Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coping and Codependancy

We had London Broil for dinner last night with potatoes, carrots and celery. Dave likes cooked carrots but I don't so I left them all for him. I steamed them in the rice cooker. For dessert we had Nilla wafers with Strawberries and whipped topping. I did Walk it Out and walked 1.1 miles then watched a little tele and went to bed.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately and the last episode of Ruby really brought some things to the forefront of my mind. If you do not follow Ruby’s show, basically, she and a group of friends enrolled in a 6 day course for eating disorders. Part of the workshop had them doing a life map from the time they were small children until now. The instructor, Tennie, also had them draw an image on butcher paper of what they thought they looked like and then had someone actually trace them for comparison.

The life mapping activity was eye opening for the participants. It became apparent to each of them where some of their bad behaviors developed and how they used food for coping. Some had witnessed or incurred abuse and it was pretty heart wrenching to watch. I thought about it a lot after the show and think it is really a good idea (mapping) for everyone to do at some point.

Without going into all the sordid details, I basically figured out where a lot of my bad behaviors stem from and when I started using coping mechanisms like food and alcohol to deal with them. I don’t think that anyone is to blame but ME but there are certainly some people who influenced what I thought and how I have coped throughout my life.

Tennie also brought up codependency which I could totally relate to. There was a lot of discussion about codependency during the class I took for Dave’s program last year. The definition of codependency is: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or food); broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another. I am more cognizant now of my codependent behavior then ever. I am trying to break the pattern. A lot of it had to do with Dave and his drinking in the past but I could say the same for him and my overeating before. He was an enabler for me as much as I was for him. He has had to make some life changes and we both are learning new methods of coping like walking/exercising, meditation and lots of prayers. We have made some major progress though. It goes to show you that you can change your behaviors at ANY age. Obviously, I/we should have addressed these issues a long time ago but we did eventually do it and I believe we are better people because of it. Until next time...


  1. That' so great that you ARE addressing those issues. Definitely better now than never.

    PS I don't like cooked carrots either! :( I don't really like any cooked veggies (except potatoes). ;-)

  2. I wish I could watch Ruby but I don't have the channel on my cable system.

    I think you are amazing Katie. You're doing a lot of self examination and life changing and generally trying to be the best person you can be. That's more than most ever do.

  3. Great post Katie. I can identify with every bit of it. I watched the Ruby episode about the 6 day intensive work, and it had a powerful effect on me as well. I've realized that I even use my co-dependent tendencies and care-taking of others as yet another way to avoid my feelings - much like I do with with food, and did with alcohol.

    You're doing a lot of important and difficult work, Katie. Take s a lot of courage.

  4. I have not seen Ruby either, but it sounds like one I should have seen. my hubby and I need to take care of some issues too. you have amazing strength and should be very proud of yourself. thank you for being you.

  5. There's nothing like hearing other peoples struggles to help us make realizations about our own. I'll have to give the show a look!

  6. It's great that you both are addressing your issues. I think it's so tough when you have one partner working on their behaviors and the other isn't. I got a lot out of that Ruby episode too.

  7. I got a lot out of that episode as well. It's weird how watching someone else cope can bring so much out of you. She's come so far and I hope she can find out what happened to her so she can get through it.

    You're doing so great, Katie! I don't get a chance to comment your blog often because it won't let me access your comment section at work, but I just wanted to say, I've been following your progress for a long time, and you are really making it happen! <3

  8. I really enjoyed the first epsidoes of Ruby but stopped watching it. I'm glad it's helping you identify some of your eating issues. The first episodes that I watched really helped me to examine my relationship with my emotions and food. It's a great show and it's great to hear you're learning so much. Sometimes we benefit from others doing all the hard work of soul searching.

    I really liked your body bugg stats. Mine do not look as good as yours. May I ask how you posted the graphic. I'd like to do the same thing on my blog.

    BTW--you're doing a great job with your food and exercise. You're inspiring me to do better. Thanks

  9. Hi Katie,

    I'm glad you're able to realize all this stuff.

    I think it's unlikely to maintain a healthy weight if you're unable to figure out what got at an unhealthy weight in the first place. XO!


    P.S.--I'd like to know how you posted the graphic, too!

  10. Great post! After doing lots of my own soul searching & reading about other people's experiences, it amazes me how interconnected things are... events & experiences that seem so minimal can have such a HUGE impact and unless you take the time to reflect you may never realize. I know its emotional work, but so worth it in the long run.

    Btw, your dinner sounds delicious. :)

  11. I watched some of the 2nd to the last episode last night. I've got it taped. She sort of bugs me the way she says 'hacky.' And she whines when she talks. Though I still like the premise of the show.
    Some of that work has got to be painful and revealing. Got to!

  12. Hey, Katie. Great job. Introspection is highly under-rated sometimes.

    there's a fun technique similar to the life mapping thing.

    It involves drawing a river. A river of your life. Telling your life story via a picture of a river.

    There are only a few rules: 1. It must start NO LATER than the day you were born. 2. It must not stop before the day you are doing the river. (It can start before you are born and continue after 'today', but must include day 1 and today.)

    You can use any medium to create your river, crayons, paint, markers...

    You can use the scenery the river runs through grass, mud, desert, flowers...) to show stages of your life, you can use elements of weather (sun, rain, clouds...) to describe your life, you can use the water itself (turbulence, waves, smooth water, deep, shallow), you can use the shore line, you can put things IN your river to depict periods of you life (animals, rocks...)

    The deal is the river tells the story of your life, often on a feeling or felt experience level.

    Take the time to think, add detail. People depict the parts they don't remember in many ways. The good thing with a river is that you KNOW it flows from start to finish. So even if you don't remember details (like birth) you know the river was there and continued til now.

    Sorry this was long, but it is a fun and meaningful project. Once it's done, and you look it over--it will tell you a lot.


    If I can find mine, I'll try to take a picture of it to show you.

  13. I have never heard of that show, sounds interesting, though. I fully understand that I have used, and continue to use food as a coping mechanism, now I just need to figure out how to stop doing it and recognize it before it becomes detrimental to my diet.

  14. Your not only addressing them, you are changing your life/Dave's for the better! And we are all here to pull for you!!

    I loved that episode of Ruby. It def brought to mind things in my past that have attributed to my dependency on food (and couch potatoing!)

  15. Self-examination and soul-searching is so tough. Thinking of you, Katie.

  16. I gave you an award Katie!! Go check out my latest blog post!! :)

  17. I've read several of your posts and you are an awesome person. I love all the quotes you have at the bottom of your page too. There were a couple that especially stood out to me. Reflecting on our pasts can really shed some light on the habits we've formed over the years...it's necessary though. I tried so many times to lose the weight without doing the inner work. It never worked in the past but it will this time. :)
    I've heard of Bodybugg several times and looked it up after I read your comment on my blog. I'm so jealous and now I want one. lol. It looks like an awesome tool. :) Take care.

  18. **AVERTS EYES**

    Im so RUBY behind...my dvr is FULL!

    I need to catch up.


  19. It's great that you are able to take something you saw on a television show and apply it in a positive way to your own life. Self-awareness will certainly help you in achieving your goals. I look forward to being on your "team" this month!

  20. Katie - what an insightful post. I too deal with some of the same issues. The process to overcome is difficult, but so rewarding. Good luck to you...

  21. Wow Katie-dealing with these issues can be scary but the healing is the stuff~


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