I don’t always know which food I might slip between my teeth that will unleash that feeling in me, the one that I am all too familiar with, the one that is followed by overeating of something, the one that might turn into a full blown binge. The one that might be the beginning of the roller-coaster ride backwards, with me screaming in fright and frustration. Just one bite away.
It’s there. It’s part of my truth. When I am being honest with myself. I feel it – it seems visceral to me. I put a food in my mouth and something happens. I want more. More might be another bite of that same thing or many bites of something else. And something else.
But the good news is… well, there might be several things that are good, now that I think about it. First, I have a pretty good idea now, with all my past dieting struggles, which foods might set me off and cause this reaction. Second, it happens less and less, mostly because I just avoid said foods, and when I am going “off plan” now I am usually doing it away from home and away from other food with which to continue on a potential binge. Time and distance helps. Third, I know that I have this reaction and I try to avoid it. I don’t fool myself into thinking I might be able to handle moderation. Fourth, my desire to succeed might finally be greater than my desire to eat some food that I know will set me off.
Now lest you go thinking that I am strong-willed and strong-minded and well on my way to a lifetime of eating success… let me be clear that the whole purpose of this post was to explain to you how that is sooo not the case. I am really just one bite away from a binge. And in the back of my mind I am always one binge away from a landslide.
I don’t know if this will always be my reality. Or if I will change.
But I do know that I’m not alone. Leslie wrote a great post not long ago about her similar feelings. As someone who is familiar with 12 step programs, she had this to say: “‘Remember you only have to abstain from the first compulsive bite. One bite only.’ Without the first compulsive, unplanned, risky bite, it’s much less likely that a really strong hard craving will set in that is hell to try and resist. I don’t have to resist and leave out a whole sleeve of cookies or a quart of ice cream… I only have to not have the first bite. This advice is the equivalent of not setting foot in an arena with a lion on the loose. I won’t have to fight him (it) off if I don’t enter the ring.” Oh I love how she writes:)
So, for now, I’m going on with my life, towards my goal of normalcy with my eating, knowing that this one little thing, this one little bite, stands between me and a true “normal.” But, as many of you have pointed out to me in the past, I can define my own normal. A new normal. Karen’s normal. Not sure what it looks like yet. Not sure if it will ever allow me a bite here and a bite there without those coming back to bite me in the ass.