But the proof is in the details, right? You would have never guessed that inside my "Calories Consumed" lurked this monster:
Recommended Serving Size: 4 cookies
I bought them as I was coming home from work. I know I shouldn't have. But I wanted a cookie. I wanted the crunch and the sweetness. Of all the cookie options at CVS, this was one of the better ones. 4 Lorna Doones has 150 calories. 2 Double Stuf Oreos (my favorite) have 140 calories. I thought I was getting more bang for my buck. I had the box open before I even got home. The first four cookies consumed in the time it took to check my mail, go up in the elevator, and go to my door.
But then I continued.
Until I had eaten the whole box (thankfully I hadn't gone to the grocery store where they have bigger boxes).
I sat at my computer feeling ashamed and weak.
I felt like a hypocrite. I felt like I had learned nothing over the past few years.
I had just eaten the same amount of calories in cookies as I burn while running for an hour.
Then I had the insane thought of "oh man, I wish I were a bulimic, that way the calories wouldn't count."
I fully admit that statement is one of the most backwards and fucked-up things anyone could say.
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder, not a way to deal with bad choices.
And so I sat at my computer, and logged the 20 cookies that I had just devoured (not even savored).
I sat there saying to myself "it's okay" softly. Repeatedly.
I wasn't giving myself permission to have a binge, I was giving myself permission to learn from it and move on.
I remembered that I had been there before and lived to blog about it. So I looked up the entry and re-read what I had wrote. I realized that while I've learned so much in the past two years, that some issues will never go away, and that I need to be mindful/vigilant of them always.
So I titled this blog post "Sitting with It: Mindful Binging" because most of us who have had experience with food addiction and binges know that the first response to a binge is usually some sort of panic/anxiety/shame/regret; we disconnect from the emotions that caused the binge in the first place. I think the lucky people see it happening and feel powerless to stop it. The unlucky people don't even notice it is happening.
I believe that if we can be mindful of the binge -- that is, to know it is happening and why -- the greater the chances of stopping/curtailing it. The slower we experience the physical action of the binge the more opportunities we have to allow the emotions to make an appearance. Make sense?
I know why I was eating the cookies.
It's more than just loving the crunchy texture and the buttery shortbread deliciousness.
I needed to sit with the feelings -- not the cookies.
The feeling? I turn 31 in a few weeks and I've yet to experience being in love.
And I don't think my grandpa will live to see me in love.
And that makes me sad.