendency is to eat and drink like there is no tomorrow, like there will never be another tidbit like this again. I think I've acted like that in relationships too.

So much food for thought here...


Vickie said...

does DB mean that he switched from thinking 'poor me' to 'I am in the driver's seat of my own life/choices'? Or is he talking about material things? Or is he talking about religion - putting it in a higher power's hands? Curious to know what he specifically means? And was there a certain event that changed his thinking? Or the age of his kids? or his own age?

Lori G. said...

At work so I can't write too much but Helen, I can identify so much. I need to write down what my mother said on our last visit. It's definitely food=love. And yet...WHY do we do it?

What's worse is that sometimes as I'm eating the damn thing I'm thinking, "how can I get some more" or "oh, I'll be sad when this is all gone." Sheesh. It's not like it's the last ______ ever produced in the world, is it?

My word verfication is haggicop which makes me think of haggis (ugh) and cop. Food cop?

Helen said...

DB is talking about psychology and so am's a question of how you look at your half full vs. glass half empty kind of thing, but not the same as that.

It happened after his last divorce when he was in therapy and going to a support group. He learned A LOT there. I am grateful to him for all the work he did before he met me...I get to benefit! :-)

And, Lori, YES. That's exactly what I'm talking about...wanting another one before the first one is gone. It's sad sounds like I'm (we're) not enjoying the present...always looking for more more MORE. :-(

Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lots of food for thought here, Helen. Food was love, approval, reward, and comfort. And we ate today because tomorrow it might disappear and we would be deprived and alone, since food was the focus.

But DB is right, it doesn't have to work that way. Focusing on the abundance of what we have is such a positive way to live even though it takes practice to do. I'm not there either, but I can see it more clearly :)