Saturday, September 17, 2011

Get In My Belly! (Part II)

So my last entry on Get In My Belly! (Part I) you got to see a snapshot of a kid not making wise choices with her food intake. 

But hey, I was a kid and the sixth of eight children. But what about the adult that child six became? I'm sure food in general, dinner choices and overall experience was different for my other siblings than it was for me. But this is my story that I'm telling. 

I am also certain, that "my story" is very familiar to countless others, as well as a complete shock to those that never faced their issues in this way.

In retrospect though, I must admit that I was an undiagnosed binge, crave-driven emotional eater, which I came to find out is a type of eating disorder. 

Simply put (though some of my behavior was definitely learned), I am human and have issues that weren't being dealt with in a healthy way.

My diet eventually became quite healthy, but the portions were not. Soda was a definite coping device and my drug of choice. My consumption of soda was really out of control. 

At one point I was easily taking in equal to or greater than ninety-six ounces daily. I was eating and drinking myself into a hard road of health problems and never appropriately dealing with my issues. 

Though come to find out later on, while receiving counseling, I learned that my poetry writing (which has been a hobby as long as I can remember) was probably my greatest saving effort for my mental and physical health.

My weight loss journey (i.e., when actual effort was applied) really began in 2004 and waffled with sincerity until 2006, when I gave up. 

Then in 2007 I found out what it was like to really completely give up, refusing to lend any effort in actually helping myself health-wise. If it couldn't be fixed by a pill, without changing my behavior, then it (I) wasn't worth the effort.

In 2008, I hit a critical point and thankfully something snapped and changed for the better. What changed? Understanding that if I have control over nothing else in my life, I do indeed have control over:
1- my response(s)
2 - what I put in my mouth
3 - how I spend my time

I decided that:
  • I was no longer going to sit in front of the TV or movies and allow myself to drink a soda and mindlessly be entertained, so I didn't have to think about or deal with the real issues that needed attention.
  • I owed it to my family, my husband, friends... MYSELF, to reinvent and redefine Diana.
  • Simply put, I needed to trust, love and believe in myself.
Then I went on a reading frenzy online and in hard cover to learn and educate myself as to why I was the way I was, so that I could decide who I wanted to be and why. 

Over time, I began to learn that this had absolutely nothing to do with food or other vices, it's just that food and other vices were how everything manifested. 

Some people commit crimes, are violent, passive, self-mutilators, etcetera... For me, I did them all one piece, one sip, one purchase, one episode at a time.

So what I read:
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth
  • How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek
  • You The Owner's Manual by M.F. Roizen and M.C. Oz
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition by Joy Bauer
  • The King James Bible
  • The Book of Mormon

What I did that worked:
  1. Questioned myself on everything. I mean incessantly, all day, everyday for over a year. It was relentless! Why buy this? Why am I craving that? What has happened today? Why did I answer that way? Why am I lying to myself as I look in the mirror? Why can't I? Why don't I? Why say that? Why do I do this? Why do I believe this (or that)?
  2. I tried really hard to practice "mindful eating" (and still do)rather than following any fad diet, the concept of which is so fleeting and simply not good for the body. I used to think that eating by craving was good, because it must mean that I am aware of what my body is lacking, right? Not always the case. Eating by craving can also lead to binging. This is really bad when you are a person with addictive behaviors.
  3. Decided and repeated to myself that I have control over my choices and my actions. I refuse to allow myself to be controlled be others, things, or even my own self-defeating talk. I have a choice.
  4. When feeling emotionally low and/or physically weak, I found I must first go for a brisk walk before I do or decide anything else. There is always time for that, there are always options even when mobility changes how you exert that energy. When you feel like the option isn't there, you are indeed making excuses. It's a choice. You must stop everything else, because YOU are on the line.
  5. I began to read food labels (even if I feel like I don't understand them); often this determines what I buy.
  6. I began to continually strive to be a "water only" drinking girl.
By the time last year's Thanksgiving came, I knew I had really made significant changes in my life. I had just one sensible plate of food and I met another goal, which was to get a run in on Thanksgiving Day. 

I didn't experience a food coma, a weight gain, or experience any lethargy like I normally do on Thanksgiving Day. And the best treat of all was that I liked it and didn't feel like I was deprived in any way. It was a good day.

If there is nothing else you get from this entry, I hope that your take home message is this:
  1. Facing your issues head on is better than ignoring them.
  2. When it comes to food, everything in moderation is really the key. There is no diet, program or pill that will do better for you than moderation, mindful eating and self-discipline.
  3. Despite what you may think, you are indeed worth it all.

.... to be continued...


  1. That was written by Dr. Diana Bateman, a motivational, inspirational, loquacious, awesome sister!!!!! Where do I buy your book??

    1. You're weird... that may be why I like you. Do you even know what loquacious means? :-)

  2. Diana, you inspire us! Thanks for wanting to run! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    1. Right back at ya! You and the Mrs simply rock! I owe you so much. Thank you.

  3. One difference I have from you is that I am not an emotional eater, I actually starve myself because my stomach is full of knots and I "feel" (which really is psychologically thinking)that I am full. Either way, whether you are an emotional binge eater or starve yourself, neither is good for your body. Diana, you are an inspiration to me and I am grateful to have you as my sister. Thanks for your blog. Also, in addition to dishes Mom attempted to make, do you remember her vegetable beef soup?

    1. I don't recall that dish, but maybe there is reason I don't. :)
      You are a good woman. Now go unwind your tummy and get something to eat!

  4. Thank you for sharing, Diana. What a great person you are!