Monday, September 22, 2008

Let Me Eat Cake

Remember when I posted the piece of writing my therapist gave me last June about the hole in the sidewalk? I have it posted on my refrigerator and I look at it often. Over the past few weeks, I've been reading it and wondering if perhaps I was finally walking down a different street. Yesterday my mind forgot the new route and took a detour back to the old path -- and straight down the hole. Luckily, I only fell a few feet before I grabbed a handhold and clawed my way out.

My day started with me determined to have a South Beach phase one kind of day with no fruit or grains because we were headed to my SIL's at noon to celebrate three family birthdays. I had baked all three cakes and really wanted to try two of them, so I wanted that to be my only "indulgence" of the day. I decided I'd have two small pieces and savor them. My plan went off-track immediately -- probably because of those "you can't have..." thoughts. My older daughter wanted breakfast in bed for her birthday (a family tradition) because she won't be able to get it next Sunday on her birthday (8 sleepover friends will be here). I made her eggs and cinnamon rolls. The rolls smelled so good that I ate part of one. I immediately regretted it and judged it a bad start to my day.

At my SIL's I ate two smallish pieces of cake. In spite of sticking to my plan and not feeling overfull, I started thinking I was a failure because I was struggling not to eat a bunch more cake. Coincidentally (?), I developed a blinding headache within 15 minutes of eating the cake. My thoughts took off in all sorts of irrational directions and by the time I left her house I was convinced that I'd never be able to eat cake again in any moderate fashion. It would always give me a headache, I could never control myself around it, etc. At home, I put the cakes away and ate some more as I did it -- not a binge amount, but more that I didn't really want. Then I felt guilty.

After dinner, my dh left to take R to religious ed and C to the park. I was totally in a state and just wanted to binge! binge! binge! binge! binge! Cake! Then onto the ice cream I'd bought for R's birthday party! Then more cake!...... I stood in indecision, trying to calm myself and talk myself out of bingeing. I'd just feel worse afterward. Yes, I'd eaten too much cake, but I'd hardly eaten anything else all day. If I binged, I'd just be adding more calories to the damage -- and more guilt. I couldn't quite seem to talk myself out of it. So, I decided that I'd eat a few bites of each cake and then leave the house for a bike ride. Not a bike ride to punish myself as much as to release some of my pent-up feelings, and maybe to burn off a few of the calories too.

Within 3 miles I felt calmer. As I rode, I stopped thinking about cake and started reveling in the strength of my legs and the feel of the cool evening air. I rode 13 miles or so, and arrived home with no desire to eat anything at all. Today, I feel pretty normal. I had a terrible headache again this morning -- so bad I left work at noon. It's now gone for the most part, and I feel okay. I feel confident that one of these days I WILL be walking down a different street for good.


christie i. said...

I am glad you were able to divert a binge. I know the feelings all too well.

MizFit said...

always a bigbig victory IMO.

did you have a chance to journal about it?
record what you felt and how you overcame it?

it sounds silly (since you over came it!) but Ive found really helps the next time.

to revisit your own strength via the written word and maybe trigger more success.

Isabelle said...

I think you did amazingly well in the circumstances. Three cakes!