Monday, August 3, 2009

An ADHD Evening

My husband is losing weight on my diet. Actually, he's not on my diet but he doesn't eat goodies in front of me at night anymore and as a result he's losing weight. The articles I read on the ADHD/ADD-eating disorders connection say that night-time is the hardest time for an ADHD/ADD woman to not eat. Evenings are our worst time because our projects are done. We need to find stimulating, adventurous things to do at night to keep us out of the food.

I bury myself in Facebook and my blog right now at night while watching TV at the same time. I may be in trouble when I start losing interest in Facebook (which is beginning to happen), and I imagine eventually I'll run out of things to say and start repeating myself on my blog. When church and school activities begin in August and September it'll be a relief.

I knew I wasn't nuts about the connection between attention deficit disorder and my eating disorder. There is a big connection for about one/third of compulsive overeaters. We have difficulty with organizational skills which is why food plans and food journals and countaing carbs, calories, or points don't work for us. We have poor impulse control which is why we're on the see-food diet: we see food, we eat food. And we have poor self-awareness which leads to not knowing when we're hungry or when we're full. When we're busy with something that stimulates us we totally forget to eat which sets us up for ravenous hunger later, and because we don't sense fullness we eat till we're stuffed.

Its very important that ADHD people speak up for themselves about being put (in all innocence) in situations where they are confronted with favorite food at a time when their impulsivity level is at their highest.

I had asked my husband to not eat treats at night in front of me and he graciously complied. He is now reaping the benefits.

I had a really ADHD evening. I steadily accomplished things all day today and then forgot a meeting I was supposed to attend tonight. (Sorry, Roger) I did the same thing last Saturday morning with another meeting. Mind you, this morning I told my husband to help me remember I had a meeting on Monday night and he said, "Today's Monday." I saw Roger today and we talked about the meeting. Up until an hour before the meeting I remembered. Then something distracted me and I forgot.

I'm totally off any regular schedule in the summer and my mind frees itself of the school year structure that helps me remember stuff. On the other hand, my mind is popping with creative ideas. I wrote two children's stories and came up with some ideas for my school. I write this blog each night. But I forgot two meetings in three days.

This kind of thing is not an infrequent occurrence with me. I wonder if you can imagine the shame this has caused me in the past? Understanding my own ADHD has greatly reduced the shame I feel, but I know other people find it frustrating and really don't understand.

According to the authors of the study, ADHD people are the ones least likely to succeed on any form of food plan. Does that explain a lot. They suggest that we keep a variety of the food we should eat available at home and at work because we're the type to forget to pack a lunch. They don't even suggest trying to restrict the food because we're such failures at it, just try to stay on a maintenance diet of 1800-2500 calories/day. Well, I'm glad I've got the lapband so that I'll actually lose weight faster than a maintenance diet.(Though, frankly, I would lose weight on that because I ate more calories than that.) And so that on really ADHD days, like today, I've got a tool that will stop me from getting too badly into the food.

Just for today, I did not get into the food. Fortunately, the knowledge that I missed a meeting happened just before I began working on my blog, giving me a chance to process the whole thing. I also noticed Roger was on Facebook and chatted with him online and apologized for missing the meeting. I've had to do that a lot in my life.

He sent me the minutes. I'll catch up. But I lost an opportunity to share ideas with others--something to which I was looking forward.

Oh, well. ADHD has its gifts as well as its drawbacks. Today was more drawback than gift. But by the grace of God, I haven't eaten.