Catch Up

I am behind in my blog, so this will be a long post.  I am copying from my diary, so I will delete most of the daily entries and try to keep just the gist of each day.  It’s been a progression to me, so I want to record it.

Wednesday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 5 frankfurters, curry sauce, pot of tea
Porringer 3-  2 cumberlands, meatballs, cabbage, carrots,  1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, teacakes (see yesterday’s photo)

Yesterday I was slumped in a depression I could not shake.  By evening, I could hardly respond to anything with any semblance of cheerfulness which made husband try to cheer me up which is always annoying, even when tender and backed up with love.  What he doesn’t know is that I just needed to have some alone time to myself to regroup.  I tried talking about it, but I could hardly put a finger on the problem, let alone explain it. 

He beat me to the door when his Christmas present arrived and I was so hurt and angry that he saw it.  He would have been at work and I could have hidden it.  At this point, it’s like why bother with Christmas at all?  Which is petty and ridiculous on my part, which I can see clearly.  It’s just the feeling is all wretched and I feel sort of at a loss.  This time last year we were apart for an entire year so that I could bring in the income and I had romantic notions for this Christmas which just isn’t going to happen the way things are going. 

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Thursday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 1 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 3 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 8 jam dodgers, 5 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- cottage pie: minced beef, turnip, carrot, potato mash
Porringer 3- Kebab meat, peppers, onion, carrot, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream

Thursday was a very iffy day.  My mood was still very down and yet, with alone-time finally to myself, I felt somewhat better.  I decided to go ahead and send my grandson’s birthday present out, even at the expense of it and send a few Christmas cards too.  The cards alone cost £1.20 each to send, they were small cards and I cringed.  I sent 5 cards and felt sick at the cost but took a deep breath.  Funny how sending letters and cards use to be such an inexpensive thing to do.  So, to send 3 children’s paperback books, 5 cards, I spent £16.

I wasn’t sure if I would binge the moment I had time alone and after feeling so much depression and anger.  In a small way, I went through with it, even though my desires were not overruled with it at all.  I ate everything listed before 7am, almost instantly after husband left for work.  It wasn’t worth it, other than having a release of emotions that I just needed something of my own for just  a moment and unfortunately that kind of thing is still attached to bingeing.  So even though it was not a massive amount to eat, the intentions, emotions and carb concentration all amount to what I call a binge these days.  It was not loving kindness to myself, but a destructive expression of anger.  It’s been a bad start to December.

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Friday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 4 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 3 jaffa cakes, 3 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- minced beef, onions, mushrooms, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 2 jaffa cakes, 2 digestives with chocolate, 2 shortbread fingers

I can look back and remember how I felt when a binge was about to take place, how I thought and the usual pattern of it all, the predictable consequences, but something is different now.  They are not as strong a force as they once were.  The more I question my motives and beliefs about eating, the more I am able to take a step back and consider what direction I am going with it.

I good part of last year I made myself continually ask what it is I really wanted.  I didn’t have any ready answer, but the question was necessary.  All the things I was doing about my diet and weight were no longer working.  My life was in an upheaval and I did not know where the landing was going to be.  I was confronted with all kinds of new experiences and shake-ups and lifestyle changes in the extreme.  It was the perfect time to ask….what did I really want?  I had every reason to drown my fears and angst in food and drink, but something more needy was surfacing in the chaos.  Either that or I was getting mighty tired of playing the same dieting/bingeing/remorse games over and over again.

I still ask the question, I still look to define it.  Lately, the answer has been coming to me, not all dressed up in idealism, but in a form of a simple truth.  I want to feel a sense of wellbeing.  And of course, the obvious methodology to obtaining that is to stop all the things I do that prevents it from happening.  Not really a light bulb moment, is it?  Stop doing what hurts.

What I really wanted right now was to stop feeling so down and letting depression take hold.  Food was not going to alter that inner dark emotion, it only adds more angst to it.  So I got up and found the few Christmas decorations I had kept, put up the tiny tree I found at the charity shop last month and put on some Christmas music to work with.  Smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling.

It was so cathartic.  I felt my muscles relax.  I felt my breathing lighten up.  As I decorated, I felt a sense of home and comfort.  Okay, perhaps I miss the oodles of family decorations amassed through the years that I handed over to my daughter.  Perhaps it is a bit small, but it is not about stuff, is it?  The little tree needed decorations, I found a few 49 pence bags of ornaments, a star for the top and added chocolates to the advent calendar for husband.  Dean Martin was a gift from husband many years ago (I am a Rat Pack fan) and his singing and swinging a martini made me smile too. It all gave me a sense of accomplishment for the day.  This instantly improved my mood.

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Saturday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 4 oatcakes with butter, pot of tea
Porringer 3- 3 frankfurters, 1 egg, pot of tea
Porringer 3- minced beef, onions, brussel sprouts, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 1 square caramel biscuit

Somewhere in our history, we have been made to feel guilty about eating.  I know that I have dealt with the issue, and it is common amongst women to feel they should not be eating, but I was surprised to realize the extent that my husband feels guilt.  Last night, we stayed up late and he had the munchies most of that time.  As he shuffled past me to the kitchen, his guilt made him feel the need to make comments for me to hear. 

I cant resist.
If it’s in the house, I will eat it.
Tomorrow this will stop.
Just a few more.
Maybe cheese will stop the cravings for sweets.
I meant to have this last through Christmas.
I ate too much.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me to want sweets like this.

When I cut a small square of the caramel biscuit for myself for my coffee, I thought instantly, I should not eat this.  I think that very thought every time I eat something heavy in carbs and sugar or is a highly processed or snack food.  For me, even taking one bite is the same as bingeing on a massive amount of food.  I should not eat the first bite, so if I do, I am bingeing.  That is disordered thinking.  Once I consider it a binge, then the amount no longer matters.  This is the start of the games I play about eating.  One bite?  I might as well eat as much as I want then.  One is never enough, two is too many.

I watched him play out his own game last night, because I myself play it all the time.  I know it well.  I suggested to husband last night that perhaps he should just relax, it is December after all and Christmas has a lot of treats in it, perhaps a balance is the best approach.  He shook his head, no, he was going to stop (after the night’s eating was done) and not continue to eat sweets for the rest of the month.  He talked about his belt getting tighter and that was just not acceptable.  I said no more about it but thoughts whirled around in my head about our perceptions and I wondered why we feel so guilty about eating and especially why we play the same game over and over again.  Why is it, that one biscuit is never enough?  Who told us that, and why do we believe it?  I had one caramel square last night and it was enough.  Did I need it?  No.  Is it a healthy food?  No.  Did it spark a binge?  No.  It was the thoughts surrounding it: the guilt, the attachments, the lies I tell myself.

As husband made his pilgrimages to the kitchen, I was tempted to follow.  Camaraderie in eating is a subtle way to make allowances for one’s own greed.  If he can have more, so can I.  I know we have both played this game, sometimes by his bringing home a chocolate bar for me when he wants candy, sometimes with me putting biscuits in the tin that I know he likes.  We indulge the other as an excuse to eat for ourselves.  Who could possibly say I was overeating if the only other person in the room is overeating themselves?  Sometimes I feel as though he wishes I would tell him no, he cannot have it, as a mother would.  But that is just another game tactic.  Once reproved, we tend to act out in defiance and have what we perceive we should not be eating anyways.  Sometimes I imagine he is being silently disapproving of my eating and I try to appear more perfect in my choices.  We hide and dodge our own eating issues, often getting quite tangled up in it all.

My conclusion?  That the  idiocy of the eating games we play just became a little more apparent last night.  Once again, my choices for eating are based on circumstances and is more situational than being a true personal choice.  How much of my decision to eat the caramel square came from my desire to have it?  Could it have been influenced by husband’s desires?  How much of this was a marital game to be played out in the disguise of camaraderie or equality?   Even more interesting to me is why I always feel even one bite of anything I consider worthless food as a binge fraught with guilt?  Believe me, all these kinds of thoughts take away the pleasures of eating.  I had no true desire last night to eat more than I did, even though the temptation was ever present.  This isn’t what I want.

What do I really want?

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