When I was at my highest weight (and the most deeply in denial) I used to think it didn’t make sense that I could be obese since I ate so much healthy food. Only when I started my food journal did I discover that the relatively small amounts of healthy eating I had been doing was far overshadowed by the mass of empty calories that I gobbled down every day. Moving from that place of self-deception and frustration to a point where I could be honest and understanding has take a long time. And I’m still not all the way there.
It wasn’t exactly ‘easy’ for me to cut out junk food, but the fact that I ate so much of it so often meant that even starting with small changes I saw big results. I remember, and have written about previously, the fact that I even had sugar cravings and headaches when I first started my dietary changes.
For the most part, I’m reasonable about how I eat now — I make mostly healthy choices, but I’m not a purist, and I enjoy snacks and sugary foods just for their own sake. At the same time, I know that the parts of my character which initially drove me to excess eating are still latent in the strata of my personality, and can be aroused from sleep if fed sugary treats.
This morning, for example, on my way to work I convinced myself that I was bored with my breakfast pattern (usually fruit, followed by a veggie and eggwhite omelette) and needed a little something extra. I stopped at Peets Coffee and got a fat-free vegan scone. I savored it (they’re a little flat, and are best when dipped in steaming coffee) but when I was done, I realized I was not done.
The rest of the day I have spent overeating. My lunch and my dinner were huge and I ate until the point of bursting. I haven’t felt this uncomfortable in a long, long while. The interesting thing is that, except for this morning’s scone, everything else I prepared would normally fall into the ‘healthy’ categorie (veggies, whole grains, fruits, etc.). Its just that I prepared and at them in such great quantities that I felt uncomfortable afterwards.
I’d like to think that its impossible to overeat cauliflower, or pears, or tomatoes. But the fact is that even these amazingly great foods can become a problem if I’m feeling a little out of control. Its a slippery slope.
Now, I’m guessing that when I wake up tomorrow I won’t feel as bad as a boozer who’s gone on a bender. I probably won’t even feel like I did after my cookie binge during my Dad’s funeral weekend two years ago. Its palpably different to have had too much of Costco’s ‘normandy vegetables’ (they must eat a lot of broccoli, carrots and potatoes in the west of France), than to have OD’d on ice cream.
But I have to admit that it really and truly IS possible to have ‘too much of a good thing.’