Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New weapon for an old adversary

Here's another one imported from The Ramblings of the Bearded One that seemed highly relevant to this blog. Once again it sparked a debate in the comments, which are worth reading in the original here: Although be warned, one of the attitudes expressed in particular might have you wanting to bang your head against a brick wall and despair at the lack of understanding of the world by some people.


My relationship with food is a complex one, but then it is for a lot of people, not just the anorexics, the bulimics and the grossly obese.

After 2½ years of fights and battles, and the overall loss of over a 100lbs, you might have thought that this relationship would be simpler and easier to understand. And in some ways it is. At least these days I know what I’m up against.

Having said that, knowing that you have to go out and fight a dragon the size of a building that has teeth as long as your arms and breathes fire, while you have little more than a toothpick and a jar of barbeque sauce to help you, doesn’t always make it easier to find the will to go out and face it every day.

But even as I develop new tricks, techniques and strategies to deal with it, the adversary also evolves in unexpected ways.

Something I’ve become aware of over the past few months has been the onset of a new emotional trick up the sleeve of the beast.

There are times when having a tasty treat in front of me, one that I can allow myself to have, fills me with an overwhelming sense of sadness.

At first glance, this might seem a little strange. There, under my nose is a warm, fresh from the oven, home-baked scone, made by my son who has his mother’s touch for creating mouth-watering, indulgent food.

I’ve been good for the rest of the week so eating it is hardly going to tip the scales the wrong way, and it’s going to make Rogan feel good to know he’s created something his father will enjoy. So yes, it’s OK to eat this warm buttery scone, and even have a spoon of Maggie’s homemade raspberry jam on it.

All I have to do is enjoy it.

Instead, I want to cry.


Because I know it will only be a few moments and then it will be gone. And I won’t be able to have a 2nd, a 3rd, a sneaky 4th and then talk Maggie into making us a batch of rock-buns for later.

Before I’ve even placed a piece in my mouth, I’m mourning the passing of the scone.

I’m mourning the fact that I cannot just have the scone, enjoy it, and then stop, feeling satisfied.

I am mourning the fact that for the rest of my life, every time I have a tasty sweet, buttery or salty treat to eat, I will have to fight to stop continuing to eat and eat and eat until I am stuffed, feeling physically sick and disgusted with myself for having given into the binge.

Part of me so desperately wants to be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and damn the consequences.

I want to scream that it’s not fair! Other people get to eat what they want! Other people get to stop halfway through a bag of Maltesers and feel that they’ve had enough! Other people don’t have to worry that if they have one, they won’t stop until they have physically damaged themselves!

It’s like going to a massive funfair with big dippers, giant Ferris wheels and walls of death, and being told you’re only allowed to go on the kiddie’s ladybird ride because the others will be damaging to your health. The kiddie’s ride isn’t going to satisfy you; all it’s going to do is remind you of what you’re missing.

And that is the terrible weapon the beast has developed: I rarely feel much sense of achievement for the weight I have lost. Instead I am continually overwhelmed with a sense of sadness about what I dare not allow myself to have, no matter how tasty, wonderful and enjoyable.

Because the more I enjoy it, the more dangerous it is for me.


ArleneWKW said...

After I posted a comment on your other blog about this, I remembered a time when I had this thing under control. Matt and I were on vacation and I'd allowed myself a restaurant breakfast consisting of two pineapple pancakes, the best I'd ever tasted. We had plans to go out for breakfast at the same place the following morning. I considered ordering these wonderful pancakes again, then realized (1) They wouldn't taste quite as wonderful the second time and (2) It was entirely possible that we'd return to the area we were visiting at some time in the future. I could probably order the pancakes then and, having limited myself the first time around, would enjoy them as much as I enjoyed them then.

Now if I could just return to that way of thinking . . .

S William said...

I deal with a lot of the same food struggles. It was my depression cure, and when the weight came on, it became doubly dangerous.

The only way I can combat it is to stay away from all junk,

Pandora Woman said...

Your post had me quiet for a while, thinking, and in a way shivering.

And I wondered, do I ever feel this sense of loss, this amount of sadness? I have to say, no I don't.

Just last week I noticed that I had a near orgasmic eating experience over just a chinese cabbage salad and some red pepper pasta.

I ate with such gusto and so much joy that it hit me afterwards I had not even thought about the creamy gorgonzola sauce I always associated with pasta. Red sauces, and just some olive oil and peppers, or just garlic?


And yet, that day, that moment, I would have refused to give up the food I had for all the plates of Pasta Carbonara.

As I said a formidable post, my compliments to you.



Kim Ayres said...

Arlene - It's difficult, isn't it, when you know you've had the right mindset in the past, but find it almost impossible to find your way back to it again.

S William - the depression cure - oh, how I relate to that. Yes, food has always been my primary form of emotional medication.

Pandora Woman - To be honest, I think part of the reason this has crept up on me is I'm becoming over controlling with food and find it almost impossible to fully let go and just enjoy. And I think that is largely to do with other areas in my life where I feel too little control.

Weight-Trimmer said...

No Weight loss update today. Is everything ok Kim? You are normally as regular as clockwork. Hope all is well. All the best from Sunny Aberdeen!

Kim Ayres said...

Sorry WT, got caught up in other things - I'll do it now :)