Friday, May 11, 2007

A Glimmer of Hope

I have to tell you about this afternoon.

I ate my lunch and was overcome by this need to eat candy/junk food, and I was on a mission of sorts until I did. But the damage was minimal -- half a candy bar, half a pecan turtle we saved from last week's trip to Kennywood, and four 0reos -- and surprisingly, my urge to binge just fizzled right out, and I have no desire to continue it.

Why? Good question. Maybe because during it I did the following things: 1. Gave myself permission to eat what I wanted; 2. Savored each bite; 3. Thought long and hard about why this was happening; and 4. Knew there was no deadline (i.e., I didn't think "I better eat as much as I can today, because it's back to the diet tomorrow")

Still working out #3. It's funny how my brain sort of went blank and it all turned into primal urges to eat. I wanted the sensations, flavors and textures of food in my mouth. I didn't want to think about any rules, including any IE principles of checking in with my fullness. Was it because it was a Friday, the end of a long week, and that mindless eating was my "reward" for surviving it? Nothing seriously bad happened to trigger any big emotions. There were no fights or run-ins with friends or family, no major crises at work. The house is clean and the puppies are behaving themselves.

And maybe because I went through this laundry list and realized there was no good reason for me to binge, I realized I didn't need to. So it stopped.

I'm telling you, it was an amazing moment. It was like really getting into a good album at top volume, and all of a sudden the power goes out and the record player just slows to a stop. I kind of looked around, confused, wondering what happened. I even went into the kitchen, looking to see if anything else might appeal to me (old habits!) and I said out loud, "No, I've had enough."

It was a powerful statement. I didn't say it because I knew I was exceeding my calories for the day. I didn't say it because I was worried about the scale reading tomorrow. I said it because my body was telling me I had enough food in my system and I didn't need anymore.

Is this what "normal" eaters feel? It's so sad I have to ask that, but for almost 30 years I just haven't had a clue.

I really think this is working. I have tears in my eyes right now because I feel a real glimmer of hope that I'm beginning to heal. To recover. It's an amazing thing.

No comments: