Food File: January 19 2019

Audience: Evangelical Christians

I thought that once Christmas was over, I would get right back on track again. Actually, I did fairly well at Christmas. The week after Christmas at Weight Watchers or WW, as it is now called, I maintained. The next time I went to WW, which was two weeks later, I gained 3.6 pounds. This week, as in today, I didn’t make it there because of a snowstorm in southern Ontario that kept me off the roads. That being said, I have not regained my passion or drive for losing weight and becoming more healthy.
One reason that I know for sure is depression. I have always been a depression eater. When I am depressed I have little resistance to every craving. It started with donuts. I had this irresistible, well it felt irresistible, craving for donuts in Hamilton (about 30 minutes away). This one donut shop makes their own donuts onsite as opposed to Tim Horton’s. Donuts at Tim’s are premade and warmed up, and you can tell the difference. I was experiencing a deep pit of depression and isolating in my apartment. I had stopped going to the YMCA, which actually helps relieve the feelings of depression, but I couldn’t get myself out the door. I had literally run out of clean clothes to wear and didn’t even have a bag large enough to get them to the laundry across the street. Using the laundry in the building would have taken days to finish all my laundry, so I felt trapped. It was at that point that I figured that if I could motivate myself to get out of the house to get a couple of these awesome donuts, then I could get a hockey bag to put my laundry in and then I could do my laundry. I made the trip to Hamilton, had my donuts and eventually found the hockey bag I needed. By the time I got home, though, I was exhausted. I had no energy to do my laundry that day. The next day, I was also having trouble getting myself moving, so I decided another trip to Hamilton made sense. I drove to Hamilton, bought four donuts this time and coffee. I noticed a coin laundry next door, but it was closed for some reason. So, I had to travel back home to my usual laundry. At least I got it done.
A few days later I had another chore to do, so I needed more inspiration. Once again I drove to Hamilton to buy more donuts. This time, though, I forked over $14 for a dozen donuts and coffee. My destination this time was actually in Toronto, a good 45 minutes away from Hamilton. As I drove to Toronto I munched on a few donuts. The sugar high had not hit me yet. When I got to my destination, I offered some donuts to my host. Of course, I felt better because I was not going to eat the entire dozen myself. By the end of that binge, though, I realized I was in serious trouble.
I returned to the Y one day and felt so much better, but the next day I woke up stiff and in pain. I had a good workout but there was a cost. Instead of doing the sensible thing and returning to the Y, I froze emotionally, then physically and did not return. Then came the nachos and by that point, I realized I was in serious trouble.
At this point I have the desire to lose weight and establish a healthy lifestyle. The truth, though, is that I do feel deprived sometimes when I want a slice or two of pizza or I crave a sweet dessert. I know, though, that sweets, for me, are the same as just a small glass of beer or booze to an alcoholic. One will is too much and a thousand will never be enough.

Food File: Christmas Edition 2018

Audience: Evangelical Christians, People who Battle with Weight

Mercifully, Christmas has come and gone for another year. For some in my family, this was a more difficult Christmas than any other. My mother passed away in March 2018, so this was the first Christmas without either of our parents. No matter how old you may be, when both parents are gone, there is a sense of being orphaned. For me, it didn’t last long, but the sense is still felt.

My battle with sugar began with the very first event I attended, my church’s Carol and Dessert night. I can honestly say I have never seen such a large spread of desserts. Most of them were manufactured (purchased from a store), but there were some that people actually baked themselves. I decided not to blow my calories or Weight Watcher points on donuts and stuff that I could buy at a store. While I did reasonably well at that event, the next event would prove to be more challenging.

The next event was a Christmas dinner put on by a local Catholic church. I was completely relaxed with respect to the first course, but then things went sideways. I got a glimpse of the dessert. The dessert that caught my eye was a log cake, mostly chocolate from what I could see. At that moment all sanity left me. I had to be sure that I had a slice of that cake. The moment I realized I was in trouble was when I engaged in an argument with someone over where the dessert line actually began. It was at that moment I lost my balance. There was no cost to me if I had merely turned my back and walked away. Instead, I held my ground, made a scene, and another person kindly let me in line ahead of him. The irony: the cake wasn’t that good.

The next event was my church’s Christmas dinner that they hosted for people who would not have a place to go for Christmas. When the dinner took place, I was not planning on celebrating Christmas with my family. Once again, I handled the main course well. When I approached the dessert table, I was disappointed because there were only manufactured desserts, yet this time I indulged. I left feeling like I needed a sugar hit of some kind.

The morning of Christmas Eve I decided to celebrate Christmas with my family after all. So, I made the 2 hour drive and attended the annual Christmas Eve dinner, which was more finger food this Christmas. Once again, I handled the “main” offering with dignity and control. When the dessert tray appeared, I became fixated on the shortbread cookies. There were plenty of cookies and most of my family prefers other goodies. There was no treat of FOMO (fear of missing out).  I didn’t go nuts, but I had more than I needed.

The next challenge after Christmas Eve was a party hosted by B&D, two friends of mine. This time desserts were not the threat, but crackers and cheese. Even though I munched a bit too much on crackers and cheese, in this situation, I handled myself fairly well.

Over the holidays, I have experienced two major binges. The first one happened on a Saturday when I had this craving for Christmas cake. I bought the smallest Christmas cake I could find at Walmart and inhaled it in one sitting. I thought my cravings were satisfied. The second one happened last night. Sugar and depression go hand-in-hand with me. The last few days I have been feeling rather down, somewhat depressed, and unable to do routine chores and personal commitments. After going to the movies yesterday afternoon, I experienced this overwhelming craving for something sweet. I had to stop by Walmart anyway, so I bought 6 cherry turnovers, and a package of 12 cookies. I ate the cherry turnovers, again in one sitting, but tossed most of the cookies in the trash.

While I am back on track this morning, I realized when I woke up that I need to treat desserts in the same way an alcoholic treats booze. No alcoholic who is serious about recovery would have just a little alcohol. As I couldn’t sleep last night, I journaled my path from having a moderate serving of sweets to the binge that happened last night. I have concluded that one is too much and a thousand will never be enough.