Sometimes I feel like I am in mourning for my old ways. I miss the old habits, the familiar coping mechanisms, the huge volumes of pastries and peanut butter cups. When I am eating well and on plan, the longing for old times can become a sort of desperation, reaching a fever pitch that drowns out all reason. I'm not sure why it's like that. Some days I am just going along fine and then out of the blue I will be terribly sad that I cannot sit down and eat a whole loaf of hot bread slathered with melting butter, and a few plates of spaghetti to go with it. It's my choice to not eat that, yes, at least to a large degree, but I still miss it. I wish and long for it. I have nostalgia over the days of eating bowls of brownie batter alone in my kitchen. And to make it more complicated, I have changed my body enough now that I physically *cannot* do that anymore. I could no more eat a whole pizza than I could fly across the Grand Canyon by flapping my arms. My stomach has shrunk, I have a much lower tolerance for feeling 'stuffed', and I just can't do it. And you know what's crazy? I resent that I can't. A little bitty part of me, deep inside, is really angry that I CAN'T. And sometimes I think when I go off plan, I am trying to grasp at the possibility that I CAN. Why? Crazy. I don't want to be able to binge. I don't want to gain 100 pounds. I am GLAD, mentally, that I can't eat that way anymore... that I have lost the ability to truly binge. But it is a LOST ABILITY. And some weird part of me is mourning it. It served a purpose, somehow, for many years. And now it feels kind of lonely and scary to have that taken away from me. Even though I did it, willingly, myself.
I don't get a high from food anymore. I just don't. I will go for weeks eating healthy delicious meals and I do enjoy them ad get true nourishment from them, but then that bitty part of me will push and push and push because it remembers. It knows the high and escape I used to get from a binge, and it misses that. Oh, remember how those Reese's eggs used to taste? Remember, remember... Yes, so heavenly, so transcendent. And I think and dwell and ponder and obsess and resent that I can't eat a 6 pack of Reece's eggs anymore and then I go buy a pack just to see... and I eat one and wait. Nothing. I eat another, nothing. I feel sick, it is gross, I eat another... nothing. No high, no escape, just me in the car with a couple of wrappers I need to get rid of, a bellyache, and 3 leftover Reese's eggs that turn my stomach just looking at them.
So I am slowly, slowly letting it go. Realizing there is no return. Regardless of whether I want to return or not, it isn't there. Oh, yes, I could eat my way back up the scale, but I wouldn't enjoy it. I wouldn't be happy. I would hate myself and think how gross the food is and wonder why I am doing that to myself. But you know, I just would rather not go there.
The truth is, yes, lean meats and veggies and beans and such do taste fine. In fact they are delicious sometimes. Fruit in season is great. But it does not compare to the dream... the fantasy... the false memory I have of eating junk. A plate of the best roasted broccoli can never compare to my imagined remembrance of eating a can of Pringles, 4 or 5 hot dogs, and a liter of Coke back when I was 278 pounds and PMSing. In my memory it was heaven. But if I eat chips now, they are just flat and greasy. Hot dogs taste disgusting, even if I eat a second one trying to get back the old sensation of how great they used to taste. So we have a competition between this amazing memory of binge foods that I long for, the delicious or at least decent-tasting healthy foods that will keep me healthy, and the reality of how gross junk food actually tastes. I keep telling myself I miss chips and candy and stuff like that, but really I just miss the old ways... the memory, the binge escape. Because when I actually eat the chips and candy and stuff like that, it is a real let down.
I think it is finally sinking in. And I am sort of becoming resigned to the fact that I am not going to get high or escape anything by eating crappy food, so I may as well just eat whatever healthier thing happens to be handy and let go of the obsession and longing and ridiculous dreaming of foods that only exist in my head.
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