While I have been free from bingeing and purging for some time now, my eating disorder still tries to lure me into playing its dangerous games. Almost daily, it's as if I hear a voice that says, "Hello? Remember me? I have some new games for you when you're ready to play."
Sorry, I don't play those types of games anymore. On occasion, however, I find myself gambling on the Russian Roulette of abstinence to see how far chance, luck, and strategy will take me without falling into the red zone.
For instance, the other night as I drove home from work, I felt thirsty, so I thought I'd make a pit stop and get a Diet Coke. It was after ten at night and I don't live in the safest of neighborhoods, so instead of getting out of my car, I decide, brilliantly, to cruise through the drive-thru at McDonald's. To people who aren't addicted to food, this may seem like a viable, innocent option. Although I can eat anything abstinently, for a person like me, who used to have McDonald's bags adorning the front and back seats of my car, quenching my thirst at a fast food chain is never a smart option.
Of course, I already knew this, but did it anyway.
A few seconds after I tentatively inch my way up to the drive-thru, a familiar phrase comes blaring through the raspy speaker.
"Welcome to McDonald's, would you like to try an Extra Value Meal today?" Would I? Of course. Will I? Of course not.
"Just a second," I reply. "I'm not quite ready." I should have been ready. After all, I knew what I came for--one Diet Coke, nothing more.
Enticed by the entertaining pictures of fast food that scream at me--"Pick me, pick me!"--my mind begins to flounder.
"Are you ready to order?" the voice asks. Feeling like I've already wasted at least three minutes of her time, I decide that it would be rude to order just a Diet Coke. Pressure corrupts my head as I deliberate my options.
"Yes, I'll have a medium Diet Coke...and an Apple Pie."
Seconds after leaving the drive-thru, I take a bite of the pie. It tasted delicious, but I knew if I ate another bite, then I'd spend the rest of the evening feeling guilty and performing fat checks to see if I any evidence of apple pie clung to my stomach. With that, I put the pie down.
The reality is that I am capable of eating anything from any menu without resorting to bingeing and purging--but that doesn't mean that I should. I know that bingeing and purging is absolutely not an option--which means that whatever I choose to eat, I have to live with the consequences.
The difference between me now and when I engaged in bulimia is that today I believe that 1.) eating one bite will not physically change my body, and 2.) what's is becoming more important to me is eating things that won't produce guilt. At times, as in the above scenario, I tend to deny and forget certain truths for myself, which is why I still get into sticky situations.
Cliche for the day: Progress, not perfection.