Have you ever woken up one morning, with no previous indication that there might be anything amiss, and suddenly find yourself inexplicably caught up in the throes of some kind of hypnotic trance, unable to do anything else all that day except eat and eat and eat (and eat . . . and eat . . . and eat . . . )
This happened to me last weekend and it caught me totally off guard. Friday night I was fine. After dinner (Penne Pesto Pasta—yum) I cuddled up on the couch alongside my girls (in my trakky-daks and fluffy slippers—me, not the girls) with a nice glass of red (possibly two) and watched ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ on the telly. We were all comfortable, warm and fed. All was right with my world. Or so I thought . . .
On Saturday morning I woke around 5.00am and my very first thought (and I still remember it vividly) was ‘I might go down to the bakers later and buy myself a sticky-bun’. Say what? Where did that come from? I can’t tell you the last time I ate a sticky-bun. And why a sticky-bun for God’s sake? I can think of at least three more things right this very second which I would usually prefer to eat in order to sate any unexpected cravings (chocolate, cheese, more chocolate . . . )
And why was I having any kind of food cravings at 5.00am anyway? I am not a big breakfast eater and usually have to force myself to eat something in the morning. As it turned out the ‘why’ was irrelevant—all I could think about for the next couple of hours was that I going to get me that sticky-bun. And, in the end, I did. In fact I got two—and inhaled them both.
So that should have been the end of it—right? I had eaten the sticky-bun(s)—I had completed the task—it was time to move on.
But—No. It actually all went rapidly downhill from there and I, who have spent years and years diligently (although perhaps ‘diligently’ is somewhat of an overstatement) attempted to practice the art of not eating, seemed utterly unable to control myself. I ate everything edible I could find in the house—that is everything that did not, in any way, shape or form, constitute a ‘proper’ meal. (I was so not interested in eating a supernutrient-full-of-veggie-goodness ‘proper’ meal. I wanted Caramello Koalas—or salt and vinegar crisps—or two large loaves of French bread dripping with garlic butter . . . Blissful sighs)
But this is not my first time around this particular block. Although it has not reared its ugly head in a long time, this seemingly-out-of-the-blue-food-frenzy is not entirely unknown to me, and I was pretty sure I remembered how it was going to play out. I would grumpily blob myself down on the couch and berate myself all day with ‘For-God’s-Sake-Sally-Stop-Eating!’ reprimands, and constantly remind myself of all the good work I was undoing—all the while stuffing my face with whatever sugar-fat-salt laden delicacy I had hold of at the time. And, that is exactly what happened.
As you can imagine, on Sunday I felt absolutely crapulous (I just knew that word would come in handy). I was nursing a deadly sugar hangover (not to mention a severe case of ‘buyer’s remorse’—those sticky-buns had a lot to answer for) and trying to fathom what had brought it all on. There had been no obvious triggers. Nobody had upset me, there had been no major dramas, I hadn’t been fretting about anything—at least consciously.
Subconsciously, of course, is anybody’s guess. Who really knows what goes on in our little heads when we are not paying full attention. We think we have got it all sorted. We practice the things that are supposed to be good for us. We exercise daily, we meditate, we nurture relationships, we nourish our bodies with good and healthy food—and then while we are sleeping some mean, nasty, delinquent part of our brain slides over to the good, stable, responsible side, knocks it unconscious and issues orders for us to start eating the planet. It’s all a bit underhand and totally unfair if you ask me.
But you know—it’s done, and there is no point bitching about it any more. I seem to have weathered the storm without too much damage and this week I have had no recurring desire to overload on—well, anything really. I appear to be back in control.
But we all know appearances can be deceiving and I guess I shouldn’t get too cocky. If this could all sneak up on me so unawares this time it could easily do so again. I’m think perhaps I am going to have to watch my back for a while yet . . . and perhaps drive past the bakers really, really fast . . .