Thursday, September 3, 2009

Betcha can't eat just one...

...of anything, that is. It's true confession time. On Monday (I think) I committed to a binge free week, hopefully enabling me to break through a self-crafted plateau upon which I've been loitering. Just one week, at the end of I would either re-up the effort for a designated time frame, or decide to take a break. It was going to be a matter of choice if I decided to ease off the weight loss effort by indulging myself in some limited tasty morsels. You know what I would be my decision whether or not to break from the totally healthy regime and enjoy something "off program" for just an evening, or even just a bite. Ha!

Well, I'm starting to get that once I put certain things in my mouth, like even one bakery-made oatmeal raisin nut cookie, the decision appears to be out of my hands, because I can't stop myself from having another. I swear that sometimes I can, but not usually. And this is where the confession comes in.

We had a friend for dinner last night. She was a 60-something woman from church who has been going through some stuff, so hubby and I invited her over. I planned a really good dinner with an awesome lean pork chop and cabbage recipe I have. The side dishes were light fare as well -- zucchini, salad and boiled red potatoes. Given the lightness of the menu, I thought I should get something decent for dessert to round out the meal. Translate: fixing dinner for someone during the week felt like work and I wanted a reward for my sacrifice of time as this was hubby's idea anyway. I went to a local bakery and got some oatmeal raisin nut cookies that were about 3-4 inches across and came in a container of about 2 dozen. Oh, I knew exactly what I was doing but would have denied it to the death as I handed over the money for the cookies. And to balance the cookies, I got some Edy's caramel nut ice cream and a container of butterscotch syrup to make it special.

The dinner was great...we 3 cleaned our heartily laden plates, then sat back with contentedly bloated bellies to chat. About 15 minutes later, I suggested dessert. Our friend said she didn't have room for another crumb, but hubby, good chap that he is, said he was going to have "a" cookie. So I eagerly joined him in having "one". And do you know that upon the first bite coming to rest on my tongue, with the intermingling of textures (raisins, nuts, grains) and flavors (raisins, spices, sweetness), I knew I was a gone-er. I immediately had another, but stopped since "people were watching" (they couldn't care less). Shortly after, our friend left, hubby went off to a meeting, and I was left alone with not only the cookies, (I had about 10), but also the ice cream and butterscotch sauce (I had one and a half bowls). Not on my planner, or was it? My subconscious knew full well where that clear container of designer cookies was going to take me. So did my "conscious", truth be told. I guess I enjoyed it all even knowing that I would pay in the morning with sugar fog and the remorse of not maintaining my commitment to one lousy week of abstinence.

Today I'm totally back on track and feel fine. It's over, done, finis. But I've been thinking about how I eat certain things compared to how others do. In one of the clients' rooms today the staff were each having a small order of succulent crispy golden french fries. I saw one woman throw 1/2 of her pack of them away because she was full. Full? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Fries must be eaten until they're gone, just like cookies, pies, cakes, candy bars. When I think of having a candy bar, I don't really want one. I want a lot, and then the way is paved for the balancing salty thing like chips or wheat thins, and then butter, and so on. The anatomy of a binge.

It really is like alcohol. When I first stopped drinking 18 years ago and I'd have a craving for a drink, I knew didn't want "a" drink; I wanted obliteration. To be somewhere else. To go away without leaving the room. Food doesn't do the same thing exactly, but I abuse it the same way. It makes me wonder if I'll ever really be able to enjoy "A COOKIE". I have no aspirations to be a person who never eats sugar or white flour. But I definitely understand that I will likely always have to be willing to accept the consequences of making certain choices. Maybe one will be enough. But given my history, it isn't likely. And as Lyn from Escape From Obesity noted yesterday, every choice counts.

I know I'll have a clean healthy day today and today is the only place in which I can take action, make choices, and live my life fully. So maybe I need to rethink week-long committments and stick to doing my best in this day.


  1. Hi Leslie. Thanks for your comment and concern. I do appreciate it.

    I really am in no danger of being an alcoholic. I know that's probably difficult for someone who's been an alcoholic to understand but I have no affinity for it at all.

    But I think that thing about alcoholism, that you can't just have one drink, is very much how I am about eating. I can't just have one of anything either. And the only way to deal with it is just not to start at all. I read Why the Weight's most recent post before yours and she's talking about this very thing. (See my blog list for link)

    It's all very well for people to say "moderation" is the key to being a reasonable weight, and a little of what you fancy and so on. But for compulsive eaters I think the only way forward is to treat those foods that set off a binge as totally off limits and just don't go there.

    I got going on my latest bingeing hell which has lasted weeks now by thinking I could have just one piece of chocolate cake in a cafe and that would be it. But it set off a massive bingeing period. I really hope I won't do this again. Sanity for me is definitely in total denial of those trigger foods.

    At least you feel OK today, and are able to stick to healthy eating in the here and now.

    I don't know what I think about day to day vs week long plans. Maybe a whole week is too much to commit to in one go. You seem to be sabotaging yourself - like you couldn't allow yourself to have a whole 7 days of healthy eating. As though you had to make sure that didn't happen. I think it's all part of your unwillingness to move on to a lower weight. So now you've done that last night, you can be OK with healthy eating again today; it's safe for you to eat healthily today. There seems to be a sense of relief that "it's over"?

    I may be speaking out of turn with the above, but it is based on what you wrote before about keeping your weight at 196 to 200. I think you're still doing it!

    Hope it's OK that I've written all this when I know so little about you. Just my ideas on what you've been writing about.

    Bearfriend xx

  2. Hey Leslie -

    I'm glad you stopped by and left a comment. I know exactly what you are going through and the struggle to just have one serving of anything. Other than completely refraining from all the sugar/flour stuff I'm not sure how to get a handle on my binge eating.

    I hope we can both figure it out and eventually get to a place where one is enough.

    I'm looking forward to catching up on your blog.

  3. I chuckled about the french fries....I can never let good french fries go to waste! Today I had my husband take the jar of peanut butter away from me. (I was eating celery) I was dipping. I realized I was probably dipping deeper than I should have!! Many of us have those days. Just shrug it off and next time by the 1 dozen instead of 2 :)