“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” (Eagles, “Hotel California.”)
One day a few weeks ago, I actually listened to the lyrics to this song. At that moment, I likened it to my work situation, and then it occurred to me what the song really spoke of:
Addiction. Specifically, Carbohydrate Addiction
Yes, Carbohydrate Addiction.
What is that they say in AA? Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic? An alcoholic who doesn’t drink is a “dry” alcoholic, but an alcoholic nevertheless.
In the last episode, I spoke of being overwhelmed by having to go about six steps further if I want to lose weight. Actually, that was an understatement. I’m downright angry about it.
And why am I angry?
Because I’m not losing weight anymore. I stink like rancid patchouli, but apparently I’m the only one who notices this. All my food tastes like rancid patchouli. Eating is torture, and what makes it MORE tortuous is the fact that if I eat pure, I do feel fine, but I either stay the same weight or (heaven forbid!) if I ate something with vinegar in it (plain mustard, maybe), I’ll gain 2 pounds overnight. If I don’t eat pure (like the two-day brownie binge), the food’s taste is adequate, but I feel horrible and gain 4 pounds overnight.
Everyday I go through these unbelievably and exquisitely painful food cravings – for chocolate, mostly, which I never really liked before I got pregnant. My husband helps me through them. I cry. I go through all the H. A. L. T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) issues for eating I can find – and there aren’t any. I just want the chocolate. It’s not even a bread thing anymore. But I know… if I eat the chocolate (which we do not have in our house, by the way), it’ll taste fine, but I’ll feel crappy nearly instantly and be 4 pounds heavier in the morning. How can anybody survive psychologically when one cheat will make you gain 4 pounds overnight that do not come off with subsequent purity?!?
I’m struggling because my whole physiology has changed. My whole psychology has changed. I don’t like oil on my salads (don’t like vinegar on salads either, but that’s out). Can’t have commercial mayo, but I don’t like my own homemade mayo. Don’t like salads without dressing, but commercial dressings have vinegar. Can’t eat pork or chicken because of the stuff they put into the meat (and won’t blow the family’s budget on the butcher), so pretty much beef and eggs are all I have to choose from. I can eat low carbohydrate veggies until I’m green in the face, but they don’t do anything to curb my hunger.
And that’s another thing – I’m constantly ravenous. I can’t eat enough to stave off the cravings.
So… I’m ravenous, but the good stuff tastes horrible and the bad stuff makes me suffer and gain un-losable weight. If I slip and eat something to spice up what food I do eat, I gain slowly. If I go out and find something that’s not pure, I gain quickly.
And I haven’t even gotten to the food-boredom non-variety issue yet, which at this point is a nonstarter.
It’s not about motivation anymore. It’s not about hidden issues or desires I’ve got anymore. It’s about my basic chemistry and the fact that I can’t control it.
I want to be able to eat regular Atkins and enjoy my food. And I don’t. And I can’t. And I resent it. I don’t even know what I like anymore since pregnancy changed my sense of smell and my taste buds.
So, Am I A Carbohydrate Addict? Do I have a Carbohydrate Addiction?
Webster’s defines “addiction” thusly: Compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful.
Unfortunately, for me, there are now a lot more substances on my list of what’s physically harmful to me than there were when I started Atkins – and I don’t even know what all of them are yet. So now I should go on a seek and destroy mission.
The question is: Do I want to?
“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”
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