The Killer Question

Do you ever shake your head in wonder at the food-related situations you find yourself in?  I do. I found myself in a face-off with a freezer full of ice-cream lollies on Saturday. My feet ground to a halt in the middle of the supermarket in what felt like an act of betrayal, and I probably stood and stared at that freezer for a good ten minutes.

Earlier in the week my friend had included a picture of a raspberry magnum amongst the holiday pictures she’d shared on social media, and I’d made a jokey comment underneath the photo about how I’d once eaten six of them in one sitting. That was true, in fact it happened during my last four day binge and if I close my eyes I can still taste them.

Now, you’ve got to remember that my head was up my arse for a significant chunk of last week, and that perfectly innocuous picture seemed to fire the starting pistol for my tastebuds. Every day since, I’ve been lusting after a raspberry magnum like a dog on heat, and fantasising about beating my personal best by going for seven, or maybe even eight. It was just one in a long line of assaults that the Asshole voice made towards my food sobriety at the back end of last week…it was relentless.

The thing is, when I’m in the grip of an urge to binge, it’s very easy to convince myself that as soon as I’ve eaten whatever it is that I’m fantasising about I’ll be okay, you know? You’re going to cave at some point, so quit with the pathetic attempts at resistance. Just get it out of the way. Fill your boots now and then you can move on…

It never works out like that though, does it? I don’t know about you, but once I’ve got the taste for something, I’m screwed. That’s why I very rarely have a one-incident binge.

How can I even describe what the urge to binge feels like, to a regular person? It’s like a massive build-up of pressure, which in that moment I am utterly convinced can only be relieved by shutting myself away and pushing all the things I shouldn’t be eating into my face. I’ve heard people who self-harm talk about how slicing into their skin with a blade somehow relieves the pressure which is building up inside, and I guess binge-eating is different but the same. It’s certainly followed by all the same emotions…guilt, shame, the whole fucking nine yards. I might not carry self-harm scars on my body per se, but I do have a double arse inside my pants for remarkably similar reasons.

In the ten minutes I stood rooted to the floor in front of that freezer, with the pressure of the last few days threatening to blow like a volcano out of my ears, I literally clung on to food sobriety by my fingertips. I even had hold of the freezer door at one point.

Is this me making a conscious decision then, to choose fat over skinny? That’s the killer question, because if I reach for that box, whether I admit it or not, I’m choosing to wake up heavier tomorrow than I am today. 

That argument swung it, in the end because…well, it’s true isn’t it? Nobody ever ate seven raspberry magnums and woke up skinny the next day. So I didn’t go there. Somehow, I let go of the freezer door. My feet started moving again, and I walked away. Isn’t it evil, the way your mind can manipulate a memory…in the grip of it, I didn’t recall the bilious bloated day-after effect because I was mentally blinkered and could only focus in glorious technicolour on how they tasted.

I did buy a box of peanut bars from the healthy snacks section, and ate every last one of them. But they weren’t raspberry magnums…they weren’t even close to being that naughty. And yesterday I rebooted, and had a textbook day without incident.

One more pound gone this week despite everything, and I can live with that… especially after an obscene amount of healthy peanut bars which, in those numbers probably weren’t that healthy at all.

I’m back at work today, and I’d be really grateful if we could all just keep our fingers crossed that this week passes without incident 🙂

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9 thoughts on “The Killer Question

  1. For me, when I have a bad day of eating, it’s usually because I let myself get hungry and didn’t eat enough healthy carbs. Fruit with breakfast or lunch helps. Because when I go grocery shopping, I have to avoid the ice cream aisle because I have no self control. I want to eat the entire container of ice cream. I tried Halo Top, but unless you get something like a piña colada pretend ice cream, the rest is all gross. I can accept 320 calories of something cold and delicious. But if I don’t like it, ugggh. It’s no substitute. Courage is huge and taking your walk away from the feeezer as a victory is how you should celebrate.

  2. Hi, Dee! Greetings to your Mum – I love her picture, with that Bring-it-on smile! More power to her! & to you, Darlin’.

    There are the lurking Afters and like Vickie said there’s surprise food ambushes, omg. See, you’re already coping & carrying on & caring for everyone, all the cherished folks in yr life; giving loving care to your job…. It may not be immediately obvious to you, a random crossroads where you’re in potential jeopardy.

    There I stand in the supermarket, gaping at a brazen frontal assault that has me temporarily paralyzed. (Oh, that stuff I remember that stuff….) The struggle may last 5 minutes, or all the way through my grocery run. Somehow, by some technique I’d forgotten about, I manage to give the slip to my Nut Lover’s Cheese Crunchies With Genuine Bacon Flavoring.

    Say No in the Store, (& not have to at home, over & over). Handle Will Power Crises Early in the Day. Definitely Don’t tickle that carb-addicted nerve, it’s a bitch when awakened. Go on, Be Vain. If we can’t be strong, be stubborn. Eat something else, something that doesn’t howl, More! Then stop. Start again every day, fresh, no guilt no reset; never despair, never cave.

    I keep collecting stratagems, pulling out old ones from the bottom of the barrel – hey, just like new! – It’s utterly necessary for survival over the long, long term, this Journey all the way to Skinny.

    …sorry so long – sort of hope this doesn’t come off so condensed that i sound like a creepy stranger muttering on the bus stop. LUL!

    1. Give over, your musings are a joy, as always Fleury…Nut Lover’s Cheese Crunchies With Genuine Bacon Flavouring…oh dear lord thank heavens we don’t have those over here!! Mwah 🙂

  3. That picture, your friend’s raspberry magnum (and thank you for not including a picture here), is what I think of as surprise food.

    You weren’t looking for it. You did not seek it out. You did not have it in your house. Someone plopped it in front of you. It was a surprise. And not the good kind.

    Sometimes surprise food is actual food that appears out of no where (work break room). Sometimes it is a picture online. It can also be on TV.

    I have stopped reading many blogs over too many baked goods, too many pictures of food. One blogger realized this is a thing with many people. So she has separate blogs. And I avoid her baking blog totally, while enjoying her quilting, gardening, chickens and dogs.

    I record everything I watch on TV so I can blink thru the commercials and not see a thing. I have been doing that for many years. It is a very valuable tool. It saves time and trouble. That is a huge advantage of Netflix and Amazon prime. No commercials.

    I know someone who worked for a company that had a no baked goods, no junk in the break room policy. That included no microwave popcorn. And that is smart on so many levels.

    And surprise food can lead to what I think of as the food trifecta. Where salt, sugar, fat (in any order) are a chain reaction. Seeing or eating one, leads to the others. It is a loop. One must be on the lookout for that. Because it can be very devious. One can think they safely navigated one, because they do not eat more of the same. When actually they move on to the other two categories and round and round the loop they go.

    On the boxes. I have bought a box of something, eaten one, pitched the rest. I buy single serve as much as I can if needed. It depends on what it is. I know someone who only buys single serve nuts. He can do single, a big package causes problems.

    1. I take my hat off to your level of discipline Vickie. I reckon that’s the key but I don’t know that I have it in me!

      1. It is not so much discipline as living so I have to make as few food decisions as possible. And then putting myself in a position to make good choices helps.

        Having only helpful type foods in my house helps.

        Not looking at unhelpful type foods constantly makes a great deal of difference. Not seeing them on TV, not going down those aisles at the grocery store, etc.

        Yes, we still have to eat. But we do not have to put ourselves in the position of looking at food and thinking about food 24/7.

        Having other interests and other things to do, helps a whole lot.

  4. It’s the same addictive process that keeps people doing drugs or gambling or drinking or shopping or whatever gives that person the hit. You are not in the fight alone, and you can win.

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