Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch

I just ate a full pint of ice cream for what I think is the first time since before treatment.

You will not never binge again, I remember someone Staff saying. For so long that wasn't true. I don't mean until now, but for months and months I kept a very, very tight rein on my eating, counting exchanges, worrying if any extra bite or thought of biting was disordered.

And so what? I have done an eating-disordered thing. I am having the worst week of my life, and I was in the supermarket because I needed groceries and I knew it was perilous to be there, but it was also perilous not to be, and I just could not find a reason not to comfort myself in what is still one of the very few ways I know how.

And the things just keep coming, the stressful frightening things, and I just don't know how to survive them, weather them, and the kid with whom I host lunches for prospective students came into the admissions office today where I was already sitting, all ready to engage in an I-have-so-much-work pissing contest, and I nearly cried. That's the way to sell the school!

I have done an eating-disordered thing. I have done eating-disordered things before. I will do eating-disordered things in the future. It doesn't mean I have an eating disorder now like I did then, not the same magnitude. It is not all or nothing; surely I've learned that much.

I am going to survive this week and I am going to find some small form of stress relief that is not food. Something that allows me to recognize my feelings instead of swallowing them.


Beth said...

I hear you. You are absolutely right, this isn't all or nothing. And I give you lots of credit for being so honest.

Personally, I think it's okay to think that the goal is learning to get back quickly when we fall off the wagon...if we try to strive for the perfection of never falling off, then what does it mean when we do? Kinda is a no-win situation!

Good luck with the rest of the week. I hope you can do more than survive; I hope you can thrive!

Peggy Nature said...

Oh man, I eat pints of ice cream fairly frequently! Don't panic. I know it must be worrisome, but I think everyone does this from time to time.

Starla said...

I'm sure you will be able to find other options that will give you comfort besides eating, though do not get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with eating the occasional 6 Double Stuf Oreos or pint of ice cream during times of need, but it is also nice to find other outlets that comfort you. I find that sometimes just laying on my bed listening to Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin comfort me, or lying with one of my cats and petting them, or getting out and going for a drive or bike ride.

There's tons of things out there to help comfort you.

The Fat Girl said...

Thanks, Beth! I know you know where I'm coming from, here.

Peggy: I agree, but I think it feels different for someone with a long, long history of eating-disordered behavior to eat a pint of ice cream than for someone who's usually pretty normal about food. For me, eating a pint of ice cream is a total warning bell. It says, "I am feeling things I don't know how to deal with in any other way. I'm upset and I don't want to deal with it. I'm sad and can't express it." For someone else, it may just say, "Ice cream. Mmmm." Or it may be somewhere in the middle—because food has emotional components for everyone, in a way that's totally normal—and mean something like, "I am really treating myself. I'll make sure to eat extra spinach tomorrow." I think if I had done this with someone else while, say, watching the Academy Awards, that would be one thing—but by this point I'm developing a pretty good sense of when my eating is okay and when it feels off, and this definitely felt off.

But so far, no repeat performance.

Starla: I think your suggestions are great. One of the things I have trouble with is finding non-food comfort options that work with my life. I really love crafts (especially collage), but at the moment there just is. not. time. So I'm looking for good comfort options.

John Blodgett said...

I've often taken comfort in "The Pint." I usually try to at least keep it Ben and Jerry's frozen yogurt, to keep the fat and calories down, but sometimes I have to go for the Haagen-Daz Deep chocolate peanut butter. Scary numbers on that label, for sure.

I agree with Beth, and have only come to terms with it this very week: It's OK to fall off the wagon. It's not the end of the world. I think I finally got tired enough of beating myself up to learn this. You just gotta pick yourself back up--life is a process; the journey is the destination; call it whatever pithy thing you want.

If you check out my post from today, I get a little bit more into what I've learned this week along these lines.

Anyhow, I'm glad I found your site. I'll keep coming back.

Manic Mom said...

I was just going to say you left out the most important part: What flavor it was.

But then I saw your title again. If I were to eat a whole pint, I would choose Birthday Cake.

In fact, I just posted about my favorite ice cream flavors yesterday! I am craving ICE CREAM!