I’m overeating.

But with a purpose.

If that doesn’t sound like a rationalization, I’m not sure what does. But I found myself beginning a pattern I’m all too familiar with: overeating to make myself sick of food so that I can start a diet and feel “refreshed” by the relief from eating.

Sound crazy?

I know it is.

But I do it anyway.

I do it when I’ve decided I need to fix my food plan and I don’t have the gumption to start.

After my first ever OA meeting I went to a diner and ate a lumberjack special. Maybe a week or so later I had found abstinence.

After I got the date for my surgery, seven years ago, I ate everything “bad for me” I could and by the time my date rolled around I was so grateful for the 24 hours of fasting the day before because I was so darn sick of food.

I learned about “that diet I’ve been talking about” a week or so ago and I’ve been shoveling it in ever since. Right now, I feel as though I don’t want to eat again for a month. My sick mind calls this progress.

I’m aware of my illness, my food addiction. I know when it’s got its hooks in me. When my mind and soul are being mangled by its delusions. If I said I knew how to cure it I’d be lying. But I know a couple of things that have arrested it in the past:

A food plan that I didn’t make up myself so I can’t mess with it.

The OA principle of “Just For Today”.

I told my husband last night that I’m going to try this diet. Whatever God there may be needs to bless that man for not rolling his eyes at me and asking why the hell this time will be different.

Instead he listened to me, supported me, and encouraged me.

He also asked me if I’m ready to do this for the rest of my life.

I said no.

I tried to explain that this time will be different because I’m no longer thinking about the rest of my life. I’m not mentally buying clothes three sizes smaller, not imagining myself on the beach in a two piece bathing suit, not deluding myself into believing that I will be happy and all will be well in three months when I’m thin again.

I tried to explain that I need to find “Just For Today” again so when I’m struggling with a bad day or a bad mood or wild hormones I don’t have to think about how pitifully sad it is that poor me can’t eat a slice of cake. Because with “Just For Today” I can eat a slice of cake. I can eat a whole damn cake if I want. I just have to wait a bit and eat it tomorrow.

Tomorrow never comes.

That’s the beauty of “Just For Today”.

Do you want to know what killed my first abstinence after more than a year and a half?

I ate a cannoli. A good one too. In Little Italy in NYC. I was having a good day. A great day in fact. You know what I did? I didn’t say, “Just for today I won’t eat that cannoli. If I want it so badly I’ll eat it tomorrow.” Instead I said, “I won’t be here tomorrow, so I’ll do this today.”

I was up all night freaked out that I had blown it for something so fleeting, so pointless. I thought I’d get right back on the wagon. But I didn’t. Instead I wound up on a slippery slope that led me down a dangerous incline. I eventually gave up the sugar again, but the rest of the food never got back in line. There was no shape, no purpose, no structure to my food plan anymore.

I never got back on the wagon because I was driven by fear. The wagon is there for those of us to beaten down to be afraid anymore. It’s there when we’re ready for some hope.

They say when you’re in recovery your disease is in a corner doing push-ups.

Getting stronger.

Mine’s been doing that through relapses too.

It’s gotten so much stronger.

I’ve gotten so much weaker.

Maybe it’s time to for me to remember that my weakness is my strength.

I can not face a lifetime of dieting, restricting, depriving.

But perhaps, just perhaps, I can face it just for today.

Oh, how badly I want it to be today.

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