Friday, January 06, 2012

The Journey Back - Day Three

When I awoke, I tasted mint.

This is a part of the sleep eating disorder: waking and trying to figure out what you ate last night. Sometimes there is a grit between your teeth that lets you know it was something nut based; others, there is a cotton moth that tells you it has been sugar. At times, there is no distinct taste or texture in your mouth to tell you, immediately, what you ate while you were sleep walking and eating; and that is the case, yesterday morning, when I awoke.

I don't really like mint. I don't hate it or anything - but it is, rarely, my first choice. I was actually surprised last month to find out that was making a mint brownie that I liked. I was at a party and ate them, one after another, shocked at how into them I was. Otherwise, my usual mint intake is limited to toothpaste. So what, I wondered, was I tasting? It didn't take me long to figure it out. A little bit of recon uncovered the mystery.

Next weekend I am throwing a 30th birthday party for a friend, so I have been stocking up on supplies. I have the red wine for the sangria, I have the white wine for the white wine drinkers, I have the popcorn for Pat to pop, I have the pasta for the pasta salad, I have the supplies for the pies and the ingredients for the cookies...

And I have m&ms.

I was at the grocery store and saw them: Christmas m&ms on sale. I love sales. And everyone loves m&ms. So I bought two bags of peanut m&ms and two bags of mint m&ms. Now there are two bags of peanut m&ms and one bag of mint m&ms. I ate one of the mint bags.

When I brought the candy home, I left it in the Food Emporium bag, tied it in a knot and put it under my kitchen desk, where I store things. In my sleep, I managed to untie the knot and cut the bag open and eat half of it. To my credit, I only cut the corner of the top of the bag - a habit I have gotten into, during my waking hours. You see, if I just cut the corner off the bag, I can really only get two, maybe three m&ms out at a time. The same is true of tollhouse morsels, peanut butter chips (for baking), peanuts, dried fruits .. anything that comes in a pouch or packet, I have learned to open the pouch or packet as little as possible, to keep myself from shoving whole handfuls into my mouth.

This is a strange behaviour of mine - one of which I am aware, even as I am committing it, but do not seem to be able to stop. I will fill my hand to the point where food is falling out of my palm, onto the floor, and shove the food in my mouth, chomping down on it and swallowing it, without actually biting into every morsel. It is impossible to bite, even once, into every chocolate chip from a handful shoved in your mouth, before swallowing the contents of your mouth. The same can be said of every handful of popcorn or every handful of peanuts. You cannot bite every single one before swallowing the bunch. So why shove all that food into your mouth? Why not eat them one at a time so that you can enjoy the process.. the texture of the food, the taste of the food, the sensation of becoming full? I don't know. I only know that this is a pattern I have been unable to break.

So I use scissors to cut the ends off of pouches and packets, in an effort to limit my intake... even when asleep.

I promised myself I would be completely honest in my documentation of this battle, a documentation I have chosen to share, publically, in spite of the embarrassment and humiliation I feel about this disorder and my inability to control it. I share this story and these habits, in my quest for honesty.

By eating that bag of m&ms, I consumed:
Total fat 63g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 210mg
Carbohydrate 210 g
Sugar 182 g
Protein 14

I was, naturally, disappointed; but I made the choice to not let it get my down. It is impossible to fight from a depressed state. So I met Hunter at the gym and we did a leg workout that included extensions, curls, squats, leg presses, mule kicks and duck squats. We conferred beforehand and decided to not jump back in (after 3 months off) with (either) extreme weights or circus - act exercises (no Bosu balls on the first day back). I think we did the right thing because, today, I am sore -- but I can still walk. Sometimes I do cardio on the same day as legs. Hunter and Pat think this is crazy. Yesterday, I followed THEIR lead and opted out of it.

Unhappy about my diet downfall but fulfilled by my physical workout, I spent the rest of my day working and focusing HARD on my diet. One bowl of winter squash soup that I made last week, one plate of winter root salad (yams, rutabagas, beets, feta) and 6 pieces of Jennie-O turkey bacon was my food consumption for the rest of the day. I didn't even eat popcorn when we went to see THE ARTIST last night - slightly because I wasn't hungry but mostly because I have to something to prove .. to everyone reading; but mostly to myself.

I did, though, give those bags of m&ms to my friend to hold for me until the party next weekend.

You have to win the battles you can win. In any way that you can win.


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