Last night was one of those nights. A night, which could equally have been one of those days, or those weeks, when I ate and ate and ate, because I was trying NOT to eat and eat and eat.
In my full house. Full of the men in my life who are not “dieting” and who are certainly not in any way trying to eat what I try to eat NOR trying not to eat what I am (mostly successfully but often still with conscious effort) trying not to eat. With my house full of not only the men, but also their food (and their clutter and their noise). With my house full of temptation.
Which brings me back to last night. I wanted to eat one of the delectable looking desserts that my husband brought home from the store… but I didn’t really want to eat it, if you know what I mean. I wanted to eat some of the fudge that my mother-in-law had made at my son’s request for his “send off” party. I wanted to eat (from the Costco size containers of) the M & Ms and red licorice that had been in my pantry all week. And the pretzel chips. And the tortilla chips. And the pita bread, also left over from the party, that goes so well with the humus still sitting in the fridge that is just not the same on top of a veggie slice. I wanted to eat the leftover pizza. And the (home-baked but store-bought) bread sitting on the counter leftover from the previous night’s family dinner (when everyone ate it but me). I even wanted to eat fro-yo that we didn’t even have in our house!
My mind was whirling.
I’d like to tell you I ate nothing. But I can’t. Because I ate. And I ate something else. And then I ate another thing. BUT, I ate none of the above. Not one piece of candy; not one bite of junk food; not one refined carb. I ate “healthy;” I ate “on plan.” I ate everything but the kitchen sink.
In my mind I was saying, “You’ll regret it if you eat that crap.” In my mind I was saying, “I want. I want.!” In my mind I said, “Okay, Karen – eat… but eat something else instead.” “Eat something on plan.” “Eat something ‘acceptable’ if you want, if you must, if you are still jonesing for the treats.”
It wasn’t a binge. It wasn’t a disaster. It was a coping mechanism. Or, at least, that’s what I’m going with. It wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t weight-gain-inducing. But it wasn’t due to physical hunger. It wasn’t how I want to eat when I envision my long-term “healthy eating that’s a lifestyle and not a diet” or my new normal.
And it wasn’t new. I’ve done it before. This excuse for a coping mechanism. This lie I tell myself that it is better to eat everything and anything “on plan” than to give in when a bonanza of temptation is staring me in the face and screaming in my head, for hours, for days.
Eat this; not that. Eat this; not that. Rinse and repeat.
The good news? Most of the time this situation doesn’t arise because there just isn’t this kind or quantity of food in the house. And over time, when the temptation is there, I’ve succumbed to my “binge that isn’t a binge” less and less and less often. The bad news? I thought about not eating last night. I thought about the fact that I wasn’t really hungry, in my belly, that is. I thought about being stronger than the cravings. But then I thought it was better to eat the sugar-free pudding and the “3 minute flourless chocolate cake” and the frozen yogurt bar and the apple and the fat-free cheese than to eat the other stuff. I thought about chocolate. A lot. I thought about coping. So I thought.
And, because, as you know, I over-think everything, now I think about how I can use this and learn from this. Or if I even care. Still thinking.
3 Minute Flourless Chocolate Cake
1 T. Smart Balance
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
2 T. sugar-free syrup (like DaVinci) or skim milk (or any combination; I use 1/2 and 1/2)
4 t. Splenda
Microwave the Smart Balance just until completely melted. Whisk the other ingredients in a microwave safe container; add the melted Smart Balance and blend completely. Microwave on high for about 1 minute. Eat warm or let cool.
What have you been thinking about lately? Do you have any coping mechanisms you’d care to share?