Category Archives: Emotional Eating

Time to Say Good-Bye

It’s a beautiful song, but often a terrible thing to do. Today, I will say good-bye to Trey. While I am destroyed over it, it’s time. He has stopped eating and drinking more than a couple of mouthsful – except for last night when he got a plain double cheeseburger and cheese curds from Dairy Queen. (We’re not going to discuss what I had.) He doesn’t wag his tail and the sparkle is gone from his sweet eyes. Even with medication he is in constant pain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy tireless sister has found a vet that will come to my house this afternoon. Trey will be in his home, comfortable and unafraid when he makes his journey across the rainbow bridge. My friend Sean and my niece will be here with me. My niece will take his body for cremation. I know. I know. I used to think that was ridiculous, too – cremating a pet. I don’t anymore and, frankly, I don’t care if anyone else still does. I’ve lived a highly transient life and don’t see me staying here forever either. I don’t want to leave him here. Maybe if I were living in the house I planned to retire in, I’d feel differently; but, I’m not and I don’t.

It’s been a highly emotional couple of days for me and there have been several times when I’ve wondered if I could actually dehydrate by crying. There have been times when a tiny voice in my head called me silly for grieving so over a dog; but, another voice stands up and says that he’s more than a dog – he’s a friend. My other dog Ellie is not the brightest bulb on the circuit – beautiful, sweet and lethal for squirrels, but not all that smart. She doesn’t seem to know that anything is wrong; however, she will grieve for the loss of her playmate, the one who taught her to play when she was a terrified stray. Although I will let her see and smell his body, I expect her to look for him for awhile. At this point, only the cat Bodhi seems to know something is wrong. He’s stuck very close to me and has even been snuggly with Trey.

It has been emotional here and will continue to be for awhile yet as we learn to adjust to life without the old man.

So, remember yesterday when I said that I wouldn’t always make the right nutritional choice? Well, I won’t be making it this afternoon. My sweet friend Katie has already announced that she’s coming by after work with the comfort food of my choice – ice cream, any flavor but mint chocolate chip (I really hate that one). So, I don’t know what flavor she’s bringing and I don’t care. I’m going to eat whatever she brings.

Helping my old friend across the bridge is the right thing to do and it’s time; but, I don’t know that I could do it without the help of my other friends. My most sincere and heartbroken thanks to you all.

The Reality of the Fail

My mother was the leader of my sister’s Girl Scout troop from the time the girls were 1st grade Brownies until she took them to Europe for six weeks as juniors and senior in high school. Though five years younger than the troop members, I was always along for the ride. I meet them when I was a toddler and know a few of them to this day. Yesterday, one of the Doty Bunch commented on my post. Rachel said, “…by sharing your failures and successes, you also share your authenticity and credibility! I love you!”

What a humbling thing! It’s humbling to me that: 1. Rachel (and you) choose to spend part of your day with me, and 2. That a woman who knew me when I was in diapers takes me seriously. Her comment raised something that has always bothered me – reality in the diet and health promotion industry.

I’m sure there are people who really do feel compelled to eat nothing artificial, nothing with added sugar, nothing processed. I’m sure there are people who, given the choice between an orange and a warm sticky bun will always choose the orange without even thinking that they’ve giving anything up. I’m sure there are people who deal with life’s challenges and outright sucker punches by going for a run without even considering eating their way through the freezer at Dairy Queen. I’m sure these people exist. After all, there actually are people who get their jollies by dressing up as giant stuffed animals. Surely the Stepford Health Nuts are no more unlikely than the Furries. Well, not much more unlikely.

Whether they actually exist or not, they appear to and they appear to write a great number of books. In the ones I’ve read, I haven’t really found any confessions of people dealing with emotional eating or cravings or sugar addiction. Maybe I’m just not reading the right books; but, it’s always been frustrating for me. I see these people with their 64 teeth, their beautiful bodies, their spotless kitchens, their organic pantries and I don’t see anything that looks like me. Their image is perfection. My life is messy. Emotionally, I see their image as reality, as an achievable ideal. And I see my inability to actually achieve that ideal as a constant failure on my part. Intellectually, I don’t think that most of us are wired to achieve their reality (if it even exists) any more than I think that most of us want to zip into a giant teddy bear suit. Intellectually, I might suspect that Jillian Michaels gagging over a gordita is at least some acting on her part; but, emotionally, I believe her wholesale rejection and think that I have been somehow a failure since I’d have eaten that in a second.

But that’s not right.

Her reactions are not mine. My reactions may not be the most healthful; but, they are my reality. I might choose the orange over the sticky bun today, but I’d give that sticky bun a good sniff and I might even shed a tear or two. I might do the right thing for my body this time; but, that doesn’t mean I always will.

I will fail. But that doesn’t make me a failure.

Just a Duck at a Penny Arcade

Last week was an exceptionally emotional one for me. It started out great with that five pound weight loss; however, that triumphant moment was followed quickly by a professional disappointment, then an enormous financial failure. I kept my chin up, though, and focused on good things and solutions. Then, as you know, our dog stopped eating, signaling his approach to the rainbow bridge. Still, I kept moving forward. I got help for the financial crisis. Trey got pain meds and began eating again. I was still moving.

But the coup de grace still awaited – or, rather, the coups de grace (if that can be plural).

Sunday found me accidentally awakening a childhood demon. This event was followed literally minutes later by a real blow when I received an email from a man from my distant past. This man is associated with a particularly difficult time in my life – a watershed time, you could say. My life has since been divided into before him and after him. It wasn’t a bad email; but, it portends another irrevocable change in the life I’ve made. These two things on top of everything else were just too much for me.

My emotional eating triggers started snapping and, honey, it sounded like a shooting gallery in a penny arcade! (Do they even have penny arcades anymore?) Anyway, those triggers were going off left and right! I wanted to strap on a feed bag of puffy Cheetos, go after a gallon of Phish Food with two spoons, then (as I told my friend Jeff) climb into a bottle of cheap Cabernet. (It would have to be a cheap bottle. Good ones are for sipping. Cheap ones are for drowning.) In the end, I did none of those things. If I had, I would still have all those issues to face today, plus I’d have processed food and wine hangovers. I’d have initiated another bout with my sugar addiction AND I’d have the guilt associated with all of those things.

So, in the end, I had some veggies with hummus and a little ranch dip, some fruit, a little Margherita pizza, some chips and corn salsa, a vegetarian corn dog (hot dogs are a Super Bowl tradition for me), and a little salted caramel Dream gelato while I watched Pete Carroll blow the game. I drank one Mike’s Hard Lemonade and did not count my calories for the day. Well, I didn’t count them yesterday. I counted them just now. Ouch.

For the day, I ate just under 2200 calories. With the little bit of exercise I performed, my net for the day was just under 2000. It wasn’t a gawd awful day, but my daily calorie budget right now is 1317. Sooooohoho…….I blew that up. Do I feel guilty this morning?

Nope. Not even a little bit.

In the face of what I wanted to do and what I would have done four years or even four months ago, I restrained myself yesterday and I count it a victory. For sure I felt like a shooting gallery duck but, that’s okay because you know the great thing about those little guys?

When they get to the end of the line, they get right back up again and make another pass.