Happy weekend, my faithful followers!
I have 2 major victories to share…
First victory…I now only have 4 pounds to go to hit my century mark. (Huge relief not to have gained this week.)
Now for the second…
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have long struggled with a Compulsive Overeating Disorder. The initial stages took hold my junior year in college, and a few episodes have still managed to crop up every few years.
I’ve gotten control over the worst binges and truly believe that having to eat gluten free has assisted with that. I can no longer indulge in 3 value meals at McD’s and after reading a few articles on the chemicals in microwave popcorn, I no longer eat 6 bags at a time. As many times as I did it and with as much crap as there was in the weird powdery butter (Extra Butter flavor was my poison) I’m surprised I haven’t sprouted an extra limb or suffered from major cognitive impairment. (The popcorn binge is my most vivid memory as it happened over and over again.)
Please don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments, and I most definitely have my triggers.
My ‘episodes’, as I’ll call them, never started out with the intent to eat ridiculous amounts. Typically I’d see a commercial or a sign or smell something that made me think of a particular food I wanted. The second that desire for that food popped into my mind, it became an absolute obsession. I’d snack on something else, still focused on that original craving…I’d watch TV, still focused on that original craving…I’d go eat a full-fledged meal with others, still focused on that original craving. The only way to make the focus stop was to give in and get whatever it was I couldn’t stop thinking about. And relieving that obsession always turned into an uncontrollable binge.
In the past, I could get away with my calorie marathons because I could hide them. I lived alone or was in the car alone with time to dispose of the evidence. Fortunately, since Allen didn’t travel much for work, and especially since he and I were laid off, we are together 100% of the day which I love for a number of reasons…1) I hate being apart, 2) I’m a worry wart and run thru a myriad of worst-case scenarios when we’re not together (you can thank the driving ineptitude of Florida residents for that), 3) Being together and dining together means I don’t have my binge/hide opportunities.
Sure it sounds childish for me to feel like I have a chaperone on my eating excursions…but I’m not at a point where I totally trust myself.
I boredom eat, I emotional eat, I stress eat, I happy eat, I hungry eat, I looks-like-it’s-close-to-lunchtime-so-I-should-eat eat and I unfortunately still over eat.
The last few weeks have been full of stress. We are moving in 3-4 days and the thought of packing up everything and hauling it and 2 cars 8.5 hours north is doing a number on my anxiety level. Couple that with moving to a new city (although I couldn’t be more excited about living there), trying to find a new job, Allen trying to find a new job, Christmas-time, trying to find a house, and trying to maintain the weight I’ve lost, and I just about want to declare myself temporarily insane.
So naturally…well, not naturally, but historically speaking, I want to eat. And eat some more. Thank goodness for my trusty sidekick for keeping me in line.
But this morning…I was alone…in the car…and the thought of Chick-Fil-A fries entered my mind. And I wanted them.
I’d thought about them when I got in the car. Went to get my nails done…with the yelling and whispering of a language I cannot comprehend all around me while I sat their being pampered, I thought about them some more. I decided to make a trip to Home Depot for trash bags, but the smell of sawdust and paint did little to curb my hunger. All I could do was focus on that waffle-y goodness.
I tried to see if Allen was done with his appointment…called a few people…tried to create some type of diversion, some type of sign that would make me let the urge go. Nothing was working.
I knew I was in trouble…I knew this meant 2 things. That I was giving in to that uncontrollable, suffocating urge that I’ve fought so long to cope with…and that I was getting ready to potentially eat this and act as if I hadn’t, planning to have lunch with my better half soon after. Binging and hiding it…I was headed down a slippery slope.
So I drove 4.5 miles out of the way to give in to my desire. I pulled in the parking lot…it was 11:30, which typically means that Chick-Fil-A is a chaotic mess of soccer moms and hungry workers on their lunch break. I made a silent deal with myself that if the line was long, I would go home…It wasn’t. I think I picked the 4-second window of time in the history of this location that a wrap-around line was not present. Shit…what was I going to do now?
I pulled behind the 2 cars that were waiting and prepared to order something. Damn I was hungry…and my brain proceeded to run a thousand miles a minute: Could I mask the grease smell if I ate them in the car? Would one order be enough? Surely I’d need 2 to make sure the craving was satisfied. What kind of sauce do I want? Will they be salty enough? Is there anything else I need to order? Wait…what was that sound?
As I was close to my time to order, I heard a weird noise. A strange metal dragging on the ground noise. Was it my car? Crap. What should I do? Fear ran through my whole body…what if I break down in the drive-thru line…at CFA…at lunch hour! How would I explain to Allen that I was sitting there deciding between BBQ and Polynesian sauce when the automobile crapped-out. (Turns out it was the bizarre music choice of the car behind me that was causing my panic.)
And it was at that moment that I felt like I woke up from a dream. Like the hypnosis had worn off and I was ‘present’ again.
What the hell was I doing in the drive-thru lane? Two orders of French fries aren’t going to get me to my 100-lb weight loss goal by the end of the year and giving in to the worst part of myself was not the way to overcome my most embarrassing struggle.
So I simply drove away and the fanatical desire ceased….completely.
With no French fries came no guilt…no disgust…no sadness…no anger at myself for giving in…no standing in the mirror crying because I knew I’d certainly gain weight after eating 2 lunches (though claiming to have had 1)…no hiding…no binging…no embarrassment.
It may have been a struggle…it may have been fought till the 11th hour (thank goodness for overly loud dubstep)…but a win in the final minute is still a win.
I finally had a ‘W’ in my win column. I emerged victorious over the ‘obsessive thoughts lead to binge’ battle for the first time EVER… And while I know many battles make up a war, I am incredibly proud of my buzzer beater.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher