If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

“Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!” – Scrooge to the Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life – the hard way – is that when red flags starts waving, you best pay attention.

Let’s revisit Christmas for a sec.

I wrote on Day 27 | No Chiclets for You  that mom and I visited the Mayan ruins Christmas day and things did not go well. 

So later that night, we were at our formal Christmas dinner in our fancy clothes and I was”making nice” because I didn’t want to ruin Christmas.

But let me tell you – I was pissed.

I found myself ordering a huge dinner: two soups, a steak, a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream … and the sugar-free mousse for dessert, which is not part of my food plan.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

What’s wrong with that? It was Christmas dinner, right?

You are correct except that I wasn’t eating a special holiday meal, I was eating because I was mad.

When I walked away from the table, I felt uncomfortably full. And then I walked up to the top deck and bummed a cigarette from a lady who gave me the “why don’t you buy your own, you loser?” dirty look that I fully deserved.

I smoked half of it, and then crushed it out. I realized I was starting the steps toward a binge.

“I will eat AT you!”

I have eaten more because I was angry than any other emotion. Especially on holidays because they are so emotionally charged. But, this Christmas, I wanted to do something different.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

So instead of eating, I did this:

  • Got accountable: I emailed my 12-step food sponsor what I’d eaten and why I’d eaten it to get her support.
  • Diffused the emotions: I took a walk around deck, where I breathed and prayed. I find it especially helpful to pray for the person with whom I’m angry, so Mom got a lot of prayers that night.
  • Went to bed early:  I recognized that I was overly tired, which makes me overly emotional.
  • Got right back on track: First thing the next day, I hit the gym, had my normal breakfast and continued with my day.

No further food slips required.

Now it’s several days later, I haven’t had any other “food slips” and the moment has passed. Mom and I are doing fine.

And most importantly … so am I.

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