I had already determined that Christmas Eve would be an allowed cheat day for me, but I was dreading it – because I knew I’d be fighting cravings for the next two months, just as I did after Thanksgiving.
But the week before Christmas, my family came to stay. We went out to eat every night, and along about the second or third night I started being jealous and resentful of those things that they could order off the menu while I was stuck with steak (invariably the most expensive thing on the menu).
I knew I was resentful and jealous, and so I resisted. Oh, I was so good, but it didn’t do anything for my sense of accomplishment or anything else. I just got more jealous and resentful.
Then Christmas Eve rolls around and I’m cleaning my house – haven’t eaten all day – and preparing the food for that night’s shindig. Along around 3:00 PM those chunks of sourdough and pumpernickel start looking really, really good, and I had vaguely determined to wait until the party so I’d at least make it a “Carbohydrate Addict’s Day.”
But I start munching away…bread chunks dipped in Marzetti’s Veggie Ranch dip, and something odd happened. Er, didn’t happen as it were. It did not have the emotional payoff I expected, and I ended up feeling slightly draggy to boot.
So the party starts, family’s there, we have a big argument (which for me is just cheap entertainment), and I’m eating all the things I’ve always eaten on Christmas Eve in a warm house packed with family while it’s freezing and dark outside. Homemade rolls, chips’n’dip, the Christmas cookies that my mother has made for longer than I can remember…
I ate a lot of bread, a few chips, a couple of cookies, but it was not doing for me what I wanted it to. Mind, I was very clear about what I wanted it to do. So finally I quit eating anything but the tequila chicken I had prepared (something new) and the deli meats because “it” just wasn’t happening for me.
I wanted this huge emotional orgasm using food as the stimulus, and I just didn’t get off. I was seriously disappointed.
So…next day was Christmas. Two different meals with different favorite foods, two different houses, more family and possibly another argument (seriously cheap entertainment). Try #2.
My mother made her famous cinnamon rolls. I was barely able to finish one. My mother’s famous banana bread – I took two slices and could only eat a corner of one slice. Her scrambled egg and sausage (and bread)
casserole, though – wow! Two servings. And two glasses of milk, which sent my sinuses into a tailspin.
Then my aunt’s for Christmas dinner. Potato/cheese/sourcream casserole, honey-baked ham, and the ubiquitous Christmas cookies laden with childhood memories. Happened again. Or, rather, it didn’t happen again! No emotional orgasm, but THIS time, I had severe diarrhea and seriously cranky entrails and I fell asleep on the couch while the family had its argument.
And the next day I woke up with a raging hangover, and I never wanted to touch the crap again.
I still don’t. I don’t know if I’ll acquire cravings as severe as the ones I had after Thanksgiving (which I now think was a function of anticipating Christmas Eve – after all, I now have nothing to anticipate food-wise). But right now I can’t look at a piece of bread with anything akin to affection, and bread is and always has been my bugaboo on this way of life.
I guess my whole point was – I knew what I wanted out of my cheats, and I didn’t get it!!! I thought that the emotional payoff would be worth the price of intestinal distress and a hangover, and it wasn’t!!