Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wrappers

I woke up, stumbled out of bed with a raging headache, and hobbled to the bathroom. The bright lights hurt my eyes, so I kept the curtains drawn and the lights dimmed as I drug myself out to the kitchen to fix myself a cup of tea. Squinting, I took my tea to the living room in the near-darkness, plopped down on the couch, and read blogs until I woke up. I got inspired. I am doing pretty well with the eating. I'm going to keep eating right today.

Taking my empty cup to the sink, I flipped on the light and gasped. A greasy plate in the sink, a burrito wrapper lying on the counter. Oh yeah. I got hungry and ate a burrito last night. Ugh! I turned to throw the wrapper away and an empty Ben & Jerry's ice cream pint stared me in the face from the top of the trash. The sticky chocolate drips in the container remind me: I ate the whole pint last night after the burrito. I shut the trash can lid and sigh. Turning to the counter, I spot the cellophane from two mini pizzas. Oh yeah, those too. I roll my eyes and go back to the living room where there's a pile of mini candy bar wrappers surrounding my laptop. Tears form in my eyes. Why is it like this? Why is this so hard?

That was the scene many a morning over the past decade: I'd wake up thinking I was still doing "good" on my diet, only to have my memory jolted by a plethora of wrappers, boxes and containers strewn like fall leaves throughout my house. Like a drunk waking up from a bender, I'd groan when I saw so many reminders of what I had done the night before. I actually forgot that I had binged. It was not in my memory when I awoke, and the only way I knew what had happened was by the wrappers.

I hated it. I hated doing great with my eating and exercise for a few days and then BAM, somehow I'd lose it and go on a nighttime binge after a good solid day of healthy eating. I'd go to bed and then in the morning wake up feeling rather ill, but with no recollection of what I'd done. Then I'd see all the evidence, remember, and feel devastated. Why, oh why do I do this?

I don't anymore. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed... as refreshed as a non-morning-person can feel, anyway. No headache, no hobbling. I made my tea and knew EXACTLY what I had eaten in the last 24 hours because I habitually log it all on sparkpeople and tweet it on Twitter:

Breakfast was coffee with Butter Pecan creamer, a Carb Balance tortilla filled with scrambled Egg Beaters, turkey sausage, asparagus, leeks, and light cheese, with some green tea.
Lunch was spicy Thai tuna on a slice of whole wheat bread with light mayo, an apple, a serving of Triscuits and an ounce of cheddar.
Snacks were Fiber One key lime pie yogurt, coffee with milk and half & half, and an Apple Crisp granola bar.
Dinner was butternut squash soup with chicken mushroom sausage and broccoli.
Dessert was dark chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream and slivered honey roasted almonds.
1546 calories.

And you know what? I remember every bite. There are no surprises when I look back over my intake. I don't think, "Hmmm, I vaguely remember eating that!" No. I remember each sweet juicy bite of that apple, every creamy rich taste of that pudding, the way the crunchy almonds felt on my tongue, because when I eat now, I am *aware.* I am present in the moment, enjoying my food. I am not mindlessly shoving it in at such a rapid pace that I can't even bother to throw wrappers in the trash and have no recollection of any enjoyment from my food. In fact, it has been well over a month since the last time I woke up to wrappers.

Wake up. Don't live in a sugar fog. Life is SO good when you are *in it.* Make every moment count.

20 comments:

Steelers6 said...

Goooodbye and good riddance food binge hangover!

Great job, Lyn, we are all so proud of you, and I know you are proud of you.

Way to scare me though this am. - thinking you were describing thismorning in this post!!

stephseef said...

If you were going for dramatic effect, it WORKED!!! :) Well-done. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

ctina said...

HOLY MOLY -- you have to write a novel. You had me Convinced you had fallen off the wagon last night!

What a Splurge said...

How great to wake up feeling encouraged and not devastated. Great post.

kelly said...

I was so sure you were talking about last night! Glad you weren't. Keep up the good job. You are clearly on the right path.

Georgia Mist said...

Wonderful! I am so proud of you! Feels great, doesn't it, to KNOW what you're eating and why?

oshea12566 said...

Thanks for the dramatic post. I thought for real you went on a bender. I want to Thank you for introducing me to Sparklepeople. I have lost 11 pounds so far, thanks to thier calorie tracker and your inspiration. Hope you get a chance to stop by my blog, I just vacuumed and put out some tea!

Theresa said...

Lyn
What's important is the crisp, keen detail of remembering those days so you don't go back to them. Wonderful post!

Autumnforest said...

Yeah, I can relate to working hard and ruining it over and over again. I sat down one day and asked myself "if you didn't concentrate on food and using food when you're not hungry, what would you do to pleasure yourself?" You take away a smoker's cigarettes and he eats. You take away an alcoholic's booze and he smokes. If you take away the role that food fills (because we know you don't need to eat those things to fuel your body)--what do you fill the void with? I found that I wasn't eating out of hunger. I was eating out of habit. It's that time when I usually grab some chocolate....A smoker might say, "that's when I usually light up." It's just a routine. If you find something new to insert into the routine, you begin to obsess about that instead. I now drink a glass of water and exercise while watching Oprah in the afternoon (if it's worth watching). I used to have a sugar rush then. Now, my body's started to think that at 3 pm it has to exercise instead of "it must seek chocolate." It takes a long time and a lot of backsliding but that's the difference between having a conscious life and an unconscious one. I can see you totally get it. You just have to prove to yourself you're worth the discomfort of making change. It will be awkward and weird, like losing a limb, but eventually it seems like a distant memory, that woman who used to binge. I know you're on the right path. Keep it up!

Certifiably Fit said...

Loved how you wrote this post.

Totally took me back to my binging "hangover" days for a brief moment and reminded me how great it is to wake up without them now.

beerab said...

Girl your writing is so good- you should PUBLISH!

Glad you didn't binge- be strong for your friend he needs you right now- when my friend's mother passed away I just called and told her if you need me- call me- even if it's 3 am- I'm here- and she always said she appreciated it- just knowing I was there made a world of difference for her.

My prayers to you and your friend. :)

Vickie said...

there is a flip side to this too. At some point in the food retraining/rethinking - people often DREAM that they have gone back to their old habits. And when they wake the negative feelings - like they have done something 'wrong' often linger.

I am so proud of you. With each posting you write - your self-empowerment is clear.

TB--Milwaukee said...

Sure had me going. The mini candybar wrappers may be making an appearance in my life soon though. I promise not to eat too many.

Lissa said...

Count me in as another snookered reader. I was reading along to the wrappers gasping, "Oh no! Oh no!" Whew :)

screwdestiny said...

Oh Lyn, you had me scared for a minute. Glad to hear that's NOT you anymore.

And doesn't food just taste so much better when you actually take the time to savor it while eating?

claire said...

Wow! the food you make now sounds delicious!! It's kind of nice that it's healthy aswell hehe.

You are working through a lot of stuff, which is more than most people can say. Keep it up you are doing great!

Amelia said...

I know what you mean about remembering every bite. Now that I have been counting calories and watching what I eat for the past three weeks, it's like I appreciate and enjoy everything so much more. Before I would eat and eat all day long (pretty much, let's face it!) and hardly remember anything. While I was in the midst of one bite, I was always looking ahead to the next. Talk about not being in the moment! I also hated myself, which was one of the many side effects. Thanks for helping me to remember how much life sucks when you are enslaved to "the binge." I hope I can continue eating healthy and avoid a relapse into hell!

oshea12566 said...

Hey Lyn! Thanks for stopping by yesterday and I hope you enjoyed your tea. I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I quoted you on my blog today. Your words are getting me through a tough time and I wanted to share it with you.

http://oshea12566.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/9-pounds/

Tammy said...

Oh man, you had me going there for a minute....I thought you were talking about THIS morning when you were talking about being surrounded with wrappers!! You should write suspense novels, lol.

Diana said...

:)