I get so bored with the whole thing sometimes. It really does get boring when you have, in the past, made food your hobby and then suddenly it's not anymore. I mean, sure, I can add some cinnamon to my Medifast hot cocoa or put orange extract in a vanilla shake, but there's major limits on how interesting/entertaining food can *be* on Medifast. Most of the creativity comes with the Lean and Green meal, where I get to make pizzas and soups out of cauliflower or experiment with seasonings on my baked chicken. Still, it gets boring, and I do sometimes heave a big sigh when I have to see the food for what it is, and not what I always wanted it to be.
It used to hold some magical power for me... food. It could change my moods, my energy, my entire focus in a day. Hey, feeling sad about that misbehaving child? Have a brownie! Suddenly, everything is better! Want to cry over something mean someone said to you? Eat a bag of chips! Poof! Sad feelings disappear. Overwhelmed with all the things you need to get done today? Big Mac meal time! There's nothing a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke can't fix! Yeah, it felt like that. It did. Any stress or worry could be magically erased by food, and those negative feelings would be replaced by a soothing, warm, filling sense of calm. Followed by disgust and sadness. That was the problem with the magic food: it only fixed things while you were eating it. As soon as that last bite was gone, *all* the stress, worries, problems and sadness came rushing back in your face, worsened by a sense of shame, regret, and gluttony. But you could erase those feelings if you ate something else. And thus began the cycle on binge eating, because if you don't *stop* eating, you never have to feel.
Now I *have* to feel. I still do it sometimes, though. I get to feeling overwhelmed or stressed and I want to forget it with food. Usually these days it's coffee instead: a sugar free Americano, maybe with a fancied-up Medifast brownie topped with cream cheese and Splenda "frosting." A hundred and fifty, maybe 200 calories of bliss. Is that bad? I wonder. It's a remnant of how I used to treat food. It is a *small* remnant... sitting on the couch, reading, sipping, nibbling and forgetting... but it is still a *use* of food to make me feel better. Yet I don't feel guilty or shameful or gluttonous when it is a small, on-plan treat like that. Still, I try to limit it... because I don't want to go back to old habits, and I know how easily the Americano and Medifast brownie could morph into a latte and donuts.
Without it, as I said, I get bored. And I like that, in a way. I like that I have learned not to entertain myself with food. I like that food is no longer a time suck, wasting precious hours of my day. And since I am no longer afraid to feel my feelings, I no longer have to numb them with the binge.
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