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7/23/06
Cookie got me off the wagon.

Dear Kim:

I have been doing really well lately with my eating and then there was the frozen yogurt.

I have been going to a frozen yogurt place in town for a treat most nights. Usually, I pick up a frozen yogurt on my way back from my afternoon walk and put it in the freezer for later.

(Kim: I have an eating addiction too that I can control with strict rules. But when I start doing some things, like pretzels or cookies, I do too many...so I stay away from them. I have a friend who knows when she has had enough and stops eating in the middle of a bite. I envy her.)

The other day I thought, this is silly for me to stop by every night. Why don't I just get two servings and freeze both of them. .I'll eat one of them tonight and save the other for another day.

Well, it didn't happen. I mean, I picked up the yogurt but I did not save the second serving for another day. I ate them both in one sitting.

I am not sure why. I had eaten a healthy dinner. Had had plenty to eat. really. And one serving of yogurt was supposed to be my treat. Since I can't fathom life without dessert.

(Kim: Sometimes I can feel the emotion that I want to suppress with food.)

So what happened? I ate one serving of the yogurt and then got the second serving.

I thought briefly about what I was doing, was fully conscious of it for maybe all of a minute. Then it was as if time disappeared and I completely overrode my own best intentions.

I don't think my conscious mind has anything to do with it. If it did, my better intentions would register and I would act on them. So something else goes on.

I am guessing you probably won't agree with this That we'll have one of our disagreements about language. But I think I am an addict. Because it is very hard for me to resist something when it is there.

I am pretty much OK if I don't go near it. But once I dip my toes into the water, or take a sip—if a sip were about sugar—it is hard for me to resist until I have emptied the bottle.

Every once in a while, I forget that I am an addict or perhaps, decide I am not. I decide that I want to be like everyone else and be able to eat the same things that they do. So I test myself. And while I may manage things for one day or perhaps, two, I usually notice that I start slipping. And that is how I know I am an addict.

Because once I start slipping, it feels very difficult to reel back and I can easily fall off the edge.

(Kim: I've been working a long time with a nutritionist. I've gotten much better to get back on the wagon. Years ago a cookie got me off the wagon for a year!)

So that is what happened with the frozen yogurt. There will be no double portions for me again, even if it means a trip every day. I will let the shop do for me what I don't seem to be able to do for myself.

And how shameful it feels to write this when I spent much of Sunday a few weeks ago feeding homeless people. But addiction is addiction. And a number of people we served were alcoholics or drug addicts or both. We probably have a lot in common.

(Kim: I have an idea about a book on addiction. I have an idea for regulating addictions that I'll tell you about someday.)

Later,

Joan
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006

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