As the holiday season nears, I can think of a multitude of reasons why I LOVE this time of year: the leaves changing color, the cooler weather (yes, even in Florida), the holiday decorations adorning street lights and store fronts, the holidays and the gratitude and cheer, family gatherings, getting to wear scarves and warm fuzzy socks, etc.
These, however, are the same reasons I dread this time of year. During this season, my eating disorder, even in recovery, loves to remind me where I can find emotional "support" if the craving for comfort comes my way.
Here's how my eating disorder works: As grateful as I am NOT to be bingeing and purging anymore, I couldn't help but get entranced by a certain package of cookies at the grocery store the other evening. The setup, and it was a setup, albeit self-inflicted,came on the first cool evening in Florida. I was home by myself, I needed to go to the grocery store, and I was longing for that feeling of coziness. As I made my way through the grocery store and down the cracker aisle, which happens to share space with the cookie aisle (how rude!), I got hung up on this sinfully sweet package I used to binge on. I have to admit, I romanticized the idea of such a treat seducing my palette, and I even went as far as entertaining myself by looking at the efficacy in indulging in a serving or two.
As it turns out, the benefits (instant gratification and temporary emotional fulfillment) did not outweigh the costs (guilt and "feeling" fat). Also, because I don't have "good" foods and "bad" foods, I can eat anything; however, two conditions apply. I can't eat X by myself and I can't eat X when I have strong cravings.
What is so insidious about my eating disorder, and I'd bet there are others who share this experience, is that all it takes is a weather change or a euphoric recollection of a former binge food to send my mind into food fantasyland. Sometimes I can remain unaffected. Other times, like at the grocery store, I marinate on the potentially disastrous possibilities for a few minutes until I snap myself out of denial and back to reality.
While I occasionally still get caught up in imagining ingesting boxes, not servings, of X food, as long as I can get honest with myself and reach out for support, then it works in my favor.
Cliche for the Day: Self-honesty is the best policy.