Can something as inanimate as food interfere with such natural instincts as intuition? Looking back, I think it can. I think of logic and intuition as that little voice inside of me that says, “Gerri, this isn’t a good idea.” It isn’t a loud voice in the first place, but when I disregard it, time and time again, to eat beyond a healthy limit, it gradually becomes overtaken by the louder voice, the one that tells me food will make me feel better. That voice, the one that starts with ‘one bite won’t hurt’ and ends with ‘how could I eat that whole bag again’, becomes the predominate internal sound. It blanks out the voice of logic and intuition.
There is nothing worse than a screaming refrigerator. Only those afflicted with a distorted relationship with food can really relate to that. When that soul-ache starts, it needs to be sated. Probably earlier in life, I could turn to God, in prayer, for comfort, but somewhere along the line, my allegiances changed. Perhaps in one moment of emotional discomfort, I ate something that made me feel ‘ah’, and I chased that feeling for the next forty nears, never reproducing it but always trying.
Diets didn’t help. I still thought about food nearly all the time, albeit diet food. And the day would inevitably come when the illogic of ‘one bite won’t hurt’ seemed reasonable and I once again dove face first into a pizza. Then another and another.
My truth is that one bite DOES HURT. It is not important for anyone else to understand that. I have stopped trying to explain it to the people in my life with whom one bite doesn’t hurt.
Take my husband for example. Our first Halloween together, he bought a huge bag of tootsie roll for the trick-or-treaters. (I fondly refer to them as the ‘why bother’ size) I was so proud of myself, grabbing handfuls out of a big bowl and dropping them into the bags of excited children.
After they all left, Dave unwrapped one, bit it in half and wrapped the other half up.
I couldn’t believe it. Those candies were so small in the first place, why wouldn’t you eat at least the whole thing! Now, if I ate one, there’d be none left for the kids, because it would have set up that need for more, more, more and it would have been harder than hell to stop. I asked Dave why he did that and he said he just wanted the taste, and would save the rest for later.
Do you know, for at least the next month, I watched and waited for him to eat that stupid, half-wrapped tootsie-roll. I dusted around it, looked at it every time I came into the kitchen and finally threw it away. Probably closer to Thanksgiving. Dave never gave it a second thought.
That is the difference between him and me. I cannot eat one bite of that stuff without kicking in a craving that can never be sated. I cannot expect him, or anyone else, to understand that about me. I just honor that truth about myself today and just say, “no, thank you” when presented with the logic of ‘one bite won’t hurt.’ My truth may not be the same as someone else’s and I don’t have to make excuses, explain or anything else. I just must honor the fact that for me, one bite could be the lethal return to morbid obesity.