The thing is, I know that I should stop.
I know that it's bad for me and my goals.
I know that it will make me feel sick. That I'm already feeling sick while eating it.
But I keep going.
This doesn't happen that often anymore, but it does.
I usually keep it in check by chewing gum pretty much constantly and making popcorn on the stove so I can satisfy my need for shoving things into my mouth in the healthiest way possible.
But just now it happened again. I've started baking on Sundays so I can send a few cookies or brownies with my boyfriend's lunch box. I know it's not the greatest idea for me personally, because if it's in a box in the kitchen I can't really keep myself from eating some every day. But I love baking, and I love showing my love that way. I will figure something out that works, like only making peanut butter cookies. I can't stand peanut butter and I would definitely leave them alone, haha.
So anyway, I was trying out a new recipe I found on Pinterest for 5-minute chocolate oatmeal cookies, and when I was done I ended up eating the last of the mix. It was quite a lot, and it was a loot of sugar, so I quickly started feeling bad because I try to eat pretty healthy so my body isn't used to those quantities anymore.
I'm okay with indulging and enjoying food. I really am. The cake I made for my boyfriend's birthday in September was AMAZING and I don't regret eating a big slice a day for a week at all, even if it was probably a thousand calories per slice.
What I hate is when I don't want to keep going, but I do anyway. I hate the lack of control that can grab me and that I don't seem able to just do the simple act of putting the spoon away and stop.
This seems to be pretty common in people who were taught to finish everything on their plate as kids. I just read about this and it makes sense. I was a very good kid but I could get very stubborn about food sometimes, especially about salads with vinegar in them and fish. I had this period where I decided I hated fish that lasted for years.
So they would make me sit at the table until I had eaten it. They would clear off the table and leave while I sat there sulking, staring at the hated food that seemed to taunt me. We didn't even have a dog I could smuggle it down to. (The cat was utterly useless in helping me dispose of the evidence.)
So maybe that's where it started?
When I lived in Ireland I got very bad episodes where I would freak out and my hands would shake and I would feel completely out of control of my life. Often this led to overeating, and often it was a form of punishment for myself. I don't quite understand this behavior, I will have to ask my therapist about it, but that's what it was. I did it because I knew it would make myself feel worse.
I even tried to make it better by buying things like bags of dried berries dipped in yogurt so it wouldn't be as bad as regular candy, but apart from less calories it felt the same. It wasn't so much the foods, but the feeling of being out of control.
As I started therapy and my mental health got better, this behavior also improved. Nowadays when it happens it isn't really self-punishment anymore, but a remnant of my past behavior. It's so ingrained in me it's hard to let go.
I feel very proud though that I didn't give in to the impulse to do a hard workout to "make up" for it. It would be very bad because:
Photo by Alora Griffiths
So now when I have written all this out of my system I will do a light workout instead to reward myself for not giving in to punishing behaviors. I find it very therapeutic to write and it also gives me time to distance myself from it, ironically.
It's always a journey. Even though I had a very good day where I did good things and felt loved and happy, this still happened. But what I can do is to NOT let it ruin the evening but instead accept it, forgive myself, and move on with good decisions. One bad choice doesn't make a bad day, and I do have the power to end the day in a positive way. :)
If you have any awesome recipes for peanut butter cookies or other baked goods, please share them with me! My boyfriend will be eternally grateful! :D
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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