Milky Way

50 Reasons to Eat


How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?  That’s probably how many reasons I can think of to eat.  I write this because yesterday, when I was on my way home from work, I telephoned a friend just to talk until I got past the turn-off for a Dairy Queen where I have stopped in the past (at least once a day) for an ice cream cone.  We were laughing about it because we understand that an addict can come up with any reason to indulge.  I told him that I’ve written lists in the past (e.g., 100 things I’m thankful for), so I would write a list of 100 reasons why I have eaten and/or overeaten.  As you can see, I’ve stopped at 50 reasons because the redundancy of underlying themes was getting to be embarrassing.

NOTE:  Excepting reason #1 on this list, there is no foundation of actual hunger or need to eat in any of these excuses.

  1. I feel actual hunger (a legitimate reason to eat, but there’s no guarantee that I will choose something beneficial to my health).
  2. I *might* feel actual hunger in an hour (or 2 or 3) and I have no guarantee that I will be able to get food when I need it.
  3. I might never get to eat this particular food again any time soon.  In fact, I might go a lifetime and never have this wonderful food again, so I should eat more of it.
  4. I should eat so that I don’t blow up at someone in the office.
  5. I need to eat to calm down so that I can concentrate.
  6. I know I should sleep, but I want to stay up and finish watching this program (or read this book or work on this project), so I’ll eat to stay awake.
  7. I can’t sleep.  I should eat something that will help me sleep.
  8. I might wake up in the night feeling hungry, so I need to eat something before bed.
  9. This book I’m reading mentions food.
  10. We’re at the theatre and I always have popcorn when I watch a movie.
  11. I’m sitting here with nothing to do while I watch this TV program, so I will eat.
  12. I’m working on this project and it’s really intense, so I’ll eat to fuel my ability to work on this.
  13. I feel good.  I can eat anything I like.
  14. There is leftover food. I should eat it before someone else does.
  15. Oh, look:  cookies!
  16. They make my favorite cake at this store.
  17. Coffee and strudel — a perfect treat when talking with a friend!
  18. I’m late for work.
  19. I had a good workout.
  20. It’s cold out.
  21. There’s a storm coming.  Might be a blizzard / tornado.
  22. I was thinking of how my mom made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches when I was a kid.
  23. Pancakes.  I want pancakes, and I want them now.
  24. Oh, look, it’s a festival.  Let’s get funnel cakes!
  25. The boss brought in doughnuts for a meeting but only a few were eaten.  I should eat some to make sure he doesn’t feel bad for bringing in food that no one wanted to eat.
  26. Wow, there’s candy leftover from that trade show!
  27. It’s just a small piece.  I’ll be good.
  28. I didn’t win the Powerball.
  29. Nobody likes me.
  30. I hate everything.
  31. I’m never going to have a Hollywood-perfect body, so why try?
  32. My husband went to all the trouble to cook this, so I should eat it.  I don’t want him to feel bad for his efforts.
  33. It only tastes good when it’s first cooked.  It’s terrible when it’s reheated.
  34. Hey, is that a potato chip that fell out of the bag yesterday?
  35. Oooh, someone is warming up soup in the microwave!
  36. Is that fresh bread I smell?
  37. Fresh coffee!  What can I eat as I drink my fresh coffee?
  38. Chocolate would be good right now.
  39. I’ll order in pizza because I need to work through my lunch hour.
  40. It’s 4 o’clock and I’m hungry, but I still need to work another hour.  I’ll have some of the leftover pizza.
  41. I’m on vacation, so I’ll eat whatever I want.
  42. I’ve already blown my diet / food plan / exercise plan, so I’ll just eat this.
  43. I’ll start over again tomorrow.
  44. I’ll start over again on Monday.
  45. I’m just going to blow my diet / food plan / exercise plan anyway; it might as well be today.
  46. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and they always have the best chocolates in the store for this.
  47. Oh, look! A new flavor of M&Ms!
  48. Those little Girl Scouts are working so hard to sell their cookies.
  49. The neighbor kid is coming around to sell popcorn again for his Scout troop.  I should be a good neighbor and help out.  Popcorn is at least healthy.
  50. It’s a day that ends in “Y.”
Truth on Tuesday

The Miracle of Freedom (sort of)


Somebody brought in a plate of goodies and plopped it on the table in the break room.  I am pleasantly surprised to find myself able to walk away, but I’m still obsessing a little bit in my head.  Part of my thinks, “Oh. Cookies.  That’s interesting.”  Another part of me thinks, “Hmm, I wonder how they taste?”  Still another part of me rationalizes, “I should eat one because I might not get another chance.”  The devil on my shoulder says, “Take one or two. It won’t matter.”  The angel on my other shoulder says, “Take care of yourself.  You don’t need cookies today.”  And my inner beast says, “OMFG, COOOOOOOOKIESSS!!!”

Here’s the truth:  Glad as I am that I’m not stuffing myself with cookies (because, you know, I might never get to taste a cookie ever again in my entire life), the crazy is still there inside of me.

In the program, we talk a lot about miracles.  Miracles come in all sizes and shapes.  Today the miracle is that I’m not physically crazy for cookies even though I’m fighting a few battles in my head.  I’m not a person who really believes in miracles because the ones that happen to me often don’t seem as spectacular as I think anything called a miracle should be.  Inasmuch as I’m grateful for today’s little miracle, I want the big one.  I want it now.

Here’s some more truth:  I rarely want anything in a small way.  Whether it’s cookies or recovery, I want it BIG.  I want it to be MAGNIFICENT.  I want it to be INSPIRING and I want it to go viral.  A lot of that is ego.  A lot of the desire for the BIG miracle is because the feeling of wanting to eat junk food is overwhelming at times, but the lack of desire is *meh.*

Imagine this:  You’re in your house, maybe watching TV, and suddenly there are fire alarms going off.  You don’t just sit on the sofa and say to yourself, “Oh, fire alarms.”  No.  You jump up and you run to the door.  Well, that’s how it feels inside me most of the time when I’m craving something to eat (usually junk food).  It’s like there is a fire and I physically need to get up and run to the food for safety, for calmness, for satisfaction, for relief from the tension.

And here’s the God’s-honest-truth:  Recovery really isn’t spectacular.  It’s having to deal with the inner demons that come out to play as soon as I don’t give in to food cravings.  On a good day, it’s just calmness (i.e., a lack of the drama that has been part of my life for longer than I can remember).

So, maybe in time I will find joy in the quietness.  Maybe in time I will realize that freedom from the addiction is a magnificent gift even if it’s not celebrated with fireworks and rainbows.  Until that  release finally comes, I’ve got friends and I’ve got a program and I’m going to take this just one day at a time.


Truth on Tuesday

Truth on Tuesday

I’ve decided that I need to tell the truth about myself.  Tuesday seems like a good day for that.

Truth #1:  I’m fat.  At my last doctor visit, I weighed 306 lbs.  Granted, I was wearing my shoes and a pair of jeans at the time, but I think it’s bullshit to deduct any number of pounds from the today because the number is what it is.  Deducting even 7 lbs still puts me nearer to 300 lbs than I ever intended to be.  So, let’s be truthful:  I’m fat.

Truth #2:  I’m a food addict.  I am a compulsive, impulsive, and sometimes repulsive eater.  I have tried diets with some success, but no diet has ever addressed what’s really going on at the core of me.  That’s why I need a 12-step program.  That’s why I needed to heal my relationship with a power greater than myself because when I’m around food I have no power.

Truth #3: I’ve eaten some food today that was not beneficial.  I was stressed out over some work I’m doing and pissed off about some inequities at the office, so I told my Higher Power (HP, for short) to get the fuck out of my way.

Truth #4: My HP doesn’t punish me for pushing him/her/it aside.  My HP loves me exactly where I am today.  When I overeat, I am only harming myself by eating stuff that isn’t good for me and by not practicing the habits of recovery that I have been given.

Truth #5:  I don’t like myself very much, so it really blows my mind when I remember that my HP loves me no matter what, when my 12-step friends love me no matter what, when anyone in my family or among my friends loves me no matter what.

Truth #6:  Lots of times I am eating cruddy food because it’s a way to kill myself and still live for now.  If you heard the self-loathing that goes on in my head when I’m stress-eating, you’d think I had a gun stuffed into my mouth.

Truth #7:  I’m still trying.  Last April, I called a friend in the program and said, “OK, I’m really ready to take Step 3.”  My recovery is based on working the 12 steps, and most of time I’m starting the day at Step 1 and getting through Step 7 before I get to bed.  But that’s OK.

I think that’s enough truth for today. #TruthTuesday