Food Food Food Food Food. Its all I’d been able to think of for the past two weeks.
As a person formerly paid to help people lose weight, I know a lot of tricks to keep cravings in check and avoid binging. But, when the desire to EAT EAT EAT hits me, I generally just go with it because I know it will pass. Usually after a pizza or wine or cookie binge I don’t want to indulge. I usually want healthy food and water. Things tend to even themselves out. But, thanks to a tinge of depression and PMS to boot, junk food cravings hit me like a freight train full of Oreos a couple of weeks ago and they haven’t eased up. My brain wouldn’t stop talking to me about cheesecake, pizza, fries, or chocolate. Oh god, the chocolate. We’ve got soooo much leftover chocolate at work from Halloween, and a ton of it found its way into my mouth every single day. It’s like my fingers aren’t even my own. They just pick it up, unwrap it, and pop it in. Also, those crazy fingers are the ones that keep going to Papa John’s website and ordering cheesy pepperoni-y goodness without my permission. To say I’ve felt out of control on the food front would be an understatement.
One day last week the Crazy Fingers were really going at it. Feeding me Girl Scout Cookies which I ordered to support some of the kids where I work with the intention of giving them away once I got them. Well, that didn’t happen. I’d eat half the box and in a moment of overstuffed self control would give the rest away to a co-worker only to have another box (from another sweet young girl I was trying to support) show up on my desk the next day. I was on what seemed like my fiftieth thin mint when I decided to employ a few binge beating strategies I’d always suggested to clients when they were in a tough spot.
1. Distract yourself – I would take a break and get out of the office.
2. Find a special treat you can eat or drink guilt free – I would go to the store and buy a big bottle of Pellegrino (always a treat for me).
3. Drink water to fill yourself up – see number 2 above.
I thought maybe I’d find a bottle of sparkling water at the local Royal Farms store, which would be easier and faster than the grocery store, so I stopped there. No luck. But I did spend a good ten minutes wandering the tiny store, battling with myself over whether I should leave or whether I should buy a candy bar. Eventually I left for the grocery store where I knew they’d have my water, but it was a really close call.
Unfortunately there is a McDonald’s between the Royal Farms and the Grocery Store, and before I knew what was happening, the Crazy Hands (which are attached to the Crazy Fingers) had steered me right into the drive though line.
I’d say three or four times a year I’ll get McDonald’s for lunch. Its always on a day like this, when I seem to be a bottomless pit for junk food. Once a McDonalds burger and fries hit my belly I usually feel too gross and bloated to even consider putting more crap in my body. So, I justified the trip as a means to an end (the end being the ability to stop stuffing my face like a crazed chipmunk). I also very quickly, and conveniently, forgot about the plan I had crafted not thirty minutes before to achieve this same end without fast food. Oooops.
As I left work a few hours later I called Tyler, like always, to debrief our days and talk dinner. I stealthily avoided the “how was your lunch” conversation because I didn’t want to admit to him that my turkey chili was still in my lunch box and a grease stained fast food bag was shoved under the seat of my car (because if nobody knows about it the calories don’t count, right?). Please believe me when I say that we are not a McDonald’s eating household. We cook dinner at home almost every night and work very hard to make sure that we each have breakfast and lunch to bring to work with us each day. But this night, out of nowhere, Tyler asks me if I’d pick up a 20-piece nugget from McDonald’s for dinner. Could he smell my french fry breath throughout he phone or something??? My mouth said with disdain, “Seriously?!?! You actually want me to bring you McDonald’s for dinner?” But my brain said “Hell Fucking Yeah! I can get another cheeseburger and don’t have to feel guilty because it wasn’t MY idea!!! This day is awesome!”
And that is how I ended up eating McDonald’s not once, but twice, in one day. Days like this are also how I’ve ended up gaining back a few of the pounds I worked so hard to loose over the last few months. But, just as suddenly and as fiercely as these cravings came on, they have finally ceased. Hormonal swing ended, I suppose.
Just in time for Thanksgiving.