I have a confession to make.
Today I went to a fair. You know how fairs are, right? You remember how I used to eat, with the fried stuff and corn dogs and ice cream and Coke and elephant ears? If you don't remember, here's a post: Fairtime Again. I linked to my old 2007 and 2008 fair-eating posts in that post... and reading them all makes me incredibly sad. Sad that I am here again, sad that I was in such a bad state at one point, sad that I got better and worked through it and succeeded in changing myself so much... but mostly sad that I am fat again, and creeping towards that "got to eat it all" mindset again. But I digress.
I went to a fair today, not the local one that happens in August, but a smaller one that had many food booths. It was full of people eating ice cream in waffle cones, of the smell of french fries and onion rings and hot dogs, of people drinking sodas. I smelled that food, I wanted that food. I wanted that food so bad it is scary. I did not eat any of that food. Instead, I sent my daughter to buy some bottled water for us, and we had our lunch at home. But I sat on the grass with my water and I watched a slim mom walking by with her husband and kids, all of them with sodas in their hands, and I got jealous. I did not feel happy and proud of myself for being "off soda" for a long time now, or for having a daughter who doesn't LIKE soda and given a choice of beverage CHOSE a bottle of water today. No. I was jealous of all those people walking past or sitting on benches with hot dogs and cheese steak sandwiches, with fries and ice cream. A lot of them were slim and some were obese but they all looked like they were so enjoying their food and for a minute I was just mad that I couldn't be like that anymore. That I gave that up to be healthier... to be thinner. And even madder that I gave those things up and I am FAT and UNHEALTHY.
I started counting days in my head to when I will be done with AIP and whether it will be before the local fair. I imagined going to the fair and eating just the way I described in those blog posts I wrote above. I imagined sitting alone under a food tent shoving fried stuff in my face, all dipped in Ranch, my only worry being whether I would have room on my stomach for a funnel cake and an ice cream cone later. I imagined it, and wanted it, and part of the reason why was because I am not even remotely thin anymore. I am fat again. And I did not get fat this time on Twinkies and pizza rolls and bowls of cookie dough and pans of brownies. No. I got fat again on SO MUCH LESS food, and so much less junk. I got fat again eating a third of the calories I gained weight on the first time. I must have had a steam engine metabolism back then, regularly eating 3500-5000 calories a day and staying around 270-280. Now? My stomach cannot hold nearly the volume of food as it did back then, and as my metabolic testing says, I have to stay around 1500 to maintain!
And all of this upset me... even though my logical mind knows there are far more serious and important things to be upset about than not getting to have an onion ring right now...I still had those emotions and still felt angry. And the main reason I did not just go buy myself an ice cream cone and some fries? Because I'd already told the kids I have to do AIP. I told them how important it is for my health. I explained why I would not be taking them out to eat, and I posted a list of allowed and prohibited foods on our fridge. They have been incredibly supportive. I just could not, COULD NOT break down and eat an ice cream cone in front of them. Can you imagine their faces? Their shock? Them telling me please not to eat those things? Oh, I could imagine it. So I had my bottle of water and plotted to have all those foods again, somehow, someday. Because I am fat again anyway, and may as well enjoy it.
I came home and was craving all those things terribly. I ate some olives, and I mashed some plantains and cooked them in coconut oil with cinnamon. Later, I froze some coconut milk and blended it with canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of maple syrup and had myself a scoop of AIP-friendly "ice cream."
Was it wrong, somehow, to recreate those foods I wanted in an elementary way? To pretend just a bit that I was eating an elephant ear and some ice cream (if you tried these AIP foods you'd realize what a stretch this is and how much imagination one needs to pretend such a thing) or to feel better because I 'indulged' (without going off AIP)? I don't think it's wrong, but maybe it is self sabotaging in a way, I'm not sure. Is it being inventive, or giving in to cravings?
I know I can't indulge fully like I used to at the fair. I physically can't eat that much, I don't really want to eat that much, and eating gluten or diving headfirst into all the restricted AIP foods at once would negate this whole elimination diet process. I have to add things back in, one at a time. Slowly. Although, you know, on days like today I just want to say 'screw it' and eat whatever I want. Since I am fat anyways.
I have been losing a pound a week on AIP, but weight loss was not the primary goal here. The goal is to stay OFF the foods that I may be sensitive to for a long enough period of time for my body to feel better, and then add them in slowly to find out which foods 'bother' me. I have done that so far. I hope I will be continue to be able to do that. Some days I just feel like slipping back into the food coma I used to live in. But today, I didn't slip.
Tonight I will sleep well, and tomorrow will be a good day.
A Message to Open my Eyes
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