Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stop Trying

I didn't intend to let so many weeks pass without writing a post. I've been struggling, that's true, but when I started this blog, I told myself that I would write through the struggles and tell the truth about how it was going.

Here's the thing: I don't know what the magical formula is. I had a formula that worked, in 2012 for 11 months (that's as long as I could sustain it), and again in 2014 for 7 months. Then when I started this recent journey, I found, with no formula, a kind of relief for awhile, not just from sugar, but from overeating and binge-eating. Things seemed so easy. I don't know where that came from, if it was something granted to me from something unknowable, or if I struck a combination of actions that led me to that relief. I felt that I could live pretty normally with food. I could go out to eat, choose vegetables, and really not think too much about what I was going to eat or how I was going to manage and control what I was eating. That passed and the food got larger. I was doing the old plate-clearing at restaurants. I was snacking often, pretty much adding a fourth or even fifth meal to my days.

Then, I went on vacation and saw a whole bunch of old friends--some who I hadn't seen for thirty years. It was a beautiful, moving trip--relationships were restored, and I got to catch up on people's lives. I took in years of my friends ups and downs, and shared my own, in a compact period over 11 days. Five days into my trip and exactly two months since I stopped eating sugar, I fell right back into a big heaping pile of it.

It was pretty funny. Someone in the morning was telling me about a new donut shop in San Diego he liked. I tried to go to it that afternoon and it was closed for repairs. So, then, I looked up "Best Donut Shops in San Diego" on my phone, and found one in the neighborhood where I was staying was on that list. So I went there, and they were essentially sold out of donuts. I laughed.

But that's okay. When my friend who was hosting me for dinner that night heard my no-donut story, she sent her partner out to get donuts for dessert. Then, the next day, I had one of those fancy gourmet donuts at the new shop I'd been told about. It was, in fact, extraordinary. For a couple of hours I thought that I could, in fact, enjoy a donut from time to time, that I could be a real gourmet. But then I went to the other neighborhood donut shop and bought four donuts and sat in my car in the parking lot and inhaled them.

Five days later, on my way back home, I binged in the car. And the next day. And the next. And now, it's the end of the third day back all the way down in the food, and I'm asking, what is the magic formula? Should I tried harder on that formula that worked for several months? Should I try a different formula? Should I stop trying? I remember this quote from a spiritual book I read years ago: "When you stop trying, the truth reveals itself to you." It had been suggested to be when it came to food that I needed to stop trying so hard. I will hold it all lightly. I will keep you posted.

I hope you are each having better luck or magic on your journey with food than I have of late.