Sunday, March 06, 2011

It's the Little Things that Make it All Worth It

One year ago, five years ago, eight years ago.....I would stand in front of you and say "Hello, my name is Joanna and I'm a food addict".

Does that statement change today?  No, it doesn't.  I'm still a food addict - always will be.  Alcoholics never stop being alcoholics - they become "recovered alcoholics" - even if they haven't touched a drop of alcohol for twenty years.

Today, I stand before you and feel comfortable saying "Hello, my name is Joanna and I'm a recovering food addict". 

Notice my use of the word recovering....I've made it a while, but not near long enough to consider myself "recovered".

Making this jump from food addict to recovering food addict didn't happen over night.  Just 60 days ago, I still gave in to my desires.  I binged without reason - except that the chocolate bar looked good, or the smell of pizza was too tempting to resist.  I knew I shouldn't - I probably wasn't hungry when diving in head first...but I had an urge that I just couldn't control.

Then there was the emotional eating aspect - what got me into this mess in the first place.  Food was my safe haven, my emotion catch all...happy, sad, stressed, depressed, celebratory...didn't matter - there was always a food that fit the situation.

So why now the sudden change? 

I have been making conscious food choices for 27 days, now.  Before anything goes in to my mouth I calculate my calories, I determine the desire for the food...Am I hungry?  Will this satisfy my hunger?  Am I eating just to eat, or because it's time for my body to receive some fuel?

Then, my food choices became less of a chore and more of a uncontrolled decision. All of a sudden, I stopped having the urges, I stopped wanting things I "shouldn't" have.  I was enjoying my eating - the healthy choices - and didn't even give temptation eating a second glance.  There was no struggle over what I wanted to eat - because everything I wanted was just fine.

That was...until yesterday.  I had a rough day yesterday.  I had absolutely no motivation, I was feeling stressed by the amount of work that's been piling up - and my not doing it, I felt weak.

It was the worst day to decide to go shopping - but I had to go. 

As I walked around Wal-Mart - my desires were taking over.  I wanted chocolate.  I wanted potato chips.  I wanted soda.  I wanted ice-cream.  I, also, wanted to cry.  Just when I thought that I was doing so well - those damn feelings rushed through my blood stream....and I just wanted to cry and eat.

I walked straight to the potato chip aisle.  I stood there.  I grabbed a bag and took off to my next stop.  I walked to dairy section and saw the most decadent desserts...and I started randomly grabbing stuff.  I headed to the candy aisle and stood facing the plethora of chocolate - I turned, grabbed something and decided I was done. 

I didn't care.  I was overtaken by my urges.  I just gave use in fighting it.

I had no idea what was in my basket - I had just grabbed and ran.  I just wanted to get out of the store as quickly as I could and get home...I was ashamed.

Then I got to the check out.  For the first time, I looked down at my cart.  I stood there.  Shocked.  Amazed.  I actually stood there long enough for the check out guy to ask me if I was OK.  I looked at him, fought back the tears in my eyes, and said "I am, it appears I really am just fine".

I started unloading on to the belt:
  • One bag of Terra Mediterranean Veggie Chips
  • One package of sugar free 60 calorie chocolate mousse cups
  • One package of sugar free 60 calorie caramel mousse cups
  • Six containers of Chobani yogurts
  • One package of hazelnut creme flavored coffee (coffee is located on the same aisle as the candy)
  • One package of chocolate truffle flavored coffee
It hit me like a ton of bricks.  In my state of utter panic, complete despair, and sudden urge to binge my little heart out....I had unconsciously grabbed healthy snacks.

Of all the chips I could have chosen, I chose natural, baked veggie chips.
Of all the dessert choices in the dairy section, I grabbed 60 calorie snack cups and Greek yogurt.
Of all the chocolate I could of swept in to my cart, I grabbed zero calorie flavored coffee - in my most favorite of chocolate flavors.

My kids had taken some advantage of my mad moment and stuck a candy bar into the cart for each of them - but I was OK with that.  They even offered me a piece in the car, which I gracefully declined.

I drove home feeling different, empowered, happy, OK with what had just happened.

In my moment of utter chaos - my head took over and controlled me. 

It's little moments like these that make me realize that I am recovering.  I am fighting the urges, even during the urges.  It's moments like these that make me realize that I'm worth it.

Oh, and just so you know, by the time I got home - I no longer wanted to binge.  I ate my dinner and was satisfied for the rest of the night.

Till next time. ;)
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